7/12/2017

MY TRIP TO TULUM, MEXICO: THE BEACHES + A FEW TIPS...

Those people who know me well know that I am my absolute happiest when I am on the beach - a good crisp, clear blue water, white sand kind of beach. Well know that I was my absolute happiest on the beach in Tulum. It's definitely one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen. The sand is white and fine, the water is really soft, warm, and blue, and the vibe on the beach is really relaxed and laid back. Gosh - just writing that makes me want to book a trip back there!

Anyway, here are a few scenes from the beach - which is pretty much where we were most of the trip. I've also sprinkled a few tips and comments in between - just in case you or someone you know may want to visit this amazing place one day...

Tip #1: No need to bring your own beach chairs and umbrella to the beach if you aren't staying on the beach. The hotels along the beach have their own "beach beds" that you can use- even if you aren't a guest at the hotel. All you have to do is order a few drinks and/or appetizers and you're set. At least that is what worked for us. We settled each day at a boutique hotel called Le Zebra, which was recommended to us by a local. The beach beds were so beautiful and comfortable (see the next photo)! They came with Wi-fi and even included plugs for phones! The food was delicious, too, which I will show and tell you about in the next blog post. 

Tip #2: Speaking of the locals, we didn't meet one single person that wasn't friendly! Everyone there was really nice and helpful. So don't hesitate to ask for tips or advice on anything. They'll give it to you. 

Tip #3: Wear LOTS AND LOTS of sunscreen! I don't care if you are white, black, brown, blue, or yellow - or if the sun is shining or not. Wear the sunscreen - especially if you have sensitive skin like I do! I wore this sunscreen on my body and it worked beautifully. But I didn't wear it on my face thinking that my moisturizer with SPF 15 and a hat would be enough. It wasn't. My face got scorched and it is honestly just now getting back to normal. The sun - even when it's not out - is really strong there, so a good quality sunscreen is crucial.

Tip #4: Wear mosquito repellant. Mosquitos are vicious there around this time of the year. I personally don't like chemical-laden repellent, so we wore these mosquito bracelets instead (I'm wearing a blue one in the photo above). They worked like a CHARM! I never got bit, but a friend of mine did at a time when they weren't wearing the bracelet, so I know they work!

Oh I'm wearing this bikini (top HERE, bottoms HERE) which is currently on sale!

Tip #5: Probably the #1 touristy thing to do in Tulum is to visit the Mayan Ruins. We went on the last day of our trip around noon. Big mistake. It was SO HOT! If you are in Tulum around this time of year, go early in the morning when it is cooler. Even during the cooler months, I would still get there early because it can be quite crowded. 

The photo above and the last few photos are from the ruins. That big blue beautiful ocean was at the edge of the ruins and was such a welcome site to see! I kinda enjoyed that more than the ruins... :)

Tip #6: This maybe should have been my #1 tip, but here goes. Bring plenty of cash- in pesos. And bring more than you think you will need. They do take credit cards and dollars, but it's more expensive to use those forms of money. There are ATMs, but the fees can be high and the exchange rates aren't the fairest. The restaurants seemed to prefer pesos. Also, cabs are the easiest way to get around town and paying in pesos is the easiest thing for the drivers. 

Don't you just wanna go there!! Wait until you see the FOOD! That's coming up next!





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7/10/2017

MY TRIP TO TULUM, MEXICO: OUR HOME...

Savor Home: Tulum, Mexico Airbnb
So back in March, a friend of mine called me and asked if I wanted to go on a trip to Tulum, Mexico. I immediately said yes - without even thinking twice about it- which is so not my personality. I'm the type of person that weights the pros and cons over and over in my head before making that type of decision. But I hadn't been out of the country in a really long time- plus a beautiful vacation was something I really needed after everything I had been through the last few years. So we went last month and it was honestly one of the best vacations I've ever had. 

