3 Fall Salad Recipes that Don't Suck

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#foodisourfriend fall tower garden salad recipes #saladsdontsuck

Most of you probably think that because summer is almost gone, that salad season is over. But most of you think wrong. You're going to need some new salads as we transition into fall. The good thing is your girl knows how to make salads that don't suck. 

And I'd like to start by saying how damn good it feels to eat foods that I grew myself. It's something to be really proud of. If you would've asked me where I got my food a few years ago, I wouldn't have said I was growing it myself! 

It's not like I grow all my own food, but I grow enough to survive and share with others, which feels good, even when I travel. There really is food for everyone on this planet. 

Lucky for me, my LA garden has been thriving in the heat. Everything on vines is loving the LA heat, and I'm grateful for it. As it starts to cool down everywhere else, it'll still be hot in LA so I know my salad garden will still be good through Fall. 

My LA is going through it's own transition period too. I'm moving my garden to a healthier environment so it can really thrive through the cooler months, and for some fun upcoming events. 

Our seasonal seed swaps are upon us, and I'm excited to share our best tips for the colder months! Make sure you're part of our healthy cooking club for the deets first. Click here to start your own salad garden.

I recently made these 3 salads to entertain. Something for every mood I was feeling, because why the hell not? Some light, some heavy and all with different flavors and texture. Varied is how I love my salads. Enjoy!

3 Fall Salad Recipes that Don't Suck

#foodisourfriend easy rainbow chop salad recipe.png

Eat the Rainbow Chop Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups your fave greens
  • 1 handful of fresh arugula
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • fresh raspberries
  • 1 whole avocado
  • cranberries
  • sunflower seeds
  • 2 lemons 
  • salt, pepper to taste

Non-Cooking Directions

  1. Slice and chop ingredients in even chunks. 
  2. In a big bowl, layer ingredients in this order: greens, arugula, peppers, raspberries, avocado, cranberries and sunflower seeds. Squeeze lemon juice over salad. Add salt, black pepper to your liking. Enjoy!
#foodisourfriend mediterranean pasta salad recipe.png

Mediterranean-ish Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • penne pasta (any naturally gluten -free pasta you like)
  • red onion
  • 1 handful fresh parsley
  • 2 handfuls fresh arugula
  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes
  • asiago cheese
  • 3 limes
  • salt, pepper to taste

Easy Cooking Directions

  1. Boil salted water in a big pot and add pasta. Cook until soft, usually 7-10 minutes.
  2. Drain pasta, and add to a big bowl. Cut limes and add to pasta. 
  3. Rough slice and chop lettuces, herbs and veggies and add to pasta. 
  4. Top pasta salad with just sliced Asiago cheese. 
  5. Add more limes, and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
#foodisourfriend watermelon cucumber tower garden salad salads recipe.png

Sweet, Tangy Watermelon Cucumber Garden Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 big watermelon
  • 2 cucumbers of choice
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup fresh arugula
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach
  • balsamic vinegar
  • 1 handful fresh parsley
  • asiago cheese

Easy Directions

  1. Cut 1 inch thick squares of watermelon. Add to a big bowl. 
  2. Cut cucumber into thick slices.  Add to bowlski.
  3. Add just enough vinegar to coat produce. 
  4. Rough chop fresh herbs and add to salad. 
  5. Roughly chop big chunks of Asiago cheese. Enjoy!

 

Our seasonal seed swaps are upon us, and I'm excited to share our best tips for the colder months! Make sure you're part of our healthy cooking club for the deets first.

 

Learn to connect to real food again by starting to grow some of your favorite, fresh food. Click here to start your own salad garden. 

 

3 Easy Ways to Keep Bugs from Ruining Your Garden

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#foodisourfriend blog organic pest control.png

I'll never forget the first time I ever saw a bug in my fresh food..

It was when I was in college, and I was prepping study sandwiches with friends. I opened my lettuce spring mix and right before I wash the lettuce and I see this small, almost transparent little bug on a leaf. I freaked the fuck out, and then quickly realized that buying organic foods meant there was not only NO chemicals in the food, but that the bugs would like it too. DUH!

Since then, I've made it my mission to better understand what's in my food so I could make better choices for me and others. I also quickly learned that buying organic also meant:

  •  I'd have to eat the fresh foods more often, or at a faster rate (no chemical sprays means foods will actually rot/decompose/go bad. That's what food is supposed to do)
  • maybe I'd start growing food indoors to save some moola in school (which eventually happened!)
  • somehow that I'd have to make peace with bugs when food is grown outside.

It's all ironic because I learned a lot more about food after school on the field. While the local, farm-to-table movement was becoming trendy in LA and other places in the States, I was on literal Utah Farm land on farms learning how foods is made, transported and used in the market and dining industry.

All my LA friends would make fun of me because I had no idea what I was in for, but I'm grateful for the experiences every day. I've met the most caring people in the growing field. People who not only take pride in their craft, but also people who care and want to help others.

Then when I met people at Tower Garden, I feel in love with gardens. They are the most beautiful type of gardens to me, and not just because of their design.  Because water scarcity is a real issue, because our soil is constantly being depleted of nutrients, and because food is most needed during natural disasters, these towers are the solution.

I really wish more food growers would talk about bugs. If they're not, it's most likely they're not growing organically.

3 Easy Ways to Keep Bugs from Ruining Your Garden

1. Chill TF out- there are simple solutions everywhere. Green houses, bug nets, flowers, food sprays... I know for many, growing is more than a hobby, and is production (money), but there will always be a simple solution to help when things go awry. The reality is everyone wants good food, including the bugs. Accept truly being one with nature by accepting and working with this fact. It's your attitude about this, not the bugs that'll wreck the garden.

2. Keep a close eye (and hands) on bugs - I've visited some pretty ass gardens and farms. So pretty you almost are afraid to touch anything! Tons of anal growers out there who scare you, but the most important thing I learned about these pretty gardens is the hands on maintenance. No sprays, just hands on top of the crops to keep bugs out. We respect garden rules but most importantly life, so we encourage moving bugs around instead of killing them.

3. Use food sprays - When I grow indoors, bugs aren't really an issue but outdoors gardens will attract all kinds of bugs from ants to aphids to caterpillars to start. Some bugs can help (pollinators and pest eaters), and some are just annoying, depending on what kind of grower you are. Personally, I use garlic water, chili water or mint water on my leaves, stems and vines as a natural organic insect repellant.

 

Remember that every grow is unique to the area you live in, so the bugs will be too. Each plant is different and will attract bugs to it. It's best to get familiar with which plants will help or destroy your crop. Click here for more solutions.

Stay tuned for our Fall events, including our upcoming Fall seed swaps!

 

New Health, Food & Gardening Resources

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#foodisourfriend #growhealthyfood growing young minds with food gardens.png

New Health, Food & Gardening Resources

As you may know, most of our learning and knowledge acquired begins with the basics in the home.  Summer 2017 is almost gone and with the kids going back to school, you can trust we've got the whole family covered with fun extracurricular activities to keep your family growing, thriving, and active this Fall.

 

Back to School Fun Garden Lessons - Thanks to the support from our friends at Tower Garden, we have brand new classroom garden lesson plans for all grades pre-K all the way to the big kids in college and beyond. Print some from our health resources page and email us at info @ foodisourfriend.com for plans tailored for your specific age group. 

#foodisourfriend local field trips.png

#FOODISOURFRIEND Field Trips - connect to real food again by taking your school classroom or group of friends on a fun field trip day on a local organic farm, animal farm or sanctuary, or a cheese tour with your local cheesemakers. Spend email us at info @foodisourfriend.com or call us at 801.602.9604 for a quote. 

#foodisourfriend #teamfood healthy living revolution cookbook.png

Healthy Living Revolution Cookbook - We are excited to be part of a Healthy Living Revolution with a supportive group of community members who are taking their health back and are inspiring others to do the same.  Start with the Healthy Living Revolution cookbook and join us on our next Shred 10 group challenge. Email or call us at 801.602.9604 to join. 

