The stats are in and this New Year is definitely full of promise, with equal parts intrigue and challenge! Just the way I like it. The Arrow Tribe, (which is the team that my Beachbody mentor founded), finished #35 in the network out of 400, 000!!! That’s the .01% cream of the crop, and it comes from one of the fastest growing industries, yes … MLMs. In an arena in which there are some who give Network Marketing a bad name, Beachbody shines. It’s a company largely dominated by women, empowering other women to take back their health, how it’s defined, and how we can earn income and help and mentor others; from anywhere we damn well please.
2015 marked many changes for me both personally professionally and with my health. Not only have I discovered a career path that I can merge all of these things together with the areas in which I shine (social media, marketing, graphic design, writing, helping others, healthy recipe development), but I’m growing my own enterprise in one of the only businesses where women make dollar for dollar what their male peers make doing the same thing. Where women talk about money and self-worth, everyday liberation, conquering fears and creating success on their own terms.
I’m proud and honoured to be amongst this sisterhood of badass #bossbabes who are genuinely creating their lives by design. It was scary when I took this leap (and continually so) to put myself out there so that I might reach others, like me, who were tired of the struggle: our own self-care on the back burner, our dreams and goals weighed down by the expectation of what a ‘proper’ career looks like according to generations before.
What is your time worth? Your health? Your story? Your family’s security? I come from a history that some might (and have) judge and think I could never make it as a leader, or as a successful businesswoman. I’m kicking those stereotypes to the curb and sharing the very same tools that my mentor shares with me, with the small but mighty tribe of #WellWarriors that I am lucky enough to mentor and guide.
Unleash that delicate monster within! It doesn’t matter where you come from, it matters where you go! Below is a little video I share in my Inside Coaching Sneak Peek groups that I run each month if you want to know more about the coaching opportunity is:
What other perks are there to becoming a coach before the end of January? I am beyond excited to announce the Success Club Trip that Beachbody Coaches can EARN throughout 2016; to be awarded come 2017 … Punta Cana!
Many of you may not know what that means, but basically, it means holding a standard of helping at least 3 people a month in the very same ways we work on our own personal development, wellness and fitness goals. Before I became a coach I didn’t travel very much, although the wanderlust in me is strong. Money, taking time off work, and then since having children, trying to figure out childcare or family friendly options … there were just too many obstacles to make it happen.
Now, less than a year after I made the leap into this helping profession I’ve earned a retreat to St. Augustine Florida that I went on in November, I have $200 left of the $1200 awarded leadership requirements required to earn a cruise to Jamaica + Haiti in March and back in May 2015 (just 3 months after becoming a coach), I was awarded a free ticket to Summit, which our big industry conference in Nashville this July! I share all of this with you because I want you to know that it’s DOABLE. I don’t have any magic fairy dust or unicorn glitter within making me more special in my specialness to achieve these things. DREAM JOB, indeed.
I struggle and have my off days just like anyone else. Now I get to do it alongside others who get me, and accept me and challenge me to succeed and grow. And I do it part-time, from my laptop, while taking care of family, kids and home and pursuing my other creatively professional endeavours. I mentor other women who have full-time jobs and are carving out one to two hours a day to give their Beachbody businesses all they’ve got. Some are single moms who juggle more than I will ever know.
So…Punta Cana, here I come! Who is coming with me? You should be a coach by January 19th to get in when registration opens, lest wait-lists are your jam. Don’t second guess yourself. You’ve no idea of what you’re capable of (I didn’t.) The sky is the limit and a life by design is the life for me. What about you?
Email me today me for more info, or fill out my coach application to hook-up a spot before this dream-trip fills up!
In the search for a quick weeknight dessert, that can be sent to school the next day as a healthy treat? I was! Luckily, my friend the Baker Babe came to the rescue a while back with this recipe. Except it featured almond meal, so since then I revisited it and experimented a bit and came up with these delicious little suckers.
