Weekly Wisdom and #LessStuffMoreLife Top 5 Nutrition Noshes

Nosh One. Wisdom.

Inspirational Quote Minimalism: All You Need is Less


This had been my mantra for 2017. It started out with a mission of not buying any new clothes this year and it had turned into so much more. 

I have given up "stuff." That's all. I have not went to buy unnecessary clothing, made late night trips to Target because I was bored and left with $50 worth of health and beauty products (and probably a snack) I didn't need, no shopping online because of coupons or free shipping, or purchase of another accent pillow for my bed. I will be honest, I have had my moment of desire but they always quickly subside from the impulse of just buying something because I want it or I think I need it. 

I do not need anything. I have more than I could every want or use. 

What I did need, was to realize I only shopped when something else was screwed up in my life. It was my therapy. When I was sad and angry, when life was complicated and exhausting, when I was hurting deeper than I ever knew I was, I would try to make myself happy with "stuff" and food. This year has been a huge component of loving the hell out of myself by not buying a bunch of crap and eating a bunch of crap because I was feeling crappy. 

We all have a bag full of emotional stuff we carry around  with us and constantly keep adding stuff to it. Once you really deal with what hurts your heart, you can start unloading the stuff, free up some space in your bag and fill it with a ton more life.  

Nosh Two. Weekly Conversation. 

Conversations with Anne Elizabeth Podcast on iTunes

My conversation today is with Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Lori Graff.

Miss Lori Graff has always had me in awe of the wealth of knowledge she knows. She has more knowledge of health and nutrition in her pinky finger than I do in my whole brain. I admire this Registered Dietitian for being on the forefront of integrative health. She is a lifelong learner who is very passionate about disease prevention by taking the food and nutrition route first. I have known Lori for almost a decade now, but had no idea how her personal and family experiences has currently lead her to starting her own practice. She is innovative, educated and is open to new science and ways to practice and serve her clients. Everyone, this podcast is great and you will want to listen and learn as much as you can. 

Connect with Lori at Lori@LoriGraff.com and her business Graff Integrative Health www.LoriGraff.com

Nosh Three. Week in Review.

Iowa State Capitol Building Des Moines, Iowa

On my quest for more life, I also realized I do not need to travel the world for new adventures or experiences. I can have them right here in the city I live in. How many times have you said "I wanna try that place or we need to go there" when talking about making plans and then you never do them? I do it all the time. So I have decided at least 1 time a month, I am going to do something I have always wanted to do in Des Moines.  This week, I put on a pretty dress I found in the depths of my closet and set off for downtown Des Moines. 

View from the Iowa State Capitol Building Des Moines, Iowa

I began with a walk around the Iowa State Capital. If you look out from the top steps, you can see almost all through downtown Des Moines and Grand Avenue. It was beautiful outside and the sun was starting to set. A great start to the beginning of my day adventure in Des Moines. 

Bubba Restaurant Downtown Des Moines, Iowa

Of course the adventure was going to involve food.  I was looking forward to a little happy hour and decided on Bubba because I wanted to experience their Hot Brown Sandwich, which I have talked about my love for this sandwich. Since having the original in Louisville at The Brown Hotel, if I come across this on a menu, I am ordering it. 

Fried Green Tomatoes Bubba Restaurant Des Moines, Iowa

I asked sit outside on their patio which is a little tucked away on the side of the restaurant but it lighted well and you can see all the happenings on the street. Very cozy atmosphere. I ordered myself a bourbon on the rocks and decided on the Fried Green Tomatoes and the Petite Pimento Cheese Plate. I was a little hungry. There were so many options on the happy hour menu, it was extremely hard to decide!

Petite Pimento Cheese Plate Bubba Restaurant Des Moines, Iowa

The bourbon was yum. The Fried Green Tomatoes were perfectly crispy and savory. The petite salad and the buttermilk cream sauce were the perfect touches to the dish. Not too much and cool and creamy. The Petite Pimento Cheese Plate was the perfect size because all the goodies are very rich. The bacon was perfectly cooked and tasted delicious on top of the buttermilk crackers smeared in the pimento cheese. Bubba's bread-and-butter pickles were the perfectly sweet and crunchy finish to the plate. I probably could of had a bowl of those on their own. 

Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich at Bubba Des Moines Iowa

After I finished my appetizers, I did have another bourbon and I almost thought I should just come back another time for the Kentucky Hot Brown, but I just couldn't. So I did it. I ordered it. I may have taken more than 1/2 of it home but I was so glad I did. Bubba's version did not disappoint AT ALL. 

The Hot Brown Sandwich Bubba Restaurant Des Moines Iowa

This is the closest sammie I have had to the original from The Brown Hotel. It comes out all bubbly and hot in a cast iron skillet and a side of your choice (which, wow, another plethora of amazing comfort food options). If you have never had this unique sandwich, you really should try it. Bubba's Kentucky Hot Brown had moist hickory (perfectly) smoked turkey, crunchy bacon, sliced tomatoes, sweet caramelized onions all smothered in the dreamiest Swiss cheese sauce served open faced on South Union Focaccia. Are you drooling yet?  You should be!  This sandwich is everything. 

 Art Graffiti Downtown Des Moines Iowa

Well, I was stuffed. Thankfully I made the right choice in wearing a comfortable dress to accommodate my eatings. I also planned on walking around downtown, so I knew I could burn of some calories and make room for dessert. Downtown Des Moines has so many cool building and art is everywhere. I ventured around the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, stopped in the Central Des Moines Library and then decided it was time for something sweet. 

Black Cat Ice Cream Downtown Des Moines Iowa

On the outskirts of the park is a little ice cream shop. Black Cat Ice Cream has been on my radar for over a year. It was time. 

Black Cat Ice Cream Flavors of the Week Downtown Des Moines Iowa

With the motto of "Old Fashioned Deliciousness" I knew I was going to be a fan. Black Cat Ice Cream in a building with a live music venue and you can miss it if you blink. However, you follow them on Facebook to know the flavors of the week and recognize the distinctive black menu board that sits outside of the window where you order.  I highly recommend reviewing the flavors of the week before going to the window because it is hard to pick! 

Black Cat Ice Cream Des Moines Iowa

Black Cat Ice Cream Local and Proudly Made in Des Moines Iowa

Black Cat's goal is simple: to make the best ice cream on Earth. They use 100% local, fresh grass-fed milk, 100% local and fresh produce, 100% made in old-fashioned bucket ice cream makers in small batches, 100% free of additives and 100% friggin delicious ice cream. This ice cream is sooo indulgent, creamy and sweetened with perfection. The flavors are robust and not lost in the cream. After much deliberation, I decided on a scoop of the Cream Cheese Lemon Cake and a scoop of the Coffee + Caramel + Donut. I could have had a scoop of each on the menu. Next time, happy hour will be at Black Cat. 

Black Cat Ice Cream Cups Downtown Des Moines Iowa

Nosh Four. Workout Playlist of the Week.

All I want is more adventures and that includes workouts!  The more variety the better. 

Nosh Five. What I Love Right Now. 

Horizon Line Coffee Shop Downtown Des Moines Iowa

To continue my downtown Des Moines adventure, I had a little meeting this week and we decided to meet at Horizon Line Coffee since neither one of us had been there. I have been off the coffee lately because I was drinking wayyy to much so I was excited to have my first latte in a long time. Horizon Line Coffee is a simple coffee shop, started by two friends who want to serve good coffee and care about others. How great is that? The space is filled with all my favorite colors, white, grey and more white, simple lines and details, and a calm vibe. There are all the coffee options you could want but if you like milk in your coffee, whole cows milk or almond are your options. There are also a variety of teas available and a coffee flight, which I will be ordering on my next visit. This time, I indulged in a richly gorgeous whole cows milk latte served in a beautiful white cup. I think this place secretly was made with me in mind. Dietitian approved!

