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The Daily Dish: Some Current Happenings & Favorites!

April 17th, 2015 - Daily Dish


Hey everyone! I feel like it’s been a while since i’ve done a daily dish! So, where do I begin!?! I wanted to share a few of my latest happenings behind the scenes of Dashing Dish, but also some of my current favorites!


When it comes to HAPPENINGS, I have pretty busy since the release of my new books in the new year! Busy in a good way though! From interviews, to speaking, and book signings (where I have met some amazing people), it has been a whirlwind and so much fun! The best part about my book release the past few months to has been seeing my cookbook and devotional book in stores…and hearing stories, seeing pictures, and hearing how you guys enjoy them! Nothing blesses my heart more!!!




If you follow me on Instagram you know that I have been doing something called Fan Fave Friday, where I share a picture from one of you guys when you tag photos from recipes you create! It’s been surprisingly hard to pick just one! You guys take awesome pics of the food! So fun!



In February I had the opportunity to be on The Harvest Show to discuss my new devotional! It was a blessing, and I had the opportunity to meet such a wonderful team of people!


Also in the month of February, my older sister threw a Valentines Day theme book signing party with some friends!


In March I flew out to San Antonio, where I did a cooking segment on The Difference Show with Matt and Kendal Hagee. So fun!


We also celebrated my dad’s birthday! People always say I get my ‘young face’ from my dad…how great does he look!?! He just returned from a missions trip to Ethiopia- he’s one of my greatest hero’s! :)


The weather was a bit on the warm side for March here in Michigan (yeah), which calls for frozen yogurt for sure!


I welcomed spring around our home by adding some spring flare to our decor!


I also started to take regular walks again, which is always one of the GREATEST treats when the weather finally warms up! It is a time I look forward to most, because I feel like I have nothing else to think about/do but listen to worship music and just think about the Lord! He downloads so much into me when I walk, and I think it’s because I don’t have any other distractions! I treasure this time with Him!


In March I also had a book signing in my home town, Ann Arbor Michigan. It was so much fun meeting so many of you and hearing your stories! I love how the internet can connect us, but meeting you guys face to face is the absolute best!


At the end of March I went to visit my beautiful childhood best friend, who lives in Virginia to celebrate her first baby! She is having a little girl, and I couldn’t be more excited for her… I just wish we lived closer!


How beautiful is this momma-to-be!?! I just love her!


The beginning of April marks an especially cheering version of myself every year, because I know spring is officially here (or at least on it’s way here in Michigan!) Spring has always been my favorite season. Seriously, something about it has always been so amazing to me, and so representative of how the Lord brings things that seem lifeless back to life!


Spring always brings with it the celebration of Jesus’s resurrection on Easter! How fitting is it that it that Easter falls in the beginning of spring. Jesus represents new birth and new life..and a fresh start which pairs so perfectly with the new season!


We celebrated Easter with family. We went to visit my sisters church (she lives about an hour away), then went back to her house and spent the day with my family!


April 8th marked an amazing day for my sisters and I when we had the opportunity to minister at the Brave Women’s Conference together! God’s poured out His love and presence in a mighty way in each and every woman there, including the three of us! It was a night I will never forget!



I shared my testimony and about finding your identity and value in Christ to the young adult women’s group at Freedom Center. What an amazing night this was! God did some amazing things in the area of restoration and healing women’s hearts.


I have also had the opportunity to speak at a few different MOPS groups this month, which has truly brought on a huge passion that I didn’t even know was there until recently! I have always known that I had a desire to help busy mom’s with cooking and eating healthy here at Dashing Dish, which is why most of my recipes are kid friendly, and made with a few simple ingredients that are easy to find and inexpensive. However, meeting so many precious women that are caring for little ones really opened my eyes to see what a huge impact mom’s can have on their children’s self worth and identity, especially when they are young! I also feel like God has been putting a desire on my heart to help mom’s meal plan and get their kids involved with cooking and learning nutrition. What a powerful impact that could make on the next generation coming up!

And last but not least, I wanted to share about one of the most impactful dreams I have had to date. Normally, I would never share a dream on social media/Dashing Dish, but this dream was one that I knew was not just for me, but rather to minister to others.  You can read more about the dream here if you’d like! It brings tears to my eyes just to think about it! Surely it will be something I will remember forever!