Again, they are totally 21 Day Fix approved for those of you who give a care, so rock those yellows when and if you wanna! Heck, have an extra one because I said so! You’re welcome!
- 10 pitted Medjool dates (blitzed in food processor with a wee bit of hot water until a paste is formed)
- 2 tbsp. unsweetened apple sauce
- 2 tbsp. coconut flour
- ¾ raw cacao powder
- ½ c. melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp. real vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1.5 c. sunflower meal (pre-food-processor blitzed sunflower seeds to resemble flour)
- ¾ tsp. g-free baking soda
- ½ tsp. pink Himalayan sea salt
- Preheat over to 350 F and grease an 8x8 baking dish with coconut oil
- Whizz sunflower seeds in food processor until a rough flour-like consistency is formed (like almond flour), remove and set aside.
- Whizz medjool dates with a wee smidge of boiling water in the food processor until paste is formed.
- Add coconut flour, cacao powder, melted coconut oil, vanilla, baking soda, salt, eggs and whizz/pulse again until mixed (stopping to scrape down sides as needed).
- Pop in the oven for 35-40 minutes depending on the heat of your oven.
- These need to set for about 20 minutes after baking as they are gooey and I've found that all paleo baked good need time to set as they continue to cook a bit in doing so. Enjoy!
When I was a kid, there were few comforts come winter that soothed as much a hot bowl of homemade turkey soup did. With Thanksgiving and Christmas being so close together, bone broth gets whipped up on the regular around here and there’s always leftover turkey from hosting to tend to. This is one of my favourite dishes, hands down, based on nostalgia AND taste.
What’s even better is that I’ve made this low-carb, dairy and wheat free. Paleo if you please, but … more importantly, gloriously full of root veggies that are low on the glycemic index.
- 2 c. cooked wild rice (cooked separately)
- 2 c. cubed and cooked sweet potato
- 4 tbsp. grass-fed butter/ghee/coconut oil
- 4 tbsp. avocado oil
- 2 c. chopped onion
- 2 c. chopped celery
- 2 c. chopped carrot
- 2 c. chopped turnip
- 4 cloves garlic
- 8 c. turkey bone broth (or any other stock)
- 2 bay leaf
- 5 cups chopped leftover turkey
- 2 tbsp chopped, fresh thyme
- 1 tsp. kosher/pink himalayan sea salt
- 1 tsp. teaspoon ground black pepper
- Prep all your ingredients and begin cooking wild rice and roasting sweet potato in the oven. Toss all prepped and uncooked root veg together in a big bowl and set aside.
- In a large dutch oven, melt the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery and cook about 10 minutes until onions are soft and translucent. Deglaze with white wine. If making a double batch, take out half of the mirepoix and add to another big soup pot.
- Add half the turkey broth to one pot and the rest to the other with the bay leaves, thyme and turnip. Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring soup to a boil. Turn heat back down to medium and let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add turkey, cooked wild rice, cooked sweet potato, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes more.
- Serve soup in large bowls, slurp and savour! (Freeze the other batch after cooled down!)
It’s amazing how much can happen in a year. How thoughts and patterns and routines can change when an elevated level of self-care, self-love, momentum and drive takes front seat. How dreams can change. How people can change. This past weekend was a biggie. For my both my husband and I in little ways, but mostly for my husband in some big, defining, empowering ways. Trevor and I have spoken about me sharing some of his story with you all today as we’re both firm advocates in Mental Health and Wellness. This doesn’t just encompass nutrition, fitness and personal development. Or career goals. A large part of both our stories, both past present and in what lies ahead in our future, has and always will include a strong focus on mental health. I’ve always been more vocal (publicly) about the mental health part, concerning myself.
Many of you know pieces and layers of my story, and if you don’t, if you’re new (welcome), you can click the link embedded here. We’re here to focus more on Trevor, my husband today. Because he said I could. Not only that, he felt good about it, in letting me share about his long-term battle with clinical depression. He hasn’t always been so open about this part of his life. This year has been a turning point for him, his confidence and in how he excels in the day-to-day, in so many incredible ways. And in following with the generous, thoughtful, surprising way his colleagues and employer recognized him at his holiday work party this weekend, I too, shall follow suit.
