Cashew Cheese Log

Here is a simple cashew cheese spread/log you can easily whip up. It does require you to have it cool in the fridge before you can mold it into a log, and depending on your blender, you may need to soak the cashews before hand, but that’s about it.

This recipe will be what’s pictured above with the herb crust. I have also made this with a sundried tomato and garlic (aka pizza cheese) topping, and also a sweeter fresh blueberry vanilla topping. I was going to have pictures and recipes for all three, but when I made this I was still only a few weeks pregnant, exhausted, and cooking or food just didn’t sound appetizing. I’m glad I got this out to share with ya’ll!

But the truth of the matter, this is a simple, mild flavor recipe so find other soft cheese topping recipes and test it out on this!

Cashew Cheese Log


  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour if you don’t have a high powered blender
  • 1/8 cup refined coconut oil (refined does not have a coconut taste)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp miso paste (I use a chickpea miso)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning


  1. In a blender, blend cashews, coconut oil, lemon juice, miso paste, and salt until smooth. You will probably have to scrap down the sides a few times, but once it’s all incorporated, blend another minute or two to make it smooth.
  2. Spoon out mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap the plastic wrap around the cashew mixture and twist the ends. Make a log shape and set in the fridge to cool off and firm up for an hour or two.
  3. Once firm, unfold the plastic wrap and put cheese log on a plate. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning, and get out your favorite crackers, fruit, and veggies you want to eat with it.


Dairy Free Cheese Recipes – What to Look For

Whether you are needing to be dairy free because of an allergy, intolerance, or sensitivity, you are not alone. More and more people are finding that dairy products in their every day diet is causing their inflammation symptoms to worsen and realize they function better on a day-to-day basis if it’s not in their diet all the time.

But that brings in a whole other issue. Cheese is good! No wonder there’s been a boom in dairy free cheese substitutes! Now, before I go any further, I have to say one thing:

Dairy Alternative cheeses are it's own genre of cheese. 

It can be used for different purposes, and just like there are thousands of different cheeses to be used in specific and different ways, there are many dairy alternatives to try and to use in different ways.

While there are some cheeses out on the shelf, many choose to try to make their own at home for many reasons. It could be because of random allergies or other intolerances, trying to keep the recipe as whole as possible without fillers, reducing or not having any added sugars, or that it’s less of a hit on the wallet.

Whatever the case, if you are looking for a good recipe for a dairy free alternative to cheese, I do have a few tips and things to look for in recipes to make sure you are making “a good one”. Or if you are looking for it to be more firm or look for it to stretch, I have some ingredients to look for with that specific texture. If anything this might help you when picking out a dairy free cheese alternative at your store.

Getting the Bite or Tang of Aged Cheese

The best way to get that tang that aged cheese has is to have your mixture age. But that can get a little tricky since you probably don’t want to worry about mold, or have your kitchen smell like stinky cheese for weeks.

The best tang I’ve been able to get with a simple recipes at home is about as much as you would expect from softer cheeses like cream cheese or feta cheese.

Ingredients to look for:

  • Lemon Juice
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (more bite) or White Vinegar (mild bite)
  • Fermented Products:
    • Miso Paste
    • Probiotic capsules
    • Unsweetened plain plant based yogurt
    • Sauerkraut Juice
    • Rejuvelac: Water from sprouting grains
      • If you sprout your own grains, the leftover semi cloudy water has probiotics in it, it’s said to have a mild kombucha flavor, and is healthy to drink. You can always save this for your cheese alternative recipes.
      • If you don’t sprout grains and have no idea what I’m talking about, you can look up the benefits and see if it’s something you would want to add to your routine, but if not, you can find other items to add to your recipe and not sprout grains just to make dairy-alternative cheeses.
  • Mustard or Mustard Powder

Texture: Cuttable and/or Sliceable

If you are looking for a cheese to put on sandwiches or want something on your cheese plate with a harder texture, you’ll need something to solidify your mixture.

Ingredients to Look for:

  • Refined Coconut Oil – solid at room temperature, easy to blend, easy to mold into a shape, and the refined version does not have a taste. It’s also saturated fat, which is part of the reason why we love cheese so much. Good for cheese balls.
  • Agar Agar powder/flakes – usually will call for powder. It’s from seaweed, but it’s a plant-based alternative to gelatin, which once it’s set with your other ingredients will make it more sliceable.
  • Gelatin

Texture: Stretchable/Meltable

If you are wanting something to stretch like mozzarella on your dairy free pizza or over a casserole, you’ll need some specific starches. Some starches are good to thicken a mixture, while others add elasticity. When using starches, read the instructions and make sure to follow them, otherwise you might not get the right reaction and it won’t stretch or thicken properly. With some starches, you need the right temperature, and to not overheat the mixture after adding it.

