Healthfully Ever After

Healthy Curated Living

5 Mini Loves and 5 Life Updates

Weekly UpdateCarlene ThomasComment

5 Mini-Loves

There's a full and totally different January favorites video coming, but it's all about the little things. I love hearing about the random things people like at the moment. Hidden gems are awesome. 

  1. This piece of equipment is my secret workout. I have had this stair-stepper since college and it's the greatest thing ever. I never want to be 'those people' who buy an elliptical or huge piece of equipment only to have it take up space an never be used. You know me. I like to streamline. But the past few weeks, using this while I watch my YouTube subscriptions is amazing. And it makes your ass and legs look awesome. Did I mention it's under $50? 
  2. Long nails are rocking my world. So random but this is a weird recent change for me. I have always kept my nails super short and polished in a bold color. And then I let them do their thing and I have these freaking tiger claws that make for great back scratches. I'm lucky that my diet keeps them growing fast and strong, but I've also been loving HUM as a supplement for strong nails! They sent me several products to try and I really do like the formulation convenience and the fact that they're not filled with junk. Granted, they're going to be way more expensive than going to your store and finding B vitamins etc, but saving time? Yes. 
  3. General Tso's Cauliflower recipe by my friend Alex from Delish Knowledge. We have made it twice. It is amazing. 
  4. Flower fashion by Passion Flower Sue on Instagram. Quick question: how is this woman not doing a Vogue fashion editorial shoot??? Or have a book? I am BLOWN AWAY by how beautiful her pieces are from the floral boas to massive hats made from flowers. Follow her right now. 
  5. Roll Play at Tyson's. Calm down. It's a restaurant. This tiny shop serves up bahn mi and pho and even Vietnamese iced coffee. Everything is good but the pork belly bahn mi with egg will keep you coming back. We went last week aaaand we are going back again this week. 

5 Life Updates

  1. Sorry about lack of posts!  All of our daylight hours are going to client photos/video leaving us not much time to work on our own projects....but we have great things coming! 
  2. United murdered my suitcase. When I went to Napa two weeks ago I flew on standby during a blizzard which meant there was NO extra room at all on the plane. So my carry on went under the plane. Here's how it ended up looking when I picked it up in California: without wheels. It sucks but that suitcase has lasted be a long time and it was time for an upgrade. This gorgeous DVF black and tan trunk is my new suitcase! It's still on sale and an EXTRA sale thanks to President's day. So happy with this investment. I'm heading to Chicago in a little over 2 weeks so let me know your must eat/shops! I'm there on business so I won't have a lot of time but...I've been known to make time for food. 
  3. Wait for the bedroom reveal! The husband is working on the bedroom as we speak! While we made it our goal to share this at the start of month, it got kind of shifted because of the massive blizzard. As in, time went to removing over 3 feet of snow from our roof because that's just structurally unsafe.  We are painting the floor, hanging curtains, making a headboard and more.
  4. I'm volunteer burnt out. I mentioned this recently but my biggest hurdle right now is that I've overcommitted myself in the volunteer world. Due to un-forceen circumstances, a LOT more time is being required of me than would have ever been anticipated. It's so hard to stay positive because it's massively eating into my 'life' time. Since my theme this year is 'blooming and joy' I feel like the time I had set aside to meet that goal is just being crushed. I'm trying to think of solutions rather than just being bummed, but I think this may be a 'ride it out, lesson learned' situation.  Ah life. 
  5. I kind of want to get a bad ass tattoo. Tattoos are nothing new in my family. I think my brother is up to three? Maybe four? Chris's sister has way more than that. Chris has been trying to figure out if/what he wants for over a year now. And now I'm kind of in that phase of stalking other people's tattoos. I've definitely already had a quarter life crisis so that's not what this is, but there are some really beautiful botanical and produce driven tattoos out there. Who knows, the next time you see me at an event or conference I may have a massive sleeve of fruit. 



Seasonal Smoothies and Current Projects

Weekly Update, Food Design, DrinksCarlene ThomasComment

Where does time go these days? I looked at my calendar after the kale gratin post on Monday and realized...huh....I haven't scheduled a single thing on the blog beyond that. So I thought I'd share our latest project with you: seasonal smoothies for our client Kura including spring greens, watermelon coconut summer, and a apple spice back to school fall smoothie. These are just the images as a sneak peek since we can't show the collateral and extras that go with it quite yet. But this is what we spend our days doing. And all I can say is, thank God we have a Vitamix blender. That thing has gotten so much use for work these past six months.

Seasonal Smoothies: green spring smoothie, coconut watermelon summer smoothie and apple spice back to school smoothie

Healthy Winter Potato, Kale and Apple Gratin

SidesCarlene ThomasComment


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the US Potato Board. 

You know what's great? Versatile, classic and simple things. Like nude heels or a structured bag. Or potatoes. Yeah! The potato is like the structured bag of your kitchen: you can build an entire outfit/meal from it and change it up every time you use it. 

For winter, having potatoes on hand to work from makes my cooking life a little bit more relaxing. I can just grab a few to roast, mash, or even turn into soup. But maybe one of my favorite preparations of all is a gratin. Except, a typical gratin is just LOADED with cheese and cream, so I pared it back and brought in additional flavors and nutrients (apples and kale and aged cheese) to make it a healthy part of a warm night in together.

And when I saw 'warm night in', as I type this we've had sub zero wind chill days here in the DC area. So all the warm, please and thank you. The husband and I seriously at this right out of the dish (we couldn't help ourselves) but NORMAL people could sit down and pair this with a rotisserie chicken or grilled sausages as well as a large dose of Netflix. Unless it's Making a Murderer, because you'll need to make double the recipe to sustain your energy through that marathon... Food and murder mysteries. It's how we sustain our marriage. 

healthy potato apple kale gratin

Potatoes have a ton of nutrients that the general public seems to forget about. A medium potato with skin is about 110 calories. HELLO. Wouldn't you want that over those stupid 100 calorie junk food packs? YES. Please make me a potato with salt and pepper! They're also a source of antioxidants. YES. Those sexy things that sometimes people only think are in tropical fruits. They've got vitamin C, carotenoids and anthocyanins.  And I can't forget about vitamin B6 which is a metabolism helper. To  learn more about the nutrition benefits of potatoes and more ways to prepare them beyond my  caviar bites, roasted potatoes with lemon, or pizza potatoes  check out Potato Goodness. 

healthy potato apple kale gratin
healthy potato apple kale gratin

Potato, Kale and Apple Gratin 

serves 4

/// Ingredients ///

  • 2 large yukon gold potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 gala apple, cored, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch kale (roughly 2 cups), de-stemmed 
  • a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed dry sage
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 2 cups low-fat 1% milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter

/// Directions ///  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter or lightly oil a baking dish (10 inch or so works well) or cast iron skillet. Thinly slice potatoes and apples. Chiffonade kale leaves. Create a layer of potatoes on the bottom of the dish. Top with salt, pepper, half the parmesan cheese and a pinch of sage and chili. Create the next layer of apples, add kale and add one final layer of potatoes. Top with the rest of the parmesan, salt, pepper and spices. Pour milk over the top, into the dish and add pieces of butter on top. Bake for half an hour and drain off the remaining milk. Return the gratin to the oven and bake for another 30-45 minutes until the top is golden brown and the potatoes are soft and easy to pierce with a fork.

� Healthfully Ever After & Carlene Thomas 2011-2014