Keep it Simple



With the new year comes new goals, new ambitions to be the best version of yourself. For some, healthy eating comes naturally. For others, not so much.

Photo by Megan McCardwell

Riah Durick, owner of Nourished, has not only turned healthy eating into a lifestyle, but into her career. To her, “healthy” eating is just simply avoiding pack- aged and processed foods, putting in your body real food that can be made in your kitchen.

Growing up, both of her parents cooked. But when she left for college, she began to eat horribly “with a side of iceberg lettuce.”

After college she turned her eating habits around. She was particularly influenced by author Michael Pollan of “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” “He [Michael Pollen] was my greatest inspiration coming out of college in 2009, turning my entire eating philosophy around in just a couple books.”

Ruthie Oesterman, owner of La Bonne Vie off Winchester Road, was motivated to found her business by the onset of health issues in her family. When her husband, Jon, was diagnosed with cancer for the second time and she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, she began to research Paleo and Primal and was guided to diets that reduce inflammation in the body.

Photo by Megan McCardwell

While the family was going through her husband’s cancer treatments, a caring friend helped out by making them a delicious and healthy meal. Ruthie was inspired by this generosity and realized she wanted to be in the business of providing a service like that for others. She wanted a model that would support clients going through rough times, or those who simply don’t have the time to properly eat healthy.

Riah’s inspiration also led her to healthy prepped meals that can be delivered straight to your door. She says, “Food and service to others has always been a passion in the background, but the birth of my daughter really kicked the motivation to make something long-lasting for her, myself, and other people, into high gear.”

Ruthie took on her first client in 2015 and has not looked back since. She relishes helping as many clients as she can and prides herself on being able to deliver without bulk batch cooking. “Ev- erything is 100 percent customized. We take care of our families and offer them support and save them time — honestly, the food is a bonus!”

When it comes to advice for healthy eating, Riah suggests to just listen to your body. What is it telling you? Do you feel good after eating that? Do you feel angry with yourself for eating that? Are you saying to yourself “I shouldn’t have eaten that?” She suggests you learn to spot how eating certain foods make your body feel.

Ruthie agrees there is no “one size fits all” in the world of cooking. She recommends
to keep trying new things so you’re able to find what works for you and your body. “Just
because one thing worked for a friend or family member, doesn’t mean you have to stick with it if it’s not working.” She recommends asking for help because when it comes to cooking, there are no failures, just data being collected.

Photo by Megan McCardwell

Riah began Nourished as a project she ran out of her home, creating dishes for clients. However, she is now opening a storefront and wants to focus on creating fresh, from-scratch foods for her clients. Her planning includes, “beautiful private dinners and fun food pop-ups.”

La Bonne Vie has been the best part of Ruthie’s cooking career. Her favorite part of the job is to enrich others’ lives. Not just the families they take care of on a weekly basis, but also everyone who works alongside her to make her dream a reality. “I could not grow and share LBV without the amazing team working with me to help as many people as wecan.”

Ruthie and Riah have each provided a recipe to help you bring and healthy cooking into your home.


Nourishing Stir Fry – Feeds 4


Ingredients for Stir Fry

  • 1 lb of Boneless, Skinless chicken (thighs or breast)
  • Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 or Whole Onion, depending on your taste, sliced
  • Two inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and diced 2 Garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 Large Carrots, chopped as you wish – same for the rest of the veggies
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 1 cup of snap peas
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms 1 Zucchini
  • 1/4 head of broccoli 1/4 head of cauliflower 2 heaping handfuls of spinach
  • Lemon
  • Salt & Pepper, Garlic Powder

Ingredients for Sauce

  • 1/4 cup Sesame Oil
  • 3 tablespoons amino acids
  • 2 tablespoons local or organic honey
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar


1. Get your rice cooking. White rice is preferable for better digestion and taste. Rinse it if you have time and care about the texture. It’s always one part rice, two parts liquid. Use water or broth of any kind for extra health benefits and flavor. I always put a spoonful of coconut oil and a sprinkle of salt in there before cooking, too.

2. Cut chicken in bite-size pieces, we want to brown it! Heat skillet on medium-high with 3 tablespoons of coconut oil. When oil is HOT, lay chicken in to sizzle, getting every single piece on the bottom of the pan if possible. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and about a teaspoon of garlic powder. Let it sit for 4-5 min in the hot oil and check a piece to ensure browning. Once nice and brown on one side, stir it around to cook the rest of the way through. Take out of skillet and set aside.

While the chicken is browning, make your sauce. Whisk it all up together in a bowl and set aside. Taste it and add more of what you like

3. In the same hot pan, squeeze half a lemon and stir around to get all the yummy chicken flavor going again. Get two tablespoons of coconut oil hot over medium heat. Throw in onions, garlic, ginger, red pepper and mushrooms – get this all coated with oil. We want the brown on those mushrooms, too, so refrain from stirring for a few minutes.
Add in your carrots and snap peas, cook for 5 minutes. Add in zucchini, broccoli and cauliflower, cook for 5 minutes. Always stirring around. Add in spinach at the end along with your whisked up sauce. Cook for 3 more minutes. Add chicken in and stir it
all up together, squeezing a bit more lemon if you like.

4. Put everything on top of the cooked rice. Top with fresh cilantro. Also sesame seeds if you have ‘em! EAT and enjoy what you’ve just created.


Photo by Megan McCardwell
Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas



  • 4 organic chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 18 grams Fajita Seasoning
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
  • 1 cup organic red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 cup organic green bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 1/2 cup zucchini or yellow squash


Marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours or more if desired.

Add the tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and squash to the chicken mixture until combined.

Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray.

Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

Serve with guacamole, sour cream, living lettuce wraps, cassava or corn tortillas and a little hot sauce if you’re feeling extra!



This article also appears on page 12 and 13 of the Winter 2020 print edition of Hamburg Journal.

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