lately i’ve been…(october 2014)

(New format, I got sick of the roman numerals!)

testing out some quinoa casserole recipes. It’s pretty delicious work and I’m close to a recipe worth sharing!

speaking of work…REALLY busy! November is a crazy month work-wise, with a lot of projects due, so posts may be a bit infrequent until things quiet down.

taking a short trip to Minneapolis. It was SO nice to be back in Minneapolis, but the trips always go too fast and there’s never enough time to see everyone we want to.

seeing Kings of Leon at the Hollywood Bowl. It was a GREAT show and Chris Martin made an appearance! (I was looking for Jennifer, she had to have been there, right?)

Skinny Game Day Snacks |

sharing some healthy game day suggestions + snacks for fitnet, check it out!

obsessed with our blendtec! Green juices or smoothies are happening on a daily basis and I’m a happy camper.

visiting Washington DC. Richie’s cousin got married so we spent a few days in DC, touring, eating and spending time with family. I want to go back!

testing out more slow cooker recipes…I hope you’re ready for them!

spending a day at Laguna Beach. The sun was hot and the water was frigid and we finished the day with pizza on the beach! (Side note: all of the tweens and teens were wearing brazilian bikinis…I’m not ok with that!)

loving my new logo! I had (the SO-very talented) Holly create it for me, what do you think?

getting REALLY excited for a weekend at home, with minimal plans.

what have you been up to lately?!



I’m going to start by stating the obvious. I wish I was in Thailand right now. It truly is an amazing place, and I’m confident I’ll get there again in the near future. I’m just going to dive into things, let me know in the comments if you have any questions about our trip! (Would I recommend it? YES!)

Why Thailand?

I’ve wanted to visit Thailand for many years, and finally convinced Richie that we should go. :) We never took a honeymoon and have been wanting to take a trip (just the two of us) ever since our wedding! For those of you who don’t know, we lived in Minneapolis, got married and moved to LA two weeks later (without jobs) so we didn’t think it was wise to take a trip at that time. In between visiting our families and friends and other trips it took us a while to finally get our act together. So it was kind of a honeymoon, but not really…

We decided to do a few days in Bangkok and spend most of our time at the beach (10 days total). Next time, we’ll definitely have to visit Chang Mai, which I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about, but we just couldn’t squeeze in another location into this trip.


We loved the street-style pad thai (recipe coming soon!) that was 30 Baht (less than $1!) for a huge plate in Bangkok, such great street food!

Thailand Vacation | A Nutritionist Eats

Right before we landed in Bangkok, we learned that we were visiting during Songkran, Thailand’s New Year. It just so happened that we were staying right in the middle of it which was both interesting and irritating at the same time. (Throwing water is part of the New Year tradition so imagine the biggest water fight you’ve ever seen!) For the first few nights in Bangkok, we stayed on Khaosan Road, which was recommended by my younger, backpacker of a brother. After the room had been paid for, I was informed by my mother that we “were much too old” for that area but it ended up being fine. It was nice that there were restaurants, bars, street food and even a few wats within walking distance.

The bad thing about it was that it seemed to be the epicenter of the Songkran festivities so it was nearly impossible to stay dry.

Thailand Vacation | A Nutritionist Eats

We spent the morning at the weekend market, visited a few Wats (temples), the infamous reclining buddha (Wat Pho) and then holed up in a bar to wait until the festivities died down.

Except they didn’t. Around 8pm, we were feeling exhausted and decided to just make a run through the streets, djs and crowds. The party in the streets lasted until early in the morning (5am!) and the next day after a quick breakfast of street pad thai, a rat sighting and an iced coffee, we headed back to the airport to fly to Krabi.

After a quick flight, and a van to the dock (see below) we took a quick boat ride to Ko Lanta, the island we stayed on for almost a week.

Ko Lanta

Thailand Vacation | A Nutritionist Eats

We arrived to Narima Bungalow Resort and it couldn’t have been more different from our time in Bangkok. It was quiet, secluded and absolutely beautiful. We had our own private bungalow – that overlooked the ocean – complete with a hammock on the balcony and plenty of wildlife.

Oh and the food! Such care was put into every single drink and meal. And it was all absolutely delicious. We feasted on prawn satay (below), a different curry every night, thai prawn salads, noodle dishes, it seemed that each meal was better than the last.

Thailand Vacation | A Nutritionist Eats

The beach at the resort was small and pretty rocky, but a great place to lay in the shade, read a book and get a massage. The beach bar was really fun, and we spent most sunsets down at the beach, cocktail in hand. The sunsets at Ko Lanta were all pretty ridiculous.

Thailand Vacation | A Nutritionist Eats

Even though we didn’t want to leave the resort, EVER, we made an exception for a cooking class one morning and although it was a little hot wearing more than a swim suit, we had so much fun. We made Thai Money Bags, Sweet & Sour Stir-fry and Green Curry with Chicken. I’ll be recreating some of them soon for you!

