Bringing a unique blend to your kitchen.
I come with a unique blend of perspectives and a decade worth of experimenting with food and nutrition. As a certified Integrative Health Coach, mom of 3, lover of chocolate, and “fun foods” I get it. I am NOT a doctor, but I do live with one and our paths have been EXTREMELY different from where we are today. These paths serve my work and how I aim to help people.
WANT TO GET RIGHT INTO WHAT YOU’RE INTERESTED IN? SCROLL BELOW TO READ:
- BLEND OF PERSPECTIVES.
- 5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT APPROACHING THE KITCHEN (with me).
- GENTLE NUTRITION.
- FREE WELL RECIPES & MEAL PLAN.
BLEND OF PERSPECTIVES.
My husband, also known by many as Dr. Pete, wore shirts at infancy that read “If you love me don’t feed me junk”. (True story. We still have it and my kids wore it). While studying to be a chiropractor he was known on campus as “Big Meat Pete” (not so quick, it’s PG!). He got this nickname because he understood in his 20’s what so many of us are just learning, that sustainable farming and where meat comes from (and what that meat eats) matters. He bought grass-fed beef in bulk and sold it to other students, which paid for his large appetite. I mean, who does that, let alone in college?! This man has approached health his whole life with an alternative lens. He has no cavities, like zero. I didn’t even know that was possible.
I, on the other hand, was living off of Countchocula cereal and any other sugar-filled food I could get my hands on despite my parents’ efforts. I was the pickiest of eaters, and my favorite foods came in packages or cans. My poor mom! In my 20s, when I was working in Europe, a friend came to visit me for a few weeks and filled my fridge with food. Actual food. I swear to you, when I first opened that fridge after work, not knowing what she had done, I thought I was in someone else’s apartment. It looked so foreign to me. I stuck to rigid diets but I was undernourished. I didn’t learn to cook until after my kids were born well into my 30’s, and I still have a sweet tooth, and the cavities to prove it.
Hear me out, I don’t think my path is bad, it’s just different! I know each of these paths benefits the other – we learn from each other. I have advanced degrees and certifications but what I think is most useful is NOT having that deeply-rooted scientific background, mixed with my own health journey, and now family experiences. These things make me a great ‘expert’ in explaining sometimes harder food-related information because I just don’t have the ability to get super technical.
Today, we are navigating what it is like to raise a family and build a wellness that considers the food on our plate and beyond.
BELIEVE ME. I WONDER TOO!
And because I’ve challenged and questioned EVERY step I’ve made towards living and eating healthier, I can help connect dots and shed light on questions about food and nutrition that perhaps you’ve been wondering.
Supplements?! Why the heck would I need a supplement if I already eat really clean, high-quality foods?
Wait, so our kids won’t be getting desserts like I had? What will they have to look forward to? Are we taking out all the fun of being a child?
Food is so many things. I get that, I’ve been there, I am there. My hope is that my basic approach, simple recipes, blend of perspectives and experiences can help you and your family as you create your plates!
APPROACHING THE KITCHEN.
IF YOU’RE GOING TO HANG WITH ME IN THE KITCHEN YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- I am not in there to make super-pretty dishes.
- I like my kitchen but I don’t want to be there all the time – at least not this season of life.
- I’m a big believer that a kitchen is a perfect place for imperfect action.
- I encourage all to meet their kitchen where it’s at.
- I also say let’s meet our cooking skills where they are at too.
LET’S STICK TO THE BASICS.
An integrative approach to nutrition takes a bio-individual approach, which basically means what works for one person may not work for the next in terms of food. If I’m being honest, I really don’t even like the word diet, it immediately feels restrictive to me.
That being said, there are some nutrition basics, generally speaking, everyone could benefit from no matter the food route you choose:
- First and foremost, consider your personal values, how you want to live your life and the things most important to you. How do these things influence the food you eat (it can be SO HARD if you don’t consider your values and how those feed into all areas of your life, including food – pun intended!)
For me and my household that looks like:
- Eat for pleasure, nourishment, and satisfaction
- Know, as much as possible, where our food comes from – connection to our food is important
- Support local farmers as much as we can
- Eat whole foods, minimize processed food intake
- Try to minimize refined sugar
- Eat what’s in season
- Go for a variety of proteins, fats, and vegetables
- Proteins: free-range and antibiotic-free poultry and eggs, grass-fed meat (beef, lamb, bison, pork), wild-caught fish
- Fats: coconut oil, lard, raw butter, avocado, olive oil, nuts and seeds
- Vegetables: lettuces/greens, peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, squash, cabbage, asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, zucchini, etc.
- Integrate starches and carbs mindfully on our plate
- Carrots, potatoes (white and sweet), radishes, onions, turnips, beets, etc.
- Minimize gluten intake
- Try to eat organic (pesticide-free) when possible especially with the “Dirty Dozen” products (these products tend to be the most heavily doused in pesticides)
FREE WELL RECIPES – WHAT TO EXPECT.
SIMPLE, EASY-T0-NAVIGATE RECIPES TO MIX INTO YOUR KITCHEN LINE-UP.
When I think about what makes them my go-to’s it basically comes down to a few things:
- It has to be tasty
- It has to be simple with few ingredients
- It has to not take too much time
- I have to feel good about it (meaning I’m mindful of how it makes me feel which can come down to a physical level, emotional level, the integrity of the food – origin, GMOs, sugar, preservatives, gluten, processing, etc – sometimes all of these things at once and other times not, it’s a mindful decision)
- Please keep in mind I’ll be updating the Recipes regularly, so be sure to bookmark it for when you’re stumped and need ideas!
- Main Dishes – primarily your protein chicken/pork/beef/fish-based recipes
- Veggies & Sides – the critical pieces to balancing our plates, flavor, and nutrient needs
- Come Home to Meals – prep, leave and come home to dinner waiting
- Soup – you know what soup is 😉
- Desserts – for the sweet tooth
- Breakfast – what we eat before noon (or after if that’s your thing)
- Condiments & Drinks – spice blends, sauces, and drinks
- Suzie Sundays – while the majority of what I want to highlight will be considered Dina moment-like recipes (really brief moments where we don’t take ourselves too seriously and have fun) …Suzie Sundays will be for when you’ve got a little extra time and want to be in the kitchen. These will be some of the “longer” (but still very joyful if you have the time) recipes. I call them “Suzie Sundays” as a homage to my mom, who absolutely loves to experiment in the kitchen and spend all day in there!