I am past the 14-day acceleration phase and I have to admit, I have never been so happy to be wrong. You can read about my initial apprehension in why I started this diet, or the interview with Joel Marion that soothed my fears about the science behind the diet.
My beliefs were always so grounded in traditional nutrition education but between the information contained in Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion and the results I’m having, I can honestly say that long-standing dietary guidelines are at least somewhat misinformed. I am thinking that dietary guidelines are really based on 50+ year old science, and not many people bother to look into it further.
My Favorite Recipes – Always Eat After 7pm
Before we get into the good stuff, I do want to mention that while this post is sponsored by Always Eat After 7 PM, the views within are my own.
Thankfully there are scientists out there doing the research that went into this book, because I have more energy, I’ve lost 10 pounds and I simply feel better. The biggest thing however is that I don’t feel deprived on this diet; if I’m hungry before bed, I eat something and I don’t feel bad. Skipping breakfast in the morning makes me more focused and I can more easily go from task to task in my workday.
The most challenging times to curb hunger are just before bed and in the morning. By following the Always Eat After 7PM program, you have the most willpower to stay on the diet because you are eating during the hours when you are most hungry. This also puts you into both intermittent fasting increasing testosterone and your metabolism, and into into ketosis. My husband is a huge fan of ketosis and I like to tease him that I am benefiting from ketones without sacrificing all the foods he is, though I think he’s considering trying this diet, too.
With my improved energy, I’ve found the strength to get up at 5 and start running, something I’ve always wanted to do but never had the will to accomplish. Not only am I getting healthier because of my dietary changes, but I’ve actually started exercising and I feel good.
I have found my saving grace in skipping breakfast to be this nugget of wisdom from the book:
“One of the simplest 3-Minute Fat-Burning Morning Rituals, lemon water is a glass of water mixed with the juice of one half of a lemon. This drink provides all the benefits of regular drinking water, which supports weight loss, digestive health, physical performance, and cognitive function.”
The Benefits of Lemon Water
Lemon water is amazing; I drink it at restaurants, sure, but consuming it when I wake up really does help suppress my appetite and get me ready for the day. Just drinking water in the morning when you first get up helps stimulate your system to get going, but the lemon water adds some extra punch to this ritual. I drink a full glass, grab my headphones and head out the door for a run in the quiet pre-dawn morning. It’s wonderful. Joel Marion’s Always Eat After 7PM program makes dieting easy and eliminates 90% of reasons for resistance, which for me has always been wanting to snack at night (and eat carbs).
My Absolute Favorite Recipe
The book also has a ton of recipes and my absolute favorite are these coconut cashew pancakes. Eschewing white flour for healthy rolled oats, unsweetened coconut, cashews and stevia (among other things), these are the healthiest pancakes I’ve ever actually enjoyed. My kids love them, too, so I have to make huge batches but it’s a small price to pay because they are divine. Check back next week to see how I’m doing – I cannot imagine this way of eating will get harder, though, as I’m already loving it.
Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion is now available to purchase.
Learn more about the book and how to purchase here.
This post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed above are my own.
Anything that helps make a task easier is always welcome. One of the best modern wonders in the kitchen is the Instant Pot. It is a small kitchen appliance that is purported to be able to do any kind of cooking: slow cooking, steaming, and stewing, just to name a few.
You can create perfectly cooked food using its different functions and have a convenient gadget that, theoretically, replaces others. The all-in-one cooker saves you the hassle of pulling out all the appliances from the hard-to-teach cupboards. While the Instant Pot has had glowing reviews over the years and works perfectly with all sorts of food, what else can you put in it?
How about a scientifically backed superfood that everyone should try? Matcha is a finely ground powder made from special green tea leaves. It has a ton of antioxidants and other nutritional benefits and has blown up the internet as one of the most popular flavors enjoyed today. Authentic matcha powder comes only from Japan, and if you want to get your fix, you need to buy from legit sellers only.
