Hi, my name is Shannon and I live in California 😊. I am a bit shy and love all things introverted like reading, painting, and video games as well as exploring new places, watching sunsets, and cats! The meaning behind "The Beauty in Balance": Life is about finding a healthy balance between two extremes (did I mention my love for sunsets?) Each video represents a timestamp of my life where I blend personal development with creative expression. Join me while I break out of my shell and discover the perfect balance in regards to diet, physical, and mental health while creating multifaceted content.

I haven’t posted on here in forever! I’ve been so caught up with school and YouTube. I figured I’d give this site a little update and share one of my recent videos. Hope you are all staying safe and finding happiness in these crazy times. We will get through it, together ❤️ 

Low Calorie Tzatziki Sauce

Calories: 330 (whole bowl)

50 g protein | 32 g carbs | 1.8 g fat


  • 2 cups nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3-4 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 whole English cucumber, peeled & grated.


  1. Peel and grate cucumber, stir in salt and set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients.
  3. Remove excess water from cucumber, then stir in.

Open Faced Sandwich

Calories: 194 (1 sandwich)

8 g protein | 22 g carbs | 8 g fat


  • 1 slice thin sliced Dave’s Killer Bread
  • 1 slice extra thin Swiss cheese
  • 1 slice nitrate/nitrite free turkey deli meat
  • 1/3 large avocado
  • 1 Tbsp salsa
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Toast bread with cheese
  2. Top with turkey, avocado slices, salsa, and spices

Kale Chips

Calories: 74

2 g protein | 5 g carbs | 5 g fat


  • 1 bunch kale, washed, dried, stems removed
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Spices of choice


  1. Spray or toss kale with olive oil
  2. Spread evenly over a baking sheet
  3. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Peanut Butter Rice Cake

Calories: 200

5 g protein | 28 g carbs | 9 g fat


  • 1 brown rice cake
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. chia seeds


  1. Layer your rice cake with peanut butter, honey, cinnamon, and chia seeds

Hummus Cracker

Calories: 220

7 g protein | 12 g carbs | 15 g F


  • 1 Trader Joe’s crispbread
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. hummus
  • bell pepper, chopped
  • onion, chopped
  • spices of choice


  1. Sautee desired amount of bell pepper and onion in olive oil until they start to carmelize
  2. Meanwhile, spread 2 Tbsp. hummus on crispbread
  3. Top with bell pepper, onion, and spices.

Yield: 1 serving

Calories: 260

Protein 15 g | Carbs 35 g | Fat 8 g


  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup ‘Grillers Crumbles’
  • 1/4 cup kidney beans
  • 2-3 Tbsp salsa
  • 1 Tbsp nonfat plain Greek yogurt (topping)
  • Cheese (optional topping)


  1. Chop sweet potato in circle slices and then cut slices into four pieces
  2. Drizzle with olive oil and roast in oven at 350 degrees F until cooked (25 minutes or so)
  3. Place ‘meat’ crumbles into skillet with salsa and cook covered on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Toss in kidney beans, combine and lower heat to lowest setting, replace lid.
  5. Once potato is done, plate and top with chili mixture, Greek yogurt, and cheese.

Yield: 4 Servings

Calories: 106

Protein 17 g | Carbs 8 g | Fat 1 g


  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped red seedless grapes
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 8 oz shredded chicken breast or 1 (12 oz.) can
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper


  1. Chop all ingredients and combine in bowl.
  2. Stir in Greek yogurt and chicken

*This is great on a slice of bread, Trader Joe’s Whole Grain Crispbread, or on cucumber slices.

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This smoothie is rich in antioxidants and fiber and filled with important nutrients like vitamin C, iron, calcium, and potassium.

Antioxidants play a role in protecting us from oxidative stress due to the accumulation of free radicals that we encounter every day like pollution, chemical exposure, radiation, and medications. Excess accumulation of these free radicals contribute to the development of cancer, autoimmune disorders, aging, arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, etc. Antioxidants prevent and repair damage caused by this oxidative stress.

Calories: 153

Carbs 29 g | Fat 3 g | Protein 4 g


  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 cup Trader Joe’s frozen organic spinach
  • 1/2 cup Trader Joe’s frozen wild blueberries
  • 1/2 frozen banana


Place all ingredients into a blender and blend for 1 minute. You can drink it as is or include toppings like slivered almonds, chia seeds, banana slices, and shredded coconut

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Pham-Huy LA, He H, Pham-Huy C. Free radicals, antioxidants in disease and health. Int J Biomed Sci. 2008;4(2):89–96.

