Baked Sweet Potato fries

Hi! I have been loving fall here in Boulder Colorado. The smell in the air is crisp and the nights are cooler so sweet potato fries really warm you to the bones (exactly what I need right now after a long walk).

Since I’m a nanny during the week, that means I’m in charge of the kids meals. I get to cook with awesome organic farm fresh foods for the family I am nannying. Sweet potatoes, pumpkins, apples.. yum!

In my last post I mentioned I was a live in nanny, but after giving it a try I felt it was not ideal for me. I am still a nanny in the same area but I have more personal space after work which is nice. The little ones I nanny are awesome eaters and love to help me make things from scratch. They love to peel sweet potatoes, separate the pumpkin seeds, and freeze fruits. It’s a good match because it helps the process go quicker, gets them involved and trying new things.

Baked sweet potato fries are a favorite (and a great filling warming food after a long day!). True story… In 6th grade I ate a sweet potato every day after school and it was such a good recovery food mentally and physically. That got me thinking, there must be something good for the brain in sweet potatoes. Time to flip through to the biggest best food nutrition dictionary or the online version. I found that

In animal studies, reduced inflammation following sweet potato consumption has been shown in brain tissue and nerve tissue throughout the body.

Baked sweet potato fries are yummy and easy and such an appetizing way to cook a vegetable (in my opinion). Alrighty, enjoy!









  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Use your veggies scrub brush and wash off the potatoes of any dirt under water.
  3. Chop off the tips of the potato to get a flat base.
  4. (If you want to keep the skin skip this step.) Peel potatoes with the veggie peeler.
  5. Cut potatoes into 1/4 in slices.
  6. Cut the slices into 1/4 in strips
  7. If oil or butter is solid quickly melt in a small sauce pan.
  8. Toss sweet potato strips and spices and melted oil in a bowl and coat the fries generously.
  9. (optional) line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  10. Place potato slices on a single layer on a cookie sheet.
  11. Place in oven and bake for 15-18 min on 400 degrees.
  12. Shake the pan or turn the fries 1x during the cooking process so they evenly brown.
  13. Let cool a few minutes before serving!



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Quinoa Cinnamon Banana layer cake

Hi everyone! It’s Caroline finally and I’m writing from my new home in Colorado!

Like I said in my last update, my health got better and I took a giant leap of faith to drive across the country MN–>CO to become a live in Nanny for a great Catholic German Family. God has blessed me a thousand times, and am so happy here! Since I make healthy meals each day for the family, I may as well write them out for you to make too!


Just a heads up, this recipe was made up at the last second because we had a lot of extra cooked quinoa and a bunch of school friends coming over in 1 hour. So we brainstormed a bit and decided on something sweet with premade cooked quinoa, caramel and cinnamon!

This recipe is pretty flexible and you could add some baked apples instead of bananas. Feel free to add more or less quinoa depending on how much you have on hand. You could switch almonds for walnuts too. At the end we had extra caramel sauce so the kids just drizzled it over their pieces.






  • Pre-make quinoa and caramel sauce ahead of time.
  • In a large sauce pan combine cooked quinoa, cinnamon, butter, sea salt, and about 1/4 cup of the caramel sauce.
  • Turn the heat on medium and cook until the butter is melted and the quinoa gets coated with cinnamon and caramel and becomes sticky.
  • Line the bottom of a casserole dish with 1 layer of chopped bananas.
  • Spoon on a layer of the gooey quinoa mixture and press with a spatula until flat and even.
  • Layer more sliced bananas and again more of the quinoa mixture.
  • On the top, put on the rest of the sliced bananas.
  • Add walnuts and drizzle the top of the cake with the caramel sauce. (*you will have extra and can save it or drizzle more on later).
  • (aka bottom to top: bananas, quinoa, bananas, quinoa, bananas/walnuts/caramel)
  • Serve with a spoon because it tends to fall apart a bit!

*tip: Enjoy after nap time or else the sugar will keep you up! 🙂







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Delicious Peppermint Smoothie

Peppermint is one of my favorite flavors!  I have fond memories of indulging in York peppermint patties, Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies, and those Christmas peppermint nougat candies … and, errr, not being able to stop myself from eating more and more and more.

Obviously those aren’t the most healthy food options out there …

BUT, what if you could combine this wonderful peppermint flavor with healthy eating?!!