Healthy & Wellness Community Support FB Groups - Connect online and offline with community members who share healthier eating, fitness and gardening interests with you. Click here to join our Facebook Community Support Groups including Grow Healthy Food, Hike for Health, Bike the Beach, Healthy & Happy Kids, #foodisourfriend healthy cooking club.

#foodisourfriend Tower Garden recipe cookbook.png

Salad in a Jar Community Parties - Get together with your friends and prepare salads in jars for the week! Everyone brings some mason jars and a salad topping…tons of fun and very helpful in meal planning! Check our Events calendar for upcoming gatherings. 

Tower to Table Garden Cookbook - Here you can find a bunch of yummy recipes you can easily create from your personal garden or from a local neighbors bounty. Click here for the cookbook. 

 

#foodisourfriend hurricane harvey - how to help

We also want to express our condolences and support to those who are being directly affected by Hurricane Harvey. Our immediate family is thankfully ok in TX, but we can't say for others, so here are a few ways you can help to those who need us now. Thank you for being such a supportive community of people. Above is a flyer shared for our local LA folks (thanks Nalgona Positivity Pride for sharing!)

Fresh Seasonal Jams 3 Ways + How To Choose Good for You Sugars

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"There is nothing like family to move you. In success and failure. We live and breathe for our family, and would do anything for them. Literally. Even fail. So every little success is amplified. It's hard to say, but no matter what happens we have accomplished something by making this effort" - Liz Butcher, Butcher's Bunches Handcrafted Preserves.

 

Local Lovin': Kenneth & Liz Butcher from Butcher's Bunches 

From the moment I had my first taste and after hearing her story, I fell in love with Liz Butcher's fresh fruit jams. Nothing motivates us more to help people than starting with those in our own families.

Liz gets it too. Liz, a local food maker in Utah, started her company to support her own and her son's, Kenneth well-being. There are tons of jam and jelly companies out there, but few are produced the way Butcher's Bunches is. Made with lots of love, and no added sugars, dyes or artificial sweeteners, she makes jams that kids and adults can feel good about. 

Personally, I'm obsessed with their Mint- Lemonade, Berrylicious, the Balsamic Glaze and the Guava (and I find it hard to like Guava anything, but this jam is so BOMB!). Everything has a good kick, and it's all from real foods and spices. NO FAKE stuff! Thank you, Liz, Kenneth and the whole Bunches fam.

#foodisourfriend recipe - butchers bunches slc utah

Of all the fads that get under my skin, it would be the no-carb, no-sugar and sugar-free craze that does it the most. The entire fad stems from a basic misunderstanding in food, something we can all relate to in this country. It's all mess and it's hard to find a place to start but here goes...

It's impossible to Sustain Sugar-Free

According to some in the health field, I probably "shouldn't" be telling you this, but...

It's natural for our bodies to ask for sugar. And we need sugar. 

When we eat any kinds of foods, foods will be converted into blood sugars necessary to feed our brains, our muscles and the majority of the cells in our bodies. There's really no "escaping it" and there's no reason to be scared of sugar like the food industry want us to be.

But because we have diseases like diabetes that are heavily affected by too much sugar in the blood, we blame sugars when the real issue in diseases like diabetes is insulin resistance. (Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas that allows our bodies to absorb sugar, also known as glucose from foods). Insulin helps keeps our blood sugar level from getting too high, and yes, the sugars we eat affect how much insulin our bodies pump out.

Whether you go for a meaty, meat-free, gluten-free and/or mostly vegan diet, your body will raise its blood sugars. The trick is in keeping blood sugars in control and within a healthy range.

So what kind of sugars are ok?

From a marketing perspective, food companies will take out real sugar in packaged foods and replace it with other sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, cyclamates, shit we can't pronounce, etc... to claim it's "sugar-free" and because it's cheaper to produce than real sugar. Let's be real. Food production is mostly about the money, not our health. These artificial sweeteners are addictive, over-excite and kill our brain cells and have been linked to diseases like cancer, obesity, and autism among tons of others. 

Like I mentioned before, if we're focusing on a plant-based diet or eating more veggies for the most part, then even the veggies we eat will raise our blood sugar. And we need it, so make sure the foods you eat are good quality. Whether they are starchy or not, once veggies are digested and absorbed, it will affect your blood sugar levels. Yes, veggies will raise our blood sugar, but will also deliver fiber (which helps stabilize sugar levels), water and a slew of other nutrients. 

Feel good knowing you can get good for you sugars from fresh veggies, fresh low-sugar fruits, dried fruits, nuts, legumes, and grains like rice. Just make sure they're in their most natural states. Nothing packaged unless you can trust the company that packaged it for you. I wish more health educators and nutritionists would teach this to their clients. It would save us all a lot of headache to understand these nutrition basics. 

Low sugar fruits include green apples, berries, kiwis, lemons, limes, kumquats, pomegranates, and grapefruit.

What sugars you can enjoy: stevia, coconut nectar, raw honey, dates, and from spices like ginger, clove, and cinnamon.  

What sugars to avoid: the refined, totally processed junk like high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, aspartame, sucrose, lactose, malt syrup, fruit juice, cane juice, any white sugar, Splenda, and Agave (I know it's natural, but it raises blood sugars too fast, creating an inflammatory response.) Eat these sparingly or not at all if you're controlling your sugars!

How to Pick Foods with Good Quality Sugars

1. Go natural - Eat natural foods like fruits and veggies first. These are the best foods because of the fiber and other nutrients. Fiber helps normalize blood sugar levels. Antioxidants in fruit help reduce inflammation.

2. Buy local- there are tons of local food purveyors that don't add added sugars to their products. One of my favorites is Butcher's Bunches. The company started from a mother's desire to not feed her son any foods with added sugars or artificial sweeteners because of autism and developmental delays. Nothing but all fruit preserves and they are BOMB! 

3. Read your labels- if you're going get something canned or bottled, make sure you read the ingredient list and understand everything in it. Don't recognize an ingredient? Google that ish up! 

 

3 Natural Sugar Recipes You Can Make with Fresh Fruit Jams & Preserves

As much as I wanted to share a bunch of chocolate recipes (chocolate is probably my fave way to eat sugar), I wanted to keep these recipes close to fruit as possible because let's be honest... Fruit is nature's best candy! And there's lots of good we can do with it.

#foodisourfriend summer yogurt - butcher's bunches recipe

No Bake Guava Yogurt Dessert Recipe

Ingredients

Easy No Bake Directions

  1. Pour 1 cup of yogurt into a bowl.
  2. Drop in Butcher's Bunches Jam in Guava.
  3. Add berries, basil, and coconut flakes and mix! Enjoy!
#foodisourfriend quick oatmeal recipe- butcher's bunches jam recipes

Quick Oatmeal Sweetened with Fresh Jam Recipe

Ingredients

Easy Cooking Directions

  1. Add oats to boiling water and let quick on medium high for 4 minutes (steel cut oats will take a little longer).
  2. When you start to see holes in the oatmeal, you know it's ready. Add coconut oil and a splash of milk. 
  3. Serve in a bowl and drop in 2  tablespoon of Butcher's Bunches Jam in Guava. 
  4. Add cinnamon spice to your liking. Enjoy!

 

#foodisourfriend Butchers Bunches 3 recipes

Adult Peanut Butter & Jam Sammy Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 slices of your fave bread slices. 
  • Any of your fave Butcher's Bunches Berrylicious Jam 
  • fresh grinded peanut butter (almond butter if you're feeling fancy)
  • 1/2 apple sliced thinly

Easy Sandwich Assembly Directions

  1. Take a slice of bread and spread it with Butcher's Bunches jam generously.
  2. Take the opposite slice and spread with peanut butter. 
  3. Marry the two by adding thinly sliced pieces of apple. 
  4. Cut the sammy in half. Skip cutting the crust off and just enjoy!
#foodisourfriend butcher's bunches jams recipes

We are big fans of Liz and Kenneth and their giving hearts. Not only do they make amazing jams, they support our efforts in connecting more of the local community to good quality food. They are supports of this healthy food blog and events like Hashtag Lunchbag SLC. We're super grateful for your hard work and thank you for keeping out tummies healthy and happy!