If you already enjoy matcha but want to know recipes that use an instapot, refer to the list below.
Instapot Recipes for Matcha
Matcha Cheesecake with Blackberry Compote
Who doesn’t love cheesecake? This recipe is easily doable, and with the Instant Pot, you have the advantage of making this in the comfort of your own home. The handy little gadget, which is a hybrid between pressure cookers and slow cookers, can make a rich and moist cheesecake.
Another benefit is that the cheesecake doesn’t need a water bath when you use the Instant Pot. Water baths can be clunky and messy and take up quite some time. You’ll be surprised that, once you’ve made this cheesecake, it will taste just like the usual oven-baked version does.
Matcha Crème Brûlée
This is another dessert that you can make using the oven or stovetop. However, you can make this finicky dessert easier and with less room for error, using the pressure-cooker setting in the Instant Pot. Crème brûlée is a smooth, creamy, fancy custard that is characterized by its torched caramelized top.
This recipe has the same ingredients but has matcha powder as a delicious variant. The secret to making green tea matcha brûlée smooth is to sieve the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to ensure that there are no lumps. You can also substitute dairy for an alternative like coconut milk.
Mango Matcha Oats
Who doesn’t want oats in the morning or, if you love it enough, any time of the day? This quick and simple recipe yields two servings. Using the pressure-cooker option of the Instant Pot guarantees that the steel-cut oats are cooked to perfection.
Mango is good on its own, but the addition of other nutritious ingredients like matcha, banana, and coconut milk will take the oats to the next level. You can also add toppings such as cinnamon, brown sugar, toasted coconuts, and nuts.
Rice-Cooker Matcha Pancakes
The Instant Pot is versatile, and one of its most important features is the rice cooker. If you don’t regularly make rice in your home, you can easily use the Instant Pot to make rice-cooker matcha pancakes. Those who are not familiar with Japanese cuisine and its ingenuity will think it’s impossible, but a lot of people who have tried rice-cooker pancakes enjoy them.
All you need are the usual pancake ingredients and some matcha. You can dust the finished product with powdered sugar or garnish with toppings of your choice.
Slow-Cooked Matcha Coco Curry
One of the most wholesome variants of curry is made with full-fat coconut milk and vegetable broth base. This recipe uses the slow-cooker feature of the Instant Pot to make this delicious meal. You can eat this curry on its own or serve it with rice.
What other Instant Pot matcha recipes can you think of?
Kitchen cures for colds and the like are a dime a dozen, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work! With sickness season upon us and will soon ramp up into the absolute worst that tiny microbes can throw at us. If you have kids in school – literally any school, even home-school somehow – they’re going to turn into walking, talking petri dishes. You can load them up on medicine, give them three scarves and an overcoat, but they’re going to be sneezing regardless.
If you’re like me, you love science – I think medicine, vaccines, and pizza bagels are all wonderful advances for humankind. Sometimes, however, you might not want to give your kids (or self) 3 different medicines, all filled with items you can’t pronounce. Luckily there are some simple-to-use, cheap and easy home remedies that absolutely work to fight off colds and other nasties.
Some of these you will buy at the store, some you’ll make yourself, but all of them are things I personally do and I very, very rarely get sick. Even when my kids are little germ tornadoes, I weather the storm with these witchy kitchen hacks, and you can, too!
Kitchen Cures for Colds
When I know I’m going to get sick, I feel it at the back of my throat. It starts not as a sore throat but as a tickle, usually, maybe scratchiness, but I still know. That’s when I start taking raw, whole garlic.
Garlic has anti-microbial properties, but it’s especially good for when you’re getting sick in the sinuses. For most people, eating a whole clove at once might be…difficult. Dicing it up, however, makes it easier to take, and has the bonus of being incredibly spicy, which often clears out sinuses.
For colds or influenza, I will mix 1-2 cloves of chopped garlic with a tablespoon of raw honey and take that. It helps with sore throats, coughing, and it shortens the duration of my colds. If I get ahead of getting sick by taking this mixture, I can often completely avoid a full-blown cold entirely.
