How to get an awesome night’s sleep

“You are not healthy, unless your sleep is healthy” 

Dr. William Dement


If you have trouble sleeping, you are not alone! It is estimated that as much as 70% of Americans suffer from sleep deprivation. And, that is not a good thing. Our mental, emotional and physical performance will suffer if we do not get enough sleep. Some resulting problems from lack of sleep include weight gain, diabetes, memory loss, depression and possibly even cancer.

To get optimal sleep, you need to make getting enough quality sleep a priority. How much sleep is enough? For most people it is at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Now, let’s talk about to get that amazing good night of sleep we all crave.

Keep your room dark. Like really dark. It is a fact that we sleep better in a dark environment. So, try to eliminate any artificial light (for example, your alarm clock light, night lights, light coming in from outside, etc.).

Avoid blue light. That means screens! You know when you pass someone’s house at night, and you see the the light from their television, and its blue? That’s blue light. Try cutting down on your screen time a few hours before you go to bed. And, yeah, that includes tablets and cell phones, which are the worst offenders as you hold those items closer to your face.

Get your Magnesium. Magnesium is an important mineral for getting optimal sleep, and a lot of us are deficient. Dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds and brazil nuts are excellent sources. Additionally, supplementing with Magnesium is pretty easy. You can either take an Epsom salt bath before bed, or take some Natural Calm supplement with water or tea at night. They also make Magnesium oil that you can rub into your skin at night.

Cut the Caffeine. Did you know caffeine, a powerful stimulant to your nervous system, can stay in your system for up to 7-8 hours after you ingest it? Now, I know you guys aren’t going to give up your coffee habit. And, that’s cool. Just set a coffee curfew at 2 p.m.

Go easy on the booze! You know that glass of wine or pint of beer you drink to “wind down”? If you want to sleep well, limit your alcohol intake to one glass (or pint). Even though alcohol might make you sleepy at first, it actually disrupts your REM sleep. So you never get that good, deep, sleep.

Chickpea Flatbread Pizza

I love pizza. But, I don’t love how eating traditional pizza, with the crust made with refined white flour, makes me feel. This version of a vegan, gluten-free, pizza is made with chickpea flour. Chickpea flour is gluten-free and high in protein, iron and fiber. It’s basically ground up chickpeas. It’s a versatile ingredient that has become a pantry staple for me. And, it’s delicious – with a sweet, nutty flavor.

This recipe for a chickpea flatbread pizza is not only more nutritious than your standard pizza, its actually easier to make! More importantly, it’s so tasty you won’t even miss your traditional pizza crust.


For the flatbread crust:
1 cup chickpea flour (aka, garbanzo bean or besan flour)
1 cup water
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

For the sauce:
1 12 oz jar or can of organic diced tomatoes (or approx 1.5 cups fresh diced tomato)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

2 large handfuls organic spinach
3 green onions, sliced
12 black olives, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper chopped.
*Use whatever you have on hand that would make a good pizza topping!

Also: coconut oil – to grease pans and use as cooking oil.


Mix all of the ingredients for the crust, then let sit for at least one hour. It will be of a thick batter consistency.

While you’re waiting, prep your sauce and toppings. For the sauce, dump all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse a few times. You still want the tomatoes chunky. Season to taste with the sea salt and black pepper.

For the toppings, heat a saute pan over medium heat with about 1 tsp coconut oil. Saute the onion and bell pepper until the onion is translucent, about 5-10 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach and black olives. You want the spinach to wilt

Preheat oven to 425.

Grease a small baking pan or cast iron pan with coconut oil, liberally. Pour the chickpea batter into the pan, and bake for about 8-10 minutes, until the edges are turning brown.

Remove the flatbread from the oven. Spoon on your tomato sauce (you will have leftovers) and add your topping. Put the flatbread back into the oven and bake for another 5 minutes. You are just heating up your toppings here.

Slice & enjoy!

Easy Plant-based Mac & Cheez Recipe

IMG_1460So, mac and cheese is probably my favorite comfort food. When I was growing up, I loved the stuff you made from the box – Kraft. Now, not only do I avoid food that comes from a box, but I avoid the dairy too.

That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy mac & cheese though! In fact, this recipe, which uses cashews as a base instead of cheese and butter – is not only tastier but easier and faster than making the “real” thing! And, I would argue its a heck of lot healthier too. Try this plant-based cheez sauce recipe & I guarantee you’ll be making it again.

Pasta (I like brown rice pasta) – one package
2 cloves garlic
1 cup of raw cashews soaked in water for at least one hour
1 1/2 tbsp of Bragg’s liquid aminos
1 tsp paprika
1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast

Make the pasta according to the package directions.

Drain the cashews.

Add the cashews and the rest of the remaining ingredients to the blender. Start to add water to blend into a sauce. I start with about 1 cup of water. Add water, blend… if you want it thinner just keep adding small amounts of water. It will end up a creamy consistency.

Stir in the cashew cheez sauce into the cooked and drained cashew. I added some chopped parsley here.

Get creative – try adding miso, chipotle and other seasonings to the sauce. Throw your favorite veggies in with the pasta – I like kale, fresh tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli and / or mushrooms.