Follow Liz and Kenneth on Instagram, Facebook and pick up their jams online or in retailers like Harmons, Smith's in Utah. 

How to Help Your Kids Easily Eat 30 Fruits + Veggies Every Day with the Child Health Study

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#foodisourfriend collaboration with Juice Plus' Child Health Study

Here at IM Nutrition, our mission has always been to help each other connect to real foods again. We do it living the #foodisourfriend philosophy, keeping up a food positive zone.

Whether it's through meal plans, Shred 10 Challenges, live food or online events, we want you to feel less intimidated about eating healthier for you and your families. It's really all good when you can get back to basics and enjoy simple things like clean water and clean food. 

Did you know that it's now recommended that we get about 13-15 servings of fruits and veggies daily? Raise your hand if you're consuming that daily...

We know it's tough. Demanding schedules, too many tasks to track, not enough time... We deal with all that too, so we get it. Sometimes I'll meal prep and forget my food at home or just not take the time to eat it. But we thankfully have found a solution for those times. 

Our mission is to connect ourselves and others to clean, real foods again. You can see we support our local gardeners, farmers and food purveyors every time we post a healthier recipe. We can't help but connect with other mission-driven companies too, so we're proud of the work we've done in collaboration with companies like Juice Plus, Tower Garden and Tower Farm to help people connect to real, GMO-FREE, whole foods again.

About the Child Health Study

The Children’s Health Study was created to help fuel our kids with more than the daily recommended fruits and vegetables children needed while also establishing good health habits in their life.

The Child Health study highlights that:

  • Childhood is the best time to establish good health and nutritional habits.   
  • Good nutrition is the foundation of health, inspiring and inspires other healthy lifestyle choices. 
  •  Parental involvement is key in getting children to adopt good health habits. 

Over 150,000 families have participated in the study since 1999, with parents noting a significant difference in how they and their children eat, feel and live when eating more fruits and veggies with the help of Juice Plus+. 

#foodisourfriend and juice plus child health study

We're so committed to helping you eat better that we only partner with other people and companies that know how to serve people the real, good quality food. No fake foods ever! We don't play like that.  

Juice Plus is a food company that sells better than organic, GMO-free and vine-ripened fruits and veggies, and they have an active Child Health Study to help children aged 4 to college eat more than the recommended servings of fruits and veggies. 

Because of The Child Health Study, more children are eating better, drinking more water, seeing the doctor less, missing school less, and more getting the nutrients they need to develop. It's an amazing study, and for everyone who buys a meal plan, joins us on Shred 10 or installs a garden with us, they can sponsor a kid to eat healthy for free.  

#foodisourfriend with juice plus child health study

How to Help Your Kids Easily Eat 30 Fruits + Veggies Every Day

There are 3 ways to help sponsor a student for the next few school years: 

  1. You can enroll in the Child Health Study by Clicking here. 
  2. Email your Child's Full name, DOB along with your info to info @ foodisourfriend.com
  3. Call our office at 801-602-9604 for a free Child Healthy Study consultation.
#foodisourfriend IM Nutrition + Juice Plus Child Health Study Enrollment

 

How to Help Enroll More Students in the Child Health Study this Year

Even if you do not have children of your own, I'm sure you have a huge heart! You can still sponsor a kid or even a whole classrooms! 

  1. Email us your Name, Phone #, your organization name along with a brief description of who you'd like to help and why, and we'll get back to you with an execution plan. Send to info @ foodisourfriend.com
  2. Call our office at 801-602-9604 for a free Child Healthy Study consultation.
  3. You can enroll your neighbors, your students, or kids in your family in the Child Health Study by Clicking here. 

Major Mistakes Beginning Gardeners Commit + How to Fix Them

beginner gardening mistakes & solutions #foodisourfriend by IM Nutrition - tower garden - healthy living revolution

They say gardening is a a huge lesson in humility and that couldn't be farther from the truth. For 2 years and some change I've been growing and helping others grow their own food and I still learn new things every day. 

There's more than hope for you if you think you're just not meant for growing food. I was once that person. I'm just reeeally good at killing shit and fucking it up in the kitchen. I've been cooking since I'm 7. While I've always had a connection to food with cooking, I can admit it's a way different ball game with food production. Still, growing is one of the most beautiful things I've ever done. I've made plenty mistakes so do learn from them! 

Whether you're a beginner or someone who wants to start again, you'll soon realize there's a huge learning curve. Just be patient and respect the process. Our climate is constantly changing with plants and bugs evolving to stay alive (dude, we have robotic bees now! Eeeek!). While I'm a vertical gardener myself (I grow everything using methods like aeroponics to hyrdroponics to some traditionally in soil), I know there's plenty of mistakes all of us gardeners make that we could all use help with. And in reality, we are all beginners in something, so this works for you too even if you think you're a G. ;)

natural pest control in tower garden - #foodisourfriend #growhealthyfood blog by IM Nutrition

 

Major Mistakes Gardeners Commit + How to Fix Them

 

Mistake #1: You are not putting in the work.  Growing doesn't have to be difficult, but I can understand how it can be. Nature knows what to do and will just act up if it wants to, plus it's time consuming. So we can't blame people from buying groceries. But we also know it's safer, more nutritious and more rewarding when we grow food ourselves.

Solution: Put the effort. Start with a plant. Start with a mini-herb garden. Just start. #growhealthyfood

Mistake #2: You're not watering enough. Every summer is hot, but this HOT summer year is killer. Some plants are heat resistant and don't need much, but plants need more water during this time. Same way we get thirsty, the plants do too!

Solution: Water your plants regularly! Take the night to water your plants or put them on timers if you're a low maintenance gardener like me.

Mistake #3: You are not checking the water. For low maintenance gardeners like those who garden with Tower Gardens, this is step is super important to do once weekly. Even more important in extreme weather, like this HOT summer. Plants get hot and thirsty, and take up much more water than usual. You might notice some leaves looking super sad? That's heat stress. 

Solution: Check your water reservoir at least 2x weekly or when plants are looking less perky than usual. If the water is hot, feel free to throw in frozen water bottles in. 

Mistake #4 You're not eating your food. I see this over and over again, and it truly surprises me. If your greens and herbs are looking droopy like Cousin It's hair, then you need to harvest and eat (or donate!) your food asap. I've seen gardens start to bolt (flower and die off) when not given the attention needed. 

Solution: Harvest your food. If you're growing too much food, then it's a good idea to freeze the food or share with your neighbors. Harvesting from your garden stimulates your garden to keep producing, which also keeps it from bolting. 

Mistake #5 You're pruning too much. I've been guilty of over-trimming and pruning a little too much. This is a good idea in theory, but you've got to know a little more than the average Joe about your plants before you start trimming off essential leaves and stems that support your plants. 

Solution: Do some research on pruning or hit up your local gardener before going cut crazy. It will save your plants and flowers ready to give your fruits!

Mistake #6 You're not keeping the right bugs on and off. This one is majorly subjective. You can be one with nature but do you want nature eating up your foods? That's your call and I know different growers have different opinions. 

Solution: Check to see which bugs are beneficial to your garden and which ones are not. Anything you wouldn't want to ingest yourself should be off limits to your garden or farm. I don't use pesticides, but I suggest using lemon or garlic water as a natural bug spray and keeping a close watch on your food. 

Green Garden Wellness Pop-Up Lounge + Grow Kits for Pre-Order Now

#growhealthyfood green garden wellness pop-up lounge by IM Nutrition

Introducing the Green Garden Wellness Pop-Up Lounge  

Food + art + technology = health of a community. That's what we believe!

We are super excited to introduce a new eating experience at our Green Garden Wellness Pop-Up Lounge.

The Green Garden Wellness Lounge is our way of inspiring healthy living around the world and is part of a new initative, #growhealthyfood.

