Love that Grill

Today I am just loving that grill! So thank you my dear Michael for getting one that doesn't make me feel like I'm about to catch fire while lighting it!

It's no secret! Eating healthy takes planning and preparation ... but don't let that hold you back. Make it easier on your self to keep your desired commitment to eating clean, nutrient packed food each day by preparing in advance the weeks lunch/dinner. If grabbing a fresh salad with grilled chicken or fish is just as convenient as grabbing a bag of chips ... chances are you will hold fast to your goal of making healthier choices for you and your family.

Lunch meals are a struggle for me. My mid day meal seems to get lost in the shuffle of preparing food for my boys and managing all the tasks and events we have set for the day. Often times I find myself eating their left over scraps, grabbing a handful of nuts, or if I'm lucky I squeeze in a protein & green smoothie. What I have found during my times of cleansing is that I feel so much more energized and stable when I have a wholesome lunch. I am a happier, energetic, emotionally stable mom on those days, and well, that is just good for everybody!

So with that in mind, this week I chose to set myself up for success! I marinated and grilled five chicken breasts, and prepared a large salad to be enjoyed throughout the next few days. Seriously, we do this often in our household, and not only does it help me out, but my husband is then able to easily prepare a wonderful lunch to bring to work, and my kiddos have healthy options readily available for their meals as well.

So what to do...

Here's the thing: when I cook I do not like to measure ingredients. Seriously, it is so much more fun to cook when you are not controlled by a recipe! Be brave ... give it a try. The only down side is if your dish is completely awesome, you may never be able to recreate it! (sigh) That is my husband's biggest complaint. He will take a bite of something and express how delicious it is, and then look at me and say, "You have no idea what you did, do you!"    "Uhhh...Nope!".

Ok, so welcome to my do it fast and healthy, organic, GMO, allergy-free kitchen!!!

(I will put an approximate measurement, but seriously just pour and shake what ever your taste buds tell you to do. For example, do you like citrus? Put on more lemon juice or orange juice. Do you prefer a smokey heat? If so, add more chipotle pepper. Feeling the desire for depth and spice? Add more cumin. Want it a bit more basic? Focus on chili powder and paprika. And when it comes to salt, pepper, and garlic ... shake in about how much you would add if sprinkling it on a piece of chicken, and multiply it enough for each breast! Remember, if it is easy to do ... you are more likely to do it! So.. get shaking!)

Step 1:  Prepare the Grilled Tex/Mex Chicken

Rinse 4 or more organic chicken breasts. Use a stainless steal meat tenderizer to beat them down to an even thickness. Stab each breast with a knife multiple times to allow the marinade to penetrate. (Sounds brutal!) Place the breasts in a large container. Now add the following ingredients...remember, be your taste buds, skip the measuring and own it: Oil 1/4 cup (avocado, olive, canola, or coconut), lemon juice 1/3 cup, orange juice 1/3 cup, coconut vinegar (or white wine vinegar) 1/4 cup, chili powder 1 1/2 tsps., paprika 1 tsp., cumin 1 1/2 tsps., chipotle pepper 1/2 tsp., garlic 1/2 tsp., dried cilantro 1 tsp., salt, and pepper. Put the lid on the container and SHAKE! Allow the chicken to marinate for a few hours in the refrigerator. (I think I waited only 45 minutes this time and it was fabulous!)

Step 2:  While the meat is marinating, Make a Large Salad

I use a large rectangular Rubbermaid container to make and store the week's salad. The base of your salad should be some nutritious mixed greens, focusing more heavily on spinach, kale, and arugula. As far as the other veggies, your call. For me, my salads tend to have some of the following: mixed greens, spinach, arugula, kale, red onion, tomato, carrots, beet sprouts or roasted beets, raisins or cranberries, fresh berries, pumpkin seeds, olives, cucumber, bell peppers, fennel, fresh cilantro or rosemary, and roasted asparagus.

Today's salad was a mix of these lovely ingredients: mixed salad greens, spinach, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, olives, blueberries, red onion, and the oh so divine AVACADO. (I have a deep love for the avocado! So delicious! So nutritious! I have one just about every day. Give up cheese and grab this green'll be happy you did!)


