Ready to Jumpstart Your Health? Join me for Whole30 in October!

Whole30 Change Your Life One Healthy Bite at a Time!

I have a confession to make … I blew it this summer! As a result, I’ve been feeling pretty guilty about my poor food choices – and even worse – I’ve been paying for my mistakes physically with pain, discomfort, fatigue and a less than cheery disposition!

I’m sure you can relate … sometimes we get so busy taking care of the “urgent,” especially in times of stress, that we forget to take care of the important – our health and wellbeing! Truth is … It’s not an easy or enjoyable task to care for your family (and all those daily urgencies pressing upon you), if your energy levels have plummeted and your dealing with uncomfortable health issues!

So, if you’re feeling a little or a lot like me, and you’re ready to take charge of your health, I’d love for you to join me on a 30-day whole food journey … One that will set us all on the path to better health and more energy!

And who doesn’t want better health and more energy?

With just a quick note on Facebook, I was so encouraged to discover so many of you interested in joining me for this special whole food, grain-free 30-day challenge called Whole30, which we plan to officially start on Monday, October 6. (See details below.)

For those of you just coming into the loop, Whole30 is a FREE nutritional program that will help you jumpstart your health and get started (or make better progress) on your healthy living journey. In a nutshell, the Whole30 program will help you to retrain your brain and body to thrive on REAL food, while also helping you to identify potentially problematic foods that may be sabotaging your health.

For those of you, like me, who may be suffering from chronic health issues – or suspect that food allergies or sensitivities may be impacting your health – taking the Whole30 challenge can help to unravel the mystery of which foods may be causing health issues and help to set you on a path to better health and more energy!

In fact, more than one hundred thousand people with a wide variety of health concerns and chronic medical conditions have successfully completed the Whole30® program with amazing results. That’s so exciting and encouraging!

Personally, I’ve decided to take the Whole30 challenge to get back on track with my health. As mentioned, summer took a major toll – all of the travel, falling back into some poor eating habits, and lots of stress resulted in flare-ups and recurrences of pain with my autoimmune disorders – and I’ve been left feeling completely exhausted!

Since there is great encouragement that comes from taking a challenge together! I thought it would be so much easier and a whole lot more FUN to take this challenge together! What’s better than having a bunch of committed friends on board to keep you motivated and on track – and smiling too!

That’s why I would love for you to join me on this life-changing quest starting on Monday, October 6, as together we hit the “reset’ button and get back on track with our healthy living goals – one healthy bite at a time!

Cauli-Rice Bowl Southwestern Burgers CU

Free delicious grain-free Whole30 Recipes!

And … even if you’re not interested in taking the Whole30 challenge – no worries! – you will still benefit from a wealth of delicious new grain-free recipes that I’ll be sharing. Of course, this comes as no surprise, since I’m always excited to create and share scrumptious new gluten-free, grain-free recipes with you all.

Free weekly grain-free Whole30 Meal Plan Kits!

Even more exciting, I’ll be sharing a free weekly grain-free dinner meal plan with subscribers of The Nourishing Home. Each week’s meal plan kit features Whole30-compliant meals, shopping lists and prep ahead tips – to help all of us eat healthier, whether you opt to take the Whole30 challenge or not. I’ll be sharing this delicious and nutritious meal plan each week in October exclusively with subscribers. So if you’re not already a subscriber, be sure to sign up so you don’t miss out!

Lots of encouragement and support!

And of course, I’ll also be providing lots of other helpful resources and encouragement throughout our 30-day journey together. However, since this is my first time through Whole30 myself, I’m no expert here … I’ll be learning right alongside you! We’re truly in this together! Yes, I need your support and encouragement too!

So if you’ve taken the Whole30 challenge before – we need you! Your experience and insight as an accomplished veteran is certain to be helpful and inspiring, so I hope you’ll join us too for another round of Whole30 and share your wisdom with us!

Starts October 6

Ready to join me for Whole30 in October?

As you can see, I’m 100% committed to taking this journey with YOU, and promise to do my best to encourage and support you each step of the way!

