30 Things I’ve Learned in My 30’s

I know this is suppose to be a cooking blog but I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit due to massive job stress in the past year and taking time to reevaluate what I want my life to look like.  In the process of doing all this, I’ve scored myself a new job and am in the process of creating a better quality of life.  This. Is. A. Process.  I’ve been really reflecting on all the changes in my thinking and have discovered that the light really came on around age 30. I’m not sure why, but as a result my 30’s have been my favorite!  I turned 35 about a month ago and decided it would be fun to shoot one lesson out each week with hopes of enlightening and encouraging people. Also I plan to start sharing recipes again very soon.  Nourishment to body and mind!!

Things I’ve learned in My 30’s: Please note that this is a list of stuff I’ve learned NOT stuff I made up and want to take full credit for. I am a voracious reader/audiobook & podcast listener always looking for new information to improve myself and the outcomes I’m looking for.

  1. I am not “lucky”…….no one is just “lucky”.  I once had a woman complain to me about her weight and health as if it were something totally out of her control.  I tried to encourage her to eat whole foods and start moving more and her response was:  “It’s easy for you, you’re just lucky to be naturally thin”.  I know she was trying to pay me a compliment but it made my blood boil.  I counted to 3 and kindly explained that I work my ass and make difficult conscious decision every day to take care of my body and be mindful of what I put in it.  No one in my family is naturally thin or fit and most people aren’t for that matter.  It’s taken quite literally blood (I fall a lot when I run), sweat (you sweat a lot in the process of logging 500 training miles) & tears (crying when I’ve felt at the breaking point after weeks of long training runs or forcing myself to do one more set of squats I swear are too heavy for me).                                                                                                         This is true of non health and fitness endeavors as well.  Nothing of value is ever just handed to us.  Anything worth doing generally involves risk (of failure), discomfort, and plain ol’ hard work.  Here’s some examples of things I’ve done over the past 5 years that scared the shit out of me but I did them anyway because I wanted to results.
    1. Filed for divorce from the nicest guy ever. Result: We are both survived and are much happier…yeay!!
    2. Took another crack at a relationship when I was scared to fail again. Result: 3.5 years in and it just keeps getting better!
    3. Signed up and completing 2 Ultra Marathons. Result: I now know that I am capable of doing things I never thought were possible and am mentally and physically stronger!
    4. Took a job in a brand new industry that I was scared I would fail at.  Result: Increased my base salary by 37% and my over all earning potential by 50% in one years time.

 The point is there is no such thing as luck and things don’t just happen to us.  We have to be willing to push ourselves beyond what we ever thought possible to get results.  More on this in lesson # 2 next week!

Green Fizzy Lifting Drink!

I am a sugar free energy drink junkie.  For years I have leaned on these suckers to get me Homemade Energy Drinkthrough workouts, meetings, and social events.  They always seem like a good idea at the time but usually end but usually end up making me feel dehydrated and cranky.  I think I’ve tried all of them all and even the “natural” ones end up making me crash. I knew I had to find a better alternative.

A while back I discovered matcha (green tea) powder.  I’ve tried it all sorts of ways and even thought I could use it to replace my coffee habit in the morning (NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN).  Turns out I like it best cold.  With a good punch of caffeine and a healthy dose of antioxidants I knew I had to find a way to incorporate it into my daily routine.  I always have Meyer lemons and club soda in the house for cocktails so I thought why not toss them with matcha and a little sweetener for a different kind of cocktail.  It turned out to be a match made in heaven which I now refer to as my Green Fizzy Lifting Drink.  Enjoy!

Green Fizzing Lifting Drink

Serves 1

  •  1 tsp Organic matcha (green tea) poweder
  • 1 packet Stevia, Truvia, or other natural sugar free sweetener of your choice
  • Juice of 1 Meyer lemon
  • Club soda


In a tall 12 oz. glass add matcha powder, sweetener, & lemon juice.  Stir vigorously until ingredients are well incorporated.  Add a big handful of ice and top off with club soda.  Give another good stir and get ready to be energized!!

Super Filling Breakfast Casserole

egg casserol 3First of all I apologize for the crappy photo….they’ll get better I promise but right now I’m busy chasing too many other hobbies to add food photography to the list!  Thank you for loving me anyway!