Introducing: The Magnificent Peppermint Smoothie!IMG_3121


Last week I wrote about all the amazing benefits of the superfood kale.  (Click here to read.)  In this article I detail how the nutrients in kale will work for your body to fight against things like cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and eye-sight failure, and a myriad of other health conditions.  Today, I want to show you one of the many ways that my family has chosen to incorporate this awesome vegetable into our lives.  Let me share with you our peppermint smoothie!


  • 1 cup coconut milk (I like full-fat coconut milk because it gives a thickness that resembles ice cream!  Mmmm)
  • 1 Tbsp honey (or more to reach desired sweetness)
  • 1-2 handfuls of kale
  • 30 peppermint leaves or 1-2 drops of Peppermint essential oil
  • Dark chocolate (or carob), chopped or shaved into small piecesIMG_3303
  • A dash or two of salt
  • about 10 ice cubes






I love using the Nutri Ninja individual cup for quick and easy blending and cleanup!  (Get yours here.)  You could always use a regular blender as well, but you may want to double the peppermint smoothie recipe to fill the blender a bit higher.

  1. Toss all of your ingredients, except the ice, into the cup and blend for about 10-12 seconds.  This should be enough to incorporate all the ingredients together.
  2. Add in the ice cubes and blend again.  This addition will make the shake nice and thick and ice-creamy!  (You don’t want to add the ice cubes right away, because it can cause the honey to solidify into one big glob, and not distribute the sweetness evenly)IMG_2145
  3. Stir in chocolate pieces or sprinkle on top.
  4. Enjoy this delicious smoothie while delighting in the fact that you’re feeding your body such nutritious food!IMG_3141


**Anne Warren is a wife & mother who loves blogging about healthy food (inside & out)!  She has had her own health struggles throughout the years, yet she is thankful that it has brought her to a place of better health.  He health struggles have helped her gain an understanding that the things she puts into her body – both physically and spiritually – will indeed have a huge effect on her overall energy and wellbeing.  She shares with you here today because encouraging others is a great passion!IMG_7579

If you are interested in getting more of her recipes, please check out her blog at www.foodthatsatisfies.com.

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Kale: Its Amazing Benefits & Why You Should Eat It!

Hi GUTSY readers, I am Anne Warren from Food That Satisfies.  One of my greatest life passions is learning about health and implementing it into my family’s daily life.  This, coupled with a desire to encourage & inspire others, has sparked my excitement for blogging about my journey!  My blog is just a couple months old, but it’s growing fast, and I’m so happy to be able to share with you here today!  Feel free to read my story and then learn all about the benefits of eating kale!

My Story

My own struggles with chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivities, and food allergies led me down a path of whole food eating and natural remedies, for which I am so blessed!  The process, however, also meant that I spent a couple years of my life in the kitchen, during whichIMG_7579 I neglected some of the relationships that I hold dear.  I realized that while I needed quality food for health, I also didn’t want it to rule my life.  Thus, as a wife, mother, daughter and friend, it is so valuable to me to find balance within the context of healthy living.  I want to help you gain health so that you can live out your dreams … not sacrifice them in the process.  It is my hope that my blog posts will reflect that!  If you’re interested in hearing my story, read more about it here.

I am so grateful to Caroline for giving me the opportunity to post here on GUTSY.  We have been friends for a number of years, originally connecting over real food and natural health solutions.  I will be posting on GUTSY periodically during the upcoming months and hope to connect with you during that time.  If you enjoy what you read here, please join me for additional posts at www.FoodThatSatisfies.com!


Top 5 Benefits of Eating Kale

If I told you that kale is good for you and you should eat it more often, you’d probably respond with, “Yeah, I know”, and then go on living your normal kale-meager life without a second thought.

BUT … if you really understood just how nutritious and health-promoting kale is, you’d be banging down your grocery store doors trying to get as much of this cruciferous vegetable as you could possibly get your hands on!

So, let me share with you the top 5 reasons that you want to be eating this terrific food!



Glutathione is quite possibly the most important antioxidant in your body.  This substance is found in every single cell of your body, and its overarching purpose is to protect your cells from things that might seek to damage them.  Thus, glutathione fights against free radicals & toxins that might be introduced to your body from chemicals, radiation, or other environmental pollution.

