White Bean Chili

White Bean Chili

I recently tried out a new food delivery site called, Hello Fresh. They pretty much send you the ingredients for 3 recipes a week, premeasured with the recipes included. This week I made a variation of their White Bean Chili. I added some spinach at the end for a touch of greens and instead of topping it with sour cream, I sliced up an avocado and placed it on the top and side. Here is the recipe below!

And if you want to give Hello Fresh a try, use the code: 7R38QJ. You’ll save $40 off your first order! white bean chili soup

Want even more cash off?

Here’s a trick I used to save even more money: Set up an account on Shop.com. Download ShopBuddy, and when you go to HelloFresh, as long as you are signed in via the Shop Buddy app, you’ll get an additional $4 cash back (similar to ebates, but way better). Hint hint… once you have the Shop Buddy… you can start getting cash back on nearly every site you shop on.

Give it a try! Then make this soup!


White Bean Chili


  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • 1 ear of corn
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 2 T cornmeal
  • 1 lime
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 1 Avocado


  1. Peel, halve, and finely chop the onion. Mince the garlic. Cut the corn kernels off the cob. Core, seed, and remove the white veins from the red pepper, then cut into cubes. Drain and rinse the cannellini beans. Cut the lime into wedges. Halve the jalapeño and remove the seeds, then finely chop. You can keep the seeds if you want an extra kick!
  2. Heat 1 T olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeño and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, until the onion is softened. Add the red pepper, garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  3. Add cannellini beans, 3 cups water, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about ten minutes.
  4. Add the corn and sprinkle 2 T of corn meal over the liquid. Stir to combine. Let it simmer for about 6 minutes, stirring, until thickened.
  5. For the last minute, stir in the spinach. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look “done” after a minute. Greens are sensitive to heat and will continue cooking even after you turn off the burner. We want to preserve as many nutrients as possible!
  6. Slice your avocado. Put a few slices on top, and the rest on the side. Squeeze the lime over your finished bowl of soup, and over the avocado. Add the avocado as you eat!


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For cravings, do this…

For cravings, do this…

This week I want to give you 3 very quick tips on CRAVINGS.

A lot of times I know what I “should” be eating, but my inner fat kid wants chocolate chip cookies.

cookieCravings are bound to hit everyone, and sometimes they are NOT about self-discipline. They can actually indicate an imbalance in the body, causing the irrational cravings. For instance cravings can indicate a mineral imbalance. They can also indicate something else missing in your life– oftentimes, when people crave sweets they are really craving something sweet in their life, or if they crave crunchy foods it can indicate a need to move the mouth and talk something out! Cravings for creamy foods can indicate a need to feel comforted.

No matter what your craving here are 3 quick tips to try to avoid those pesky cravings:

1. Try Magnesium: I started taking an isotonic magnesium at night before bed, and I AM OFFICIALLY IN LOVE– NO cravings since I started taking it. If you get regular cravings, especially for sweets, I strongly encourage you to try this one: Magnesium. I take 2 capfuls before bed, and it works unlike any other Magnesium I’ve tried before.

2. Drink Water: Cravings occur when we are dehydrated and 80% of people are dehydrated. When your cells are starved of water, it means your minerals are also going to be imbalanced. So if you do feel a craving coming on, try pounding a glass of water and waiting a moment for the craving to subside.

3. Get busy: Just like drinking, watching TV, and shopping, eating food can act as a way to escape reality for a moment. If you’re having cravings, stop for a moment and look at what you’re doing. You might find that you are simply bored, OR you are doing something that terrifies you, OR that you simply don’t want to be doing. Try rotating projects and conquering big tasks one at a time. You may find that once you get started on a new project your cravings subside.

I hope that was helpful. I’d love to hear from you! What was helpful for you? Do you have your own mechanisms for coping with cravings? Tell me what they are below! Happy Friday!

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Is milk bad for me?

Is milk bad for me?

We all grew up with our beloved dairy. Grilled cheese sandwiches, ice cream cones at the beach, macaroni and cheese (blue box blues), and I’m pretty sure milk and cereal got me through college. If someone told me five years ago to give up dairy, I probably would have pushed them down a flight of stairs, spit in their face, or even laughed politely. So why did I give it up?
Almond milk on rustic wooden table
Let’s put arguments of hormones, pesticides, and all matters of social injustice aside for a moment, and look at what milk does when it goes into your body.

  1. Holy phlegm!: Phlegm is your body’s self-defense mechanism for combating an acidic environment. Ironically, milk is very acidic and your body combats this acidity by producing phlegm. Thank you? Even though it may come in handy for reenacting Titanic scenes (alla hulk-a-loogy style), we can all agree that it is unpleasant to have this white gunky build-up in our throats.
  2. It leaches calcium and potassium from your bones: Milk and dairy actually creates an acidic state in your body, called metabolic acidosis. To neutralize this, your body actually takes calcium and potassium from your bones, leaving your bones porous and brittle. This may explain why countries who drink the most milk actually have the highest rates of hip fractures and osteoporosis. Be wary when taking calcium in pill form. These pills are hard to digest and instead of absorbing this calcium, your body instead registers it as a calcium influx, causing more leaching from your bones. Instead try an isotonic version balanced with minerals, so that it is absorbed properly and at appropriate ratios. I take this for Calcium Complete every day before I go to bed. Additionally it helps protect against acid reflux while you sleep!

