Can’t get any easier: Chia Pudding

Weight Update: I’m at 169lbs (down from 181lbs)! Finally below 170! Only 4 more pounds until I reach my first goal. This is the slowest, most agonizing process but I have to keep going. Follow me on Instagram for more frequent updates.

Happy Sunday everyone! It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post so I’m going to give you two recipes to get you through your week. It’s the same base, two different ways, and an endless number of possibilities.

I drink a meal replacement shake every morning and it doesn’t change much. 1 scoop protein powder (I use IdealShape!) almond milk, almond butter, chia, and banana (239 calories). Yum!!! But it gets kind of boring after 10 or 15 of these. So when I need to switch things up but still want to keep it low cal + healthy, I make chia pudding.

View from the top of the breakfast hunger

If I forget to make it the night before, I toss all of the ingredients into my Nutribullet and voila! Easy breakfast.

Blended Chia Pudding – great breakfast for the office!

Blended Chia Pudding

What you’ll need

  • high speed blender
  • spatula
  • tablespoon
  • 1/2 c. measuring cup
  • small container with a lid


  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, cashew milk, etc)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • cinnamon
  • toppings! fruit, nut butter, nuts, cacao, dried fruit, coconut, granola, whatever you like


  1. Combine the chia seeds, milk and maple syrup in the blender. Sprinkle cinnamon to taste.
  2. Blend on high for about 1-2 minutes, until thick and smooth. It will be slightly gelatinous to touch. Pour into the container and top with your favorite things. Enjoy!

Est. 203 calories without toppings

Overnight Chia Pudding

What you’ll need

  • small container with a lid
  • tablespoon
  • 1/2 c. measuring cup


  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup milk of choice (almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, cashew milk, etc)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • cinnamon
  • toppings! fruit, nut butter, nuts, cacao, dried fruit, coconut, granola, whatever you like


  1. Combine the chia seeds, milk, maple syrup, cinnamon to taste. Give it a good stir.
  2. Let sit in the fridge for a least 4 hours. It should thicken up immensely and have a gelatinous, tapioca like consistency. If it’s too thick when you’re ready to eat it, add a little extra milk to loosen it up. Top it with your favorite things. Enjoy!

Est. 215 calories without toppings

Tip: Feel free to add 1/8 tsp of almond or vanilla extra or 1/4 tsp orange zest to brighten the flavor. You can also do milk blends. I personally like using almond milk and canned, cooking coconut milk. It makes it so creamy!


Soytan Pizzaiola

Fun fact! I don’t really care for tofu. Making seitan is kind of gross. But you know what’s not gross? Combining these two things for a perfect, meat-substitute. It’s not too chewy and has great flavor. You can use the soytan recipe with any of your favorite tofu or seitan dishes. One of my favorite is Vietnamese Po’ Boys. That’s a recipe that will be coming soon…


6 ounces firm tofu, drained
3/4 cup vital wheat gluten
• 3 tablespoons soy sauce or liquid aminos
• 1/4 teaspoon paprika
• 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 2 tablespoons olive oil


• 2 tablespoon olive oil
• Salt
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 15 oz carton of diced tomatoes
• 1/4 cup chopped plum tomatoes
• 1 teaspoon fresh or dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Black pepper, to taste
• Fresh parsley to garnish (optional)

Directions- Soytan

1. In a food processor, combine everything and process until well mixed.

2. On a flat surface, work the mixture into a cylinder. Divide the mixture into 6 equal pieces. To flatten these pieces, loosely fold them into plastic wrap and roll out with a rolling pin. Cutlets should be no more than 1/4 inch thick.

3. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook the cutlets until they are slightly browned on each side, approximately 5-6 minutes each. When they are finished, remove cutlets and set to the side.

Directions- Pizzaiola

1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon on olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until softened but do not brown.

2. Stir in tomatoes, oregano, sugar, salt, and pepper to taste. Simmer until flavors are well combined, approximately 10 minutes.

