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Pure and Simple
Wholesome Food for Healthy Living
Interests: Kale. Chocolate. Yoga. Writing.
Recent Activity
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Introducing my favorite sweetener of all time: DATE PASTE. I'll come back to the reasons why I love this concoction so much, but for now, I want to write about a topic existing in my head at the moment: change. I love this time of year. I was 23-years old when I first recognized my overwhelming response to the remarkably beautiful season of reflection. I was engaging in a heart-to-heart with one of my most unimaginable kindred spirits in this lifetime when the subject of seasons came up between us. It just so happened to be September at the time and I remember feeling very nostalgic and inspired just thinking about the months ahead of me. When he asked me which season was my favorite, I answered without hesitation, "Autumn." How could it not be? The gathering of friends and family around the kitchen table for homemade stew straight off... Continue reading
I miss you and the family and all your creative chaos.
Toggle Commented 6 days ago on Halloween happenings.... at Creative Chaos
1 reply
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Breakfast is my favorite meal. Maybe it has something to do with the boisterous appetite that greets me each morning when I wake up. I usually start my day with a yoga practice followed by fresh fruit or a smoothie that consists of kale or chocolate. Last week, when a friend of mine mentioned something about eating oatmeal for breakfast, I was instantly reminded of the days I woke up to a hot breakfast of steel cut oats (cooked overnight in the crockpot) with cinnamon, peanut butter, fresh berries and dried cherries. At the time, I believed it was the most delicious breakfast known to man and that I would eat it every day for the rest of my life. After I cut grains and peanut butter out of my diet, that treasured meal was gone with the wind. Last week, I made a similar breakfast using chia seeds in... Continue reading
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Have I mentioned how much I love Austin, Texas?????? Well, I'm a teensy weensy bit head over heels in love with this city (and you may be hearing more about it in my future posts). I spent the morning at Johnson's Backyard Garden, an organic farm and community supported agriculture operation (CSA), working as a volunteer and getting my hands dirty in the freshly picked okra, green beans and colorful sweet peppers with friendly folks who are just as passionate about (real) food as I am. I came home with a bevy of vegetables certain to be tossed into my salads over the next few days. And I'll definitely be making some dressing with that fresh, insanely-scented basil sitting in my fridge. I did not score any chocolate while on the farm, but I did manage to come up with a new chocolate candy recipe last week while a friend... Continue reading
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Now that I’m back in Texas and temperatures are cranked up to 90+ degrees for weeks on end, my oven will more than likely take a three month hiatus. The exception being an irrepressible craving for sweet potato fries, nut-free granola and anything chocolate. Otherwise, my meals will come straight from the trees, a crockpot or my nifty Vitamix. I love summers in Austin. To be honest, I love every season in Austin. I have fallen hard for this town and its “come as you are” attitude. What’s so great, you ask? The friendly demeanor, lack of pretension, quirky and creative tone, explicit heat, wear what you want to wear and be who you want to be approach, the lackadaisical yet hardworking temperament (an oxymoron, I know) and the abundance of (extraordinary) live music every single night of the week. Even the i’m-gonna-make-you-drip-with-sweat-every-time-you-step-outside humidity is beautiful in its own way.... Continue reading
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My enthusiasm for capturing beauty on camera began years ago when I realized I did not need a reason to collect images of all the things that make me happy. I took a photography class in college that piqued my interest and taught me much more about life than technique, thanks to an intriguing and kind man known as my teacher. This blog celebrates my love for photography as much as it documents my culinary journey. I have been traveling over the past few weeks and have not created the space or time to post a new recipe, so I am sharing with you a few photos that I recently posted to Instagram and Facebook. I plan on posting a new recipe soon. Continue reading
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Chocolate Chip Cookies. Those just-out-of-the-oven, soft and chewy-in-the-middle darlings were my favorite dessert to bake and eat in my early twenties. I was very particular about their texture and flavor and would rarely eat them if they were not made by my own hands. If you came to visit me during my "Come Over, I'm Baking Chocolate Chip Cookies" phase, there's a good chance you were presented with and expected to devour more than a couple of my treasured confections. My affection for chocolate chip cookies exists even today. I've had to work around this allergy-friendly diet to get my fix, but I do still indulge when I find a grain-free cookie glaring at me from the kitchen counter. The past couple of weeks, I've made three batches of cookies while trying to design a recipe that is clean, delicious, refined sugar-free and paleo. I finally came up with something... Continue reading
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Capturing the essence of food on film is almost as fun as tasting it, so I'm journaling my kitchen creations over on Facebook and Instagram. Join me for daily doses of appetizing inspiration. Continue reading
