Home Sweet Home. . .

Well I can finally say we are HOME!!! When we moved to Charlotte 4 years ago, we had no idea where we would end up! The city was much bigger than we expected and we knew we wanted to wait for our “forever” home. So we rented in a great area where we were surrounded by so many places that we could walk to! We moved into our condo and made it as homey as possible. We built a lot of memories there but it was never home… we’ll at least it wasn’t ours.  About every 6  months we would get the itch to look at homes. So we would jump on the internet and look.  About a year ago we really started looking, like meeting with realtors and going inside homes, talk about FUN!!! Each time we left a house we would talk about what we loved and what we would change. Then a light bulb went off, WHY NOT BUILD!!! I never thought this dream would be a reality. We went around to new developments and when we drove into The Mills at Rocky River we both sat quietly, drove around and looked at each other and both knew this would be home to us!

So the next Saturday we came back and actually met with a sales rep. We looked at the models and started putting our wishes and wants into action. Our sales rep was absolutely amazing with us! He was so patient and took us around to different lots until we found one on a culdesac. Then the fun really began. .  .

Each week we would come up and look at the progress of our home. Its amazing to see your hard work pay off. We were so blessed to have an amazing team build our house.  Each week we could not believe how much they would get done! Seeing the progress was so cool!

As the walls went up we then went in and put verses in our home. This was such an incredible experience.

It was so fun to walk through and see rooms actually come together. . . Then I saw my kitchen and got SOOOO excited! I knew a lot would be happening in this kitchen and my one request was to have ONE BIG sink!!!!

Then the day we have long awaited for happened.  .  . We CLOSED on OUR home!

We are moved in and getting settled! I pray that this home would be a home filled with love and laughter. I pray this home would be a place of safety and shine bright to others. I pray  family, friends and strangers that enter into this home would feel  God’s presence and feel welcomed here.

Well, we have lots of extra room now so pack your bags and come and stay with us!! I promise I will cook you something yummy in my kitchen!!!! And now its time to cook! I will have lots of great food to share with you soon! Stay tuned! Ohhhhh and I get to work out right across the street!! YAYA!!! More of that to follow later on!!

Happy Sunday!

Ciao! XO

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Vacation Mode and Meal Prepping. . .

So people ask me, “how do you go on vacation, cheat a little and jump right back on track?” I always make sure that I am prepped for meals for when we come back. I rarely leave the house for vacation with an empty fridge, because the last thing I want to do when I get back is hit the grocery store. A lot of times, we just go away for the long weekend, so that helps avoid food spoiling while we are gone.

You know how much I love bone broth. I love making it and stocking up on it. This way, when a recipe calls for broth, I can use my own. It is filled with so many nutrients that you just can’t get from the stuff at the store. So do yourself a favor, make some and freeze it! I promise you, your body and immune system will thank you!!

Made this super yummy detox soup, because we all know we need to detox after vacation! Just gets your body back on track!

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And I really kept it simple for the week we got back. . . one pan meals are some of my favorite! A pan of all veggies. . . this is so simple because then I can add to meat to it at any point or we just have a bowl of veggies for dinner. I love lasagna but we do not eat noodles, so I made a one pot eggplant lasagna and then I had some left over chicken so I shredded it, added avocado and placed it on apple slices, you do not always need bread!!!

And my current breakfast obsession. . . mini crust-less, sweet potato cups and 5 ingredient, flour-less muffins! Yes, Whole 30 approved!!

If you are ever in Hilton Head you need to go to Ducks Donuts and The Studio to eat. We went there Friday night and had one of the best meals along with buffalo cauliflower as our app. Then Sat we got Ducks donuts and went to the beach!! And we stayed at The Sonesta!!! We left the resort 2 times, other than that we had complete beach access, hammocks and the pools. This was just a time to rest and relax!

And get ready. . .I am running a Halloween race this Sunday!!! I have race fever!!!!

Hope you are having a great Tuesday! Enjoy the rest of your week and I will chat with you soon!!

