Weekly Cookup: Old Favorites… A Tried & True Fitness Program & A Trusty TJ Shopping List

Phew! It’s been a few weeks without a legit meal plan in place over here. We’ve had a ton going on (refer to my latest instagram post… more on that later), so we’ve been flying by the seat of our pantalones as far as meal prep goes around these parts.

This week, I’ve got something else up my sleeve. Aside from a few occasional flare-ups, my neck issues are mostly in check (aided by dietary turmeric and topical magnesium supplementation, nutrient-dense whole foods, and an otherwise anti-inflammatory diet, and complemented by consistent Pilates rehab therapy), so I’m feeling strong and ready for a challenge. We’ve got a month left on our gym membership before we make the big move back to the land of CLE, and I’m feeling inspired to make the most of it by once again revisiting my favorite workout of all time, Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Trainer. I cannot say enough great things about this workout program, as I’ve followed it before and saw just how capable and strong my body could be. It was a fantastic feeling. That being said, ANYONE can do this program. Any age, any gender, any shape or size. It’s easily modified to your fitness level, aka, completely easy to start where you are.

With this fitness program plan in place, and with all that we’ve got going on in the next month, I want to have some easy, grab+go meals in the fridge. Lucky for me, a while back I purchased these meal prep containers on Amazon, so I’m all set to make this as simple as possible.

This week’s shopping trip is going to stray from my beloved Whole Foods (gasp! I know!), and over to my OTHER BFF Trader Joe! Why, you ask? Simple! I was going through some old blog posts and found a complete 21-Day Sugar Detox compliant shopping list for Trader Joes, so I thought… why make more work for myself? This weekend is going to involve a (cheaper than Whole Foods) shopping trip to TJ, and a mass meal-prep party to stock my fridge with healthy meals that I can grab and go all week. Who’s with me??!

Curious about that blog post? Read it here, all my favorites from Trader Joes… then stock up and get preppin’!





Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Tea

Hey friends… wanted to share something with you all today that was outside the normal weekly meal plan and a bit more on the side of medicinal, healing nutrition. By now we’ve likely all heard of the powerful healing properties of turmeric and curcumin, and if you haven’t, just google “benefits of turmeric” and you’ll come across a slew of evidence-based articles touting positive side effects such as aiding in digestion, slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease, purifying the blood, improving skin conditions, reducing the side effects of chemotherapy, aiding in weight management, speeding wound healing, reducing symptoms of arthritis, among a million other things just shy of miracles! It’s pretty powerful stuff. SO! I thought I’d share my new favorite way to consume it, in a twice-daily cup of creamy turmeric tea.

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Those of you who know me personally know that I’ve been suffering with some inflammation issues for the better part of a year now. After L was born, I experienced what I thought was simply a pinched nerve in my neck, that resulted in numbness, tingling, and weakness in my left arm, hand and fingers, stiffness in my neck, and extreme pain in my upper back and shoulders. I later found out through a series of doctor’s visits and tests that the issues I was experiencing were a result of herniated and bulging discs in my neck that were pressing on my spinal cord. Um, ouch! No wonder! Though I did see a surgeon about the issue, which was causing basically affecting my whole life (no working out, no yoga, no lifting, trouble sleeping, stiffness, and pain pain pain… etc.), he agreed that surgery didn’t have to be the only option, and that with time and rest and proper care, my herniated discs would heal on their on. GREAT news for me, considering I am in the camp of natural healing (um, DUH, did you not know this about me by now?), and did NOT want to go under the knife, or even consider taking any prescription (or OTC) drugs for pain or anything else they would have me take post-op. So I felt super fortunate I had the option to say NO to all of that.

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I actually slept better with the soft collar the surgeon sent me home with, and applying peppermint and wintergreen oils along with other anti-inflammatory therapeutic grade essential oils to my neck seemed to help soothe the pain I was experiencing. I have to admit, though, I was still waking up stiff and sore until I added this turmeric tea to my daily regimen. I know it might sound extreme or hard to believe, but I swear I noticed a difference the very next morning after I had made myself a cup of this the night before. I didn’t wake up feeling like a crippled old lady (did I mention I’m 33?)!! It was pretty amazing. I’m still progressing in my healing, but the changes I’ve felt in just a few weeks of adding more turmeric to my diet have been so profound, I felt the need to share with everyone I know who could benefit from it, and figured writing a post here with a recipe would be a good idea, too!

