Enjoy the Silence: 4 Reasons You Don’t Want to Miss

Enjoy the Silence: 4 Reasons You Don’t Want to Miss

We live in a world that thrives on speed and noise. As things spin faster and noisier; it becomes more critical to put yourself in a timeout to enjoy the silence. Why? Healthy solitude will fill your soul and renew your mind. Learn how to reap the rewards of your ‘silence’ to feed your mental health and experience peace in this loud world. Embrace these 4 rock-solid reasons to enjoy the silence.

enjoy the silence mountain snow covered village

Silent Night, Holy Night, All is calm, all is bright.

Silent Night, the Christmas song, was composed in 1818. This now-traditional Holiday tune debuted all because of an organ…that broke. Without the help of an ill organ who knows if this song would have surfaced; oddly, silence accelerated its success.

How does silence help your success?

Recently I saw a commercial, not sure what it was selling, but it did leave me wondering what ‘peace’ really was. In the commercial, we see a couple who left the big city to go camping in the woods. Due to their overjoyous accomplishment of setting up camp, they were obviously seeking serenity. However, when night fell and all was calm, they were restless and frustrated. Then one of them downloaded a ‘noise app’ on their phone. It played cars honking, emergency sirens blaring, and dogs barking…all was ‘calm’ and they instantly fell asleep. What is ‘your silence’?

Our ‘silent night’ is not only where our souls settle down, but it’s where peace waits and where ideas birth. Outside of bedtime, do you intentionally turn off the NOISE?

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4 Solid Reasons to enjoy the silence

1. Hearing from God

The most likely time God will talk to us is when we’re relaxed…quiet…still…and alone with Him. Jesus went away all the time to be with the Lord. Why wouldn’t we? But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 5:16 As I said earlier this world will swallow you up with noise, drama, and distractions; so much so you’ll miss what God is trying to tell you, show you, and bless you with. When we don’t stop to be with the Lord in private, the world will devour us and we will completely miss the blessing God has for us; and this is exactly what the Enemy wants!

In Romans 12:2 Paul says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (NIV). Make this your prayer. Spend time in healthy solitude with God to allow intimacy with Him. He wants your attention so He can love you more than you will ever know. His promises surface when you spend time with Him. There is a transformation in His presence when you make time for Him, to be alone with Him, and to rest in His arms. Do more than exist and spend time with God alone without distractions.

2. Creativity

Inc. Magazine says…awesome creative work can be achieved by shutting out the outside world, whilst you insanely focus on your craft. Do you say you’re not creative? That’s not true! My go-to for taking my mind off things is to put my colored pencils to work and get my hands busy. Develop your hobby and reap the rewards. Here is a fun and soothing adult coloring book to get you started: The Psalms in Color.

To get all the benefits of silence and creativity, not to mention, getting outside, take up gardening or walking…without the earbuds. Did you know that nature can enhance your creativity and problem-solving skills?

3. Problem-solving

Physically turning off the noise slows our thoughts. We can then think through our issues without distraction. The phrase “Sleep on it” makes a lot of sense now. There is truth in ‘sleeping on it’; not only does it help us think through things, but it restores our bodies, and reduces stress. One of the key tools I use to fall asleep and stay asleep is my white noise machine. Our family has 4 of these amazing things! Seriously, this is a game-changer and has improved all of our sleep and sanity.

4. Restoration in health

Scientifically, the Huffington Post reports that researchers found that two hours of silence daily led to the development of new cells in the hippocampus, a key brain region associated with learning, memory, and emotion. If you can’t get complete silence, the white noise machine I mentioned above is a great alternative. It helps drown out the distractions with little noises. Again, I LOVE this tool!

The Power in Silent Night

In the dancing noises of our world many of us, unfortunately, will miss these life-enhancing riches. We’ll wander in the racket and wonder why our prayer hasn’t been answered, why this particular problem still lingers, why we feel like we just exist, and why our bodies hurt all the time.

