Hello friends! I’m Taylor Stolt — a registered dietitian and foodie, former collegiate-athlete, integrative and functional medicine enthusiast.
I’m so excited to share my nutrition knowledge, nourishing (and delicious) recipes and other helpful tips and tricks on all things health and wellness with you guys.
First, I have a confession: I spent weeks trying to think of the “perfect” first blog post, and did nothing but worry. Then I realized I needed to stop worrying so dang much and just get moving!
It was a great reminder. I have a lot of passions, a lot of things I want to do in this life. What holds me back? Fear. The fear of messing up, the fear of judgment, the fear that someone else will do it better.
Maybe you don’t want to start going to the gym because you’re worried you won’t be as fit as the person next to you. Maybe you don’t want to start cooking because you haven’t cooked much in the past and you think you won’t be good at it. Maybe you don’t want to try to improve your health because the last time you tried you slipped up, and now you’re back where you started.
Dissolve Your Fears
Those fears are valid, but don’t let them hold you back! Dissolve them with action. Fear is no match for movement.
If you’re the slowest person at the gym, I promise you won’t be if you keep going. If you’re terrible at cooking, I promise you’ll get better if you stick with it. If you weren’t healthy yesterday, you can be healthier today.
Stop thinking about changing, and just do it! (shoutout to Nike). No, the process isn’t pretty. You’re going to fail. You’re not going to be able to finish some workouts. You’re going to have to modify some exercises. You may burn meals, overseason them, dry them out. You might cook some dishes that honestly don’t taste great. You may take two steps towards a healthier life and then take one step back.
The good news is, it gets better.
As you get in better shape, exercise becomes fun and exciting. As you improve your cooking skills, making dinner becomes enjoyable. As you improve your health you will have more energy, better-quality sleep, improved focus, enhanced mood and a higher quality of life. It’s much less tempting to revert back to old ways when you realize how good you’re capable of feeling.
That, my friends, is the beauty of health and wellness. It’s not about perfection or what the person next to you is doing. It’s about choosing to better yourself. It’s about the journey.
In light of that, I want to share a simple (but incredibly delicious, of course) recipe with you guys! You don’t need fifty ingredients, fancy gadgets, or three hours to slave over the stove. There’s minimal cooking and the dish actually gets more flavorful over time.
I give you – Quinoa Tabbouleh!
This dish is a summertime favorite of mine. The fresh herbs, juicy tomatoes and light, fluffy quinoa make it a refreshing dish – perfect on a hot day! The coolest part? It becomes more flavorful over time – the quinoa will continue to soak up the flavors of other ingredients and the fresh herbs soften. Prep it the night before a cook-out or summertime get-together, or double the recipe and eat on it throughout the whole week!
The ingredients in this recipe have a lot of health benefits, but I know I’ve already stolen a lot of your time so I’ll keep this short and sweet!
First, the health benefits:
- Quinoa: The only non-animal source of complete protein out there
- Cucumber: Improves digestion, high in vitamin K
- Mint: Powerful antioxidants (rosmarinic acid, caffeic acid, luteolin derivatives, eriocitrin derivatives, ascorbic acid, carotenoids)
- Parsley: High in vitamin K, natural breath freshener due to antibacterial properties, high in antioxidants (phenolic acids)
- Extra-virgin olive oil: Protects heart health and brain health, fights mood disorders, aids in weight loss, associated with lower cancer risk and decreased aging
- Tomato: Linked to reduced risk of heart disease and cancer (due to lycopenes), high in carotenoids which are important for eye health.
Second, breakdown of the ingredients:
- 3/4 cup quinoa (cooks to 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 cup fresh parsley, minced
- 1 tsp mint (about 1-2 leaves), minced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cucumber, finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp high-quality olive oil (I used California Olive Ranch)
And finally, how to make this Mediterranean dream a reality:
1. Cook quinoa according to package, but use ¾ cup quinoa and only 1 1/4 cup water. You want the quinoa to be fluffy, not soggy!
2. Put quinoa in the fridge to cool while you chop/mince all other ingredients.
4. Serve and eat. Told ya it was simple.
5. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 5-6 days. Score.
Stay tuned for more delicious recipes and nutrition tips and tricks. Some of the upcoming posts I’ll be sharing with you include:
- Why I went gluten-free, and how to find out if you should too.
- The fruit I ate wrong for 24 years, and the health benefits of eating it the right way.
- The only recipe you need to make a salad dressing.
- Homemade almond milk, and why store-bought could be causing your stomach issues.
- Food sensitivities, symptoms, and what to do about it.
- The oil everyone owns, and why it’s probably not the real thing!
- The mineral most people are missing, and how a deficiency causes everything from muscle cramps to insomnia.
Stay tuned for more delicious recipes and nutrition tips and tricks, and be sure to follow me on Instagram @plateandcanvas!
Any specific recipe you’d like to see? Curious about a specific nutrition topic? Don’t hesitate to reach out and let me know. Anything I can do to support you on your health journey!