Grandma’s Italian Goulash

Grandma's Italian Goulash

Well, I’m back from my trip as of Monday night. It was awesome, wonderful, fun and relaxing, but it’s hard to believe it’s already over. Now, I’m trying to get back into the swing of things, but am still feeling pretty exhausted from the travel and 3-hour time change. Hopefully, I’ll be good to go by the weekend.

Meanwhile, this is a recipe I made prior to my trip, but never got a chance to share. It came together somewhat unplanned, but after tasting it, I knew I had to share. The flavor reminded me of an Italian goulash recipe that my mom used to make when I was a kid, which was actually my grandma’s recipe. I always loved it growing up and the flavor of this kinda brought me back. Grandma’s recipe included elbow macaroni, ground beef, celery, oregano and tomatoes, so obviously mine is quite a bit different, but still reflects a similar flavor. And the best part…it’s both delicious and easy!

Grandma's Italian Goulash


  • 1/2 Tbsp grass-fed ghee
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/2 large head of green cabbage, chopped
  • 1 14 oz can no salt added fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp dried oregano, plus more to taste if desired
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes


  1. Melt ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and fennel and sauté a few minutes, until softened slightly. Then, add the ground beef and break up with a spatula. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Continue to cook until meat is browned, stirring occasionally.
  2. Once meat is done cooking, add the fire roasted tomatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes; stir. Then, add the cabbage and season to taste with a bit more sea salt and pepper.
  3. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. If need be, cover with a lid to cook the cabbage toward the top (this is particularly helpful if skillet is really full).
  4. Once cabbage is softened, taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  5. Serve with grated raw Parmesan or cheddar (preferably grass-fed), if tolerated and desired.

Yields: 3 servings




I’m Going on a Trip and I’m Taking…


As you know, my honeymoon is coming up. In fact, we leave for Kauai this Friday! That’s only two days away! I am so ready and beyond excited! Meanwhile, I’ve started packing and stocking up on some essentials to take with us. Aside from the obvious swimsuits, tanks, shorts, sundresses, sunglasses and camera, I thought I’d share with you some of the things I’m including in our suitcase and/or carry on:

Epic Bars: these are great anytime, but especially on the go. Made of high-quality meat and low in sugar, these soft jerky bars really satisfy and taste great too. We actually bought a whole box (12 bars) and for doing so, got a 10 percent discount at Whole Foods. We did half beef (my favorite) and half bison (Jesse’s favorite).

Justin’s Almond Butter Packets: again, another easy food to travel with. Plus, Justin’s Classic Almond Butter is actually my favorite. The individual packets can be expensive, but fortunately, they’re on sale for $0.89 each at one of our local co-ops right now. Eat it straight from the packet or squeeze onto an apple or banana, which are easy to find at the airport (and also easy to pack in your carry on).

Dr. Mercola’s Sunscreen: inevitably, we’re going to get prolonged exposure to the sun. We practice safe sun exposure and eat plenty of foods that add protection, but we’re going to be in the sun a lot and for long periods of time, and covering up is not really desirable when it’s hot. We generally don’t use any sunscreen, except coconut oil, but in this case, realize we’re going to need a bit more. We avoid toxic chemical sunscreens, but are comfortable with something nontoxic and of high quality. Dr. Mercola’s sunscreen is chemical-free, hypoallergenic and biodegradable. We have a bottle of SPF 30 and SPF 15 to take with us. Read more about Dr. Mercola’s sunscreens here. We also prepared ourselves for sun exposure by supplementing with astaxanthin in the weeks leading up to our vacation. This is a potent antioxidant that basically acts as an internal sunscreen.

Coconut Oil: I don’t take the whole container, but scoop some into a small travel-size container. It’s a great after sun moisturizer and truly, great for almost anything! I don’t travel without it!

Rosewater Mist: I use this stuff as my face toner, but love it as a body mist too. It’s great anytime you just need a refresher, really. Its light rose scent is so pretty, fresh and delightful. It will be great to spray on after being at the beach or after a sweaty hike along the coast.

