Importance of Taking a Mental Day

Today, I’m talking about the importance of taking what I like to call a “mental day”.

To me, a mental day is a time in which you consciously decide to do whatever it is that your soul needs. Maybe it’s letting go of your lengthy to-do list and getting out to do something fun, or maybe it’s not giving two sh*ts and staying in your pj’s all day. Whatever it is, it’s a time for you to truly get in touch with how you’re feeling and to figure out what you need at the moment.

I’m talking about this now because last weekend I found myself needing to cool it! I was up late the night before working on a project and woke up just as stressed (and emotional) as when I went to bed. I felt super overwhelmed with the different directions that my life is going in (most very exciting) and felt like everything needed to stop in time or I was going to give up on it all. Knowing that this is something I didn’t truly want, I took it upon myself to acknowledge that I am in control and that I need to take a breather. So, I roused myself out of bed and packed my day bag to head off to my mom’s for the day. Not only was some conversational therapy going to help, but it was a beautiful sunny day and she has a quiet and relaxing backyard to de-stress in.

With me, I packed some lunch, coloring pens and a coloring book (yes, adults can color too – click here to learn more about the tremendous benefits), my Kindle, and some warmer clothes to lay out on the lounge chair.

This day turned out to be exactly what I needed: I colored outside, gardened (picking weeds is extremely relaxing for me) and found myself taking a 2-hour nap. I hardly ever take naps and was so zonked out on this one; it was another reminder that my body and spirit needed to slow down. I went back home later in the afternoon, made a healthy and simple dinner and watched a movie solo. The day ended and I found myself in a much better mental and emotional spirit. I felt refreshed and was able to truly LET GO. I let go of any responsibility and pressure I had on myself, any project deadlines, and any negative thoughts. Sometimes, we can get so caught up in our day-to-day lives that it is imperative we give ourselves a mental day to continue the drive and feel new again!

Some of my other favorite de-stressors are:
Essential oils (Elizabeth VanBuren and Doterra are my favorites)
Diffuser (check my Equipment page)
Exercise
Dance
Hunting for sea glass
Affirmations
Taking a bath

So, the next time you’re feeling like you’re at your limits, try blocking out a day (or even half) to simply let go and enjoy what makes you happy. You’re body, mind, and soul will surely thank you.

Peacefully, Kylie ♥

The Food Mermaid

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What I Ate In a Week – Birthday and Easter 2017

Today, I’m talking about what I ate in a week. Last week was my birthday and the tail end of it was also Easter so there was sure to be some good eatin!

I wanted to keep my birthday pretty mellow this year, but when it comes to food I was still all about it. Even on a somewhat restricted diet, I am a major foodie, and often times with a major sweet tooth (working on that).

It’s been a tradition in my family for as long as I can remember to choose the menu for your birthday dinner and celebrate with close family. Whatever your heart desires. For me, burgers with ALL the fixings seems to be a popular choice so naturally, that’s what I picked this year. My 27th birthday menu was: turkey burgers spiced with red bell pepper, green onions, parsley and sage, homemade fries (sweet and regular), homemade coleslaw, and all my favorite burger toppings: bacon (obvies), goat cheese, avo, lettuce, tomato, pepperoncini, mayo, and mustard. Dang, they were good! They were served atop an open-faced Udi’s Gluten-Free Bagel and still were the type of burger you can barely wrap your mouth around. Unfortunately, I was too excited to eat this thing that I didn’t snap a photo but hopefully, you’re imagining that initial mouth-watering wide-mouth bite into one of these. The coleslaw was the perfect addition and I also like to add some to the towering burger.

My boyfriend got me this Copper Chef Crisper as one of his gifts and we used it that night for our homemade fries. I have to say these fries come out pretty perfect; crispy, and nicely fried without being too oily. The directions say no oil is required but I did very lightly coat the fries before baking. A little healthy fat can’t hurt, right?! Two thumbs up for this product, the only downside is that it’s not that big so two batches may be required.

For dessert, we had my luscious homemade banana cream pie. I’ve had this for a birthday dessert in the past before I was dairy/gluten-free, so I wanted to try recreating it Kylie-friendly this year and it seriously came out perfectly! I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free Pie Crust, Danielle Walker’s Against all Grain pie filling and ganache layer from her Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie, and a layer of TruWhip for the topping with sliced bananas. YUM YUM YUM!