If it’s inflammation you’re trying to soothe, glutathione is one of the very best things you can be putting into your body!  It is terrific for helping both your liver and individual cells detoxify and bring down inflammation.

Due to it’s protective nature, glutathione is considered to be an amazing component both for preventing cancer and helping cancer patients as they undergo treatment.  It is also one of the best preventative methods that a person can take to guard against neurodegenerative diseases such as Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Needless to say, getting glutathione should be top priority for anyone who wants to stay healthy and optimally functioning!

“So, how does one get more glutathione?” you may ask.

Surprise, surprise: KALE!  The sulphur-rich amino acids found in most cruciferous vegetables naturally boost glutathione levels in a person’s body.  Thus, you can increase your cellular glutathione by eating any cruciferous vegetable: broccoli, cabbage, or brussel sprouts … however, just wait until you hear about the other great health benefits that kale has packed into it!

2. Amazing Protection for your Eye Sight

In addition to glutathione, kale is chalk-full of other anti-oxidants.  A few of the standouts when it comes to vision and eye health are lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene.  These compounds are called carotenoids, and they are very important to helping maintain a person’s sight.  They protect the body against oxidative stress (caused by a variety of free radicals) and are important in maintaining the delicate eye tissue.

According to brightfocus.org, “As many as 11 million people in the United States have some form of age-related macular degeneration.  This number is expected to double to nearly 22 million by 2050.”  In our western culture, eye problems are becoming more and more common.  Could it be that we have pushed some of these healthy vegetables to the sidelines, causing more issues than we realize?

The carotenoids in kale are highly protective against degenerative eye disease such as macular degeneration, as well as cataracts.  There is officially no “cure” for advanced macular degeneration; however, there are mountains of evidence showing us that we can completely prevent the problem in the first place by putting quality nutrients into our bodies.  Studies show that the levels of lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene in a person’s blood all go up when kale is ingested.IMG_1993

**A key thing to note: All of these antioxidants are fat-soluble, meaning your body needs good fats in order to best process them.  Thus, you will want to be sure to eat your kale with some sort of fat to get the full benefits of these antioxidants.  This usually isn’t too much of a problem since cooked kale is often served with butter or olive oil, and raw kale can be dressed with a vinaigrette in salad, used with coconut milk in a smoothie, or crisped with a little olive oil as a chip.

3. It’s a Major Cancer-Fighter!

As we discussed at the beginning, glutathione is an antioxidant that is super protective against cancer-causing free radicals.  It reduces inflammation, promotes healthy detoxification (which gets rid of toxins and cancerous growths) and counters the effects of things such as free radicals.

In addition to glutathione, kale contains compounds known as indoles.  Indoles are a class of phytochemicals that have been shown to greatly reduce estrogenic activity.  A majority of cancerous tumors are estrogenic in nature, meaning that extra estrogen in a person’s body will greatly accelerate a tumor’s growth.  Estrogen causes cells to grow, and not being able to efficiently detoxify estrogen provides what is necessary for tumors to grow … and grow … and grow.

Estrogen dominance is a huge problem for females.  It is extremely common in the United States to find women who have a much higher ratio of estrogen to progesterone.   Unfortunately, in our society, hormones are thrown around right and left, without much regard for the delicate balance that needs to be maintained between the great complexity of hormones in a body.  Our bodies are also stressed with high amounts of chemicals, which eventually overloads our detoxification systems.  These are just a couple of the many things that leads to the epidemic of cancers that we are seeing today.

Fortunately, we have a food that specifically targets both the estrogen and the detoxification system! Indoles work by detoxifying (getting rid of) estrogen, so that it isn’t sitting around creating tumors in your body.  It enables your body to do the job it was intended to do – keeping the good and getting rid of the bad!  Just like glutathione, indoles are found in most cruciferous vegetables, so please, PLEASE make these a part of your regular diet!

4. Vitamin K – It Prevents Osteoporosis, Atherosclerosis, and Type II Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis : Decreasing of bone mass throughout your body; it makes a person easily prone to fractures
  • Atherosclerosis:  The build-up of plaque on artery walls, leading to strokes, heart attacks, or peripheral vascular disease
  • Type II Diabetes:  Insulin resistance that, over time, can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves and/or heart.