Now, it’s up to you … Are you ready to significantly improve your health, energy levels and mood? If so, I’d love for you to join me. But first, you have some homework to do …

Your homework! Yes, I’ve got some very important homework for you! And please don’t wait until the last minute to cram … start now!

STEP 1: CONSIDER – Are you ready for the challenge?

jpegBefore you make the decision to join me on this awesome 30-day whole food journey (which starts on Monday, October 6), it’s vitally important that you first thoroughly read the Whole30 Program Overview and be sure you understand the Whole30 Program Rules, as well as download their helpful free resources, particularly the shopping list and meal planning template since these give a great overview of the types of foods you will want to fill your plate with, and the types of food you will need to avoid during the 30-day program.

Even better, if you can spare $10, I highly recommend downloading the Kindle version of the Whole30 book, It Starts with Food.” This New York TImes Bestselling Book provides everything you need to know about the Whole30 program – why it works, what you should be eating, answers just about any question you could think of, and best of all it provides a ton of great easy-to-make recipes! It’s truly the best $10 investment I’ve made this year!

But again, you don’t have to buy the book. But you do need to know what this program is all about Thankfully, the basics on the program are covered for free on the Whole30 website, should you choose to forego purchasing the book.

STEP 2: COMMIT – 100%, no excuses!

Once you’ve thoroughly reviewed the Whole30 program and have a clear understanding of what it’s all about, please carefully consider if this is a commitment you want to make and if you’re willing to stick to it for 30 days.

This program is only going to benefit you if you go into it with 100% commitment. It’s just 30 days, but its 30 days that can change your life, if you’re serious about making the commitment.

Quote from the Whole9 Team (founders of the Whole30 Program):

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And I want to personally encourage you … the Whole30 program is definitely do-able, and it definitely works, but it’s going to take commitment … a willingness to stick with it. There’s no room for “cheating,” because the whole point is to break the cycle and help your body heal, so you can better discover which foods are triggering your health concerns.

Commitment and preparation are the key to having a successful Whole30 experience and that is why I am so excited to help encourage you and equip you for success by providing a free weekly Whole30 Meal Plan and a forum here for us to hold each other accountable and keep ourselves committed to the goal of improving our health one healthy bite at a time!

STEP 3: CONNECT – Get connected for better success and more FUN!

If you’re not already a subscriber, be sure to subscribe to The Nourishing Home so you’ll receive my weekly Friday newsletter, which will include the free weekly Whole30 Meal Plan with shopping lists and prep ahead tips, as well as other helpful resources to help you throughout our 30-day whole food journey together!

Let’s get started!

That’s it, that’s your homework! Three steps are all it takes to get started on the path to better health and more energy – one healthy bite at a time!

So get to it, my friend! Follow the three steps above, and if you decide you’re on board for 30 days of whole food crazy-good LIFE-CHANGING FUN, then be sure to watch for Thursday’s post all about DAY ZERO!

In Thursday’s DAY ZERO post, I’ll be sharing:
• How to get ready for your Whole30 experience
• Tips for stocking your pantry for quick Whole30 meals
• What you can do to prep-ahead to make mealtimes easier and more delicious
• How to build a healthy plate to keep your appetite satisfied and retrain your brain to enjoy eating healthier

Week One: Whole 30 Meal Plan Kit 

Remember, we officially start the Whole30 challenge on Monday, October 6. Subscribers of The Nourishing Home will receive the first week’s Whole30 Meal Plan Kit on Friday morning, October 3 which will give you plenty of time to shop and prep ahead for the first 7 days of the program.

In my weekly Whole30 Meal Plan Kits, I will provide you with 7 delicious Whole30-compliant dinner ideas with links to each of the recipes, and I’ll also provide a few of my favorite breakfast and lunch ideas and recipes too. Of course the best part is, I’ve put together a convenient weekly shopping list to make it even easier to have everything you need ready to go, as well as a list of helpful prep-ahead tips that will make getting your Whole30 dinner on the table a whole lot easier!

What are you waiting for?

If you’re still reading this, chances are you are concerned about your health. Why not make the commitment to take charge of your health and take this 30-day whole food journey with us? Everything you need to know to get started is right here in this post, so please take a look at the program and prayerfully consider joining us. I know you’ll be glad you did!