I’m not sure if I mentioned it, but I’m in the process of training for my 3rd ultra marathon.  With over 8,700 feet of elevation gain and loss on 50 miles of trails, this will no doubt be my toughest race yet.  Here’s the link if you are interested in checking it out:


I actually want to finish the race alive so I decide to hire a personal trainer to help me build some new muscles. So on top of running 75+ miles  per week and working a full time job, I am also getting my ass handed to me bi-weekly by a tiny little fitness Nazi whom I adore!  After only a month of training sessions, I am getting stronger, faster, and tougher.  I knew I had a lot to work on strength wise but I thought I was doing pretty good nutritionally.  I’ve been loosely following the Paleo diet and feeling pretty good.  This being said, once I met with my trainer and took a closer look at what I was burning vs. what I was taking in I realized that I needed to be eating quite a bit more especially in carbs.  I’ve started adding in more sweet potatoes, brown rice, and oats and suddenly I’m super woman!

This recipe was born out of my boredom of eggs, bacon, & fruit + a protein bar for breakfast morning after morning.  I really love to eat and with the amount of food I have to shove down my pie hole I need variety!  This breakfast casserole can be thrown together in less than an hour on Sunday afternoon and voila! you have breakfast handled for the rest of the week! Enjoy!!

Super Filling Breakfast Casserole

Makes 6 servings


  • 1 Tbsp Avocado Oil
  • ½ sweet onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 clove fresh garlic crushed
  • 1 bag of Fresh baby spinach
  • 1 16 oz carton liquid egg whites
  • 15 oz uncooked chicken breakfast sausage
  • 14 oz roasted red potatoes (try the freezer section at Trader Joes)
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan & Romano cheese
  • ½ tsp ground sage
  • ½ tsp ground thyme
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a large skillet heat Avocado oil.  Add in onion and peppers and cook until browned and translucent.  Season with salt and pepper.  Next add in garlic and chicken sausage and cook until sausage is no longer pink.  Toss in the spinach, sage, and thyme and let it wilt.  Turn off skillet and set aside.  Spray a 9×11 inch baking dish with non stick spray and sprinkle roasted potatoes evenly all over the bottom.  Add the chicken sausage and vegetable mixture on top, sprinkle evenly with the cheese, and pour the liquid egg whites over the top. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes until set.  Remove from oven and let cool completely before refrigerating.

Asian Style Spare Ribs

Asian Style Spare RibsAsian Ribs

Serves 4


  • 4 lbs pork spare ribs
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • ½ sweet onion diced


  • 1 TBSP grated fresh ginger
  • 1/3 cup rice wine
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • ¼ cup coconut or palm sugar
  • 1 TBSP sesame oil
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup tamari
  • 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 2 TBSP fish sauce
  • Large pinch of sea salt
  • Juice of 1 large orange


  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Thinly sliced scallion greens


Start by putting all your sauce ingredients into a mason jar with a lid and shake well to combine. Next, heat your oven to broil.  While oven is heating place your ribs on a cookie sheet and liberally salt and pepper both sides.  When broiler is ready, place ribs on highest oven rack and brown both sides under broiler (about 6 minutes on each side).  Meanwhile, line the bottom of Crockpot with cilantro and diced sweet onion. Once ribs are browned place them in the Crockpot on top of the onion and cilantro along with their juices.  Next, pour the sauce on top, set to low and let the ribs cook for at least 6 hours or until falling off the bone. When ribs are done, place on a service platter and sprinkle with sesame seeds and scallions to garnish.  Enjoy!

White Wine Chicken Thighs

Sometimes I buy white wine.  I tell myself that I’m going to let it come to a suitable temperature in an appropriate glass and then I’m going to drink it like a refined grown up. The thing is, I don’t really like drinking white wine…..I like drinking bold, earthy, fruity red wine!  Luckily many a delicious recipe include white wine so when I have forlorn bottle in my fridge that I know is not going to end up in my glass I have to get creative because I hate waste.

I whipped up this recipe last weekend from the things I had leftover in my fridge.  I tossed the chicken in the marinade before I left the house for a few hours and figured I’d think of something while I was out.  By the time I got home I was absolutely starving so this recipe was birthed out of me frantically dumping things into a skillet as a bed for my marinaded chicken.  I loved how this dished turned out so much that I picked up more stuff to make it again tomorrow.  It is hearty and comforting and actually might be kind of perfect for a V-day dinner! Enjoy!