Naturally I took tons of photos, so I'm going to share them here with you over three different blog posts that will detail where we stayed, what we did, and OF COURSE what we ate

In case you haven't heard of Tulum, here's some quick info... It's a small beautiful little beach town that is about an hour and 45 minutes south of Cancun. It is known for its beautiful beaches, AMAZING food, and its focus on health and wellness. Lots of people often go there for yoga and wellness retreats. Anyway, we flew into Cancun and hired a driver (as opposed to a taxi) to get us to Tulum from the airport - which is something I highly recommend one do when traveling to Tulum. Our driver dropped us off and this house and it's what I want to share with you first... 

Savor Home: Tulum, Mexico Airbnb
Instead of staying right on the beach, we stayed in an Airbnb called Villa Vidrio in a residential area right in the heart of Tulum. To say that this house was beautiful is an understatement! We weren't on the beach, and the neighborhood wasn't the prettiest, but our house made up for all of that!! It was a little big modern oasis that came fully stocked with the essentials - filtered water (because you NEVER drink the local water in Mexico), fresh towels, really comfortable beds, Wi-fi, a pool, rooftop sitting areas, and even Netflix! Netflix is an essential right?? We took taxis pretty much everywhere, but the house came with a cute set of bikes that we did use a few times to explore the neighborhood. The architectural details of the house were also insanely gorgeous... It was just perfect - and here are a few photos that prove it!

Savor Home: Tulum, Mexico Airbnb
Savor Home: Tulum, Mexico Airbnb
Savor Home: Tulum, Mexico Airbnb
Savor Home: Tulum, Mexico Airbnb
Savor Home: Tulum, Mexico Airbnb
Savor Home: Tulum, Mexico Airbnb
Savor Home: Tulum, Mexico Airbnb
Savor Home: Tulum, Mexico Airbnb
Savor Home: Tulum, Mexico Airbnb
Savor Home: Tulum, Mexico Airbnb
Savor Home: Tulum, Mexico Airbnb
Savor Home: Tulum, Mexico Airbnb
Savor Home: Tulum, Mexico Airbnb
Isn't the home so GOOD!! What's also good is that it rents anywhere from $180 - $360 per night, depending on the time of the year- which is super cheap for a house like this I think. Busy season there runs from the end of November through May or so - when it's a little cooler. It's more pricey then obviously. It's about a 15 minute taxi ride to the beach, which we went to daily, but staying in the home was a lot cheaper than staying on the beach. So worth it! 

You can see the full home tour HERE!!

Images 2, 5, 13, 15 via Airbnball other images by me

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6/27/2017

LATELY...


Wow. It's been since January huh?? Well, I'm still here and it's my hope that you are, too. How have you been?? So many of you sweet people have asked me what's been up and I guess I have a few answers to that question. The short answer is that I've been nowhere. I've just been doing my same routine most days - work, cook, eat, sleep, read, hanging out with my friends and my family, managing my house and my health, browsing (and sometimes posting to) social media, and doing some traveling. In the midst of all of that, I guess I've been contemplating the fate of this space a little more than usual. But before I dive into that, let me give you a health update - because that might give you a little more insight as to why it's been quieter around here...

If you recall, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis in March of 2016 - March 8th to be exact. You can read more about that here, here and here. Once I was diagnosed, I dove into this unknown, scary, and really uncomfortable world of learning how to control this symptoms naturally (i.e. without medication) through diet and lifestyle changes. Well, I am SO excited to say that my disease is in remission! I actually learned that back in early February, but I honestly didn't believe the results - despite the fact that I had been consistently feeling better and better. It had been less than a year at that point since I had been diagnosed and per my doctor and my research, remission could happen - but usually not that soon. But I had another test last month that yielded even better results, so I believe it now. I am in remission. I remember getting in my car right after I got the results at my doctor's office feeling like I had just won what has mentally and physically been by far the toughest battle of my life. I've always known that hard work pays off, but this honestly takes the cake...