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I searched the Google and Pinterest for recipes and what I make now is a combination of a few, and one I find not only works to ease the inflammation in my neck (and all my joints, my whole body!), but also tastes pretty delish. I typically have a cup of this mid-morning and in the evening while we’re enjoying some down time after L has gone to bed.

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Oh, AND! Bonus! I played around with adding some of my essential oils to the recipe… cinnamon bark and lemon are my two favorite, but there are sooooo many that would not only taste good, but also add a little extra healing plant power to your cup. Clove, nutmeg, ginger, orange, black pepper… the options are endless! Just make sure not to use them all in one cup or you might gag. Yikes.

Here’s my recipe:

Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Tea

1/2 – 1 tsp turmeric paste (recipe below)

1 cup hot water

1 tsp raw organic honey (or more to taste)

1/2 – 1 tsp coconut oil or ghee

pinch ground cinnamon*

pinch ground ginger*

1-2 tbsp Aroy-D coconut milk (or other full fat coconut milk with no additives), or more to taste

*may substitute therapeutic-grade essential oils for ground spices

Add the turmeric paste, honey, ghee or coconut oil, and spices to the hot water in your favorite mug and stir well to combine, and until honey is dissolved and ghee is melted. Add coconut milk to your desired creaminess. Take it a step further and give it a little whir in your NutriBullet for a bit of extra froth. Sip and enjoy!

Turmeric Paste

1 tbsp turmeric

1/8 tsp black pepper

2 tbsp water

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until a thick paste forms, adding more or less water to get the right consistency. Store covered in a glass dish in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Hope y’all enjoy! Happy weekend!



Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail – The 21-Day Sugar Detox Shopping List


With the 21-Day Sugar Detox in full swing (yep, the official detox started yesterday), and with my standard routine grocery list coming up in conversation more than once this past week (yes, really), I thought I’d share what I keep on hand at all times for easy Primal eats ‘round the clock.

Trader Joe’s. How do I love thee? I used to trek to Westlake when I lived in Lakewood, OH just to stock up on trail mixes and chile spiced dried mangoes. My list looks a little different these days (yikes, those mangoes have a load of added sugar and don’t even bother looking at the ingredients on the cilantro dressing, just don’t get it), but TJ’s does have a lot of great options if you know what to look for (and what to steer clear of). I’m in love with the fact that there’s a brand new TJ in Palm Beach Gardens so that I can stock up on staples and just visit Whole Paycheck Foods for the rest of the stuff I can’t get at TJ (like Japanese sweet potatoes, Rao’s Marinara, G.T.’s Kombucha, and a variety of other cuts of high-quality meat, to name a few). Here’s what usually ends up in my cart at TJ (oh, and, because I like to be OCD super prepared, I organize my list by how the store is mapped out – it’s a simple trick that keeps me from back-tracking or circling the store a hundred times, and I don’t end up leaving without checking off my whole list!):

Produce (usually organic unless they don’t have it):

  • Kale (in a bag)
  • Chard (in a bag)
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Shaved Brussels Sprouts
  • Romaine Hearts
  • Cruciferous Crunch (it’s a shredded blend of cabbage, kale, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts)
  • Rainbow Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Celery Hearts
  • Beets (ready to eat)
  • Portobello Mushrooms or Mini Portobello Mushrooms
  • Granny Smith Apples (if I’m not on the 21DSD, I’ll splurge and get my favorites – Fuji)
  • Bananas (green-tipped for the 21DSD)
  • Sweet Onions
  • Bag of Sweet Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Avocados
  • Tomatoes (sometimes they have mini heirlooms which I love!)
  • Spaghetti Squash (or any variety of squash if they have it – sometimes they don’t)
  • Sauerkraut (in some stores, this is by the meat; others, with the produce)