Banana Cream Pie

Another birthday tradition in my life is at work. In the week of your birthday, our company purchases a birthday cake from Gayle’s Bakery to celebrate and enjoy during our weekly staff meeting. Unfortunately, because of my food restrictions, a cake from Gayle’s (let alone most bakeries) just isn’t possible, so I took it upon myself to bring my own birthday treat! Sometimes you just gotta make it yourself, and I’m ok with that! So, I made these delicious and fudgy brownies to share with everyone. They were a major hit.

Gluten-free Dairy-free Brownies

One day I hope to be able to branch out to other restaurants but for now, thank you to The Hideout for allowing me to trust you and for providing good quality and safe food for me to enjoy (it also helps to know the owners). My boyfriend surprised me with a dinner at The Hideout with some friends and it was a good time enjoying each other’s company, good food, and drinks!

For Easter, we had a small gathering at my mom’s, dyed eggs and enjoyed some yummy homemade snacks. I haven’t dyed eggs in years but I enjoy art so it brought back childhood memories in a creative way. Let’s just say dying eggs is a lot harder than I remember it being, there were many dropped and cracked eggs while trying to perfectly balance those freshly painted slick buggers. For snacks, I made guacamole deviled eggs and my mom/sister made a delicious roasted beet, goat feta and pumpkin seeds spinach salad…the perfect Easter brunch to wrap up my lovely birthday week.

Guac deviled eggs

We also whipped up this fruit tart pictured below using an extra pie crust from my birthday and some fresh fruits. We use Tofutti Cream Cheese to make the filling dairy free and a melted ganache layer over the crust to satisfy my chocolate love. Simple and easy!

Easter Celebration

My moral of this story is that yes, you can, even on a restricted diet, enjoy all the yumminess your birthday should be about. It may just have to be done slightly different, and that’s ok! We all deserve a birthday week full of delicious and nourishing food that makes your body and SOUL happy! Eat right. Feel good. Be happy.

Cheers, Kylie ♥

The Food Mermaid

Gluten-free French Toast

Birthday french toast not discussed above 🙂

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Cool Herbed Potato Salad

I made this cool herbed potato salad earlier in the week and it’s definitely giving me all the summer feels now that a spring storm rolled in for the weekend. Big damper on birthday plans. My birthday is coming up in a few days and I’m hoping to celebrate with some sunshine. In the meantime, this herbed potato salad and blended strawberry margarita spread will brighten up my mood.

cool herbed potato salad

This potato salad is super simple, gluten and dairy-free, and doesn’t include onions or garlic making it Low FODMAP friendly! I particularly love the whole-grain mustard I used in this recipe. I found Beaufor Whole-Grain Mustard at a local health-food store and love its limited ingredient list…water, mustard seeds, vinegar, and salt. Seriously can’t get much better than that! If you’re not making it on your own, a good rule of thumb is to always look for products that have a short list of ingredients (5 or less), and especially ones that you can pronounce ;). You definitely want to stay away from things that sound like they could be a chemical. Chances are, they aren’t natural and the product is over-processed.

You can make this recipe as a meal-prep item, as I did this week, or as an easy make-ahead side to bring along to your next barbecue. There were leftovers from our barbecue on Monday so I used some as a topper for my salad at work the next few days. Flavorful and added the perfect weight to an otherwise light salad.

Hope wherever you are there’s some sunshine brightening up your weekend! If not, you’ll just have to make this cool herbed potato salad with a side of blended strawberry margarita! (Margarita recipe coming soon- and I’ll have to give my boyfriend credit for that one).

xoxo, Kylie ♥

The Food Mermaid

 

Cool Herbed Potato Salad
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Ingredients

  • 1 – 1 ½ lb’s ruby red potatoes
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 4 scallions, green part only, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain, mustard, I used Beaufor Whole Grain Mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Himalayan sea salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Rinse and chop potatoes in half, quarters if large.
  2. Place in steamer over medium high heat and cook until just fork tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool.
  4. While potatoes are cooling chop the parsley and scallions. In a small bowl combine the greens with the olive oil, mustard, apple cider vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Whisk until combined.
  5. Transfer the cooled potatoes into a medium serving bowl and pour the sauce over them. Lightly fold to coat all potatoes and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
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http://www.foodmermaid.com/dairy-free-cool-herbed-potato-salad/