Josef Mohr, author of Silent Night, pondered on what to do about his broken organ. Christmas Eve was the next day, people were expecting music! So he hiked up a hill.

It was there where he looked down at the snow-covered village where he could be in ‘his silence’. It was there that he gained the courage to turn his poem into a legendary song.

family sitting in a snowbank

“The trees, the flowers, the plants grow in silence; the stars, the sun, the moon move in silence. Silence gives us a new perspective.”

Mother Teresa

Enjoy the silence recap

The next day, Christmas Eve, Josef approached his organist, Franz Xaver Gruber, and within 3 hours Franz composed the melody via guitar. Silent Night has been sung ever since. Are you making an effort to be in silence every day, ‘hiking up a hill’ to get a glimpse of the big picture?

“Silence” grows, moves, and it gives. How much is ‘your silence’ worth? Recharge by spending some time in silence. You might be surprised at what you hear. If you haven’t gotten a daily devotional yet for this year, it’s never too late. One of my favorites is Jesus Calling.

Before you go, check out these other great posts:

9 Easy Ways to Learn More about Yourself

How to Help Your Digestive System: 10 triggers to watch for

How To Be Less Busy: #1 Mistake People Make

Do More Than Exist Stay Connected

By CT Copyright © 2022 Simplify Firefly All Rights Reserved.

13 Ways to Naturally Help the Winter Blues

13 Ways to Naturally Help the Winter Blues

Come January and February the winter blues are upon us, but they don’t have to be. According to Cleveland Clinic having the “winter blues” is actually normal. You’re totally fine to feel a little down during the colder months. They refer to it as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Um, yeah, I know I get it. No matter where we live we’re bound to crave sunlight. 

how to help the winter blues

What can we do about it?

Here are the best 13 ways to naturally reduce the ‘winter blues’. I go from the most common to the most unique. My personal favorites are #9 and #13.

1- Get Outside…even if it’s cloudy.

There is power in the outdoors. Stepping outside to get the mail can even help. It helps you feel like you did something today, giving you a change of scene. Get some fresh air. Getting outside may even help you sleep better at night. Here are a few nature quotes to get you motivated.

2- Open up the shades and pull back the curtains.

Increase the amount of sunlight in your home. Open the shades and curtains. This is so incredibly healthy for your mind and well-being. In fact, this is probably one of my biggest pet peeves. It will be a beautiful day outside and I’ll go visit a friend and they will have their blinds or curtains closed. Listen, people, you’re missing out on a lot of good stuff and entertainment from nature.

3- Take Vitamin D

Taking vitamin D3 also reduces upper respiratory infections. There are a lot of benefits to vitamin D. One benefit is it improves mood. Other vitamin D benefits include: bone health, helping the immune system, managing blood sugar levels, fighting heart disease, helps regulate hormones, contributing to memory, supporting skin health, and more. Dr. Axe has more info here.

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4- Exercise

Who cares if it’s cloudy and gray outside? Bundle up and get out there. A bit of fresh air does a body and soul good. There have been studies on how exercise can boost mood. Have you heard of a runner’s high? It exists. But what if you don’t run? Lace up the walking shoes or slip on the biking shorts! Aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes, an hour would be fantastic.

5- Set a sleep schedule

When you’re on a sleep schedule, your body will naturally flow with it. It takes a little time, but within a week or two, you should be feeling the positive effects. Stick to all-natural ways to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Things like avoiding electronics an hour or two before bed, dimming the lights, taking a hot bath, setting a routine, reading before bed, exercising in the morning instead of evening, and avoiding caffeine after the lunch hour.

Psalm 46:5

6- Look at what you’re eating.

Change up your diet and eat more Omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, walnuts, flax seeds), berries, dark chocolate, and bananas are beneficial too. Source: Healthline. I’ve got a great recipe for salmon in a skillet, find my recipe here. What you put into your body does affect how you feel. Get clear with cleaner foods and reduce inflammation with foods that calm. If you have digestive issues, but sure to check this post out, it has great information coming from someone who knows!