Lastly, when finding the ingredients, some starches will just say “powder”. You might be able to find arrowroot powder, but not arrowroot “starch”. It’s the same thing.

Ingredients to Look For:

  • Arrowroot Powder or Starch – comparable to corn starch to thicken, but adds a little stretch as well.
  • Tapioca Powder or Starch – this seems to be the most stretchy and when it’s at colder temps, it’s rubbery, of the two. I’ve used this to make a cashew mozzarella balls before.

Add Some Fat

Let’s face it, the reason we love cheese, is because it’s basically saturated fat other than some mozzarellas and feta varieties. Dairy-free cheese alternatives should be used like cheese, in that it should be more of an every once and a while item, and not with every meal. So if you are worried about where your fat intake comes from, do yourself a favor and when you make a dairy-free cheese recipe, add the fat.

The only one I’ve made that I like that doesn’t have a lot if any fat, is my white bean queso dip. But that’s pretty much it. All others I love and other people love, have coconut oil or is full of nuts, so, if you want it hit the same buttons as cheese or close to it, add the fat.


Plant Based/Dairy Free Cheese are it’s own product. They are trying to make the alternatives available to act like and semi-taste like cheese, but you and your body knows it’s not. You just have to know it’s a different type cheese you’re working with.

There are plenty of delicious cheeses out there to try, but trust me, don’t cheap out if you are going to buy it on the shelf and it’s your first time trying dairy free cheese. And the softer nut cheeses are usually a guaranteed hit.

As always, keep finding you beet and I will catch up with you all soon!

Nutrition Tips for the Midday Slump

That moment in the afternoon that all the sudden your energy dips and you become unmotivated and all you want to do is just zone out and chill, if not take a nap for a few minutes.

Why does it happen? Can we stop it? Can we help it with nutrition? Let’s talk about it.

Why Is There a Midday Slump? Can We Avoid It?

Midday slump is absolutely normal and something we can work with. The reason why it happens is because of it being part of our circadian rhythm. It’s an internal process that occurs every 24 hours. It’s part of our sleep pattern and why even during our sleep we go in a and out of REM (deep sleep) and light sleep.

The time between 2-4pm is part of the rhythm and your energy dips for people who wake up around 6-8am.

It’s perfectly normal, but there are some factors that could make this dip in our energy less, so let’s talk about what those are.

High-Protein and Complex Carb Lunch

A meal can impact how we feel hours later. Since we are talking about the midday slump, let’s look at our lunch.

When we have a meal that is “heavy” or contains a lot of starchy, rich, and processed foods (i.e. Burger and French fries) our blood sugar can spike and crash. The other part to this is that with heavier meals you can feel more sluggish right after eating.

Instead of things like potatoes, pasta, and for some even a slice of bread, go for complex carbs like brown rice, quinoa, vegetables, etc.

With complex carbs they have a higher fiber content so they digest slower and your blood sugar won’t spike and drop.

Don’t worry – you can save the pasta for dinner.

The other factor for lunch is having it be higher protein. Protein will not crash your blood sugar and it digests slower and keeps you fuller longer.

Photo by Pratik Bachhav on Unsplash

Balanced Midday Snack

If you are not used to eating a lighter lunch, then having a midday snack that is balanced with protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs, will help keep you full until dinner and can help with the midday slump.

When you start feeling the yawns come on, take a break and pull out the apple and peanut butter, or a snack box with fresh fruit, nuts, and some cheese if your not allergic.

This can help with balancing out your blood sugar, keep you full, and gives you a reason to take a break and munch.


I don’t know about y’all, but when my day gets busy I can be barely sipping on my coffee all morning and before I know it I’m hungry and it’s time for lunch.

Dehydration is a common first sign on fatigue and headaches. So if that sounds like you around lunch or mid-afternoon, keep the fluids going. Make sure you are drinking enough.

Moderate coffee use (2-ish cups) is not dehydrating, however it’s still good to drink water or herbal tea, even iced herbal tea, throughout the day.

Photo by Bluewater Globe on Unsplash

Not A Time To Have Foods Your Sensitive or Allergic To

For lunch or for a midday snack, if there is a food you are sensitive to or allergic to, try not having them if you usually do at lunch and see if it helps.

With food sensitivities, allergies, and intolerances they all cause differing levels of low-grade (and high-grade for severe allergies) inflammation.