Step 3: Grill the Chicken

I am no grill master, but I am experimenting and learning. Typically my hubby does the grilling, but with this new grill I am trying things out and gaining some confidence in this culinary skill! So my instructions are pretty basic : Light the grill and keep it on high to do some preheating for about 5-8 minutes. Once preheated, turn the temperature down to low-medium and place the chicken breasts on the grill. I got a little distracted while breaking up a serious Lego war between my boys, so my chicken stayed on the grill for probably like 10 minutes or more before flipping, and is a little charred. You typically need only 8 minutes, flip the breasts and grill 7-8 minutes more, or until no longer pink. Every flame is different, so just keep an eye on it.

Transfer the grilled chicken to a bamboo cutting board. Slice what you will use and package the remaining breasts for future meals. (Typically I use 1/2 a breast for one serving.)


Step 4: Create your Lunch!

Fill a plate with your desired amount of salad. Add your chicken, and if you want to kick it up a notch... a sliced avocado. I typically slice the avocado, and top it with some lemon juice, salt, and garlic ... think un-mashed guacamole! Drizzle on some fresh salad dressing (olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic, agave/honey). Enjoy!


Step 5: Create your Kiddos Lunch!

You are modeling a healthy lifestyle, so share your awesome food with your kids! Most certainly your children are not screaming for a salad, but you can use your salad fixins to create a nutritious lunch for them without adding much more work for yourself. 

Tested Tips:

  1. Cut the chicken breast into small pieces and stick in a tooth pick. My boys think everything is more enticing with a toothpick!
  2. While you are making the salad, cut strips of peppers, carrots, and cucumbers that can easily be picked up with little fingers.
  3. Use half of the avocado from your salad to make a quick, basic guacamole-like dip. Just mash the unused half and add a little bit of lemon juice, salt, and garlic. Let them dip their veggies into it. Dipping is fun and with every dip they are ingesting amazing healthy fats to fuel those growing bodies and minds.

I hope you enjoy your lunches this week as much as I will!

Wishing you health, happiness, and healing ... Laura G.


We are Cleansed!

I can't believe our 21 day cleanse is almost complete! Seriously, it has been a rewarding experience; so much so, that I am almost a bit saddened at the thought of ending this journey! Not only do I just feel more energized, emotionally stable, and free of belly discomfort, I feel more connected to my husband as we have tackled this challenge together.

Week one began with great enthusiasm mixed with a hint of apprehension. For the first couple days,  I wasn't feeling like I was starving but was really aware of how many times I wanted to just grab a snack or munch on something I was giving the kids. It was like a thoughtless, automatic impulse to pick up a pinch of food, especially while I was cooking meals for them! I had to keep myself in check.

By day three my digestion was in high gear. I felt a little foggy and a bit tired, and had a sore throat. Could have been from the spin class I taught with a bad microphone, or perhaps I was killing off some yeast with the cleanse, or a mix of the two? At this point I was loving that I was sleeping better. Seriously, I am still enjoying good rest... 19 days later, no night sweats, I sleep through the entire night (Unless a lil'bear wakes me up!), and I wake up feeling alert, refreshed. 

I was excited and proud of myself for starting off this third day with a fresh juice! It seemed like it was going to be a big deal to have to cut up a ton of vegetables, but it actually did not take very long and I was surprisingly satisfied from this juice, like really satisfied and felt whole and centered. I did feel a bit of a crash before lunch and was really thankful that there was still one piece of salmon and spinach salad in the refrigerator. Oh...and that yummy basil and lemon balm pesto fresh from my garden! Deeeeeelishhhhhh!

Grilled Salmon with Basil-Lemon Balm Pesto

I was starting to feel hunger by this day and noticed that during the last three days, the hardest time for me was from 2:00-5:00PM; probably stress induced as I've tackled picking the kids up from school,  transitioned to get everyone settled at home, began making dinner, and refereed all the fights and quarrels that were going on between my intensely passionate boys. I found myself wishing I could shove some chocolate, pretzels, or wine done the hatch! ( to make note of this and remember my triggers!)