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7- Try Light Therapy

Light therapy also helps, but talk to your doctor first. There are a few lights to look at on Amazon. Here’s one that’s inexpensive to try: Miroco Light Therapy Lamp.

6 More Fun Things to Calm the Winter Blues

8- Add plants to your indoors

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Some other fun things we can do to brighten our blue months (January and February) are to bring green plants into your living space. Having plants, even if they’re fake, gives off a fresh feel to the room. Try putting a houseplant or two in your kitchen. If you don’t do well with plants, and what I mean is keeping them alive, head to your favorite hobby store or hop on Amazon and pick up some fake greens. Find other ideas on how to brighten a room here.

9- Light it up inside!

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Move your Christmas lights from your tree to other areas of your home. I have a fake tree in my house; year-round I put a string of white lights on it and turn them on in the evening and early morning. The fireplace mantel is also a great spot to have a string of lights. A few lights can go a long way! If you don’t like the typical dark green string, get the white one! You can find them on Amazon.

10- Turn your nose on

Fill your home with lovely smells. Honestly, I don’t know what it is about the smell of banana bread baking, but it brings warm hugs to my soul. Chicken soup does the same thing. Whatever your childhood favorite smell, make that smell happen! This is a low-cost method that goes a long way.

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11- Get into nature…with your ears

Play nature sounds. There are a lot of great nature sounds you can download. My personal favorites are the ones with birds, something that mimics my backyard in the warmer months. If the ocean is your favorite spot, tune into the sounds, and close your eyes.  

12- Embrace the season

Welcome the stillness of the winter. Every year I find myself craving time alone when it’s snowing outside. Since I live in Michigan we get our share of snow. The snow has this magical way of quieting life down. Enjoy the silence of nature. One of my favorite places to be in winter is sitting in the snowbank at night…especially if it’s snowing!

13- Warm up the bones

Don’t forget to warm up your bones. If there is ever any sunshine, grab a camp chair and camp out in front of the window or door where the sunbeams shine through. I did this just the other day and my soul immediately felt better. No sun? Try your fireplace. No fireplace? Light a candle. No candles? Take a hot bath. No bathtub? A cup of dairy-free hot chocolate or tea works too…with a pair of cozy socks.

4 tips to help the winter blues

Victory over the Winter Blues

Let’s beat the winter blues at its game. Shine light where you can and warm up your soul using all your senses. Be aware of your surroundings and how you can change them. You got this!

Before you go, check out these other great posts:

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By CT Copyright © 2021 Simplify Firefly. All Rights Reserved.

How to Achieve Goals: Top 4 Sabotages You’ll Never Guess

How to Achieve Goals: Top 4 Sabotages You’ll Never Guess

Off-track? Want to know how to achieve goals for good? When our goals and declarations stutter to a stop, our proactive self immediately turns into a reactive being. We get into a vicious cycle of reacting to our circumstances instead of making things happen. I’m here to help you prevent that from happening. Learn my 4 repair tricks!

how to achieve goals

What ain’t gonna work

Forward is the right direction, no? As with anything moving forward, it’s a lot easier to use a flashlight than to stumble in the dark. A key to knowing how to achieve goals is to understand what throws us off. What are your triggers and how do you defeat them?

Picture this; we start the year off strong. The first week we’re super motivated. The second week it gets a little harder. The third week something happens; we’re not sure what…but we veer off course; so much so we decide to set up camp. I’ve personally been there many times. Frankly, my old patterns are comfortable, they’re easy. But friend, there is something else I’ve learned; “comfortable” and “easy” ain’t gonna getcha where ya want ta go. So let’s learn more about what trips us up in the first place.

Gandhi quote about shaking the world in a gentle way

Here are the top stumbling blocks:

L = LIES we believe.

