Faith

Maple & Bourbon Sweet Potato Soup

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Thanksgiving is only 11-days away and I'm busting at the seams with joy and excitement! I absolutely LOVE this time of year! I love the anticipation of what each day holds. Yesterday, as I walked with my husband (Mike), I spent the majority of the time rambling about the different possibilities for Thanksgiving and how special this day was going to be. Almost as if I was willing it to be!  Of course I had to confirm that watching the Macy's Day Parade and reading the Black Friday ads were first on the agenda! I love an excuse to make a fuse, to throw a party, to gather with family and friends, the justification to showering others with gifts and the wonderful joy in the air of closing out another year with the hope and expectations of dreams to come in the looming year ahead! Its AMAZING!!!! It feels... HOPEFUL because I find I am more reflective this time of year than any other which allows me the chance to acknowledge the purposeful gifts and mighty ways God has shown up and showed off in my life!

Ok.... so I will stop digressing and get back to my point in writing this post.... THIS SOUP. AHHHHMAZING!  (and full of amazing nutrients as well!) If you really want to get creative this Thanksgiving and take the pressure off of providing a labor intensive meal... join me in my Laid-Back GREATFUL Holiday Extravaganza movement!!! I'm going rogue this year and getting away from traditional, and embracing more free time to enjoy the loved ones in my life!!!

I'll be serving up this amazing Maple & Bourbon Sweet Potato Soup alongside a fresh Cranberry & Spinach Salad with Turkey & Brie Crostini. Nutritious. Delicious. And Easy!!!

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Soup 2

Maple & Bourbon Sweet Potato Soup                                                         (Recipe Inspired by Half Baked Harvest)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 medium Sweet Potatoes
  • 1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 2 1/2 cups Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth
  • 1 cup Apple Cider
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Thyme, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • Pinch of cayenne (to your taste)
  • Salt + Pepper, to your taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Bourbon (optional)
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk (I recommend Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream)
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Wrap sweet potatoes in foil and bake for 1 hour or until soft and tender. When the sweet potatoes are cooked, slice them in half and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, add the maple syrup and cinnamon sticks to a large soup pot, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes. You want the maple syrup to thicken and reduce to a syrup like the consistency of honey.

Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel away the skins and add the orange flesh to the bowl of a food processor or high powered blender. Add 1 cup of broth and puree until smooth. Slowly stir the sweet potato mixture into the thickened maple syrup. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups broth, the apple cider, thyme, nutmeg, cayenne and a pinch of salt + pepper. Cook over medium heat until warmed through, about 10 minutes. Stir in the bourbon (if using) and cream. Continue to cook another 5 minutes and then add the cheese + butter, cook until the cheese is melted and the soup is silky smooth. If the soup seems too thick, add more broth to thin. Keep over low heat until ready to serve.

Whether you are planning a traditional menu or creating new menu, I would love to hear what you are planning on having for Thanksgiving! Regardless of your main entrée, make sure you serve it up with plenty of gratitude for the beautiful life that you lead!!!!

3 Ways to Celebrate No Diet Day!! 

Healthy bodies come in all different shapes and sizes. We see it every time we hit the gym, get our hair done, or just walk down the street.  May 6th is International "No Diet Day" - a day where people everywhere can say "I don't need no stinkin' diet." Wouldn't it be great to throw some self-love motivation out to the universe? 

  

Here are three ways anyone can celebrate "No Diet Day"

  1. "I love me some ME!" There’s no point in trying to look like a celeb on a magazine cover. Did you know that those celebs don’t even look like that? Over 95 percent of media images are altered (not real). We can rock our different sizes and unique shapes.  You can do it: Share what you value about your body and why - with yourself, a good friend, or on social media. 
  2. "Because I'm HAPPY..." We often think if we choose to be content, we’ve become complacent. That’s simply not the case. We can find health and happiness along the way. Try to let go of the “if/then” attitude. Being happy in the body you have is possible even while you’re working on making it healthier. You can do it: reflect on what you are grateful for today and why. Can you share three things?
  3. "Can I Live?" Life is happening whether you are there or not. Might as well join the party. Remember that experience trumps appearance. So what happens if you don’t get out on the beach (the dance floor, the doctor’s office, the dinner club)? It’s very likely that you lose what could have been a delightful or enlightening event. Choosing the experience is the first step in making wonderful memories. You can do it: Share a picture of a recent joyful experience - and talk about how it made you feel. 

By Leslie Schilling and Rebecca Scritchfield, Co-Founders of Dietitians for Body Confidence www.RD4BC.com

About: Leslie Schilling and Rebecca Scritchfield are registered dietitian nutritionists and fitness experts and moms of girls. They co-founded "Dietitians for Body Confidence" to establish a dialogue about the valuable role dietitians can play in helping to improve body image. Learn more at www.RD4BC.com

Encouraging Reminder

I hope everyone had a fantastic July 4th weekend! What a special day to remember the freedom we have as Americans!!! With freedom comes choices. A friendly photo was introduced to me this morning which reminded me of a simple, yet profound truth.... I can't resist sharing because I believe we all harbor a boundless dreamer inside of us!!!

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Change Your Life by Changing Your Perspective

I'm currently reading "Unglued" by Lysa Terkeurst. If you have not read this book, I can highly recommend it! I want to share a quote from the book that I feel is a great representation of the theories I try to impress upon my clients and ANYONE looking to better their health.

"Brain research shows that every conscious thought we have is recorded on our internal hard drive known as the cerebral cortex. Each thought scratches the surface much like an Etch A Sketch. When we have the same thought again, the line of the original thought is deepened, causing what's called a memory trace. With each repetition the trace goes deeper and deeper, forming and embedding a pattern thought. When an emotion is tied to this thought pattern the memory trace grows exponentially stronger."

We won't develop new responses to life, food, etc until we develop new THOUGHTS!!!

New thoughts come from a new PERSPECTIVE!

What's your perspective?! Is it based on truth or a damaged perspective?

NutriFocusRD is here to help. Check out www.nutrifocusonline.com for information on how to schedule an appointment.

Enjoying Life

I recently came across this article below and immediately wanted to share with the NutriFocus family!!! As I continue to encourage each of you to embrace the theme of National Nutrition Month 2014 ( Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right) I feel this article helps us see the bigger picture!!!!! Enjoying our food, our health, and ourselves is the first steps to enjoying life as a whole because it helps us be INTENTIONAL, GRATEFUL, AND JOYFUL.

As you read the article below, consider what principles you can embrace starting TODAY.

http://www.lifebuzz.com/just-stop/?utm_source=iajsiaspal9920&utm_medium=fb&utm_campaign=juststopdesktop