enjoying the holidays

Last year I was in the midst of a “healthy holidays” series and I came to an important realization.

The holidays are meant to be enjoyed, without stressing out about how many calories are in that cup of egg nog and worrying about being perfectly healthy the whole time. I’m going to eat cheese and drink wine with abandon! ;)

Here is what you should do in the next week!

Always fill a stocking. (Your own counts!)

Eat cookies. (keyword: homemade)

Do something active with your family. (I’m hoping for a hike in 80 degree weather before flying to Minnesota later that day!)

Enjoy a large, family meal that focuses as much on the laughter and the company as it does the food.

Kiss under mistletoe.


Start a tradition.

Listen to all the holiday music you can.

Donate something. Time, money, etc. (Donate to Medical Missions in Haiti here)

Wear some fun holiday makeup!

Take a day off from the computer/twitter/facebook/etc. (We can all use it.)


Be Thankful for what you have.

Think of those who aren’t as lucky.

Enjoy the holiday season! Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or whatever you are celebrating!


quinoa cakes

I’ve been making a habit of preparing big batches of whole grains like quinoa and brown rice to last a few days. (Brown rice is on the stove right now.) It is so nice to have the base of a healthy meal ready to go!

The other day, I was feeling a little snacky and needed something so I decided to try making some quinoa cakes with the quinoa I had in the fridge. I’ve seen them at Whole Foods in the deli section and figured I could easily recreate them at home. I’m not sure what the Whole Foods version tastes like, has anyone ever tried them?

We loved these and have made them a few times since. They come together really quickly and are surprisingly addicting. I’m ok with an addicting snack of whole grains, protein and a little fat. :)

These reminded us of fried rice – but I didn’t add any asian seasoning so I’m thinking it must have been the combination of eggs and green onions.  They are great because you can flavor them with whatever you want. I chose to use olives because we had some on hand, but I think they would be great with vegetables, cheese, etc.


Quinoa Cakes

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 5 min

Keywords: fry appetizer side snack gluten-free high fiber high protein vegetarian quinoa

Quick and easily customizable quinoa cakes!

Ingredients (12 cakes)

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp flavor (I used chopped olives but you could replace with cheese, vegetable, etc.)
  • seasonings: salt-free seasoning, red pepper flakes, garlic salt
  • 2 Tbsp butter or oil


Combine quinoa, eggs, onions, and seasonings.

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in large pan until very hot.

Add heaping Tablespoon of quinoa mixture to hot oil and flatten gently.

Add as many as you can to pan, while ensuring you have room to flip.

Cook for about 2 minutes, until edges are browned and carefully flip over.

Cook for another 2 minutes and remove from pan.

Add remaining oil and cook remaining quinoa.

Serve hot.

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lunch crunch workout

greens for lunch

shopping at the grove

happy hour at the farmers market (under heat lamp)

wrapping presents

christmas cookies (Thanks Amy)

thai delivery

hot power Fusion yoga class

green & glowing smoothie from whole foods

And lots of work thrown in between. How was your weekend?


white bean & kale soup

I know all of my Midwest friends and family will think that I’ve completely lost it, but its been cold in California. (And raining. No one told me it rained here, but I kind of like it.)

And when its cold, I crave soup to warm me up! I’m a fan of all kinds of soups – from creamy and rich (my Mom makes the best Shrimp & Artichoke Soup) to healthy, chock-full-of-vegetable soups.

This time around, I wanted an extra-healthy soup. Brimming with vegetables. Free of meat. Something that would warm me up and fill me up without a ton of calories because I’m pretty sure I’d rather eat more cookies this time of year. Healthy soup = more room for cookies, right?

So I threw together a ton of vegetables, a few beans, and my favorite, kale for a light, yet hearty soup that will leave you feeling good! I added a decent amount of red pepper flakes and the Taster loved the spiciness of the soup. Season the soup to your preference!


White Bean & Kale Soup

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 75 min

Keywords: soup/stew gluten-free high fiber low-carb vegetarian beans kale winter

Healthy, hearty soup full of veggies and beans!

Ingredients (8 servings)

  • 1 onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 leek
  • 5 stalks celery (about 4 cups chopped)
  • 5 carrots (about 2 cups chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp butter or oil
  • 2 cups white beans (cooked)
  • 64 oz vegetable broth (2 boxes)
  • 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 bunch kale
  • salt, pepper, red pepper flakes


Prep all vegetables.

Chop onion, celery, carrots and leek.

Mince garlic.

Thinly slice kale.

Heat oil in large pot and add onions and garlic.

Saute for a few minutes, then add celery, carrots and leeks.

Cook for a few more minutes.

Add beans, broth and tomatoes.

Bring to a boil.

Add chopped kale and let simmer for 30-60 minutes.

Serve hot and sprinkle with parmesan if desired.

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