Category: Food


Today I’ve got a special Tuesday edition of The Lively Show for you with one of my favorite food bloggers when it comes to cooking or baking healthy, delicious comfort food, Monique Volz of Ambitious Kitchen.

In January, many of us oftentimes start to think about small, healthful adjustments we’d like to make to our eating habits. So I’ve asked Monique to share 11 easy ways we can start to eat more nutritiously without sacrificing flavor aside from the (in)famous coconut.

This episode is perfect for anyone who wants to learn about some fun, easy cooking + baking swaps that will naturally infuse more nutrition into our favorite comfort foods, or loves food blogs.


Today I have a particularly touching, vulnerable, and powerful episode of The Lively Show.

I’m talking with Lauryn Lax of Meant to Thrive about her 14 year battle with anorexia.

In the show, we discuss how she eventually overcame her near-death struggle, and what she recommends for others who struggle with eating issues.

Her journey truly transcends just the eating disorder world and can be powerful for anyone who struggles with negative mental thought loops.

This episode is perfect for anyone with eating issues, anyone who knows someone with eating issues, or anyone wants to understand and overcome negative mental thought loops overall.


Today’s guest on The Lively Show was nominated by you!

After a string of tweets all asking me to have Jessica Merchant of the popular food blog, How Sweet Eats, on the show, I knew that I needed to make it happen.

Thankfully, Jessica made time in her schedule to chat with me about her pregnancy, upcoming cookbook, blog story, favorite books, and must-watch TV shows.

This episode is fun and light (with a bunch of great advice for bloggers).

In the show, you’ll see how authentic, fun, and hard working Jessica really is.

This show is perfect for fans of fun reads, writing, or who are interested in blogging full-time. 


As Mr. Lively, Franklin, and I gear up for our next adventure in Austin, Texas (two weeks!), I feel compelled to share all the places that I’ll dearly miss about the wonderful city of Chicago.

Though I spent the first seven years of my life in Ohio, and the following 15 in Michigan, Chicago is the place I call home.

It’s where I moved after graduation. No hesitation.

Into a tiny studio apartment, with a tiny jewelry business that I was determined to take full-time… so I could also write a book and eventually get a TV show one day.

You know, like Oprah and Maratha — “because that’s how you help people,” my 22-year-old self would assure you.

Since August 16th, 2007 I’ve had many triumphs, dark times, defining moments, and nachos.

Lots and lots of nachos.




So while I’m eager to make Austin our new home  (and perhaps even our permanent residence), I fully expect that Chicago will always be my favorite city.

… For at least six months of the year.

So rather than make a list of only the ‘must see’ and ‘must eat’ places that you have to visit if you come to Chicago, I’m going to share the places and spaces I’ll personally miss the most.

The places that mean something to me, even if they aren’t all the most dazzling hot spots (though a few of them are).

Hopefully this list will serve as a reference for those who come to visit and who live here already. 


Today’s episode has been a long time coming.

It started last fall, when The Lively Show was just an idea waiting to happen. On a tiny white leather couch at a New York City event, Joy Wilson (aka Joy the Baker) helped me understand the world of podcasting.

And she promised to be on the show.

Today, in episode #20, she did just that.

Joy is well known baker, cookbook author, blogger, and podcaster.

But she also happens to be a most joyful and charming person.

Today we’re chatting about her long – and often hilarious – journey to baking and blogging, how she faces fears, and why moving to New Orleans has helped increase her peacefulness.

This is a laugh-filled episode that is literally a “Joy” to listen to!


Happy Lively Show day to you!

Today I have an awesome new episode with Lindsay Ostrom, the blogger behind the incredibly popular Pinch of Yum.

Lindsay’s food blog has tons of great recipes, eCookbooks, and helpful income reports (great for those looking to monazite their blogs). She and her husband Bjork – the business half of the blog – also have a site called Food Blogger Pro where they help food bloggers take things to the next level.

