Gluten Free Granola

I used to eat chicken sausage and veggies every day for breakfast as I do not eat eggs. After doing a diet analysis project for my Nutrition class, I decided that I needed to give up the daily chicken sausage and opt for gluten free granola with almond milk. I went shopping for bagged granola and was so upset seeing all of the additives that really should not be consumed. I decided to make my own instead and the outcome was great! It is a very easy recipe and you can get everything in the bulk section without spending an enormous amount of money.


What You’ll Need:

3 cups of gluten free rolled oats

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup pecan pieces

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup flax seed meal

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/3 cup pure honey

3 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 tsp vanilla extract


What  To Do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper

Combine all dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl

In a small saucepan, combine honey and coconut oil over low heat

Once honey/coconut is combined remove from heat and add vanilla

Pour onto dry mixture and mix well

Pour onto baking sheet and spread evenly

Cook for 5 minutes. Remove, flip mixture over, and cook for another 5 minutes

Once granola is lightly browned remove from oven and let cool

Break granola into pieces, store in airtight container

Enjoy in yogurt or almond milk, or even eat plain.

Crock-pot Paleo Minestrone Soup

The days are getting shorter and cooler which calls for hot soups, leggings and slipper boots.Three of my favorite things about fall. There are plenty of others but these are the top 3!

I am a huge fan of minestrone soup but have a hard eating pasta so I love this verision of minestrone soup. It’s hearty and warms ya to the bones. Best part- it goes in the crock-pot.


What You’ll Need:

1 Sweet Potato – diced (I left the skin on but you can peel)

1 Cup Carrots- diced

1 Medium Onion – diced

1 Zucchini – diced

1 Yellow Squash – diced

 2 Cloves of Garlic – minced

32oz Vegetable Broth

2- 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes

1/2 cup Frozen Spinach

2 Bay Leaves

2 tsp Oregano

1 tsp Basil

1 tsp Parsley

1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

1/4 tsp Sea Salt

1/4 tsp Black Pepper

1 pound Grass Fed Beef

What To Do:

Chop up your veggies and place in your crock-pot

Pour vegetable broth on top

Add diced tomatoes

Add frozen spinach and spices

Stir everything together and place bay leaves on top

Cook on low for 8 hours

At 7 hours cook ground beef and add to the crock-pot

Remove bay leaves before serving

Eat and enjoy

Like pasta? Simply add a small pasta like Acini Di Pepe or Ditalini to crock-pot 30 minutes prior to serving!


Mango Pineapple Smoothie


It was a scorching day here in NY today and after running errands, a yoga class and cooking for the week; all I wanted was something sweet and refreshing but still borderline healthy.

I always loved those Mango Pineapple smoothies from McDonald’s but over the last few years I have refused to buy another item from that chain. I stay away from pretty much all fast food chains besides Chipotle and Panera. Anyways, this recipe was refreshing and totally hit the smoothie craving I had been looking for all with staying borderline Paleo.

What You’ll Need:

1 Frozen Banana

1/2 cup Frozen Mango Chunks

1/2 cup Fresh Pineapple

1 Coconut Milk Yogurt Cup

1 Cup Orange Juice

1/2 Cup Water

4 Ice Cubes

What To Do:

Put all ingredients into a blender or Ninja. Combine until smoothie like. If you like it more “liquidy” you can add more water or OJ. If you like it thicker, add more ice.

Drink, enjoy, and pretend your on a tropical island!

Chicken and Veggies over Cauliflower Rice


Last week I finished the 21 Day Fix and managed to lose 6 pounds. The last week I was pretty laid back so I am continuing this week but also am limiting carbs and sugars. So basically 21 Day Fix meets 21 Day Sugar Detox. My birthday is on the 30th so I probably will only do 2 weeks and then continue afterwards.

My mom found a recipe similar to this on Pinterest and we both doctored our up differently but it is still compliant with both challenges.

I buy my cauliflower rice from Trader Joe’s. It is easy to make it yourself tho. Cut up your head of cauliflower. Place in food processor and pulse until cauliflower looks like rice. Heat a large pan with a table spoon of oil (coconut or olive), add riced cauliflower. Cook approximately 5 minutes.

