Thursday, September 29, 2011

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil is my recent favorite thing!

I use it:
In pancakes, muffins, cakes, brownies....
To saute' vegetables
Massage oil!
(seriously I recently gave this to my food friend as a gift for her bachelorette party!)
Diaper rash (it is a yeast killer!!)
by the tablespoon when we get a cold (just eat it plain or dissolve it in warm water)
spread on my kids' toast
If I want to get a quick good tan I saturate myself in it before going out in the sun
(don't try this at home, or if you do, don't blame me if you fry!!)

Here is a recipe that I made up and LOVE!
If you've had my "toot sweet" brownies then you know what I'm talking about.
They are gluten free
They are dairy free
They are "white stuff" free (sugar, flour)
They are here for you to use and share but please link back to this blog!
Thanks :)

"Toot Sweet Brownies"
2 cups cooked black beans (you can use canned beans)
1 cup almond flour/almond meal (same thing)
2 eggs
1/2 cup pure, raw, honey
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
5 TBS. unsweetened cocoa
dash salt
squirt of water
Blend together in a blender until it looks like brownie batter.
Bake in muffin cups 20-25 min @ 350
Enjoy and share with a friend!

Coconut oil is delicious and good for you!
It's proven!
Check it out below!

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc.
  • Promoting your heart health
  • Promoting weight loss when and if you need it
  • Supporting your immune system health
  • Supporting a healthy metabolism
  • Providing you with an immediate energy source
  • Helping to keep your skin healthy and youthful looking
  • Supporting the proper functioning of your thyroid gland

Coconut oil contains the most saturated fat of all edible oils. Don't be scared away by the negative view of 'saturated fat' portrayed by the media. Many studies have shown that a low-fat diet is not the answer for preventing heart disease, and some scientists are calling for new dietary guidelines that reflect this discovery. To really understand the benefits of saturated fat, I suggest you read Dr. Mary Enig and Sally Fallon's article "The Truth About Saturated Fat" to first dispel any lingering notions you may have that all saturated fats are dangerous.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bell Peppers for snack

Raw, Bell peppers are one of my kids' favorite snacks. Slice them up, fairly thin and put them in a bowl on the table. You will be surprised how fast they disappear. No need for dips. Just plain old vegetables. Nothing better for you....except air and water :)
I saw this chart here. Check it out for more nutritional info. on peppers.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Nutrition Class

A good friend of ours was talking to my husband last week and she said something to him like this:
"So I used to think Andrea was totally off the wall with all of her healthy eating and minimal fast food but you need to tell her that I've totally seen the light and I want her to teach me everything she knows. I want her to go grocery shopping with me, cook dinner with me, and help me find things that my kids want to eat!"

When Jeff came home and told me the conversation I beamed. It's such a great feeling when someone wants to learn and change. I want to help everyone but not everyone is ready to learn.

This dear friend is really serious about this! She called me today to tell me that she scheduled for me to come teach a class, at her house, and that she invited 58 of her facebook friends.

So I'm totally there!
You should come too!
If you are interested leave a comment and I will let you know the location.

This Thursday September 29
Babysitting Provided
Come learn and eat tasty, HEALTHY, snacks!

I am going to be focusing the lesson on:
Water vs. Juice/pop/soda/coffee/milk.... how I get my kids to drink water instead of ________
Healthy pumpkin recipes.............Just because a recipe calls for pumpkin doesn't mean it's "healthy" but it can be with a few easy alterations!
Snacks for young children
Good fats

Supplement Monday

Vitamineral Green
Today's supplement is one is good for everyone! My older kids don't do this one yet. They don't like the taste and they don't swallow pills. My youngest eats these. Like chews them through the capsule.
I always double up on this when I am nursing so the child that is being nursed gets all the good stuff in here.

This supplement is basically all the green vegetables that we don't have the time/energy/availability to eat raw everyday.
Greens are a healer, detoxifier, and immune supporter. They also support healthy digestion, colon health, bone strength, and blood-sugar.
Good stuff right here!
This product is gluten free and yeast free.

For more information on this product check it out:

I purchase mine at the local Food Co-op.
It lasts me anywhere from 3-5 months depending on how much I am taking at the time.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Healthy Breakfast in a Crock-Pot

Do you LOVE rice pudding??