As far as FAVORITES go, here are a few things that I am currently enjoying!

Another favorite has been these amazing books/resources written by my friend Jen from Unveiled Wife. Her and her husband are doing amazing things in the Kingdom for promoting healthy marriages Gods way!


My journal from my sweet friend Dayna has been an every day favorite of mine. I use it for journaling. Ilove it because it has scripture at the top of each page, and the cover alone has reminded me of the truth so many times!


As far as music goes, I have been loving this remix of Brit Nicole’s album! I have been listening to it when I’m working out, and I love every song! It has a great beat for getting you motivated!


My sister Sarah surprised me with some of her favorite all natural cleaning and food products…The best part!?! It was just because!!! What a fun package this was to open!!! I have been loving the Branch Basics cleaning supplies!


As far as meals go, well I am always in the mood for one of my protein shakes for breakfast. For lunch lately, I have been loving my Clean Eating Creamy Egg Salad. It is quick, easy to make, and super filling and delicious!


For dinner I have been making a variety of things, but one of my favorites has been my 15 Minute Peanut Chicken & Broccoli recipe!


For snacks I have been enjoying my No Bake Peanut Butter Protein Bars. They are the perfect pick-me-up mid-day, and they cure that sweet/salty craving that often strikes around 3 pm! ;)


And for dessert, lately I have been making my Clean Eating Chocolate cake from my cookbook!


Or my 3 Ingredient Strawberry Slushie! 


Other FAVES are my sweet husband who supports me, prays for me, and is by my side through everything (he even comes to MOPS groups with me! ;) Now how is that for support!?!) He has also been pulling double shifts working on his client graphic design work, along with working long hours on the new Dashing Dish site and iPhone App! I couldn’t be more thankful for this creative genius God placed in my life! And this brings me to another fave- the new site!!! It is coming together, and I am beyond excited!!!


And of course my little sweet pea Zoey- the most faithful giver of joy daily! :)


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How to Detox from Sugar

April 8th, 2015 - Food News, Inspiration


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When someone has decided to start living a healthy lifestyle, I always suggest making small changes over time in order to develop new healthy habits that will stick. One of the first places I suggest when it comes to cleaning out the pantry and fridge is to get rid of everything that has white sugar and white flour in it. There are so many reasons that white flour and sugar are bad for your health, and I highly suggest you do some research for yourself if you don’t already know why that is. Personally, I have found that my weight, my energy, my health, and my overall well being has been dramatically improved since I removed all products with sugar and flour in them years ago.

The purpose of this post  however is not necessarily to discuss why sugar and white flour are bad for our health, (although I have done so in various places on Dashing Dish), but rather it is to help you learn some easy ways to detox from sugar, and still enjoy sweets!

Where Do I Start? 

One of the first places that I would suggest detoxing from sugar is to toss your processed and sugar packed foods and start filling your fridge and pantry with natures sweets! I personally love fruit, because it is naturally sweet, and it is packed with nutrition! I know that it can be tough to think about ‘getting rid’ of some of your (or your families) favorite treats, but once it is out of sight, it will eventually become out of mind! It is so much better to not even have the temptation for sugar in your house!

But what about those days that you are craving chocolate, cookies, cake, etc!?! Well, let me be the first to say that I am a ‘sweets’ girl, so I totally get that! So, instead of cutting out your favorite sweet treats all together, I suggest you replace them with a healthier option…Which is what I provide here at Dashing Dish!

What are Some Swap Outs for Sugar?

We all know sugar is not the best thing for our bodies, but all those artificial sweeteners aren’t good for our health either. So what is a good option that won’t spike your blood sugar, or add unnecessary chemicals to your diet?

After much experimentation in a quest to find a natural no-calories sweetener, I found a couple of great options. And the great news is, many grocery stores are starting to carry these products! So here are some different options to swap out with sugar, with a little review about each one! (Note: There are more options than the ones listed below, but these are the ones that I have personally tried.)