Kombucha is another thing I’ll start chugging at the first sign of a cold. The probiotics in kombucha bolster the gut microbiome, which in turn makes your immune system more robust. Opt for kombucha with less sugar, however – sugar itself can damage your gut biome and we want to avoid that.
Chicken soup is good for more than a light meal when you feel bad. Actual scientific research shows that hot drinks like soup or tea help thin out mucus, which makes it less gummy in your lungs and easier to get rid of. Chicken soup in particular (when made with bone broth) has anti-inflammatory effects which can reduce nasal swelling, helping you breathe. The collagen in chicken bone broth also boosts the health of your gut lining, which again makes your immune system stronger.
Get a whole chicken from the store and toss it in the crock pot on high for 3-4 hours with some veggies. Strip the meat off the bones and use it in whatever you’d like – we’re here for the skeleton (I told you this was witchy). Drop the crock to low, add 6 cups of water, some salt, 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar and let it cook for about 10 hours. This will draw out the collagen and give you a lovely bone broth. Just make sure you strain it before enjoying this kitchen cure.
Spice Kitchen Cures
Ginger is great for soothing a sore throat and it can suppress a cough as well. You take a few thin slices of fresh ginger and steep it like tea in hot water, adding actual tea bags if you like. The spicy ginger is soothing on your sore throat, and if you add some honey it can be a one-two punch against coughs. It definitely my go-to kitchen cure.
Echinacea root, taken as a tea (around 1-2 grams) a few times a day can help prevent the cold from getting a hold in your body. This is best done when I see my kids or husband’s eyes get that glassy, “I’m getting a cold” look. It’s like those over-the-counter cold preventatives but this actually works.
Turmeric mixed into your morning coffee – about a 1.5 tsps – has a potent anti-inflammatory effect. If coffee isn’t your thing, try turmeric tea instead, which you can make the same way as turmeric coffee with black tea bags, or you can buy turmeric tea bags already pre-made.
Especially in fall as mold grows in the damp weather and fields are harvested, allergies are rampant. If not treated, allergies quickly turn into upper respiratory infections and we don’t want that.
Honey has been proven to be as useful if not better than dextromethorphan (cough syrup) at treating, well, coughs. This study showed that 2.5ml of honey at bed time was better at suppressing coughs than over-the-counter cough syrups, and that’s great because cough syrup has a taste that is staggeringly awful. Do remember that you cannot give honey to kids under 1 year old, due to the chances of botulism spores being present.
Black licorice – whether you love it or hate it – can be a powerful medicine. Now, it’s not the candy that people who don’t love you give you as a treat – this is flavored with anise and has no medicinal properties. You want actual licorice root which contains glycyrrhizin, which reduces inflammation in the lungs. With all that said, you should avoid the root in excess of 1 gram a day (you can make a tea with it), as it really is potent and can cause problems in high doses. Best to stick with a lozenge that has licorice root as an active ingredient and stick strictly to the usage limits.
Eucalyptus oil and vaporubs are the smell we might have grown up with, but for a very good reason. These vaporubs can improve cold symptoms in just a few hours of application, opening airways, fighting inflammation and improving coughs. While I like essential oils, I don’t rely on them to fix my family’s sickness BUT eucalyptus oil in a humidifier is great when your family is coughing their lungs out at nighttime.
Nobody wants this but it’s there so let’s talk about it. Woof.
Ginger again, steeped in hot water with peppermint tea will do wonders for nausea. We often break up peppermints into hot water with a slice of ginger and give it to our kids, as sucking on a peppermint is great for tummy troubles but the choking risk of hard candy is a no-no.
While not a remedy exactly, if you’re nauseated, closing your fist around your thumb can suppress the urge to vomit. Massaging point where your thumb is anchored to your hand is another way to ease nausea.