I do!

My grandma makes it for special occasions and it has always been my favorite treat. When I got married and moved away I called her and she told me the recipe over the phone.
Basically rice pudding is a ton of sugar, white rice, and milk.
All of the things I try to avoid.

Now what do I do?
Well, when my grandma makes it for special occasions I still eat it. And I still love it! And I let my kids eat it because they love it and I want them to always remember that tradition.
Moderation, right.

This is how I make rice pudding in my healthy home.

Turn my 3 quart crock-pot on high
( I never measure....yikes! I think I need to start so I can tell YOU!)
Pour in about 3 cups of water
2 cups of short grain brown rice
1 can coconut milk, or light coconut milk
dash some cinnamon to your preference
add raisins if you please
Put on the lid and cook for 3 hours, or until the liquid is all absorbed.

And that my friends is really yummy, warm, stick to your innards, comfort food on a cold day,
Healthy Breakfast, lunch, snack....
In a crock-pot.

No added sugar. No gluten. No dairy.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What's for dinner?

Turkey Meatballs, here.

This is a family favorite. Jeff LOVES these! They are easy enough and it makes lots for leftovers.
Also these are a great lunch food for kids. Protein packed!

We also had Quinoa and peas.

Bring on the healthy comfort food!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Popcorn Popping

Popcorn is a go-to snack around here

There is nothing Healthy about Microwave Popcorn!

Posted by: Dr. Mercola
December 29 2009

Microwave Popcorn

The expert: Olga Naidenko, PhD, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group

Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize -- and migrate into your popcorn.

So pop your corn the old fashioned way!

The healthiest way is to air pop the corn. Add butter and salt and enjoy. We like ours with

Nutritional Yeast Flakes , really don't go freaking out until you try it. My kids wipe the sides of the bowl and lick this stuff off their fingers. It's really savory and yummy.

Organic Popcorn is best. It will not have the pesticide residues or other toxic residues commonly found on conventionally grown corn, and it will not have been genetically engineered.

Spry Gum

Are you looking for a soothing, great-tasting chewing gum that is sugar-free, and actually helps decrease tooth decay and dental plaque acid production? Maybe not for you but how about for your kids. My kids love gum! I don't even chew gum but they love it for some reason. I think it makes them feel big. They have lots of aunties and a bama who like to chew gum. This is the gum that I buy for them as a special treat: Spry Chewing Gum - the gum of choice for fresher breath and healthy teeth and gums!

Instead of sweetened
with sugar, which can damage your teeth, Spry Chewing Gum is sugar-free, and sweetened with 100% Xylitol, which is used world-wide for oral health. What is Xylitol, you ask? Xylitol is a naturally-occurring sugar alcohol found in corn cobs and stalks, and is shown to reduce tooth decay by up to 80 percent!
When used as a part of a daily routine, Spry Chewing gum will help to improve dental health and reduce cavities, and also comes in five flavors for your enjoyment! Recommended by dentists, doctors, periodontists, and pediatricians, Spry gum is one of the best ways to effectively increase dental hygiene!

I don't promote gum chewing. I don't not-promote it either. It's your choice (obviously). But this is the gum I buy for my kids, occasionally. Then they can chew their little hearts out without all the added sugars or worse, fake sugars!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Supplement Monday

So I had an idea. On Monday I am going to introduce supplements that we take in this healthy house.
Supplements are a big part of our healthy habits. I know they can be expensive but we are all about prevention over here. If I can save us a month of being out sick, that is worth it to me.
Something else to note. We rarely take the same supplement for longer than a few months. The idea is that you take it to build up whatever area you need strengthening. Then you stop for a while until you feel like you need it again.

Today's supplement is Symbiotics Colostrum Plus Wild Cherry Chewables
I buy these at the local Super Supplements. You can order them online here.
These are a good one for Fall. They help build up the good bacteria in your intestine so that you can fight off the bad guys.

I take these every morning on an empty stomach and I give them to my kids the first thing when they wake up in the morning, on an empty stomach as well. We each take 2. Except for Emmett who takes 1. I will give him 2 when he is no longer nursing. For now he reaps the benefits of me taking them as well.