We entered into the weekend feeling rather frisky. Perhaps overscheduled with events and parties, we’re also blessed with great friends who kept our kids overnight so that we might partake in the hotel room that was included with Trev’s company party soiree. For those of you who don’t know, Trev has been a long-time web developer. He’s the senior dude at the firm he works for and when I say we were feeling frisky, it began with aspects a little more shallow than what they evolved into over the course of the night. We felt damn good dressed in our sexiest and finest. Deservedly so. We’ve worked hard in shedding some pounds together. Usually, I would have a lot of anxiety leading up to such an event and agonized over what to wear. Silly to some, perhaps – but it’s the truth. I wasn’t comfortable in my body and I felt like crap. My panic attacks in social settings were debilitating and painful. I never knew when one was going to happen. This past weekend was the first time (in a very long time), where none of that happened. Does it all revolve around my weight-loss? Nope. But it sure hasn’t contributed to me feeling MORE crappy.
You see, we’ve BOTH been working hard on our nutrition and fitness over this past year, not just me. But I’m the coach, so I share in my journey. I don’t talk about Trev’s much. But the man deserves some kudos! He’s lost over 40 pounds and the REAL cause for celebration is that he’s been off of his meds for going on a year and a half now. The major contributing factors to this combined transformation has been the tone that I’ve set in what we eat at home sure, but the brunt of the work has been all him. He wakes every day before dawn rises, blends his vegan chocolate shakeology, and hops on his bike to the train station. Every dang day, he rides to and from that station. Every dang day he blends up his superfoods. Not only that, he’s really cut down on his meat intake with the diagnoses of gout that he received last December. And beer … as opposed the nightly event that it was, it is now something he only treats himself to a couple times a month. (Beer – alcohol in general – and meat are the biggest triggers to a painful gout attack.)
He is far from strict with his diet. He likes his snack foods at work, (which became glaringly apparent as he was presented with a ‘quilt’ made out of the snyder snack things he crushes while coding. Yea, his colleagues collected them in secret). When I first became a Beachbody coach he was skeptical. About all of it. About it being an MLM company, the cost of shakeology (he used to be a meat and potatoes dude who would scoff at the word ‘superfood’ or ‘supplement’.) As a few months passed and he watched how I was transforming in all of these intricate ways, (weight-loss, increased confidence, rocking time management, diving into personal development, building community and helping others, building income and mentoring other women), his interest became more than piqued. He, like no other – knew how I struggled. He knew that what was happening for me was LEGIT. Soon enough, he was crushing his own daily shake upon the approval of our Naturopath who had prescribed him to a generic protein powder shake anyways when he had to go completely vegetarian, (back in the beginning of 2015 for a few months).
***AGAIN: I do not tout that shakeology is a meal-replacement or a miracle product. It’s simply a quick way to get dense hit of nutrition for those we see and reap the benefits of having as such in their lives. Increased energy, more time to think about food and snacks (TRUTH), hauling one’s ass out of bed, etc. Trevor is a prime example. Much like me, the man loves his food. But what’s changed for us in the past year is that we are eating much more regularly and healthfully. As in 6-7 times a day. So no, we aren’t only eating 3 big meals a day and replacing one of those with shakeology. He’s not big in the kitchen as I am, and mornings are rushed. His morning shake gives him the natural boost of energy and nourishment his body needs to get out the door. Whole foods are embraced and consumed but a mere couple of hours later.
You guys, in all of the (many) years that Trev and I have been together, never have I seen him with such drive and determination. Not just in how he manages his career, but in his own health. The common thread that ties all of this together is that which we’ve weaved in partnership. US. We’re doing it, we’re making these changes, we’re creating new habits and routines TOGETHER. We lift up and support one another and even I myself am surprised with where these changes have been taking us. Our relationship is stronger, of course. This is just a natural side-effect, yet perhaps the most important one.