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Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Low FODMAP Pancakes

I love pancakes, but finding a non-traditional version that doesn’t flop is a whole other story. That’s why I made these gluten-free, dairy-free, Low FODMAP pancakes with healthy fat alternatives and added fiber. I don’t eat pancakes often, as they are usually pretty heavy on my gut, but I am also a huge proponent of balance in the diet. Everyone deserves a pancake every once in a while and this recipe is the perfect indulgent satisfaction while keeping digestive health happy!I used ground chia and flax seeds as the added fiber to this recipe. I have just recently started integrating chia seeds into my diet. With a history of food allergy/sensitivity reactions, I am the biggest weeny when it comes to trying new foods, so I’m pretty proud of myself for putting my big girl pants on for this one. Flax and chia seeds are excellent sources of fiber that can so easily be added to your diet for optimal fiber intake. Grind them in a coffee grinder and keep in a jar to sprinkle on yogurt, veggies, smoothies, etc. You honestly won’t even know they are there and your gut will thank you for keeping things movin’! Flax and chia are also healthy fats, specifically omega-3’s, that we want in our diet instead of unhealthy fats such as hydrogenated vegetable oils and margarine.

Ghee is my magic wonder is this recipe that allows for it to be dairy-free. You could also substitute the ghee with coconut oil. They are both excellent healthy fat alternatives but do have quite different flavor palates. Coconut oil has a bold flavor, while ghee is more smooth and salty. Ghee is also a fairly new addition to my diet and I can’t believe how long I was holding myself out on it. It is basically liquid gold for someone who doesn’t quite tolerate dairy but still wants butter in their life. Seriously, who wouldn’t?!

Even if you aren’t gluten-free you could swap for regular flour and still get the healthy fats and fiber in this recipe. If you haven’t tried ghee before, here are a few of my favorite brands: 4th and Heart Grass-Fed Ghee Butter, Organic Valley Ghee.

Note: Not all gluten-free flours are the same, so I highly encourage you to use Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 Baking flour in this recipe. It is the most versatile and interchangeable gluten-free flour I have found yet.

HAPPY Monday! Maybe you’ll just need to make these pancakes for your next meal (even if it’s dinner).

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Low FODMAP Pancakes
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten-free flour, Bob's Red Mill 1-1 Baking Flour
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons ground flax and chia seeds, mixed
  • 1 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 large egg
  • Extra ghee for greasing pan

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and ground seeds. Whisk together until incorporated.
  2. In a small saucepan, add the ghee and heat on low until melted, remove from heat.
  3. Add the milk, melted ghee, and egg to dry mix. Whisk until incorporated and batter is smooth.
  4. Lightly grease a large skillet, or cast iron griddle, over medium heat. Pour batter by a ladle, depending on how big you want them, and cook for about 4 minutes on both sides, or until lightly browned and crisp on the outside.
  5. Topping options: coconut oil, fruit, homemade yogurt, organic maple syrup, pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, flaxseeds, cacao nibs, etc.
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http://www.foodmermaid.com/gluten-free-dairy-free-low-fodmap-pancakes/

Xo, The Food Mermaid

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Better for You Cheese Sauce

I recently made this cheese sauce in hopes of making a kylie-friendly bacon mac-n-cheese dish. I was super excited with the way it came out, so it’s one to be shared with everyone! I don’t do dairy but have recently incorporated aged goat cheddar into my diet. So no, this recipe is not entirely dairy-free, but other than that I use coconut milk as the base. For those of you who are new to aged cheese and may not always tolerate dairy, I encourage you to give it a try, particularly aged cheese from goats milk. There are smaller fat globules in goats milk and little to no lactose in truly aged cheeses, both making this type of cheese easier to digest; a major plus for the sensitive folks like me! A few of my favorite brands of this cheese are Redwood Hill Farm, Sierra Nevada Cheese Company, and Meyenberg’s Aged Valley Goat Cheddar. They all have a sharp creamy flavor, satisfy those cravings, and can usually be found at any health food store. My local store go-to’s are New Leaf, Whole Foods, Staff of Life, and Aptos Natural Foods.

