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  • My Two Cents On: The Culinary Nutrition Expert Program

    My Two Cents On: The Culinary Nutrition Expert Program

    Today is the day!

    If you're a fellow CNE, you'll know this mantra well.

    It's a line from Academy of Culinary Nutrition (ACN) founder Meghan Telpner's official creed, and it's become something of a battle cry for those in the program.

    Today's the day:
    To dare to live life differently,
    To say yes to your heart,
    To chase your dreams,
    To make things happen, and
    To infuse it all with a whole lot of love, community, and integrity.


    When I first stumbled upon Meghan's blog, I was finishing up my training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN).

    I was in search of deliciously nourishing real-food recipes, and oh-my-goodness did I find them! Meghan's are still some of my all-time faves!

    The last year and a half had been an adventure in learning to eat to live.

    Changing the way I ate had given me my health and my life back and catapulted me onto a new path that felt so right I could hardly stand it. But something was missing.

    I wanted to feel confidently comfortable in the kitchen, learn to create awesome recipes, and take a deep dive into the world of food for healing.

    So when I saw the announcement about the debut of an online Culinary Nutrition Expert (CNE) program, it was an immediate yes(!) for me.

    I knew, in my gut and my heart, that I had to do it. 

    What I didn't know was how incredible it was going to be, how it would challenge and transform me, or that I'd meet some of my best friends there.

    It remains one of the best programs I've ever completed.

    And here, my friends, are just a few of the reasons why:

    1 - IT'S THE REAL DEAL

    This program is legit.

    Meghan and team are committed to providing a rigorous, professional level, high quality, potentially life-changing experience. No fluff. They deliver on everything they promise and more.

    It's not easy. It requires dedication, time management, and organization. It assumes you are passionate about the study of culinary nutrition and challenges you to rise to the occasion and make the very most of your time in the program.

    When you receive your congratulatory letter and official certification at the conclusion of the course, you'll know that you earned that baby, and it will feel darn good.  

    2 - SERIOUS CULINARY NUTRITION KNOW-HOW

    Research, shared learning, and hands-on experience make for a powerful combination!

    You'll be asked to develop your own unique food philosophy, read the best culinary nutrition books out there, watch inspiring documentaries, create condition-focused recipes and meal plans, plan and teach a cooking class or workshop, and prepare amazing meals in your kitchen every week.

    By the end of the program, you'll have developed a comfort level in the kitchen like you'd never imagined.

    3 - CUTTING EDGE TECH, ONLINE PRESENCE, AND VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE

    This ain't your grandma's cooking school!

    The small-but-mighty ACN team has gone to great lengths to provide a high quality, visually appealing, professional level experience.

    You'll find beautiful images, awesome videos, and smoothly integrated tech. Whether you're an experienced online learner or brand new to the concept, you'll receive the support, guidance, and resources you need to succeed.

    The Academy is also well represented across the various social media platforms and committed to staying current and connected, which is something I appreciate and admire as an entrepreneur with my own online presence.

    4 - STELLAR SUPPORT

    You're so not alone here.

    You'll find an amazing community (more on that in a moment) in your fellow CNE students and alums.

    You'll also get to connect in real time with Meghan and your classmates on the weekly live call!

    You'll find an incredible support and beautiful soul in Ashley, the Academy's Director of Outreach and Customer Happiness.

    And, of course, you'll have your Program Coach (it could even be me!), who will offer valuable feedback and support throughout the program. 

    5 - THE CNE FAM

    Saved the best for last!

    The friends I've made as a result of doing this CNE program are the absolute best thing about it! They are co-creators, inspiration, motivation, expert resources, colleagues, business partners, team members, and so much more to me.

    There is something so extremely empowering to be said about finding your tribe, your peeps.

    Intentionally connecting with likeminded people, especially when you're in the natural health world, can be one of the most transformative things a person can do for themselves. It's a gift of shared enthusiasm, feeling understood, and finding the support and encouragement you've been looking for. 

    Here are just a few of the beautiful people I've been fortunate enough to meet (and snap a photo of) in person! So many of my CNE buddies have become dear friends, and I can't wait to meet them in person! 

     

    I'm often asked to share my CNE experience with folks who've been thinking it over and seriously considering the program. I hope this post helps!

