Lets Be Real Meals: Cranberry Orange Waffles

I honestly can't believe it is already November. I feel like it was a few months ago I was making cranberry sauce for last year's Thanksgiving! With that being said, I have no complaints because I love the get-togethers this time of year, and I am a month closer to going back to Brazil. All is well :)

For this month's #LetsBeRealMeals theme, we partnered with Cape Cod Select Premium Cranberries to feature this season's favorite little fruit. Frozen cranberries are so versatile so you can enjoy their health benefits and tart taste year round! My dad always makes cranberry jelly around Thanksgiving but my mom definitely adds them to muffins throughout the year. Our family celebrates Thanksgiving because of American tradition, but being from Brazil it is obviously not something they learned growing up. Coming together in family and in gratitude is a celebration we can get behind :)

For my birthday last year I literally asked for a waffle maker so I could experiment with different flavors. I haven't nailed down the making-my-own-batter part without following a recipe, especially for this one because it has to contain less than 10 ingredients. I did try to make my own whole wheat batter but it honestly tasted flavorless and sad haha. So for the sake of #LetsBeRealMeals...let's be real, not everyone has time to make their own batter from scratch. That's where a pre-made mix comes in!

My absolute favorite batter is from Pamela's Baking Company. It happens to be gluten-free but that is not why I love it. For this recipe, I halved the recipe from the instructions to make only one large waffle, and added my own ingredients (frozen cranberries, ginger, cinnamon, and orange juice instead of water). They were so good they ended up being my lunch after I made the video! Even better...how good would they be with leftover turkey as a breakfast sandwich? Hello!! I just planned your Friday morning breakfast didn't I?

Recipe: Cranberry Orange Waffles
Makes: 1 large waffle

- 3/4 cup pancake/waffle batter (I use Pamela's)
- 1 egg (or per batter instructions)
- 1 tsp oil (or per batter instructions)
- 1/3 cup frozen Cape Cod Select cranberries
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- Non-stick spray
- Leftover cranberry sauce
- Maple syrup


1. Mix ingredients with batter throroughly

2. Heat and spray waffle iron. When ready, spoon batter into iron and cook for 5 minutes

3. Top waffle with leftover cranberry sauce (or yogurt, I bet that would be good!) and maple syrup and enjoy!

4. Optional: Add some leftover turkey and cranberry sauce in the middle and make a breakfast sandwich!

I hope you have a lovely holiday and enjoy some amazing food and company. Cheers!


Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Cape Cod Select Premium Cranberries. Recipe and thoughts are my own.


Meatless Monday: Easy Farro Burrito Bowls

Happy Monday! Once again it's been a bit since I've posted on here. But I am learning to accept that posting consistently simply doesn't work with my life right now. The world hasn't ended yet :). I am definitely more active on Instagram, but I will continue to build the blog because #careergoals.

Some life updates before we begin:
1) This weekend I am heading to Chicago for FNCE!!
For my non-RD friends, FNCE (Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo) is an annual national conference for registered dietitians to basically come together and learn, network, and the come home with tons of snack samples. Literally tons.
Last year was my first year working as an RD and I was lucky that FNCE was close to home in Boston. I got to go and although it was a great time, I was overwhelmed with how much interacting we had to do. I am definitely an introverted extrovert. I can only take so much conversation before I just want to be in a room by myself. This year I organized myself a little better by planning out my schedule and started getting mentally ready for it all. I can't wait to catch up with my dietetic internship friends, meet Instagram friends in person, and connect with some pretty badass RDs. Also eat authentic deep dish pizza. #priorities

2) If you didn't know this already, my family is from Brazil. I visited my extended family there pretty frequently growing up and at the beginning of college, but it has been FIVE years since I've been back.
It's been a long time coming but we finally bought our tickets to go back this winter :) We are leaving on December 31st because a) It was significantly cheaper and b)....that was literally the only reason. But..I am kind of excited to just have a chill NYE on the plane with some champagne. The best part about this trip is that my parents, sister, AND Kevin are coming along. This is Kevin's first time in Brazil and I can't believe he is finally getting to meet the rest of my family and experience life on my grandmother's farm. Stay tuned because I will DEFINITELY do a blog recap about this trip.