In addition to this sauce being tailored towards those with lactose sensitivity, some of the other “better for you” benefits are:

  • Coconut milk as an excellent dairy-free alternative serves as a great source of healthy fats and vitamin and minerals (iron, copper, etc).
  • Turmeric (which gives it that orange cheddar color we all love) with its anti-inflammatory properties. (See my Chicken Soup with Lemon and Turmeric post for more benefits of turmeric).
  • Aged cheeses also contain higher amounts of essential nutrients such as calcium, Vit A and protein, just to name a few.

I just want to say how much I love being able to make this sauce. Being able to re-incorporate food like this into my diet has brought back a certain amount of happiness surrounding food that I lost nearly 4 years ago. I have always loved cheese and grew up eating cheese and butter sandwiches in my school pack lunches (yes, you better believe it- cheese AND butter!). I was known for saying, “Mom, I’m hungry, I want cheese!” in my sweet toddler voice. This is something I will always remember and am proud of the European roots I have. There is a love for anything bread, cheese, and sweet that runs deep in my family’s blood. Learning how to continue enjoying these pleasures with a restricted diet has turned into a passion of mine. Healthy food can still taste amazing and you shouldn’t have to go through life with bored and unsatisfied taste buds. Not to mention the satisfaction that food brings to your mental happiness as well.

One note on the preparation of this sauce is that it did turn out pretty thin, but when mixed with a pasta dish the consistency is just fine. I mixed it in gluten free pasta noodles with bacon, topped with crumbled gluten free chips and popped under the broiler until crispy….so. much. yum!! For leftovers, I was pleasantly surprised by how it does thicken up nicely after being refrigerated and can easily be reheated. Use this sauce as a nacho cheese sauce, a dip, or for mac n cheese like I did. I also added green chiles to it, which can easily be left out.

I hope you enjoy my better for you cheese sauce! Leave a comment below to share how you prepared it!

Fun fact: I recently found out that cheese is addictive. The casein (also a common source of allergy in dairy products) causes an opioid-like effect on the brain and keeps you wanting more. So, it turns out there is more to blame than the yum factor of cheese- it’s scientific to why we can’t resist that gooey goodness!

Let’s keep cheesin’!

The Food Mermaid,

Kylie xo

Serves 4

Better for You Cheese Sauce
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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, can also use ghee
  • 3 scallions, green part only, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free flour, I use Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 Baking Flour
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, more to taste if you like it spicy
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 ½ -2 cups grated Aged Goat Cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil, or ghee, on medium low heat. Add scallions and lightly sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the flour and whisk into a paste.
  2. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Add spices and salt pepper.
  3. Cook for 10 minutes on medium low heat to slightly thicken the sauce. It's ok if it doesn't completely thicken.
  4. Add the sauce and cheese into your blender and blend on medium-high for about 30 seconds.
  5. Serving suggestion: In an individual sized (oven safe) serving dish, pour sauce over cooked gluten free noodles with chopped bacon pieces and green chiles. Top with crumbled chips, and place under broiler until lightly crisped, watch carefully to not burn.
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http://www.foodmermaid.com/better-cheese-sauce/

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Gluten-Free Low FODMAP Chicken Enchiladas

Last week I posted a photo of some enchiladas I made for the workweek. I couldn’t wait to try them and turns out they were so awesome that I want to share the recipe with you. They were even a hit with my gluten-eating-Tillamook Cheese-loving boyfriend. Major props to me!

I have always been a big enchilada fan (Manuel’s beef enchiladas?!…YUM!) and when my diet changed, it was definitely one of the things I often craved with a vengeance. So, in my tireless search to find recipes that could even in the slightest way bring me back to foods that I used to love, I came across a Low FODMAP enchilada sauce by Fodmap Living (recipe see here: http://fodmapliving.com/sample-page/sauces-and-soups/fodmap-free-enchilada-sauce/). It took me a while to try it, but I recently gave it a shot with my own tweaks and came up with some enchiladas that will be sure to be had again! It’s one of those splurge meals that leaves you and your gut happy and full.