Iowa Grown Pink Roses

To end the week, I made a quick trip home and got to spend time with my momma. We had lunch together and chatted on the sun porch about an upcoming trip we are going on this week (WEEEEE). I am looking forward to having an adventure with mom and enjoying some time away from it all. She has been spending a lot of time in her beautiful yard before it goes away and she picked me 3 pretty pink roses to take home! I smiled all the way back to Des Moines and my car smelled lovely. What a great week in Iowa, #hellyeah!



Weekly Wisdom and Back-To-School Inspired Top 5 Nutrition Noshes

Nutrition Nosh One. Wisdom.

Back to School, Summer is Over Quote

Ahh, the nostalgia of back-to-school. Many of you are in the midst of trying to figure out the "new" normal of schedules, sleeping, lunches and dinner as a family. The days are getting shorter but the 
to-do list is getting longer.  After the first few weeks, the excitement starts to wear off a little and panic sets in. How are you going to get all the things done in a 24 hour period and still sleep?  20 years ago, I was in my senior year of college and I am not quite sure how I didn't lose my shit. There were weeks I didn't know what day it was or where I had to be at 2 pm on a Tuesday. And even though I wouldn't trade my college experience for the world, I am pretty sure I never want to do it again. I did what I had to do, got through it and can look back and be grateful it all happened. 

When you find yourself waking up, one eye open and asking yourself what day it is, wondering if you packed the right lunch for your loved ones, wondering if you have time to get a couple loads of laundry done before work, wondering if you are going to make the 3 pm meeting, wondering if you can get in and out of the grocery store quickly before heading home to make food before you have to race to your fitness class or your kiddos tennis lessons...stop for a second. The day is going to happen no matter what scenario runs through your mind or what happens or doesn't. 

The best part of the day has already happened, be grateful you woke up and now you get to live it

Nutrition Nosh Two. Weekly Conversation. 

Conversations with Anne Elizabeth Podcast on iTunes

Today we are doing something a little different. Since I love talking with my favorite people, I am going to check in with some of my previous podcast guests from time to time. Wayyy back in October of 2016, I started this little labor of love and graciously had on my first guest, Jena Hunt. As we are approaching the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY I wanted to catch up with Jena, my first guest  aired as Episode 1.  If you listened to Episode 1,  you remember Jena was expecting her first child at that time and starting a diabetes program. I thought it would be fun to see how things are going in her exciting world. 

Nutrition Nosh Three. Week in Review. 

As I am trucking along my #lessstuffmorelife year, I have been finding things I did not even remember having. It is all kinds of fun finding treasures but then it is quickly followed up with 'why in the hell did I keep that?"  This scenario happened this past week when I stumbled upon this yellow bad-boy and in turn, inspired my blog this week. 

Theta Phi Alpha Creighton University

 I think back 1997. It was crazy busy and crazy fun. I was excited about finding my passion of dietetics and I was headed toward a career but I was also excited about the last year of having A LOT of fun. My sorority was a lot of fun. So much fun, I won't even bore you with the details. 

Theta Phi Alpha Creighton University

Back to this yellow bad-boy. Besides all the fun, this yellow binder was one of the greatest things my sorority taught me. During our pledge period, we were expected to get a "page" for each active member of the sorority. This "page" was an opportunity to have a conversation with someone you have never met and get to know them one-on-one. At the time, it was exhausting but now I realize it was priceless. These conversations truly mattered and it were an opportunity to connect with something you never in your wildest dreams thought you would. This was my "big sister" and one of my bestest friends page...on a napkin... from one of our favorite college hangouts. The conversation, the words, the memories: priceless. 

Nutritional Sciences Iowa State University

Recently, I also had the opportunity to head to a couple of local universities and do a little podcasting. I did my internship with Iowa State but was only on campus for 2 weeks total, so I did not get the while ISU experience. I do enjoy having friends in these places so I can visit and relieve some back-to-school moments. 

Bluebird Cafe University of Iowa

When I was considering colleges as a high school senior, the University of Iowa was on my radar but I was pretty set on Creighton. I remember my guidance counselor asking me why I would apply to Iowa because he knew I already had my eye on the prize. When I was podcasting there, I walked around campus and made sure I made a pit-stop at a favorite eatery, the Bluebird Diner. My homemade an locally sourced burger was soooo good. 