The three conditions listed above are some of the most common health issues experienced in our society today.  Millions of people are on expensive medications designed to combat symptoms of these diseases, yet there are so many terrible side effects of the drugs, that it leaves most people sicker than when they started.   Wouldn’t it be great to have something that fight to prevent these conditions, while at the same time improving your overall health?!!

Hmmmm …. let’s see.  What might have the capability of doing something like that?

Yep, you guessed it.  The one and only kale!

The high amounts of Vitamin K that are found within kale help activate a protein (osteocalcin), which binds with bone minerals to build strong, lasting bones, thus preventing osteoporosis.  In addition, the Vitamin K in kale prevents build up and calcification of arteries, preventing cardiovascular disease and everything associated with it.  Finally, studies show that Vitamin K both prevents and reduces the effects of Type II Diabetes.

“Killing three birds with one stone” … or shall I say “Knocking out three diseases with one superfood!”IMG_1493

5. High in Many Other Vitamins & Minerals: Calcium, Iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin A

On the heels of Vitamin K, let’s delve into the benefits of calcium that you receive from eating kale.  One of the major problems in osteoporosis is that a person lays down bone without the proper mineral content, leaving bones brittle and weak.  Both Vitamin K & Calcium are huge players in this process.  A majority of the calcium in your body goes toward building bones & teeth, but if there isn’t enough calcium available to your body, your body steals calcium from your bones to use for other vital functions such as blood clotting, nerve function, cell signaling, and activation of enzyme reactions.  Getting a significant amount of calcium that your body can readily absorb is very important in avoiding osteoporosis!

Additionally, iron anemia is something that many women struggle with.  The iron in kale, while certainly not the highest of all vegetables, is also nothing to sneeze about.  It is important that a person consume Vitamin C at the same time as iron, because it significantly increases the body’s absorption of the iron.  Fortunately for us, kale contains high levels of Vitamin C!

The Vitamins A & C, which are also found in kale, are extremely beneficial to a person.  1 cup of cooked kale contains 98% of a person’s recommended daily value(DV) of Vitamin A and 71% of the recommended DV of Vitamin C.  It’s truly amazing how many great nutrients are packed into kale.  In addition to all of these, it is a good source of manganese, copper, Vitamin B6, fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B2, Magnesium and Omega-3 (ALA) fats!

Eat MORE Kale!

In conclusion, kale is a wonderful source of antioxidants & vitamins.  These vital nutrients are protectors in the body, enabling it to fight against things such as cancer, neurodegenerative & cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes.  While there might be future research yet to come showing even greater benefits, it is pretty evident at this point that we can’t go wrong adding kale to our diets!  Please check back here in the days to come as we delve into some wonderful kale recipes!  If you are interested in learning more about kale and all its benefits, please check out one of the resources below:

World's Healthiest Foods image                  Kale complete guide book


**As a side note, some people have troubles digesting kale due to the higher insoluble fiber content.  This often occurs if a person has SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth).  If kale seems to give you problems, this is a great indicator to you that you need to rebalance your gut flora.  Let this serve as a clue to attaining better health!




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A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

~Ecclesiastes 3:1-8


Hello! The time has come for me to step back into the blog world and say “Hi!” again. 

I’m starting a fresh new post. Its been 22 months since I last stepped foot on this blog. Yikes! I was little overwhelmed at the 1,579 unread comments (yeah…I may not get to those anytime soon). But I finally decided that this little detail should not delay me from writing something any longer. Also, you may have noticed I decided to make the blog look more simple. I like it this way and I hope you do too.

I was positive I would never be writing here again…but something inside told me “don’t shut the blog down”. I found it annoying because I don’t like to leave things open ended, but I just had to trust my gut and keep it up. I even had to talk about it over and over and over again with friends and family just to convince myself I was making the right choice.

I’m going to be honest…I did not think I would be able to recover and be “normal” and fulfill my purpose in life. I was starting to loose hope but God turned things around and placed people into my life who did not allow me to drown. Kindness, compassion, honesty, support and motivation from my loved ones kept me afloat during the hardest times until I could finally float on my own.



You may be asking yourself the basic questions that go through everyones mind when I tell them these things. “What happened to you?”