Thailand Vacation | A Nutritionist Eats

Ko Lanta is a perfect island to take a scooter around and Narima rented them for about $5/half-day. I will admit to being TOTALLY freaked out the first morning. I’ve never been on a scooter or motorcycle before and it felt like Richie was either going too fast or too slow. There was no in-between but eventually we both got used to it and became pros (?) by the end of our stay.

Thailand Vacation | A Nutritionist Eats

On one of our scooter trips, we visited a private beach and for most of the morning, it was all ours. I think this was one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen. It was incredible.

We also saw monkeys a few times on the scooter!

Thailand Vacation | A Nutritionist Eats

We also took a one day trip, and while I’m glad we did it was a little touristy for our taste. We visited Maya Bay (have you seen the movie The Beach?), Phi Phi Don and went snorkeling. Everything was stunning – and filled with SO many people.

Thailand Vacation | A Nutritionist Eats

We spent our last day soaking up every minute (and morsel) at Narmia. And we were pretty sad to leave…


We had another night in Bangkok before our flight back home and this time instead of taking the hippy route, we took the swanky route. Such a good decision. We chose the Banyan Tree mainly for the Vertigo Moon Bar, which sits atop the hotel, on the 61st floor. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen city views like it before.

Thailand Vacation | A Nutritionist Eats

We enjoyed expensive drinks and a fancy Thai dinner before sleeping for a few hours before our journey back to Los Angeles!

Thailand Vacation | A Nutritionist Eats

Take me back!


guide to sayulita, mexico

When we returned from our vacation – bronzed and so relaxed – and everyone asked us how the trip was, I always responded with, “It was absolutely wonderful. Sayulita is kind of like LA, but in Mexico.” And I really do mean this in the nicest of ways. At times, I felt like there was more Mexican culture in LA, which was then confirmed by three things:

  • a recent trip to East LA
  • the churro man in Sayulita who told us he spoke more español in LA than he does in Sayulita
  • and the “market” with its organic greens and small batch kombucha, all complete with post-yoga lululemon ladies, coffee and yoga mat in hand

But in all truthfulness, we loved it. Richie and I would go back again (it was an easy three-hour flight from LAX) but I’m not sure the rest of my family would – they appreciate a more authentic experience. Though no matter what kind of vacation you’re looking for, I think it would be nearly impossible to have a bad time in Sayulita. Here are our favorite spots!

Sayulita Mexico | A Nutritionist Eats

Where to Eat in Sayulita: Let’s start with the food, shall we? We ate really, REALLY well in Sayulita.

Where to Eat in Sayulita | Guide to Sayulita, Mexico

ChocoBanana: A popular coffee and breakfast spot. I wasn’t blown away by the food, but grabbing a coffee before heading to the beach to watch the morning waves is recommended. (The chocobanana-flavored coffee drinks are good but sweet!)

Panino’s: A french-ish artisan bakery and cafe that’s a great spot for breakfast or lunch. (Also where I fell in love with mollettes!) They offer delicious coffee drinks and a wide array of breakfast sandwiches and baked goods.

Tacos y Mariscos: These fish tacos were some of the best I’ve ever had (shown left). This lunch spot served mostly seafood…I think, there aren’t really menus.

Cheyo’s Tacos: Tacos y Mariscos turns into Cheyo’s Tacos at night and are both worth a visit. We ordered rounds and rounds of tacos and they’ll grab you cold drinks from the neighboring store which I find absolutely charming.

Sayulita Mexico | A Nutritionist Eats

Burrito Revolution: Often described as “Gringo Burritos” I had read that this place was the place to go for burritos – gringo or not. And while the gringo description was spot-on, the burritos were amazing and everyone was a fan. We went twice during our trip.

Mary’s: This was one of my favorite spots for dinners – so good we went twice! The fish is fresh, flavorful and reasonably priced (around 120 pesos) for a large serving. Order the ajo (garlic) filet or the whole hauchinango, shown right.

Where to Drink in Sayulita: There was a great mix of bars for the spring break-type scene and more upscale spots with mixologist-type drinks and decent wine lists. Something for everyone!

Sayulita Mexico | A Nutritionist Eats

Bar Isla: This beach-side gem was a favorite of ours. It’s tiny and unassuming but they made a great margarita and there are plenty of hammocks for lounging. (By far my husband’s favorite!) It’s hidden in the trees!

Sayulita Public House: A cozy bar with a rooftop (and a great view of the “river”) that is just begging you to play corn hole or cards against humanity during happy hour.

Hostel: Is it legal to say that I love a hookah bar? I’m not sure. The restaurant/bar section of this hostel (literally named hostel) had kitschy decorations and tons of hookah options and the breakfast we had there was pretty good too! You’ll know just what I’m talking about when you walk by.

Hotel Hafa: This wine and margarita bar is connected to a hotel and I loved the vibe. They offer inventive and homemade margaritas that feature flavors like cucumber, chiles and fresh fruit and wine options that go beyond vino blanco o rojo.

Escondido: Another evening/more upscale place that had a great list of cocktails and decent wine selection. It’s perched on a corner of the main square. Competing bands from the bars down the street playing at the same time was our only complaint.