Jen Haugen, RDN, LD

When I think of BTS, I think of all the busy families out there trying to get used to new schedules of parents and kids going a million different directions. September is rightfully deemed Family Meals Month because it is one important part of being a family that suffers this time of year. 
The data on why family meals matter is positively overwhelming.  Numerous studies show significant, measurable scientific proof about the positive, lifelong benefits of family meals. Family meals nourish the spirit, brain and health of all family members. 

Here are some stats according to the Family Meals Month website:
  • Children who grow up sharing family meals are more likely to exhibit prosocial behavior as adults, such as sharing, fairness and respect. 
  • With each additional family meal shared each week, adolescents are less likely to show symptoms of violence, depression and suicide, less likely to use or abuse drugs or run away, and less likely to engage in risky behavior or delinquent acts.
  • Kids and teens who share meals with their family three or more times per week are significantly less likely to be overweight, more likely to eat healthy foods and less likely to have eating disorders.

Which I why I want to share with you my friend, Jen Haugen. Jen is a registered dietitian and is also a realistic mom, trying to balance it all.

Her philosophy perfectly pairs with the themes of Family Meals Month.

  • Health starts in the kitchen with what you shop for, prepare, and eat.
  • Meal panning is essential to a more organized, more balanced, and healthier, happier life.

She focuses on making sure there is a balance with life and family time, all around the kitchen table. She also is the best resource to make it easy and less stressful on busy moms, dads and college students. And she can do it all virtually with you!

Jen Haugen RDN, LD Blog and Meal Planning for Back to School

If you go to this section of her blog, you can find articles like these with great recipes for the perfect and easy back-to-school meals. I get a lot of my weekday meal planning inspiration from Jen. Her recent post:  Back-to-School One Pot Meal Ideas has plentiful and helpful amounts of information regarding how to cook and what to cook it in (she also is a Pampered Chef Independent Kitchen Consultant). In this post, she has a link to her Teriyaki Stir Fry which is something you should make tonight. Jen is the EXPERT in the kitchen and I hope she can help you too!

Cherry Earrings and Necklace

My week ended with some sweet and simple joys. There are just people who come into your life for a reason. There is no explanation why you cross paths and you are forever are etched in the journey of each others lives. I received this darling reminder of how special something like this is and will be forever. Another way a conversation created a lasting connection. 

Vase full of fresh kale

I rounded out my 30-day whirlwind of birthdays with a little belated wishes for my boo Stacey. Stacey loves kale more than anyone I know. I am also pretty sure she eats it once (or twice) a day and it is an ingredient in at least 87% of the recipes she creates. Sometimes after a long week of being superwoman, a girl just needs a bouquet of #kaleyeah (and polka dots). 

Nutrition Nosh Four. Workout Playlist of the Week. 

Hold onto your dumbbells,  I am taking my workout music motivation back to 1997, aka my Senior Year at Creighton University with some oldies but goodies. Make sure to keep listening till the end for one of my all-time favorite songs (and great cool-down song). 

Anne Elizabeth Workout Playlist of the Week on Apple Music

Nutrition Nosh Five. What I Love Right Now. 

Since I went to college so long ago, my bathroom was shared with 20 other girls (and on occasion a few boys...I did live on a co-ed floor). Shower shoes and shower caddies were a must for the long trek down the hall with all your stuff. As I was looking in my own bathroom I get all to myself, there were some things reminding me of my college communal days and what were my shower essentials. 

Dove Soap, Schick Razors and Tru Beauty Shower cap college essentials

Yes, I still wear a shower cap. I mean, I have to protect my dry shampooed hair I just did yesterday from the random shower spray. My shower cap is a little more stylish these days thanks to my styling new cherries bestowed on me from a friend. I also may have gone through a billion razors back in the day and I am so grateful razor technology has come a long way. If you haven't tried these awesome razors by Schick, you need to now!  My friend Amanda recommended these to me a few weeks ago and they have changed my life! Shaving and regular shampooing are now on the same schedule and that means I get to add time back into my life. And finally, I have to share with you my steadfast shower essential that hasn't changed since 1997:  Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar.  Since I am a little skin care obsessed, I am very particular with what I use on my skin. My Derm recommended this to me back in the 90s and it is holding true for me today. My mom even just stocked me up with a bunch for the winter. I guess those back-to-school memories and moments never quite go away. 



