Eat This, Not That

Eat This Not That | Life Healthfully Lived

Have you seen those articles/posts about what you should eat instead of the junk food you normally go for?  Or those articles that highlight restaurants worst menu items and then tell you what to eat instead?  Or have you ever tried to look up an ingredient or some other food thing online to see if it’s healthy or not and 3 hours later you have a pile of research saying yes it is and no it will kill you?

It’s really frustrating, isn’t it?

Eat This Not That | Life Healthfully Lived

How most people look when they try to start eating better.

Just the other day, I googled quinoa to look up the different varieties and was immediately met with headlines like: Quinoa: Is It The Next Superfood or Will It Destroy Your Gut? And: Quinoa Is The Seed The Acts Like A Grain And Could Be The Way To A Smaller Waistline. Don’t get me started on the back and forth over whether quinoa is “paleo” because that would take an entire day.

Eat This Not That | Life Healthfully Lived

They’re both fine, eat whichever makes you feel better!

While I’m sort of used to nutrition research and know that for every study published stating the benefits of some food there is another one that says it’s horrible for you, I realized that people just starting out on their healthy journey probably feel overwhelmed and confused when trying to figure out if something is good or bad.  I think that’s why I’ve started to move away from that idea.  Food isn’t inherently evil nor is it undeniably good.  It’s food and it either makes you feel your best or it doesn’t.  It helps you meet your goals or it deters you.

So what if quinoa isn’t paleo?  Does it make you feel good when you eat it?  Can you perform your daily tasks without hindrance?  Are you gorging yourself with only quinoa? No, hopefully you have a diet full of real foods like fruits and vegetables.  If you are subsisting on a diet of only quinoa, I’m going to bet you have other things to worry about….

Eat This Not That | Life Healthfully Lived

Anyone else feel like this?

So here is my advice for you health newbies out there and this is something that I wish I had realized early on in my journey because it would have saved a lot of time and stress: Stop worrying so much.  You can always find a reason something is bad or good.  Start looking to yourself to see whether what you put in your mouth is helping you or hurting you.  Start by cutting out processed food and move to whole foods and go from there.  Try new things and if they work for you then that’s all that matters!

Your diet will never be perfect and that is quite alright.  No one’s is.  Not the Instagram stars, not the celebrities, not the fitness guru’s, and not mine.  You aren’t striving for perfect, you’re striving for better than what you were.Eat This Not That | Life Healthfully Lived

Eat this OR eat that.  As long as it works for you, don’t stress it!

Flashback Friday Recipes

There are two reasons that I’m doing this post:

  1. Winter lighting in my apartment is KILLING me and my ability to get some good pictures


    2.  I have to relearn picture stuff.

Don’t you hate it when you finally have something down that you used to be really crappy at and then something beyond your control makes you crappy again?  Yeah, me too.

Recently I had to get a whole new photo editing program and I feel like I am back at square one with my pictures.  I have to go back and relearn everything that I already knew how to do in my old program with this new one.  Which is super frustrating because I felt like I had finally gotten into the swing of things when it came to food pictures.  Taking good pictures has been a weakness of mine and I keep trying to improve so that my blog can look all pretty for you guys.  Now I have to take some time and get back to where I was.

In the same vein, I’m battling some pretty bad light here in my apartment.  I live on the interior of my building which means that I have two windows both of which face brick walls and get no direct sunlight.  It’s kind of like living in a cave, especially in the winter when the light is already scarce.  That means natural light (a food blogger’s best friend) is very hard to come by here at Casa Dawson.

What is the point of all this rambling?  To tell you there is no brand new recipe for today.  I’m teaching myself some new photo stuff and doing everything I can to get as much good light as I can on the recipes I do have to share.  But fear not, I’m not leaving you totally recipe-less.  I thought it would be fun to bring back some old recipes from when I first started this blog.  It’s kind of fun to see where I came from and where I am now.  For the most part, the recipes are delicious and the pictures are horrendous.  But it’s all about improving right?

At least I don’t take pictures for the blog with my iPhone anymore….

Anyways, here are some Flashback Friday recipes for you and I promise I’ll be back with more new stuff next week!

Slow Cooker Minestrone SoupFlashback Friday Recipes | Life Healthfully Lived

Stir Fry With Spicy Peanut SauceFlashback Friday Recipes | Life Healthfully Lived

Eggplant LasagnaFlashback Friday Recipes | Life Healthfully Lived

Baked Falafel with Tahini SauceFlashback Friday Recipes | Life Healthfully Lived

Turmeric Scented Mushrooms and Brown Rice Noodles

Crispy Coconut Avocado FriesFlashback Friday Recipes | Life Healthfully Lived

Healthy Brownie Bites

DIY Wednesday: Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache

AfterDIY Wednesday: Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache a week off, DIY Wednesday is back!  I know you missed it and were totally lost without a fun DIY to fill your Wednesday.  At least that’s what I would like to think.

I’m SUPER excited about this DIY because I didn’t think it was going to work and it did and it is amazing.  If you don’t know what a ganache is, then you obviously don’t spend enough time in bakeries or watching the Food Network.  A ganache is a glaze, sauce, icing, or filling that is typically made with cream and chocolate.  It can be used for cakes, cupcakes, truffles, or donuts.  Basically, anything that is delicious can be made even more delicious with ganache.DIY Wednesday: Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache | Life Healthfully Lived

Ganache used to be one of my favorite things.  It isn’t super heavy or super sweet like typical frostings and it really lets the chocolate flavor shine through.  And let’s face it, chocolate is the reason many of us get up in the morning.  Wait, is that just me?  Oh well, it’s true and I ain’t ashamed of that.

So you can imagine how excited I was when I was able to make it without dairy but still just as delicious.  I figured I would share this one with you right as the holiday season is upon us because this will definitely come in handy for all your baking needs.  You can use it as a frosting or icing for you cooking, as a decadent hot chocolate drink, as a filling for pastries or sweet breads, or stick it in the fridge for a rich and creamy mousse and a simple dessert.  The possibilities are endless and with just a few ingredients you can have this on hand at all times.  That is a very good thing!

Dairy-Free Chocolate GanacheDIY Wednesday: Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk, unsweetened
  • 2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate (I used Baker’s brand)
  • 2-3 tbsp maple syrup, honey, molasses, whatever liquid sweetener you have on handDIY Wednesday: Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache | Life Healthfully Lived


  1. Using a microplane or fine grater, grate the 2 oz of chocolate into a medium bowl until you have a little pile of chocolate shreds.  Set bowl aside.
  2. Get a small to medium saucepan and pour the coconut milk in.  Heat the milk over medium heat and whisk frequently.  You don’t want the milk to boil or scald.  Whisk in the maple syrup or other sweetener and whisking until you get a light simmer.  This should take about 10 minutes
  3. Remove the milk from the heat and get your bowl with chocolate shreds.  Slowly pour in the sweetened warm milk, whisking the whole time.  Keep whisking until the chocolate is completely melted and everything is smooth.
  4. You can use the ganache right away or you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.DIY Wednesday: Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache | Life Healthfully Lived