I’ve mentioned before and I’ll say it again, fueling your body with what it needs is all that really matters when it comes to your diet.  Just because you can chew something, digest it and run it through your body, doesn’t mean it is food.  I guarantee you can chew up a few newspaper pages right at this moment, does that mean you can fill your plate with it for dinner tonight?  Probably not.  At the same time, people tend to hide from the thought of excess greens, alternative dessert options or those weird words like "quinoa".  Try taking the time to show your creativity in the kitchen and put a spin on some recipes to make your own.  You know your own food palette, so cater to that!  Creativity is my best policy!

A few years ago, I was introduced to the crazy concept of hiding healthy ingredients in some of your favorite decadent treats.  I was in Illinois visiting family for Christmas.  Still to this day, we love gathering at my aunt and uncle’s house because my aunt is quite the chef, to say the least.  With a plethora of delicious food options accessible in the kitchen 24 hours a day, what more could you want during the holidays?  My aunt is an inspiration and my sister and I now pick her brain regularly for her yummy, secret recipes. 

If you got a chance to know my family, you would know right away that food is very important staple in our household.  I'm always still full from the last meal as we sit down to the dinner table.  Of course we are sure to include lots of healthy options on the table, but we don’t always steer away from pizza or our favorite neighborhood ice cream shop that we’ve gone to for years either.  (Union Dairy in Freeport, Illinois… unreal!)

Anyway!  One night for dessert, my aunt decided to serve apple pie.  She gave us each a slice and we dug in.  After mentioning that it was a new recipe she was testing out, she asked us for feedback.  Rave reviews and asks for seconds followed.  As Aunt Dawn smiled, she revealed that it wasn't actually apples in this new favorite recipe we all now loved, it was ZUCCHINI!  What?! Naturally, the kids in the room spit it out and retracted their newfound desire for this sweet treat.  But, in all honesty, it made me realize that’s the type of cooking that should be embraced more often!  There was no real reason why everyone all of a sudden questioned if they still liked the pie or not, but sometimes we train our mind to think that unless something like dessert is as sweet, sugary and 'bad' as we think it is, only then will we be truly satisfied.

Placing your own creativity on your best guilty-pleasures is a great goal to strive for in the kitchen.  It is a sneaky way to add a ton of extra nutrients in your meals, helps you embrace food in a new way and you won’t feel so guilty (and tired!) after. Try it out, you never know who you might trick.

INTENTION:  Sometimes, sneaky is a good thing.

xo, Stacey 

On a typical weekend, you'll find Stacey playing on the beach, laughing with friends or jogging the strand of her Southern California neighborhood.  As a co-founder of Your Beautiful story, Stacey loves to appreciate all the beautiful things in life, mimosas included.  Follow her adventures with @staceylthomas or her passion to inspire the world with @beYOUtiful_story on Instagram.