What to Do in Sayulita:

What To Do in Sayulita | A Nutritionist Eats

Playa de los Muertos: A smaller and less-popular beach that is just behind the cemetery (hence the name) and it’s quite stunning. It gets busy on the weekend with locals, so go during the week! The fish and shrimp skewers by a local vendor are amazing.

Yoga: Sayulita is a yoga-haven and you’ll be able to easily find classes offered. The studio at Hotelito Los Sueños was beautiful and they offer a lot of classes.

 Sayulita, Mexico | A Nutritionist Eats

Marieta Islands: You MUST do this! There are a few options on getting there, we went with a fishing boat instead of the catamaran option and I’m so glad we did. We saw a LOT sea life (stingrays, whales) on the way to the island and we were so close to the humpback whales that I was getting a little nervous. (Have you seen Blackfish?!) But then we made it to the protected island – which you have to swim to because the boats have to stay back – and it was just amazing. There are caves and a private beach. Go in the afternoon when it isn’t as busy with the big boats from Puerto Vallarta. Oh, and don’t be scared when you’re on the way home and the swells are so big you think the boat is going to capsize. Sip on some Pacifico and hold on tight.

Stand-Up Paddle Boarding/Surfing: We made a big mistake and waited until our last full day to go stand-up paddle boarding and the waves were so big that the beach wasn’t safe for swimming so we weren’t able to go out. Now we’ll have to go in Marina Del Ray and pretend we’re in Sayulita. I’ve heard from others that the SUP-ing is awesome and its a great place to learn how to surf.

Sayulita Mexico | A Nutritionist Eats

Cooking Class: Since I’m obsessed with food, I tracked down Chef Daniel at Mexotik and we had an incredible time cooking, drinking and eating. We made Aztec Soup with Corn Dumplings, Mahi Mahi in Achiote Sauce with a Papaya Chutney, and an Avocado and Chocolate Mousse. All was absolutely delicious. 

Friday Market: If you love farmers markets, it’s worth checking out and if you’ve ever been to one in California, you’ll know what to expect. As “annoyed” as I was, we picked up some food for lunch (from the four locals with stands) and it was great. It was also a hilarious experience for me that makes it into most conversations about Sayulita.

Circo: The circus just happened to be in town during our stay, so obviously we had to go. It was a mix of slightly sad and slightly horrifying…but I’m glad we went.

Where to Shop in Sayulita: There are a ton of cute shops in Sayulita. I was on a mission to find revolucion del sueño but other than that, didn’t do much shopping other than the window variety.

Where to Shop in Sayulita | Guide to Sayulita, Mexico

Revolucion del Sueño: A really cool store. The vibe, the style, the white walls and bright colors – I loved it. They had a little something for everyone and we came home with some postcards, necklace and t-shirt. (You can buy online!)

Gypsy Galeria: This store also had a lot of eclectic Mexican folk-art and is a great place to pick up some inexpensive keepsakes and gifts.

Where to Stay in Sayulita: We stayed at an AirBnB house (which we heard there are lots of airbnb places) but there are a number of hotels, resorts, campgrounds and hostels. The house/AirBnB route was really nice because there were six of us and we had access to a kitchen (good for coffee and ceviche-making), wifi and a home base.



Mollettes | A Nutritionist Eats

So apparently I’ve been living under a rock. I’ve never heard of – or seen – mollettes on a menu. Ever!

Which is slightly disturbing considering the number of menus I look at. (I also edit them and tell Richie how I would change/improve them every single time. He loves* it. *loves = is annoyed by)

Mollettes | A Nutritionist Eats

But when we were in Sayulita, Mexico I came across mollettes on a menu at a French-ish cafe – of all places – and while everyone else ordered delicious-sounding egg sandwiches on croissants, I confidently ordered mollettes or as I called them, mo-lets. I blame the butchered pronunciation on the LA Spanglish radio station. Oops.

Both the egg sandwiches and mollettes (said with correct pronunciation) were majorly delicious.

Mollettes | A Nutritionist Eats

Let’s get back to the mollettes. They are pretty basic but not to be underestimated. A baguette or other crusty bread (though I’ll advise against sourdough) is topped with refried beans and cheese, all broiled together until nice and toasty and garnished with a healthy serving of pico de gallo and pickled jalapeño slices if you like some spice. The pico de gallo cannot be skipped, it adds major freshness and flavor.

It’s pretty much my new favorite non-recipe meal and it’s totally budget-friendly which rarely happens in my world, so I go with it when I can. Make it next time you need a meal in minutes!

nutrition facts: 447 calories, 11 grams of fat, 21 grams of protein, 66 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber

*huge thanks to Karla at Foodologie for filling me in on the correct spelling!


by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Keywords: bake appetizer bread breakfast sandwich snack high fiber vegetarian beans Mexican


Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 1 12 oz french baguette (not sourdough!)
  • 1 15 oz can of refried beans
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • salsa and jalapeno slices for serving


Slice the baguette in half, lengthwise.

Cut in four pieces.

Scoop out some of the bread if desired.

Spread beans on bread and sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Broil until cheese is golden brown, about 5 minutes. (Watch carefully!)

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