Everything in the wellness lounge has life, is edible and is there to help you live well, making it a unique environment to hang out, learn and shop in. The Green Garden Wellness Pop-Up Lounge combines food + art + technonology to inspire eating well. At the lounge, you will also enjoy:

  • Complimentary massages
  • Hydrating Summer H2O Infusions
  • Vertical Tower Garden Installations
  • Seeds & Sprouts Sensory Station
  • Living Garden Wall + Photobooth

We've also got wellness activities, garden giveaways and more! 


The lounge is green in every sense. You'll jump inside a food forest that's a NO-Waste Zone. Everything is made with food, plants and eco-friendly, re- and -up cycable materials. Art installations aim to inspire you to have fun and be creative with growing food at home. We believe sustainability starts with one simple change and can be done now with what you have.

Don't wait for Monday. Don't wait until you're "ready." You have the power to change anything in your life today if you just try.

The Garden Lounge is going to pop-up everywhere from Utah to California to New York to Texas and beyond the states. Join our healthy cooking club to be the first updated. And if we're in your hometown, please do join us! 

If you're in Utah now, you can pre-order your Aeroponic Grow Kits for pick up at one of our upcoming local events below:

utah aeroponics grow kits, seedlings #growhealthyfood #foodisourfriend IM Nutrition

Plant a Seed, Grow a Community at Happy Valley Farmers Market, Utah August 4 & 11, 2017.

Once you purchase your mini-grow kit,  follow our event on Facebook for updates: https://www.facebook.com/events/1907545562841697

glow in dark garden bowling #growhealthyfood fundraiser

Glow in the Dark Garden Bowling at Happy Valley Farmers Market, Utah

Once you purchase your grow kit,  follow our event on Facebook for updates:

https://www.facebook.com/events/161157791119700

We're Starting a Non-Profit! How You Can Help

It's crazy where life can take you. When I graduated from school I just thought I wanted to be a nutritionist. But thankfully work and life have taken me to some exciting places to explore good food...

... locally on beautiful organic farms...

... all around some cool community gardens...

... Costa Rica...

...Peru...

You get the point. As I travel, I find out more and more the work we all need to do home here in the States. We're making great strides! On a local level, Ron Finley's Gangsta Garden has been saved! Nationally, more people get to keep their health insurance...

But we've still got a lot of work to do. We still don't all have health insurance and even worse, we're all still not given a human right that's denied here to all: access to clean, safe affordable food!

The fact that we have to label and hashtag everything with the words organic, gluten-free, nut-free, grass-fed, GMO-free is absurd and can attest to the facts of our health crisis here in the States. Our health is for sale and our wellness is marketed in a way that is all about the money. We want to help fix this part of the system.

Never in my life did I think my career would take me here, where I've been preparing for a new project- a non-profit. Giving back is built in our business model (for every health program you join in, you can sponsor a kid to eat healthy through The Child Study. ) already but we want to do MORE. 

I want to help more kids, more moms and more of you that have that drive to make a difference. This non-profit will focus on growing better than organic food for everyone from kids to moms to budding entrepreneurs that want to start a business in food, health and/or wellness. I know the struggles of not having those basic needs for me personally and for work, and I want to connect you with them. 

How You Can Help

- follow our new initiative #growhealthyfood and share, repost what you like

- spread the word about your own good-doing and ours. Tag us #growhealthyfood, #foodisourfriend, #healthylivingrevolution.

- donate to our cause. Right now we are hosting pop-up events so you guys can come pick up your grow kits in Utah. Watch out for upcoming national and international events. 

Avocado Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing + 3 Health Lessons I learned from Papi

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#foodisourfriend recipe- avocado cilantro-lime salad dressing

It's funny to visit my Dad and see the way he's living right now. He is in law school, mind you the man is 60! He's literally #goals! We're trained to think people his age should slow down, but the man is not going to stop any time soon.

Visiting him in LA and trying to spend a couple hours on a busy week day is all I want since our schedules don't always sync.  "Papi, give me a night for family dinner. I'll work on the garden and fix you something nice." He squeezed me in between the gym and class, and I'm so grateful for it.

Because my Dad is one of those people that loves routine and is super disciplined, and I like to throw him curveballs. He needs a refreshing salad, but a different one. 

This is what I made my Papi for Father's Day. I made him a bottle before I left. 

All harvested from his own vertical garden and made with avocados from happy California trees. 

#growhealthyfood #foodisourfriend tower gardens los angeles

Latin American Ensalada with Cilantro Lime Dressing Recipe

Ingredients

  • gourmet lettuce
  • spinach
  • cabbage
  • a handful of cilantro (1/2 cup)
  • a handful of parsley (1/2 cup)
  • 5-10 limes
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 3-5 avocados
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup H2O
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil

Cooking Directions

...for the salad

  1. Boil water. Add quinoa + 1 pinch of salt. Cover until water absorbed, about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Chop lettuces, herbs and tomatoes harvest from your garden.
  3. Assemble bowl with lettuces, herbs, quinoa, avocado. 
  4. Lastly, add the dressing! Recipe below...

to make the dressing...

  1. Add 5 limes squeezed with pulp, the zest from those limes, 1 avocado, parsley and cilantro into a high-speed blender and keep pouring olive oil blending on medium-high until you get creamy consistency you like. More oil will make it creamier, more lime juice equals less viscous!
  2. Add salt and pepper at the end to your liking. Black pepper really highlights these flavors well. 

Everyone has a unique relationship with their Dad. Right now my Papi and I are on a friend level. We talk a few times a month, and I come to visit as much as I can. I felt so bad I couldn't be with him on Father's Day but the best thing about him is he doesn't take anything personal, and understands when I need to do my own thing. He's the reason I believe in having the best of life through hard work. Here are a few things I learned from the old man. 

3 Healthy Lessons I learned from my Dad

1. Do you - he taught me to not just be the best me, but to be grateful to be alive to work hard and be proud of that. No one will ever take care of you more than you, so put in the work.

2. Get fit - I've always been an athlete, so soccer and volleyball are what kept me fit all my life. After my knee injuries, I haven't moved my body the same but I'm back in the gym. Rehabbing. I do it because I want to, but my Dad did stress the importance of getting our sweat seshes on. Natural endorphins, oxygen to the brain and creativity all come a great workout. He gets up at 4 every day to get it in. I can only admire and wish I was as disciplined.

3. Work - This probably should've been the first, but seriously I don't know a man who works harder nor smarter. He says, "We all have the same 24 hours, but what we do with them is what separates the people who succeed and those who don't. So choose your choices wisely and learn from all my mistakes. Get the best grades possible. Ask Questions. Put in the work." 

My relationship with my Dad is always evolving, but I feel so blessed having him as a parent and friend. Because of him, I am strong, stubborn and always right. On paper, we can do it better than most, but most importantly, we just want to be well til the end. Happy Father's Day to all the Papas of the world, especialmente al mio!

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Seasonal Summer Water Infusion Recipes

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#foodisourfriend summer water infusion recipes

There's no denying that summer is already here! We can all really feel the heat outdoors! And what better way to cool off? Hydrating from within. Here are 15+ Non-boring ways to naturally flavor your water using seasonal fruits, veggies and herbs. Let me know which is your fave!

These seasonal infusions are inspired by my clients who are super excited they're able to grow tons of food in such a small amount of space via their aeroponic growing systems! They're so generous they let me harvest whenever I need a flavor kick in my water.

Learn more about growing better than organic food in your home for less than $15 a month: tinyurl.com/familiesgrowhealthyfood

Check out our summer 2017 schedule of health and wellness events.

#foodisourfriend recipe - summer water infusions - cucumber mint

Seasonal Summer Water Infusion Recipes

 

Simple Water Infusions

Use 1 ingredient to naturally flavor your water.

  • Bentonite Clay + H2O = detox clay H2O
  • Chia seeds + H2O = chia H2O (better than coffee for energy!)
  • Cucumber + H2O = Spa-ish Cucumber Water

Double Water Infusions

Use 2 ingredients to naturally flavor your water.

  • Watermelon + Chia H2O
  • Lemon + Chia H2O
  • Coconut H2O + Chia Seeds
  • Cucumber Basil
  • Cucumber Mint

 

Triple Water Infusions

Use 3 ingredients to naturally flavor your water.