 What You’ll Need:

4 Chicken Breast, cubed

1 bunch of Asparagus, ends trimmed

1 zucchini, cubed

Frozen spinach (I used a half package of the birds eye) – you can use fresh if you prefer. I just had that on hand

1 package of sliced mushrooms, diced

2 tablespoons olive oil (or coconut oil)

1 cup organic chicken broth

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Sea Salt to taste

Fresh Pepper to taste

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

What To Do:

Cut your chicken into cubes.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in large pan. Add chicken, salt, pepper and cook until brown. Remove from heat

In a large sauce pot, add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add all of your veggies and garlic and cook over medium heat.

Once veggies are cooked, re-add your chicken, broth and spices.

Reduce the heat and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve hot over pasta, rice, or cauliflower rice. Top with grated parm if you desire.


IMG_2139 (1)

My all time favorite snack is chips, salsa and guacamole. I usually just buy the wholy guacamole packs but they are expensive and a little plain. I thought it was time to mix it up a little bit. This recipe is really easy to make and tastes delish!

What You’ll Need

3 avocados

1 lime

1/2 a red onion, diced

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

3 tomatoes on the vine

1 tbsp cilantro, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

What To Do:

Toss scooped avocado pulp in a large bowl with lime juice

Use a potato masher, combine the avocado pulp with salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper

Fold in onions, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic

Let sit for 45 minutes at room temperature

Serve with veggies or my favorite blue corn chips

Almond Butter and Jelly “Milk” Shake


I am a huge fan of making my chocolate shake before going to bed. I decided to sweeten it up a little bit with organic jelly. The result was AH-MAZ-ING! No need to hit up the ice cream shop when you can easily and cheaply make it for yourself any time you want it. I always make sure I keep the ingredients on hand in case I get that craving.

What You’ll Need:

1) Frozen Banana

3) Ice Cubes (or more if you like your milkshake really thick)

2 tsp Almond Butter

2 tsp Organic Jelly (I used raspberry)

Cocoa Powder – couple shakes (I used Hershey’s Dark Cocoa)

Almond Milk

Sprinkles are a tasty option

What To Do:

Put everything in a blender or ninja and combine thoroughly

Drink and enjoy

Friends Theme Party



I don’t know about you, but my all time favorite TV to this day is still Friends. When I was a young college student living on my own and couldn’t afford cable, I would watch my Friends DVD’s over and over again get to the point where I could repeat the next line or even tell you what they were wearing. I know, I have issues! Haha. The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?

Well when I heard Friends was coming to Netflix, my life became complete again. It had been several years since I had sat down and watch the entire series. I decided to do just that and accomplished the task in just 15 short days. I would watch it while I got ready for work in the morning, while I was cooking for clients, during my lunch hour, before bed. I was surprised on how on I still was. I still knew the next lines, outfit verification was at about 50%, and I still laughed and cried as if it was the first time I had ever seen it. Oh and during every theme song, I still clap four times.

So hearing that this was coming to Netflix, I decided to throw a little theme party for my friends and I. Of course, I only included those who were obsessed with Friends just like me. I didn’t want others to get bored while we watch episode after episode, or when I brought out the trivia game, or when I had props out that corresponded to each episode. We will get to all of that shortly.

I decided to make this party a slumber party, because hey, you’re never to old to have a sleepover with your girlfriends and I knew wine would be included so I wanted everyone to be safe.

Here is the invite I emailed to everyone. I made the back ground titles of episodes.

Friends Invite - Michelle

I spent two weeks planning this party out. It helped watching the entire series for ideas and also Google/Pinterest provided great ideas as well. I live in a small apartment and wanted to be able to reference episodes in each room. As my guests arrived I had street signs outside of my apartment door. These signs referenced the corner where Monica, Rachel, Chandler, and Joey lived. We learned their address was 495 Grove Street in season 4- The One with The Invitation. I also created a coffee filter wreath for the door.