Listen, we’re far from perfect, we still have our struggles. Depression still rears its ugly head for Trevor now and then, but nothing like it used to. We firmly believe that it’a combination of all of the changes and attention to personal self-care he/we have implemented into our lives that contribute to more joy trickling into our lives on the regular; rather than struggle, stress, and strife. I don’t have to go into great detail explaining that exercise is commonly used to combat depression, as are natural supplements, attention to nutrition and eating specific combinations of food to keep serotonin levels in check.
Oh, and not to make it a side-note or anything, but Trev received more than a ‘Snyder-Snack-Quilt’ on Saturday. He was presented with a generous bonus to compliment being chosen as, ‘Rockstar Employee of the Year.’ A first for the company, something inspired right from the very depth of creativity and unique badassery that is Trevor. Once upon a time ago, he was musician who toured extensively as the bassist for an amazing band, and held down his own web development business. A couple of years ago he decided to take the great offer he received from ITS Dispatch, (the company he currently works for), for financial reasons and because it was just too much juggling. And he missed his family. He was away a lot. Anyways, the company knew this, and thus, the ‘rockstar’ addition to the company’s employee of the year award. This is SUCH a huge change. When he was touring, he did contract work for a company that constantly devalued the importance of family and pushed him way too far over holidays, and had the nerve to consistently drop subtle (and not so), subtle hints about him cutting his hair and shaving his beard, such things that they considered ‘unprofessional looking.’ Uhm, he worked FROM HOME then. I digress. But I just thought it was important to put that out there, because yet again, there goes Mister Trevor Mills, squashing stereotypes about what a person with clinical depression can and can’t be successful at, and how a man should look in order to be considered professional and successful. BOOYAKA.
My whole point with that little tangent is that this company is so damn cool for recognizing Trev’s unique way of functioning, that they granted him permission him to bring in his bass to jam out on when wading through difficult code, and a PIANO to tinker on as well. I mean, C’MON. Something tells me I’m not the only one who thinks he’s incredibly inspiring. I thought you all might too.
What’s on the horizon for this crazy couple come 2016? We’re going to begin doing Beachbody’s newest program together, The Masters Hammer and Chisel (beginning in January!) to see how far we really can take this whole bonding through elevated self-care and personal development thang! You can totally join us if you want, but I can’t promise we’ll behave. (And if Hammer and Chisel isn’t quite your jam, I have a bunch of other workouts I can offer you or we can build you a custom hybrid schedule!) Click down there to get plugged in for January immediately, or email us: wellnesswarriorsteam@gmail
All photos courtesy Laura Rossi Photography!
Now, these tips would be well-suited for any busy, millennial woman who is trying to incorporate daily exercise and healthier eating habits into their day any time of year, but I thought they would be especially helpful over the holidays when everything we’ve committed to seems insurmountable and keeping up with our own self-care quickly falls off the list.
This is my first time, ever …. as a girl, a woman, a mom, a work-at-home coach … anything … that I’ve stuck to a regimen involving elevated self-care and reigned in nutrition for myself over the holidays. So if you and I have a few things in common (as you’ll quickly ascertain as you read through this list of tips), then you’re welcome.
1. All the BB girls say HEY-O!
Particularly when digging into a workout sequence involving plyometrics (which means HELLA jumping), you’re gonna wanna double up on the workout bras. I don’t care how good your brand totes its support strappin’ capabilities. Double up on that shit. Lest you don’t mind the boob-face-slaps. That full-on happens. There are days I tuck into this particular one, the PLYO extreme (included in the 21 Day Fix Extreme which I’m now tackling), that I forget to double up on the full-support workout bras. Crazy things happen and I just go with it because changing once you’re into it just ain’t gonna happen. At least not for me. Next Monday, I swear, I’ll remember.