It’s too hard. Let’s face it, when things are hard ‘quitting’ comes to mind. This year quitting is not an option. Your goals need to be challenging, but they don’t need to be hard. There’s a difference. It’s called pace and workload. It’s too hard is a lie. Are you looking for an excuse to stop? When things get hard it is SO easy for us to quit. Here’s the thing, when you quit you’re on the verge of a breakthrough, and you just missed it because you gave up. Keep moving forward. When hard things are taken step by step it’s heck-of-a-lot easier to make things happen.

THE FIX: Break down your resolution and put a plan in place. Write down what you want to do every week, then every day, then every morning and evening. Get into a routine that helps you win. I don’t care how small the step is, you’re still moving forward. Make the day count. I created a mind map that will help you take things one step at a time. This is actually a great family activity to do; you’ll hold each other accountable!


There’s a lack of motivation. When I’m unmotivated I procrastinate. I wait until I FEEL like it. Well if I waited until I FELT like it all the time, nothing would move forward and I would have regrets. There are a couple of things I’m talking about. The first is to understand the purpose. Why must this get done? What space does it fill? What piece of my goal does this satisfy? The second is the FEEL part. This is a time when you pull up your bootstraps and put the emotions aside.

THE FIX: Ask yourself, “How am I going to feel when I get this done?” If your answer is ‘relief, amazing, good, a load off’, then that means it needs to happen…make it so. This is so incredibly good for your mental help and confidence.

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Z = ZOMBIE GOALS. Sabotage #3

How to achieve goals is to have specific goals. The sabotage is that our goal is not specific. It’s like we’re walking around like zombies. Let’s say my resolution is to manage my finances better; I declare “I’m going to save money this year.” Then what? Ask yourself these questions: Who? What? When? Where? How? Who is going to help me? What changes am I going to do? When am I going to review these things? Where am I going to go if I need help? How am I going to succeed? When you have the answers to these questions you have a better view of how it’s going to happen.

THE FIX: be specific when writing your goals, something like this: “I’m going to review my cash flow and budget every Thursday after work.” To help you out in the goal department I created a printable that you can get for free. Head to my Freebies.

Y-YELLERS get our attention.

We get distracted. Distraction is a HUGE sabotage! When our focus isn’t on our end goal we flounder around in circles. Some people get stuck in this pattern and find it harder and harder to break free. To break through this twister, we must intentionally turn away from the distracting force and focus on what lies ahead. I read an article a few years ago about the power behind just seeing the word “FOCUS”; it said that it can mysteriously snap us back on track. It sounds crazy, but I tried it and it worked for me. 

THE FIX: when you find yourself getting distracted, recognize what is happening and remove yourself from the distracting environment. Write the word “focus” and place it in areas where distractions linger. Take it a step further and declare your time and space to be free of distractions in Jesus’ Name. Darkness wants to throw you off course. Stand firm next to Christ, and command the negative ju-ju to leave.

And…there it is…how to achieve goals

If you haven’t quite figured it out yet, the acronym I used for goal sabotages was LAZY. Our goals fall short because we get lazy. Been there, done that! Another way to look at it is that you might say we get a “lazy eye”, not physically, but mentally. We lose sight of our WHY, why am I doing this anyway, we might ask.

The word “lazy” means: unwilling to work or use energy. Talk about a knife in the wound. Lazy isn’t a bad word, especially on your day off. But it can be used against you in all other states of affairs.

My perspective about personal goals and resolutions is this: no one is going to do it for you. If you want it, YOU have to go get it. Staying reactive to things in life isn’t life, that’s existence…you just exist. But when you use your knowledge, resources, talents, strength, and creativity to go after your own goals…that’s not only productive, that’s doing more than existing.

Take things step-by-step, check your motivation, use specifics when setting goals, and FOCUS. May you be filled with dreams, plans, and amazing goals for your soul.

Before you go check out these posts!