Ok, now for the recipe! For October's #LetsBeRealMeals theme, we decided on Meatless Monday. Meatless Monday is a campaign and global effort to reduce weekly meat consumption around the world. This is better for both the environment and our health. My take on it is that meat is not "bad" for you at all, but having more plant foods is a place where we lack, yet provides so many benefits. Personally, I make plenty of meatless meals each week to save money. Plant-based proteins, like whole grains, beans and legumes, and tofu are significantly cheaper and of course, come with the benefits of fiber.

I decided to show you how to make simple burrito bowls with farro. Have you heard of farro? It's a grain! Kind of chewy like barley. I chose it for this recipe because even though this bowl could easily be made with rice, farro has a bit more fiber and protein per serving which makes it have a bit more staying power. I also love the 10-minute farro from Trader Joe's. It's affordable and is great to have around for easy meals like this!

This recipe was inspired by this one from Cooking Light that I made earlier this year. I also grew up eating rice and beans (a complete protein), so my go-to meatless meals usually involve this type of combo.

To explain what I mean by "complete protein" - there are 9 essential amino acids (building blocks of protein) that we get in our diet. Animal products contain all 9. Most plant proteins do not, unless you combine them with other foods. Grains and beans together are a complete protein, and just so happens to be one of the most widely consumed combos in the world :)

Enjoy the video!

Recipe: Easy Farro Burrito Bowls
Serves: About 4 (Aka leftovers for lunches!)

- 10-minute Farro (Trader Joe's)
- 1 can black beans
- 2 bell peppers of any color, sliced
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 1-2 avocados
- 1 cup Mexican blend cheese
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- Chile Lime Seasoning (Trader Joe's)
- Cumin
- Plain Siggi's Skyr (Or other plain greek yogurt or sour cream)
- 1 lime
- Avocado oil or Olive oil

What to do:
1.) Bring water to a boil and cook farro per instructions (Add to boiling water then turn heat to low, simmer for 10 minutes, then drain)

2.) Heat up about 3 tbsp avocado oil in a skillet. Add peppers and onions and sauteé about 5 minutes until soft. Season with a few shakes of Chile Lime seasoning. (If you like to measure, about 2 tbsp should be good!) Sauté for an additional 5 minutes.

3.) Rinse black beans and place into a bowl. Add about 1 tbsp of cumin and mix.

4.) Drain cooked farro and then place into a large bowl. Drizzle with avocado oil, juice from one lime, and top with cilantro. Mix it up!

5.) Distribute farro evenly into 4 bowls (or containers if saving for later). Top with divided up beans, peppers and onions. Add about 1/4 cup of cheese and 1/4 cup diced avocado. Lastly, add a dollop of Siggi's. (Note: You can use sour cream if you want! Personally I prefer to use yogurt as a replacement.)

To use less dishes:
- Place drained farro back into the pot you cooked it in and mix in the oil, cilantro, and lime juice in there
- Evenly distribute plain farro and then mix in ingredients there. Same thing with the black beans!


What are your go-to meatless meals? I'd love to know!


Last month's theme was APPLES and I totally forgot to share on here. I did share on IG. Here's my video for this super simple panini! If you don't have a panini press, you can make it on the stove top and press it down with a spatula or pan. Yum!

July & August Favorites

I can't decide how I feel about summer coming to an end. I love fall and am kind of in need of slowing down a bit. We were super busy this summer but I am still adjusting to that part of adulting where you don't get a designated long break to just chill out. With that being said we definitely had some good beach days, went to Vermont and New Hampshire a few times, had friends visit us in Newport and all that fun summer stuff :) 

I lumped my July and August Favorites together because a) summer really went by that fast and b) they are basically the same month in my mind now.

1. 6-am Gym Classes!