Ciao! XO

Recipes:

http://www.hustleandheartfitness.com/single-post/2016/12/28/5-Ingredient-Muffins—Whole-30-21-Day-Fix-Approved

Paleo Eggplant Lasagna

https://www.aspicyperspective.com/chicken-detox-soup/

From CT-NC & back to reality

Why when you look forward to something for so long and then it comes and you enjoy every minute and when its all over you feel like you need a repeat?! It was so nice to spend 5 full days with family and friends that are like family. And because pictures are much more fun than words, here is what my 5 days looked like. And the only thing that would have made it sweeter is if my hubs was with me. But he stayed home and worked hard and held down the fort!!!

What a coincidence. . . We go to breakfast and my dad gets the NC mug. Its a sign:-) And there is something about when I am with my mom, I always end up with a new do and I am in love with the cut and style and my sweet stylist.

Family time and soaking up my niece as much as possible!! We hold hands, match our shoes and roll down hills and run back up them until we are dizzy!

Because its not a trip to the North unless you go to Stew’s. . .BEST grocery store ever! And a visit with my sweet friend and the chickens!!!!

The one taught me everything I ever needed to know about fishing! Looking forward to many more fishing adventures together!!

Beautiful time with my Aunt and some girl and sushi time together!!

And not only did my hubby get me back but he also go some amazing ITALIAN cookies!! I can’t believe these lasted the plane ride without me digging in! But its always more fun to eat this deliciousness with someone you love!

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Hug the ones you have around you right now and when you are with ones you do not see often, love them a little more and cherish the time you have together. I can’t express how thankful I am for the ones who made this trip possible and so very special to me. Sometimes its just the little things that count. . . Rolling down hills, hiking with my brother and sister in law, chatting away with my sister in law in the kitchen, eating cannoli dip with my parents and sister at midnight and all gathering together to eat dinner!

I will be back with more food and fun next time!! Happy Friday’s Eve, even though every Thursday is my Friday!!!!!

Ciao! XO

 

 

 

Blogging from the sky!

Good morning and Happy Thursday!! I am here blogging from. . . Can you guess?!?!

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My plane is here and soon I will be boarding! This is the 1st flight I have taken solo since I have been married, wish me luck! I am heading up NORTH!!! CT here I come! I am going to have FIVE full days spent with my family! I am sure they will be ready to ship me back to my hubby! Never take living close to family for granted. If they live close, visit often. And if they don’t, when you have the opportunity to get together,  cherish it!

Update on my foot, I think its 99% healed. I have been able to walk and run with no swelling or pain. I am taking a few minutes before and after each run to properly stretch it and then I immediately apply arnica to it. If you have not discovered that stuff, well get yourself a bottle. I have seen such an improvement and I think that has helped a lot. Its a homeopathic gel that helps with bruising, swelling and pain. I got as much running in as I could this past week. I ran some pretty decent miles and of course, I have my running shoes packed! And we did a lot of walking at the fair and the some incredible food. Come on if I am going to splurge, its going to be on the foods I NEVER have. So the 1st thing on my fair food list, Pizza Fritte. I remember growing up and my mom and Nana making this as a special treat! We all know its not the healthiest but ohhhhh so good! And of course we kept ourselves young and rode some rides! After this one, I rode all the kiddie rides!!

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And now I will not be doing much cooking the next few day! The lady that taught me everything is going to feed us, thanks Mom, can’t wait! So what have I been up to. . .

I have needed a change with breakfast. If you have been reading my blogs you know eggs have been a big staple in our house. I needed to venture out. So I made 5-ingredient, healthy pancakes! They are so moist and the trick I learned to hold them together is cook them just a little longer, until they are formed and then flip them!

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And dinner. . . One that I tend to make often, because its so easy and so yummy, egg roll in a bowl. And then this coconut thyme chicken. Tasted and approved by my one and only and he said it was the best chicken! So I say, make it! And for a side, I found the cutest little butternut squash zig zags. They look like fries but only healthier and so yummy!