And guess what ... emotionally weak ... I did. Two pretzels! Two! I felt so disappointed in myself as I had been doing so good at sticking to the plan. And guess what! Pay belly just blew up. You know the feeling? That hard lower abdominal bloat! FROM TWO PRETZELS. They were gluten free for God's sakes! Seems I have another thing to make note of ... I may be reactive to certain grains even though they are not revealed as problematic on my IgG allergy profile. This is one of the things I really like about doing this cleanse; many irritating foods reveal themselves. (Maybe I need to go grain free?)

So the week went on and that sore throat from day 3 turned into a seriously killer cold! I had a fever, lost my voice, and had terrible congestion. On a positive note ... since I couldn't smell and had no appetite, cleansing was easy breezy at this point! (the silver lining!)

So, week one was a learning-challenging success! The illness did put a damper on my ability to appreciate some of the positive effects of the cleanse, but there still were some really awesome things happening in the Godfrey household! The kids were very aware that Mommy and Daddy were eating a bit differently, and even though they saw all the kale, beets, cilantro, fennel, ginger, and parsley being used in our meals, they were eager to try all of our nutrient packed juices, shakes, and salads! There was much excitement every morning as they heard the juicer and Vitamix kick on (which is a lot of noise to take in at 6AM!) In fact, it became a bit of a battle for my husband and I as we were protective of our liquid meals they were so relentlessly trying to steal from us! By day four, I just began making an oversized batch of what ever I was mixing up, and served it to my growing boys with a delighted smile!


Here are a few pictures of our favorite eats and drinks during Week One:


Happy Spring!

There is so much to love about this time of year: bright blue skies, fresh flowers, gardens, pleasant temperatures, soft grass…

Spring represents rebirth, renewal, a freshness, life, and newness. We all tend to do spring cleaning for our homes this time of year in attempt to match the natural beauty emerging outside. With cleaning in mind, the Godfrey’s are feeling the desire to do an internal clean out… a cleanse.

Don’t cringe just yet. Well, Ok…to be honest, I am cringing as I write this because I am now officially accountable to God only knows how many people! But seriously, it is time. The holidays are pretty much behind us, minus a couple far off birthdays and an anniversary, so it is the perfect time to remove the toxic buildup that has gripped hold us since November!

I never have been a believer in a quick fix, especially when it comes to diet … and now as a mother of an autistic son, this has been permanently engrained into my belief structure!!!

I actually did my first “cleanse” last year in attempt to support my husband who was doing one as a way to support his mom in her attempts to achieve a more pain free existence (just so you know it worked!). I honestly was not happy at all about “being hungry” and “eating subpar food” ---remember, I am a food snob! Looking back, I think that most of my fears were tied to “losing control” and “so many unknowns”.

The cleanse that was chosen (for me) was CLEAN –Remove, Restore, Rejuvenate. I have heard of many different cleanses and was so skeptical, but after reading the book CLEAN, I totally became a believer in the healthful benefits of giving your body this time to clean out, detoxify, and reset. Of course one of the appealing factors to me about the CLEAN protocol is that you need to do a preliminary clean out of many foods before actually beginning the cleanse. I love this practice because it very quickly highlights individual foods or food families that are actually irritating to your body and mind. It is a quite accurate food sensitivity test requiring no blood work! And what are some of those foods that need to be eliminated right from the start?  Glad you asked!  GLUTEN! CASEIN! DYES! SOY! PROCESSED FOODS! ALCOHOL! CAFFIENE! ……(there are more)

This was just so affirming, and well, a bit easy for us since we live our life on “AIR” (  I love the education given by Dr. Alejandro Junger, M.D. in the beginning sections of his book. Not only is it informative, it is incredibly motivating! After reading his book, I was all-in for taking part in the cleanse.

So who needs a cleanse? EVERYBODY! Seriously, we live in a horribly toxic world and our bodies and minds are screaming at us to make a change. “Complaints such as headaches, bowel, irregularities, allergies, weight problems, depression, anxiety, and pain are largely caused by failing detox systems. Looking older, feeling more tired, and losing the radiant luster of health are also related to this overburdened state.” (Alejandro Junger, M.D., CLEAN, 2009, p.11)

Is this an easy thing to take on? No. Is it worth it? Yes. So this is why we are doing it again! I like this cleanse because it is not a quick fix:  it is 21 days (actually longer when you count in the preliminary clean out of food irritants). This is long enough though for these health giving behaviors to become habits. Healthy habits … part of your lifestyle. This is a good thing.