Low-grade inflammation isn’t always seen or felt, but common symptoms are fatigue and brain fog, along with a whole list of other symptoms.

So if you do have food sensitivity issues, consider this when planning your meals and picking out your order for lunch.

Change It Up

During that midday slump time, you become less productive. Some might think that they have to get a project done ASAP so no breaks until it’s complete. But in actuality, if you take a break, preferably 20 minutes but even 5 minutes is better than nothing, and do something different, it can boost productivity and you’ll get just as much done without having to force yourself. Plus you’ve given your body and brain a quick minute to recharge.

If you have a physical job, take a minute and sit down. Hydrate or have your snack.

If you have a desk job, get up, walk, stretch, etc. Get your body moving.

If you can’t get up and walk or stretch, try to do something that is automatic. Something you don’t have to think about. Like cleaning out the junk mail in your email. This is the time you can make more mistakes so doing something mindless is better than continuing with a huge report or project.

Putting It All Together

The midday slump is natural and something you can work with your body and let yourself take a minute, even take a 20 minute or less nap if you need to.

There are a few things you can do to help the dip in energy not be so drastic with what you have for lunch and a midday snack. Have a higher protein, less starchy lunch and snack to keep your blood sugar leveled. And always stay hydrated throughout the day.

And take a break, do something different. Whether that’s sitting down or walking for a few minutes, change it up.

White Bean Cheese Sauce / Queso Dip

There are a variety of ways to make a dairy free cheese sauce, but I wanted to make one that was simple, but not too simple so there are some levels of flavor in there as well.

If you are new to dairy free cheeses, it’s important to understand that dairy cheese has a fermenting and aging process, and making a simple home recipe that you can use ingredients from your pantry to make a dairy-free cheese, it’s not going to have the same aged flavor. It’s not a one-for-one substitute especially with flavor, but it can carry the same idea and be used as an alternative.

Why White Beans?

This recipe uses white beans for a few reasons.

  1. This recipe is dairy and nut free
  2. White beans are easy to blend
  3. White bean are a good source of plant-based calcium

When I first made this recipe I wanted to make a queso dip, but I wanted to also have a plain version if someone wanted a cheese sauce for veggies. I have tried the cheese sauce on top of pasta, and it’s okay, but after a while it does turn a little sweet. I think the best way to use this is as queso bean dip. But you be the judge.

A Few Uncommon Ingredients

I wanted to make this with common ingredients as much as possible, but if you are not familiar with dairy-free cheese recipes there might be some a couple odd ingredients you might not be familiar with.

  • Nutritional Yeast
    • Nutritional yeast is produced by culturing a yeast. When the yeast is ready, it is deactivated (no longer ferment). This means this will not cause any yeast imbalances in your body.
    • It has a cheesy/nutty flavor. Usually comes in flakes or power. Most common is flakes. Something you can sprinkle on salads, pasta, etc. as a seasoning.
    • Nutritional yeast is high in B vitamins A lot of brands will fortify it with B12. And it’s high in protein (8-10g) for the 2 tablespoons you use as a serving.
  • Miso Paste
    • Miso is fermented bean paste, usually from soy beans. If you are allergic to soy, there is a chickpea variety that I use.
    • It adds a fermented, salty, umami flavor
    • Great to use in broths to add another layer of flavor.


There are a few seasonings, and when making the queso about 1/2 the ingredients listed is seasonings. If you do not have a lot of these, I’d suggest going to a grocery store that has seasonings in bulk. They are usually less expensive and you can just get a few tablespoons instead of a whole jar.

The Extra Steps

There are a few things I think are necessary for this recipe. One is for either the cheese sauce or the queso, the other is just for the queso.

  1. Browned Mushrooms
    • Taking the time to sautee’ the mushrooms and brown them slightly is worth it! This was something I added after a few other no-go tries. This helps bring in more of that umami taste and helps with thicken the sauce without the use of grains.
  2. Roasted Jalapenos
    • For the queso, there is nothing like fresh roasted jalapenos. In the queso recipe there is a can of chopped green chilies which I love too, but having that fresh roasted pepper in there, just bumps the queso up a notch.

I will tell ya’ll that the first time I made the queso without the mushrooms or fresh roasted jalapeno, it was okay. Then I took the extra steps and I thought it tasted pretty good. Then I went back to clean up and kept dipping in the second recipe bowl the rest of the afternoon.

These extra steps are worth it!

Recipe Time!

Okay okay! Enough about the components of the recipe, let’s get to the recipes. The first being the white bean “cheese” sauce and the next will be the recipe for the queso, adding seasonings and the roasted jalapeno.