And for my newest product I have studied about and researched. . . Edens Garden! If you have not checked out their oils, do! And if you have any questions, ask me!!! And look at the cute packaging! One of the main reasons I researched them so much to make sure they were 100% was the price tag on them! We use oils for EVERYTHING in our house and there were other oils that I loved but the budget did not like it so much!! So go and check them out!

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Well this is it!! I am ready for take off!!

Ciao!! XOXO

Recipes:

http://www.stayfitmom.com/no-fail-paleo-pancakes-gluten-free/

https://diethood.com/coconut-milk-thyme-braised-chicken/?utm_content=buffer5c6de&utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest.com&utm_campaign=buffer

http://www.mostlyhomemademom.com/2014/07/eggroll-in-bowl.html

http://www.edensgarden.com

 

 

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Monday and Happy Labor Day! Vin and I love to take day trips or long weekend trips. So we have had Fri-today off together. We did a couple day trips and have had a blast. This year we discovered how charming Greenville, SC really is. Stroll through Reedy Park, eat at the Lazy Goat, get ice cream from Spill the Beans and grab a coffee at Coffee Underground!

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I think my foot is finally on the mend. I am still being cautious but I ran double digits this past week and feeling great. A little tender at times but I am getting there.  If you are a runner or involved in any high impact activity, make sure you have good shoes. I am a true and dedicated Asics fan. Thank you Asics for making amazing running shoes. My 2 staples for running are these sneakers and my bondi bands!!! If you have not tried a bondi band or the running arm bands, what are you waiting for?!!!

 

Craving something sweet but avoiding sweets at the same time?!! You need to make this. Pumpkin Chia seed pudding! It will satisfy your craving and it contains less then 5 ingredients.

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My newest addiction and an oldie but goodie: Butternut squash zoodles with a cauliflower alfredo sauce. And these zucchini chicken burgers are so healthy, super moist and perfect for a picnic or an easy weekly meal!

 

Hope you have a beautiful Labor Day, take some extra time to rest and spend time with those you love!

*Ciao* XO

Recipes:

http://pinchofyum.com/creamy-cauliflower-sauce

https://www.onelovelylife.com/chicken-zucchini-poppers-gf-df/

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Thirty*Three!!!

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Well I am another year older, happier and healthier! I had such a wonderful birthday and completely spoiled. I am blessed to be loved by so many. But also I am so thankful that I get to love back on others.  My running finally took a little toll on me and ended up with x-rays on my right foot with the thought that I could have fractured it. I am SOOOO thankful for a job where my Dr will meet me on the weekend to check out my foot. The worse news you can tell a runner. . .  TAKE A BREAK. I do not know what those words mean! There is no fracture but there is some major swelling and a pulled ligament. It is really important to take a little break and ice it. In the meantime I will rest, get chiropractic treatment and eat super healthy for a full recovery.

Do you eat breakfast? Its the most important meal of the day. . . So if you are bored here are a couple different ones to try. They are a hit in our house! Sweet potato waffles and I topped them with an egg and avocado. The other is an apple, raisin and sweet potato bake. Switch up your breakfast for a special treat!

When you are Italian its very hard to truly eat HEALTHY! But since we started Whole 30 we cut out all breads, pastries, pastas, wheat and processed foods. So you have to sometimes think outside the box. So we switched up pasta for ZOODLES and we were able to eat a cleaner version of chicken cacciatore! I have one happy Italiano!

And when you are craving Thai you have no choice but to figure out how to do it healthy,  so here you go!! Almond butter zoodles,  if you love Pad  Thai you will love this!

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It has been a fun filled weekend here in Charlotte! Cooler temps have settled and hopefully they are here to stay! I have an amazing hubs who has nursed my foot all weekend long and we had a blast together. And ladies, I have a hubby who LOVES to shop!! He is serious and I love it! He shops better than me and I know how to shop! He deserves it as he ventures into his new job and position! He is the BOMB!!!!

