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The Well Code

What I’m Reading: Vegetarian & Vegan Cookbooks

7 Vegetarian Cookbooks to consider adding to your collection...even if you're not a vegetarian
Filed Under > Everyday

The best vegetarian and vegan cookbooks

The Vegan Pantry, The Better Bean Cookbook, Superfood Soups, Vegetarian Tagines & Couscous, Deliciously Dairy Free, The Oh She Glows Cookbook, The Vegetable Literacy

8 years ago, I embarked on the journey of becoming a full-time vegetarian, part-time vegan.  And that journey all started with a book, The Kind Diet, and a movie, Food, Inc. 

During my 7 years of being vegetarian the number one question I received was, “what do you eat?” This always baffled me, because I NEVER felt like I didn’t have options at restaurants or recipes to make at home.  And to answer the question you’re probably thinking…no I did not eat a lot of salads.  In fact I’d say I only ate 1 or 2 salads a week.  Sure, I had to sometimes get creative with my meal planning, and I also invested in vegetarian cookbooks. Vegetarian and vegan cookbooks was the easiest way to stretch outside my cooking comfort zone.

Educating myself on our food system and how food fuels and functions in our bodies was one of the most important, and best decisions of my life.  And I urge you to do the same.  This post is not about guilting, or standing on a soap box of any sort. But I truly believe we are at our best when we stretch our boundaries and learn new things. 

Those boundaries can be as simple as eating one more vegetarian or vegan meal a week. That’s why Meatless Monday became a thing. Did you know that an estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. A single pound! Think about that. Anyway, I could talk about this all day, but my intention when I sat down to write this was simply to share the vegetarian and vegan cookbooks I’m loving now.

Today, while I’m no longer a full-time vegetarian (read about that here), I am still very invested in vegetarian cooking. In fact, I’d say I eat vegetarian/vegan about 60% of the time. So that’s why I still love picking up vegetarian and vegan cookbooks.  Especially now when it seems there’s a new cookbook on the shelf every week.

I’ve listed the vegetarian and vegan cookbooks I’m currently reading above and below. And if you need some other vegetarian recipes check out our vegetarian and vegan section in my recipe index. Some of my favorite recipes would be my breakfast nachos, stuffed sweet potatoes, and best every veggie burger.

I’d love if you’d share if you have a current favorite vegetarian recipe?  Truly, MKR


Be Well: A Grounding Essential Oil Rollerball Recipe

A calming blend that enhances focus, relaxes the mind & fuels creativity
Filed Under > Everyday

"Be Well" calming essential oil blend recipe on Waiting on Martha

As many of you know by now, I’m deep into essential oils.  And by deep, I mean if you’ve got a problem, I’ve got an oil for it.   I find myself reaching for oils for just about anything these days; think immunity support, mood balancing, sinus issues, energy and creativity boosts, household cleaning…the list goes on and on. 

That’s why I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to share my love for the oily life down at 30-A this week during The Southern C’s Watercolor Wellness Retreat.  I’m dishing on social media and digital strategy to small business owners and creative entrepreneurs, but I’m also sharing my journey with essential oils and why I launched The Well Code, WOM’s sister wellness brand. 

The cat’s out of the bag on this one, but we’ll be sharing our favorite DIY essential oil rollerball recipe with all of the retreat attendees.  We dubbed it “Be Well” because its many benefits pretty much sum up our entire mission over at The Well Code: to keep your “well full.”  This special blend of essential oils includes lavender, cedarwood and orange, and it is incredibly calming, grounding and relaxing.  It’s perfect for the bosses and dreamers out there—hello, creative friends!—because it enhances focus.  The lavender and cedarwood work together to help relax the mind, while the orange really reinvigorates and enhances creativity. 

Like all DIY rollerball recipes, when making this blend yourself, pick up some 10-ml dark glass rollerball bottles.  The dark glass helps preserve the beneficial properties of the oils inside.  You’ll simply mix the essential oils in the bottle, and top off with a carrier oil of your choice.  If you’re new to all things oily, you can use whatever oil you prefer here; I used organic grapeseed oil in this recipe, but I also like to use fractionated coconut oil and jojoba oil too. 