In today’s episode, we are talking about Lindsay’s recent decision to go full-time as a blogger after deciding to stay in teaching last year, her experience teaching abroad at the Children’s Shelter of Cebu, and what she would recommend for those who want to give back either through travel or donations as well.

This episode is perfect for those who love their day jobs and are trying to pick the right time to go full-time with a blog, or for those interested in getting involved internationally in a greater way.

TheLivelyShowGalaDarlingHappy Thursday and happy Lively Show day!

I’ve got a strategy-focused new episode for you today with Gala Darling talking about radical self love and overcoming disordered eating.


The Lively Show episodes are officially in the double digits now!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support for the show.

In today’s episode I’m talking to Dana Shultz of Minimalist Baker.



Listen and subscribe via iTunes.


The second episode is here!

First of all, thank you so much for the outpouring of support for the first episode with Erin last week!

It was so wonderful to see how well received the show was, and I cannot thank you enough for spreading the word about the show, particularly via Twitter.

In today’s show, I interview Jessica Murnane, a Chicago-based blogger and plant-based eating coach over at, whom I’ve had the privilege to befriend over the past six months.

I will say right away: this episode is not intended to “push” a plant-based eating agenda.

I simply find Jessica’s health story inspiring, her resulting career shift fascinating, and I think her journey is an amazing example of someone turning their ‘mess into their message,’ as Joyce Meyer says.

So whether you are interested in eating a plant-based diet or not, I hope you join us!


In this episode you’ll find out about


  • How Jessica’s avoided a hysterectomy due to severe endometriosis by switching to a plant-based diet.
  • The emotional toll and reaction to making a positive shift from friends and family. How to deal with naysayers.
  • How Jessica started a plant-based movement among the top restaurants in Chicago and beyond.
  • What resistance she faced internally to making this shift in her life.
  • How to get enough protein on a plant-based diet.
  • How to handle having selective eating choices in a group setting.
  • What to do if you have an overzealous friend on a new eating plan.
  • What Jessica would advise someone considering a plant-based diet.


Show Notes

Isa Does It


Listen to the show



Want more? Listen to more Lively Shows here.


PS – Please leave a review on iTunes!

Now that The Lively Show is on iTunes, I would really appreciate it if you can leave an honest review.

As the show gains more reviews, it may qualify for the new and noteworthy category… which means more awesome listeners will be able to discover the show!


QuestionsAboutPlantBasedDietToday I am taping one of the very first episodes for the upcoming podcast… and I’d love your help with the interview!

I’m interviewing Jessica Murnane of One Part Plant about her personal health scare and incredible recovery, tips on eating a plant-based diet, and about the movement she’s started in luxe restaurants to provide more plant-based dishes.

If you are curious about anything regarding these topics or a plant-based lifestyle, please leave a comment. I’ll be asking a handful of reader questions in the interview – and your’s may be one of them!


 photo via


October 29th, 2013   |   Food


Since we all know that I’m not the cook in the Lively household, I don’t often offer up many recipes here on the blog. But Jen on the other hand totally knows how to whip up quick and easy recipes (along with some amazing styling). So I’ve asked her to share a quick and easy adult treat for this Halloween. Enjoy!

This Halloween drink is based on of an old classic, the Dark and Stormy. To make this drink feel a little bit more festive, I changed the name and I upped the spooky factor by not mixing it right away and garnishing with candy. I mean you gotta have candy on Halloween, right?

The best part about this drink is it’s super easy to make and has a ton of flavor right off the bat. So if you are having a few friends over this Halloween it will be easy to keep this cocktail flowing without having to over-think it. Or if you’re like me and plan on playing some scary movies, dressing your dog up like Dracula, all while you hand out candy to the littles in the neighborhood…this drink will truly make the night complete.