Back in June, I switched to a new gym in Newport. When we moved here, I just chose to join the biggest gym thinking it was the best, but I was never fully satisfied with it. It was big but there was very little sense of community, at least with people my age. I just never felt excited to go there. I had also been focused mostly on the Kayla Itsines guide for workouts and was starting to get bored of it. (No hate on Kayla - I love the guide and think the circuits are fun but sometimes you just gotta switch it up)
Our friends Jess and Chris finally convinced me to join their smaller gym because that's where they do these 6 am classes - Tabata on Tuesdays and Olympic Challenge on Thursdays.
Some things you should know about me before I continue: Waking up early for a workout is not something I would have routinely done a few years ago. That is, until I realized how much more productive I can be in the morning. Waking up at 5 and getting the workout DONE with and enjoying it in the process has been the best! I go to work in a much better mood because of it. The other thing is that words like "olympic challenge" really scared me at first. I am used to working out on my own and going at my own pace. I actually realized that to really feel the full effects of my workouts, I benefit from being with a group, loud music, and someone yelling at me. I seriously love these classes and am not looking back!
At first when I switched, I was hesitant to try the classes and continued to do my Kayla guides. Then I realized this gym was basically begging you to take their classes and be friends with everyone, so I did and I love it! If you're someone that is in a workout rut, seriously consider adding some structure via group classes to your routine. I am so happy I did!

2. This Olive Oil/Balsamic Combo from Saratoga Oil Company


Earlier this month we went camping in Vermont. It was super fun because we were tent camping which basically forced us to be doing something at all times of the day. We did SO MUCH. Hiking (4 hikes total, some long, some short), tons of breweries because that's kind of our thing, driving around appreciating how beautiful it is up there, eating and of course visiting Burlington. One day while we were walking on Church St, I was basically starving and we happened to walk by this olive oil shop. Basically there are like 30-50 different kinds of oil blends and vinegars and you can try all of them. Trying a few (ok...more than a few) pieces of bread with oil definitely satisfied my hunger right then :) The chipotle olive oil sold me! I had to buy it. Then Kevin picked up a random recipe card and happened to find a chicken marinated with the chipotle and raspberry balsamic, which was also amazing, so we got both! I've used the raspberry as part of a dressing a few times already and the chipotle olive oil is a game changer drizzled on pizza.
I love finds like this! It gives me something new to have fun with in the kitchen and thats the kind of thing that makes me happy.

3. Trader Joe's Seasonings


I am aware that these have been around for a while. However, I miss my UMass days when TJs was 5 minutes away. Now my only option is to go on my way home from work (long commute and its 20 min out of the way) so I feel like I miss out on the hype of their products! I finally got my hands on these two seasonings and they are the bomb.com. The chile lime seasoning goes on everything from chicken, shrimp, chickpeas in my last recipe and I even just sprinkled it on peppers and onions for a quick quesadilla last week! Noms. The everything bagel seasoning makes me want to roast potatoes and sprinkle that on EVERY. DAY. But I shall refrain. That would make it less enjoyable right? My friend Jenna from Jenna Gorham Nutrition also put it on some avocado toast. Haven't tried it yet but I have high expectations.
If you are someone who is limiting salt intake - be mindful these are not low in salt by any means. I am not promoting them as a health food and I don't think everything we eat needs to be a "health food". My recommendation for patients in this situation is to be mindful of other salty foods you may eat during the day and not overdo it at any other meal. 

4. Girls-Night-In Newsletter

Because I work full-time and am also working towards the goal of eventually working for myself, I basically just need to be with a blanket, This Is Us or a book, and wine every weekend night (boyfriend is OK with it because he is a gamer so it works). The truth is, I have kind of always been that way and now I have a resource that encourages this lifestyle. I found out about the GNI (Girls Night In Club) community on Instagram (obviously) and immediately subscribed. Every Friday, they send you a newsletter with new products to try or things to do on a Friday night in, incredibly relevant articles for a millennial like myself, interviews with bo$$ women and more. I only wish they sent our a mid-week one as well just because I love it so much! You can also follow them @girlsnightinclub on Insta - but seriously. Do it. 

5. Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff


I truly believe every human in this world should read this book. I realize this is not nutrition or food-related, but it can be. One thing I have realized in my short 1.5 years of working as a dietitian is that health involves much more than nutrients. How we treat ourselves affects our overall wellbeing and treating ourselves KINDLY can make all the difference for the better. This includes allowing ourselves to enjoy food without feeling guilty, and missing a workout without stressing about it. 
I have noticed a huge change in how I react to stressful situations since going through this book. I am self-critical and a people-pleaser by nature. Stepping out of my own head and seeing that there is no way I can make everyone happy is mind-blowing to say the least. What is even better is accepting myself for the mistakes I make, the overreactions I have and everything in between. Then moving on. Instead of dwelling. (Clearly this is something I am not good at.) But this book is changing that! I HIGHLY recommend if you're in need of a little positivity in your life ♡

And there ya have it! My summer favorites. What are you up to this LDW? We have a wedding Saturday, hanging out with family on the Cape Sunday, but I want to spend my Monday grilling on our patio in Newport. May bake something with pumpkin next week though ;)

Chile Lime Chickpea Tacos

I got the inspiration to make these easy little tacos last week because my boyfriend was gone for the week and I didn't feel like spending a lot on groceries just for myself. We tend to spend more in the summer because we cook a lot more (esp with people visiting us in Newport), go out more, etc. I figured it wound be fun to really raid my kitchen and see what I could make with what I had. (The things that excite me...haha)

My other inspiration for this plant-based recipe came from watching "What The Health" on Netflix. But please take what I just said with caution. (Btw - have you seen it? Would love to hear your thoughts!) I by no means believe that eating meat is "bad" or is the leading cause of diabetes or anything like that. Actually, I know this is simply not true. Here are my (brief) two cents on the documentary:

When Cowspiracy, came out last year, I was all over it. I liked the message that the excessive amount of animal products that we eat causes more harm to the environment than all of the other things we do that we deem "bad": Like taking long showers and driving to work instead of biking. I truly believe that a major part of leading a healthy lifestyle is being mindful about the food you are eating, where it comes from and how it made it's way to your plate. (The docu-series "Cooked" on Netflix based on Michael Pollan's book covers this and it is AMAZING!)

I didn't feel the same about "What The Health". The movie starts out immediately making drastic and fearmongering claims against the consumption of animal products and how it is essentially killing you as you eat it. It claims that sugar is not the culprit but saturated fat from animal products is. In my opinion, no one thing is a true "culprit" when it comes to poor health. There are a variety of factors that play a role there). 

Anyway, I think that a separate blog post is warranted to talk more about this. If you would like me to provide a full review, let me know! But my takeaway from both Cowspiracy and What The Health as well as my education in nutrition is this: Eating animal products is not BAD. But eating MORE PLANTS is definitely beneficial and we could all use a little bit more plant goodness. Plants provide essential vitamins, nutrients and fiber. The average person needs around 25-30 grams of fiber per day and according to USDA data, the average American only consumes about half of that. Fiber is essential for satisfaction after a meal, keeping you regular in the bathroom (yep this is what I talk about most of the day), and feeds your healthy gut bacteria. 

After Kevin and I watched this and got over being annoyed at the beginning of the movie, we both agreed we can make a little more effort to replace meat with more plant-based protein. Not only does this save us money each week, but it means that meat products can be enjoyed when it is truly worth it for us. I don't believe that diet labels like vegetarian, vegan, Paleo, etc are necessary. It doesn't define health because you can still be vegan and eat chips and sugar-loaded vegan cookies all day. Instead, I am focusing on pairing complete proteins together (rice and beans!), eating a well-balanced diet including all foods that I enjoy, and saving money along the way. It doesn't hurt that having a more plant-based diet is much more sustainable for the environment - it requires much less water, land and resources, not to mention less methane gas into the air! 

