To Be or Not to Be....Gluten Free

Only You Can Answer That!

King Arthur Cinnamon Bread Recipe

My gluten-free experience started a few years ago when my daughter was having health issues. Her condition had not been diagnosed so I felt that we should try to eliminate the usual suspects in an attempt to ease some of her pain and discomfort.  I would never ask a 14 year old to make such a drastic dietary change alone and gladly gave up bread, pasta, and yes, beer. My daughter was gluten free for about two weeks and I decided to give it another two years.

I had read "Wheat Belly" by Dr. William Davis and "The Grain Brain" by Dr. David Perlmutter and was aware of the history and the effects of industrialized, hybridized wheat.  Knowing this information made me more than determined to kick the wheat habit.  If you haven't read either of these two books, I highly recommend them both.

It was not hard for me.  I did not buy into all of the gluten free foods that had started to fill the grocery store shelves.  Most are filled with starches and other fillers that I did not want to include in my diet, much like the gluten that I was trying to avoid.  I did chose a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and protein.  

Because I like to bake this change did feed my natural curiosity of how one could make delectable pastries and desserts without using flour.  Through that quest I now have an array of healthy foods that are used to substitute white flour that I might have never tried.  Cauliflower as a pizza crust, almond flour, black bean flour, and one of my favorites, walnut pie crust, just to name a few!  I found that I could still enjoy delicious treats on a gluten free diet (but had to watch the sugar)!

It was close to six months when I started to really feel the effects of this lifestyle change.  I had lost a little bit of stubborn weight, my skin had a healthier glow, and I had a sense of real clarity.

So, why have I gone back after clearly experiencing the benefits to my own personal health?  Because there are some foods that I wanted to enjoy and create!  It's hard to resist eating homemade pasta after spending a beautiful day in the kitchen with my son (that photo above)!  Or on a trip to NYC last year with my oldest I declared there was no way I was going to search for a gluten free bagel in the Big Apple!  It was all (an everything bagel with lox and cream cheese) or nothing! I left  the city feeling no quilt.  

These experiences did not change my eating habits on a day to day basis.  I think that when we begin to feel good, feeling bad is just not an option anymore, especially when it is something we have control of.   Feeling good to me is also about balance.  Diet is a huge part of it but so is exercise, good sleep, stress management, and a lot of laughter.

Through my own life experiences I am aware of how different foods affect my body and I have the ability to respond accordingly.  With that I am choosing to use high quality wheat products like King Arthur flour to make bread, pasta, and pizza crust.  I also choose moderation. Just because I am allowing these foods into my meal planning doesn't mean that I will eat them every day, three times a day.  To be honest, it may only be once a week or even once a month.

My daughter's condition was finally diagnosed.  She is close to being fully recovered and living a very full and healthy life!   

If you are seeking balance in your own life, please contact me.  I am a compassionate listener who can guide you through some of life's changes for a healthier and happier life!

Here's to good health!



All Stressed Out with Nowhere to Go!

“All Stressed Out with Nowhere to Go” is a 2 hour workshop on understanding stress, how it affects the body, and positive ways to approach stressful experiences. This workshop is great for anyone living in the modern world who would like to take a holistic approach to managing stress.

Enjoy a healthy snack and beverage during the workshop. Free parking.

Purchase a ticket and be entered to win one full month of health coaching services!  That's a $260 value!


all stressed out

Healthy Eating to Combat Stress

I would like to say a special thank you to all that came out for my presentation, Healthy Eating to Combat Stress, this morning at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market!  It was such a wonderful experience to connect with the community on how to manage stress through fresh, locally produced foods!  Also, thank you to the staff at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market for giving me this opportunity!  Featured recipes from the demo can be found at the bottom of this post.


Stress, according to the National Institute of Mental Health is commonly defined as "how the brain and body respond to any demand".   Oxford Living Dictionary defines it as, "A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances".

Everyone experiences stress whether it is from the day to day life demands, in the form of a traumatic event (war, elections/government, natural or manmade disasters), or that of a sudden life change such as divorce, death, or loss of a job.  No matter how it is defined, so many of us know what stress is, what it feels like, and how it impacts our daily lives.

Stress that is not addressed can cause a mirade of health problems that include high blood pressure, diabetes, abnormal sleep, depression and anxiety, chronic colds or flu.   Not to mention headaches, fatigue, low sex drive, relationship problems, and alcohol/drug abuse.

It doesn't have to be like this!

Eating a healthy diet can make a tremendous effect on how we feel and how we deal with stress.  To begin this process one can eliminate processed foods from the diet.  Foods high in sugar, chemical additives, overly processed wheat, or gluten, have been shown to have detrimental effects on health and have little or no nutritional value.  Replacing processed foods with whole foods can increase the amount of nutrients that you receive on a daily basis including fiber, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids.