Dark & Spooky

recipe makes 1 cocktail

What you need:
1/2 CUP Ginger Beer (I used Fentimans Traditional Ginger Beer)
Juice of 1 Lime, plus one wedge
1 (OZ) shot of dark rum (I used Myers’s Dark Rum)

Fill your favorite glass with ice. Then use the juice of one lime into the glass, pour ginger beer and then pour shot of rum on top (don’t stir until ready to drink). Garnish with lime wedge, fun candy and a stir stick. Bottoms up!

Dark-and-Spooky Recipe // Lemon Drop Love via Jess Lively


This post is contributed by Jen of Lemon Drop Love.


For the past month or so, Mr. Lively and I have chosen not to eat meat. Though many would call us “vegetarian,” we have had a hard time actually coming out and saying that word.

At first, it was because we weren’t sure if we were going to stick with the decision for a specific amount of time. It just kind of started one day. Then, we did it again the next day, and so on. Over time, we realized that it wasn’t as difficult as we thought it would be. And for the time being, we want to continue the trend.

For myself, I am choosing meals without meat because all animals, including lobsters, are starting to look like Franklin to me. And Mr. Lively, who started this path first, has no specific reason for his decision. He just feels like it.

Over the past several weeks we have been wary to mention it to many people – especially in the beginning. In fact, we went to dinner at a friend’s house and didn’t mention that we weren’t eating meat until it was time to make our tacos. We simply skipped the meat and put the beans in our tortillas, to which our exasperated host said she wished she had known ahead of time so she could have prepared more veggie options.

So even by trying not to make it a big deal, we ended up making it a big deal.

Meanwhile, we also have friends with other selective diets. Two friends are severely allergic to gluten, one is die-hard Paleo, and another is on a completely plant-based diet. Oh, and my parents? They eat rather low-carb meals, which might be similar to the South Beach plan.

And I know it is not just our circle of friends and family who are getting more selective with their eating choices. The With Intention workshop foodies have had an interesting time accommodating so many different eating choices that only appear to have one thing in common: veggies.

It seems that the more research, information, books, and documentaries that come out, the more varied and convicted people become about their eating choices. On the one hand, this is amazing. I’m happy to live in a time where we can all have access to more education and knowledge about what we put into our bodies and how we affect the food chain at large.

On the other hand, now – perhaps more than ever – it is more difficult to share a selective eating choice with others.

By saying we are eating vegetarian, we have been told:

  • That we won’t get enough protein.
  • That we really should be eating meat, not dairy, for better skin and nutrition.
  • That Mr. Lively better avoid eating soy, or else his estrogen is going to go up.
  • That if I eat a vegetarian diet I might get sick from not eating meat.

Rather than get positive support and encouragement for making a choice we feel good about, we face nutritional judgements and unsolicited advice. I know our friends and family mean well, but we really aren’t asking for an opinion about our decision.

Which is why it is tempting not to tell people at all, and end up at the taco bar quietly skipping the ground beef. 

What’s more, by telling people that we are eating a vegetarian diet now, I’m also starting to feel like there may be judgement if we ever decide to eat meat again in the future. By saying that we are not eating meat today, it seems like we are promising that we won’t eat meat forever. If we do eat meat in the future, we “failed to stick with it,” or we are wrong for not eating meat in the present.

The personification of these selective diets also seems to divide us from one another.

I’m a vegetarian.

I’m vegan.

I’m Paleo. 

I’m on South Beach.

As Mr. Lively said in the first few weeks, “Today, I feel like eating veggies.”

Can we allow ourselves to make our dietary choices based on our intuition at this point in time, without the hard and impenetrable boundaries? Can we support people with selective and non-selective eating choices?

Can we support our friends and families, regardless of what goes on their plate?

Can the forks live with the knives?


Reach Out

Want to learn how to live from Values-based intentions?

I run an online course, Life With Intention Online, to share exactly how to do just that. Sign up for updates here. (The next class registration will open in January, 2017.)

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Have a question about your intention tattoo order? Please email Ashley at jess(at)jesslc(dot)com directly.


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