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Some nights, all I want for dinner is a plate of fresh, warm vegetables cooked to perfection. In the past, before I discovered the magic of kale, collards were my favorite greens. I boiled the leaves for about an hour and added them to just about any dish I fancied, especially a fresh piece of wild salmon with sweet potatoes. That is still one of my favorite meals. Most recently, I've integrated swiss chard into my diet. I juice it, add it to my smoothies or saute it in coconut oil, as I've done with this dish. The Swiss Chard & Ginger Saute is so easy to prepare. It involves three ingredients and will take about 10 minutes to make. The combination of coconut oil and ginger root give it an Asian flavor and reminds me of a coconut curry I repeatedly ate while I was in Thailand. Leafy greens... Continue reading
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I recently heard a (hopefully fictitious) story that Chipotle's will possibly be removing the insanely delicious guacamole from their menu. That creamy, perfectly-prepared dip is by far the best thing they make, in my opinion, and the one reason I continue to visit their restaurant. Since that eye-opening information was released last week, I've been thinking about the precious fruit that has become a staple in my diet and a primary ingredient in so many of my dishes, including the chocolate pie I make all the time. I keep a stash of those green, vitamin-rich gems in my fridge and eat one just about every day, tossing it into my smoothie, salad or homemade guacamole. They are purely nutritious, great for the skin and contain anti-inflammatory properties. They also work extremely well with chocolate, absorbing the flavors of any food you add to them. A few years ago, I began... Continue reading
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I have been subsisting primarily on smoothies the past couple of weeks. They are super simple to make, easy to digest and loaded with all the nutrients I need in a day. I could probably live on my kale and cherry smoothies, but I've been feeling a little (ok, a lot) creative and began throwing together combinations that I had never tried before. The first one that swept me off my feet was this Blueberry & Avocado Smoothie that reminds me of Raw Blueberry Cheesecake. It is sweet, creamy, smooth, colorful and delicious, so it instantly became my new favorite brunch. I'm still in the mountains, enjoying the peace and quiet, practicing yoga, meditating, hiking, reading, writing, creating, photographing, and of course, whipping up the occasional chocolate treat. I'll be out here for a while longer but will be posting my newest favorites to the blog, as well as sharing... Continue reading
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I am retreating in the mountains and stepping away from my blog/social media. Enjoy your winter and I'll be back soon with some delicious recipes to share with you. In the meantime, here are a few of my favorite recipes to keep you nourished for the next few weeks: Collard Wraps (loaded with veggies & a delicious asian sauce) Chocolate Milkshake (perfect for breakfast or snack) Sunflower Seed & Jam Bars (these just rock) Kale & Fig Salad (seriously the most amazing salad!) Chocolate Caramel Clusters (my all-time favorite candy) Maple Spiced Pecans (my out-of-this-world, insanely good, go-to snack) Chocolate Cashew Butter Brownies (the best I've ever had) Cherry Kale Smoothie (my favorite breakfast of all time) Chocolate Tart (simple, clean and mouthwatering raw dessert) Baked Apple Crisp (my favorite after-dinner dessert to make for guests) Continue reading
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There is magic in every season. Spring is a time for change and rebirth, providing us an opportunity to rearrange pieces of our lives and plant seeds for those things we would most like to harvest. Birds sing their songs, the sun radiates warmth, flowers bloom and the energy that has been restoring itself during the winter months finally comes out of hiding. Summer spawns a happy-go-lucky attitude with its long lit, carefree days urging us to travel light, take off our clothes and feel the sun on our skin while we bite into a sweet and messy watermelon. Autumn prepares us for the coldest months, encouraging quiet reflection and inner preparation. I always welcome this season with open arms. Winter is a time for letting go of that which no longer serves our spirit. It is a time for hibernation, restoration, silence and introversion. I truly love every season,... Continue reading
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Chocolate. Just the word itself looks succulent. Then you pronounce it and suddenly your day is a little brighter. Finally, when that creamy confection hits your lips, life is absolutely perfect. Is it just me that feels this way, or is there a whole gang of chocolate lovers somewhere in the world celebrating with other chocolate lovers just because they love chocolate? I will admit that I overdosed on the chocolate a few days ago. Yes, I had a chocolate smoothie for breakfast and then a slice of chocolate pie for lunch and then more chocolate pie later on in the day for good measure. And yes, I was up ALL night long from uncontainable outpourings of creativity running through my bloodstream. The euphoria I felt promised to last a lifetime, and in the midst of it all, I actually believed it would. But as usual, I crashed hard the... Continue reading
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After a week of travel, long work days and hasty eating on-the-go just to sustain my energy, I could not wait to get home and pour myself a tall glass of greens to replenish my body with a bevy of vitamins. The concoction I threw together is comprised mostly of veggies and spruced up with sweet, juicy pears so delicious I ended up eating half of one while cutting it up for the smoothie. I'm still thinking about that dang pear and wish my refrigerator was stocked with a dozen of them right now. After posting the first blog of 2014, I realized I just skipped right over the New Year without even mentioning it because 1) I don't ever really make too much of a fuss over it and 2) I like going to bed WAY before midnight rolls around. Staying up late is painful for this early bird.... Continue reading