Minimal Sandals: I just treated myself to these new barefoot sandals (in the grey/silvery color) for our trip, and Jesse got a pair too. He actually got them first (the men’s version) and then I liked them so much, I went and tried on a pair. I know they’re spendy for such a minimal style sandal, but the brand is reputable and well made. These can also be worn in the water and are easy to clean. I like that they’re like a flip flop, but have a back strap and flatter sole. The back strap eliminates the need for the toes to grip to keep the sandal on the foot, which is what inevitably happens with flip flops. I admit that flip flops are convenient and handy for certain things, but for walking around, I’d rather have something like this. Better for the feet too.

Digestive Enzymes: when I’m regularly eating my meals out, like I will be on my trip, I like to carry these with me. I never veer from my version of paleo when traveling or eating out and always make my needs clear when I order. But, just in case cross-contamination happens, these help. See the link above for the brand I like best.

Lacrosse Balls: we always travel with at least one mobility tool and lacrosse balls are one of them. I like to keep one ball in my carry on and use it on the plane under my hamstrings, behind my upper back or manually use it along my chest/neck. It really helps relieve stiff tissues from sitting and makes me more comfortable on longer flights. Of course, we use them to a greater degree in our hotel room when we have more space and access to different angles in the body. We usually take a double lacrosse ball (two balls taped together like a peanut) or the MobilityWOD Gemini for the thoracic spine, and Yoga Tune Up balls too since they’re lighter and don’t take up much space. We have some other mobility tools too, but they’re better left at home due to size and weight.

Primal Life Kit

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter if you celebrated yesterday. We didn’t really do much and actually ate leftovers for dinner. We’re leaving in a few days, so decided to not do anything big or special.

Meanwhile, I want share this awesome deal with all of you: The Primal Life Kit. It’s available today through April 28 and is full of amazing stuff. It includes over 49 paleo and primal products, with a value of more than $1500! The good new is that you can purchase everything for only $39 and the deal is open to everyone!

Primal Life Kit: 49 Paleo and Primal Products and 14 Discounts for $39


What’s The Primal Life Kit?

The people at have put together a really exciting opportunity for you! When you purchase the $39 Primal Life Kit, you get over $1500 worth of the most popular and life-changing Primal and Paleo products:

  • 35 Paleo and Primal eCookbooks and Informational eBooks ($498 Value)
  • 3 research papers by Dr. Loren Cordain ($15 Value)
  • 1 Online Cooking Club subscription ($39 Value)
  • 3 Fitness Programs ($67 Value)
  • 2 Paleo Challenges ($44 Value)
  • 2 Meal Plans ($69 Value)
  • 2 Online Magazine Subscriptions ($36 Value)
  • 1 Bonus Video about Eating Paleo on the Road
  • 14 Discounts ($757+ Value)

TOTAL VALUE $1500+ for just $39!

These educational and potentially life-changing Primal and Paleo products are being sold for just $39 – more than 97% off their original retail value – this week only (April 21st through April 28th).

All the ebooks are in pdf format, so you can read them on your computer or the e-reader of your choice. This $39 kit will give you all the tools you need to eat, cook, work out, and live Primally.

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21 Paleo and Primal Recipe & Meal Planning eBooks ($221 Value)

  • Chowstalker Community Cookbook by Ron & Patty Strilaeff, the masterminds behind Chowstalker ($19 Value)

4 Autoimmune and Inflammation eBooks ($132 Value)

  • Paleo Autoimmune Protocol Quickstart Guide by Sarah Ballantyne of ($18 Value)

3 Paleo Research Papers by Dr. Loren Cordain ($15 Value)

6 Informational eBooks ($75 Value)

1 Online Cooking Club ($39 Value)

2 Success Stories eBooks ($31 Value)

  • Everyday Paleo Success Stories by Alison Golden of ($24.99 value)

2 Kids and Paleo eBooks ($21 Value)

3 Fitness Programs ($67 Value)

  • Everyday Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness Program 1 Month for $.01 by Sarah Fragoso and Jason Seib at ($20 value) - You will not be automatically signed up or charged for this program by purchasing the Primal Life Kit. You Must cancel after first month to avoid being charged for subsequent months.