2. Celebrate Your Milestones
Since we’re talking about burpees, it should be mentioned that there once was a time that I could not rock a single burpee without being extremely shaky and unable to get past a couple unless I wanted to do a face plant. It’s taken me NINE MONTHS (yep, that’s right) do be able to do 2 full reps (30 seconds each, or 1, 60-second rep) of burpees without modifying that action. I persevered by modifying the heck out of those burpees while I slowly built up my stamina and capability. No shame, only PRIDE. I say this to all of you who are afraid (like I was) to begin and stick to a solid/challenging workout program. Today? Burpee tuck jumps were my favourite move of the day! Not because I necessarily love them like I love a dry Grey Goose martini, but because it feels AMAZING to unlock this level of fitness badassery.
3. Use Dry Shampoo Like a BOSS
I get asked all the time if I wash my hair every day with all this sweating I do. NOPE, I do not. For a couple reasons. Ain’t no one got time for that, being front and centre. Secondly, my hair is thick, coarse and prone to being dry and frequent washing would not be my friend. So I embrace the many virtues of dry shampoo. It does exactly what it’s supposed to. It sucks up all that sweat and my trick to not having any residue is to take a few extra minutes to really work it through with a brush, massaging my scalp with the brush after spraying in. I spray my roots before hopping in the shower to let it do its absorbing thang, and then brush my hair, tossing my head upside down. I give it a good go with the blow dryer, concentrating at the roots and my hair comes out so fresh. So clean. Sort of. No shame here either.
4. Recovery Food is KEY
As many of you know, I’m an avid shakeology fan. It’s simple really. Where else can I get 70 superfoods and consume the equivalent to 6 bowls of greens no matter what other craziness I’m up to in a day? It’s a guaranteed way to ensure that my body is getting the fuel that it needs especially when I’m pushing it to extremes with my workouts.
5. Eat Smaller Portions, More Frequently
Over the course of a busy day – I used to skip breakfast more often than not and ended up starving by lunchtime. This resulted in poor lunch choices and depending on my stress or to-do list that day, it could go all downhill from there. I’m not a big weekly meal-planner, but I do keep my fridge and pantry stocked with simple foods that I can grab on the go or make quickly for lunch and snacks. Many of my clients who don’t work from home embrace the food prep action on Sundays so they are well-set up throughout the week. SO IMPORTANT.
6. Don’t Ignore Your Core
I had an ‘AHA’ moment a couple months into this whole life-changing business and that was how essential my core was/is to the whole process in a workout. Most people know that, but in case you haven’t gleaned … fitness guru I am not. I was not maximizing the benefits of my workouts until I engaged my core with EVERY. SINGLE. MOVE.
7. Personal Development Is Essential
DO IT. Not the cheesy stuff – the stuff that resonates with you. There are several authors/speakers/coaches whose particular style and experiences, prose and personal storytelling that speaks to me and I gravitate towards them. There really is something and someone out there for everyone – maybe this list will help! Thinking you have no time for that? Podcasts are all the rage and you can listen to them from anywhere. I like downloading or streaming them from my iPhone when driving in the car. Done, done and INSPIRED.
8. Just Do It
Today I had 50 minutes to press play, get my sweat on, shower and slap on some make-up. Instead of humming and hawing about how I didn’t have time, I just rocked it, did my dry shampoo thing, hopped in the shower, tossed on some clean clothes and boogied through on my 5-minute ‘natural’ make-up routine. And I don’t wear make-up every day, I’m just not that woman. But now and then – I like a little extra joozh.
3 years ago I began feeling sick. I knew something was wrong but couldn’t put a finger on it. As time went on, I got worse. One day I woke up and my legs were balloons and I couldn’t move. I stayed this way for one year, it was devastating. I spent endless hours in the hospital, at the lab and at the doctors. Endless tests and no results. No one could find anything. Finally, one year ago, I found a naturopath who saved my life. The next year would prove to be the most difficult. Treatment made me more sick. Somedays I felt like there was no hope. It made me sad to look at my kids and not be able to play with them. It made me sad to not be able to move and dance or even go to the park. I felt like I was slowly losing myself. Today, I am walking again. I can pick up my children. I can be intimate with my husband. I am starting to feel like myself again. As I look back, the past few years is very fuzzy. There’s a lot of darkness. All of this to say: My husband PLEX has just dropped his first music video from his new album. The song is called Lucky Stars and it is dedicated to me.