11 Quotes on Success to Be Successful

3 Problem-Solving Strategies People Often Forget

How to Get Unstuck in Life: 5 Essential Tools To Break Free

Do More Than Exist Stay Connected

By CT Copyright © 2021 More Than Existence, All Rights Reserved

Gift Ideas for Hard to Buy People

Gift Ideas for Hard to Buy People

The joy in giving gifts is a way to show others that they matter to you. Gifts are an actual love language. The gift doesn’t need to be an expensive or elaborate present. Gift-giving is a great and easy way to show your fellow neighbor, friend, or family member that you appreciate them. Whether it’s a birthday party, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, a spur-of-the-moment, or the Christmas season, we have some gift ideas for hard-to-buy people, including kids who have everything. Simple acts make a big impact.

gift ideas for hard to buy people for adults and kids

Gift Ideas Adults

Make it personal

What about personalizing a gift? This is so awesome for those hard-to-buy people. At GiftsForYouNow.com you can find anything to personalize. This online store is so cool! From grilling tools to home décor, get their name or your children’s names on something you know they’ll cherish. You must check it out: GiftsForYouNow.com

Gift ideas for feet? Ew

Feet? Listen up, it’s not that gross. Feet are our stabilizers. When our stabilizers are sore or not feeling right, then the rest of our body can suffer. Do you know someone who is on their feet all day? Get their shoe size and width and surprise them with a gift that gives back…to their health and happiness!

Cramped toes & tired feet

Cramped toes equal deformity. When deformity starts to happen in feet, comfortable shoes can become an issue. Here are some gift ideas for feet that need a little love.

Toe separators can give your toes a nice stretch. These are amazing for lounging around the house after a long day in narrow shoes. I’ve tried a variety of separators from expensive to inexpensive and found these toe socks are simply easier and more comfortable to lounge around in. Check them out on Amazon!

Crocs on Amazon

A pair of Crocs gives your toes the ability to spread out naturally, not only that, Crocs are light on your feet and versatile. Crocs have come a long way. From fashionable styles to the mainstay look, They come in a variety of colors!

Oofos! These slides give your feet a little break when you still have to be on your feet. Remember, if your feet don’t feel good something else in your body probably doesn’t feel good. Check these gems out on Amazon!

Cold feet? Do you know a sports fan who sits in the cold? What about a hunter? Snow lover? Grabber toe warmers are fantastic gift ideas for hard-to-buy people. These toe warmers and hand warmers are great stocking stuffers too! Simply open the package and expose them to the air and they will start working, no shaking, no snapping. These hand and toe warmers will last for hours. All natural ingredients too! Get a pack on Amazon. Seriously, these are the best!


When all else fails, chocolate to the rescue! Chocolate is an awesome gift for any chocolate lover. But! It has to be good chocolate. I have tried many chocolates in my life, from Drug Store chocolates or fancy organic chocolates, yet nothing beats See’s Candies. See’s Candies is by far the best. These handcrafted treats have been around since 1921! They certainly know what they are doing. What is even more awesome is that their chocolates are gluten-free! If you have a person in your home or family who needs to be gluten-free and loves chocolates, head over to See’s.

Gift ideas for REALLY hard-to-buy people

If there is nothing you can think of I resort to a combination of a fun snack like beef jerky or fancy mixed nuts along with Lottery Scratch-Off tickets. Yep. Nothing like a handful of fun scratch-offs! And, actually, one of the tickets I gave to someone for a gift won $85 bucks! This is great for Father’s Day.

Hold up! That’s not all. Something that is practical yet personal is a chunk of meat. If they like a good steak, head to the butcher counter and get them one! Maybe grab some Steak Seasoning and poof…an amazing gift! Everyone likes FOOD! Go for fancy cheese, or if they have a complicated diet grab a gift card to Trader Joe’s or a specialty food shop!

More gift ideas for hard-to-buy people include magazines or a subscription to monthly wine, flower arrangements, or cigars. Don’t forget about a nice pen or a good old coffee mug.

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What about the kids?