2 Paleo Challenges ($44 Value)

  • 1 Free Month of Paleo Bootcamp by Paleoaholic ($7 Value) – With over 300+ Paleo recipes, Paleo meal plans, and shopping lists, the end result is a weight loss plan and shopping guide system that’s now helped over 10,000 people drop the pounds and keep them off.
  • OPENutrition Challenge by Heather Kelly of ($37 Value) – In this 5-Week Paleo challenge, you will receive daily email support, a sample meal plan, and you’ll learn what to eat in order to improve your health, boost athletic performance, and shed fat while adding lean muscle mass.

2 Meal Plans ($69 Value)

  • Primal Blueprint Meal Plan 1 Month for $.01 by Mark Sisson of ($9.99 value) – You will not be automatically signed up or charged for this program by purchasing the Primal Life Kit. Must cancel after first month to avoid being charged for subsequent months.

2 Online Magazine Subscriptions ($36 Value)

1 Bonus Video

  • Sneak Peek at Fat Loss Masterclass Video Home Study Course from Jonathan Bailor and Abel James (Free Sneak Peek Bonus) – Abel ( and Jonathan (author of The Calorie Myth at dive into the do’s and don’ts of foraging your best options for eating on the go.

14 Discounts (Over $757 Value)

  • Upgraded Self (Bulletproof Coffee) – Get 10% off products at Upgrade Self, the official store for Bulletproof Products. Expires June 10th.
  • New AMRAP Bar – Get a FREE SAMPLE (you just pay shipping) of the all-new AMRAP Bars. Also get a 50% coupon on any purchase of the new bars up to $100 (a $50 value).


Get all of this (retail value $1500+) for just $39. Seriously.

Buy Now!

That’s normally the price of just one or two of these products! After you purchase the kit, you’ll be sent an email with a link to all of the downloadable products, as well as the coupon codes for all of the discounted products.

NOTE: You will not be shipped any physical goods with your purchase of the Primal Life Kit. These products are downloadable ebooks, online magazine subscriptions, and discount codes. There will be a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee if you are not satisfied with your purchase. Please contact with any questions about the Primal Life Kit.


Classic Beef Meatloaf

Classic Beef Meatloaf

I don’t make meatloaf very often, but whenever I do, this is my classic go-to recipe. I think it’s the veggie pieces in the meatloaf and homemade ketchup that really do it for me. It all adds color, and the veggies add some nice texture and flavor too. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do! Also, you can definitely make this with ground turkey if you prefer or want to change it up.

P.S. Cirque du Soleil was amazing last night! We had a fantastic time.

For the meatloaf:

  • 2 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced large
  • 1 large carrot, diced large
  • 2 small celery stalks, diced large
  • 2 large cloves garlic, sliced in half
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed ghee or butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
  • 1 egg, preferably pasture-raised
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 batch homemade ketchup (see below)

Meatloaf directions:

  1. Place diced carrots, onion, celery and garlic in the food processor. Pulse until everything is finely chopped. You can also use a blender such as this one to prep the veggies.
  2. Melt the ghee in a large pan over medium heat. Then, add the veggie mixture from the food processor. Saute 3-4 minutes or until softened slightly. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Once veggie mixture is cool, add to a large mixing bowl with the ground beef, egg, sea salt and pepper, tomato sauce, coconut flour and fresh parsley or cilantro. Get in there with your hands and mix well. Once everything is fully incorporated, place in a large loaf pan. Alternatively, you can form it into a freestanding loaf on top of a foil-covered baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. Remove from oven and top with about 1/2 cup of homemade ketchup. Place back in oven to bake 30 minutes longer.
  5. Allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes before slicing. Serve meatloaf with extra ketchup, if desired.