White Wine Chicken ThighsWhite wine chicken thighs

Serves 4 / Paleo, Low carb


  • 1lb organic chicken thighs
  • 2 TBSP whole grain mustard
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • Juice of 1 meyer lemon
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 ½ TBSP pure maple syrup
  • ½ lb nitrate free bacon chopped
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • ½ cup Pinot Gris
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1TBSP dried minced dried onion
  • 10 oz sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 6 oz fresh baby spinach
  • 2 jarred roasted red peppers sliced
  • Salt and pepper


In a re-sealable bag put chicken thighs, mustard, 2 cloves garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.  Set aside to marinade.  In the meantime cook up the chopped bacon in a large skillet till browned then remove with a slotted spoon and put on paper towel lined plate to drain.  In the bacon drippings, brown the chicken thighs for 3 minutes on each side and remove from pan.  Once the chicken is browned add in the leftover marinade and simmer the thighs  for another 3 minutes.  Next add in the butter, wine, rosemary, dried onion, 1 clove of garlic, mushrooms, more salt and pepper & let simmer for another few minutes until the mushrooms are soft.  Last, add the spinach & red peppers on top of the chicken mixture, cover and let steam for about 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted.  Toss everything together, add more salt and pepper to taste and serve!!

Kickin’ Baked Boneless Buffalo Wings

These taste better than the fried  “real thing” , are way better for you, and tomorrow is Super Bowl.  You must make these!

Kickin’ Baked Boneless Buffalo Wings

Ingredients:Buffalo 1

  • 1lb chicken tenders
  • 2 eggs whisked
  • Salt and pepper

Layer 1

  • 1/3 cup arrowroot or tapioca flour
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp hot paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

Layer 2

  • 1 & ¼ cup almond flour
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp hot paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

Buffalo glaze

  • 1 cup bottle buffalo wing sauce
  • 2 TBSP melted butter

Ranch Dip

  • ½ cup mayo
  • ¼ cup non dairy milk
  • 1 TBSP cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste


First: Pat the chicken tenders dry, put on a plate, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and set aside.  Next: Set out 3 medium bowls.  In first bowl crack and whisk the 2 eggs.  In the second bowl add arrowroot or tapioca flour and spices and stir to combine with a fork.  In the last bowl add the almond flour and spices and stir to combine with a fork.  Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and keep close by to place wings on once they have been dipped.

Time to start dipping!  One by one, dip each chicken tender in the following order: Eggs, arrowroot flour mixture, eggs, almond flour mixture.   This will be messy!! Make sure each tender is well covered.  Place baking sheet with coated tenders on it in to fridge to rest for a half hour.  This will allow time for the coating to set and adhere to the wings.  In the meantime preheat the oven to 400 and make the ranch dipping sauce.

To make Ranch Dip place all ingredients in a mason jar, screw on the lid and shake it!!

Next: Remove tenders from fridge and with both hands gently press the coating in to the chicken to make sure it sticks well.  Place chicken tenders in the oven and set the timer for 10 minutes.  You will know they are done when they are firm to the touch and crispy on the outside.  While tenders are cooking prepare the Buffalo glaze.

To make Buffalo Glaze place butter in a medium sized bowl and melt in microwave.  Add the buffalo sauce and whisk to combine.

When boneless wings come out of the oven gently toss each to coat thoroughly in the Buffalo Glaze.  Plate the Kickin’ BBB Wings, set out  with Ranch Dipping sauce and watch these bad boys disappear!!!

Thai Chicken Pizza

I don’t like watching football.  There!  I said it!  I’m sorry but I just don’t have the attentions span!!!  I can barely watch a movie without getting up to check on laundry, do lunges or sit-ups, etc.  What I DO like is football parties!!  I love mingling with people, drinking beer, and most of all the huge spread of delicious food (are you surprised??).  Who the hell cares who’s winning??? It’s always fun to see what people bring.  Usually it’s stuff like chips and salsa, meatballs, & dried out wings.  I’ll eat all those things but I get really excited when I see something out of the ordinary.  How many of you have ever seen a homemade Thai Chicken Pizza at a football party?  Didn’t think so.  If you bring a Thai Chicken Pizza to a party you will definitely get invited back.  However if you don’t really like the people who’s party you’re at and are only there for the food, beer, or hot chicks and dudes,  than I’d recommend bringing frozen won-tons or boxed brownies.  I hope you thoroughly enjoy this recipe and that it makes all the other food at your football part feel self conscious!

