So I’m going back to school…

I am going back to school at 38!  One of the courses I am currently taking is English 102 which is helping me brush up on my academic writing.  Our big assignment is called a Portfolio Project.  For my project, I will be writing about the Portland Police Departments problem with staffing shortages. I will examine if it could be due to low morale brought on by negative media coverage. Below is an excerpt from my rough draft.

The Portland Police department and police departments across the nation are facing dwindling personnel numbers brought on by difficulties with recruitment and early retirements. In Portland, there are roughly 14 officers for every 10,000 people as compared to the national average of 23 officers per 10,000 in cities with similar populations (Maciag, 2016). What is the cause of this law enforcement-staffing crisis? In the wake of several police shootings involving unarmed black men, there has been increased media coverage and scrutiny of police officers. This coverage has not only influenced the public’s perception of law enforcement but also law enforcements perception of how the public views them. As a result, the law enforcement profession is suffering from low morale on the inside and shadows cast on it from the outside. This may be the reason police department recruitment and retention is suffering.

Maciag, M. October 20, 2016. How Many Police Officers Does a City Need? Retrieved from

Rustic Autumn Vegetable Stew

Happy Fall!  We’ve had some chilly foggy mornings here in Portland and I’ve been getting up super early to run outside before work.  When I get home, I feel like it takes me all day to warm back up so I decided it was time to break out soup pot and get busy!   When I was a kid my mom always made the most delicious soups all fall and winter long so naturally this is what I crave when the crispy Autumn weather arrives. Continue reading Rustic Autumn Vegetable Stew

That’s a wrap!!

A lot of times when people think about making better eating choices, they think they have to give up all of their favorite foods especially when it comes to carbs.  If I don’t eat carbs I get cranky and things go downhill fast!  I love salads and veggies but sometimes I just want a big damn sandwich or wrap without the corresponding bloat.  Most bread and tortillas are super high in calories, fat, and refined carbs with very little nutritional value. I’m SUUUUUPER excited that I was able to find  Joseph’s Lavash Bread on   These wraps are HUGE and nutritionally dense.  Fill them with whatever you like for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a treat!  Below is my favorite so far.

Macro Friendly Turkey Swiss Wrap

INGREDIENTS                                                                           Makes 1 Wrap

  • 1 Joseph’s Lavash Bread
  • 3 Slices Aidell’s Chicken & Apple lunchmeat
  • 1.5 Slices Reduced Fat Sliced Swiss Cheese
  • 2 tsp Trader Joe’s Garlic Mustard Aioli
  • 1 TBSP Walden Farms Honey Mustard Mayo
  • 1 Slice pre-cooked Uncured Turkey Bacon (heated 30 sec in microwave)
  • 3 Dill Pickle Sandwich slices
  • 1 small handful chopped Romaine Lettuce or Baby Spinach
  • 1/2 seeded and diced Roma Tomato


Lay the wrap out on a cutting board. Layer the 3 slices of chicken across the wrap short-ways leaving about 2 inches from the end (this will make it easier to roll everything up). Next lay the 3 half slices of cheese on top. Spread mustard and mayo on top of that, followed by the lettuce and tomatoes.  Last, top with pickles and turkey bacon.  Take the 2 inch flap left on the end, fold it over all the sandwich goodies and continue to roll tightly until you reach the end.  Slice diagonally in half and enjoy!!


Calories: 390

Carbs: 23

Protein: 48

Fat: 16




Roasted Veggies for days!

Hey guys!  I don’t know about you, but when I go to a recipe blog I don’t like reading a doctoral dissertation or see a bazillion photos of the food being made. I’m very impatient and just want the damn recipe and macro info.  I will say that I make these veggies once a week and they are so great for filling in the gaps when creating a meal and eating something macro friendly when I’m freaking starving and I don’t have time or the brain power to do math.  Wow!  That was quite the run on sentence.  Without further ado….here is the recipe!

Roasted Mixed Veggies

INGREDIENTS                                                                         Makes 4 huge servings

  • 1 Medium Sweet Onion
  • 3 Medium Zucchini
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers
  • 1 Large Eggplant
  • 1 Bag Trader Joes Sliced Crimini Mushrooms
  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • Whatever other spices sound good….be creative!!


Preheat the oven to 450 and put two good size cookie sheets in to get hot!  Wash and chop all veggies but mushrooms into 1 inch pieces. In a massive bowl, toss the veggies thoroughly with spices and olive oil.   Once the oven has come to temperature, pull the hot cookie sheets out with a hot pad and distribute veggie mix evenly among the two sheets.  Everyone’s oven is a little different so set the time at 10 minutes and keep your eye on the veggies.  You want them to be tender crisp when tested with a fork as you will probably be reheating them  throughout the week and mushy veggies are the worst.  Serve immediately or let cool and portion into 4 Ziploc baggies for individual servings and store in the fridge or freeze for later.  I generally add some Walden Farms Honey Mustard Mayo, one of the Oh My Spice blends, and hot sauce and eat it with chopped up chicken breast and some brown rice or crackers for a complete meal!

Macro Info (per serving)


Fat: 4 grams

Carbs: 13 grams

Protein: 5 grams





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!!!