  • Organic Salted Crunchy Almond Butter – It’s so good! (the minimal amount of cashews – less than 1% – in it make me feel like it’s fine for the 21DSD)
  • Nuts – almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews (not on 21DSD), macadamias, pistachios… and my most recent favorite, TRUFFLE Marcona almonds (I love the rosemary ones too – YUM!). TJs really has a great selection of nuts but be careful to look for dry roasted if you aren’t getting raw! (This is where the NTP in me is supposed to say… you really should soak and dehydrate your own raw nuts for optimal digestion and nutrient absorption… got it? Good.)
  • Plantain Chips (get more than one bag – you’ll thank me!)
  • Broccoli… Chips? Snacks? What are these things? Whatever, they’re good, and they’re Primal compliant – only three ingredients.
  • Olives
  • Organic broths (beef, chicken, etc – for when I don’t have my own homemade stash supply up)



  • Organic Chicken – breasts, thighs, variety pack, whole chickens, all of it
  • Organic, Grass-fed Ground Beef (these come in 1lb packs – I get a few and throw a couple in the freezer if I need to)
  • Organic chicken sausages (check the ingredients before picking just any package)
  • Organic, Grass-fed Beef Hot Dogs
  • Bacon – definitely the Black Forest (so good!)



  • Cage-free eggs
  • Kerrygold Butter
  • Crumbled Goat Cheese
  • Crumbled Goat Feta
  • Manchego (unpasteurized sheep’s milk cheese)


Frozen Stuff

  • Mushroom Medley (contains just mushrooms, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, salt and parsley! And it’s pretty yummy!)
  • Fish – although I don’t get this as much now that I can get it fresh and local, but in a pinch, the mahi is great (um, also, make this amazing recipe!)
  • Sometimes I get frozen veggies just to have on hand for backup, but rarely… because I like the fresh stuff better!

AND since I know you’re curious… here are a few sweet treats I like to have on hand when I’m NOT on the 21DSD… keep in mind, they’re still considered part of the Primal Blueprint, but just something I like to keep OUT of the house if I’m trying to curb my sugar cravings (because Lord knows I can eat an entire bag of Honey Mints in two days!):

  • Just Mangoes (the organic, dried ones with no added sugar)
  • Honey Mints (um, if you don’t know what these are – you’re welcome. And I’m sorry, because you will soon be addicted!)
  • Dark Chocolate – any bar I can find that is 85% or higher
  • Lara Bars
  • Fruit Leather
  • OCCASIONALLY I grab a bag of Coconut Cashews because I’M HUMAN… but be forewarned there are some not-so-gut-friendly ingredients in those bad boys. I try not to get them often because they are so delicious that Tim and I can eat an entire bag in a day. Or, just I can. Do yourself a favor and ration those puppies if you dare make the splurge.

And there you have it! I usually make one trip a week, and I don’t always get EVERYTHING on this list, because it’s a lot. Buuut, we do eat a lot of protein and veggies! Like I said, I will get the bulk of what fills my fridge at TJs, and then hit Whole Foods or Fresh Market for some special items or for better meat options. Stay tuned for some good ideas of how to prepare this stuff!

Happy shopping & detoxing!

xx e

On Blogging, or… Not Blogging

Okay, so do I ignore the fact that it’s been almost three months since my last post? Do I even need to start this post with an apology? I feel like in the past year, I’ve had at least half a dozen posts start with something along the lines of “sorry it’s been so long since my last post…” followed by a promise of more regular posts and lots of exciting future posts lined up, blah blah. But let’s be real: life happens. I’m a real person and I have flaws, not the least of which is my non-ability to adhere to a strict blogging schedule for your reading pleasure. Sorry! While I love blogging, sometimes it takes a backseat to the rest of my life… which sucks because I get so much pleasure out of writing and posting (regardless of the feedback, or lack thereof), that I really should make an effort to cultivate and nurture the habit.