Thai Chicken Pizza

Gluten Free/Paleo/Makes 2 Pizzas (Great for taking to a party!)


For the toppings-Thai chick I

  • 1 lb organic chicken thighs trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 heaping TBSP Thai Red Curry Paste
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk ( not coconut cream or anything sweetened or flavored)
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1 the zested lime
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 small Japanese eggplant (sliced VERY thin)
  • 1 small red bell pepper (sliced VERY thin)
  • A couple of handfuls of Daiya Mozzarella Cheese ( Or other soy free non dairy cheese of your choice)
  • Cilantro – chop a small handful and throw on top after baking
  • Scallion – slice up a couple and throw on top after backing
  • Siracha – if so desired drizzle over top after baking

For the Thai pesto-

  • 1 small bunch of cilantro (thick stems removed)
  • 1 small bunch Thai basil (thick stems removed)
  • 1 tsp fresh ground ginger
  • 3 scallions (white & green part)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup roasted cashews (salted is fine, just don’t add salt to the pesto until you taste it)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt

For the crust- I didn’t feel like inventing the wheel here so I just doubled this Paleo pizza crust recipe: http://paleospirit.com/2014/paleo-pizza-crust-recipe/. It turned out great!  Also many stores are selling pre-made gluten free crusts or boxed crust mixes these days!


  • Step one (1 hour – 4 hours ahead of time): Marinade the Chicken. In a storage bowl big enough to fit all the chicken: zest lime, juice lime, add red Thai curry paste and whisk until smooth. Add the can of coconut milk and whisk again to mix.  Trim thighs, cut into bite sized strips, liberally salt and pepper, mix into coconut curry mixture, cover and refrigerate for 1 – 4 hours.  The longer you marinade the more flavor it will have!
  • Step two: Make the pesto: Wash and dry your cilantro and Thai basil (save a little bit of cilantro for garnish) Remove thick stems. From here you can seriously throw everything into your food processor and whiz it around until the consistency is VERY smooth.
  • Step 3: Cook the chicken. Heat a large non stick skillet to medium heat, coat in canola spray, drain marinade off chicken & toss in the heated skillet.  Cook until nicely brown and just cooked through (probably 8 minutes).  Pull a piece out to test it for doneness.  Remember, this is going in the oven again and you don’t want it to get tough from being over cooked : )
  • Step 4: Make your crusts (if you are making the crust from the link I gave, I suggest only par baking it for 5 -8 minutes before adding toppings. The longer you bake it the crispier it will be! Shape your pizzas into rectangles for which are easier to cut into appetizer portions for sharing!
  • Step 5: Prep the rest of your toppings. Very thinly slice your Japanese eggplant and red pepper.  You don’t want them too this otherwise they will steam on the pizza and make it soggy. Dice up a handful of cilantro
  • Step 6: Assemble pizzas (FINALLY!!!). You will have a ton of Thai pesto so don’t be shy about adding a lot to your par cooked crust.  I think I added about ½ cup per pizza.   Spread pesto all the way out to the edges but leave about ¼ of an inch. If you want to drizzle some Siracha on top of the pesto here I ain’t gonna be mad about it! Next add the cooked thigh strips, dividing evenly between the 2 pizzas.  Lastly add the thinly sliced eggplant, red pepper strips, & then sprinkle everything with CHEESE!!  I think I put about ¾ cup per pizza on mine.
  • FINAL STEP: Bake pizzas!!  Oven should be at 450 from par baking.  Put pizzas back on baking sheets and bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until crust and toppings are nicely brown.  Remove from oven, add cilantro and scallions for garnish, slice, devour!!
  • This is a ton of pizza but the cooked leftovers (if you have any) freeze like a dream! Just add cooled slices to a freezer bag and lay flat in freezer.  I usually just pull mine out of the freezer, put them on an oven safe plate and reheat in the oven until crispy for a quick dinner!