IMG_1048      IMG_1049 (1)

Then in the entry way I had an article from Entertainment Weekly on a “how-to” binge watch Friends, a NYC taxi cab that corresponded to The One with Phoebe’s Father in Season 2, a wall of famous quotes from the cast, and of course the signature yellow frame that sat around the peep hole!
IMG_1019 IMG_1022
In my dressing area I had dice, coins, and a deck of cars that referenced The One in Vegas- Season 5 and I replaced a personal photo with a cast photo.
IMG_1031 (1)
In the bathroom I had “fancy” soap that Monica told Richard’s Son he could use at Thanksgiving in Season 3 and a toy Porsche for The One with Joey’s Porsche in Season 6.
IMG_1032  IMG_1033
In my living/bedroom area I did many things. On my nightstand I bought candy conversation hearts and made hearts that said “Chan & Jan 4 Ever” as shown in The One with The Candy Hearts- Season 1.
My bookcase held The One with The Apothecary Table-  Season 6, The One with The  Ball – Season 5, The One with The Sharks – Season 9, and The One at The Beach- Season 3. I also added more photos of the cast into frames I already had.
IMG_1042IMG_1043 IMG_1044 IMG_1046
On my coffee table/ottoman I had a bowl of Dove Dark Chocolate for The One with All The Candy – Season 7 and 61 Things You Didn’t Know About Friends that I found on Buzz Feed.
IMG_1035 IMG_1050
On the shelving above my TV I had a stuffed monkey for The One With The Monkey- Season 1, a chick and a duck for The One With a Chick and a Duck – Season 3, a Rooster and a index card with a lighting rod referencing the trivia game that cost the girls their apartment in The One with The Embryos in Season 4. By the way, The One with The Embryos is probably my favorite episode!
IMG_1039 IMG_1036
IMG_1037 IMG_1053
I asked my guests to choose 10 of the of their favorite episodes prior to the date of the event. I created a episode guide with our favorites and posted it next to the TV to make for easy for searching Netflix. I thought we would have had a lot of the same favorites but that wasn’t the case. We were able to get through 13 out of the 25 episodes we had chosen. I guess that just means we will have to have another night. 🙂
Now you can’t have a party without favors. I bought each person some fuzzy socks, put in a pack of the conversation hearts, face mask corresponding to when the guys used a face mask on their t-zone in The One with The Cheap Wedding Dress in Season 7, and lottery tickets for The One with The Lotto in Season 9.
 IMG_1030  IMG_1028  IMG_1060
In the kitchen I set up “Central Perk”  and a buffet for dinner an dessert. I wrote Central Perk on a chalkboard and set up a coffee station with to-go coffee cups with the Central Perk logo. I found the Eight O’Clock coffee that was used in the Pop-Up shop in NYC, and had my friend bring her coffee maker.
On the buffet I chose a purple table cloth that went with the wall color in Monica’s apartment. I brought out my DVD’s and used them as tiers for candles that referenced The One with The Blackout in Season 1. I had my friend Julie bring hummus and veggies that went with when Phoebe got the hummus in the episode The One Where No One Was Ready – Season 3. For dinner I made zucchini lasagna (The One with All The Lasagnas – Season 1) and Paleo Caesar Salad (recipe can be found in my archives.)
For dessert I made Vegan Mini Cheesecakes for The One with All of The Cheesecakes – Season 7 and Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies for The One With Phoebe’s Cookies also Season 7.
(Recipe for vegan cheesecakes can be found at
and the chocolate chip cookie recipe can be found in my archives.)
For breakfast, I went to a great bakery here in Rochester and bought some croissants (plain and chocolate) and some organic jam for The One with The Jam- Season 3. Then bought almond milk yogurt, frozen berries, and Lara Bar Granola so they could make their own breakfast parfaits/trifles. (The One where Ross Got High- Season 6)
In between episodes and during breakfast we played a trivia game. I came up with 4 trivia questions for each season. I took blue poster board and made season and point bubbles. I cut index cards in half and and wrote the question on the back and printed the friends logo on labels for the front of them. This was a great way to break up the party. The questions and answers I created will be posted at the end of this blog, just in case you want to test your own Friends knowledge,
IMG_1072 (1)  IMG_1071
We also did a “How You Doin” Dubsmash performance and we created a dance to the theme song. I will spare you and not post those. LOL So, I think the party was an overall success. It was great to just sit back and relax with my girlfriends. The last few weeks have been so busy for us so we all deserved this night.