Don’t believe me? Try closing your fist around your thumb (same hand, basically make a fist with your thumb tucked inside) and then test your gag reflex; pretty wild, eh?
Mint is an herb we grow quite a lot of around our house, especially since it’s perfect for gardening on a budget. Since it’s somewhat invasive, make sure you tend to it regularly or it will take over whatever bed it’s growing in. That said, a tea made with 4-5 bruised mint leaves helps reduce nausea and stomach pain when you’ve got gastroenteritis or food poisoning.
Chamomile is another herb we love, as it’s similar to turmeric with its anti-inflammatory benefits. If you don’t grow chamomile, you can buy dried flowers online (or if you have a holistic/health food store nearby, you can probably get them there). Steep 3 dried flowers in hot water for about 10 minutes and then add some honey. This mixture is good for cramping, diarrhea and nausea.
Home remedies for colds are legit
Again, I don’t want to suggest you be afraid of science, but there are traditional medicines that have real, absolute uses in the 21st century. Sometimes letting a fever run its course is better than taking ibuprofen unless it’s keeping you from sleeping. Inflammation is the cause of a lot of the nastiness with almost all illness, and dealing with that using medicine can sometimes hurt just as much as it helps.
For instance, if you’re dealing with stomach pain and cramps, taking aspirin or ibuprofen might make the pain much worse. Soothing herbal teas have scientific validity and real-world applications. Plus, you can grow the necessary herbs yourself!
Do you have any kitchen hacks for colds that you think are worth sharing?
We’d love to read about them in the comments – building up a repertoire of useful home remedies for sickness is essential for any kitchen witch (and even non-witchy moms or dads)!
We bought what I would consider to be a first generation air fryer a few years ago. It was fine, in that it cooked food crispy and but not particularly quickly, AND it was tiny. You could seriously only fit a couple of chicken tenders in it at a time, and it took 20 minutes to cook them, so it wasn’t efficient, either.
For Christmas this year, we tried again, only with a much bigger 5.7 quart fryer and it is a game changer. On busy nights it pairs perfectly with some frozen, not-the-healthiest-but-mama-doesn’t-have-time-for-kale food (lookin’ at you, Lean Cuisine pizza!)
On relaxing days, I spend hours experimenting with it, frying up all manner of things I wouldn’t have even considered frying.
Why Buy an Air Fryer
What is an air fryer?
At its core, an air fryer is a convection oven, using hot, circulating air to cook your food. The differences are nuanced but important, however.
An air fryer is typically shaped in more of a cone or dome, making the hot air circulate faster. This allows the outside of the food to crisp up while still cooking the inside quickly, preserving the juiciness while adding a perfect crunch. It also cooks faster than a countertop convection oven.
Most of the countertop ovens I looked at cost about twenty percent more than a similarly sized air fryer as well, and I’m not quite sure why. Convection ovens can typically go over the seemingly upper limit of 400 degrees that an air fryer has, but “frying” temperatures are usually between 350 and 400 degrees, so this isn’t surprising.
The best air fryers on the market have broad bottoms, allowing for a maximum amount of food cooked at once while still retaining the “frying” properties they boast. Because of this somewhat conical shape, they tend to take up less space than countertop ovens.
Benefits of Cooking with an Air Fryer
An air fryer cooks food faster than an oven would typically, and because it doesn’t require oil as a cooking medium, the food is lighter calorically and healthier in general.
As I mentioned earlier, you can toss in a layer of frozen chicken tenders, or fries, or whatever else you have on hand and dinner is ready in like 10 minutes.
On the model we have (Magic Chef), the timer is also effectively the “on” switch, so if you set it for 10 minutes, it shuts itself off in 10 minutes. There’s no “oh no I forgot the food” moments where you find that your salmon is blackened a bit more than you’d like; once the timer is up, it shuts off.
Fresh burgers come out juicy on the inside without flipping and splashing grease, and it reheats food more evenly (and pleasantly) than a microwave, though it takes longer.