  • Cucumber Watermelon Mint
  • Lemon Lime Basil
  • Orange Basil Thyme
  • Honey Cinnamon Cider Vinegar
  • Horchata (rice milk) + raw honey + chia seeds

 

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Summer 2017 Health & Wellness Events

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IM Nutrition #foodisourfriend Summer 2016 Health & Wellness Events

Summer 2017 Health & Wellness Events

Welcome to summer! We're excited to announce our new community support groups in addition to health & wellness events that bring our community offline and in touch with one another! Summer events will be added in real time so please check back with this page for more.

Click here for our Events Calendar

 

Downtown SLC Farmers Market Tour - June 17 Salt Lake City, UT

Summer Seed Swap UT - Orem, CA July 22, 2017

Hike for Health - Pioneer Day Sunset Hike Up Y Trail, Provo, UT July 24, 2017

Party in the Park - Wednesday, July 26 in Lehi, UT

Wellness Pop-Up Lounge August 2017 - Details TBA

 

#foodisourfriend health wellness community support facebook groups

Our Facebook community support groups were created to bring our community together online + offline and in touch with one another! Summer events will be added in real time so please check back with this page for more.

Club Cocina Sana | #foodisourfriend healthy cooking club | Grow Healthy Food

Healthy, Happy Kids Club | Hike for Health Utah | Hike for Health SoCal |

Be the first to get event buzz by sign up for the #foodisourfriend healthy cooking club.

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Easy, Quick Oatmeal Recipes that Impress

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If there's something that makes me feel like a champ, it's gotta be how quickly I can make a decadent smoothie. I've got healthy smoothies down to a science and they all taste BOMB- You know, the kind of smoothies that taste like milkshakes!

...but if I could choose others types of meal that help me feel better in the mornings it would be lazy, slow-cooked breakasts and brunches. The kind of breakfasts that might take longer than usual, might feel more indulgent than healthy, the kind that makes you feel comfortable.

Brunch for me varies on my mood but can include brekky tacos, chilaquiles, platanos con frijoles y queso, and sometimes in a blue moon they include a fancy protein bowl of oatmeal.

When I think of oatmeal, I have very special memories of my Mom making it plain on Sundays before church, with pan con mantequilla, toasted French bread with butter. With a house full of 5 kids, it was crazy on Sunday mornings. But I loved every minute of helping get my sisters dressed and breakfast with my family. 

We're all grown now so those family church days are looooong gone, and I don't eat oatmeal much because... well... it's usually boring. Right?

#foodisourfriend easy oatmeal recipe. oatmeal in a jar brunch breakfast recipes

These past few months, I've been experimenting with new fun fitness recipes, and I had to get oatmeal right. After all this time, I think it's time I repay Mama Bella with good oatmeal recipes of my own.

Here's one I've been sharing with my Mom, which is great for an easy Mother's Day brunch and is Shred 10 -friendly by the way! Join us for a Shred 10 Healthy Eating Open House if you're in the Salt Lake City, Utah area.

 

#foodisourfriend recipe - quick oatmeal in a jar, gluten free shred 10 recipe

Mother's Day Mango, Coconut & Berry Oatmeal Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups raw oatmeal
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • cinnamon spice
  • 1 scoop Complete Plant-Based Vanilla Protein
  • Shredded coconut
  • 1/2 ripe mango
  • a handful of your fave berries
  • 1 spoonful of chia seeds

 

Directions

  1. Add water, chia seeds and oats to a pot and bring to boil.
  2. Add cinnamon, coconut oil. Add more water (or your fave milk) to make oatmeal consistency you like.
  3. Wash and chop up fruit.
  4. After 4 minutes, oats are cooked-add to serving bowl.
  5. Add a generous spoonful of vanilla protein, mango, berries and shredded coconut flakes.
#foodisourfriend Shred 10 #shred10 Utah healthy eating open house

Drop in to sample good food, hear inspiring stories, and learn about the Shred 10 Challenge.

Shred 10 can help you develop healthier habits like eating more fruits + veggies, drinking more water, getting more sleep and exercise, and shredding whatever isn't helping you achieve goals in life anymore.

At the Shred 10 Open House, you will learn:
- The Easiest Way to Eat More Fruits + Veggies
- Tricks for Drinking More H2O, Getting More Sleep & Excercise
- How to Shred What No Longer Serves You

Join us for a Shred 10 Healthy Eating Open House if you're in the Salt Lake City, Utah area. RSVP here or by phone at 801.602.9604

 

I'd love to wish all you Moms a beautiful Mother's Day! Thank you for your never-ending love and support! Without you we are nothing!

 

Share in the comments: What's your fave brunch? What're doing for your Mama?

 

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Spring/Summer Healthy Food Events 2017

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Spring/Summer Healthy Food Events 2017

Happy, happy Spring!

Things have been pretty (good) crazy over here. I have been trying to stay put, but work has taken me to new and unfamiliar places. In the upcoming weeks, I cannot wait to share what I have cooking up!

For the last few months, we've been piloting several types of healthy eating events many of you have been asking for. We're finding that most of you love a mixture of week nights, weekends and some virtual events you can attend from the comfort of your home. Now that I've got a better feel for what you like, here are a few healthy food events what we have coming up locally in UT (California friends, stay tuned for pop-up events below!).

Here's what we have on the agenda so far:

#foodisourfriend utah salads in a jar meal prep party

Spring + Summer Salads in a Jar Thursday 5/11
Please RSVP here or by calling 801.602.9604

#foodisourfriend shred 10 healthy eating open house UTAH

Taste of Shred Healthy Eating Open House  Sat 5/13
 RSVP here or by phone 801.602.9604 

Taste of Shred healthy Eating Open House Thursday 5/18

RSVP here or by phone 801.602.9604

 

YMCA UT Healthy Kids Day 2017 #foodisourfriend pop-up health event

YMCA Utah's Healthy Kids Day 2017

May 20, 2017   1-4 pm

Taylorsville Family Community Center

4223 S. Atherton Drive,

Taylorsville UT 84123

RSVP here or by phone 801.602.9604

 

Mommy & Me Summer Series UT
RSVP by phone 801.602.9604

  • June 14 - Mommy & Me Activity: Healthy Summer Snacks 
  • June 21 - Adventure Walk 
  • July 12 - Summer Salads 
  • July 19 - Splash Pad in Pioneer Park Provo


Coming this summer...
Hike for Health in Salt Lake + Utah County, UT
Hike for Health in Los Angeles, CA
Tower to Table Gardening Events in Los Angeles, CA



We are working on tons more, so please check back as we add events for the rest of the season and upcoming summer. More on our Events page at www.foodisourfriend.com

See you and your buddies at an event soon? I look forward to it!

Much love, 

Isabel :)

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Tacos Dorados de Papa

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If you're new to this food blog, you might not know we do things way different than most food and health and wellness blogs. For starters, this blog is in Spanglish, because well... that's one of the many languages I speak ;) The older generations frown upon us kids speaking Spanglish, pero fue su culpa. Spanglish is what it is- an adaptation. Spanglish is when you mix English and Spanish, and if you don't know it, you're the one missing out. 

But the main reason I speak Spanglish here is because I want to teach English and Spanish to those that don't know these languages. And Spanglish is a good way for me to do that. I grew up in a Central American household (Mama is from Honduras, Pops is from El Salvador) but the truth is that if you grew up or are living in Los Angeles, you've got a lot of Mexican in you. 

The Mexican culture has heavy influence EVERYWHERE in Southern California, especially LA. It's in the hustle, the music, and obviously in the food. I won't claim to be an expert on this stat, but I don't know many people who will pass on Mexican. Whether it's a simple Elote con Queso or Caldo or Ceviche or Tacos- if it's made by hand and with love, we all know it's going to taste good. 

#foodisourfriend tacos dorados healthy mexican

Good taste comes from hands that love to serve

Our family is Central American by blood and Mexican by marriage so I grew up eating all kinds of bomb food south of the border. The Mexican side of our family loved food and serving so much they've been in the restaurant business since I can remember. 