 Trivia Questions

Season 1

  • How many claps are in the theme song?
    1. 4
  • Why does Chandler hat Thanksgiving?
    1. His dad announced he was gay and was leaving
  • How did Ross and Rachel figure out where the monkey was?
    1. They were on the street when they say a man delivering a box of bananas
  • Whose pizza did Monica, Rachel and Phoebe get by mistake?
    1. George Stephanopoulos

Season 2

  • How did they kill off Joey’s character on Days of Our Lives
    1. He fell down an elevator shaft
  • In the prom video, what did Ross offer to do?
    1. Take Rachel to prom when her date didn’t show up
  • What did Ross buy for Joey before he moved back in with Chandler?
    1. The big white dog
  • What did Monica and Rachel dress Ben in to cover up the bump on his head?
    1. Rain day Bear. Raincoat and Hat

Season 3

  • What did they make the giant poking device out of?
    1. Chopsticks
  • Rachel asks Ross what his fantasy is. Name that Fantasy…
    1. Princess Leia in the gold bikini
  • What bed was delivered to Monica by mistake?
    1. Race Car bed
  • In season 3 we learn the hand gesture Ross made-up to give the finger without having to give it.
    1. Fists together

Season 4

  • Who peed on Monica when she got stung by the jellyfish?
    1. Chandler
  • What happened to the engagement ring for Emily?
    1. The duck ate it
  • In the lighting round, what question did Monica and Rachel get wrong that cost them the apt?
    1. What is Chandler Bing’s job
  • What does Joey help Mr. Treager with to save Monica & Rachel’s apartment?
    1. Ballroom dancing

Season 5

  • Monica and Chandler wanted to kiss at midnight on New Years Eve. Joey helped make that happen. Who did Ross kiss? Who did Joey kiss?
    1. Ross & Phoebe
    2. Joey & Rachel
  • What were the names of Phoebe’s triplets
    1. Chandler, Frank Jr Jr, Leslie
  • What is the special ingredient Monica puts in Ross’s Thanksgiving sandwich? And what is it called?
    1. Gravy soaked bread
    2. Moist Maker
  • Why does Phoebe hate PBS?
    1. She wrote Sesame Street after her mom died and they never wrote back.

Season 6

  • What happens to Joey after he loses his insurance?
    1. Hernia
  • Who performed their dance routine they created when they were younger on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin Eve?
    1. Monica and Ross
  • Where did Rachel tell Phoebe she bought the Apothecary table from? Where did she actually get it from?
    1. Flea Market
    2. Pottery Barn
  • Ross dates a former student, Elizabeth and Rachel ends up dating her father. What celebrity played her father?
    1. Bruce Willis

Season 7

  • Who was caught taking a nap together?
    1. Joey & Ross
  • Who stole Monica’s thunder? How?
    1. Rachel by making out Ross in the hallway
  • In the truth about London, Phoebe spills the beans that Monica really wanted to sleep with someone else instead of Chandler. Who was that person?
    1. Joey
  • What does Ross dress up as to teach Ben about Hanukkah?
    1. The Holiday Armadillo

Season 8

  • Who did Rachel share a hospital room with?
    1. Janice
  • What is in Monica’s secret closet?
    1. A mess- junk
  • What was the rumor Ross and Will started in High School about Rachel?
    1. She was half and half
  • In the episode “The One with Monica’s Boots”, Phoebe wanted to meet a famous singer. Who was that singer?
    1. Sting

Season 9

  • What animal does Monica think turns Chandler on?
    1. Sharks
  • Who actor played Rachel and Ross’s male nanny?
    1. Freddie Prince Jr
  • Why did they go to Barbados?
    1. Ross’s Paleontology Conference
  • Why did Phoebe and Mike break up?
    1. He didn’t want to get married

 Season 10

  • Where was Phoebe’s wedding held?
    1. Out on the street in the snow
  • What happens when Rachel’s sister babysits Emma?
    1. She pierces her ears
  • What news do Monica and Chandler get during the late thanksgiving?
    1. They were chosen to adopt a child
  • What did Phoebe change her name to? And Mike?
    1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock
    2. Crap Bag