Consider how microwave-reheated leftovers from a restaurant never taste as good, and you don’t typically want to preheat your oven just to heat up some chicken tenders. An air fryer is like your oven and your microwave had a baby and it was born being better than both of them (in certain applications). Reheating food is one of those applications!
Things to look for in an air fryer
Hands-down the most important attribute – and I cannot overstate this – is the size of the available cooking space. You can really only get the crispy benefits of the air fryer if your food isn’t stacked up on top of itself, so a single layer at a time is what you’re shooting for. This requires a decent sized basket so you’re able to cook quick, large batches. Ours is 5.7 quarts and it’s great for our family of 4, but if you have a bigger family or a party, something even larger might be ideal for you.
Ours is also manual, but there are digital ones out there as well that offer a wide range of preset cooking times and other fun add-ons.
Make sure you get a removable basket as well. Our first one didn’t have a removable basket, just this weird black insert that kinda held the food over the bottom of the fryer but not very well. The one we have now is a removable metal basked that clicks into the base and allows for total air circulation and for drippings to fall completely away from your food.
Finally, consider price when buying one. This isn’t a brand-new technology where higher price commands respect or the latest advancement. At its core, this is a very focused convection oven that fits on your countertop. Our Magic Chef was about $80, and it’s great. The only thing that you really need to pay extra for is a bigger model.
Why does every parent need an air fryer?
You’re still not convinced? Well, let’s recap then:
Cooks food quickly and crispy while retaining juiciness
Economical, especially if you’re considering buying a countertop oven
Heats faster, cooks quicker, and crisps up food better than an oven
Healthier than deep frying by a significant amount
Doesn’t require oil to cook most foods
Obviously consider your needs before picking one up, but if you’re on the fence about buying an air fryer, I hope this helps you see that they’re not a fad kitchen gadget. It saves us time, calories, effort, and money and it will for you, too!
Do you already have an air fryer?
Comment below, I’d love to know YOUR favorite thing to cook in it!
Looking for meal ideas that don’t require an oven? I certainly was this summer when my oven stopped working not once, not twice, but THREE times (seriously don’tever buy Frigidaire products!!)
Luckily my misfortune can be to your benefit as I’ve since compiled some of the best oven-free recipes I used when we had to cook without an oven.
Now maybe you’re thinking “Hello, why not just use your slow cooker all week?” Heh well I kid you not – both our slow cooker and our grill bit the dust during this same week. Needless to say our meal plan did NOT work out accordingly.
Fortunately we did still have an air fryer, our stove top, and our garden fire pit to work with. So without further ado, here are some of our favorite recipes from the “no oven” week.
Oven-Free Recipe Ideas
Of course salads and the like are always an option when it’s too hot to cook in the oven or you just can’t/don’t want to. That said, after a few days, you’ll have to get creative with your salads or you’ll end up burnt out right quick.
Here are a few ideas as to how to freshen up your salads so you can eat healthy without feeling like a goat:
Taco Salads are always a good option! Make it a fun dinner and serve it taco bar style so everyone can pick and choose their own toppings.
Macaroni salad is delicious and if you throw in some ham, it’s a full meal in one bowl!
Chicken or tuna salad are always easy and you can make ’em extra healthy by using lettuce leaves instead of bread.
BLT salads are a staple in our family. We make an easy dressing of mayo + hot sauce and toss that with some bacon, tomatoes, spinach, and avocado. Yum!!
Spiralized Greek Salad with Rosemary Chicken
This salad is not only good for you, it’s super easy to make. You’re basically chopping veggies and grilling chicken. If you don’t have rosemary essential oil, you can always substitute the oil with 2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary.
You could also consider cooking up breakfast for dinner. While you can certainly go the sweet route of pancakes, waffles, or oatmeal jars, there are simple ways to mix it up and have a savory breakfast for dinner.
Cornbread Waffle Tacos
This breakfast-for-dinner recipe can be done in a number of different ways, but I especially loved this recipe from Lexis Rose. Such an easy dinner, the whole family can have fun with it!