Joyfully Serving HIM (and you!), Kelly

*Disclosure: This is not a paid endorsement, and I am not an affiliate of the Whole30 program. After careful consideration and prayer, I decided to personally take the Whole30 challenge since it’s a proven method for improving health and wellbeing. And because I care about you, I’m inviting you to join me in taking the 30-day Whole30 challenge. Please note: The only affiliate link in this post is an Amazon link to the book. Should you choose to purchase the book via the link above, The Nourishing Home will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you. And last but certainly not least, I am not a health professional, so nothing in this post, or on this site, is intended to replace the advice of a physician. Please see my full disclosure for more details. Thank you!

 

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Meals Made Simple: Photo Tour & Book Review

 

 

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A few weeks ago, I received an amazing gift – Danielle Walker’s Meals Made Simple. It has been such a special blessing to me, especially since this summer was so difficult and I wasn’t eating as well as I should. That’s why I recently started the Whole30 program – in an effort to hit the “reset” button and get back on track with my health.

So when Danielle’s beautiful new cookbook arrived, it truly was God’s perfect timing! I’ve been so excited to share this helpful new resource with you and so I’ve put together a little photo tour of why this book is so special to me!

Yet, before I launch into my absolute adoration of Danielle and begin gushing over her amazing new cookbook, I wanted to first share just a little with you about why she has been such a huge inspiration to me personally, and to so many others who struggle with chronic health issues.

As many of you know, in the spring of 2012, I made the commitment to go gluten-free in an effort to better manage my chronic autoimmune and inflammatory illnesses. And although I did see a huge improvement in my health, I still continued to struggle with recurrent episodes of painful digestive issues and fatigue. It wasn’t until the Lord graciously let me on a path of discovering the grain-free lifestyle that my health truly made a dramatic turn for the better.

As a result of the knowledge shared by many talented grain-free bloggers like Danielle at Against All Grain, I learned how the grain-free lifestyle was radically transforming lives by helping so many who were suffering (just like me, and many of you) to find relief and hope!

Personally, I find that to be the most endearing quality about Danielle – her passion for sharing hope. She has a real gift for encouraging and inspiring others by sharing her personal health struggles and her talent for making grain-free living so incredibly delicious and simple that you truly do not feel like you’re missing out on anything.

Meals Made Simple Review

So that’s why I have been an avid fan of Danielle’s and was so excited to purchase her first book Against All Grain, you can read my review of her first book here. Then just one year later, she far surpassed the bar she raised with Against All Grain in bringing us another soon to be NY Times Best Seller – Meals Made Simple.

What I love about Meals Made Simple is that it completely lives up to its name. Each of Danielle’s recipes are simple, yet delicious and best of all – they’re family-friendly too! What better way can I express how much I love this book, then to give you a little photo tour that highlights just a few of my favorite recipes and helpful features of this amazing grain-free cookbook.

As a busy mom and wife herself, Danielle knows firsthand that we could all use more simple healthy recipes for easy weeknight cooking. So she pulled out all of the stops and has delivered more than 100 delicious and nutritious recipes that include everything from simple comfort foods to easy-to-make gourmet delights.

Meals Made Simple Review Meal Plan

But the wonderful thing is … she doesn’t just stop there! Instead, (as shown above) Danielle also includes an 8-week dinner meal plan with shopping lists, quick meals, and make-ahead meals to help us save time, money and stress. (You know how much I love meal planning!) She also includes her personal tips for managing a food budget, stocking the pantry, and lots of other helpful tips & tidbits that make cooking and planning meals a snap!

Photo Tour of Meals Made Simple

Shown above are a few of my favorite recipes from Meals Made Simple. With more than 100 delicious recipes, it isn’t an easy task to pair down my favorites list to just a handful, but for the sake of time, below are just a few of our very favorites!

Breakfasts – Danielle shares a bunch of delicious breakfast ideas, but my favorite by far is her section on quick & healthy egg scrambles. She provides so many great ideas for whipping up tasty, healthy egg dishes – I promise you’ll never get bored with eggs again!