“My wife, the love of my life, is the centre of our family, our anchor. Watching her struggle with Lyme Disease has been difficult to say the least. I made this video as a tribute to her. To remind her of all the great moments we have had during this dark time.”
Watching it for the first time was overwhelming. He managed to capture some beautiful moments of our family over the past few years. It is a great reminder for me that even though I FELT like was disappearing, I was very much here and still am. Being loved, feeling loved, is such good medicine. He might think that I am the anchor of the family, but I couldn’t have gotten through any of this without his support and love. I, too, thank my lucky stars.
Please watch and share.
Do you ever dream of becoming more than the limiting self-beliefs you’ve constructed for yourself? Someplace forgiving, honest, limitless and filled with joy? We’ve all overcome obstacles in life. Once, I lived in a reality wherein I never thought I would get unstuck. Unstuck from not being able to take ownership of my relationship with myself. My relationship with food. My confidence. My self-awareness. My turbulent past in struggling with addiction and years of self-medication stemming from a childhood that saw much vitriol, anger and sickness. Those generational cycles of abuse are hard to crack and I know all too well their long-lasting psychological and spiritual impact.
Truth? I thought I wasn’t destined for much in life and while I’ve grown and immersed myself into the love of growing my family and within professions revolving around art and helping others, nothing ever really clicked for me. With as much strength and grace that I can muster, I work hard every single day to steer clear of those systemic cycles. I thought that the residual of all of my life experiences added up to a finite way of being, where I would float between just scraping by: emotionally, financially, physically … to clearer, brighter strands of living healthfully, wild, happy and free. Careening about as if on a roller coaster, to say the least.
It wasn’t until 8 months ago, when I took a giant leap of faith in myself to finally address some of my skeletal stragglers in my closet and recent health diagnoses. I never spoke of having a food disorder before. People were surprised. I sure as hell didn’t talk about my own self-loathing and body-hate. Or my crippling panic attacks in any random social setting. I knew I had to dig deep and DO THE WORK. It started with honesty. I started with embracing the art of storytelling that has released layers of unwanted skin so many times for me in the past. I curled up into digital storytelling like the comfort of a soft and much-coveted blanket. That leap of faith that I took? It entailed so much more than embracing and sticking to an exercise regime or finally addressing of my binge-eating. I was called upon to help others in the very same ways that I had (have) continue to struggle. I was encouraged to believe in myself and share my story, in the hopes that I would inspire others who were struggling immensely on the inside. And on the outside. I was taught to FINALLY believe that I am so much more than my past. Coaching has become a gift that provides me the opportunity to continue to discover who I am, what my unique gifts and strengths are. It has afforded me gifts of jewellery and trips yes. It has also given my family increased financial stability so that I can help provide for my children an enriched life full of love, healthy foods, opportunity and room for emotional, spiritual, artistic and academic growth. Coaching has given me a ferocious community of women who give deeply, intelligently and LIKE A BOSS.
So in case you’ve been wondering, THAT’S what being a Beachbody Coach looks like. It doesn’t take anyone with extra-special-special-ness. We’re not a bunch of women who want to look good in a bathing suit, fluttering about taking selfies and obsessing over our food portioning. We’re all attracted to various types of people in life, those who mentor us, those who we connect to in sisterhood, those who lift us up and teach us things in skilled ways and about love, healthy relationships, finances and trust.
What if I wold you that coaching opens up a gateway to a fusion of all of those things? Where we develop a business mindset and value our family’s prosperity just as much as we do on helping others, giving back and living a holistically charged life of wellness and intention?
