Category: dairy-free


My cookbook obsession: pure delicious

At my daughters’ pediatric practice, there’s only one doctor who looks at the body holistically. One out of a total of ten doctors and she just happens to be the head of the practice. I’m not trying to pick on them by any means as my girls receive good care there but this narrow view on how to treat the body is my ongoing issue with Western medicine.

For many years, I’ve been trying to incorporate healthier food choices into our lives for various reasons–from my ongoing issues with indigestion, bloating and IBS, to Natalya’s chronic ear infections and eczema, Sasha’s chronic ear and respiratory infections and constipation, and Eric’s chronic sinus infections. While this might seem like a lot for one family, we are hardly unique knowing that nearly one in five households have at least one member who suffers from a food allergy or intolerance.

From age one to almost age two, Sasha was allergic to eggs. During that year of our lives, I was forced to move out of my comfort zone as eggs have always been a daily staple in our lives. Just when I got comfortable and felt like we had a whole new arsenal of options, Sasha outgrew the allergy and decided she wasn’t going to eat anything but eggs, cheese, noodles, bread and tortillas. Hence, her constipation issues that still exist today.

While we’re not completely gluten-free or dairy-free (how can you be with kids who like hot lunch at school and a husband who loves burritos?), we’ve made significant strides in this past year thanks to the incredible amount of resources out there that are making it easier and less time consuming to make healthier choices.

My current obsession is a relatively new cookbook by Heather Christo called “Pure Delicious.” Heather is a mother and a chef who decided to take control of her family’s health by completely revising the way they ate due to chronic illnesses many of which are the same ones I’ve listed above.

I love everything about this cookbook. Everything. The recipes are simple and easy to make and the ingredients needed are minimal which saves us money at the grocery store. Most importantly, I don’t feel like we’re giving up anything–in fact, I think we’ve gained more than we’ve given up in terms of taste.

It’s hard to narrow down my favorite recipes but here are some of our “Pure Delicious” staples:

  • Pumpkin muffins
  • Lemon-artichoke hummus
  • Spicy Thai curry noodle soup
  • Penne with creamy tomato-vodka sauce
  • Grilled skirt steak with chimichurri
  • Chocolate zucchini bundt cake

“Pure Delicious” also has an eight week elimination challenge which I’m hoping to start this January. I don’t know how realistic it will be for Natalya and Sasha to fully participate but I’ll take anything that helps us keep inching toward more consistency when it comes to healthier food choices!

With love, lavender and lipstick,



Banana smoothie and fresh banana on wooden background.

Chocolate, peanut butter, banana, oh my!

I love smoothies and fresh juices but let me be honest: I don’t take the time to make them as much as I should.

For one, I’m often overwhelmed by the amount of concoctions available to explore and find myself spending double at the grocery store for produce and fruit that might not get used in the way I had originally planned for. And two, because smoothies and juices are trendy right now, there are multiple juice bars within five minutes of my house that are relatively the same price as making one at home.

Excuses aside, there is one recipe that is my go-to that I make at least 3-4 times per week. I don’t start off my day with it because I prefer savory foods in the morning so it usually ends up being my lunch and my girls’ afternoon snack. Additionally, it’s easy to make because I always have the ingredients on hand and can easily swamp things in or out depending on what’s in my fridge and fruit bowl.

1 cup almond milk

1 frozen banana

1 tablespoon peanut butter or almond butter. I love Justin’s peanut butter.

1 scoop chocolate organic plant protein powder. I use Garden of Life’s smooth chocolate.

Usually this has a nice consistency with just the frozen banana but sometimes I will throw in a few ice cubes as well. To mix up the recipe, I’ll switch out the chocolate protein powder for Garden of Life’s smooth vanilla. And if I’m feeling crazy, I’ll eliminate the peanut butter and add in other seasonal fruits and sometimes spinach although my girls are too smart for that version these days.

While I know this recipe isn’t innovative or unique by any means, it’s simple and that’s what the middle ground is all about!

With love, lipstick and lavender,