Classic Beef Meatloaf

For the ketchup:

  • 1 tube or can of tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/3 cup water, preferably filtered
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Pinch ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Squirt of raw honey, optional

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and whisk well to combine. Store in the refrigerator.


Things I’m Excited About…


Hi and happy Monday, everyone! I thought I’d take the time to share some things that I’m anticipating and excited about right now. It’s great to have things to look forward to and in general, it’s good to be excited about life. Please take a moment to tell me what you’re looking forward to in your life. I’d love to hear!



Cirque du Soleil: Jesse and I are going to see Totem this Wednesday night. It was a late birthday gift to him from me.  We plan to go out to dinner beforehand and making a full evening of it. We try and catch the Cirque du Soleil performances whenever they come through town because they’re always amazing. It always makes me want to change my mind about what I want to be when I grow up. Gotta start training young for those kinda skills though.

Hawaiian honeymoon: I know I’ve already mentioned our belated honeymoon, but it’s coming right up! We leave for Kauai April 25th and will be there for seven nights. Then, we fly to Oahu for the last three nights to visit some of our favorite stomping grounds. A couple things we already have planned are zip lining in Kauai and going on a bike tour in Honolulu or the North Shore. A former colleague of mine (from when I worked at a PR firm) just moved to Honolulu with her husband and opened a bike tour business there. They now have a location in Portland and one in Honolulu. So cool!


Animal Flow: The talented Mike Fitch himself will be here in Portland April 12th and 13th, at Recreate, leading the certification. I’m blessed with great employers who are hosting the certification and also paying for me to do it. It will be hard work, but valuable and fun too. Plus, have you seen Mike Fitch?

September MI trip: Jesse and I just booked a week long trip to Michigan September 24th – October 1st. My dear cousin is getting married on the 27th and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. She was like another sister to me growing up (kissin’ cousins, like our parents said), so missing it is not an option. It will be a beautiful wedding and a lot of fun too.


Leftover meatloaf: I will be sharing the recipe of my classic, go-to meatloaf later this week, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, we’ll be enjoying the leftovers for the next couple of days. As a kid, I detested meatloaf in any way, shape or form, but now I like it, especially the leftovers.


Simplifying My Life


Happy Monday! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. I definitely did, and it consisted of some much needed rest and relaxation (breakfast with friends, taking walks, drinking wine in the sunshine with Jesse, getting a massage, easy meals, etc.). I’ve been pretty pooped out lately, especially when the end of the week hits, so it felt wonderful to kick back.

Meanwhile, I know I haven’t been sharing many recipes lately, so I thought I’d share a non-food related post. I’ve been working on simplifying my life pretty adamantly since the start of the New Year and so far, so good. Here’s what I’ve done so far:

  1. Ridding myself of clothes I haven’t worn in 6 months or more. If I think I might want it, I’ll try it on and decide then, but I haven’t done this much at all. I realize that I really don’t need much, especially “regular clothes.” My job entails me to wear workout/comfortable clothing around the clock, so wearing “normal clothes” comes about once a week.
  2. Trading in books for credit on Amazon. I made $80-some dollars (in Amazon dollars) doing this and even though you have to ship the books on your own, Amazon gives you a shipping label to do it for free. So, all you need to do is provide the box. I also traded in my old 3GS iPhone and got $18. It’s not much, but still more than zero dollars. Plus, the phone is old and didn’t work well, so nobody would really want it anyway. That’s the reason I got a new phone in the first place.
  3. Recycling piles of magazines that I thought I’d come back around to for reference, ideas, etc. And, recycling old cards, papers, school assignments, boxes, etc.
  4. Cleaning out and donating other stuff. Lots of stuff. This was mostly Jesse’s stuff and his doing when he was snowed in last month (and I was in Kentucky for a workshop). I had already done this myself, but not to the extent that he did. He has a heck of a lot more stuff than me since he’s been out here much longer.
  5. Sifting through my computer and deleting documents, downloads, bookmarks, pins from Pinterest, etc. This includes cleaning up my email account as well and unsubscribing from various emails.
  6. Keeping counters less cluttered. I am often guilty of the notorious mail or junk pile on my kitchen counter. I am pretty sure I inherited this habit from my parents since they almost always have a pile of mail, papers, magazines, etc. on the kitchen table, chair or counter top. It’s a cluttery habit that I picked up and unfortunately, Jesse does it too, so we both contribute. But, we’ve both been getting better about it and the pile is either almost nonexistent or or not there at all.
  7. Decreasing the amount of time spent on my computer and iPhone. This is probably the hardest for me because I get sucked into social media, reading articles, etc. I’m trying to only use my computer when I need to and spend less time on social media when I do. Life is too short, and after losing a very dear and special friend last week to cancer, I was reminded of this once again.
  8. Going for walks to clear my mind on a more regular basis. This has been especially nice with all the sunny days we’ve been having lately. Sometimes, it’s just a walk to the grocery store to get a few things, but it always feels good and puts me in a better mood.
  9. Not stressing over my blog (or the sweating small stuff in general). I used to do this when I didn’t have something to share. Now, I let it go and move on. It’s not worth stressing over, especially because my blog is not my job. I often make really easy recipes that don’t always warrant a blog post or they’re things I’ve already shared before.
  10. Organizing my clothes closet, the linen closet, kitchen cupboards, etc. It’s all gotten a little refresh.

What have you done to simplify your life?

Simple Supper Friday: Southwest Beef & Broccoli Slaw

Southwest Beef and Broccoli Slaw

For a while now, ground meat cooked with broccoli slaw has been one of my favorite, easy, go-to meals. I can easily change the flavor by using different spices and Tessemae’s All Natural dressings, and adding any extra veggies I have on hand. It always satisfies and I don’t get sick of it, nor does Jesse. My schedule varies and some nights I don’t get home until late in the evening, so having this easy and quick option to throw together works great. Plus, I always look forward to eating it. Even though I didn’t do it here, I usually always toss some avocado slices on top too because avocado makes everything better.

On another note, you have probably noticed that I’ve cut back on blogging quite a bit. This is just where my life is right now and what I need to do. To be honest, it feels kinda good and it’s nice not to stress over posts (after all, this was always meant to be fun). Even though I don’t post as much, I am still active on Facebook, so make sure to follow me there if you don’t already. I still aim to get at least one quality post up each week, so you can always look forward to that. Anyway, thanks so much for your support and understanding. Meanwhile, always know that I am here if you have questions, comments, feedback, etc.

Cheers and happy Friday!


  • 1.5 tsp grass-fed butter*
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced into thin half moons
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb 20% fat grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 large carrots, sliced into thin coins (rounds)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1.5 tsp chili powder
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 12 oz bag broccoli slaw
  • Tessemae’s Southwest Ranch, for drizzling on top, once served

*Note: you may need more butter if you choose to use leaner ground beef

Southwest Beef and Broccoli Slaw


  1. Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the onion and garlic, and saute about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Then, add the ground beef and break up with a spatula. After a minute or so, add the sliced carrots and season to taste with a little sea salt and black pepper. Stir well, and then add the cumin and chili powder.
  3. After 5-7 minutes, once meat is browned, add the broccoli slaw. Stir and season to taste with a bit more sea salt and pepper, if desired.
  4. Continue to cook over medium-low heat for a few minutes or until slaw has softened a bit.
  5. Once done, serve into bowls and drizzle Tessemae’s Southwest Ranch dressing on top. You can also drizzle this over the whole pan after removing it from the heat, but it’s a little spicy and best served individually. If desired, throw some avocado slices on top too.

Yields: 3 servings


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