White Bean Cheese Sauce

  • Servings: makes about 2 cups
  • Print


  • 3 small white mushrooms
  • 1 15oz can white beans, drained (I use butter beans)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tbsp miso paste (I use chickpea miso)
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Clean and slice the mushrooms and sautee in medium pan on medium heat. If you have non-stick, no need for oil. Mushrooms give off their liquid so there should not be an issue. Space them so they are not crowded in the pan and don’t move them until they shrink or start to brown. Flip to brown the other side. This should take a total of about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Put all ingredients in a blender, including the browned mushrooms. Blend until smooth. About 5 minutes.
  3. Heat in a pan if needed. Pour over veggies, noodles, top of casserole, etc.

White Bean Queso Dip

  • Servings: makes about 2 cups
  • Print


  • 3 small white mushrooms
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 15oz can white beans, drained (I use butter beans)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tbsp miso paste (I use chickpea miso)
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 oz can green chilies
  • Mexican Hot Sauce
  • Cilantro
  • Avocado


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Slice the fresh jalapeno in half and if desired, remove the seeds. The seeds hold the majority of the heat. Put on a small baking sheet with the inside down, skin side up. Bake for 15 minutes.
  2. Clean and slice the mushrooms and sautee in medium pan on medium heat. If you have non-stick, no need for oil. Mushrooms give off their liquid so there should not be an issue. Space them so they are not crowded in the pan and don’t move them until they shrink or start to brown. Flip to brown the other side. This should take a total of about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Put all ingredients from white beans to salt in a blender, include the browned mushrooms. Blend until smooth and well incorporated. About 3-5 minutes.
  4. Remove jalapeno from the oven, the skin should be black in some spots. Trying to remove the skin as best as you can. I will put the pepper pieces in a ziplock bag and seal it to allow it to steam for a few minutes, and then peel the outside skin off. Chop the remaining roasted pepper.
  5. Pour cheese mixture into a small sauce pan. Add the canned green chilies and the chopped roasted jalapeno and heat through on medium low heat.
  6. Top with Mexican hot sauce, cilantro, and sliced avocado.

Dairy Free: Foods to Meet Calcium Needs

When you think of calcium, you think of dairy. When you think of dairy you think of calcium… or some delicious creamy sauce or cheese. But what if you are needing to be dairy free?

There are a lot of reasons why people have to be dairy free and why people choose to be dairy free from food allergies to intolerances, to the love of animals. But since dairy has been marketed to be the go-to for calcium, can you meet calcium needs without having dairy as part of your everyday diet?

Let’s take a look at why we need calcium, what dairy-free foods contain high amounts of calcium, and then let’s look at the recommended amount of calcium intake to see what that would look like throughout the day.

Why Do We Need Calcium?

BONE HEALTH: No doubt one of the most important reasons to regularly intake calcium is for our bone health. Calcium is stored in the bones and teeth. Interestingly, that storage takes place before your are about 30 years old. After that, what calcium you’ve been able to put in the “savings account” of your bones, is all you’ll be able to save. After 30 it’s maintaining what you have and trying not to deplete your savings. Regularly intaking calcium is essential.

HEART FUNCTION: Calcium is a key contributor to your heart contracting to pump blood. It’s one of the key minerals for blood pressure control.

NERVE FUNCTION: Like with the heart, being a muscle, calcium helps fire cell signals to contract muscles to get you moving.

Dairy Free Sources of Calcium

With any nutrient, being able to get calcium through the food we eat is the best way, unless prescribed by your doctor for one reason or another. So how can we meet calcium needs if we are dairy free?

    • with bones
    • If it is fortified with calcium, it should say it on the front, but you can always check the nutrition label to see the calcium content.
    • Not all orange juice will include calcium, but like with the other fortified products, it usually will say something on the front of the carton, or you can always check the nutrition label on the back.
    • made with calcium sulfate. Again, you can always check the nutrition label and ingredients.
    • kale, turnip greens, collard greens
  • FIGS
    • you can always check the back, but look at cereals like Total, Raisin Bran, Cherrios, etc. A lot of cereals now will have on average at least 10% or 130mg of calcium per serving.
    • Garbanzo beans, white beans, kidney beans, navy beans, etc.
    • Seeds are known to be little nutrient powerhouses. Some that are high in calcium would be poppy, sesame, celery, and chia seeds.

You can see without even the fortified foods listed, there is a wide variety of foods, no matter your “beet”, that you can find and add to meals to provide you with your calcium needs. But what does it look like throughout the day?

Calcium Needs and What It Looks Like Throughout the Day

Below is the chart of Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for calcium. RDA means that this is the average daily level of intake sufficient to meet nutrient requirements of nearly all (97%+) healthy individuals.