So when do we start?

Well, since I already adhere closely to The Air Diet, and therefore do not need to weed out tons of items from my diet, I have been slowly removing my additional irritants, such as wine (you moms…caregivers know….NO EASY TASK!) and caffeine (tears). I may not be a pleasant person right now (heehee) but there is a better version of me around the corner!

This weekend I am going to be doing some serious menu planning and shopping to make the first week go smoothly. It is a bit challenging to get started, but if you can make it through week one YOU WILL DESIRE TO KEEP GOING! The challenges are of course dealing with change of routine, hunger, and the symptoms of detox…you will not feel good as the nasties escape you! I also find preparing separate meals for my kiddos is hard to do when I am not able to grab a bit here and there! It’s a challenge, but it makes me aware of how much of that I actually do during a day.

Oh yes, my kids will not be doing this. BUT…. They will benefit from our cleanse, directly and indirectly. Let me tell you, THEY NOTICE what I am doing and WANT to be a part. When the sound of the vitamix revs up, they are very aware that something delicious, creamy, and cold is about to emerge from that pitcher, and they want some! They may not know initially that it is Kale, chia, berries, herbs or some other terrifying vegetable, but they eagerly try it. That is awesome!

So sell it! Be excited about it. Let them take part in the tasting and preparations.

Juicing was new to me until I needed to incorporate it as a daily meal for me during the CLEAN detox. My children were fascinated with Rainbow Juice! Beautifully colored juice that came straight from beautiful, raw vegetables. THEY DRANK IT! They enjoyed making it too (may need throw in some ear protection from time to time for sensory issues…the reality may hurt, but got to laugh sometimes! So silly to have ear protection on while juicing!)

Not only will you be teaching them healthy dietary practices, you will be filling their little bodies with amazing nutrients every cell in them craves… even if it is only a little: That is LOVE IN ACTION!

As parents of children on the spectrum, or even of typical kids, we can be easily exhausted by the demands placed on us every day. But our children need us now and in the years to come. Think of this cleanse as a gift to yourself. You deserve to feel healthy, energetic, and hopeful. By giving yourself this reset, you will most likely have more positivity, energy, and patience, to share with your family, and find more pleasure in your daily living.

So join me in this. Start eliminating those irritating foods causing inflammation, disease, and discomfort. The Air Diet – recipes & tips for success in your allergy-free kitchen will provide you with a great framework to begin this cleanse. You will find that because you feel so much better after your cleanse, you will desire to continue your healthy lifestyle for you and your family. The Air Diet cookbook contains many delicious, nutrient packed recipes and encouragement to help you continue that healing, healthy path for you and your family.

If you are interested in some guidance or sharing this 21 day journey, comment below or contact me. I can share recipes & tips, and we all can help support each other during the cleanse.

Best wishes for happiness, health, and hope!

Laura M. Godfrey


Here is a quick Recipe for Rainbow Juice.

The ginger in this juice gives it a nice little zip and is terrific for fighting inflammation, improving circulation, and reducing nausea. Kale and Beets add a boost for the immune system by saturating the juice with antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals. Although the apples also provide immune support and energy … lets face it, they are in there because they are juicy and taste sweet!

What You Need

  • 2 stalks of celery  
  • Handful of Kale
  • 5 carrots, peeled
  • 1 large red beet, peeled & quartered (or two smaller ones...mine was like on steroids!)
  • 2 apples, quartered
  • 1/2 - 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled                                                                      

What To Do

  1. Wash all the vegetables.

  2. Peel the carrots, and trim the ends off of the carrots and celery. Peel the red beet and cut it into four sections. (Be careful, the red stains!) Next, peel the ginger and slice the apples into fours.

  3. Place each vegetable into the juicer. And juice!

  4. Drink immediately to retain the highest quality of nutrients and enzymes.