My family are people who love. They love life. They love people. They love food and sharing that good time of eating with others. 

What I love the most about the Mexican culture is the importance of family no matter what. It's what most of us Latinos are known for. We always put family first- with is both beautiful and annoying. But it is what it is and we wouldn't want it any other way. 

 

Healthy Cooking Lessons from Mexican Cuisine

  1. Be confident in what you cook - we came from super poor homes but our families confidently always had rice, beans and tortillas for us to eat- 50 million ways. And we ate it con ganas!
  2. Do everything by hand - this means cook meals from scratch. Everyone can tell if you made it just now or from lata, the can. Go fresh! 
  3. Cook with love - always. Whether you put 3 or 30 minutes into the meal, make it with meaning, purpose and make it taste good. That's what we call love. You can always tell if someone has good intention cooking your food. That means nothing undercooked, burned or overly salted. 

I'll never forget my college years when I had that BYU professor tried to down-talk Latin food to me before I had to educate her. So you all know, most countries around the world make good food. I love my country, but we can't deny we fuck up our food supply.

When people immigrate to the States, they tend to gain weight. So let's not get it twisted. If you know true Mexican food, you know it's regional, fresh and mostly veggie and corn based before throwing in some meats. 

With Drinko de Mayo para la mayoria de gente celebrando, I wanted to make easy hard shell tacos that were atypical and Shred friendly. We know most of y'all are going to be making guac, so this will be good with it. These are vegetarian so they won't give you nasty burps when you mix it with your tragos. 

 

Receta Saludable: Tacos Dorados de Papa

Potato + Cheese Hard Tacos recipe

Ingredients

  • fresh corn tortillas
  • your fave potatoes
  • your fave queso (optional)
  • cilantro
  • onion
  • Chili Beak Chili Oil
  • 3 large red tomatoes 
  • grapeseed oil
  • 3 gloves garlic

Cooking Directions

  1. Slice potatoes and cheese into 1/4 inch wedges. Set aside.
  2. Bring enough oil to coat pan and bring to medium-high heat. 
  3. Add potatoes and flip when about to brown. Set aside. 
  4. When potatoes are done, prep oil for tortillas by adding more, cleaning it out.
  5. Add tortilla and then potato and cheese slices. Flip to make a half moon shape. Flip when just brown. 
  6. Leave on a napkin to soak excess oil.

To prep salsa...

  1. Add tomatoes, chopped onions, garlic and 2 tablespoons Chili beak oil in a blender and pulse. 
  2. Chop up onions, cilantro and add Mexican crema, sour cream (optional).
#foodisourfriend tacos dorados de papa healthy mexican recipe

Share in the comments: What's your fave Mexican? What's your fave Shred 10 recipe so far?

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    Zucchini Taquitos with Guacamole

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    These taquitos are some of my favorite foods to make because they're great with any type of filling. Having them with meat is an obvious choice, but mixing it up with a garden veggie mix is also a fun idea. 

    I made these for Day 10 lunch of the Shred 10 challenge, which means they can help keep you fit! It's all about the portion control, and using the right cooking methods. In this blog post, you will see that we use several different cooking methods-all of them healthy. 

    #foodisourfriend zucchini taquitos - IM Nutrition recipe - shred 10

    Zucchini Taquitoes with Guacamole Recipe

    Ingredients

    • 10 fresh corn tortillas
    • 2 zucchini squash
    • 1/2 onion 
    • 5 garlic cloves
    • handful of cilantro
    • 3 avocados
    • 2 limes
    • salt, pepper to taste
    • grapeseed or coconut oil
    shred 10 zucchini taquitos #foodisourfriend IM Nutrition

    Cooking Directions

    ...for taquitos

    1. Chop up onion, zucchini , cilantro and mince 3 garlic cloves. Add to a medium hot pan and steam with water or sautee in grapeseed oil. Once cooked, set veggies in a bowl to assemble taquitos.
    2. If tortillas are fresh, they should be easily rolled. Take a spoonful of zucchini mix and add to center of tortilla. 
    3. Roll tortilla up like you would an enchilada, and set aside on a plate. 
    4. Turn a skillet hot and add just enough oil to cover the bottom.
    5. Place taquito on oil with the most open part of the taco on the bottom to "seal" the taquito. Flip and let cook until browned or hard/crunchy. 

    ...for guacamole

    1. Scoop out avocados, cilantro and mince 2 garlic cloves and add to a bowl. 
    2. Squeeze the juice of limes and mix with a fork. 
    3. Add salt, black pepper to taste.  Add on top of or use to dip taquitos. Enjoy!

     

    *Bonus Fit Recipe

    Spiced Beef Taquitos with Easy Guacamole

    Ingredients

    • 10 fresh corn tortillas
    • 1 lbc organic ground beef
    • 1/2 lb mushrooms of choice
    • 1/2 onion 
    • 5 garlic cloves
    • handful of cilantro
    • 3 avocados
    • 2 limes
    • salt, pepper to taste
    • grapeseed oil, coconut oil or Chili Beak Chili Oil

    Cooking Directions

    1. Add ground beef to a medium hot skillet. 
    2. Chop up onion, cilantro, mushrooms and mince garlic cloves. Add to beef and steam with just enough water to coat skillet or sautee with Chili Beak Chili Oil (or the beef's natural oils). Once cooked, set aside in a bowl to assemble taquitos.
    3. If tortillas are fresh, they should be easily rolled. Take a spoonful of meat mix and add to center of tortilla. 
    4. Roll tortilla up like you would an enchilada, and set aside on a plate. 
    5. Turn a new skillet hot and add just enough oil to cover the bottom.
    6. Place taquito on oil with the most open part of the taco on the bottom to "seal" the taquito. Flip and let cook until browned or hard/crunchy. 
    7. Serve with fresh guac (see recipe above.) Enjoy!!

    *For frying, we use grapeseed and coconut oil because they retain their nutrition benefits with high cooking temperatures. If you don't like the coconut taste, use the refined coconut oil. 

    This recipe is perfect for Meatless Monday or for any vegetarian night! Enjoy!

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    Sopa de Frijoles con Carne de Res - Beans & Beef Soup Recipe

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    sopa de frijoles con carne - shred 10 beans and beef soup recipe #foodisourfriend

    Today is Day 1 of our Shred 10 Group Challenge! For months I've been sharing my journey is you all and I'm super pumped we're doing this challenge together this time around!

    The Shred 10 program is one I'm super grateful for because it's a great boost to not only my energy and health, but to my overall confidence at work. Starting from Day 1 I feel super energetic because I'm focused and I have the tools to help me reach my goals. 

    What is it that you want to shred in the next 10 days? What new habits are you trying to acquire and which bad habits are you needing help letting go?

    The main reason I love this program is because its sole focus is YOU. And whatever it is you want to accomplish in 10 days. 

    Whether it's more energy, more sleep, more water intake, better tasting meals, more muscle mass, less body fat, more flexibility, better sex- Shred 10 can help you. It's your rules, and you have the help of fruits + veggies (real food, no fake foods) to help you get there.

    Click on our logo below for my sample 10 day meal plan for the Shred 10 Challenge.

    Today I'm showing you how to make a great bulk meal that can be made alone for a DELISH weeknight meal or for meal prep in your other meals. It's Sopa de Frijoles con Carne, which is the yummier, fancier name for a hearty Beans & Beef Soup. It doesn't sound as sexy in English, so say it with me: Sopa de Frijoles con Carne!  It's bomb as hell! If you don't know what that means, make it and you'll understand why I had to include my Mama's recipe in the Shred 10 Challenge. 