So numbers is great and all, but how does that translate into food? Let’s look at the higher end of the RDA, 1300mg of calcium, (which would be the needs of a growing teen) and what that would look like throughout the day for a dairy free person with a few options:

Photo by Deena Englard on Unsplash


380mg: Fortified Cereal with Fortified Plant Based Milk

  • 1 Serving Fortified Cereal, average 130mg
    • Calcium Fortified cereals can range from 10% to 100% RDA, for this we will take the lower since most will have about 130mg or 10%. It’s better to get your calcium throughout the day than all at once since your body can only absorb so much at a time.
  • 1 Cup Calcium Fortified Plant Based Milk, average 250mg

320mg: Scrambled eggs, sauteed broccoli, and a toasted English Muffin

  • 2 Eggs, 50 mg
  • 1 Cup Cooked Broccoli, 180mg
  • English Muffin enriched with Calcium Propionate, 102mg

335mg: Tofu scramble with Black Beans and Satueed Broccoli on the side

  • Tofu, 1 cup, 130mg
  • Cooked Black Beans, 1/2 cup, 25mg
  • 1 cup cooked Broccoli, 180mg

310mg: High Calcium Plant Based Yogurt topped with Fruit and Chia Seeds

  • High Calcium Plant Based Yogurt, average 130mg
    • Depends on the brand. Plant Based yogurts can range from 1% (13mg) calcium to 20% (260mg) calcium depending on the brand. Always read your labels.
    • Chia Seeds, 1 tbsp, 180mg
Photo by Deryn Macey on Unsplash


449mg: Large Kale and Spinach Salad with your choice of protein and dressing

  • Kale, 1 cup, 177mg
  • Spinach, 2 cups, 272mg
  • **If using something like 1 cup garbanzo beans (86mg) 3/4 cup extra firm tofu (380mg) as protein, calcium intake will increase.

446mg: Sandwich of choice including 1 cup spinach, side of high calcium plant based yogurt with fruit and chia seeds

  • Spinach, 1 cup, 136mg
  • High Calcium Plant Based Yogurt, average 130mg
    • Depends on the brand. Plant Based yogurts can range from 1% (13mg) calcium to 20% (260mg) calcium depending on the brand. Always read your labels.
    • Chia Seeds, 1 tbsp, 180mg

358-434mg: Canned Salmon Salad, like tuna salad, (or smashed garbanzo bean salad, different info below) on top of, or in a wrap with with fresh spinach. Include crackers as a side, carrot sticks, etc.

  • Canned Salmon, 1/2 alone, 162mg
  • Garbanzo Beans, 1 cup, 86mg
  • Spinach, 2 cups, 272mg
Photo by Brenda Godinez on Unsplash


  • 155mg: Edamame, 1 cup
  • 75mg: Raw Almonds, 1oz or 20-25 almonds
  • 102mg: English Muffin, Enriched with Calcium Propionate, Toasted with Jam
  • 234mg: Chia Seed Pudding using 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 130mg: High Calcium Plant Based Yogurt ***Read Your Labels!
Photo by Michele Krozser from Burst


426mg: Veggie Stir Fry including Broccoli & Bok Choy with choice of protein, topped with sesame seeds with/without brown rice

  • Broccoli, 2 cups, 180mg
  • Bok Choy, 1 cup cooked, 158mg
  • Sesame Seeds, 1 tbsp, 88mg
  • Adding Brown Rice, 1 cup, +20mg
  • **If using something like 1 cup garbanzo beans (86mg) 3/4 cup extra firm tofu (380mg) as protein, calcium intake will increase.

484mg: Salmon Burger with any sides, bun, toppings you want.

  • 1 Burger Patty using canned salmon, 484mg
  • Adding coleslaw or using spinach with the burger will add more.

431mg: White Bean and Kale Chili, depends on recipe, but usually will contain ground turkey. Vegetarian version, add more beans, with veggies, crackers, etc.

  • White Beans Cooked, 2 cups, 252mg
    • *Possibly more with the serving if using more beans for vegetarian version.
  • Kale Cooked, 1 cup, 179mg


A calcium rich diet that is dairy free is possible! To do it you do need to do a few things:

  • Educate yourself on the foods naturally rich in, fortified, or enriched with calcium.
  • ALWAYS read your labels, especially with plant based yogurts and know the brands you like and give you what you need. Still check the labels since they can change the formula and the nutrient aspect can change.
  • Spread out your calcium intake throughout the day if you can. Your body only absorbs so much at a time, so eating calcium rich foods throughout the day is best.