Right now I’m gearing up for my BUSIEST season yet: of moving full throttle in this soul-centred business. As much as I may cringe at the notion of New year’s Resolutions, I know that in my industry, January is our busiest time of year. That means I’m looking to mentor 5 other women in the very same ways I have been.
A coach is really someone on their journey inspiring others to do it too. We make it our jobs to discover our greatest selves. So no, it isn’t easy. It’s some of the hardest work you will do with incredible rewards. Ask yourself: could this benefit your life? Could it help you overcome mental blocks or obstacles you’ve had in your life? Could it help you financially? Ask yourself just how much value this opportunity could add to your life.
What else is there to say? All I can do invite you along on this incredible journey. I’m looking for teachable and coachable women, who want to see how coaching can help them. Women who are passionate about helping others. If you already think you have it all together and that this couldn’t benefit you in any of the ways I’ve been talking about, then this opportunity is not for you. We aren’t looking for each other. If you ARE looking for change in these vast and victorious ways then you should comment below or message me.
I’m running a FREE, no-obligation ‘sneak peek into coaching’ event beginning November 18 for 3 days. I’ll be answering any and all questions like:
“What does it cost and How do I earn an income without being salsey?”
“How do I find people to help when I’m still working on myself? “What makes a good coach?”
“Can I really do this at home, part-time, while working another job or being home with my kids?”
Come take a peek at what it would be like to immerse yourself in the #32 coach-led up-line team in all of Team Beachbody. Why wait for New Years to try exciting, bold, and promising new things?
If you’re ready to learn more, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, shoot me a message or comment on this post and I’ll get you all the info. Seriously, why not you? Why not me? Why not all of us?
Those of us in the Paleo world know about the controversy that is whether or not to include white potatoes into one’s diet. On the one hand, they are a delicious, nutrient dense whole food. A fabulous starchy tuber in fact! Unprocessed, versatile and satisfying. And yet, they sit quite high on the glycemic index and as someone who has chosen to try and stick to a Paleo diet because I’m pre-diabetic … then obviously I am going to avoid sugar spiking foods.
I’m especially NOT going to deny myself of delicious foods however, when it comes to any holiday spread I might be hosting this time of year. I double especially love surprising my doubting guests when it comes to Paleo food substitutions. Because they’re definitely not all a win. (Sad face apple pie.)
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock with nary a Buzzfeed food video or heady list touting the many wondrous virtues of eating cauliflower (instead of carbs) crossing your path, then I’m sorry. This is one of those rare times you’ve been missing out on what the internet has to toss your way. Cauliflower is a splendiferous thing indeed. I’ve tried it out in bread, soup and to make faux ‘cauli-rice’ and pizza crust already. Perhaps you’ve already been served, or have tried mashed cauliflower as a mashed potato substitute. It’s pretty good (no, it doesn’t taste exactly the same so let’s just lay that inquisition to rest), but I’ve found that the addition of parsnips really adds the taste a texture needed to make it a damn good combo of a sub needed to mimic the cloudy peaks of buttery, creamy goodness that is mashed potatoes. Cauliflower is a part of the cabbage family, which means it’s a vegetable and we know that vegetables are a good thing, yes? Particularly rich in vitamin C and B vitamins, cauliflower also has a significant amount of vitamin K, manganese, phosphorous, and potassium! As if all of that weren’t enough, noshing on cauliflower also gives you a good dose of sulfur. And until I read Mark Sisson’s article on why eating sulfur-rich foods is a grand idea, I had no clue about why I should care about that either. It’s a damn good, eye-opening article about vegetables in general!
Pumped up with various B vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin K, parsnips and turnips are a great source of trace minerals, including manganese, phosphorous, potassium, and zinc! While they may be moderately high in natural sugars, parsnips are also comprised of both soluble and insoluble fiber. (Which slows the body’s digestion of carbs and prevents a spike in blood sugar and makes food easier to digest!) When accompanied with the cauliflower, one really is bestowed with the great satisfaction of eating mashed potatoes without the dense insulin spike.