3. When pizzaiola is finished, top the soytan cutlets with a tablespoon or so. Pair with your favorite vegetables, risotto, or pasta.

Recipe from 1,000 Vegan Recipes.

Kale(s) in Comparison

I’m in a terrible habit of buying kale and then forgetting about it. Don’t get me wrong- I love this leafy green more than any other. It can be sauteed, baked into chips, added into soups, or enjoyed raw. I love the tough texture it has and the way it softens when its massaged. However, my preference for kale only spans to the curly variety. For some reason, dinosaur (or lacinato) and red kale just don’t do it for me.

Anyway, last night I saw my wilting kale and felt a tremendous amount of sympathy towards it. It deserved a better fate than the trash so I cooked it up with some pasta. It got me thinking what kale pesto would taste like… hmm…

Pasta with Leafy Greens

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced thinly
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 bunch of your favorite kale, washed and chopped
  • 1 box of your favorite pasta, preferably whole wheat
  • Cayenne, basil, Italian season mix, salt, pepper to taste
  1. Prepare pasta as directed on the box.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan on medium heat. Add olive oil and heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook until slightly browned.
  3. Add lemon juice, seasonings, and kale to the pan. Cook kale until it is almost wilted. Add a bit of water to prevent sticking or burning!
  4. When pasta is done and kale is cooked, toss the pasta in the frying pan. Coat with a thin layer of olive oil. Heat and then serve hot.

Note: I added a drizzle of marinara at the finish. Be creative- add freshly chopped tomatoes, spinach, or peppers!

I want to hear from you! Let me know what you think about different types of kale. Do you have any special recipes?

Want to Lose Weight? Eat less.

A new diet study just out from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition went to a lot of trouble to prove the obvious.  When it comes to weight loss, how much you eat matters more than the proportion of fat, carbohydrate, and protein in your foods.

Researchers at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center got volunteers to eat diets that were supposed to differ in proportions of fat (40% vs 20%), carbohydrates (35% vs. 65%), and protein (25% vs. 15%).

The results of the study are consistent with the findings from many previous studies:

  • The major predictor for weight loss was adherence to the diet.
  • People on all of the diets lost weight by six months, but regained some of it by two years.
  • The study had a high drop-out rate (hence the importance of adherence).
  • It was hard for people to stick to the diets, especially those at the extremes of one dietary component or another.

-Marion Nestle, Food Politics

This news is not necessarily earth shattering but it is definitely overshadowed by many health fads and lobbying efforts. Marion Nestle concludes her article with the same fact-of-the-matter, the-answer-is-in-front-of-your-eyes tone:

The bottom line: all diets work if you stick to them.

I suppose I don’t need to say how much I admire this woman.

Want to Lose Weight? Eat less.


Simple Health / Food Tip:

Eat slowly and enjoy what you are eating. Food is good and good for you! And indulgences are tasty too! Don’t feel bad about it! Enjoy it! Go slowly! 

Before you refill your plate for seconds or go for that 4th cookie, give yourself a few minutes to relax and see how you feel. If you’re still hungry after 5 minutes, go for it. If you’re stuffed and feel uncomfortable, good time to back off and wait for things to digest. If you’re at home with family play with the little kids! They are the best digestion helpers! Running and rolling around with the kids keeps everything moving in the right direction and is fun!

Great holiday (and every day) eating advice from Tara Stiles!

2011: A Year to Remember (and Forget!)

Disclaimer: As important as it is to find peace and extend it through food to people, it is also vital to be critical of the decisions made by the government. After serious and relentless lobbying efforts, our food is at the hands of these groups. Please take action- write to your local representatives.

2011 was a big year for food activity in the United States. There were a handful of victories that we need to hold on to if we have any hope to make further progress in the years to come. Read through this article to see how your government has succeeded and failed and how some of your favorite food activists responded.

2011: A Year to Remember (and Forget!)