Stevia: This is by far the best natural sweetener I have found.  It is derived from a stevia leaf and has been used for years in other countries.  It is starting to be used more and more in things like diet soda and drinks.  In my opinion, the best brand by far is NuStevia (found at many health food stores, and on Amazon). You can find stevia in the form of powder, a baking blend, packets, or liquid stevia.  They even have made flavored liquid stevia, which is great for coffee!

  • The Pros: The brand NuStevia has no bitter after-taste and proportionally it is as close to sugar as you can get.   (It is still sweeter than sugar… as are most substitutes, so you generally need less than the amount of sugar you would use.)
  • The Cons: Well, I haven’t found any yet, except some brands do have a bitter taste, which is why I prefer Nu Naturals brand, as it is not bitter at all.

Truvia: Truvia is made from the stevia plant and is mixed with another natural sweetener, erythritol.  Erythritol is the naturally fermented sugar alcohol found in fruits such as pears and grapes.

  • The Pros:  Truvia can be found in most supermarkets. It has the texture of natural sugar, which makes it great to sprinkle on fruit.
  • The Cons:  This brand is not as sweet as stevia and it does cause GI discomfort, if used in excess.

Xylitol: This is a natural sweetener found in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables.  You’ll find that most of your sugar-free gum has xylitol in it.

  • The Pros: Research has found that chewing gum with xylitol in it can actually reduce the risk of cavities.
  • The Cons: This sugar alternative unfortunately isn’t calorie free.  It has 2.4 calories per gram… but hey, its better than sugar!  It also does cause a bit of gastrointestinal discomfort if you use it in excess.

Honey and Agave Nectar: These are both natural sweeteners made in nature. Agave is a natural sweetener made from the plant from which tequila is made. It has a similar texture and consistency to honey.  So for those that love honey in their coffee or recipes, this is great for you.

  • The Pros: Besides the mentioned comparison to honey, some studies state that it is low on the glycemic index, which makes it a better option for diabetics and for weight management.
  • The Cons: The only downfall I have found with this is that it does add calories (about 60 calories in 1 Tbs), and it can’t be added as easily to baking recipes, because it is a liquid.

Sugar in the Raw and Coconut Sugar: Sugar in the Raw is sugar made exclusively from sugarcane.The juice is extracted from the sugarcane and then crystallized through evaporation to maintain its natural molasses, golden color and distinctive flavor. Coconut sugar is a sugar produced from the sap of cut flower buds of the coconut palm. Coconut sugar has been used as a traditional sweetener for thousands of years in the South and South-East Asian regions where the coconut palm is in abundant supply.

  • The Pros: Depending on the brand you purchase, they could potentially be less processed than white sugar. They also can be swapped out for sugar exactly in baking recipes.
  • The Cons: Both of these sugars have the same number of calories and carbohydrates as regular white sugar. They can also negatively affect your blood glucose levels, especially if you are diabetic. Overall, there is not proof that either of these sugars are any better for you than white sugar.

 How to Swap Out Sugar for Stevia in Recipes:

When it comes to sweeteners, I personally like to use baking stevia and stevia packets like I mentioned above. However, all of these recipes call for a sweetener that measures like sugar, which includes any sweetener that can be measured the same as sugar, or you could use sugar if you prefer.

If you prefer to use stevia or another sweetener, you will have to alter the amount based on the conversion table below, or according to your desired taste. This can take some experimenting, but once you get a feel for baking with different sweeteners, it is very simple to know how much to use. To get you started, I have provided a simple conversion table that works with stevia.

Please also note, that the amounts listed below may vary based on the brand of stevia you are using. The following chart pertains to NuNaturals stevia, which is the brand I personally recommend. If you are using baking stevia, simply use 1/2 of the sugar the recipe calls for. I also provide a ‘sweetener of choice that measures like sugar’ in all of my recipes, and if you do choose to use sugar in the raw, coconut sugar, or regular sugar, you can use this for determining the amount to use in the recipe. 

I hope that this information helps you on your journey to health! To find sugar and flour free recipes that still allow you to enjoy your favorite sweets, be sure to check out the Dessert section on Dashing Dish, and my new Cookbook 100 Simple Recipes for Clean Eating, which is packed with sugar and flour free sweet snacks and treats!



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