Weekly Wisdom and Birthdays, Baptism and Top 5 Nutrition Noshes

Nutrition Nosh One. Wisdom.

Funny quote about birthdays

Age is just a number right?  There is not a number on this earth defining you. You truly are as old (or as young) as you want to be. This is why it is so important to take care of yourself, all of yourself. Taking care of yourself includes good nutrition, physical activity, sleep, less stress, less television time, less worry and more experiences. We will always have demands on ourselves, both personal and from others in your life. Neither one are you going to eliminate, but you can control all of how it affects you. I think we get a little sentimental and self reflective on our days of birth. It reminds us another year has flown by and makes us question what really happened over the past year. 

Do not let another year pass you by. 

Make this year your best year yet by giving yourself the right amount of self care you need. You owe it to yourself and your tribe. I want the best version of you on this earth and I hope you do too. Start right now, not wasting one more second. What do you need from this day to keep you whole, happy and positive?  How are you going to make it happen?  

Hell yeah!

Nutrition Nosh Two. Weekly Conversation. 

Conversations with Anne Elizabeth Podcast

My conversation today is with Registered Dietitian, Lyndi Buckingham Schutt

I had a great conversation with Lyndi who is not only a Registered Dietitian, but she is a PhD candidate and graduate research assistant. She is currently working diligently on finalizing her thesis. Lyndi has volunteered her time with the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as Public Policy and State Policy Representative and has found a passion for policy. She will be working in public policy after she defends her thesis. Lyndi has a unique journey so far and I learned a lot from her story and experiences.

Connect with Lyndi: buckingh@gmail.com

Nutrition Nosh Three. Week in Review. 


It has been an event-filled end to the month of August.  I had the joy of adding a godchild to my family this past month, Miss Finley Ann Wertzberger along with my fellow "Fairy Godmother" Laura.  Finley looked beautiful in her family heirloom dress on her special day. The first granddaughter and all the granddaughters in the Bisgaard family have worn this dress which I think is so special!

Fairy Godmothers Anne Elizabeth

Godchildren are very special to me because I am not sure I will have any children of my own. I know Laura and I are looking forward to watching Finley grow into a young lady and to guide her along the way....or to give her candy and other assorted ways to spoil her and just be an open door whenever she needs her own time. We got you Finley!

Birthday donuts from Hy-Vee

A few days later, I road-tripped west with a bag full of donuts and an abundance of shopping energy to celebrate my beautiful momma's birthday. My mom LOVES donuts and ironically, Hy-Vee has come out with a new line of freshly fried donuts this past month. It was hard to choose the right ones for her donut "cake." 

Hy-Vee Fresh Fried Donuts

I ended up choosing a traditional glazed which is her favorite, a chocolate glazed with peanuts and then my favorite the Blueberry Streusel topped with a green candle symbolizing the August gemstone, peridot. If you haven't had the new donuts yet, get one now! I will be partial and say Deb at the Fleur Drive Hy-Vee makes the best ones. And seriously the Blueberry Streusel.....OMG!

Lil Burro Restaurant Bellevue, NE

Mom and I took off to spend the day in Omaha to do a little shopping and lunch at the Lil Burro in Bellevue, Nebraska. This is one of our family favorites because it is located close to Offutt Air Force Base. I seriously was so excited to eat here, I totally forgot to take a picture of my delicious food, one spicy poblano and birthday sopapillas for mom. Guess it means I have to go back again, soon.

Birthday Boy

I headed back east to end the week with a surprise birthday party for my friend Justin!  Surprise parties are always tricky and Jason pulled it off like no other. Justin was so surprised! Jason arranged all of Justin's family and friends to celebrate his birthday on the fabulous patio at Gilroy's, where we enjoyed great conversation, cocktails and cake of course!