I’ll rewind little.. It first started with most likely a TBI (traumatic brain injury) at age 2 when I fell out of a tree. Age 2 is a critical age for brain development. It was always overlooked or forgotten since my problem always simply seemed to be just “allergies”. If you have followed my blog, you know how my past “healing journeys” have focused on allergies and restrictions with little  actual healing/progress happening. But my one reliable doctor made a quick comment how a brain injury can set the nervous system in “fight or flight” for years. In my case 20 years!

So ever since this missing piece was discovered  (I saw several neurologists and started therapy with a functional neurologist) I have been getting well. I was even running again months after my first therapy session (I just needed to test it out! But currently my favorite forms of excercise are walking and swimming!) It was not easy at all, but worth it to stick it out and do the daily therapy to reboot my left side. These times taught me perseverance, patience, and I saw amazing support and love from my therapy helpers.

You know the saying…”2 steps forward and 1 step back”? Its been a year of this “dance” but for some reason I have never been able to look back and actually believe the progress. But several months ago I remember the day I actually believed it (after my mom clearly said “look how far you have come”.) It really make me stop and think for the first time because I actually believed her and saw what she meant.

I’m able to live in the present, think and plan about my future and am taking steps and leaps to following my true purpose in life. I believe if I put my mind to it, I can do anything God hands me to complete. It’s fun to trust and then go out and do the task!

For a long time everything on my left side went numb. Purple feet, loss of sensory nerves, and little motor function was at its worst. So my daily neurological exercises were designed to target the vestibular system in my brain and reconnect or develop neurons to help with sensory, depth perception, balance, coordination and vagus nerve stimulation. These therapies done in the office of the doctor or at home (sometimes up to 4x a day or gargling 15x a day) slowly improved my cognition, immune system, mood, motor skills, and even outlook on life. But I’m happy to say it all worked!

The therapies changed over time as I began to heal to target more parts of the brain- including nerves on the face, tongue, head, stomach. Just to give you an idea I had a routine of gargling, mirror therapy, cross crawl exercises, posture balancing, and using a handheld electrical pulse stimulator in my own time. Lots of fun stuff! Reading and writing became much easier with practice and stabilizing how my eyes track and move. I found the process fascinating and used it as an opportunity to learn about how the brain and nerves work together.


The Now

Life right now is pretty normal. Im not sure exactly what the future has for me but I know I’m happy to write a post on my blog again!  I feel like I re-found my natural tendencies to want to learn and connect with natural like minded bloggers, farmers, friends, and my church community. I’m thinking about starting up some classes and hopefully get a good job. I love summer because it always feels like an adventure! See you around.

I’ll share some pictures from my life in the past year.


Winter on the lake 2016.


My favorite picture of my favorite saint (Saint John Paul 2).


Sister love <3.


Art Museum with my friend!


Trying fun foods – coconut and hemp milks.


My daily therapy on the mat.


Gargle gargle gargle (for my neurological rehabilitation).


Minnesota Spring 2016 sunset.


A deer right outside my door that came closer the more I talked to it.


The lake is starting to smell like summer!


Reading, writing, sceduling and organizing my life.


After 6 months of just pureed food I relearned how to chew and swallow (Brushing my teeth and gums was a unique therapy designed to help stimulate tongue muscles).


Take the bus to the local Co-op!


I love going into my church to just pray!


Learning the bus system around my area (this picture was at the station.)


Yum. Frozen berries on a hot day make everything better!


Swimming in the backyard with some friends! I love little kids 🙂


Organizing my fridge and getting all the food prepped to be eaten. Lots of chopped bell peppers, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, cilantro. Sorted vegetables for juicing. Green juices in jars. Avocados. Fresh pureed cranberries (very tart). In the side door: krill oil, olive leaf liquid and probiotic, also vera juice, hemp oil, selenium liquid. 


Daily verse. “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” ~Deuteronomy 6:5

Swimming off the dock 🙂


This is how I travel. Giant bag so I can fit therapy items when its needed.  Like my handheld electric stimulator to “reboot” my left side, aftershock headphones to hook up to my “brain tones”, vitamins to take with meals. Water or tea. Hand wipes.


Doing some therapy. This stimulator is really improving my coordination and helps with nerve pain and sleep! “Fisher Wallace Stimulator® enables the brain to produce serotonin naturally while improving the brain’s ability to regulate the limbic system”


My happy place. Summer 2016.


Fresh flowers from the Co-op for my family <3.


Of course, a feather! My favorite.

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” ~Psalm 91:4


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