So maybe you noticed that I took a week away from posting last week. There were definitely some reasons behind this mini-break. The main reason being that after getting the blog launched here at cookeatlivelove.com, I began to feel the need for a little break — a desire to recharge a bit. Also, it’s always good for me to venture out and find inspiration in the world and that is definitely what I did. I feel like I’ve come back with lots of ideas on where to take things from this point.
First of all, my brother and nephew came to visit me here in Peru, and I took some time to travel around with them for a few days. We went to Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas for a few days. Such a beautiful place that is home to friendly people and some of the most interesting food products I have ever seen. Amazingly fresh products that are grown in the Andes still using some of the ancient techniques used by the Incas many years ago.
I tasted some new foods such as oca and mashwa, both tubers that are farmed in this area of Peru. Drank coca tea which provides energy and relief from soroche aka altitude sickness, which is a serious issue as Cusco is 3,399 m (or 11,000 feet) above sea level. Visited small towns where life is lived without many of our modern day comforts as you can see by the wood burning stove located outside of the house shown in one of the photos below. And strolled through markets with all kinds of products that are so new to my American eyes.
What’s new on the blog
The second reason to step away for a bit was to complete some work in order to relaunch the website with a new look and some added features. When I first started the blog I really didn’t know exactly where I was going and it’s taken some time to figure out the path I want to take. All of this led me to the decision to jazz things up a bit and insert some framework that will allow me to expand my services and offerings.
I’ve added a storefront which currently features some of my favorite products, equipment and resources that I use frequently. The items include ingredients, cookware, cookbooks and other self-care products. More features will be coming to the storefront in the future as I begin to offer and add services related to meal planning, meal prepping, recipe books and coaching services.
Now you can subscribe to my monthly newsletter. When you sign-up you will receive some FREE added features including: The Official cookeatlivelove Weekly Meal Planning Tool, first access to new services, monthly newsletter with recipes and tips exclusive to subscribers, and much more as time moves forward. I promise not to flood you with a ton of emails every day or week and imagine that I will never send out more than 3 emails a month
Now you can visit the recipe page and select/search for items by meal type. The page includes easy access to all the recipes that I have ever posted on the blog. Plus, the new recipe format is printable and very easy to read.
My goal here at cookeatlivelove is to create a community. I want to share with you what I have learned and experienced over the years on topics such as nutrition, meal planning, meal prepping, healthy living and so much more. Because creating this community is so important, the new site offers many ways you can stay in touch and communicate with me. Why? Because I want to know what type of content you want to read. I want to create content that you find valuable, and that is easy to prepare or implement. You can follow me on social media – especially Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest – where I stay pretty active. Or you can contact me directly using the contact me page – I promise to respond to all questions and comments as soon as I can. And last you can subscribe to the newsletter and receive all the benefits that come along with that.
Posts to the blog will occur every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. I will generally follow a pattern of posting well all know what content will be appearing and when. This pattern may change from time to time, just to keep things fresh.
Monday will feature Tips/How to or About posts focused on revealing a more detailed glimpse about a particular topic or tips about how to implement a particular healthy habit or change.
Wednesday will feature the Recipe of the Week.
Thursday will feature a bit more detail about an particular ingredient or nutrient and include a recipe.
The future at cookeatlivelove
My third and final reason for taking some time away has been to figure out what types of services to provide alongside the blog that makes up my new business.
Coming very soon (October, 2018), I will begin offering personalized meal planning services which will include recipes for the week, meal prep tips, grocery list, access to social support from other members, direct contact with me and so much more. Stay tuned throughout this month as more details are released. And further on down the road, I will begin offering more personalized coaching services for individuals and groups.
And now for the chocolate
Since this is of course a food blog, today I want to share one of my all-time favorite recipes. It’s perfect as an on-the-go breakfast or afternoon snack. I LOVE chocolate but its the flavor of a darker, less sweet type of chocolate. In this recipe the cacao nibs on the top definitely give this overnight oat pudding this bite of dark chocolate, and of course if you like it a bit sweeter you can always add more sweetener to the oat portion of the recipe. The dark flavor pairs well with ripe, juicy raspberries and creates a fabulous combination.
AND of course chocolate has MANY health benefits which makes me more excited to eat it. Just remember that when talking about the health benefits of chocolate, I am mainly referring to the darker varieties (72%+ in cacao) because these have less sugar.
Based on information obtained from the USDA, an ounce of dark chocolate (72-85% cacao) contains the following nutrient values.
3.1 grams of fiber or 12% of RDI
19% of the RDI for iron
20% of the RDI for magnesium
56% of the RDI for copper
31% of the RDI for manganese
And also contains smaller amounts of potassium, phosphorous, zinc and selenium.
**I used the RDI for women ages 31-50 to calculate percentage. Information for other groups is here.
Chocolate Oats with Raspberries
Chocolate and raspberries create a perfect combination in this healthy grain bowl
- 2/3 cup quick oats, dry
- 1 1/2 cup soy or almond milk
- 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp honey or agave syrup
- 1 T cacao nibs
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- Step 1 Combine quick oats, almond milk, cocoa powder and honey into container or jar. Shake well to combine. Allow to sit for 45 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed. When ready, place into bowls and top with cacoa nibs and raspberries.
NOTE: The first step of this recipe can be done the night before so that the oat jar is ready to grab on your way out the door in the morning.
If you make this recipe and post to Instagram, be sure to tag me @cook.eat.live.love in your post!! Also, I want to hear from you. Let me know what you think of this recipe and/or my post in the comments here or send me a message via the contact me page or any other social media method you feel most comfortable using.