Hey friends! I am back after what feels like weeks off of writing. My husband and I went on our 10 year anniversary trip to Belize last week. I know, poor me, right? It was so relaxing and wonderful and just what we needed! We left our little guy with my Mom so I was spending time prepping food, grocery shopping and writing out daily itineraries for them to get by while we were gone. Then, of course, there was more grocery shopping and lots of laundry when we got back. And honestly I’ve been unmotivated to write lately. So I’m back at it and bringing you the things I am currently loving, mostly food because I love food!

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Kefir

Gut health has been such a big topic in nutrition and health and kefir is on the list of foods for better gut health. Kefir is a fermented milk drink that tastes a lot like yogurt. Kefir grains (bacteria and yeast) are added to milk, which ferment the lactose sugar in milk into lactic acid. It is usually better tolerated by those who are lactose intolerant than dairy milk.

Kefir is a good probiotic source, which helps with gut health and digestion. Nutritionally, kefir provides calcium, vitamin D, B vitamins, vitamin A, protein and fat. It also contains tryptophan, which can help with relaxation and sleep, which is why I drink it before bed.

I have been using Lifeway kefir or Trader Joe’s brand and like to mix a flavored kefir with plain to reduce the added sugar amount. I also like to add it to smoothie’s or in my oatmeal. I am currently loving Lifeway’s madagascar vanilla.

Butternut Squash

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Cauli crust pizza with roasted veggies (the crinkles are butternut squash)

If you’ve read my other posts you know that sweet potatoes are my jam. But I’m loving butternut squash lately and it’s my husband’s fave. Confession – I am lazy with this one and buy it chopped from Costco or TJs. I mostly roast it with other veggies but I also added some in to my carrot and fennel soup, which you can find the recipe here. Just do a little less carrot and add chopped butternut squash. You should also try roasted squash on pizza!

I recently tried TJs butternut squash soup at my SIL’s house for wine book club, and it was really good but you could easily make your own with the million recipes out there. It is pretty much the perfect fall food!

Butternut squash is loaded with vitamin A and contains potassium, fiber, folate, vitamin C and manganese. It also contains beta-carotene, which can reduce the risk of some cancers. If you are chopping your own squash, don’t forget to roast the seeds!

Apples

I love apples all. the. time. Really, though! Lately we have been going through apples in our house like crazy. My son takes one for lunch almost daily and we tend to cut them up with dinners a lot. Also, maybe because there isn’t as much awesome fruit in season right now. Last night I melted some dark chocolate chips with natural peanut butter and dipped apples in it. OMG, do it! I made a delicious gluten-free apple crisp twice in the last few weeks because I had some apples to use that weren’t the best for eating. I also like thin apple slices in salads and apples dipped in any kind of nut butter. Just give me all the apple stuff!

My favorite types of apples are Pink Lady, Honeycrisp and Sweet Tango. I used McIntosh for the apple crisp because they are too soft for me to eat and I have a food texture issue but they were really good in the crisp. Apples are a good source of fiber, vitamin C and potassium and contain antioxidants.

Goat Cheese

The first time I ever had goat cheese was on a pizza in small, creamy clumps and I was hooked ever since. I love goat cheese on pretty much anything and a little bit can go a long way, or just double up on that yummy stuff. Here are some of my favorite ways to use goat cheese:

  • on salads
  • on my breakfast bowl (see recipe here)
  • on pizza or flatbreads
  • as a dip

Goat cheese has fewer calories and less fat than full fat dairy cheese. It can also be a little easier to digest because it has less lactose and different protein structure.

The Essential Thyroid Cookbook

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism this summer and have been working on trying to figure out the nutrition side of it because food can also be medicine. Anyway, this cookbook is so awesome and was co-authored by a dietitian in Kansas City! It has tons of information, from reputable sources, as well as recipes that incorporate a lot of great food. This obviously may not be a book you need but… is there a resource out there that might help you in your life? In your wellness journey? Take control of your health people!

I hope you all are enjoying this fall season and eating some deliciously wonderful foods and living happy, healthy lives. Cheers!

Lin