    Healthy tip: for best results and minimal cooking time, wash and soak beans in water for 1-2 days before cooking. This helps activate enzymes in the beans, which can help improve our digestion too. Plus it help minimize cooking time, which I'm sure we can all appreciate!

    sopa de frijoles con carne - shred 10 beans and beef soup recipe #foodisourfriend shred10 challenge

    Sopa de Frijoles con Carne de Res - Hearty Beans & Tender Beef Soup Recipe

    Ingredients

    • 2 lbs organic beef chuck steaks (or whatever cut you prefer)
    • 2 cups black beans
    • 2 onions
    • 5 garlic cloves
    • 2 potatoes
    • 1 green bell pepper
    • 1 tomato
    • fideos (any pasta of choice)
    • cumin
    • salt, pepper to taste
    • grapeseed or coconut oil of choice

    Cooking Directions

    1. Wash meat and pat dry. Season with salt, pepper on both sides. 
    2. Add oil to soup pan on medium- high heat. Add steak(s) and don't move them, don't try to press to squeeze out any juice! Let them hang out and cook until brown on both sides. Depending on the cut of meat and your pan, this can take about 5-9 minutes on each side. Enjoy the smell!  
    3. Roughly chop garlic and sautee with meat. After garlic is browned, add onions.
    4. Add enough 6 cups of hot water to soup pan. 
    5. Re-rinse soaked beans and add to soup pan. Return pan to high heat to boil water.
    6. Chop up bell pepper, more onion and garlic and add to the mix. 
    7. Chop potato into small equal chunks and also add pasta. Let cook for 1-2 hours, until beans, are soft. 
    8. Add salt at the end, once natural salts have made their way into the broth. 
    9. Make white rice on the side. Serve under the soup. Enjoy!

     

    shred 10 healthy eating open house salt lake city utah - IM Nutrition Isabel Mejia

    This is a traditional recipe from home. I love it because it goes well with our Shred 10 Challenge! It's made from real food sources so I hope you enjoy! Join us for another Taste of Shred 10 Healthy Eating Open House Wednesday night in SLC! 

    Shred 10 Healthy Eating Open House

    Come eat, hang with us and learn about the Shred 10 program with one of our personal trainers. It's gonna be a fun night and a great way to boost health habits mid-week!

    Shred 10 Healthy Eating Open House

    Wednesday, April 5 at 7 pm

    10777 S Ozarks Drive

    South Jordan, UT 84009

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    Best Snacks for Energy, Fitness and Good Health

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    #foodisourfriend shred 10 challenge healthy snacks

    A big thanks to everyone that made it out to our Healthy Eating Open house! We had a packed house full of curious souls, ambitious eaters and supportive buddies!

    We ate, shared recipes, listened to some great inspirational stories and exchanged tips for better sleep, drinking more water and getting more fruits + veggies in. We also introduced the Shred 10 program, a revolutionary healthy living program that I've been doing for the last few months (if you watch my Snapchat, you've seen me share tons of recipes, workouts and my personal struggles and victories with the challenge). 

    What is Shred 10?

    Shred 10 is a lifestyle program that helps you shred unhealthy habits so you can establish new ones The program is revolutionary because it's the first challenge I've seen that focuses on habits and the use of real food (NO fake supplements here!). With all the environmental toxins surrounding us, more and more we need the support of more fruits + veggies for ongoing cleansing. The Shred 10 program helps you get whatever you want in life by encouraging not only eating more fruits + veggies, but drinking more water, getting more sleep, eliminating processed foods and sugars from your eating plan for 10 days to give you a jump-start into better habits for health.

    What Shred 10 is...

    • 10 day jumpstart with ongoing health improvements over time
    • nutrition educational experience
    • scientifically based
    • safe, doable & effective

    What Shred 10 is not...

    • a weight loss program (though many do this program to reach their goal weight, up or down!)
    • a fad diet

    Shred 10 Guidelines

    • Add more real foods to your diet
    • plenty of H20
    • Sleep 6-8 hours
    • Exercise Most Days (whatever you like to do best to get your body moving)
    • Eliminate dairy, caffeine, alcohol, processed food, artificial and refined sugar
    • No eating 3 hours before sleeping.

    For more guidelines on Shred 10, click here.

    When will Shred 10 Challenges Happen?

    You might've seen me do Shreds sporadically or whenever I need an energy boost, but as a group we will do the Shred 10 Challenge once every month, starting on the first Monday of each month. Our first group challenge will start Monday, April 3! Join our Facebook group here

    #foodisourfriend shred 10 healthy smoothies snack

    Best Healthy Snacks for Energy, Fitness and Good Skin

    All these snacks are Shred 10 approved because they are natural, organic and non-GMO foods.

    1. Any raw fruits you love. Sweet fruit tastes so good alone!
    2. Raw fajita crunch - raw red, yellow, green bell peppers slices
    3. Raw cucumber chips - raw cucumber slices (with lemon, salt, paprika optional)
    4. Your fave raw veggies + hummus
    5. 1/2 avocado w/ lemon juice + salt
    6. Fresh guacamole - duh!
    7. Raw nuts + seeds
    8. Popcorn (non-GMO w/ nutritional yeast, red chili pepper flakes)
    9. Kale chips
    10. Plantbased Green & Rainbow Smoothies


    These are my favorite snacks because they're the easiest to prep on a super busy schedule and they taste GOOD. Add these easy, healthy snacks to your healthy eating plan. If you're low on time,  prep 1-2 times a week so you can keep some on the go or at your desk.

    shred 10 healthy eating open house utah slc - isabel mejia

    Taste of Shred Healthy Eating Open House

    Many of you have requested another Healthy Eating Open House so we're hosting another one Wednesday, April 5th at 7 pm in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

    Come eat, hang with us and learn about the Shred 10 program with one of our personal trainers. It's gonna be a fun night and a great way to boost health habits mid-week!

    Shred 10 Healthy Eating Open House

    Wednesday, April 5 at 7 pm

    10777 S Ozarks Drive

    South Jordan, UT 84009

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    Healthy Shamrock Smoothie + More Green Smoothies That Don't Suck

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    #foodisourfriend green smoothies -healthy shamrock smoothie reecipe - IM Nutrition

    My obsession with green smoothies really stems from the idea that green is a symbol of health, wealth, and life. It's funny because it's unusual to connect that to a taste, but I love the taste of feeling well. When I drink green smoothies I feel so fucking good I feel like I can do anything. 

    The only reason why I think you might hate green smoothies is if they don't taste good, which I understand if you don't know what you're doing. Just like with cooking, prepping raw foods and having them taste good depends on how you combine flavors. You can't just throw it all in and expect it to taste good. 

    #foodisourfriend @foodisourfriend green smoothie recipes

    There is an art to making green smoothies that don't suck. It takes the right greens and complimentary spices, fruits and veggies. It obviously takes prep, but it's not longer than cooking so if you're trying to get healthy, get energy, or just maintain your good health, make drinking green smoothies a priority by having a 1 every other day. 

    The smoothies I drink and meal plan for my clients are all plant-based, dairyfree and vegan. Yep! We make them creamy by starting with a base of spring water, bananas and chia seeds. 

    We will have plenty more smoothies to taste at our Healthy Eating Open House in Utah. Here are a few green smoothie recipes I'm loving for Spring and Summer.

    #foodisourfriend healthy green smoothies

    3 Spring Dairy-free Green Smoothies

    The reality is not all greens are bitter. Kale may be having it's moment, but I also really love spinach because it gives great color and has a neutral taste. Because of that, I can play with sweet, creamy flavors you wouldn't expect. In honor of St. Patty's, here's a Healthy Shamrock Smoothie!

    Healthy Shamrock Smoothie Recipe

    • 1 cup spring H2O
    • a pinch of chia seeds
    • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1 banana
    • 1 avocado
    • 1 handful Spinach leaves 
    • 1/2 cup raw oatmeal
    • 1/2 inch thick cut fresh ginger
    • 1/2 cup ice
    • 1 cup of Juice Plus PlantBased Protein Vanilla

     

    Best Greens Ever Smoothie Recipe

    • 1 cup spring H2O
    • a pinch of chia seeds
    • 1-2 bananas
    • 2 Kale leaves
    • 1 handful Spinach leaves 
    • 1 apple
    • lemon juice from 1 whole lemon
    • 1/2 cup sliced pineapple
    • 1/2 inch thick cut fresh ginger
    • 1/2 cup ice

     

    Seasonal Cayenne + Citrus Smoothie Recipe

    • 1 cup spring H2O
    • a pinch of chia seeds
    • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1-2 bananas
    • couple cilantro flowers
    • 1 handful Spinach leaves 
    • 1 apple
    • lemon juice from 1 whole lemon
    • 1 whole orange
    • 1/2 cup ice
    • 1/2 inch thick cut fresh ginger
    #foodisourfriend healthy shamrock smoothie and smoothies that don't suck

    Getting the right flavors in place is crucial to loving green smoothies. Make sure you have a good blender (I use both Oster and Blendtec) and don't be afraid to play with seasonal foods! Cheers to your health!