Simple, delicious, and healthy!

This same recipe can be replaced with ground meat if preferred. It can also be made vegan by skipping on the cheese.

Servings: 4

Calories: 265

Time: 25 minutes

Carbs 35g | Fat 5.4g | Protein 20g

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  • 4 zucchinis
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2/3 bag of Morning Star Meatless Crumbles (or any preferred meat or meat substitute)
  • 1 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1/8th cup water
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced1/2 cup corn
  • 1 lime

Toppings (optional)

  • cheese
  • cilantro
  • diced onion
  • avocado
  • lime


Cut tops off of zucchinis and slice zucchinis in half lengthwise and spoon out innards. You can save these innards for other dishes or add them to what couldn’t fit in the zucchini boats. This is what I did and it was very yummy, like a burrito bowl with zucchini. 

Place zucchini halves in a baking dish, top with olive oil and spices of choice and cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. The spices I chose were pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and turmeric.

Meanwhile, sautee meat according to package instructions. Once ‘cooked’ add taco seasoning and water (splash), combine well. Add in jalapenos, corn, beans, and bell pepper, heat thoroughly on medium heat.

1969-12-31 04.00.00 78.jpgOnce the 10 minutes have passed, take out zucchinis and spoon the mixture evenly into each boat. Top with cheese and continue to cook at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

1969-12-31 04.00.00 77.jpgRemove from oven, plate with limes, and top with whatever you like!

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4 Servings



  • 6oz. elbow macaroni
  • 6 oz. shredded white cheddar
  • 2oz. shredded Parmesan
  • 2oz. cup shredded Jarlsberg
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • salt and pepper to taste


Boil macaroni in salted water until al dente. Meanwhile, shred and combine cheeses into a large bowl. Separate 1 1/2 cups (for topping).

Once pasta is cooked to al dente, pour into a strainer.

Bring heavy whipping cream to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer for a few minutes and throw in macaroni. Stir constantly until cheese is completely melted and sauce thickens. Add preferred seasoning to taste.

Transfer to broil safe cookware, top with remaining cheese and broil until top is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Let sit for five minutes.

*add in any extra ingredients (like Serrano and mushroom) when combining macaroni with heavy whipping cream.







*inspired by Rachel Ray recipe

Serving: 2 cups

Yield: 8 servings

Calories: 379

Carbs: 40.3 g | Fat: 7.1 g | Protein: 25.3 g


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 white onion
  • 3 large bell peppers
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice


Heat skillet to medium high heat and brown turkey. Drain fat and add onions and taco seasoning as well as 2/3 cup of water. Cook until turkey has absorbed the seasoning and at least half of the water has evaporated.

Pour in chicken broth and diced tomatoes, stir. Add remaining ingredients, stir well and heat thoroughly before serving.


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This recipe is so delicious and easily customizable. It is perfect for meal prepping and is one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever made.  Just make sure to get the lowest sodium versions of your canned goods.

Serving size: 1 cup

Yield: 10 servings

Calories: 169

Carbs: 30g | Fat: 1.8g | Protein: 8.1g


  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 white onions, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can tomato paste (6oz)
  • 3 cans diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 8 oz of your favorite salsa
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp olive oil


Saute onions in olive oil on medium head in a large pot. Cook until they reach desired translucency. Stir in tomato paste, chili powder, and cumin. Add in remaining ingredients and stir until well combined. Heat thoroughly and serve.

Recipe inspiration originated here

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Servings: 2

Calories: 304

Carbs: 36.8 grams | Fat: 5 grams | Protein: 26.2 grams


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 5 oz chicken breast, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 10 peanuts
  • 4 tbsp Trader Joe’s Island Soyaki (or preferred sauce)


Heat skillet on medium heat with olive oil. Cook chicken thoroughly, occasionally stirring for a total around ten minutes. Toss in remaining ingredients and heat until onions are slightly translucent. Split in two and serve.