Keep finding you beet and I’ll see you tomorrow with a dairy-free cheese sauce and soon to come queso recipe.

SPOILER: The cheese sauce uses calcium-rich white beans. If you want to see both recipes in action, the YouTube video will be up tomorrow that will show both the cheese sauce and the queso! The queso recipe will be coming later this week to the blog.

Veggie Flatbread Pizza Topped with Arugula

If you’ve been following my on Instagram or have seen the latest video on YouTube, you’ll know that my husband and I would rather have pizza than a fancy restaurant meal any day and that includes our anniversary.

It just so happened our 10 year anniversary coincided with the beginning of shelter-in-place where we live so we were left to our own pizza making skills in 2020. I didn’t have much time to plan and I could only get whatever was available but it worked out!

I will tell you, there is nothing special about this pizza, and nothing that I came up with on my own. This recipe came about because of having to make our own anniversary pizzas and the fact that one of our favorite pizza places around here topped my veggie pizza with fresh arugula. That was first time I’d had pizza like that, and now I absolutely love fresh arugula slightly wilted on top of my pizza.

I’m sure there will be fancier pizza recipes to come, but this is to start it off! Enjoy!

Veggie Flatbread Pizza Topped with Arugula

  • Servings: Technically 3-4... but really 2ish
  • Print


  • 2 Flatbreads, already cooked
  • 1 lb. mozzarella, low moisture, part skim, sliced
  • 1 jar Pizza sauce, you won’t use the whole jar
  • 4 oz can black olives, sliced
  • 1/4 small red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 small green bell pepper, sliced
  • small handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 handfuls fresh baby arugula


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. The temperature might be different if there are instructions on the flatbread package.
  2. Place flat breads on baking sheet(s).
  3. Drizzle the pizza sauce over the flatbread and use the back of a spoon to spread it, leaving some room on the sides.
  4. Use 3-4 slices of the mozzarella for each flat bread.
  5. Sprinkle the black olives, red onion, bell pepper and cherry tomatoes.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes total. If using two pans, switch halfway through.
  7. Turn Broiler on and broil on high for 2 minutes until cheese starts to brown.
  8. Take out of oven and immediately sprinkle fresh arugula on top. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting and eating.

If you haven’t already, check out the video on this that went along with my blog post yesterday about nutrition tips when on vacation.

Nutrition Tips When On Vacation

Usually around this time of year we go on a vacation – whether that’s a short weekend trip or a full week so I thought that I’d share some nutrition tips when you’re on vacation.

I don’t know about ya’ll but I want to feel rested, restored, and rejuvenated after vacation. But when we go on vacation, we eat out more, our eating patterns change, and that can effect how we feel. So I thought I’d share some tips with ya’ll.

Photo by Joan Tran on Unsplash

Stay Hydrated

When I’m getting ready for the day before having my breakfast and coffee, I sip on water. I try to do this regularly, but especially on vacation.

When you are eating differently and, if you’re like me, eating foods that I love but my body has a hard time digesting, it’s important for you to stay hydrated for your digestive health so it can break down food properly and move things along. When eating differently it can cause constipation, and a simple thing to do to help prevent that is staying hydrated.

Another reason why this is important is because water helps with your energy. When dehydrated, one of the first signs you can have is fatigue. When cells are not properly hydrated, your ability to produce energy is reduce.


Fruits and Veggies

You might not want to think about what you are and are not eating, but keeping in mind having some sort of fruit or vegetable with every meal helps.

When eating out and eating heavier meals, having fruits and vegetables throughout the day helps because of fiber but also with keeping things lighter. When I have heavier meals back to back I feel more sluggish, so keeping it fresh and light, even with one of the meals, keeps me going.

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash


You don’t have to keep up with your normal workout routine when on vacation, but staying physically active during that time does help when you are back home and needing to get back to your usual grind.

Physical activity does help with energy level by increasing oxygen in the blood and endorphins. It also helps you sleep better at the end of the day for a deeper nights sleep.

Which brings us to my last point.

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Caffeine and Alcohol

Everyone reacts to caffeine and alcohol differently, so you know your own beat, but I thought I’d share a few things to keep in mind.

For people who have too much caffeine it can result in insomnia, feeling anxious, or digestive issues, especially when drinking coffee. Those are things you don’t want in your usual routine, and definitely not on vacation.

One thing to consider with alcohol is it’s effect on sleep. Alcohol does have a sedative effect and make people feel drowsy and can help someone fall asleep, but it reduces and interrupts our REM or deep sleep. Many that have an alcoholic drink a few hours before bed will find their sleep interrupted and wake up in the middle of the night.