One of the key components of reducing stress through healthy eating is by adding foods rich in tryptophan, an amino acid found in protein rich foods, as well as fruits and vegetables. Tryptophan is the precursor to producing serotonin which is commonly known as the 'feel good' hormone and helps maintain mood.  

With 80-90% of  serotonin produced in the gut, a healthy diet is one of the first steps one can do in combatting stress.  Listed below are foods found at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market that can help you feel better:

Baked potatoes with skins, beef, broccoli, cantaloupe, cauliflower, cheese, chicken,
corn, dates, eggs, eggplant fermented foods, figs, fish, green leafy vegetables, green tea,
hummus, Kombucha, lamb, lima beans, peas, sweet potatoes, steel cut oats, tomatoes and turkey

Here are a few more tips that can help eliminate some of the stress in and around the kitchen:

  • Plan a menu
  • Plan menus with stress busting foods
  • Plan shopping trips/stock your kitchen
  • Ask for help in the kitchen
  • Plan ahead for busy mornings or evenings
  • Eat together! 
  • Turn off the television and other devices while eating 

 Here are a few more tips that can help you when you find yourself feeling overwhelmed:  

  • Practice gratitude-most likely when we acknowledge the things that are working in our lives, it makes the problems we are facing a bit smaller
  • Exercise-30 minutes of daily exercise can boost serotonin levels.  Daily exercise helps  manage weight, lowers cholesterol, and helps you sleep better, to name a few
  • Grazing or snacking to help maintain your blood sugar
  • Practice mindful breathing-it's amazing that we so often forget how to breath  
  • Turn off tv, radio, & social media-especially before going to bed
  • Get outside
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff
  • Garden
  • Volunteer
  • Dance, yoga, meditation, music, books-all wonderful ways to enhance the body & mind
  • Just say NO- don't over commit your time!  Keep an updated calendar and know when to say YES
  • Practice positivity-ALWAYS!

Life is so full of wonderful opportunities and experiences!  Remind yourself that you don't have to live a life of chronic stress!  As a health coach I would be more than honored to help you find the solutions that work for you!   Let's connect!


Featured Recipes from Today's Educational Demo

Cantaloupe & Tomato Salad

Steel Cut Oat Granola Bars


Please join me for "All Stressed Out with Nowhere to Go"  on Thursday September 14th, 6 pm - 8 pm, at the YWCA of Greensboro.  Ticket information.

Healthy Eating to Combat Stress Event

Free Event

Please join me on Saturday August 26th, 9 am - 11 am, at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market located at 501 Yanceyville Street where I will be presenting an educational demo, Healthy Eating to Combat Stress.

You will find tips on healthy, stress busting foods that can be found in the market, a tasty serotonin boosting sample, recipes, and other tips to combat stress.

This is a drop in style of engagement (no time stressors here)!

While you are there, please sign up for the Au Courant Health newsletter, In the know.  One new lucky sign up will win a free month of health coaching services!  This is a $260 value!  The winner will be notified by email.

I look forward to talking with you on how a healthy diet can help you reduce stress as well as other ways utilizing a health coach can impact your life!   

healthy eating to combat stress

Blueberry Scones

Oh. My. Goodness.  We're having blueberry scones this morning!

blueberry scones


2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tbsp. sugar, plus a little for topping

1 tbsp. baking powder

¾ tsp. salt

6 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 ½ cup fresh blueberries, stems removed

1 tsp. grated lemon zest

1/3 cup heavy cream, plus some for topping

2 large eggs, lightly beaten



Preheat the oven to 400°.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly butter the pan.

In a large bowl sift all of the dry ingredients together, add the butter and continue to cut it into smaller pieces until it is well incorporated into the flour.

Stir in the blueberries and lemon zest.

Next, use a fork, whisk together cream and eggs in a liquid measuring cup and pour into the dry ingredients.  Mix until it forms dough. 

Pat dough into a 6 in. circle about 1 ¼ in. thick.  With a floured knife, cut dough into 6 slices and place on a baking sheet.  Brush with the cream & egg mixture and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until lightly brown.  Remove from oven and let cool on a wire baking rack for 5 minutes. 

Serve warm and enjoy!

Printable Recipe


Celebrate Your Independence-Every Day!

The freedom to make healthy choices is an empowering act that can lead to a life of incredible well being!  Au Courant Health uses a client centered approach to help you identify your needs and set attainable goals.  With no supplements or memberships to buy, you leave with skills that last a lifetime!

Independence Promotion

Call now to schedule a complimentary consultation and find out if health coaching is right for you.  

This special price is good for all sessions scheduled July - September.