Leah is an RN at Mercy Hospital in the Pediatric ICU. When she’s not caring for the babies in the PICU, she dedicates her time to her kiddos at home. She loves to anchor her family around good, slow food… served with intention. She’s passionate about healing her and her kids’ bodies- and she knows that begins with the gut. Soon, she will be launching a business as a nurse health coach, placing an emphasis on mamas and their babes. You can find Leah on her blog, Blooming Motherhood.
Food mantra: Food is my love language. To sit and have a nourishing meal and conversation with a loved one...is my heaven. I actually get upset when my husband isn't hungry when it's time to eat. Ha!! Food is to nourish. To heal. To bring together. I am also really into eating with the seasons.
Style of cooking: Loosely following recipes and trying to convince my husband that I followed one! Haha. He always asks "Did you follow a recipe for this?" Because I never do. Sometimes it's a big flop. Other times he approves and we high-five over it.
Your food inspiration: Nourishing my children and family is important to me. I want my kids to thrive, and I believe wellness starts in the gut. Immunity, autoimmune, allergies...all of it can link back to the gut. I don't want my kids to suffer with allergies and asthma like I did. That is my motivation. Creating healthy guts from the beginning. It brings me so much joy to make healthy stuff taste yummy. There is a big lack of this talk in healthcare. I want to help change it.
WEEKLY ‘GO TO’ MEALS:
Korean beef and rice
Yellow curry, chicken on salads loaded up with veggies and avocado
Tacos - any variety, I am always trying to find a reason to have tacos
Some sort of crock-pot-soup creation with bone broth and whatever is in my pantry
Organizing your fridge/pantry to suit your needs: Most used items are on a shelf above where I prep (rice, oats, quinoa, etc). For the freezer, I try to keep an inventory on a sheet of paper inside. We never have a bunch of stuff in the fridge or freezer because I try to use up what we buy and not let things sit or waste.
Tricks have you learned to maintain a healthy diet with a busy lifestyle: Food is such a big part of my life. I think for me it's mostly about prepping in advance: meal planning, eating at home 90% of the time, and knowing that I have "go-to" snacks and meals that are quick. I actually keep a list of that in my kitchen so I don't have to think too hard or feel overwhelmed by the never-ending question, "What can I eat that is cheap, quick AND healthy." I have a meal rotation.
Food you make that you can’t live without: I've been on a big oat flour pancake kick... I make them in bulk. I add collagen and duck eggs so they are packed with protein and we can eat them as a snack with nut butter or breakfast on the go.
In the fridge: Coconut milk, cheese sticks, sauerkraut, duck eggs, apples, butter of some sort (I have been dairy free for my son's allergies but still feed my toddler grass-fed butter while I am on the Earth Balance kick), bone broth.
In the pantry: Dark chocolate chips, cashews, chips and salsa, avocado, almond butter, oats.
Kitchen tools: I am pretty basic. A good knife and cutting board. But my Blendtec did change my life.
Snack food: Apples + almond butter, nut thins + veggies in hummus, soft boiled duck eggs.
Best grocery store: Aldi and Mama Jeans
Best brand/item at store: Aldi organic pantry items (rice, beans, chips, salsa, PB, ketchup even!). Mama Jeans is by FAR the cheapest place to get IN SEASON local produce. Eat seasonally, locally, and you will get deals there. They have a quick sale section for produce needing to be eaten soon. Sometimes the stuff is not even ripe yet! I shop sales.
Best place to eat: Oh, sushi is my favorite. There is a new place called Craft Sushi that is very allergy-friendly. GF/DF/V options are abundant.
Best meal at restaurant: The salmon sushi bowl at Craft Sushi is my most recent favorite.
LEAH’S KITCHEN TO YOURS:
2 cups organic rice
1 lb ground beef, grass-fed
1/2 c Braggs liquid aminos
2 T toasted sesame oil
2 T sesame seeds
1 T minced garlic
1 bunch green onions, chopped
Soak desired amount of rice overnight, then cook before serving with beef.
Mix all other ingredients and marinate, in the fridge, for several hours or overnight.
Cook beef in cast -iron skillet on medium until cooked through.
Serve over warm rice and top with sauerkraut, kimchi, or any other favorite ferments.