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Calories: 275

Protein: 19 grams  Carbs: 39 grams  Fat: 6 grams


  • 2 cups spring mix lettuce
  • 1/4th cup corn
  • 1/4th cup garbanzo beans
  • 1/4th cup fat free cottage cheese
  • 1/4th cucumber
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 4 slices beets
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds


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  • 1lb ground turkey
  • Taco seasoning
  • 3/4 cup water & 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 (15.25 oz.) can of corn
  • 2 (15.25 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15oz can black beans
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 jalapenos (optional)
  • 6 bell peppers
  • cheese of choice


  1. You can purchase precooked rice, but if you want to cook it yourself I do a 1:2 ratio (1 cup rice with 2 cups water) and simmer for about 30 minutes until the water evaporates. It’s best to cook a bunch and toss in the freezer for easy meal prepping.
  2. Brown meat in a large skillet, drain fat.  Add onions and taco seasoning and stir with 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
  3. Add in rice, corn, tomatoes, black beans, and jalapenos. Stir and keep warm on low.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Cut tops off of bell peppers and discard seeds and membranes.
  6. Turn off the heat to the skillet and place bell peppers snug in a baking dish and stuff with skillet mixture. Pour 1/2 cup of water on the bottom of the baking dish. Cover with foil and cook for about 30 minutes.
  7. Remove foil and top with cheese (optional) and continue cooking for 10 minutes. If not adding cheese continue cooking with foil for a total of 40 minutes.


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Roasted garlic & Gorgonzola on Sourdough Toast


  • Sourdough baguette, cut in 1/2 inch slices
  • Olive oil
  • Gorgonzola crumbles
  • Garlic bulb(s), with top cut off and outer layers removed


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place sourdough slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. You can top them with a little bit of olive oil but they will toast just as well without it.

Place garlic bulb(s) in a square of aluminum foil. Lift and tighten aluminum walls so the top of the garlic and its cloves are exposed within the foil. Drizzle olive oil on top of bulb allowing it to enter the crevices of the cloves. Tighten the top of the foil leaving a handle of foil sticking straight up.

Place both sourdough slices and garlic bulb(s) in the oven. Toast sourdough as desired but should be finished around 15 minutes of baking. Leave garlic bulbs in the oven for a total of 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the garlic is done it should look soft and beige and not have too many (if any) black spots.

Plate toasts, drizzle olive oil (optional), spread with garlic & top with Gorgonzola and you have the cutest little Italian inspired appetizer. I gave my neighbor a plate of this today because she was working like crazy moving all day and she thanked me by giving me pretty much all of her food! Dry goods will stay good during her move to Montana so I’m not sure why I have her peanut butter and rice crispy treats but I’m pretty happy about it 🙂 Neighborly duties, you know?

Penne Alfredo (with or without chicken)

Pasta Ingredients (amount is based on preference, but I’ll put what I used to serve 2)

  • Penne Pasta – check the packaging for serving size, I used 4 oz
  • Asparagus, chopped. I used 11 small twigs
  • Mushrooms, sliced. (4)
  • Sundried tomatoes (The ones from Trader Joe’s are awesome because they aren’t packaged in oil)
  • Spices of choice. My simple staples are red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
  • Optional – 3 oz chicken

Alfredo Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4th cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated


Boil pasta until al dente (cooked but still firm).

Meanwhile, toss mushrooms, asparagus, and sun-dried tomatoes in a skillet and saute with butter or olive oil until asparagus is cooked. It should be bright green and remain firm but you should easily be able to poke a fork through it.

Alfredo Sauce Instructions

In a medium saucepan, melt butter on medium heat. Once melted, pour in heavy whipping cream and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour in Parmesan cheese and stir until fully melted. Pour pasta, veggies, and spices into Alfredo sauce and stir until well combined. Enjoy! 🙂

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This has been my staple for years. It’s so healthy, easy to make and always turns out looking beautiful.  It’s so satisfying when I make this for someone who either skips breakfast or is used to eating an unhealthy breakfast and they end up loving it. It not only is a well balanced meal that tastes good but it is packed with antioxidants and will give you the energy you need to start your day.

283 Calories

14g carbs | 18g fat | 17g protein


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 eggs (1 whole, 1 egg white)
  • 1/2 mushroom, chopped
  • 1/4th bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small handful of spring mix
  • 4-5 cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4th avocado, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons salsa of choice. My favorites → 2 tablespoons Renfro’s Green Salsa & 1 tablespoon Renfro’s Ghost Pepper Salsa
  • spices of choice
  • 1/2 slice of swiss cheese (optional)
  • 1/3 jalapeno, chopped (optional)
  • 1 pepperoncini, sliced (optional)


Whisk eggs in small bowl. Toss chopped mushroom and half of the chopped bell pepper into the egg bowl, stir.

Heat olive oil on medium skillet (6-7 inches) on low heat. With my gas stove I cook it on the second to lowest temperature. Pour in egg mixture, season, and cook for 3 minutes.