Sleep is always an important factor to me, but especially on vacation, I want to feel rested and not exhausted and mentally foggy that can result from a lack of sleep.

Video Coming Tomorrow

Tomorrow I’ll have a video that talks about these points and a recipe for a pizza I made last year for our anniversary while sheltering in place!

Keep finding your beet and I’ll see ya’ll tomorrow!

3 Banana Free Protein Smoothies

Alright ya’ll! If you’ve been following me on Instagram or read my post yesterday, you know I hate bananas.

Don’t get me wrong – banana bread and banana pudding have a place in my heart, but pretty much anything else I can do without. I’ve never been one for super sweet fruits or vegetables for that matter. Even as a kid, peas and carrots were never my favorite.

With keeping with my blog post yesterday about “Find Your Beet” I thought I’d share a few recipes that are my beat when it comes to smoothies.

My Beat When It Comes to Smoothies

  • Sugar: My body does not do well with a lot of sugar all at once and I tire out quickly, so having a smoothie means also including protein, fiber, and fats and not filling the whole blender with only fruits.
  • Vegetarian & Dairy Free: I am vegetarian and allergic to dairy, so the protein I use is a pea protein powder
  • Dislike: Banana… no banana
  • Like: Thick Smoothies!

The point for these smoothies was to create a thick creamy simple smoothie without bananas. Ya’ll ready? Oh and FYI – drinks/smoothies are not as easy as you might think to photograph come to find out.

#1 Blueberry Crumble Smoothie

This recipe name came about when my husband tried my purple smoothie and said it tasted like a blueberry muffin! YUM! Plus I love any excuse to have oats. Anytime I make oatmeal, I add almond extract. You can substitute this out or use vanilla, but if you have almond extract – it’s so worth it! WARNING: This will leave your tongue blue.

Blueberry Crumble Muffin

  • Servings: 1 smoothie (24oz)
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  • 1 scoop vanilla protein
  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 cup old fashion oats
  • 1 cup frozen peaches
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


  1. Put all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
  2. NOTE: Sometimes I find it easier when I blend all ingredients other than the protein mix first before adding it in.
  3. NOTE: If you are using fresh fruits, then adding a cup of ice will be needed, and lessening the almond milk.

#2 Peanut Butter Mocha Smoothie

I love me some peanut butter in my smoothies. There’s just something about it. And being able to blend my coffee with my breakfast some mornings is needed on busy days.

Peanut Butter Mocha Smoothie

  • Servings: 1 smoothie (24oz)
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  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup frozen zucchini
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup cold coffee
  • 1 cup almond milk


  1. Put all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
  2. NOTE: Sometimes I find it easier when I blend all ingredients other than the protein mix first before adding it in.
  3. NOTE: If you are using fresh fruits, then adding a cup of ice will be needed, and lessening the almond milk.

#3 Island Chia Smoothie

In the summer, pineapple and mango are a part of my diet. So this one I usually will make in the spring and summer time, but with frozen fruits it can be made any time of year. Although I find using fresh pineapple and mango with this one you can taste the fruit better.

Island Smoothie

  • Servings: 1 smoothie (24oz)
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  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1-2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk


  1. Put all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
  2. NOTE: Sometimes I find it easier when I blend all ingredients other than the protein mix first before adding it in.
  3. NOTE: If you are using fresh fruits, then adding a cup of ice will be needed, and lessening the almond milk.

That’s it! These are my beat when it comes to smoothies. As always, keep finding your beet and I’ll talk to ya’ll soon!

“Find Your Beet”

I thought it was time to actually have a post about “Find Your Beet” since I’ve made this my catch phrase for this blog and now You Tube Channel. Speaking of, if you haven’t already, check out my YouTube Channel!

Okay! So onto finding your own beat when it comes to your nutrition needs. Finding your beat is something unique to everyone since there is no size fits all when it comes to each individual diet.

Although we need to same macro nutrients (carbs, protein, and fats) and micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals), how we individually choose to get those nutrients is our own unique beat. Let’s look a few things to understand why this is important to know.


Something that is “healthy” for one person might not be healthy for another. Take a few examples of what I mean.

  1. Corn is a whole grain. Pop corn is a whole grain. Therefore popcorn is a “healthy” snack. However, for someone with a corn allergy, popcorn is not a healthy choice for them to snack on.
  2. Bananas are a healthy snack. It’s easily digested and has a good amount of potassium for muscle health and recovery. However, for someone who is diabetic, bananas are one of the fruits that are high-glycemic, and they would need to limit the amount of high-glycemic foods, like bananas, that they have. Depending on the specific day, it might actually be an unhealthy choice.

