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5 Ingredients for Work Life Balance from the 5 Ingredients for Healthy Living Cookbook

Cherry-and-Spoon-June-05-006-e1424443291240-225x300Work life balance does not mean equal balance. If you try to schedule an equal number of hours to work and play you will end up frustrated and even more overwhelmed. The “right balance” today will be different for you tomorrow. You can define your own balance. There is no one perfect size fits all for balance but rather a blend of doing what you love with people you love in creating a life that works just for you. To get you started:


1.Commit to invest in you 15 minutes a day

Intentionally take the “me” time. Stretch your time with a conscious choice to focus on you.

2. Schedule your priorities

Identify your values. “My top 3 priorities today are?” Take one action for each value. Schedule your priorities not prioritize your schedule.

3 .Take time for your health

Take charge! It’s energizing! .Physical activity makes you feel alive and in charge. Schedule exercise and make it the same priority that you would give to a work meeting. Food is a key to balanced life. Have healthy foods in your house. Be proactive not reactive.

4. Create an environment to support you

Will power? Will power is won’t power. Environment is stronger than will. Surround yourself with people who support and don’t judge and things you love and enjoy. De- clutter. “Less is more.”

5. Give up perfection

The urge to be perfect adds stress to your overwhelming life. What does perfect mean, why is it important or . . . maybe not so important? Give up your idea of perfection and you discover something you enjoy more. The “more” is life balance.

See more in the cookbook


Improved Grilled Chicken at McDonald’s

Optimized-McD Grilled chick

McDonald’s Chicken


Yay, McDonalds is listening to their consumers. Starting last week, Artisan Grilled Chicken will begin rolling out across all McDonald’s U.S. restaurants replacing all grilled chicken entrees including Grilled Chicken Deluxe Sandwiches, Premium McWraps, Snack Wraps and Premium Salads.

Each Artisan Grilled Chicken filet is:

  • 100% real chicken breast
  • Free of artificial flavors, added colors or preservatives
  • Seasoned with pantry spices and herbs like parsley, salt and onion powder
  • Cooked in McDonald’s kitchens using a canola and olive oil blend
  • Seared on the grill to lock in flavor and juices

Compared to the previous grilled chicken recipe, the new Artisan Grilled Chicken filet has fewer ingredients and no longer includes sodium phosphates, a type of salt that helps retain moisture. 

McDonald’s USA is working to source chicken raised without antibiotics that are important to human medicine within the next two years. The farmers who supply chicken for McDonald’s USA will continue to responsibly use ionophores, which is a type of antibiotic not used for humans that helps keep chickens healthy.

So, next time you need a quick dine choose the Artisan Grilled Chicken Filet and a Side Salad with their great balsamic salad dressing and a carton of milk! Your body will love you for it!

I am proud of my fellow dietitian colleague Cindy Goody, PhD, MBA, RDN LDN the Senior Director of Menu Innovation at McDonalds for working extra hard to improve its menu and sources for its ingredients! Three cheers for Cindy and her team!

Read more at www.mcdonalds.com


Abundant Monday



Photo by Emily Wolf ewolff.smugmug.com


Chia Seed Pudding with Coconut

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If you are not eating chia seeds you are missing out! These tiny black superfood seeds are packed with powerful nutrition and are really FUN to eat! When was the last time you ate a fun food?

Want a quick flavorful dessert? Give Chia Seed Pudding a whirl. It may remind you of tapioca pudding with its mouthfeel. Each tablespoon of chia seeds provides 3 grams of protein (Remember one egg is 7 grams) 3 grams of omega 3 fatty acids and 6 grams of dietary fiber. (We need about 25 grams of fiber a day) You can see why it is a superfood!



berries   ¼ cup shredded coconut

   1 cup sweetened vanilla almond milk*

   ¼ cup chia seeds

 Combine all ingredients in half pint Mason jar (the Mason jar makes it more fun) or small bowl.  Mix until very well combined. Place in your fridge and allow to rest for 2 hours. The chia seeds  need to expand and soften up and produce that gel-like coating. Serve with fresh berries or any  fruit. The fruit is optional but really notches up the flavor to another level. Raspberries on anything  makes my life better! I am loving this for a sweet afternoon snack with a cup of tea! Makes two  servings about ¾ cup each


*The first time I made this I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk. To sweeten it up and for more flavor I added one teaspoon of honey and vanilla. If you love sugar like me, of course the Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almond Milk will taste better as it contains 13 grams of sugar versus 1 gram of sugar in the So Delicious Coconut milk. I tried to omit the shredded coconut but it never firmed up. You could probably use less liquid and it would work just fine!

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Nutrition Per Serving:

  • Blue Diamond Vanilla Almond Breeze: Calories 247, Protein 5.5 gram, Fat 15.25 gm, CHO 52 gm, Sodium 110 mg, Fiber 12 gm
  • So Delicious Coconut Milk: Calories 229, Protein 5 grams, Fat 15 gm, CHO 20 gm, Sodium 42 mg, Fiber 12 gm   

 Read 10 reasons to add chia seeds to your diet!

When I made this for my sweet husband Gary with the unsweetened coconut milk, he asked me why we were eating fish eyeballs and could he please have some sweetened condensed milk to top it off. Enough said!

Make this fun food. And let us know what you think!

Optimized-chia packet


Abundant Monday


Photo by Emily Wolf ewolff.smugmug.com


How to Hard Cook Eggs and Dye Them Naturally


Life is all about habits – we have some great ones and not so great ones. My great habit is Monday through Saturday I eat 2 or 3 hard cooked eggs. I put them in a small saucepan with cold water on High and bring them to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. And then, cool them off in cold water.

If I need to “leave” the kitchen, I will put them on the burner on high and time them for 17 minutes which seems to take into account the time needed to bring the eggs to a boil. I learned this never fail method from my wonderful neighbor Julie Zabloski.

Check out more on eggs at my favorite egg website!


hard boiled eggs, dyed eggs

Dye Recipes

Select a dyeing agent, and place it in the pot using the amount listed below. Add 1 quart water and 2 tablespoons white vinegar to pot; if more water is necessary to cover ingredients, proportionally increase the amount of vinegar. Bring to a boil, then lower heat. Allow the ingredients to simmer for 30 minutes. Strain dye into a bowl.

Red-cabbage dye: 4 cups chopped cabbage
Turmeric dye: 3 tablespoons turmeric
Onion-skin dye: 4 cups onion skins (skins of about 12 onions)
Beet dye: 4 cups chopped beets
Coffee dye: 1 quart strong black coffee (instead of water) Cold Dipping Method

For a step-by-step tutorial, check more out here

We would love to hear your secret recipe to hard cook your eggs and what you use to dye them naturally! I can’t wait for lavender colored eggs dyed with beet juice! How about you?

Happy Easter Everyone!