Salads – I must admit, I’m not a huge salad fan, unless they are truly hearty. So I was pleasantly surprised to find Danielle’s salad recipes to be a meal in themselves. Especially her amazing Buffalo Chicken Salad. Oh my, it’s truly remarkable! Even the strapping young lads in my home loved it.

Dinners – My family can attest, there really hasn’t been a single dinner of Danielle’s that we haven’t enjoyed. But our hands-down favorite so far is her spicy, flavorful Chicken Verde. I love that I can pop it in the slow cooker and come home to a delicious dinner ready for my whole family to enjoy.

Sides – As I’ve made my way along the grain-free path, I’ve often found myself craving rice. It’s really the only grain that I miss and one that I’ve been reluctant to replace. So when I saw Danielle’s section on how to make a variety of cauliflower “rice” dishes, I was a bit skeptical. But thank goodness my curiosity was greater than my doubt, because I truly enjoyed this newfound alternative – especially her flavorful Saffron Cauli-Rice.

Zoodles (a.k.a. veggie pasta) – Yes! You know my passion for spiralizing, as evidenced by my How to Spiralize Series this past spring. Well, I’d never have thought to create Pepperoni Pizza Pasta, but thank goodness Danielle did. This crazy-good recipe captures all the flavor of a meat-lovers pizza.

Desserts – Anything lemon immediately catches my eye, since I adore its tangy citrusy flavor. I’ve been wanting to create a grain-free lemon pudding cake recipe for months, but there’s simply no need to now. Danielle’s light and luscious Lemon Curd Cake is a delicious dream come true!

A Treat for the Eyes – Of course, I would be completely remiss if I didn’t mention Danielle’s amazing talent for food photography. As you flip through Meals Made Simple, it’s like being transported into real foodie heaven where each recipe looks absolutely divine. So perhaps the only drawback to this book is that it may leave you (like it did me) feeling a bit overwhelmed in not knowing which recipe you should to make first! So, I decided that I will just enjoying making them ALL! Problem solved.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse of a few of my favorites from Meals Made Simple and that it’s helped you to see what a wonderful resource this book truly is! Of course, you can always take a more extensive peek at Danielle’s Meals Made Easy cookbook on Amazon using the “Look Inside” feature.

Meals Made Simple Review2

If you are living gluten-free, grain-free or simply want to reduce your carbohydrate intake and eat healthier, Danielle’s Meals Made Simple cookbook is a helpful, practical resource full of delicious, easy-to-make recipes. I simply cannot recommend this beautiful, helpful book more!

Thanks, Danielle, for sharing your God-given talents with us. You truly are a blessing and are making a tremendous difference in so many lives!

And thank you, dear readers, for allowing me to share yet another wonderful healthy lifestyle resource to help you in living a more nourished life!

P.S. If you’d like to join me on a 30-day whole food grain-free journey, be sure to sign up for my weekly newsletter. Starting in October, I’ll be sharing a free 30-day Whole30 meal plan that outlines how you can take charge of your health and discover the many benefits of the grain-free lifestyle. So please join me!

Disclosure: Although I received a free copy of Meals Made Simple from the publisher, as always the review above is based on my honest, personal opinion of this book. By choosing to purchase this book through one of the Amazon affiliate links in this post, The Nourishing Home will receive a small portion of the sale at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support of this ministry!

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Italian Stuffed Peppers

Italian Stuffed Peppers on Plate

Guest recipe post by Dena at Back to the Book Nutrition

We all have certain meals that mean “comfort” to us – whether they’re a childhood favorite, or a special recipe passed down from generation to generation.

One of my favorite comfort foods is stuffed peppers. Growing up, my grandmother made them often and I can still remember the smell of her delicious, homemade-with-love, stuffed peppers baking. Today, I’m excited to share with you a grain-free version of this classic dish.

These savory Italian Stuffed Peppers are veggie-loaded, grain free, and completely delicious!

The key to this recipe is the quality of the ingredients. It sounds cliché, but it’s really true! Paying a little more for good Italian sausage (from pastured pork, if possible) and fresh mozzarella is so worth the authentic flavor and texture they add. Homemade, or higher quality store-bought marinara sauce will give a nice robust flavor to the filling as well.

Viva l’Italia!