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"The simpler, the better" is my general attitude toward most things. Life is captivating and perfectly satisfying when it arrives in its purest form. A genuine smile. Picking mulberries straight off the tree. Silence. An honest thought expressed with loving kindness. A quiet night with a loved one. A simple walk in the woods. A few words that completely shift your perspective...and sometimes change your entire world in the blink of an eye. A song that speaks right to your heart. A moment of clarity. The kind of peace found only in solitude. Feeling safe. Being understood by another. Walking away. Tears of complete surrender. Mountains just being mountains. Breath. A tree standing tall and strong, deeply rooted to the earth and graciously reaching for the sky. Truth. However scary or overwhelming or insignificant it may appear. Truth is exhilarating. And it unequivocally sets us free. With each year, each... Continue reading
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I'm not exactly sure when I stopped celebrating Christmas, but I don't think I was ever really a fan. The rushing to and fro, pressure to do and buy and accumulate, the impatient crowds and waiting in lines always seemed reason enough to retreat during this time of year. Now, it is the tender moments between loved ones, the luxury of just being myself in another's company, the gathering for good food, and the time to relax I want most out of life. A few years ago, I spent Christmas in Kauai with some of my favorite people in the whole world, walking the beach, swimming in the crystal clear water, riding bikes through town and sleeping in a cabin with a tin roof during the wildest, most exhilarating rainstorm I've ever experienced. That was one of my most memorable, joyous trips to date and maybe the first time I... Continue reading
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Some mornings I wake up briefly reminiscing about a bowl of nectarous cereal covered in cold milk, a favorite of mine from years past when dairy and grains were regular guests in my kitchen. Sugar-coated Corn Pops and Fruity Pebbles were my breakfast of choice, moments before rushing out the door to pile into my mom's suburban for the short ride to school. Those were the days I could eat a brown sugar cinnamon Pop-Tart without much thought on its dire effects. When I am craving cereal now, which isn't too often, I throw together some seeds with dried fruit and smother it in homemade nut milk or yogurt. It satisfies my sweet tooth and sustains me for at least a couple of hours, before I'm reaching for another nourishing snack. For my Nut-Free Granola, I've traded out grains and nuts for a variety of seeds and sweetened them with... Continue reading
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I know I've been away from this blog much too long, and while I have missed the creative process of styling and photographing, I have spent so much time in the kitchen recently, creating and redesigning dishes for clients, that my desire to produce clean, wholesome food was being fulfilled these past few months. Sharing the recipes with you just kept getting postponed from one week to the next. However, today I have for you a long time favorite of mine. Peanut butter cups without the peanuts. I've replaced those allergy-inducing legumes with sunflower seeds. They closely resemble the taste of peanuts so I use them often in dishes like these and these. Covered in chocolate, these cute little cups consist of only five ingredients, making them very simple (and messy) to assemble. I've used raw honey to sweeten them for the disease-fighting antioxidants, blood-sugar stabilizing benefits and anti-inflammatory properties... Continue reading
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Join me for these two dynamic workshops at Urban Yoga in Ft. Worth, Texas. For questions, please email me at followyourownway(at)yahoo(dot)com. Continue reading
Julian is an amazing big brother.
Toggle Commented Aug 16, 2013 on A TRIP TO THE ZOO at BLEUBIRD BLOG
Sweet faces! And Sailor's little smile is so contagious.
Toggle Commented Aug 16, 2013 on 32/52 at BLEUBIRD BLOG
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I recently detoxed with a three-day juice fast and consequently curbed a few of my cravings, convincing my sweet tooth it does not need the amount of chocolate it carelessly believes it does. The cleanse was not necessarily planned, but after a week of travel, a month of continuous kitchen experimentation, and an unexpectedly hasty summer full of pie and such, my body needed rest and time to digest something other than food. While I was at it, I took a brief break from the blog because I needed to step away from the computer and let the ideas/recipes emerge organically. I feel much more relaxed and inspired with clear intentions and a fresh perspective. My nine-year old nephew is coming into town tomorrow to visit for a few days and I have promised him plenty of homemade sweet treats (healthy, of course) and all the kisses he can handle... Continue reading
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My love for avocado continues. On and on. And on. Whether I'm whipping up chocolate pie, key lime pie, chocolate milkshakes or a simple kale salad, I bite into one of these beauties every.single.day. Their creamy texture and skin enhancing perks are only two of the reasons avocados have become a kitchen necessity. They are pretty much the perfect food, go with just about everything, and take on the flavor of the food you add to them. This week, I have been eating them with scrambled eggs. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and I am utterly satisfied. My friend, Jeff, now calls me Avocado Amy, after watching me devour every last bite of one at Kerbey Lane and witnessing my enthusiasm for the rich, green darlings. My affection for kale is no secret. My body begs for it and will revolt when I've gone more than two days... Continue reading
Dee, this will serve 3-4 people. I'll add it to the recipe. My contact is followyourownway(at)yahoo(dot)com