I’m straight up gonna tell you that using a blender will issue you a gluey mass. Which you might be going for if you wanted to make a vegan cheese sauce sub; say for mac and cheese. But that’s not the texture we’re going for here. I myself am a fan of the rustic hand-held mashing or using a food processor.
- 2 heads cauliflower
- 4 parsnips, peeled and chopped into chunks
- 1 small turnip, peeled and chopped into chunks
- 5-6 tbsp. grass-fed butter or ghee
- 1¼ tsp. pink sea salt
- Remove the cauliflower florets from their bases of stems and leaves. Wash and add to a water-filled pot, along with
yourwashed, peeled and chopped parsnips and turnip.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer until all is tender.
- (You can cook the veg in two separate pots if you don't have a big enough one.)
- Drain the cauliflower, turnips and parsnips into a colander and topple them all into a food processor (or back into the pot if you are hand-mashing.)
- Add the butter and whizz/mash until well creamed! If you like it rustic then by hand is the best way to go.
- Season with sea salt to taste, eat it, love it and gloat all about it.
I have just returned home from a mind-altering, soul-shifting work retreat. So much more on that later. I came home with a big hunger in my heart to dote on my little ones, to scoop them up in big cuddles and get some serious organizing done around the house. This includes spending far too much time going through photos from the whirlwind that has been this past Summer now nearing on the end of Autumn. I am awe-struck by the beauty I I have been gifted with in these sprightly, curious, remarkable humans Trev and I are raising.
I love watching them grow and build friendships and relationships to last a lifetime. These are but a few pics of my curly haired, chubby (still) cheeked firecrackers and those they call their bests. I hope to nurture these relationships well on into the years…
Just so we’re clear, this is a Paleo soup recipe, but obviously the sandwiches aren’t. If you’re new here, you might not know that I try and alternate between a plant-based and Paleo diet. The rest of my family don’t have the same health issues as I do so essentially they can indulge in what I do not! Meals like these make that kind of diverse food prep easy. It’s just grilled cheese yo. Perhaps a little bit fancy, but no big whoop. If you want to get into making big batches of bone broth to use in many an Autumn and Winter recipe, here’s my recipe!
- Soup (double batch if you please)
- 2 tbsp. ghee, coconut oil, or
- 2 tbsp. REAL maple syrup (amber if you have it!)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 8 c. bone broth (or 3½ quart sized tetra packs of veggie or meat based stock)
- 10 cups 1-inch pieces peeled butternut squash (about 3½ lbs.)*
- 2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
- 2 tsp. minced fresh sage
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 (heaping) tsp. ground ginger
- 1 c. cashew cream (soak ¼ cup of cashews in hot water for about 20 min., drain rinse and blend, adding
inmore water until cream-like consistency is obtained)
- BONUS! Apple, Crispy Sage + Gruyere Sandwiches (for 4)
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
- 8: ¼-inch-thick Italian loaf bread slices (or bread of choice)
- 8 slices Gruyere cheese
- 2 peeled and thinly sliced honey crisp apples
- 5 or 6 baked sage leaves per sandwich
- Bake cubed butternut squash tossed in 1 tbsp. of oil or butter and the maple, in a preheated oven of 350 F for about 25/35 minutes (depending on the heat of your oven), turning cubes midway.
- Melt the other tbsp. of oil or butter in large dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, ginger, garlic and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, all squash and herbs; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer a few minutes.
- Working in batches, puree soup in double batches. Return soup to same pot. Stir in the cashew cream and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat panini press. Butter BOTH sides of each bread slice. Arrange bread, buttered side down across a large expanse of counter to create an assembly line.
Tophalf of the bread slices with one slice of cheese, then apples, topping with another slice of cheese. Place other pieces of bread slices to complete the sandwich prep and grill until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from press and let sit for 30-60 seconds before slicing.
- Ladle soup into bowls and serve those delectable sandwiches with those who can eat bread and cheese without a care in the world!