Birthdays and Christmas, maybe even Easter are big gift holidays. Usually, kids can be pretty easy to shop for. But what about the kids you don’t know all that well, like your sister’s grandkids or your cousins? Sure you can get them a gift card, but to them, a gift card isn’t a shopping spree, it’s a piece of plastic. It’s plastic. Um, plastic. Kids like to open something colorful or unexpected.

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Lego is pretty much a hole-in-one when it comes to gifts for both boys and girls, especially if they’re around the ages of 5 -10, or even older! The colorful bricks and creative builds are sure to spark their interest. Not only that, but it helps keep them busy and they use their brains. For the record, it’s LEGO, not LEGOS. I’ve been corrected one too many times. Heck, you can even get them a subscription to LEGO MAGAZINE! We got this for my son and he loved it!

Race Track

Race track. Yep. A car race track with controls is AWESOME! Again, any gender loves these things, trust me. You know what? Adults would probably like this as well! When my son got a race track I think I played with it more than he did, and he played all the time!


Little Passports. This is a fairly new concept for me. Because of a lot of homeschooling that is happening nowadays, this gift is a gift that keeps giving. You gotta check them out. Their products start at ages 3 and go to ages 9+. It’s a monthly subscription. You pick the subject and length of the subscription, then they ship your gift to your gift receiver every month depending on the length of subscription you picked. In the box, they’ll get all sorts of fun things that will help teach them about that particular subject. It’s a great idea for your grandkids or your kids. I wish I had something like this when I grew up! Who doesn’t like to get a package in the mail? Little Passports is the way to go.

This is USA Edition Ages 7-12
This is Little Explorers Ages 3-5

Wrapping it up

That wraps up gift ideas for hard-to-buy people. Get it? WRAPS! My hope is that you’ll enjoy giving gifts now that you have some fresh ideas or refreshed suggestions. All in all, it is the thought that counts. But let’s put some surprises in that next gift-giving opportunity.

Before you go check out these great posts for more inspiration!

9 Gift Ideas to Warm the Body & Soul

6 Simple Ways to Save Money on Valentine’s Day

How to Reduce Stress in Your Life: 10 Breakthrough Tips

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By CT Copyright © 2020 updated 2023 Do More Than Exist. All Rights Reserved.

Kale Salad Recipe with Squash!

Kale Salad Recipe with Squash!

Oh my goodness, I am hooked on this kale salad recipe! Seriously, this is my new favorite lunch. I actually call this recipe Autumn Awesomeness, but I’ve been eating it all year round. There is something about all the flavors blending so well, crispy curly kale, roasted butternut squash cubes, dried cranberries, grilled chicken, olive oil…and salt. And my mouth is watering once again. This is a super easy recipe with quick clean-up and is packed with nutrition.

More about kale

Curly kale is nutrient-dense. I don’t even know where to start, so I’ll just mention the big kale benefits. Per Healthline, curly kale is a huge source of antioxidants, antioxidants fight off free radicals in the body. It is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K. Vitamin K is important for blood clotting. Kale is a source of calcium, potassium, and magnesium! And get this, it even helps us lose weight.

I’m not a big fan of it raw, but I LOVE it crisped up in a pan, especially with a little…do I even say it?…bacon. Be sure to buy organic. The non-organic is has pesticides on it and is one of the Dirty Dozen foods. You can read more about it here. Spend the extra bucks on organic. I know it’s hard but here’s a post on how to save money at the grocery store, so everything balances out!

What’s up with Butternut Squash?

Butternut Squash is my favorite squash. It’s easy to digest and has great flavor. This squash is a good source of calcium, potassium, vitamins A, E, folate, and B-6. It helps lower blood pressure, cancer risk, and asthma. Butternut squash is also great for your hair, skin, and immune system.

Roasting it in the oven with a little olive oil and salt is my favorite way to cook it. I’ve also had it mashed, which is delightful, especially with a little butter or non-dairy butter. Yum!

