Tag Archives: clean eating


When I went home for my Mother’s Memorial party I wasn’t expecting to eat like she cooked it herself. My sister’s and their friends out did themselves. All of our family recipes were served, and just like Mom did, my sisters made enough for guests to take home; in jello containers to be completely authentic. When you came into my Mother’s home you were always well fed, and sent home with leftovers.

Because I moved away I have not had the pleasure of one of my Mom’s home cooked meals in quite some time. However, I cooked by learning over the phone speaking to my Mother. My sisters really knocked it out of park it was just like she made. The food was just fabulous. It was truly a testimony of her life and her gift of cooking for others. My sisters have her gift of cooking and continue her traditions, and I’m still learning. 

Chicken Vesuvio was always one of my favorites. I was excited my sisters included it, it was always so delicious. I did some thinking, it is relatively healthy too.  Here is the recipe like my Mom and my sisters cooked. I like to sometimes add wedged zucchini and onions to the dish and serve it with a crisp tossed romaine salad with oil and vinegar. So good! 

8 pieces of chicken. (2 wings, 2 breasts, 2 legs, 2 thighs)
1 teaspoons salt or salt substitute 
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
4 large Idaho or russet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
2 clove garlic, peeled and mashed (I used a garlic press) I actually use a lot more garlic.
3 tablespoon dried oregano

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Season chicken with salt and pepper Place chicken and potatoes in large roaster pan, coat with olive oil, oregano and garlic and toss well. (I like to also add wedged zucchini and onions too).

Place the roaster pan in the oven, and roast uncovered for 1 1/2 – 2 hours. (20 minutes per pound)

It is a simple yet comforting dish. I sometimes try it with boneless chicken breasts but it’s not the same. Just like Mom made.  

I was so lucky to be born her daughter, and I miss her every day. i love you More Mom. 







Do you worry about high blood pressure but you are unsure how to lower your sodium intake? Last week in the emergency room my blood pressure was alarmingly high. For me health comes first so I try to aim for a clean diet with minimal processed foods. I follow the 80/20 rule. I eat clean 80% of the time, and allow little portion controlled treats.

I make small swaps to insure I am not eating too much sodium. I always choose the swap instead of the higher sodium choice. I sometimes fall off the wagon and buy store bought bottled dressings when they are on sale, or I may use soy sauce occasionally; but I get right back to my low sodium way of life. The less processed you eat, the less likely you will eat too much sodium. I always notice a difference in the appearance of my skin when I consume too much sodium. Try these swaps and as always drink a lot of fresh water. I buy a lot of these items at Trader Joe’s. The prices are good and they tend to have all the no sodium products I prefer. This way of eating is good for my short term and long term health, but it just makes me feel good. I think you will feel the same and that is where the motivation to eat clean and healthy comes from.  

Here are some of my main low sodium food swaps

Swap salted peanut butter for unsalted peanut butter.

Swap Canned Beans, vegetables and tomatoes for dried, fresh, or no salt varieties.

Swap salad dressing and make your own with lemon, olive oil and vinegar.

Swap regular canned tuna for unsalted canned tuna.

Swap cottage cheese for Greek yogurt

Swap regular bread of sprouted Ezekiel bread

Swap instant oatmeal and cereals for old fashioned oats

Swap store bought marinades for citrus juices and vinegar

Swap cold cuts for fresh meats, fish and eggs.

Swap table salt for fresh herbs, spices and garlic

Swap high sodium vegetable broth for Trader Joe’s Vegetable broth

Swap feta cheese for goat cheese or Swiss cheese.

Swap potato chips for Trader Joe’s roasted plantain chips

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Love and Light





Trader Joe’s Lentil Dip




If you have followed me or you know me, you know I am often inspired when I walk into a Trader Joe’s. I love it and love their products. I sometimes think I am their biggest fan.

I had the opportunity to sample this Trader Joe’s recipe at one of my local Trader Joe’s some time ago, and I decided to recreate it at home and serve with all natural plantain chips. The original recipe calls for plain feta, but as the suggestion of a Trader Joe’s crew mate I used Mediterranean feta instead. This could be served over fish or chicken, or as a side dish as well as a dip. It was so delicious, both James and I loved this dip and we will be having it again. We killed it!!



1 package Trader Joe’s Steamed & Fully Cooked Lentils, rinsed to remove extra sodium

1 package Trader Joe’s Mediterranean feta cheese

1 container (7.25 oz) Trader Joe’s bruschetta Sauce



In a medium bowl, combine steamed lentils,  Mediterranean feta and bruschetta sauce, then stir. Serve cold with homemade or store-bought plantain chips. Trader Joe’s has two types of plantain chips and both only have two ingredients, a clean eating win. I am absolutely hooked on this healthy dip as I know you will be as well.  

You can treat your body as a temple and still enjoy the pleasures of life. Healthy does not equal boring.  As with everything I practice portion control.