So how did I get to this point in less than a year?? Basically it all came down to consistently eating a clean diet and keeping a self-care regimen. I kept doing the same things I mentioned back in this post - over and over and over again until I started to feel better. I quit eating gluten, dairy, processed sugar, wheat, soy, eggs, and some nightshades- all foods that a Food Sensitivity test yielded I was sensitive to. I didn't and still haven't slipped up not one single time. I meditated every single day (and still do). I formed a team of doctors and specialists that included a naturopathic doctor, a chiropractor, an acupuncturist, and a massage therapist who essentially helped me put my body back together. I saw all of them except my naturopath almost weekly for about 8 months. I took (and still take) supplements that supported my thyroid and certain vitamin levels - and I never missed a single day of taking them. I stuck to nighttime routine and sleep schedule most nights. And I prayed every single day that God would give me the strength to not give up (which I wanted to do HUNDREDS of times) and for the energy to get through long days that consisted of work, multiple appointments some weeks, LOTS of meal planning and cooking all of my meals, and all of the other random things that just needed to be dealt with on a daily basis. And He came through as always...

That gets me to how I'm doing and feeling today...

Physically, I feel the best I've felt in a really long time - even before my symptoms were really apparent. Most of my symptoms are gone and have been gone for quite some time. My random anxiety and constant fatigue have dissipated, my hair has stopped falling out, I sleep well most nights, and my intense brain fog has lifted. I can certainly tell a difference in how much quicker I can think and how well I remember things compared to this time last year. I still have heart palpitations when I don't get enough sleep or when I'm a bit stressed about something, but they are far less than they used to be. Because of those crazy things called hormones, I might have one or two migraines a month. I used to have on average 10-15 a month just a few years ago, so one or two is certainly tolerable. I've also seen a lot of positive changes in my skin, hair, nails, and body since I've changed my diet. Do I feel amazing everyday? No. But I'm not 18 anymore either...

Mentally, I've got some work to do. Getting sick like that just freaked me out. And you might imagine that all of the work I've done over the past year to heal has left little time and energy to really enjoy life. Getting well has been like a second full-time job - one that I didn't really have time for in the first place. And while managing the disease now doesn't take as much time now as the healing process did in the beginning, it still takes time. In order to keep this disease at bay, I still have to be very careful about managing stress and what I eat. I still see my chiropractor weekly. I see my acupuncturist and massage therapist monthly. Blood tests with my naturopath are done quarterly. But the food is the biggest part. I've added back some foods into my diet, but might never be able to have gluten, dairy, wheat, soy, some grains, some nightshades, or processed sugars again without the possibility of a reoccurrence of symptoms. Time will tell. But being a foodie and not being able to eat whatever I want has been depressing - literally. Going out to eat, which was one of my favorite things to do, is now quite stressful sometimes. Food really heals- and my journey is a true testament to that. But eating this way is hard work sometimes! I often feel like I live in my kitchen. While batch cooking fresh food a few days a week is so good for you (and the food often tastes so good and fresh!), it can be so time-consuming and tiresome when you don't have help and work full-time. Don't get me wrong - I'm so incredibly thankful for where I am now, but I'd be lying if I were to say that my new routine is always easy. It's definitely not.

With all of that being said, here is where I think I stand with this blog. Now that I am physically healthier, I want to start enjoying life with my leftover energy and free time as opposed to being in front of the computer all day at work and all night to blog- then behind the camera most of the weekends to shoot blog posts. I also want to start exploring that whole "finding your purpose" thing (which is a whole other story). Today, my heart says to keep blogging in addition to working on all of that, but my mind says to stop. However, a week ago, the opinions of my heart and mind might have been the opposite. I still love writing, photography, design, and food, but I've realized that those things can't be a priority anymore until I figure some other things out. I've always heard that sickness can quickly and completely change your priorities and how you think and feel about certain things that you once thought were so damn important and necessary. I now know that to be so true. Anyway, I'm not sure if/when my heart and mind will ever be in alignment, but here is what I will do in the meantime:

I will blog here when I have something really special, personal, and original (to me) to share... 