If you’re interested in learning more about essential oils—or just have questionsdon’t hesitate to email us at, leave a comment below, or DM on Instagram at @thewellcode.  We’d love to help you get started on this holistic path to well-being and answer any questions you may have.  Truly, MKR

P.S. Looking for custom labels like ours? You can order them HERE. xo 

"Be Well" grounding rollerball recipe
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  1. 15 drops lavender essential oil
  2. 15 drops cedarwood essential oil
  3. 8 drops orange essential oil
  4. top off with carrier oil of choice, I used organic grapeseed oil
  1. Combine the essential oils in a 10-ml glass rollerball bottle.
  2. Top off the mixture with a carrier oil (you can use fractionated coconut oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, etc.)
  3. Apply to wrists, temples, etc. when in need of calming, yet energizing support. If you experience skin sensitivities at all, be sure to do a skin patch test (place 1-2 drops of a diluted essential oil on your inner forearm and take note if you have any reactions).
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Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

Starting the BBG Workout by Kayla Itsines

An Honest Take on The First Few Weeks of The Program
Filed Under > Everyday

Starting the BBG workout

Have you heard of BBG?  It’s short for Bikini Body Guide, and it’s a high intensity interval training workout program that’s sweeping the planet one body transformation at a time.  It was created by aussie Kayla Itsines, and it’s a super effective 12-week program that’s built of short, concise exercise circuits.  I’m talking 28 minute workouts that focus on arms, abs, legs, and overall body.  And the workouts can be done just about anywhere.  

I have actually tried BBG a couple of times in the past.  But both times I fell out of the routine, lost motivation doing it by myself, and ultimately returned to group classes.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m an avid ClassPasser.  The app allows me to try a good variety of fitness classes to keep my workout routine interesting and it caters to me if I’m in a strength training mood or a zenned out yoga mood.  

Since I had had a taste of BBG before, I was thrilled when MKR recently proposed the idea of starting BBG as a team.  I thought to myself, this was finally the time I’d stick it out and see the results I know that so, so many have seen!

I mean, it’s hard to not be impressed with the before-and-afters on Instagram.  Everyone on the team agreed that starting BBG workouts would be an exciting thing to do together, and well worth our time to get into gear and feel stronger.

After getting everyone on board, 11 team members to be exact, we decided on a few ways we’d keep everyone accountable and excited.  We settled on a group text chain, and a Google Doc form that took inventory of everyone’s exercise habits, fitness goals, body type, ages, etc.  We then created a weekly form via Google Docs that would collect everyone’s responses to the previous week’s workout. The form included questions about soreness, motivation levels, thoughts on the specific exercises and overall accountability for following the week’s recommended circuits.  This seemed to be a promising way of keeping everyone on the same page with progress.  

Our baseline survey taught us that our ages range from 20-37, with the majority of us 27-29 years old. Most of us regularly exercise 3-5 times per week, and are in moderately good shape. We have lots of yogis, runners and barre-lovers in the group, too.  Lastly, we all submitted fitness goals of becoming more confident, stronger, and more toned.  It was refreshing to see so many responses about strength rather than weight and lbs! 

So how has it been going?!  Everyone was really gung-ho about the program in the first two weeks.  We encouraged each other on our group text thread, sent photos and videos for a quick laugh and support, and really just felt like we were going somewhere with the workout plan. It was unanimous that burpees were the worst exercise imaginable, though jump lunges and commandos were up there too. We were all sore, but we also reveled in the feeling of comradery as we suffered together. 

But ever since the first few weeks, we’ve definitely had fallout.  Responses in our weekly progress Google Doc have lessened, and the group text is almost all crickets these days.  I personally suffered a minor injury and fell out of routine as I rested before a 10-day hiking trip.  And I know I can speak for the group in saying that it was difficult to adhere to the exact schedule that’s laid out in the guide.  The guide leads you to do at least three HIIT sessions throughout the week, with recommendations for cardio exercise on other days.  Since we had a group doing it together, we all felt a little guilty whenever we’d miss the workout that day.

So why the fallout?  People didn’t have enough time.  Some of us had minor injuries.  Some of us attended other workout classes and wanted them to “count” for the BBG workout that day.  Some of us just really preferred other ways of working out!  Whatever the reasons were, it felt like life in general just got in the way of the very specific schedule.  And after missing one or two of the workouts, it was ridiculously easy to throw the towel in and quit altogether.

From seeing the team’s responses, and in talking to everyone, I think the hardest struggle here is in consistency and the battle we all have in our minds with ourselves.  There were times when we made ourselves feel down, discouraged and guilty for not sticking to the schedule.  But after reading posts by BBG loyalists and many success stories, I think the main thing we need to keep in mind is that the program is flexible. We just need to do the three HIIT workouts sometime throughout the week.  And sometimes it may be harder than others, but we just need to get it done.

A few of us are still hanging in there.  We’re feeling stronger overall, but a lot of us haven’t seen any dramatic results just yet.  As we approach Week 6, we’ll admit that may have missed some workouts but we still DO want to stay strong and complete the guide.  We’re trying to fight the temptation to quit because we want to tackle this challenge.  We’d love to know: any BBGers out there?  What struggles have you faced while doing the program?  Do you have any tips or suggestions for our team?  Thank you!  Cheers, Kat


Photography, Haley Sheffield for Waiting on Martha

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