The kids like these. Bonus.

Yes. These are colostrum. The stuff that your baby gets first thing upon entering the world before your milk comes in. Interesting how our bodies are so perfectly designed to meet our needs. Here are some benefits of colostrum that I found at:

- Colostrum is a concentrated (high in nutrients) liquid that is made especially for baby’s needs.

- Colostrum also encourages baby’s first bowel movement, clearing his digestive tact of meconium (first dark stool)

- Colostrum also contains many antibodies and growth factors. The growth factors promote development of baby’s digestive system and the antibodies promote the immune system.

- It contains immunoglobulin A, which is an antibody that protects baby against infections of the throat, lungs and intestines.

- It contains protective white cells which help destroy disease causing bacteria and viruses

- Colostrum has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties

Anything Colostrum can do for a baby it can just as well do for a child or an adult.

If you are still wanting to read up I've attached a couple more sites on the benefits of colostrum



Sunday, September 18, 2011

Do healthy people eat pizza?

This Healthy Homemaker says, "Yes!"

Pizza is a treat in this family. It is not a Friday tradition. It is not an everyday lunch choice. It's a treat for special occasions.

Last night Braxton choose pizza as his, "first week of Kindergarten" meal.

The thing you have to remember is that I live in the same society that you do and unfortunately when you are raising kids in this society it's really difficult to eliminate things like pizza completely. Plus, it tastes good. Everyone loves pizza! So we compromise over here.

We rarely buy pizza. I try to always make it from scratch because then of course you know what is in it. I don't add the sugar, corn syrup, or preservatives that are usually in store bought or take out pizza.
Yes, it's a lot more work but food is not supposed to be easy. Think of the pioneers.

I also involve the kids in making the pizza. I've found that when they make it, they eat it. Sometimes no matter what it is. There is a huge power in creation.

Last night for example. We are making the pizza. The kids chose what toppings they wanted and out of the blue my five year old suggests, "mom, have you ever put zucchini on pizza?" "Can we try it??" No joke people!! This is my little son suggesting a green, healthy, vegetable be added to his pizza. So we tried it. I'd never done it before but it was delicious and the kids totally ate it! These types of experiences make it all worth it to me. I am raising health conscious people here.

Lastly we always have a vegetable with our pizza. Last night was fresh celery and cauliflower. We don't eat the whole pizza in one sitting. We are allowed to eat a couple pieces and then if we are still hungry we can fill ourselves up with veggies and dip.

Oh and for the dip, here is my little secret. I buy the dip powder and instead of adding it to mayonnaise and sour cream I use plain Greek yogurt. Then I add the seasoning and last I add my children's multi-vitamin. Yep. It's a powder and I just add it right in the dip and they never know.
Sometimes you've got to pull out the tricks!

Being healthy can be delicious!

My friend Kaitlyn shared her pizza dough recipe with me. I made a few alterations.

Our pizza dough recipe is as follows:

1 1/2 cups warm water. I use really warm and I pour it into my kitchenaid.
2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast, add to warm water
1 Tbs. pure, raw honey. Add to warm water and yeast.
Mix together and let sit until yeast activates (gets foamy and bubbly about 5 minutes)
1 tsp. sea salt
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
2 cups flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
Mix together. On my kitchenaid I use the knead attachment.

Put in a warm oven (100 degrees or so) let rise until double in size.

Roll into two pizzas.

Add toppings of your choice. Some of our favorites include:
zucchini now! :)
pepperoni and pineapple
canadian bacon
fresh tomatoes
red pepper
red onion

Bake in 450 degree oven for 13-15 min.
Enjoy! (a piece or two ;)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

1,2,3 Beans!

My friend requested a bean tutorial. I am more than happy to share how I do my beans. It is seriously so cheap.....and healthy!

Beans are so good for you and my favorite thing about them is that they are easy for the little ones to eat before they have gotten all their teeth. My kids all love beans and I think it's because, well, we eat them a lot!

I buy (actually a couple years ago I bought) a whole bunch of dried beans. You may remember this post from my other blog. Glad I did this because lately we have been using a lot of these beans!

Now all I do when I want beans is plan a day ahead of time! This is important. You can't just decide one morning that you want beans for lunch. It takes a day.

