Tag Archives: food

A Big Announcement – Going Back to School

Many of you know this bit of news already, but I wanted to formally announce it all the same.

I am going back to school.

To become a registered dietitian.


Even before I graduated the first time around (in 2012 from Manhattan Christian College with a BS in Cross-Cultural Studies) Will started asking me if I would ever want to go back to school.  I always told him I didn’t know, that I hadn’t thought about it.  I didn’t think about it much till this spring.

I don’t know why our culture expects 17 year olds to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives.  Actually at that age I didn’t even know that I had a passion for nutrition.  Looking back I had generally been a pretty healthy eater.  I ate constantly thanks to soccer, but generally I made pretty decent choices.

When I was 19 I found out that I am gluten-intolerant.  It took a long time to get disciplined about avoiding it.  In college it was hard to learn how to fuel up for soccer without glutenous foods.  Now the interesting thing is figuring out other ways that gluten impacts me.  When it comes to your body – nutrition is connected to everything – emotions, mental clarity, hormones, energy, and of course risk factors for cancer, heart-disease, etc.

Out enjoying creation =)

Seeing how ingesting gluten effects various areas of my life, marrying a person who is interested in sustainable agriculture and passionate about gardening, doing ministry with the marginalizedwho have little access to nutritious food, and a general desire to have a healthy body that won’t hold me back from glorifying God in any part of life stirred a passion in me to go back to school for dietetics.

What I want to do is be knowledgeable about and licensed in what I am passionate about and so that God can best use that passion to help others.  I want to help people make healthy choices – to glorify God with their body, soul, and life.

What I don’t want to do is help people achieve a goal weight for the sake of having a more ideal body.  I do not want to become a food nazi.  I do not want to meticulously count calories and grams of this and that.  I do not want to stop eating sugar.  I want to help myself and others find balance in life.  Find discipline and the occasional splurge.  Find colorful vegetables that they like.  Find joy in cooking.  Enjoy eating out without over indulging.  And overall how to have and enjoy a healthy life, a life that is more full of color, flavor, walks in the crisp fall air at sunset, moments of play and laughter with family and friends.  I want people to be able to live lives where their bodies don’t hold them back from enjoying the glory of God and giving Him glory in return.

Now, confession, not only do I not always do the best with my own nutrition, but I  also have been in school for a few months…. Since March.  That’s why my blogging has gotten a bit sparse.  I started with an 8 week, accelerated pace Basic Personal Nutrition class and then over the summer an accelerated pace Biology course.  Now I am about to embark upon a long journey over the next school year.  I will be taking Anatomy & Physiology I and Chemistry I over the next four months, and taking Anatomy & Physiology II and Chemistry II over the spring semester.

books and backpack, ready for the first day and first homework date with Hubster of the semester.

remember the bookshelf I posted about a couple weeks ago?  I had to add a crate to accommodate my growing school library.

Once that is over I will have one more class to finish up my prerequisites.  At that point I will start working through my core degree classes.  That will take me another two years if I continue at this part time/school-on-the-side pace.   This is going to be a journey…

So what I am asking is that you come along with me on this journey, grace, support, learning as I learn, growing as I grow, and marveling at how God made food and our bodies to work together.

My family is super supportive of this venture of mine.

Izzy has an odd way of showing it... I guess she thinks she can teach me more than my text books can.



Munchie Monday: French Onion Soup


This is one of Will and I’s favorite soups.  It’s a go to cheap meal that feeds us for a solid three days. We don’t do the bread/cheese topping because Will doesn’t like soggy bread and I don’t like the way the cheese sticks to the spoon.  Does that gross anyone else out?  It’s just…. weird and feels awkward in my mouth.  Instead we do something equally delicious and I think easier. We just make garlic bread to eat with it, or toast with some cheese on top to dunk in it.