Enjoy your week!!  Can’t wait to catch up next time! XOXO

Recipes:

http://www.paleorunningmomma.com/sweet-potato-apple-breakfast-bake-paleo-whole30/

http://www.fitmittenkitchen.com/sweet-potato-waffle-breakfast-sandwich/

https://whole30.com/2015/04/chicken-cacciatore/

http://therealfoodrds.com/spicy-asian-zucchini-noodles/

Buon Appetito!!

 

 

 

 

16 more days= Everything Pumpkin!!

I know its only August but I am so ready for fall. I am ready for cooler temperatures, except I can’t complain, August has been amazing, mid 80’s, cooler nights and we have actually been able to eat outside! But these temperatures are just getting me ready for fall. And with that being said, pumpkin coffee hits the DD shelves in 16 days! You bet, I will be 1st in line, on my birthday, for my 1st pumpkin coffee of the season! Happy Birthday to me!!

Running has been great this week. I got 24 miles under my belt. Running is my thing. It makes me forget everything that is going on around me for just a few moments. Its my peace and quiet. Its where I spend time by myself, thinking, planning and focusing on my health. I never realized how UN-healthy I was although all along I thought I was so healthy. WHY?? Because I was exercising. But I soon discovered just because you exercise does not mean you are healthy. Whole 30+, yes I have re-named this type of lifestyle, because we have taken Whole 30 and stayed on it. We have decided that this is how we are going to continue living our life. I went to the Doctor for my follow up after a physical, and my numbers that were elevated 6 months ago had dropped drastically. The only thing that I have gotten out of this lifestyle is positive results. It takes dedication, time, perseverance, and sometimes you have to just walk away when temptation is too much!!!! HAHA! Food is powerful but I am more powerful. And I am so thankful that I have a husband that is fully supportive and is walking this lifestyle change with me!!

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People ask me. .  . How do you find time to eat healthy. Its really all about meal prep. My husband and I both work full time and the last thing I want to do at 7pm is put together a gourmet dinner. So I take a couple hours on Sat or Sunday and prep as much as possible. We stick to salads for lunches and quick and easy dinners. And breakfast we eat eggs 99% of the time.

I cut up all our greens, arugula & kale, hard boil eggs, roasted chicken, sautéed peppers and onions and steamed broccoli. This makes it so much easier to just grab all the bowls and throw a salad together with all these items.

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I did 2 things in the crock pot. I bought a 4 pound pork butt, added onions and a rub then poured a cup of home made bone broth over top, cooked it on low for 6.5 hours. I love when I can walk in the from work and dinner is literally ready. This was the best pork I have ever made. And you know I always need bone broth on hand so made a crock pot full of it!

Here are 2 of my favorite items I made this past week. . . A stuffed omelette for breakfast and these chicken poppers. Recipe will be at the bottom and you need to make them!! I served with some home made, garden grown, chunky tomato salsa!

 

And when you live down south you have to go to a rodeo!!!! YEEEHAW!!!

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Hope you are having an amazing weekend! Doing something good for yourself this week! Thanks for coming to read! Hope it was a help!!

XOXO

Recipes:

https://goodcheapeats.com/2015/05/best-ever-slow-cooker-pulled-pork/

https://www.onelovelylife.com/chicken-zucchini-poppers-gf-df/

 

 

Running on Whole 30+

Happy Sunday. Its 100 degrees here and I am craving fall!! I am craving it so much that I am sitting here drinking a hot almond milk “latte” sprinkled with pumpkin!

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We made it to day 36 and had a little splurge moment!! After we ate it, by the way I felt 100% guilty while eating it, I really decided that these are things that I can live without. And what is it about donuts?? They just make me happy! Its like they just put a smile on your face. But my real struggle are the apple fritters!! When you find the BEST donut shop around you go. So yes, we had this and an apple fritter!!!

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After this I upped my running! I have really focused on more of my diet the first 30 days of Whole 30 and now I have incorporated lots of miles back into the scene! I mean really that is what this blog is all about! I knew though with changing my diet, the 1st couple weeks, I would really crave carbs. And carbs we have been avoiding. Once I was past 30 days I knew my diet was in a good place. And I am sorry, NOT sorry, for posting a lot about Whole 30. . . BUT it has changed our life!