    15+ Seasonal Spring Water Infusions

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    #foodisourfriend spring water infusions

    Raise your hand if you know water is good for us.

    Raise your hand if you're actually drinking enough. 

    I know the struggle. It's gotta be the right temp. It's gotta come from the right source. It took me a while to find out what I like... 

    You've got to start somewhere. 

    A good life starts with the basics, like water- one of the most simple elements. If you're one of those who doesn't like plain water, learn to dress it up!

    If you're totally mentally blocked on where to start, start from something that inspires you. 

    Lately it's been my travels inspiring me. From Costa Rica to Peru to time spent in Los Angeles with fam, I take those memories and experiences to influence how I dress, speak, work- ultimately, how I live my life.

    Start from where you are and look around. Not feeling the vibes? Move around and go to what draws you in.

    Personally for me, any body of water will always draw me in. It could be that I'm a fire sign, it could be my childhood memories of beach bummin' with the fam , and it's probably those dreams I have of taking a vacation on a yacht. But the water draws me in every time. And I found I love the taste of water when I add the right flavors in it.

    Water is one of the most simplest, most powerful forces of life, and it's what many of us ignore. So I invite you to use whatever you have on hand, whatever you see or whatever you're inspired to get when you're out shopping. The point is to enjoy drinking water your way! 

    The following spring water infusions are inspired by the work our gardening community is doing and by local community gardens in our cities.

    #foodisourfriend spring water infusions

    15 + Seasonal Spring Water Infusions

     Below are some of my favorite infusions for spring! Remember to use recommended natural spring water. If using herbs, feel free to use your hand to slap the herb and release its flavor and nutrition. Let me know how you like them by using our #foodisourfriend hashtag online!

    Simple Water Infusions

    Use 1 ingredient to flavor your water.

    • Chia Water
    • Cucumber Water
    • Mint Water
    • Lemon Water
    • Lavender H20

    Double Water Infusions

    Use 2 ingredients to flavor your water.

    • Coconut Chia Water
    • Lemon Chia H2O
    • Lemon-Basil H2O
    • Cucumber Mint H20
    • Kiwi Basil Water

    Triple Water Infusions

    Use 3 ingredients to flavor your water.

    • Orange Blueberry Chia Water
    • Lemon-Lime Chia H2O
    • Tangerine Mint Basil Water
    • Pomegranate Mint H2O
    • Lavender Mint Water

     

    Be inspired by others

    Also super inspiring is the work people in my hometowns are doing to help our local communities.  I'm always inspired by their work, which I call art. Right now I'm currently obsessed with community gardens of all sorts, and one I'm really digging is Ron Finley's Gangsta Garden in LA.

    isa-ron2.png

    After having little to no good options to eat well in his neighborhood, he started growing flowers, fruits and veggies outside his home. Why not make use of deserted plots of land, right? When things started blooming, he got fined by the City of Los Angeles and he fought the cause 'til they changed the law. How inspiring is that?!

    So now he invites everyone to do the same for themselves. Whether you start regrowing food scraps, start a few herb pots or come help volunteer your hands to a local garden, just get up and #plantsomeshit!

    #foodisourfriend blog - a day at the Gansta Garden LA, Ron Finley
    Ron Finley gangsta garden LA #foodisourfriend blog
    Isabel Mejia (IM Nutrition) Ron Finley (Ron Finley HQ) #foodisourfriend #plantsomeshit LA gardening
    Isabel Mejia @foodisourfriend at Ron Finley's Gangsta Garden Los Angeles

    The Gangsta Garden is a fave because it's so eclectic.  I love how Ron has allowed a platform for artists to come and do their thing, aka practice their crafts. There's everything from flowers to herbs to bananas to succulents. You'd lose track of counting what's in there, but I can tell you it's full of life and passion. 

    The garden shows the beauty of what happens when you put in hard work into something you want and the beauty of gathering a community around good food. 

    Eating good food shouldn't be a luxury. It really is a necessity for life. If you support eating well and living life, you should support a local community garden like Ron's Gangsta Garden.  

    Ron Finley's Gangsta Garden Garden Taco party #foodisourfriend blog

    The Gangsta Garden right now really needs our help! The land it's on is foreclosing and without our help, it's gone. Please go here to donate and help save the gangsta garden! gofundme.com/savethegangstagarden

    Not only do community gardens literally give us life, they bring people together to eat well, learn, work, and enjoy the simple, beautiful things in life.

    Ron Finley also works with others members of the community, and we're super grateful to have people like him lead others in a positive direction in life. Thank you for your hard work, Ron!

    So wherever your inspiration, just get started! If you need any help, you know where to find us!

    To connect with us online, follow @foodisourfriend + @growhealthyfood on Instagram.

    To follow Ron Finley and his work, follow @RonFinleyHQ on Instagram and ronfinley.com.

     

    My Top 3 Eating Well Apps + Your Invite to a Healthy Eating Open House

    These are the current apps I personally use and recommend to my busy clients who are meal planning, trying to shop healthier and make smarter choices with their money to achieve whatever life goals they're working on. They're all fun, free and on iPhone & Android.  

     If you follow my Snapchat, you'll know I'm currently back in the gym with a personal trainer, shredding so I can get back to dancing and hopefully learn to surf starting summer! 

    #foodisourfriend top healthy + cleaneating apps

     

    My Top 3 Eating Well Apps

    1. Water Drink Reminder

    Water is LIFE! I say it because I mean it! I feel the difference in every cell of my body when I am fully hydrated and not, especially when I'm working out. Lots of us aren't drinking enough H2O and I love how this app gives you reminders, helps you track progress and helps you reach your goals.  #waterisourfriend!

    2. ShopWell

     I'm obsessed with the scanner on this app. This app will help you make smarter choices when grocery shopping and buying packaged foods. Yes, fresh is best but let's be real, packaged foods help when we're short in time or just don't like to cook. Whether you want to avoid soy, wheat, dairy, or GMO foods, this app is for you. 

    3. Locavore

    This app helps you find local produce and in-season food at farmers markets, farm stands and groceries. Don't forget to use our #foodisourfriend hashtag when sharing with friends on Facebook!  

    Also, if you're in the Salt Lake City, Utah area, come join us for a Healthy Eating Open House where you'll listen to inspiring stories, and eat healthy food from our Shred 10 Healthy Eating Program. Come say what's up! We'll see you then!

    #foodisourfriend Salt Lake City Utah health nutrition event - Taste of Shred Tasting Open House , SLC UT

    What is Shred 10?

    The #foodisourfriend Shred 10 is a healthy living program designed to help you get whatever makes your life better: more energy, better-tasting, healthier meals, better  skin, hair, nails, FREEDOM. Whatever good food means to you we believe and want to help you get there. 

    The program consists of a healthy eating plan, including healthy recipes with which products to buy. 

    Of course we're all about living well every day, but we do love a good challenge! A 10 day hard-core commitment to your health means that if you start on a Monday, then you only need one weekend where you may have to tell your friends that you can’t have that drink or stay out late. That's why I love shredding! And after my Peru trip, I need it!

    A 10 day shred is really a more intense 10-day version of the Transform 30 program. With Shred 10, you take on the T30 challenge strictly for 10 days.

    10 days is also long enough to get some real results that are motivating and encouraging.

    And you can repeat 10 days shreds throughout your entire year to make continuous progress. Free plant-based meal plans when you join the challenge by March 19th.