One thing I love about this dish, in addition to its taste, is how great it is for easy meals while you’re in a busy workweek. I have to say I’m not the best meal prepper and I often make my meals as I get hungry, which means there’s a lot of cooking (and dishes) that goes on in our house. However, when it comes to work days I have gotten into a pretty good habit of my “Meal-Prep Mondays”. Monday is my day off ahead of 3 busy days at work, so any help I can get to make lunches/dinners easier I take! It takes a huge load off of when it comes time to figure out what to have for lunch the night before. Add a side salad or veggie to an enchilada on the go and you’ve got the perfect, easy, delicious lunch for the next 3-4 days.

You could even make this vegetarian if you wanted to. The enchilada filling is open to creative thinking, and this is what I came up with…I hope you enjoy it!

Yields 6 single serving enchiladas

Gluten-Free Low FODMAP Chicken Enchiladas

1 hrTotal Time

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Ingredients

    Enchilada Sauce:
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp gluten free flour, I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 Baking Flour (this is my favorite gluten free flour blend)
  • 1 tsp potato starch
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 cups Low FODMAP chicken broth, I usually make my own but in a pinch Kitchen Witch’s broths are my go-to)
  • 10 oz tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 6 scallions, green part only, finely diced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Filling:
  • 2-3 chicken breasts, boiled
  • 1 medium avocado, cubed
  • 1 4 oz can Hatch Mild (or Hot) Green Chiles, marked Gluten Free
  • 2 scallions, green part only, finely diced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6 Gluten-free tortillas, I used Food for Life Brown Rice Gluten Free Tortillas (could also use corn tortillas if you tolerate corn)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese, I used a combination of Redwood Hill Farm, Aged Goat Cheddar and Sierra Nevada Cheese Company Raw Goat Cheddar.

Instructions

  1. Add the chicken breasts to a medium pot filled with water. Heat on high until boil, then turn heat down to medium to simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 25-30 minutes.
  2. While chicken is cooking, begin making the sauce. Whisk the potato starch and water in a small bowl until dissolved. In a large pan, heat the oil on medium high heat.
  3. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until flour is thoroughly combined with the oil. Cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the paprika, cayenne, and scallions. Stir to combine and cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the chicken broth, tomato paste, oregano, cumin, and salt and stir.
  6. Bring the sauce mixture to a boil on medium high heat. Slowly add the mixed potato starch and water to the sauce, stirring constantly. Cook for 1 minute.
  7. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes to thicken the sauce. Stir often to avoid any stick to the pan. Note: I noticed with the broth I used, the sauce didn’t need a lot of thickening, so I didn’t cook for an additional 15 minutes. The thicker it gets the less easy it is to cover entire enchiladas once assembled.
  8. Once chicken is done remove from pot and place on cutting board. Cool for 5 minutes and begin to shred using 2 forks.
  9. Now its time to assemble! Heat a new pan on low with 1 tsp olive oil. Lightly heat each tortilla before assembling (this make them slightly more malleable).
  10. In a medium bowl combine the shredded chicken, green chiles, avocado, scallions, and cilantro. Mix to combine.
  11. Fill each tortilla with about ½ cup of filling mixture. Before rolling up tortilla, ladle a small amount of sauce on the filling (about a tbsp.). Roll tortilla and place in a baking dish. Don’t worry about folding in the ends of the tortillas. Continue filling each tortilla until baking dish is full.
  12. Ladle sauce on the enchiladas and make sure all parts of the tortillas are evenly covered with sauce. Add shredded cheese to top. My recipe calls for 2 cups of shredded cheese but this is where you can add as little or as much as you want, no wrong amount.
  13. Place in oven at 350°F for 20-25 minutes.
  14. Serve as is or keep in fridge for 4-5 days.
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http://www.foodmermaid.com/gluten-free-chicken-enchiladas/

 

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Chicken Soup with Lemon and Turmeric

It’s been so cold lately and I’m also getting over a nasty cold so a warm and nourishing soup sounded like the perfect addition to my kitchen this afternoon. Luckily, I had prepped well for it and made my homemade chicken broth in the crockpot yesterday. Store-bought
 chicken broth is generally loaded with sodium and nearly always has onion and garlic in it, which are a big no-no for any low FODMAP follower. HINT: Onion and garlic are two of the top IBS offenders and I believe are often way over-used in the culinary world. Food can still have so many flavors without these two common spices, and I’ll show you how!