Three things I made for breakfast this past week. . . Berry and almond milk smoothie, egg white stuffed pepper and tuna patty with a fried egg and avocado.

Three things I made for dinner: Kale and broccolini salad, grass fed beef with sautéed veggies and chicken in the crock pot served over steamed veggies.

After eating that donut I knew I needed to start the week off right so Monday I had a smoothie.  Then I made that stuffed pepper for the next of couple breakfasts. I just took 2 eggs, one whole and one egg white, threw in some veggies and chicken breakfast sausage and poured it all in the pepper and baked it at 350 until cooked. And by the end of the week I had some left over tuna so I made it into a patty, cooked it and threw a fried egg on top with acovado. Talk about a protein filled breakfast.

Dinners this past week were super simple. I had not gone to the grocery so I was throwing things together with what I needed to use up in the fridge. The kale and broccolini salad was my all time favorite. I brought this over to my SIL & BIL’s house and it was a hit. Roasted sweet potatoes with kale, broccolini and red onion. And I roasted it all with coconut and a little olive oil. MAKE IT!

And I ended my week with 34 miles!! This is the most I have run in over 40 days. Yes we are going on day 42 or 43 of Whole 30!! I lost track. All I know is that food plays a HUGE role in exercising. I was running a ton of miles last year but I was eating more calories then my body really needed. It has been really good to finally truly know what my body really needs to run the miles I need to run! And I have to say, I enjoy it more now than I did before. And I loved it before so you know that I am really loving my running now. Like I crave it and its the best feeling. So do not forget to do something healthy and active this week!! And yes, I make myself feel right at home when I am at the gym! They even change the TV for me to HGTV! Gives me lots of good ideas!!

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Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!! Cheers to another week! Can’t wait to sit and chat next time!!

Ciao!

Happy ONE year to my blog!!!

Thank you to each one of you who has stopped by over the past year! I hope that at least one of my blogs has helped you in the past year! A year ago,  I finally took the step to do something that I loved. . . Share with others my running and cooking life! So here is to another exciting year ahead of us!!

Well as you know the past 30 days has been about clean eating. I do not mean just any clean eating but true Whole 30 style!! We are coming to the end of 30 days and so much has happened within our bodies: No more bloating, sleeping better, clothes fit better, we crave to be more active, my running has been better than ever, our skin is so much more clear, we do not crave sweets or processed foods, we have filled our bodies with some of the best nutrients and BEST of all, together we are down 30 pounds! Challenges are beat when done together and I am so thankful that my husband took my hand 30 days ago and said, “together WE can do this”! So if you are looking for a healthier lifestyle please consider Whole 30. Its hard. You have to always think ahead and most of all you have to be prepared. But at the end, I guarantee you, you will feel so much better! I have a passion to share the Whole 30 lifestyle. So thank you Melissa Hartwig for developing a great book and challenge!

Spaghetti squash chow mein with shrimp, Alaskan white fish with pesto served over kale and cauliflower rice and Mexican cauliflower rice. I had learned to replace all my grains with cauliflower rice and my pastas with spaghetti squash!

I think one of the most challenging parts has been breakfast. You can only eat so many eggs and avocado before you feel like you are going to turn into an egg! I think we should have bough stock in chickens during this time! So I had to think outside the box and discovered this amazing Warm banana coconut bowl! Its breakfast but tastes like dessert!

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And then another thing is I always make sure I have some type of snacks on hand. When I leave the house I have been bringing fruit, a Lara bar and grass fed jerky with me! I am like a healthy walking convenient store! Now you know why I always carry a big purse!!