Here are the steps:

1. Take your dried beans and pick out with your hands all the not so good looking ones. Also pick out any particles that could have ended up in there.

2. Rinse the beans in cool water. I use a colander.

3. Place the beans into a crock-pot and cover with a good 3 inches of cold water. If you don't have a crock-pot just use a big pot. DO NOT TURN IT ON!

4. Soak the beans in the cold water, in the crock-pot, overnight. In the morning the beans will have absorbed much, if not all, of the water.

5. Pour the beans in a colander in the sink and rinse again with cool water. Rinse off all the bubbles. The bubbles are the gas that will make you toot later. If you don't want to be gassy rinse your beans over and over again.

6. Once the beans are rinsed put them back into the crock-pot and cover with a few inches of cold water again. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or until soft.

7. Now you have cooked beans and your possibilities are endless!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Apple Season is here

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away," right. We've all heard that. I'm not sure if it's true but I agree that apples are good for you.
Did you know they could be even better for you if you eat them the right way?
First: eat them local
Second: eat them in their peak season
Third: eat them fresh. This is a no-brainer, I know, but eat them fresh. Applesauce is for when you can't go pick an apple off the tree.
Fourth: Eat them by themselves. Don't eat them with dinner. Don't send them in your child's lunch box. They are better for your digestive system all by themselves. Otherwise they ferment the other food you are eating with them and it can be uncomfortable, not to mention bad for your system.

So here is my solution.
Tomorrow is Saturday. Wake up early. Go to the nearest apple tree. Pick a fresh apple. Wash it off good with a little vinegar water to kill any yuckies. Take one big bite after another. Drink some water and then don't eat breakfast for another hour or so. It's amazing. Also, if you have small children like I do this can totally happen. Just distract them in between the apple and the breakfast with playing outside or reading books....
You can do it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fiber-Full Zucchini Bread

Look good??
It is!
Look like too many for dinner?
Garden Fresh!

I woke up this morning to two things staring me in the face!

1. A whole bunch of very large zucchini that we've been picking from our garden and that I need to do something with
2. A huge pot of pinto beans that I cooked all night in my crock-pot.

So I did the only thing that made sense. Took a little of 1 and a little of 2. Mixed them together and created some tasty, full of fiber, zucchini bread.

Did you know you could do that?

I used this recipe, because I just love Paula Deen.
But.....Mrs. Paula Deen likes sugar more than I do so I reduced the sugar from 3 cups to 1 1/2 cup. It totally worked.
And the beans, yep I just smashed them up and added them into the bread in place of the oil. So instead of adding 1 whole cup of oil to my bread I added 1 cup of healthy beans, mashed with a little of their own juice.
Oh, and people, I sub whole wheat flour for everything so that is just a given.

This bread was a hit for my family and my girlfriend had no idea there were beans in there!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Eat well: Be healthy

Eating well is huge for me. It is basic. Your body is depending on you to input the nutrients it needs to function. If you don't, things start to shut down and quit working.
My mom always told us that food was fuel for our bodies. Just like cars need fuel to run, we need food to run. You wouldn't fill up your gas tank with junk, otherwise your car wouldn't run. So....don't fill your gut up with junk either! You won't "run" well and if you do for now, you won't forever!
With school starting and fall approaching maybe you are preparing yourselves for the onset of a cold or flu. Well did you know that 3/4 of your immune system hangs out in your digestive tract? So if your digestive tract is healthy, your immune system will be strong, and you won't catch all the bugs that come your way. Really!
Keeping your digestive tract healthy isn't hard but there are some basics that society seems to ignore.
First eat lots of vegetables. They are full of fiber and unlike fruit they aren't packed with sugar.
Second don't eat the white stuff. White flour is no good. White sugar is no good. White rice is no good. If it has to be heavily processed to get it to look a certain way than most likely it isn't good for your body.
Third eat fruit by itself! In the morning is your best bet. I will expound on this in a later post but basically the fruit ferments the other foods in your gut when digested together. Yuck.
Fourth eat animal proteins later in the day. They take the longest to digest so the later you eat them the longer your body has to fully digest them before adding something else to the stomach soup.