Again, don't get me wrong. I fully respect anybody's dietary choices if it makes you feel best. But if you were my patient, I would definitely aim to make sure you were meeting all of your nutrition needs - regardless of what type of diet you are following.

And with that, here are those chickpea tacos! Super simple and can be thrown together in about 15 minutes! My best friend Mary introduced me to this seasoning and I am never looking back. It is so good! For the slaw - I choose to buy pre-made broccoli slaw. I like the crunch in the tacos! Most tacos typically use shredded cabbage but the little Stop&Shop near place doesn't sell it :(. I know from past experience that I would not use a whole head of cabbage before it went bad, but feel free to try with cabbage if you prefer! Enjoy :)

Sharing this incase you don't have a TJ's near you! Just mix the spices in the ingredients list together :)

Sharing this incase you don't have a TJ's near you! Just mix the spices in the ingredients list together :)


Recipe: Chile Lime Chickpea Tacos
Makes: Approx 8 tacos

8 corn tortillas
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup broccoli slaw
1 ripe avocado
1 small jalapeño, chopped
2 limes
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Avocado oil/Olive oil
Black pepper
Garlic powder
Chile Lime Seasoning (From Trader Joe's)


For the guacamole:

1. Simply mash the avocado in a small bowl with juice from 1/2 a lime, a pinch of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. 

For the broccoli slaw:

1. Simply squeeze 1 whole lime over slaw in a small bowl, add a pinch of salt and pepper and let sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 

For the tacos:

1. Placed drained and rinsed chickpeas in a medium-sized bowl and drizzle with around 2 tbsp of olive or avocado oil. Then season with 2-3 tbsp of Chile Lime seasoning. Toss with a spoon.

2. Spray a skillet with cooking spray, turn on medium heat and sauté chickpeas for approx. 5 minutes. Be careful because sometimes they pop up from the pan!

3. Prepare the tortillas. If you have a gas burner, I like to place the tortillas individually above the flame for about 15 seconds on each side. If you don't have a gas burner, you can either do this on a grill or simply in a skillet. 

4. Assemble the tacos: Add a dollop of guac, about a small handful of the broccoli slaw. Add the chickpeas, top with a pinch of jalapeños and cilantro. Squeeze more lime juice onto the ingredients for additional limey-goodness :) Enjoy!


Also - Where did July go?! My next "Monthly Favorites" post will be featuring things from both July and August. They're basically the same month anyway, right?


June Favorites!

I honestly can't believe that July is in a few days. And that I turn 25 in August. Time is flying by and I feel like I am so busy but not busy enough all at once. Am I having a quarter life crisis?

Anyway, I am here to share with you some of my favorite things from this past month!

Matcha Lattes


**So trendy*** I know :) I am a big tea fan for many reasons: It's soothing, different herbs and spices offer a variety of health benefits, it keeps me warm when I am cold 90% of the time, and it is a great way to stay hydrated. However I realized I was not drinking enough green tea which contains a good amount of disease-preventing antioxidants. The reason I wasn't drinking it enough is because I was not ready to give up my dark cup of Brazilian coffee in the morning and I did not want any more caffeine throughout the day. In steps matcha! If you have not heard of matcha, it is a concentrated form of green tea from the whole tea leaf. It comes in powder form. It contains more caffeine than just regular green tea, and is likely close to the caffeine content of the coffee I drink. It also contains a significantly greater amount of antioxidants (catechins, to be specific) than green tea. The Nutrition Diva has a great article on why this extra concentration of disease-fighting properties may not make a difference, but there are benefits to green tea regardless.

I decided to switch up my normal routine and get try making my own matcha latte. I've been blending 2 tbsp of the powder with a dash of cinnamon, splash of almond/coconut milk or almond milk creamer (I am lactose intolerant - no hate on dairy), and about a cup and a half of boiling water. I am pretty sure you are not supposed to put hot liquids in a NutriBullet, but I have not had a problem yet! The reason I blend it is because the powder is pretty grainy and that helps it get absorbed a bit better. Also it gets foamy and I am a fan of that. I don't add sugar to my coffee so I have not felt like I needed to add it to this, but feel free to try it with some stevia or honey! I've also made a mango matcha smoothie and hope to share the recipe soon!