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Edges should look cooked and you should be able to flip the egg carefully with a spatula so the runny side can be cooked.

Place cheese (optional) on newly flipped side as well as tomatoes, spring mix, pepperoncini, jalapeno, and remaining bell pepper. Cook for one minute.

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Turn off heat and fold egg in half. Guide onto plate with spatula and top with salsa, spices, and avocado.

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This is by far my favorite food invention of all time. I love breakfast and I definitely prefer a savory meal over a sweet one to start my day. Everyone that I have made this for is blown away and its time to share it with you :). Hopefully you will give it a try and it will be a staple for you as well.

Calories: 293

Macros: Carbs – 35g | Protein – 15 g | Fat – 12g

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  • 1 egg (can substitute for an egg white for 55 less calories)
  • 1 Light Multi-Grain English Muffin
  • 1 Laughing Cow Light wedge
  • 1 horizontal slice of bell pepper (see picture above)
  • Approx. 1/4th of avocado (24g)
  • Approx. 1 tsp (4g) gorgonzola cheese
  • Small handful of spring mix
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Spices of choice

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Slice English muffin and toast as desired. Heat skillet on medium with a little bit of olive oil. Place bell pepper slice on skillet and crack one egg in the center of the bell pepper. Season with your favorite seasonings. Lower the heat to medium-low and place a small amount of water in the skillet and cover with the lid to steam cook the top until it is solid enough to flip.  As that cooks, its time to set up your muffin!

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Mash avocado on the lid of the English muffin and sprinkle with small amount of salt. Smear the Laughing Cow cheese on the bottom of the English muffin and top with Gorgonzola.

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Remove the lid from the skillet and flip your egg. If you like your yolk runny you will only need to leave it flipped for about a minute. Leave for about 3 minutes if you like it cooked thoroughly. (Side note: this recipe tastes just as good with a scrambled egg in the center so feel free to do that if you prefer it.)

Begin assembling your sandwich by placing the egg on top of the Gorgonzola, topping it with lettuce and closing it with the avocado covered lid. Plate and dig in! 🙂

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Simplified Instructions

  • Toast English muffin
  • Mash avocado on lid, sprinkle with salt
  • Smear Laughing Cow cheese on base and top with Gorgonzola
  • Cook egg inside bell pepper as preferred
  • Assemble sandwich with bell pepper, egg, and lettuce.
  • Serve


healthy vegetarian enchilada recipe

What better way to start a blog than with an enchilada recipe? My grandma is the queen of making enchiladas but I figured I’d give them a try myself, and I have to say they are pretty incredible. I wanted to alter this classic Mexican dish into a healthier, vegetarian option and it does not disappoint.

This recipe is extremely easy (albeit can get quite messy), easily customizable, and is perfect for meal prepping! I made twice as much so if you want it for meal prepping, I would double the recipe.

Yields: 6-8 enchiladas

Serving Size: 2 enchiladas

Calories: 444 calories

Carbs – 60 grams | Protein – 28 grams | Fat – 12 grams


  • Approx. 1lb ground meat substitute (I used 12oz MorningStar Farms Grillers Crumbles)
  • 1 can of corn, drained
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset1 large bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1-2 spicy peppers, diced (jalapenos, habaneros, serranos)
  • 1 Tbsp. taco seasoning, spices of choice (for meat)
  • 3 & 1/3 cups water
  • 6- 8 corn tortillas
  • 28 oz. can enchilada sauce
  • Shredded cheese
  • 2 oz can black olives
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 1/3 avocado (topping)

Green Sauce:

vegetarian enchilada recipe


Pour enchilada sauce into a saucepan and bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer.

Meanwhile, Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place meat into the skillet along with 1/3 cup of water, cover and cook on medium-high for 4 minutes. Uncover, toss in chopped bell pepper, onion, corn, jalapeno, and spices. Stir and cook on medium for another 4 minutes. Turn off heat.

Pour 1 cup of the enchilada sauce into 13×9-inch baking dish.  Spoon “meat” mixture down center of each tortilla. Fold over tortillas sides. Place seam-side down in baking dish. Spoon remaining sauce over enchiladas. Sprinkle top with cheese and bake for 15 minutes.

Cilantro Lime Sour Cream:

Place Greek yogurt, a handful of cilantro, the juice of one lime, and 2/3 of an avocado into blender or food processor, pulse or blend until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.

healthy vegetarian enchilada recipe

Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes. Plate and top with avocado slices, olives, and a dollop of the cilantro lime Greek yogurt with a side of lime wedges and serve.

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