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  • Creamy Zucchini Hummus + The UnDiet Cookbook

    Creamy Zucchini Hummus + The UnDiet Cookbook

    Many of you know that I studied Culinary Nutrition (aka: Food As Medicine) with nutritionist Meghan Telpner a few years ago.

    When it comes to food, Meghan's philosophy is very much in line with my own, which you can read more about here, in How To: Start Eating Clean + Feeling Awesome Again

    Michael Pollan's now famous Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants. sums it up quite well. And it's a simple philosophy to remember:

    Cut out the processed, chemical/hormone/pesticide-laden, genetically modified crap. And embrace clean, local, seasonal, humanely-raised, nutrient-dense options instead.

    The result?

    You'll feel better than ever and your body with thank you for it!

    I remember when I first happened upon Meghan's blog. I was drawn to her laid-back, eat-clean, labels-are-for-tin-cans approach right away.

    I don't believe in counting calories or that one single diet is right for every person. And I feel strongly that there is so very much we can do ourselves to help our bodies to heal themselves, which is something else Meghan knows a lot about.

    Her first book UnDiet: Eat Your Way to Vibrant Health was (and still is) a staple in our home.

    And her new book, The UnDiet Cookbook, is even better! It's a much more in-depth collection of beautiful, nourishing, delicious, gluten-free and dairy-free recipes. And it's a must-have resource for people who want to eat clean and feel great again.

    If you're looking for that one book that will give you miles of culinary inspiration and never seems to disappoint, this right here is it.

    After graduating from the flagship Culinary Nutrition Expert certification program, I was approached by Meghan to come on board as a Teaching Assistant (we're now called Program Coaches). 

    Through my coaching at the Academy of Culinary Nutrition, I've been very fortunate to have been able to remain a part of this special community, where people support and respect one another - and where we do our best to empower others to play a bigger role in their own health and happiness: To share the health!

    And it is with this in mind that I get to share one of the awesome recipes from The UnDiet Cookbook with you: Creamy Zucchini Hummus.

    I made this one for our first ever Baltimore Cookbook Club, and it was a big hit! I'll definitely be putting it into regular rotation!

    Enjoy, my friends. To your health! 

    CREAMY ZUCCHINI HUMMUS
    Nut-free / Soy-free / Grain-free / Raw

    PREP TIME: 15 minutes
    MAKES: 1 1/2 cups

    Ingredients:
    1 zucchini, peeled and chopped (about 2 cups)
    1/2 avocado
    1/4 cup tahini
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1/2 inch ginger
    1/2 clove garlic (or a full one, if your friends can handle it) 
    Pinch of cayenne (optional)

    Make It Like So:

    • Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
    • Stop occasionally to wipe down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
    • Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

    Excerpted from The UnDiet Cookbook: 130 Gluten-Free Recipes for a Healthy and Awesome Life by Meghan Telpner. Copyright © 2015 Meghan Telpner. Photography Copyright © Maya Visnyei and Catherine Farquharson. Published by Appetite by Random House, a division of Random House of Canada Ltd., A Penguin Random House Company. Reproduced by arrangement by the Publisher. All rights reserved.

  • Change Your Life + An Invitation

    Change Your Life + An Invitation

    I'm not gonna lie. It was love at first sight. From her down-to-earth, real-talk approach, to her incredibly delicious whole-food, plant-based (WFPB) recipes, Meghan Telpner had me paying attention and wanting more from the very beginning. 

    I was a relatively new WFPB person back then - and definitely no expert in the kitchen! (Rice, beans, and greens were my specialties - and I couldn't even cook the rice myself.) I'd made the switch after watching an eye-opening documentary. It made me mad. And really really frustrated. But it also gave me hope. And inspiration! I could feel in my bones that things were going to change.

    Over the course of a few months, I went from eating what I thought was a pretty healthy standard American diet (that's HSAD) to eating what was essentially a vegan diet. (For a long time, I told everyone I was whole-foods, plant-based, but eventually I realized it was just easier to say, I'm vegan. If they were interested, I could always tell them more.)

    Why'd I do it? Asthma. Intestinal angst (IBS). Acid geflux. Allergies. And colds that just wouldn't go away. Lots of meds, lots of docs. Lots of stress and feeling "out of commission" and depressed. But, unfortunately, not a lot of help. 

    I was 28 years old and basically miserable about my once-awesome physical health. (And my mental health, too - as a result.) I just wanted to be able to breathe normally, exercise again, and get my energy back. I was tired. And getting pretty hopeless. So I said, Why not? And what happened felt like nothing short of a miracle.

    ALL my symptoms went away.  

    If you know what it's like to have to use your inhaler multiple times a day just to make it through - or if you've been carrying Immodium AD in your purse (or your pocket) for years, I want you to take a moment right now to imagine what it would feel like to throw those things away? That's right - throw them away.

    I'll tell you what that feels like. It feels like a gift. Like a miracle. It feels like getting your life back. Like finally catching a break. Like coming up for air and taking a long, deep, thoroughly satisfying breath. Again and again. 

    It feels like freedom.

    And thus, my new life began. 

    I studied plant-based nutrition, I decided to become a health coach, and I fiiinally learned how to cook - exactly the way I wanted to!

    All of these major milestones have been incredible chapters in my story. (And I could go on and on about each of them!) 

    But the reason I sat down to write to you today is that the amazing Meghan Telpner is getting ready to launch the newest and most incredible version of her Culinary Nutrition program - and I want you to be a part of it!


    If your story is anything like mine, you've been looking for a way to take your culinary nutrition knowledge (and maybe even your business) to the next level, or you're just finally ready to discover the incredible healing power of food for yourself or your family, then you're gonna want to check this out. It will change your life. No lie.