And by special, it could be a life update or a photography project (food or life related) that I really want to share and have time to tell you about. It might be monthly, every two months... Or I might be go really crazy sometimes and do something once a week or every other week. I honestly have no idea. One thing I do know is that I recently went on trip to one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. I'd be crazy not to share the photos I took with you here. So I will - and soon! In the meantime, you can always find me on Instagram. I do often share little updates there. I sometimes also do random InstaStories of things I love, things I'm doing, and recipes that I'm making. It's easier for now (and often more fun!) to share things with you there.

So that's what's up for now! I want to thank each and every single one of you who have reached out to me to see if I'm still around. As you can see, this last year has been a little tough, so getting lovely messages from people I've never even met before were double heartfelt and I'm so appreciative... :)



Dress: Max Studio (under $100 and is so comfy!) | Coin Necklace: vintage, similar here | Shoes: Topshop (old), similar here & here | Sunglasses: Banana Republic (old), similar here

Images by my amazing brother

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1/18/2017

SIX INTENTIONS...

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We are already 18 days into the new year, so it's perfectly acceptable to still be thinking about goals for the year right?? Well I've been thinking and here is what I've come up with regarding my thoughts on 2017. I'm not making any official resolutions. I'm not going to come up with a "word" for the year. I'm barely wanting to make any official goals. All of those things are great things to do, but I'm just not into that this year. Last year was incredibly challenging and full of so much change. Change is good, but quite honestly I'm exhausted from so much of it. However, I know that change is always good. I learned a lot of new things about life and about myself. And in ways, I feel like I became a somewhat of a different person - a better one. I'm more relaxed in many ways, I'm more willing to just go with the flow, and am really coming to a place where I'm secure with my imperfections and comfortable with who I am. So this year, I'm not putting any pressure on myself to make any one specific CHANGE or word happen. Of course I want to do things like maintain my health, continue to grow as a person, learn new things, etc. But those are goals that I have every single day.

But I wouldn't be human if I didn't have a list of things that I wanted to accomplish outside of my everyday goals. So this year decided to come up with a simple list of "intentions" - kind of like a to-do list of sorts. They are simply things that I intend to do this year. They are simple and might not seem super exciting, but that's ok. If they happen - fabulous. If they don't happen, well that's fabulous, too. No pressure - because I think it's the pressure that we put on ourselves that can sometimes keep things from happening. Here goes...

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1. Update this blog. - It's very long overdue, I know. My life has changed a lot since I first started this blog and even since the last re-design, so I'm really thinking about the future direction of this blog and how the new design will reflect that. That's honestly been the holdup...  One thing I know for sure is that no matter what, the new design will have a peaceful, clean aesthetic, and will be easy to navigate. That's what I love and what I think most of you appreciate, too. Any feedback on what types of content you would like to see more of here would be a big help in the process, so let me know!

2. Start doing yoga consistently - at home. Pilates and long walks are my favorite workouts, but it's always good to mix things up. One thing that I've learned about myself is that attending a 1 hr workout class for anything here in the city can take about 2 or more hours of time to do when you include getting ready, traffic, parking, etc... That is enough time to talk myself out of going to do something new. Yoga is something I've started doing at home, usually at night before bed, and I want to get more intentional and consistent with it this year. I'm liking this YouTube channel, but let me know if you have any favorites!

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3. Update my kitchen. If there was a bed in my kitchen, I might sleep in there a few nights a week. That's just how much time I spend in there. Since I'm quite acquainted with my kitchen - and will be a lot going forward - then I want some nice non-builder grade stuff ya know? No oak cabinets, no boring backsplash, no faux granite countertops, no poor lighting, no poor storage, etc. I just got an AMAZING dishwasher, so just that alone has me excited to update everything else. If you've been reading my blog for a while, then this is probably the 3rd time you've heard me mention a kitchen update (remember this post??). Sorry! Life keeps getting in the freaking way, but fingers crossed that it will happen this year.