    Today, I use what I learned in the CNE program without even thinking about it. It's become second nature, a part of what I do in all areas of my life and work. My clients, customers, family, friends, and team members have all been touched by what I learned at the Academy of Culinary Nutrition.   

    I love connecting with you, learning a bit about you, and answering any specific questions you might have. If you're local, let's grab a cuppa tea and chat. If not, a virtual tea date works for me!

    Feel free to reach out anytime. Perhaps today's the day?!

  • My New Favorite Pie & A Super Simple Crust!

    My New Favorite Pie & A Super Simple Crust!

    You guys!! If you haven't seen me posting about this raw Peach Cream Pie from my teacher, Meghan Telpner, then now's your chance to get in on the action!

    Right off, here's the link to this awesome creation. Meghan always brings her best to the table and lets real food shine! She's got so many great recipes on her website, so please bookmark her page.

    This one is a WINNER, I tell you. Go out and get the last of the summer's peaches (so sad!) and whip this one up for your friends and family. YUM.

    When I first made this pie (have made it twice in two weeks now), I made an unintentional fabulous discovery. I accidentally missed a couple of the crust ingredients when I went grocery shopping, so I had to improvise.

    Thanks to the google, I found a few different options. 

    But the one I want to share with you today was the easiest (and best) recipe ever for a raw pie crust. Thank you Shivie Cook!

    I will be using this all the time now. Think of the possibilities!

    Ingredients:
    1 cup Brazil nuts
    1/2 cup walnuts
    1 cup almonds
    4 tablespoons organic, cold-pressed coconut oil
    3 tablespoons organic coconut butter
    pinch of sea salt

    Instructions:

    • In a food processor, pulse Brazil nuts, walnuts, and almonds until finely ground. No big chunks.
    • Transfer to a bowl, and - using a fork - mix in coconut oil, coconut butter, and pinch of sea salt.
    • Transfer to pie dish and mold to even/desired thickness, carefully working it up the sides of the dish. Take your time.
    • Add desired contents, freeze (mine took a couple of hours to fully freeze), and voilà: Pie!

    Note: You can use any combination of nuts for this and can easily sub more coconut oil for the coconut butter, if you don't have it. So easy!

  • Culinary Nutrition + Lemon Lentil Veg Soup

    Culinary Nutrition + Lemon Lentil Veg Soup

    I was not a natural in the kitchen.

    I loved watching the Food Network and eating amazing food! But it used to be that my husband's asking me to take care of dinner (a rare occasion, since he was the only one who could cook in our relationship) would be an anxiety-provoking experience.

    What to make?
    How to make it?
    How long will it take?
    What will it taste like?!
    Can't you just make it? Pleeease?

    Fortunately, that's no longer an issue. In fact, now I probably take care of dinner just as often as he does - if not more!

    What changed? 

    My first attempts at cooking were the result of changing the way I ate - in order to heal myself and get on with my life. It worked! But the food wasn't always that impressive. It tasted good to me, but there was very little rhyme or reason behind the "recipes" (if you could even call them that!). 

    Now, things are very different.

    It's easy for me to make dinner. I'm more-than-comfortable in the kitchen. I love it, actually! I'm even confidently creating my own recipes. (It's crrrazy dude!)

    I knew a lot about nutrition, but I'd wanted to up my game (take it to the next level) and finally learn how to prepare awesome food for myself, my family, and my coaching practice

    From the moment I saw Meghan's Culinary Nutrition Expert program, I knew I had to do it.

    I just had a sense that I needed that program - personally and professionaly. 

    And I was right. But what I got so far exceeded my expectations.

    It's an information-packed, challenging-but-totally-worth-it, life-changing course.

    And if you're thinking about going for it this time around, then do yourself (and your family, friends, and clients) a favor - and take the leap!

    Today is the day, guys. Life's too short not to do what you love. 

    Here's a peak at what's on the other side:

    • Real time pre-recorded workshop videos
    • Accompanying course materials (resources + recipes)
    • Weekly live-stream office hours with Meghan (includes demonstrations and Q&A)
    • Reading materials
    • Meghan’s business coaching workshop
    • Goal setting workshops
    • Home study & cooking assignments

    Use my link to learn more - and tell them I sent ya! 


    And in the meantime, give this recipe a shot! It's a super easy-and-delicious Lemon Lentil Vegetable Soup, and it's the "Meghan recipe" I've made and remade most often.