The crusty Dutch Oven Bread in the picture below was gluten-free and delicious!  With a great texture.  I will post that recipe soon as well.


look at all those beautiful onions sauteing. yum! 20140209_155755

French Onion Soup


  • 1 stick Butter
  • 3 Large Yellow Onions
  • 1-2 Medium Purple Onions
  • 3/4 cup Cooking Wine
  • 4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 4 cups Beef Broth
  • 2 large cloves Minced Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • Pepper & Thyme to taste
  • Optional: Bread and Cheese of choice


  1. Melt butter in a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Place soup pot into the oven with the lid slightly ajar to ensure the onions will brown.
  2. Allow onions to cook in the oven for 1 hour, stirring at least once during the cooking process so onions won’t stick and burn.
  3. Remove pot from oven and place back on stove top over medium heat. Stir, scraping off all the brown, flavorful bits. Turn off heat and pour in wine. Turn heat back to medium. Cook wine for five minutes, allowing it to reduce. Add broths, Worcestershire Sauce and minced garlic and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.
  4. To serve you can do the traditional method of topping with bread and cheese then broiling.  Or do what I prefer and simply stick some bread topped with cheese in the broiler to dip into the soup.

Weekly Menu – the Week of the Salad

You might recall from my post Saturday (the one about not being able to do the marathon next month…) that I included a picture of my produce haul from grocery shopping the other day.  This past week we were supposed to be eating pot roast and cleverly using the leftovers of the pot roast throughout the week; HOWEVER I was overwhelmed by the fresh, colorful, mouthwatering produce at Meijer last week.  I may have gone a little overboard purchasing veggies…. putting pot roast on the back burner and salads on the table.

the produce binge....

the produce binge….

We really will be having Pot Roast… I have to cook it since I thawed it out.  The plan is to start eating on it Saturday.  I can cook it along with all my other weekly food prep, chores, and errands on Saturday.  When that happens Will will probably be extremely happy. I am sure the carnivore in him is suffering withdraw pains with all the leafy greens I have been feeding him.

About Our Salads

For salad greens we had green leaf lettuce, spinach, and iceberg to fill in the gaps. I did some research on the nutrition of salad greens last week. The leafier the green, the more sunlight it is exposed to, the more nutrients it has. Making iceberg amount to little more than fiber and water.  Green leaf lettuce is significantly higher in nutrients, and spinach is near the top of the chart.  Random facts for you.

Another wonderful thing about salads, is that they don’t dirty many dishes and can be made quickly for busy people like ourselves.  Seriously, 15-20 minutes from fridge to plate; that includes cooking the chicken.   Here’s how to cook really juicy, flavorful chicken for your salads:

  1. Thaw out a boneless, skinless chicken breast.
  2. Pound it a little to achieve a more uniform thickness.
  3. Sprinkle poultry seasoning on both sides.
  4. In a skillet over high heat sear both sides, 1-2 minutes per side.
  5. Lower the heat and cook for 3-5 more minutes per side.
  6. While the chicken is cooking chop all your other ingredients and begin assembling your salads.
  7. When the chicken is cooked allow it to rest for a minute and then dice it.
  8. Sprinkle a tablespoon of soy sauce and a tablespoon of Frank’s hot sauce over the diced chicken.  Mix it up and top your already prepped salads with the juicy chicken.

    Our salads had onion, cucumber, bell pepper, cheese, and chicken.

    Our salads had onion, cucumber, bell pepper, cheese, and chicken.

For my lunches I also had salads.  For these I cooked some quinoa and mixed it in with the lettuce.  Since strawberries were a dollar a pack last weekend I bought 5 packs.  I froze most of those, but I saved a few to chop up and put on my lunch salads along with chopped pecans and chopped apple. It was so good!  It didn’t need dressing, but with some Cranberry Balsamic Vinaigrette it was salad heaven.

Strawberry-Apple-Pecan Quinoa Salad

Strawberry-Apple-Pecan Quinoa Salad

If you want to splurge on some fresh produce as well, and feel super great because that’s what eating fresh fruits and veggies does, then here’s a menu that you can follow.  This is what Will and I have been eating for the last week.


Click here for the printable version and grocery list

I hope that this helped!  Salad doesn’t have to be boring, and it doesn’t have to be hard.  =)