This is a great recipe for us folks who have Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) like Crohn’s or colitis. With all the ingredients cooked, it makes it a lot easier for our systems to digest and absorb the nutrients.

IBD Triggers and what to do
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Tools needed for this dish

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The number one tool for this dish is the trusty cast-iron pan. It gives the food an extra layer of flavor. Believe me, I’ve done a lot of research on what pan is the healthiest to cook with. One that won’t leach chemicals, aluminum, or Teflon into my food and the cast iron wins every time! It may be heavy, but it’s extremely low maintenance. If you’re anemic (iron deficient) it helps put a little iron in your system.

One more thing about the cast iron pan, it’s SUPER easy to clean, and no soap is required. Seriously, with no soap, you’ll wreck the ‘seasoning’ of the pan. I highly recommend getting a cast iron pan, even if it’s a small one. You can find them on Amazon.

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Other ingredients and variations

As for other ingredients, I recommend grilled chicken breast. You can opt for already cooked or make it yourself. When I’m in a hurry I’ll buy the already-grilled chicken strips or a rotisserie chicken. Or if I’m in a BIG hurry I’ll just microwave gluten-free chicken nuggets.

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The piece that brings it all together for me is the olive oil. I use a little bit in the pan for the kale, and then at the end to finish the dish. I absolutely love the flavor it brings to each ingredient. My favorite, hands-down olive oil is California Ranch Olive Oil. It’s 100% olive oil. With that said, be sure you get an olive oil you trust is 100%. We don’t need no stinkin’ canola or vegetable oil fillers. For more on oils read my post about omegas.

Variations to the recipe. This is such a versatile recipe that any protein would work: brats, strips of steak, shrimp, or bacon. Adding a thinly sliced red onion also adds more depth. Enjoy!

On to the recipe!

kale squash recipe

Autumn Awesomeness

This is an amazingly healthy yet tasty dish for lunch or dinner. The chard kale and roasted butternut squash complement each other, while the dried cranberries make it pop. This is gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, and nut-free!
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, kale, low-fat, nut-free, soy-free, squash
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 598kcal
Author Christy
Cost 2.00


  • small cast iron pan
  • baking sheet with parchment paper
  • knife and cutting board


  • 3 Organic Curly Kale Sprigs
  • 1 c Baked cubed Butternut Squash
  • 4 Strips of grilled chicken or 4 GF Chicken nuggets
  • 2 TBSP Dried Cranberries or Cherries
  • 3 TBSP Olive Oil 1TBSP for frying kale, 2 TBSP for topping at the end
  • 1 pinch Salt


  • Heat cast iron pan on low.
  • Wash thoroughly, pat dry, remove stalks, and chop. Put chopped kale into the pan. Then add 1 TBSP olive oil. It might get messy and splatter if kale is not dried off. Be careful.
  • I pre-roast an entire cubed squash. 350 for 40 minutes. Just toss a little olive oil and salt in before baking. Tip: Costco usually has raw cubed squash. Do not use frozen squash! You can also peel and cube your own squash.
    butternut squash
  • After kale is charred and well cooked, wrap a dish towel around the cast iron panhandle and put kale on a plate.
  • Take leftover chicken, pre-cooked grilled chicken (Costco), or Gluten-free chicken nuggets. Microwave for the allotted time, or cook in your cast iron pan to warm. When done, put on top of kale.
  • Add squash to kale and chicken. Sprinkle dried cranberries on top. Drizzle olive oil and add a pinch of salt. Delish!
  • For added flavor, add thinly sliced red onion, roasted pecans, or crispy bacon!
    kale salad


Calories may vary on chicken type and the amount you use. 
Be sure to check out my other simple and delicious recipes!

All are gluten-free and dairy-free.

Simple Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Leg Recipe

Better Belly Steak Recipe

Simple Game Day Sloppy Joe Sandwiches

Fried Walleye Recipe

Salmon in a Skillet Recipe

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By CT Copyright © 2023 Do More Than Exist. All Rights Reserved.

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