Other benefits of matcha include it's component L-theanine which has been found to provide lasting focus and relaxation throughout the day. I haven't paid attention to see if this is my experience yet, but I really do enjoy having it in the morning.


Intuitive Eating


If you have dieted, are sick of dieting and feel like the goal of weight loss is never ending, then please do yourself a favor and READ THIS BOOK. I won't go into too much detail about it because that would turn this short post into a novel. Basically, Intuitive Eating is the NON-DIET approach to eating. It is eating intuitively. It is eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full. It is respecting those natural cues and ditching "food rules". It is everything I always believed in and was never able to put into words. I got into nutrition not because I cared about weight, but because I cared about HEALTH and how I felt when it came to eating. I am proud of my profession in that there are so many RDs branching away from the diet rules we are taught and promoting body positivity, self-acceptance and respect, and the idea that diets simply do not work. If you are an #rd2be, I highly recommend this book for you as well!

Some favorite bloggers that preach this idea:

Kylie from ImmaEatThat

Rachael Hartley from Rachael Hartley Nutriton

Anne from fANNEtastic food

Rebecca Scritchfield

Alexis from Hummusapien

Jessi from Jessi Haggerty Nutriton and Movement Therapy


Run, Selfie, Repeat Podcast

Few things brighten up my morning commute more than listening to Kelly Roberts talk about LIFE with a side of running! Her episodes also bring me tears, as this girl has gone through some serious sh*t. I learned about this podcast from my friend Abby who is also a runner and I dove right in to get some inspiration. Kelly is a former theater girl, non-athlete who now runs marathons, preaches for women to stop hating their bodies and start running in sports bras and is a total badass. (Kelly if you ever read this, I want to be your friend.) I run, but I would not call myself a runner...but listening to Kelly's own life lessons and experiences certainly gets me thinking and motivates me to be a better version of myself every day. Go listen!!!!


Roasted Edamame

I actually used to snack on these all the time and the totally forgot about them! If you were to ask me if I prefer salty or sweet, I would probably say salty unless it's like 3 pm. In an effort to switch up my snacks that I bring to work, I found these again and remembered why I love them. Edamame is so filling! Just 1/3 cup of these contains healthy fats and has 13g protein and 8g of fiber aka they have a lot of staying power and can help lower cholesterol. Plus they are crunchy and that is just my personal preference when it comes to most foods.
There is also a lightly salted version for anyone watching their sodium intake!



Last weekend we hiked up Mount Lafayette in New Hampshire. It took 8 hours, it had just rained a ton, and I was totally unprepared. My burning calves let me know all week how much of a workout it was haha! I enjoy hiking but am definitely inexperienced. I didn't have enough water before it and I was also really struggling with the downhill rocks. But I did it anyway! At one point going back down I started getting really frustrated and then just mentally turned that into how I could do a little better. Literally putting one foot in front of the other and stop overthinking every step. Kevin also was encouraging me to do this.
Anyway, I know that my hike is not a "thing", but it is one the favorite things I did this month. I thought all week about how I was unprepared but made it through anyway, and how that can apply to the rest of my life. Yes I am aware this is super corny, but I have a lot of goals right now I have been holding back on because I feel like I am not ready yet. The truth is, none of us will ever be 100% ready so we should just jump in and try it anyway. You might fail, or learn a few things, such as get hiking boots and stop climbing in old sneakers like I did :)


That's a wrap! I hope you all have a fun 4th of July weekend! Speaking of which, if you'll be drinking, there's absolutely a way to do it in a healthy way. My RD friend Jenna is offering a FREE webinar on How to Drink & Still Be Healthy! Sign up for it HERE.