The New Year is a great time to assess where you are at in your life, to look at what seems to be working and to acknowledge what may not be working so well. It offers an opportunity to expand, grow, stretch and move more into the life and person you desire to be. It is very tempting to hit January with full steam towards all sorts of new goals and aspirations, but all too often we try to change too many things at once instead of honoring the personal journey we are on.

As a Holistic Health Coach and Nutrition Educator, I believe in the power of making smaller, consistent shifts that result in big changes over time. When looking at your overall health, it is good to consider a variety of factors such as nutrition, exercise, stress management, spiritual practice, relationships, job satisfaction and, in general, where you are at and where you would like to be.

I am all about food first and believe that what you put in your mouth daily greatly affects all the other areas of your life. I teach from the perspective of balance and believe that if we give our body the nutrients it needs, it will keep us free of cravings, mood swings, hormonal issues, illness and disease that come from imbalance.

So how do we achieve this balance in a world that is constantly in motion and where food choices abound? It can be difficult! It seems that every time we turn around there is a new diet trend or fad that everyone seems to be embracing. Instead of trying the latest fads, diets or counting calories or points, I encourage my clients to eat whole, real foods and to tap into their inner wisdom and intuition to really assess how different foods make them feel.

I’m a plant-based, eat-local, ditch-the-packaged-and-processed kind of gal. I am also a busy business owner and mother of five who understands that good food options need to be quick, tasty, nutritious and pass for your more picky family members. I am here to support your health journey.

Check back monthly for food ideas and recipes that will assist you on your journey to health! Start here with a comforting, warm, simple soup recipe that your body will love after all the holiday over-indulgences. Happy 2018!

CHICKPEA SOUP WITH TOMATOES AND GREENS
3 T Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped
2 Celery Stalks with leaves, stalks diced and leaves chopped
2 Large Garlic Cloves, one smashed and one halved
2 T chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
One 15-oz can organic diced tomatoes (look for BPA-free cans)
One 15-oz can or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock, or water
Several cups torn greens, such as beet greens, chard, or spinach
2 slices gluten free bread

In a soup pot, heat the 3 T olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery and celery leaves, smashed garlic, parsley, oregano, and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and chickpeas and season with 1 tsp salt. Add stock. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the flavors meld and soften, 30 minutes to 1 hour. (The soup can be made ahead and be refrigerated overnight at this point). Re-warm soup, if necessary, and stir in greens, cooking them until softened and tender. Season to taste. Just before serving, toast the bread. Rub toasts with halved garlic clove, brush with oil, and tear into pieces. Ladle the soup into bowls. Submerge some torn toast pieces in the soup so that they soak up juices and add texture. Garnish with parsley. Serves 4.

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