4. Continue to make my spiritual practice a priority. I have/had health issues, and can get anxious, easily overwhelmed, impatient, and easily irritated by others. I'm far from perfect. Just being real... The only thing that has provided consistent relief of those things is having a daily spiritual practice. I learned that last year thanks to all of the changes... :) I've always been spiritual, (i.e. church, praying, and random reads of the Bible), but never spent time with God on a daily basis until last year. But now I meditate every morning, listen to spiritual podcasts in the car every day (Joyce Meyer's podcast is my fave) and do my own bible study every night (including weekends!!). All of those things have worked wonders in terms of calming me down, and shutting my mind off with things get crazy - which in turn has made me a happier, healthier person, and has reduced my anxiety. I for sure plan to stay on top of that this year!

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5. Increase my 401(k) contribution by 1%. One of the best things I've learned from my parents is to save. And then save some more. So I do. It's really hard sometimes, but it must be done. Saving in general for emergencies is important, but saving for retirement is even more important- especially these days. I'm seeing firsthand with some of my older family members how expensive things like healthcare becomes with age. It's quite alarming and I don't foresee things getting easier or cheaper. Even though I'm a long way from that, I want to stay on top of things. So I have actually already increased my 401(k) contribution by 1% - and plan to keep doing that each January for the next few years in addition to contributing to my Roth IRA. One percent doesn't seem like a lot, but in the grand scheme of things it will make a huge difference.

6. Find a new charity to support. Since I don't always have the time to volunteer, I try to make it a point to contribute financially to an organization on a consistent basis. Each January, I research a new charity to support during the year. I keep a list of causes that are important to me. I pick a cause from the list, research different charities that support that cause (I use Charity Navigator), then pick one or two to donate to each month during the year. If I ever have kids, this will be something we do together as my way of teaching them how to give back. Last year, I chose St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which will honestly keep getting my support. The work they do is incredible...

Pictured: Coat: Banana Republic (old), similar versions on sale here | Sweater: Banana Republic (old), similar here and here | Jeans: Banana Republic | Booties: Zara (old), just got these, though and LOVE them! | Clutch: Clare V. | Lips: Nars "Fire Down Below"

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1/09/2017

MY CURRENT FAVORITE WINTER BEAUTY PRODUCTS...

Effective Winter Beauty Products | Savor Home
Well, the cold weather is definitely here! Did any of you get snow this weekend? We got a little snow, but enough ice to warrant a cozy day inside, so I was happy with that! Anyway, my skin has taken certainly taken notice of this colder and dryer air. If I had to think of two words that describe my body and skin this winter, those words would be CHANGE and DRY. I'm getting older and my body is changing, which means I'm taking more time to hone in on what my body needs to maintain and be fresh. I've also noticed that my skin requires a lot more moisture these days. So this winter I have had to beef up my beauty routine to address and accommodate the changes. Here are few things that are really working for me this winter... 

Effective Winter Beauty Products | Savor Home
Sunday Riley JUNO Face Oil, also here

This face oil is probably the most effective beauty product that I've ever purchased. That is huge statement I know, but it is so true. Once the weather was consistently cooler and dryer, I started to notice that my nighttime moisturizer just wasn't cutting it. I felt like my face was dry again a few minutes after application. It would also be super dry in the mornings. I took that as a sign that my face needed more. I'd heard so many good things about face oils, but shied away from them because the thought of putting any type of oil on my face just kinda scared me. But I did some research and decided to try this oil by Sunday Riley. I read tons of good reviews on it and was comfortable about the all-natural ingredients, so I felt good about purchasing it. The first night I used it, I massaged 4-5 drops of it on my face before applying my moisturizer. It absorbed quickly, so my face didn't feel oily at all - it just felt fresh and moisturized. I woke up the next day with the SOFTEST skin! It wasn't dry either! It just felt so good and it was cool to see benefits after just one use. I haven't experienced any breakouts either. For now I am only using the oil at night, when my face tends to be dryer. Yes, the oil is pricey, but a little goes a really long way, so this bottle should last quite some time. I'm also making an investment in my skin. Thinking of it that way helps justify the cost, too.