    Want the details?

    WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?
    It combines the highest quality online learning (live classes, real-time prerecorded workshops, dedicated TAs, and a priceless online community of like-minded classmates), home study (recipe development and testing, client simulation, specialized meal plan development, development and delivery of culinary nutrition cooking classes and workshops), research and required reading, community and practical skills development, and awesome professional development workshops. 

    NOW WITH MORE OPTIONS!
    Ours was the very first online version of this course - and it was incredible! But Meghan and her team have taken what they've learned (and our feedback) and created an even more impressive program. The Spring session will start soon - and there are now more options available. You pick what works best for you - a "certification" or an "honorary" version of the program. (The "honorary" folks will even have the option to upgrade at a later date, if they like.) And graduates of the Spring session will be eligible for the following *new* benefits:

    • Be listed in MT's Academy of Culinary Nutrition's "Find An Expert" directory.
    • Create a profile that can include your contact details, social media etc.
    • The opportunity to submit content to the Academy of Culinary Nutrition blog to showcase your awesomeness.
    • Option to submit your own events into the Academy newsletter.


    SPRING 2014 PROGRAM DETAILS + REGISTRATION
    Click HERE to get access to an overview of the Spring 2014 Schedule and everything you need to get started on a journey and an investment you will NOT regret.

    Questions? Message me! I'm more than happy to share my experience. 

    Salud, my friends! To your health!

  • AL GREEN + CAULIFLOWER MILLET MASH

    AL GREEN + CAULIFLOWER MILLET MASH

    Guys! Cooking school is seriously THE BEST. I'm making so many delicious things - and trying all these new ingredients. It's so satisfying and fun!

    It's also a lot of hard work. Meghan is so down-to-earth and right on in her approach to food and nutrition. But this is a serious course. There are lots of reading assignments, live and recorded classes, multiple homework assignments (relating to recipes and otherwise) each week, and an awesome community to connect and interact with throughout the whole experience. I also have a TA to whom I report directly, who sends me awesome feedback and tips with love (so far!). I'm working hard - but really loving every second.

    Today I made this addictive Cauliflower Millet Mash (you can see it in the pic above). O.M.G. Soooo good! I may or may not have eaten four servings of this bad boy this afternoon. I had to just put it away (out of sight, out of mind) so I'd stop eating it. Seriously. (And with a little sprinkle of sea salt and cayenne? Ooooh yes!)

    Wanna try it? You can actually find the recipe published on Meghan's blog in the Mashed Topping section of her No Meat and No Potato Sheperd's Pie.

    Wanna see of my other creations? You can check them out right here and often here, too. And if you're a real-food-and-wellness-obsessed person (like I am!) and you'd like to hear about getting in on the Spring 2014 CNE Program, hit me up for details. I know you'll love it.

    In other news, Eddie and I are back from a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful weekend away. Mountains, fresh fall air, golden leaves on trees, and the incredible generosity of friends. Now THAT'S medicine for the soul, right?  Aaand today's Eddie's birthday - which just makes me feel extra super grateful. I'm so full of love (and cauliflower millet mash) right now that I could burst. XO 

    Ok, Loves. Signing off for today. Enjoy the music! Love and happiness, my Baby. Always and always.

  • WITH A TWIST!

    WITH A TWIST!

    WHO DOESN'T LOVE A GOOD COOKIE? My husband is the cookie's number one fan - especially when it comes in the chocolate chip variety. Ever since I made those irrisistible Trail Mix Cookies, Eddie's been asking for more.

    So this morning, I hopped on over to Meghan Telpner's blog, where I found her recipe for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. They were my inspiration, but I threw in a few extra delicious ingredients in rememberence of the Trail Mix Cookies from last week. Meghan's is amazing, and she's my teacher in the Culinary Nutrition Expert program that begins in a couple of weeks. I'm so excited!!!

    I signed up for the Culinary Nutrition Expert program to get comfortable in the kitchen and to do so in a way that's aligned with my own nutritional beliefs. I eat plant-based whole foods. They're the kind my body likes best, and they're loaded with nutritional benefits. Bonus? They taste amazing! And that's what this program is about. Listening to our bodies, celebrating life with healthy, delicious food, and "making loooove in the kitchen", and Meghan would say. She's all about living with intention, and I am right there with her.

    My cookies are Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies - With a Twist! I prefer chewy, by the way, so these aren't the crunchy ones Meghan describes. Check out the recipe below - and let me know if you give them a try! 

    Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies - With a Twist!
    VEGAN + GLUTEN-FREE 

    1/2 cup coconut oil, softened (pourable)
    1/2 cup coconut sugar
    2 tablespoons maple syrup
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 chia egg* (or one egg, if you prefer)
    1/2 cup brown rice flour
    1/4 cup buckwheat flour
    1 cup gluten-free oats
    1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
    1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
    1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
    1 tablespoon shredded coconut
    1 tablespoon flax seeds, ground
    1 tablespoon dried cranberries, chopped
    1 tablespoon raw sunflower seeds 

    *1 chia egg is easily made by combining 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds with 1/4 cup warm water, mixing well (I use a coffee mug), and setting aside for about 10 minutes to fully gel. I use a spice (coffee) grinder to grind my chia seeds just before making the chia egg.

    1. Preheat oven to 350.
    2. In a large bowl, combine coconut oil, coconut sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and chia paste.
    3. In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine flours, oats, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
    4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing to combine.
    5. Add and mix in remaining ingredients.
    6. Form into ~1.5-inch balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheet.
    7. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until golden on top.

    Makes about 18 cookies.