    Ingredients:
    1 tablespoon coconut oil (or olive oil)
    1 medium (average-sized) onion, diced
    4 carrots, sliced
    5 celery stalks, sliced
    3/4 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained*
    3/4 cup green lentils, rinsed and drained
    3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    6 cups water
    1 teaspoon sea salt (more to taste)
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne (more to taste) 
    1/2 avocado (garnish)
    * Or just use all red or all all green lentils.

    Instructions:
    Heat oil over low-medium heat. Sauté onions until just translucent. Add carrots, celery, lentils, lemon juice, water, sea salt, and cayenne. Cover, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. (I've found that you'll need a little longer if you're using green lentils.) Add avocado as garnish. It's such a creamy, delicious addition!

    Notes: I also love adding broccoli (2 cups, chopped up small) and 2-3 cups of sliced-up greens (spinach, mesclun, kale) at the end. I'll turn off the heat, mix in the broccoli and greens, and then re-cover to let the hot soup cook the broccoli and greens with no added heat. Hope you love it!

    And, if you'd like to see the original recipe (not much different from what you see here), you can find it on Meghan's page: http://bit.ly/1o5Vq19

  • CULINARY TALES & GARLICKY KALE

    CULINARY TALES & GARLICKY KALE

    My sister's getting married in September(!), and she's planning a pretty amazing wedding, with lots of DIY awesomeness. It's going to be sooo beautiful, and I can't wait to celebrate. There will be a barn, gourmet vegan pizza (for the plant-based folks), and LOTS of dancing! Cool, right?

    In preparation for the big day, a few of us Baltimore-based bridesmaids are having weekly meet-ups to get things organized. Our first (planning) session was last week, and I wanted to bring along something delicious for us all to eat.

    So I turned to Meghan Telpner. This woman has finally gotten me SERIOUSLY into the kitchen! Her awesome book UnDiet is a bestseller - and rightly so! It's not so much a cookbook as a lifestyle book, and it's completely aligned with my own beliefs about food and life. Her own healing journey with food is much like my own - except that hers was with Crohn's. And mine was asthma and IBS. Sorry, friends, if that's TMI, but we gotta keep it real up in here. Point is: I love her. 

    I love her so much, in fact, that I've signed up to become a Certified Culinary Nutrition Expert, through her pretty friggin' amazing online program. It starts this fall, but I've been doing a lot of prep work to get ready. It's boosting my kitchen confidence and creating a whole new source of information for my coaching clients.

    Meghan is the inspiration for and source of so many of my delicious meals lately. And while I can't really give away her recipes here on my blog (that wouldn't exactly be legal - or nice), I am urging you to get her book. Its a keeper! For reals.

    All this to say, one of the ingredients I bought to make Meghan's Curry Chickpea Burger was kale - which was great, because I love kale, and I'd been missing it. (Hadn't had it in a while.) Kale is full of health-supporting goodness, and it tastes great!

    Especially when coated in garlic. My absolute favorite recipe for kale is Garlicky Kale. I get it at my local Whole Foods whenever possible. And, since I had to buy a GINORMOUS quantity of it just to get the small amount I needed for the Curry Chickpea Burgers, I had a ton left over. What to do? Obvio: Make a ton of Garlicky Kale. There are a few recipes out there for Garlicky Kale. Mine is just about the same as this one I found on epicurious, which claims to be the same as the Whole Foods version - and I'd say it pretty much hit the nail on the head. Here's how you do it:

    • Rinse and shake dry your kale leaves.
    • Break off bite-size pieces of kale (discard woody stems - or save for juicing!).
    • Place kale in medium bowl.
    • In a blender or food processor, puree 2 tbsp tahini, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp tamari, 4 tbsp nutritional yeast, and 3-4 cloves minced garlic. (I had to add 1-2 tbsp of water to fully puree mine.)
    • Pour half of dressing on top of kale and massage into kale. Taste. Add remainder of dressing to-taste, massaging into kale. 
    • Serve and enjoy!

    Stay cool out there people. (Eating your greens will help with that!) And if you're not signed up for my monthly newsletter already, please do! Lots of healthy summer advice coming your way later today! This month I've rounded up a bunch of healthy tips for loving your body, beating the heat, and making potentially life-changing choices this summer. (Don't miss a special summer savings offer only available to my subscribers!)