Came across this post in my feed this morning (because I’m still somewhat of a regular reader, and always feel more inspired after filling my cup with a dose of Camp Patton or Swanky and Dapper or some other favorite)… from zenhabits: The Biggest Reasons You Haven’t Changed Your Habits.

Aka: Good morning, Erin, this post is for you.

Let’s take a moment, shall we? In fact, YOU take a moment – go read it, then come back, and we’ll discuss.

The first three reasons for failure listed in Leo’s post are the biggest for me, personally, and seem to be for people I work with regarding nutritional therapy, too.

1. Not changing your habit environment. This is a biggie. Set yourself up for success. For me (and for most people) it means, for example, if you know you’re watching your sugar intake, don’t buy the ice cream and pretend you’re just going to have a small spoonful of it every now and then. Why even have it in your house? If you’re cutting grains, don’t buy bread! Don’t torture yourself! Change your environment: clean out your fridge, your freezer, your cupboards, and only stock your kitchen with whole, nutrient-dense foods you won’t feel guilty about putting into your body.

2. Expecting comfort. Change is not comfortable. Change freaks people out. But you’ve got to understand that anything worth having – that goal that you want so badly to accomplish – takes some effort on your part and it’s not going to be easy. We all have aspects of our life we want to change, but the real challenge comes in taking the necessary steps to get there. We want to lose weight, exercise more, be stronger, be healthier, save money, go on trips, have hobbies, spend more time with friends, cook more, read more, write more, get more out of each day, live a full life. It takes a little planning and commitment on our part, and the action items themselves are not necessarily difficult… it’s just the getting started, the act of doing something differently than you are used to, changing your comfortable routine, that is the most uncomfortable part. You have to start somewhere.


3. Not starting small. I am notorious for biting off more than I can chew when it comes to setting goals or having a plan to develop a new habit. Especially when it comes to blogging. Haven’t blogged for months? That’s it! I’m going to blog every day for the next week. Monday, great. Tuesday, I have a topic, but it’s a little forced. Wednesday, crap, I have lost all zest for writing and this sounds like phony baloney garbage. Forget it, I’ll start up again when I feel inspired… *crickets*… three months later… I’M BACK AND I’M GOING TO BLOG EVERY DAY! *Insert side-eye emoticon here.* It’s just not realistic, nor is it sustainable. Habits take time to create and to grow… and to maintain! Attempting to climb Mount Everest or run a marathon on a whim without the proper training is just asking to be disappointed. I know better, and so do you.

That being said, I’m going to start small, today. Currently, my plate is full. I’m eight months pregnant; I own a house in one state and I’m currently (though temporarily) living out of a suitcase in another; I’m attempting to map out yet another move, to yet another state… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Oh, and did I mention I’m about to have a baby in four weeks? Possibly (hopefully) less? Yeah, there’s that. So there may be a few other things taking precedence over the Diaries. Still, I want to make time for it. Maybe if I don’t set the blogging bar so high in the first place, maybe if I set myself up for success by mapping out time each week, maybe if I get comfortable with being uncomfortable… maybe, just maybe, you’ll be graced with a little more of my wit and wisdom here on the Heyday Diaries. ;)

See you soon, but not too soon…




Post-Travel Craving: JUICE

We had an awesome trip trekking up to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina for a cousin’s wedding this past weekend. I took zero pictures which has me feeling kind of bummed. I know there will be plenty of wedding pics surfacing on Facebook over the next few days, but I’m mostly bumming over the pics of the cute little secret breakfast spot we found or the hidden gem of a pub serving up eggplant fries in a pool of tarragon honey mustard (YUM) that I didn’t take. I suppose in the moment, the lack of photos was my attempt at being present, really experiencing the rare weekend away with Tim and our family and taking it all in. Okay… I take it back, no regrets.

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This was the singular photo I took over the weekend. It’s the stone pathway back to the secret-garden-like breakfast spot we discovered… and I only took it because I want to recreate a stone path like this in our backyard. I’m pathetic, I know.