If cooking outdoors is an option, use this as an opportunity to cook up a bunch of meat for the week so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying your week!
This is a throwback to my days in the Girl Scouts, but foil packs make for a great meal! This is a fun one that again you can tweak to suit your family’s needs – again make it fun and let everyone choose their own ingredients! Personally I love to put about 1/2lb of hamburger, 1/2 can of sweet corn, a few potatoes, and season to taste. It takes about 15 minutes to cook and it’s absolutely one of my most favorite dinners!
Kielbasa and Cabbage
If you have a dutch oven, this is a great one to cook either on your stovetop or on the grill! Chop up a head of cabbage, one onion, a couple gloves of garlic, and add to the dutch oven with two packs of Polish sausage. Let simmer for about an hour or until the veggies are soft. Add in a tablespoon of rice wine vinegar, a tablespoon of spicy mustard, and salt to taste. So good!!
Of course you also always put your trusty slow cooker to use!
Chicken Tikki Masala
We’re huge fans of Indian food at our house, but I love this recipe because it’s not only done in a slow cooker, but it’s a “lighter” version of traditional Tikki Masala in that it uses greek yogurt instead of heavy cream.
Fry something and I’ll almost certainly eat it (except celery, celery is the devil). One of my favorites, though, is veggie tenpura. There’s certainly an art to it, but when done right, tenpura is absolute heaven – clouds and all!
Recipe: Available on Thanks for the Meal – Tenpura
Do you have any ideas on oven-free meal recipes?
I’d love for you to comment and/or link them below!
Overnight french toast bake is truly such an easy breakfast or brunch ideas, especially for the holidays!
As I covered in my Valentine’s Day post, I think holidays like this should serve as an opportunity to do nothing but enjoy the day as a family. That’s not to say I wouldn’t love a crafty present from my babies, but beyond that, all I want is time…oh and maybe some French Toast Bake…
Yeah, it looks as unhealthy as it is. But it’s such an inexpensive breakfast and is by far the most decadent, mouthwatering dish I’ve ever had.
I don’t normally share recipes (or at least ones that aren’t somewhat healthy) but if ever you were to break your diet over a dish, this one should be it! The best part is that this dish will cost you little money and even less time, especially since you prepare it the night before.
Chances are you already have all of the ingredients necessary to make this succulent dish and it’s sure to make for a great start to your Mother’s Day or Father’s Day celebrations.
Overnight French Toast Bake
1 1/2 cup milk
1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar + 3T + additional for sprinkling
Melt the butter and mix in the brown sugar then pour into a 9×13 pan.
Mix the eggs, milk, 3t vanilla, 2t cinnamon, 3T brown sugar together.
Place a layer of bread down evenly into the 9×13 pan then pour half the custard onto the bread.
Sprinkle some cinnamon and brown.sugar on top of the bread then another layer of bread then the rest of the custard, then more cinnamon and sugar.
Put in fridge overnight.
Pull out in the morning as your oven is preheating to 350 degrees (trust me – don’t skip this step!)
Cook for approximately 1 hour or until the top is golden brown.
If you prefer it to be a bit more like custard, you can stop there. I prefer to pull it out, slice it up so that caramel bottom runs golden sugar rivers between the slices, then put back in for 5 more minutes.
When you dish the bread, use a spatula to serve it and flip it so that the sugary bottom is now the top. You’ll want to dish it while it’s still hot and you’ll want to do so quickly, before the sugar hardens.
I’m not normally a fan of French toast but this…oh this is so different.
The cooked sugar creates this crisp shell that serves as a perfect complement to the fluffy, rich bread underneath. No syrup is needed, though a warm cup of coffee or a bowl of fresh strawberries would certainly round out what is sure to be one of the best breakfasts you’ve ever had.
Believe me, the whole family will thank you.
What is YOUR favorite breakfast? Comment below, I’d love to know!