Get where I’m going here? The food industry has put a healthy label on specific foods and they market it as if those foods are the healthiest choice. In reality, most, if not all, foods have a healthy component to them. Yes including “junk” food.

But what matters is not the specific individual foods you’re eating, but it’s more of the balance of what you are eating that is important. Are you eating a variety of foods? Are you getting enough fiber? Are you being balance in the things you are eating? Those are more of the important factors, not being worried about eating an apple everyday.


I wanted to take a minute and talk about likes and dislikes. For instance bananas – they are high in potassium but I can’t stand them. However, potatoes are actually higher in potassium than bananas, and I love potatoes. So no lack of potassium here!

Now I’m not saying that if you hate a whole food group to exclude it out of your diet. The most common being vegetables. Vegetables are important to include in your diet for fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. However, you can choose the vegetables that you like and not have to eat kale on the regular because it’s “healthy”. So is broccoli, peas, and carrots.

You still need a variety of food groups in your diet to be balanced. But what you choose within those food groups is up to you and your body with how it reacts to it.


On the other hand, if you really love a food but it doesn’t really love you back would that be “your beet”? Let’s take a minute and talk about a common food that people love but find they can not have too much – dairy, specifically cheese.

A lot of people have an allergy to dairy, but even if you don’t have an allergy, some have found that they don’t feel well after having cheese on the regular.

Just because you like something, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily part of your everyday beat. I love cheese, but I am allergic to it. However, I know I can have some here and there when it’s worth it, but when it’s not, I don’t have it.

Eating foods that make you feel better, sleep better, have more energy, etc. that’s part of finding your beat, and that might mean lessening the foods you love and putting them in it’s proper perspective so you can work with your body to see how it functions the best.

“Finding Your Beet”

Let’s recap for a minute about what I mean about finding your beat and the factors that are involved.

  • Food Allergies
  • “Healthy” and the foods that are truly healthy for your body
  • Dislikes doesn’t mean not eating whole food groups, but choosing the foods within those groups you enjoy eating
  • Likes doesn’t mean because you like it that you don’t have to be balanced with those foods

Finding your beat can be a challenge especially when you don’t want to admit that the foods you love really are not the best to have on the regular. Or you’re not sure if you are allergic to certain things. But it’s well worth finding out.

Bodies Are Constantly Changing

The last point I did want to mention is that our bodies are constantly changing so if something was working, but you find it’s not working anymore, then changing your beat might be necessary. Allergies can pop up, or you might find certain foods that never effected you, are now do so.

Although it can be frustrating, it’s good to remember that you know you. Although your body might be changing and you might need to get used to new habits, it’s all for the better when you are able to work with your body’s needs and not against it. And as always, you can contact me.

Keep finding your beet and I’ll talk to ya’ll soon!

Jalapeno Chickpea Flour Muffins

Baking with chickpea flour was different. I’ve used chickpea flour before to make a soy-free/egg-free scramble egg recipe and I’ve used it with other flours, but this was new.

This recipe started because I wanted to have a savory bread/muffin alternative to corn bread since I’m allergic to corn. And I really do like the corn/jalapeno version. And the sweet corn bread, and the plain hot water corn bread… It’s so good! But I wanted to see if I could make an alternative.

Now I’m not saying that this tastes like corn bread. Because it’s not corn. But it can be a good alternative as another savory option on the side of something like chili. Or you can have a savory breakfast muffin with coffee like I did one morning.

One thing I do have to say, this recipe is the second version. The reason why this was an interesting recipe to create was because the chickpea flour is SO DRY. I though the eggs would be enough but the 1/4 cup oil is necessary. Now I’m sure you can substitute out the oil for something else, but since I usually use something like apple sauce or pumpkin as an oil substitute when I feel like it, I just didn’t think those would work very well.

Anyway – here’s a corn-free savory muffin/bread.

Jalapeno Chickpea Flour Muffins

  • Servings: 9-12 muffins depending on size
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  • 1 jalapeno, halved and deseeded
  • 2 cups chickpea or garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 green onions, about 1/2 cup, sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Roast the jalapeno in the oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Once cooled, dice up the pepper.
  3. Once jalapeno is out, reduce the heat to 375.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix together the chickpea flour, baking powder, baking soda, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and salt.
  5. Add in the 2 eggs, milk and oil. Mix together.
  6. Fold in the diced roasted jalapeno and green onion.
  7. In a greased muffin tin, fill the muffin tin almost full.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.