Weekend travel makes me thirsty. Seriously. Hours in a car trying to make as few stops as possible means limiting my normal generous intake of water, and what feels like limited access to filtered water while staying in a hotel room, not to mention consumption of some extra-salty foods that aren’t typically in my day-to-day meal plan (fried cheese, anyone?), leave me feeling parched and puffy upon return to real life. 

I got in about 60 ounces of water in the afternoon once we returned, but I woke up this morning thirsty as ever. Enter fresh summer watermelon and a convenient need to clean out the produce nearest wilting in my fridge.

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This particular concoction included some hydrating veggies like romaine, cucumber, and celery, along with some bright (and lower-sugar) fruits like lemon, lime, and green apple. Add in a few carrots (I didn’t have the white ones this time) and a little mint, and the color of the resulting mixture appeared a little less than appetizing. It was delish, though! Proof that juice doesn’t always have to be pretty to taste amazing and fresh.

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Just because it looks like I filled this glass from the marsh behind our house doesn’t mean I did.

I always cut my juice by mixing in some cold, filtered water. And though it’s best to consume your juice right away, I just make sure I keep it covered in the fridge and drink it all the same day I make it in order to avoid loss of nutrients. You can read more about my adventures in juice here.

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This one was a little more Instagram-worthy… the frothy goodness before I stirred! Taste the rainbow!



Yahoooo! A Week in Review.

Done with tests! Done with studying (pshhh, right! HASHTAG STUDENT FOR LIFE!)! Done with it ALLLLLL! I’ve officially graduated from (and I’m now a legit member of) the Nutritional Therapy Association, y’all!

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Okay, simmer down, crazypants.

Somehow I thought I would have all this amazing free time once I wouldn’t be filling up every waking second of my day with my nose buried in books/papers/files/school projects (which paid off, btw: got an allllmost perfect score on my exams, thankyouverymuch)… but I’ve been back from Hartford, CT since Monday and… uh… excuse me, where did this week go? I don’t even know.

On Monday, I opened up my calendar and my teux deux list and promptly filled them with every imaginable thing I could think of that I wanted to accomplish in life, ever – today, tomorrow, and seven years from now. Whoa. Clearly, I have all sorts of ambition. But this week was more of a wrapping-up-of-loose-ends kind of week… doing all the stuff I had to do before I could move on to more fun stuff like building and preparing raised beds for organic garden planting in a few months, making a giant batch of this lovely stuff, organizing the nursery, and attempting my first batch of kombucha… you know, all the stuff I wouldn’t let myself do before my last weekend of testing for fear that it would fall under the “procrastinating” category, as in, I’m putting together this crib because I don’t want to study. Because I’m really, really good at that. THIS week, involved more boring stuff like appointments, errands, getting the dogs groomed, cleaning, cooking, paying bills, finishing my baby registry (hours – HOURS, I tell you) and clearing mounds (MOUNDS!) of clutter that have been piling up over the past month. Sadly, blogging didn’t make the cut this week, but organizing my calendar and plotting out plenty of entertaining (and educational – so there!) posts for your reading pleasure DID make the cut! Yahoo! Those goodies are right around the corner, so stay tuned!

Have a great weekend… ours is going to be filled with yard work (if the rain holds off, and painting if it doesn’t)… and check back on Monday. I have a few new (Paleo) cookbooks in my arsenal and can’t wait to review some recipes for you!

Ciao for now!




A Little Nutritional Wisdom from one Mom-To-Be to Another…

Hey friends… happy-post-Mem-day weekend! Hope you all enjoyed an extra day off and are feeling less sluggish than me today… we spent the weekend working in the yard, enjoying a couple dinners out, and painting the rest of the downstairs (picture me cutting-in for hours after a lovely chest and triceps workout at the gym… OUCH!). I’m beat, but no time for naps! This girl has studying to do… yawwwn!

A little while back, once I had graduated to the second trimester, I wrote a post on my crappy first-trimester diet. Curious as to any wisdom that I’ve uncovered since then? You’re in luck… today, I’m a featured blogger on We’re Talking About Food and I’ve shared my top 5 bits of advice for healthy nutritional habits during pregnancy (and beyond!). Hope you enjoy!