Effective Winter Beauty Products | Savor Home

Actually Organic Pure Argan Oil , c/o (also here)

Argan oil is not new to me, but using it is. I have always heard that it works really well on dry skin, hair and nails - all of which I had once the weather was cooler. Luckily, the sweet people at Actually Organic sent me a bottle of their oil to try out. I am SO glad they did!! I had a small eczema flair on my hand that had been lingering for a while. I started putting a little dab of this oil on the area at night - and within about a week, it had completely cleared up. The skin on that area of my hand was noticeably softer, too. Even though my battles with eczema are thankfully small these days, it's always amazing to find an all-natural product that helps- and helps quickly! I've also been using it to condition my fingernails and toenails, which had become quite dry as well. It takes a little time for the oil to absorb, so I apply it mostly at night when I'm done with my day. It's worked like a charm...

Effective Winter Beauty Products | Savor Home

Whole Foods Essential Oil Diffuser (similar here and here), Young Living Peppermint Oil, NOW Lavender Oil

Good sleep equals beauty and these next products have helped tons with achieving relaxation and good sleep. Many people, including my naturopath, have told me about the benefits of using essential oils. I've always believed them, but never used them - up until about two months ago. And now I'm hooked. I was in Whole Foods a few months ago when I saw one of their diffusers. I honestly just loved the way it looked. It was ceramic and looked like more like an accessory as opposed to a diffuser. Most diffusers I'd seen just looked plastic-y and kind of cheap looking, so I just wasn't inspired. But the diffuser in Whole Foods ($50) got my attention. So I bought it along with a decently priced, but good-quality bottle of lavender oil. I already had a bottle of peppermint oil that a friend gave to me that I had never used. So I put it on my bedroom nightstand, loaded it up with a mix of lavender (2 drops) and peppermint oil (3 drops), and my sleep hasn't been the same since. The mix of those oils for me makes me so relaxed - and sleepy!! I typically just turn it on at night when I start my bedtime routine. Once I turn out the lights for bed, I set it to automatically turn off in an hour. I'm usually fast asleep in 10 minutes tops. The scent - and honestly the light sound of the diffuser - gets me more relaxed and in turn I feel like my sleep is deeper and more quality. So I get the hype now. Diffusers and essential oils are obviously effective and worth it. I'll never be without them again - especially if they help me sleep better! I look forward to learning more about them and how they help other issues...

Effective Winter Beauty Products | Savor Home

Aura Cacia Vanilla Oil

Speaking of oils, I started using a new oil to alleviate some of the dryness of the skin on my body. I've always moisturized with coconut oil mixed with a small amount of natural body lotion. But on some days, especially really cold days, I felt like a needed a little more moisture. So I scoped out the essential oil section of Whole Foods and ran across this vanilla oil and it is AMAZING. It's pure vanilla oil mixed with jojoba oil, which means it smells fabulous and is really moisturizing. After my showers on really cold days, I mix about a tablespoon and a half of coconut oil with one drop of this oil (just one!), and it does the trick! And I don't have to apply my perfume oil since the delicious smell of the vanilla oil pretty much covers that. It's good stuff...

Effective Winter Beauty Products | Savor Home

Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Toothpaste, Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean Electric Toothbrush

These last few products aren't so much "winter" beauty products, but effective new-to-me products that I just need to tell you about... So I've always been obsessive about brushing my teeth and flossing, but since I've gotten older and have been diagnosed with my autoimmune disease, dental health has become even more important. Changing my toothpaste has been on my agenda since my diagnosis. Most regular toothpastes contain fluoride. Fluoride is known to hinder the operations of the thyroid and it can disrupt hormones. Ugh... So I recently switched Dr. Bronner's Peppermint toothpaste and I really like it! It honestly took some getting used to at first. While it doesn't produce a nice sud-sy lather in your mouth as you brush, my teeth feel much, much cleaner after I use it as opposed to a regular toothpaste. I'll take that...

