Welcome to Body Food Freedom

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Body Food Freedom is an online wellness center that offers support and services for women who struggle with weight loss and emotional eating.

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Moroccan Pizza with Merguez Lamb Sausage & Roasted Veggies

At the age of 8, I worked diligently in school and kept up with my weekly readings so that I could win a complimentary Pizza Hut Personal Pan Supreme Pizza.

I think I won almost every month. There was something about that buttery crispness when you bit into the crust.  Each bite was loaded with sausage, ham, onions, bell peppers, olives, rich tomato sauce and mounds of gooey melted cheese. This affair continued on for quite some time. I didn’t think my world could get any better.

At the age of 26,  I discovered Digiorno’s Pizza.

For sure I thought that I had struck the lottery!

At the age of 29, I had to make a choice.  

It was between every thing I loved to eat (like pizza) AND my bulging waist line.  If I was going to successfully lose weight, certain food habits would have to go.  But not so fast,  no one said that I HAD TO GIVE UP PIZZA.  I just had to give up the ingredients that caused me to be bloated and over weight.  So, I got rid of eating takeout, delivery, processed and packaged foods.

At the age of 33, I made this. Can't See This Image? In 4 minutes I’ll show you how to do the same.

 

Moroccan Pizza with Merguez Lamb Sausage & Roasted Veggies
 
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Quick personal pizza with Moroccan and Mediterranean spices, roasted vegetables and merguez sausage.
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 4 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp Sumac
  • 1.5 tsp Victoria's Gourmet Moroccan Seasoning
  • salt to taste
  • 2 oz. feta cheese
  • 2 TB greek yogurt
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano or 3 tsp fresh oregano
  • ¼ cup black olives, chopped
  • ¼ cup red and yellow peppers, roasted and chopped
  • ¼ cup marinated artichokes, chopped
  • ½ lb merguez sausage, crumbled
  • 4 Naan
Instructions
  1. Over medium heat, sautee onions until softened.
  2. Add tomatoes, Sumac, Victoria's Gourmet Moroccan Seasoning and salt to taste.
  3. Cover with lid, reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and add to food processor or bullet and blend until smooth.
  5. Set aside until ready to assemble pizza.
  6. Remove casing from merguez sausage and crumble and cook in a heated dry skillet. (The sausage will produce it's own oil as it cooks.)
  7. In a small mixing bowl, mix feta cheese, greek yogurt, olive oil and oregano.
  8. Set aside.
  9. In a small mixing bowl, mix olives, peppers and artichokes.
  10. Set aside.
  11. For Pizza Assembly
  12. Preheat oven to 400
  13. Spread 2 TB of tomato sauce on Naan.
  14. Spread 2 TB of feta cheese mixture on top.
  15. Add merguez sausage crumbles.
  16. Place pizzas directly on oven rack and bake for 10 minutes or until crust is crisp.
  17. Top with chopped mixed vegetables and serve.

 

How I Eat To Stay Healthy & Trim

When I was at the beginning of my weight loss journey, I became a vegetarian for a year. I continued on to become vegan for another six months. I even did a two week stint as a vegan raw foodist. (That was actually awesome but the food prep took entirely too long)

Here I am in 2009 eating a typical Jamaican breakfast (vegetarian style) that I prepared for my friends. I weigh about 160 in this photo.

Here I am in 2009 eating a typical Jamaican breakfast (vegetarian style) that I prepared for my friends. I weigh about 160 in this photo.

But in the midst of all of my clean, green eating . . .

I started to miss chicken wings.

and juicy hamburgers with cheese melting down the sides.

Lawd!

I had to face it.  Becoming a vegetarian or vegan wasn’t the answer.

Food wasn’t my issue.  

Mismanagement of my emotions was.

Even though I decided to remain a flexitarian and focus on my emotional eating,  I appreciate what that 1.5 year stint in “Veggie Land” taught me.  I learned the fundamentals of nutrition and the importance of eating good quality food.

Instead of following some list of dietary rules, I simply made a commitment to check in and make daily decisions about what to eat. To this day, I still eat a high plant-based diet and cook most of my meals for myself.

Here’s what a typical day looks like for meal planning

1. I check in with my body and see what it needs – Am I physically hungry or emotionally hungry? What am I hungry for? Is any part of my body ailing me? Which ingredients should I choose to address those ailments?

2.  I choose fresh, quality and whole ingredients. If I have a long day ahead of me, I amp up the protein during breakfast.  If I’m feeling clogged up and my “Daily Poo” is less than normal, I amp up the fiber.