Although making your own broth adds about a day to your meal prepping, its taste and healing nutritional value is completely worth it!! Broths are not only easy to digest but are extremely healing to the gut or any virus/illness you’re body is fighting off. Plus, if you do it right, you get to keep all the chicken meat – it’s a win-win and extremely cost effective. Side note, I was super excited to find a local company who offer a few bone stocks without garlic or onion and will be featuring them and my own recipe in a different post coming soon.

Anyway, back to my soup endeavor today…I decided to go for my Chicken Soup with Turmeric and Lemon. I was craving some potent turmeric to help shake this cold and love a refreshing lemony soup. It’s a great combination of hot and cool aromas. This soup does provide a hefty serving of turmeric, but isn’t too powerful on your taste buds. It really blends nicely and even provides a tint of yellow reminding me of good old fashioned chicken noodle soup. If you’re not a huge turmeric fan I think you could still give this recipe a shot and you’d be pleasantly surprised. You could even start with 1-2 teaspoons of turmeric and add more as you become more comfortable with the flavors- your body will be sure to thank you. Turmeric is an extremely effective anti-inflammatory and has been known to help heal the gut and promote the growth of good bacteria.

The combination of the homemade broth, turmeric, and lemon make this soup a very nourishing and healing concoction I’m sure you’ll be pleased with. Enjoy!

Xo, Kylie

Note: My recipe is adapted from Kate Scarlata’s Low FODMAP Chicken and Rice Soup with Turmeric seen here http://blog.katescarlata.com/2016/01/28/low-fodmap-chicken-and-rice-soup-with-turmeric/.

Chicken Rice Soup with Lemon and Turmeric
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Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced and diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp dried rosemary
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4-6 scallions, green part only, thinly sliced
  • 8 cups homemade chicken broth
  • 1-2 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped into cubes
  • 1 cup cooked rice

Instructions

  1. In a large stockpot heat the olive oil under low-medium heat. Add the carrots, zucchini, thyme, and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Sautee for about 5 minutes, then add scallions and sauté for additional 5 minutes, or until veggies are slightly browned.
  2. Add the broth, turmeric and cumin to stockpot. Turn heat up to medium high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. While the soup is simmering, whisk the egg and lemon juice in a small bowl. Ladle about 1 cup of soup into egg mixture and whisk. Slowly stir egg mixture back into soup and simmer for additional 5 minutes for egg to cook. Note: you don’t want to be able to see egg chunks.
  4. Add the rice and chicken meat to soup and continuing to simmer for 5 more minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Store in fridge for up to 4 days.
  6. Note: you can easily omit the egg. I like how it adds a little thickness to it.
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http://www.foodmermaid.com/chicken-rice-soup-lemon-turmeric/

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New Intentions for 2017!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Yesterday was the first day of 2017 and I found myself unintentionally repeating the phrase, “it’s a new year, a new YOU!”. So, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on what I have been up to and a glimpse of my efforts for a new me in 2017! It starts with the question of, “what to do in life?”…

When it came to figuring out what I wanted to do in life it was anything but a clear-cut answer. As a young girl, I thought I wanted to follow in my dad’s footsteps and be a “business woman”. In high school and college, I continued to search for the answer and bounced around from nutrition to nursing and back to business administration. Each time I changed my mind (and also changed my major) I always thought this was it! Funny thing is, I never really understood what I would truly enjoy in life. I would spend countless hours researching careers thinking this could be interesting enough to do for the rest of my life. There wasn’t a lot of substance to my ideas, which is probably why I was so indecisive. Little did I know that my mission in this world really started to unfold when I became sick. It was the Fall of 2012 when my health journey started to have a larger impact in my life (read more by visiting my About page). Looking back now, I may have had to see through the pain and the years of stomach discomfort, but sometimes life isn’t always handed to you in the peachy rose-kissed way we hope for. Sometimes there are a lot of uncomfortable situations we have to go through to get us to where we are meant to be. That is why I believe that keeping an open mind and heart is essential to seeing that silver lining. Trust me, I didn’t always have this mentality but as I have grown into who I am today I am able to see this experience for what is was and turn it into something more beautiful. For me, it is a passion-driven career that has such a deep personal connection in my life. It is what has consumed my life for the past 4+ years and taught me to grow and make my body healthy again. Which is why I am happy to announce myself as your future badass Nutrition Consultant! Toward the end of 2016, I decided to enroll in Bauman College’s Nutrition Consultant Program. I knew going back into the field of nutrition what I wanted to focus on and at the same time, avoid. I researched many programs and eventually determined that Bauman College was the best of its kind, offering a comprehensive holistic, and whole-food based curriculum with an emphasis on preventing and restoring chronic illnesses. Another huge plus is that I am able to complete the program 100% in the comforts of my own home. I had my life settled here in Aptos and wasn’t interested in traveling for school so having the option of completing the program locally was perfect for me.