I've also noticed that I produce more plaque as I get older - regardless of the fact that I brush and floss twice a day. To address that issue, my dentist suggested I use an electric toothbrush. Oh my gosh! Where has this thing been all my life??!! This toothbrush has five different modes that specifically address things like deep cleaning, gums, plaque, and whitening. It has a timer on it that reminds you when to brush the sides, fronts, and backs of the teeth (sort of like the Clarisonic does for your face). I thought I was thorough when I used a regular toothbrush, but this thing quickly reminded me that I was not. Each cleaning is only 2-3 minutes and I can tell you that it gets the job done in just that short period of time. Totally worth it!

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1/05/2017

QUICK SHEET PAN DINNER :: MAPLE-MUSTARD ROASTED CHICKEN W/ SQUASH & BRUSSELS SPROUTS...

Maple-Dijon Roasted Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner  - via Savor Home
So during my little break I took after Thanksgiving, I pretty much lived in my kitchen. I haven't shared many food related things here lately, so it may not seem like it, but I have. My kitchen and I are quite tight these days. Having a really limited diet for a period of time can really make you get to know food I guess... I'm staring to seriously develop my own recipes and get really, really acquainted with food - which is fun for me, but very time consuming! I'm hoping to be able to share more with you this year. BTW, if you are new here, I have the autoimmune disease, Hashimoto's Thyroidis, which I've kept under control through the Autoimmune Protocol Diet (which is stricter than Whole 30 if you can imagine!!) and lifestyle changes. You can read more about my journey here, here, and here... 

Anyway, I'm slowly starting to add foods and certain ingredients back into my diet (so excited!!), but the base of my diet is still somewhat the same for now. The good thing is that I've been able to find and make a ton of good recipes that anyone would like, irrespective of their diet. This sheet pan dinner is the perfect example. Quick and easy healthy recipes, dinner recipes especially, are like gold these days and this one is DELISH! The chicken is incredibly flavorful and not dry at all - as most chicken breasts tend to be. The vegetables cook to perfection and are full of flavor as well. I actually made this, chopped up the chicken and put the chicken and vegetables over salad greens to make the perfect salad. So not only is the recipe really good and quick, it's versatile! The leftovers are also quite tasty... :)

Maple-Dijon Roasted Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner  - via Savor Home
Maple-Dijon Roasted Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner  - via Savor Home

Here is what you need and what to do:

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light
Gluten Free, Dairy Free
Prep Time: 20 minutes, Cook Time: 40 minutes
Serves 2

Ingredients

2 tsp chopped fresh sage
2 tsp good Dijon mustard
2 tsp pure maple syrup
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (organic if possible - they are more flavorful and juicy!)
2 cups butternut squash, about 1in cubed
1 medium red onion or 2 medium shallots, peeled & quartered
2 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed & halved
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper

1. Place a large, rimmed sheet pan in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Combine the sage, mustard, and syrup in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Once the oven comes up to temperature, carefully remove the sheet pan. Add the chicken to the pan (you should hear a good sizzle!) and evenly brush the chicken with the maple-mustard mixture. Place the chicken in the oven and bake it for 20 minutes.

3. While the chicken is cooking, add the squash, onion, and Brussels sprouts to a bowl. Season the vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir to make sure the vegetable are evenly coated.

4. After the chicken has baked for 20 minutes, carefully drain the excess juices (from the chicken) from the sheet pan. The vegetables will brown and crisp up better if drain the juices. Distribute the vegetable evenly in the pan. Also, season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Quick Tip: If you like a more crispy Brussels sprout, then be sure to place each Brussels sprout flat side down on the sheet pan before returning it to the oven. Doing this will create a good crispy crust!

5. Bake for an additional 20 minutes at 425 degrees or until the chicken is done and browned on top. Remove the breasts from the bones before serving.

Enjoy and maybe make something like this for dessert!.

Images by me
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