3. I choose ingredients that are sustainable to my body and to the planet. There’s nothing wrong with burgers, but there is something wrong with chemicals in my burgers. So I enjoy a good grass fed, farm loved, locally raised hamburger every once in a while.

These habits have improved my relationship with food and my body substantially.

What about you? Do you have any habits that are working for you, your body and your health? Let’s exchange ideas. Please share!

Sweet Potato & Kale Tacos

Tacos are easy.

But sometimes they’re too greasy.

I know time is of the essence.  So is your health.

Try these.  It only takes 20 minutes and it’s loaded with YUM and nutrition.

Sweet Potato & Kale Tacos


Sweet Potato & Kale Tacos
 
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Quick and easy tacos filled with chili seasoned sweet potatoes and steamed kale topped.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 1 sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 cup black beans, already cooked
  • 1.5 -2 cups chopped kale
  • 1 TB coconut cream
  • 1 TB coconut oil or olive oil
  • taco seasoning (I use trader joe's)
  • taco shells
  • crumbled goat cheese (or any cheese you prefer)
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Add potatoes and season generously.
  3. Cover and let cook for 15 minutes or until softened.
  4. (The steam created will help soften the sweet potatoes)
  5. Once potatoes are soft to bite, add chopped kale, coconut cream and a bit more seasoning.
  6. Cover again, turn down heat to low and let the greens simmer and soften for approx. 5-10 minutes.
  7. Now is a great time to preheat oven for taco shells (according to package instructions)
  8. Once greens are softened, remove lid and stir in black beans.
  9. Let all ingredients cook for another 2 minutes.
  10. Bake taco shells according to package (usually 2-4 minutes)
  11. Remove from sweet potato & kale mix from heat and spoon into taco shells.
  12. Top with crumbled goat cheese or whichever cheese you prefer.
  13. Enjoy.

 

 

Crisp Okra & Stewed Tomatoes

Okra was never my cup of tea.

It was slimey and weird.

I wanted no part of it.

Until this walked by me on a mid-summer’s afternoon in Venice Beach, California.

Picture of Okra - Body Food Freedom

Over time my being has fallen in love with this platter of crispy, green okra goodness absent of slime. I just allow it to frolic with a bit of garlicky stewed tomatoes, fresh mint leaves and creamy bits of crumbled feta.  I top it with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt.  Mmmmmmmmm.

Picture of Okra and Tomatoes on BodyFoodFreedom.com

I don’t really have a strict recipe for this one.

(I just have the memory of that beautiful day in Venice Beach, California when Okra introduced himself to me and showed me just how good he can be.)

I do however show the technique for getting slime-less okra in this video.  Crisp Okra & Stewed Tomatoes

Sweet Potato Porridge

Even though I am an Emotional Eating & Weight Loss Therapist , I still have my own personal battles with food.

HERE’S HOW I TRIUMPH WHEN I HAVE TO DECIDE ON WHAT TO EAT

This morning, I woke up with a strong craving for something carb-ey. I had some sweet potatoes and I thought that they would be delicious if they were transformed into Sweet Potato Pancakes, Sweet Potato Waffles, Sweet Potato Biscuits or Sweet Potato Doughnuts.

Damn. I can’t eat that today.  I had Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes yesterday with butter and syrup and I enjoyed every moment of it.

Today is a new day and it requires a different fuel.

I checked in with my body and realized that it was irritated.  More than likely from using whole wheat flour in those pancakes yesterday. Isn’t it crazy how something you ate yesterday can still affect you today?

Our bodies are always giving us feedback (like stomach upset, gas, bloating, etc.). It’s our job to listen to what it’s telling us and make decisions on what to eat from that place.

So like I said, I checked in.  Those Sweet Potatoes  were still smiling at me as I pondered their future existence in my belly.

Finally I had an idea.  I went into the kitchen and returned with this.

It’s gluten-free and it still gives me that “carb-ey full filling” that makes me feel like I ate something substantial.

SweetPotatoPorridge

Sweet Potato Porridge
 
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A quick fall inspired breakfast
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sweet potato, boiled or roasted and cubed
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • cinnamon to taste
  • brown sugar, maple syrup or honey to sweeten
  • cranberries to decorate
Instructions
  1. Using a high speed blender, blend ½ cup of almond milk with cashews.
  2. Add sweet potatoes and the remainder of almond milk.
  3. Pour or spoon into a bowl and mix with cinnamon and sweetener of choice.
  4. Top with cranberries or any other dried fruit and nuts that you desire.
Notes
*Note - The porridge can stand on its own without the added sweeteners and spice. It's THAT good!