I was very fortunate to have this last week off so I took a little time and spent the night with my best friend and we had some much needed girl time! Always make a little time to care for yourself. I have always been one to care for my skin and the older I get the more important it has become to me. Can I tell you how AMAZING this charcoal mask is. All my skincare and makeup is Mary Kay! If you are looking for a simple regime please consider the Mary Kay line. There is something for all ages and all different skin and best of all,  SO affordable. Do not worry, I do not sell it so I make no commission off this but I do support it and I will always rave about what works!! So girl time consisted of a lot of coffee, chatting and charcoal masks!  If you are interested in any of their products let me know!

I hope you have a wonderful Sunday. Whether you are going to church, spending time with family or just hanging out, be thankful today! I hope you continue to follow me! I appreciate each one of you. And if only one person over the past year was inspired by my blog, then I am so thankful!! XOXO

Recipes:

http://fastpaleo.com/recipe/warm-banana-coconut-breakfast-bowl/

http://fashionablefoods.com/2015/11/03/mexican-cauliflower-rice/

http://littlebitsof.com/2014/10/spaghetti-squash-chow-mein/?utm_content=buffer9a665&utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest.com&utm_campaign=WNMbuffer

 

 

 

19 and counting. . .

Sounds like a TV show, right?!?! That is the weight my hubs and I have lost so far together on WHOLE 30! When we started Whole 30 2 weeks ago, we are going on week 3 tomorrow, we had much more in mind then just some extra weight we have been lugging around. We wanted to cleanse our bodies. Yes, we eat clean most of the time but we knew we could get better. It was time to cut out excess sugar, carbs, grains and dairy. So I opened up the Whole 30 book and started the list. What could we eat. I did not focus on what we could not eat, that is just down right depressing! I knew I was going to have to meal plan and prep to make this successful. I even bought items I never had before, like ghee! So in the past couple weeks we have already seen changes: sleep is better, we never wake up bloated, more energy, my miles are better, I crave my exercise because I am really starting to shed fat, our clothes are looser, we are more confident in our skin, our skin is glowing and we have lost some pounds!! Our cravings have disappeared. We have eaten out once and we grabbed whole 30 approved salads. This is the new way of living! Does it make you want to jump on board?!? Maybe it will after you see the recipes I have made. This is a true lifestyle change. Its not a quick fix, its hard but its worth it! And the best thing about it, we are not starving ourselves! We eat REAL food.

Egg roll in a bowl, crock pot chicken served over cabbage mix,  pesto shrimp with spaghetti squash & veggie fajitas served over cauliflower rice

 

Lunches have been salads. At the beginning of the week I cut up all our arugula and kale and put it in a big bowl for the week. Then I just have to throw some in a container and add all our additional items to it! I also cook up a bunch of chicken and have veggies all cut up to quickly throw the salad together. Another thing that I have changed is using bottled dressings and condiments. Home made mayo:

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If you have read any of my blogs you know I have an obsession, a healthy one, with essential oils. Last weekend I got a little too much Vitamin D. I found an after sun spray that I wanted from Nordstrom that was $20. I checked the ingredients and duplicated for less than half!!! I filled the glass spritzer bottle with the witch hazel and added 10 drops of each EO. Not even aloe gave me this much relief! I carried it with me all week and spritzed it on as I needed it!

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I would say 99% of my running is done on the treadmill but on Friday I decided to take it to the track! I packed on the sunscreen, I use blue lizard, and hit the track for 4 miles. If you really want to sweat, run when its 94 degrees out and over 60% humidity!!! Two of my miles were done in these!!! I showed up not prepared!

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Hope you had a great weekend! Please share with me what you did! Have you ever done Whole 30?! If so, I would love to hear your experiences! Hope you have a great week and I will see you back here in about 2 weeks!

Recipes (some I have adapted as needed to be Whole 30 compliant):

http://www.mostlyhomemademom.com/2014/07/eggroll-in-bowl.html

http://peasandcrayons.com/2017/02/pesto-parmesan-spaghetti-squash-with-shrimp.html

http://www.healthy-liv.com/sweet-potato-breakfast-bowl/

https://inquiringchef.com/light-fluffy-cauliflower-rice/amp/