Let’s also not forget about those pearly whites! We want them to sparkle and shine, and by reducing milk and animal products, your teeth will be stronger and whiter, with less cavities.

When the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) asked the USDA to look into the scientific basis of the claims made in the “milk mustache” ads, their panel of scientists found no evidence that dairy is good for your bones or prevents osteoporosis, and furthermore they found it’s linked to prostate cancer and heart disease, causes digestive problems, aggravates IBS, and may contribute to allergies, sinus problems, ear infections, constipation, and Type I diabetes.

But don’t take my word for it. Give it a try. How would you cut dairy from your life? How could you modify meals?

What difference might it make in your life?

They say that cow’s milk is mother nature’s perfect food, but it’s really the perfect food to grow a baby calf. As a member of the human race, I urge you to think if you’d like to grow like a cow or a human?
Did you grow up with milk? Do you find it hard to give up? Did you give it up and notice a difference in how you felt? What milk alternatives are your favorite?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Write below and let me know your thoughts! I love hearing from you!

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Why You Shouldn’t Set New Years Resolutions

Why You Shouldn’t Set New Years Resolutions

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Thumbnail for 7069Every year we are expected to make resolutions, and often times we don’t quite fulfill those goals, leaving us to strive for them again the next year. The very word “resolution” indicates the idea of seeking out a “solution” over and over again: “re”-“solution.” This is curiously the very definition of insanity. This kind of logic might indicate that we as human beings, are inherently insane. Isn’t that awesome?

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Instead of setting resolutions this year, why not try something a little different? Here’s an exercise that put a little spin on New Years resolutions, so start by getting out a pen and paper and writing!

1. Set Some Daily Intentions

These are small concrete behaviors you’d like to enact each day– they are things that you can measure or materialize. For instance, instead of saying, “I’d like to exercise more,” you can say, “I’ll take the stairs at least 5 times a day.” Instead of saying, “I’d like to drink more water,” you can say, “I’ll drink 32oz of water before noon each day.” Below are some examples. Pick out a few or create your own, and WRITE THEM DOWN in a place where you can see them every day:

  1. Eat breakfast sitting down every morning.
  2. Run 3+ miles 3 times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
  3. De clutter desk for 5 minutes before working.
  4. Delegate anything that can be delegated.
  5. Focus on one task at a time.
  6. Turn off phone ringer and emails during work and workout.
  7. Return emails – 3 times per day only.
  8. Return phone calls – 2 times per day only.
  9. Say no to anything that wastes time and is not productive.
  10. Eat lunch and dinner away from the desk.
  11. Drink 32 ounces of water before noon
  12. Take the stairs at least 3 times a day
  13. Get at least 7 hours of sleep a night
  14. Sing every morning in the shower
  15. Take five minutes to do a breathing exercise at least once a day

2. Choose a Word of the Year

Looking back on the past years, every year seems to have a theme, whether it be “Change” or “Love” or “Action.” What if you could choose a word to focus on for the year? Every decision you would make would focus around that all-encompassing idea. Looking forward at 2014 and all that lies ahead of you, what would your word be? Choose a word, and then let that guide you in manifesting it into your reality. Here are some examples to use:

1. Action
2. Service
3. Love
4. Friendship
5. Consistency
6. Focus
7. Balance
8. Relaxation
9. Achievement
10. Development

3. Choose activities or skill sets you’d like to develop and focus on 3.

Once you make your list of activities to partake in or skills to develop, choose 3 to focus on. Put a star next to them and remember you are not superman, but you are MUCH more capable of doing 3 things well, than 20 things half-assed.

4. Make mini-bucket lists and focus on 3 things at a time.

Similar to the skills listing above, you can make a bucket list of things you’d like to do this year. Then choose 3 that are MUSTS. Once you’ve completed these, then you can star three more. How do you run a marathon? You start with one step. And then another. And then another. Before you know it, you’ve run 26.2 miles, a task that at first sounded overwhelming. But who can’t take one step?

I like the way Dale Carnegie put it:

“Think of your life as an hourglass. You know there are thousands of grains of sand in the top of the hourglass; and they all pass slowly and evenly through the narrow neck in the middle. Nothing you or I could do would make more than one grain of sand pass through this narrow neck without impairing the hourglass. You and I and everyone else are like this hourglass…if we do not take [tasks] one at a time and let them pass…slowly and evenly, then we are bound to break our own…structure.”

So remember, when planning for the New Year, you can take things one at a time.


Love, light, and kale,

VN- Signature 72

And a little Auld Lang Syne to welcome in the New Year!…

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