I am excited for what this New Year has in store and to further my knowledge and expertise in the field of holistic nutrition. May all of you have a happy, healthy, and successful year! Set your intentions, work for it, and you’ll be surprised by what becomes reality.

Xo,
Kylie, The Food Mermaid

 

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Coconut Milk Latte

Coffee Addiction

To me, coffee is one of the sweet pleasures in life that can easily be taken for granted. As I ventured through my health journey one of my bizarre symptoms was increased reactions to foods I used to eat on a no-problem-regular-basis. Crazy burpy gas reaction to butter, thick mucousy throat from sugary foods, and fullness in ears and intensified stomachaches from coffee. I was already on such a restricted diet that coffee was one of the foods I just didn’t want to give up. Nope. Wasn’t gonna do it!

There’s something so alienating about being on a restricted diet that waking up to a creamy, frothy, sweet coffee drink is something I fought so hard to keep in my daily routine. I don’t even think it was the caffeine I needed to survive the day but just the thought my stubborn self wanted to hold on to. To much avail and after continually feeling funky after each coffee trial I succumbed to my coffee addiction and stopped drinking it. It was a huge mental block I had to get over. I tried tea, black tea with honey and rice milk and then starting making my own coconut milk…it just wasn’t the same.

Finally, it dawned on me that maybe in fact it was the caffeine that my body developed a sensitivity to and thought to try decaf. So I did, and I think it’s my new thing! Below is my version of a non-dairy Latte. Something about my mornings are a little sweeter now- hope you enjoy too!

xo, Kylie

Coconut Milk Latte
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Ingredients

  • North Coast Coffee Roasting Co. Decaf French Roast
  • Filtered water
  • Homemade coconut milk, can also use So Delicious CoconutMilk Coffee Creamer
  • Honey, or maple syrup for Low Fodmap, to taste

Instructions

  1. Boil enough water to fill 32 oz. french press
  2. Coarsely grind North Coast Roasting Co. Decaf French Roast Decaf
  3. Add 3-5 tablespoons of ground coffee to french press
  4. Pour hot water into french press and mix well. Let steep for 4-5 minutes
  5. Evenly press plunger all the way to the bottom
  6. Pour coffee into coffee mug with desired coconut milk and honey, or maple syrup, to taste
  7. Add contents to Vitamix and blend on medium for 30 seconds. Use caution as contents will be hot
  8. Pour drink back into coffee mug and enjoy. There should be a nice coffee froth layer on top
  9. NOTE: Love pumpkin spice season just as much as me?!… Add a dash of pumpkin spice to your ground coffee and voila, non-dairy PSL!
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My First Blog Post!

Hi there!

If you haven’t already done so, head over to my About Me page to learn more about my story. For more on what you can expect from Food Mermaid, here are 5 things I will be sharing:

  1. Healthy recipes- all of my recipes are categorized by the following diets recommended for a wide variety of digestive health ailments:
    • Gluten free
    • Grain free
    • Sugar free
    • Low Fodmap
    • SCD (Specific Carb Diet)
    • Paleo

Note: these are not the only diets designed for digestive health, but rather those that I have had experience with.

  1. Restorative lifestyle tips.
  2. Support, encouragement, motivation…you name it, I’m bringing it all to the table! I’ve been there done that and I am here to cheer you on!
  3. Snapshot into my life. Healing is a journey, and I’m still on it!
  4. My favorite equipment that I use in my kitchen and home. I cook basically every single meal so it’s only fitting that I have started to collect quite the chef’s kitchen.

Suffering from a chronic illness or trying to follow a new diet can be extremely hard and alienating. My hope is that Food Mermaid can serve as a go-to resource for you and your health journey.

Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to sharing and connecting more with you!

xoxo, the Food Mermaid

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