Birthday Party Friends

Mom even made the trip down for the party!  

Birthday Friends

And of course we had to get a photo of the birthday kids!  You know how much I love to celebrate birthdays, best holidays ever!

I'm A Registered Dietitian...Now What? Book by Anne Elizabeth

And to end the week, I always am so full of joy when I see members of my tribe reading and enjoying my book. Amy Lee Hanneke, RDN (follow her @satisfy.nutrition on IG) is recently a newlywed who traveled across the country to relocate with her new hubby and needed some reading material. And these polka dots...it's like she knows me!

Nutrition Nosh Four. Workout Playlist of the Week. 

Nothing like a little Birthday and Baptism Workout Playlist of the Week. I think it has a nice ring to it!  I combined a few songs that remind me of my Mom and a few of Justin's favorite songs right now. Top it off with a little Madonna...and I think we have a workout winner!  

Apple Music Workout Playlist of the Week by Anne Elizabeth

This week I am adding a little challenge to my workout rotations that I wanted to share with you. Hot and Healthy Life, aka Heather (make sure to follow her on IG), is doing a 10 day challenge of 10 minute workouts. That's right 10 minutes. I can do that!  Can you?  It is called Metcon for Moms (all kinds of Moms, including fur baby moms like me). Go here to register and get in on the action. She includes all the workouts you can choose from including videos to show you exactly how to do it with modifications. I will be posting my attempts of completion on my IG story. Oh yeah, feel the burn...

Hot and Healthy Life #Metcon for Moms Workout Challenge

Nutrition Nosh Five. What I Love Right Now. 

One word: Zoodles. I am zoodling zucchini like it is my job (remember the picture from last week of the monster zucchini?) I am all for boosting my veggie intake whenever possible because it is for sure something I struggle with getting enough in on some days. I think that is true for a lot of us. I am bringing you my latest Real Deal and Really Delicious (RD) recipe...... Zoodles and Meatballs. 

Aidells Chicken Meatballs

You can be a dare devil and make your own Meatballs, but I like to keep things quick like a cat and purchase pre-made meatballs like these snazzy Italian Style with Mozzarella Cheese Chicken Meatballs from Aidell. All you do is brown them to your liking in a nice popping hot pan. This will only take about 5-6 minutes and remember to rotate them to get them brown on all sides.  Turn the heat down to warm until your ready to serve the zoodle mania. 

Zucchini Zoodles

In another pan, I take my frozen zucchini noodles (I zoodle 1 medium size zucchini and freeze into a bag for easy meals like this), sprinkle a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and cook for about 10-12 minutes on medium/high heat or until much of the excess water has cooked off. I then add whatever floats my boat that night in my noodles. Tonight, it was black olives, onions and mushrooms with a couple spoonfuls of pre-made pesto and about 1/2 jar of pasta sauce. Cook on medium heat for an additional 7-ish minutes while I make the coolest part of the meal. 

Homemade parmesan crisps

Parmesan crisps!  Yes, yes and yes!  Who needs garlic bread when you can have these crunchy, cheesy treats. Bring home your favorite parm, just make sure it is shredded if its in a bag or a shake bottle. Get a sheet pan and line it with parchment paper while heating up your oven to broil. Make piles of cheese (about 2 large spoonfuls for each pile). I make about 3 for each person I am sharing this kick ass meal with. Put them in the oven, watch them melt and get brown on the edges. Once they have browned pull them out and let them sit for about 5 minutes before taking them off the pan. I like to set them on a paper towel to pull a little moisture and fat off the bottom and crispy them up a little more. 

Zucchini Zoodle Pasta with Chicken Meatballs and Parm Crisps by Anne Elizabeth

Place your zoodle mixture on a plate, top it with 3-4 meatballs and 3 parm crisps and dig in!
Real Deal and Really delicious and full of nutrition. 

Don't worry, I have been eating zoodles every week, so there will be more RD Recipes heading your way!