Why the healthy eats, you ask?

Tuna, tomato, cucmber sanwich with pine nut hummus as “dressing”


Hello All!

I will normally post my recipes under the Cookbook Menu Tab, however this recipe comes with a little bit more! I wanted to share WHY I cook the way I do and what motivates me to do so. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative colitis back in December of 2011, when I was 19 years old. If you don’t know what ulcerative colitis is, it is an inflammatory bowel disease which is the result of an abnormal response by my body’s immune system. Normally, the cells and proteins that make up the immune system protect you from infection. But in my case, the immune system mistakes food, bacteria, and other materials in the GI tract for foreign or invading substances. When this happens, my body sends white blood cells into the lining of my intestines, where they produce chronic inflammation and ulcerations. OUCH!

With all of my health complications regularly occurring, my doctors have not been able to state I am in “remission”. Instead they are investigating whether or not I was mis-diagnosed, and if I have a case of chrons disease. But we will get to that another day!

The main reason I cook so healthy, and cook with whole foods, mostly organic, is because of this disease I have! Not only does eating healthy help with the ulcerative colitis, but it is just generally good for my body to begin with. (And my husband’s body, and my kids’ bodies, etc)

So instead of the boring “chicken, brown rice, and veggies” people usually associate with “healthy” eating, I like to get a little more than creative with it! This recipe I came up with is very flexible when it comes to ingredients. The bottom line is, sweet potatoes make great bread replacements!

Take your sweet potato slices, about 1/4 inch thick max, and place them in your TOASTER. That’s right, I said it. TOASTER. Like where you put your bagels and such 🙂 Toast the sweet potato slices for TWO ROUNDS (2x longer than you’d normally toast your bagels!) Careful when they’re finished because they will be hot! Personally, I was too eager my first time and totally burnt my fingers and then dropped it on my dog – lol.

Once the yummy sweet ‘taters are toasted and tender, get out your tuna,cucumbers, hummus, and tomatoes! Assemble your sandwich, and then DEVOUR!

I also turned mine into open faced sandwiches which I have pictured below!

Hope you enjoy!

Open Faced Sweet Potato Sanwdwich! From left to right: Tuna + Tomatoe, Hummus + Cucumber, Egg Whites + Acocado. Not Pictured: Plain Oikos Greek Yogurt topped with creamy almond butter!

How urban jungle luxury has helped me to stay active

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Motherhood definitely has its highs and its lows. If you’re blessed like me, there’s definitely more highs than there are lows.

Being a mom of two squirrelly little angels is the greatest gift, but something I have come to learn is that you always have to make time to take care of yourself. Because let’s face it, if you’re not feeling your best you can’t give your children the best.

I’ve always been very active throughout my lifetime with sports and outdoor fun, but with two attention demanding little girls at home it’s easy to fall off course. My family has been able to get out of the house and enjoy the beautiful Southern California sunshine because of our amazing mountain buggy urban jungle luxury in pepita.

My youngest absolutely adores riding in her buggy because she is able to sit up and stay safely restrained with the harness; her sister, who is 4 years old, can also easily fit when she gets tired! plus I can up that resistance with those extra pounds she adds.

After my C-section with the littlest, I felt like I would never be able to workout again as all I could do was walk; so that’s what I did!

I took the carry cot attachment, laid my brand new baby girl in it – which I can totally recommend by the way – and I walked. I walked to the mall, I walked to the park, and I walked places I never thought I would want to walk!

It made going out with my kids so much more enjoyable than the traditional “stuck inside forever” feeling most moms claim to have. Since I am an active mom, being active has helped heighten my mood and fight off any type of postpartum depression or physical self hate some women develop after giving birth.

I have come to invent a lot of new workout routines that involve my kids as I am able to take them with me wherever I go. I use the stroller to do cardio, balance for leg resistance workouts, as well as a seat for my baby while I get some arm training in.

I don’t have to choose between being active, or being an available mom.

Personally, my goal is to set a great example to my kids so they see that exercise is important and that the love for being outdoors will hopefully be distilled into their little brains.

My goal is to have my daughters ask me “mommy, can we go on a hike?” rather than ask me where the charger to the iPad is located.

My favorite part of the day is watching my darling 4 month old light up when she sees her stroller, and watching her curious little eyes wander while soaking in the beautiful world around her.

I am so thankful and my family is my motivation for everything.