Italian Stuffed Peppers in pan 2

Although they do take a bit of time to assemble and cook, it’s worth the effort since they hold up well for a few days in the fridge (leftovers!) and can also be frozen and defrosted for a quick weeknight meal.

I don’t mind occasionally putting in more time on the front end for a dinner that’s a comforting favorite, and that pays me back by being able to take a night off of cooking and serve it a second time with equally delicious results!

Plus, these savory stuffed peppers are so satisfying that this recipe can easily be stretched into three dinners. Mine is a family of four with two young children and I can serve 4 of the stuffed peppers one night, another four leftover peppers on another night, and freeze the final four for a later date.

Now that’s what I call saving time in the kitchen! And what to do with all that time you’ve saved? Why not celebrate by whipping up an Easy, Grain Free Peach Crumble or a batch of Black Cherry Cobbler Squares (grain & dairy free) for an extra special treat!

Italian Stuffed Peppers (Grain-Free)

Ingredients

  • 12 large bell peppers, any color (red, orange and yellow varieties are best)
  • 3 Tbsp + 2 tsp butter, divided
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • ½ large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 6 medium red potatoes
  • ½ large yellow squash
  • ½ large zucchini
  • 1 pound pastured Italian pork sausage (casings removed if links)
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 24 ounces homemade or high quality store-bought marinara
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella (not shredded)
  • Optional: Fresh basil for garnish

Instructions

    To boil the peppers:
  1. Fill 2 large stock pots (or a stock pot and a Dutch Oven) about 2/3 full with water and place over high heat. While waiting for the water to come to a boil, remove the top of each pepper (cap with stem) by carefully cutting the pepper horizontally about ½” from the top. Set aside the pepper caps. Use clean hands to remove the white membrane and seeds from the inside of each pepper; discard.
  2. Once the water is boiling, gently add all the hollowed peppers to the pot. Use metal tongs to occasionally turn the peppers so that they cook evenly. Boil about 5 minutes, then use tongs to remove peppers from water and place upside down on a clean kitchen towel to cool and dry.
  3. To make the Italian stuffing:
  4. Melt 3 Tbsp butter in a large stock pot or Dutch oven. While butter is melting, remove stems from the uncooked bell pepper caps and finely chop the pepper caps.
  5. Add the chopped peppers, garlic, and onion to the melted butter and sauté over medium heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until onion is translucent.
  6. Dice the red potatoes (leave skins on). Add diced potatoes to the cooking pot as you chop them, giving the mixture a good stir every so often. Then, dice the squash and zucchini and add to the mixture, stirring after each addition.
  7. Next, add the sausage, sea salt, and dried herbs. Stir, using the wooden spoon to break the sausage into small crumbles. Continue cooking, stirring constantly until veggies are soft and sausage begins to brown.
  8. Stir in the marinara sauce and grated Parmesan, then turn off the heat.
  9. To assemble and bake the stuffed peppers:
  10. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter two casserole dishes with one teaspoon of butter each.
  11. Use a spoon to fill each pepper with the Italian stuffing. Place the filled peppers, right side up, into the casserole dishes, making sure they’re evenly spaced in the dishes.
  12. Slice the fresh mozzarella into 12 rounds about ¼” thick. Place one slice of mozzarella on top of each pepper, gently pressing it into the Italian mixture so it’s fixed in place.
  13. Place the casserole dishes in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted. If desired, broil for 1-2 minutes until the cheese begins to lightly brown and bubble. (This adds a wonderful depth of flavor to the dish.)
  14. Remove from oven, garnish with basil ribbons, or a sprig of baby basil leaves, and serve.
  15. Store leftover peppers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also freeze the peppers for up to one month. (Defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating.) To reheat, place peppers in a foil-covered casserole dish and bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes, or until hot.
http://thenourishinghome.com/2014/09/italian-stuffed-peppers/

DSC_5115-2-177x193Dena Norton is a registered dietitian (RD) turned stay at home mom. She and her husband, Rick currently have two precious children, ages 4 and 22 months. In 2013 she started Back To The Book Nutrition, a business and blog that inspires others to enjoy and worship God through nutrition and health. Subscribe to Dena’s blog or join her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest!

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