Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween

So I have to sadly say that our computer is down. Poor thing has pretty much died. I am at my parents eating warm beef stew. Yum!

Until I am back here are some helpful hints that have been on my mind as of late:

When you carve your pumpkins save the seeds. Roast them in your oven with a little butter and salt on 350 for 20-30 minutes. Pumpkin seeds are so good for you!! Eat them. Feed them to your kids!!

Halloween is tomorrow. Remember Halloween doesn't just mean candy! Make it about costumes and pumpkins and celebrating fall. Let them eat a piece or two of candy and then find a local dentist or charity who buys the candy to send away to the troops. My community does this, so I suggest you looking into it if you are interested.

Remember that disease, virus, bacteria feed on sugar too! You don't want those monsters on the insides of your kiddos!

Happy Healthy Halloween!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

warm cozy protein packed breakfast

No picture. sorry.

This mornings breakfast was warm and cozy and packed with complete protein.

Quinoa!

I cooked the quinoa following the package directions (I do drain it in water but it's tricky because it's so small. I just put it in a bowl, run cold water over it, then dump out the cold water as carefully as I can without dumping out the quinoa.)

After the quinoa was cooked in plain old water I added 2 TBS. coconut oil and a dash of cinnamon.

I thought it was good!
Jeff liked it, minus the texture which he is still getting used to.
Emmett (our 1 1/2 year old) liked it.
Braxton was a so, so. He liked the flavor but wanted to have cereal (Chex) instead. I didn't let him and he didn't fuss. I did give him a dash of pure maple syrup and that helped!
Adelle is typically picky and she ate it up (after I added a dash of pure maple syrup!)

We will be having this again. Even if it's not a family favorite it's good for them to learn to eat lots of foods even if they aren't your favorite!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"we're gonna party like it's your birthday..."

These are the cookies I used. I got these for super cheap at The Grocery Outlet. They are all natural and organic. Our friends own the one in town so go there, you're sure to find a bargain!
Kind-of Homemade Ice cream Sandwiches.

Ok, I didn't make the ice cream or the cookies but I sure did take the two and layer them. All by myself in about 5 minutes even.

So here is the thing. I have children. Normal kids who like treats and associate birthdays with treats. Don't we all do this? I don't have a problem with a treat once in a while. Don't deprive yourself, right. However, when treats start to be a daily thing, even weekly thing, than you start to have a problem. These poor little ones get addicted to sugar. Honestly they do and that is unhealthy! Also, treats before bed. Not really happenen around here. My kids go crazy if they eat sugar before bed. Nightmares, talking in their sleep. It's not good for your system when you pour in sugar before bed.

So my son turned 6 yesterday. He wanted a chocolate cake decorated like a karate guy. When it came down to it my day ran out of time. How do you explain to your 6 year old that you didn't have time to make the cake they wanted when you were helping in their classroom and having their friend and his whole family over for dinner. Not to mention creating a special FHE game featuring him and making sure the house was clean (from the birthday party the night before) to welcome the guests....

Well I didn't even have to explain. I pulled out these babies and there was no mention of the absent karate cake. These things are 1 1/2 inches in diameter people. Small. Bite size. They each had one. They each savored the one. That's it. My kids don't even ask for two. They know everyone gets one. period.

Happy Birthday Treat without the huge, garbage filled cupcake with trans-fat frosting!

Just wanted you to know there are alternatives. You always have options. I love my kids too and want them to be spoiled on their birthdays. That's why I've created a very sneaky way to do it!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Today is FOOD DAY!

The First Annual Food Day

I copied and pasted this article from here.

It’s Food Day today. You can officially say that you were around for the very first Food Day. I figured you might have some questions about this new concept so here’s the lowdown.

What might you ask is “Food Day”?

It is a nationwide campaign sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), which is a nonprofit group that has led successful campaigns for food labeling, better nutrition, and safer food. Like CSPI, Food Day does not accept funding from government or corporations.

Okay good. But what is the point of Food Day?

I went to www.foodday.org and loved the mission statement that I found there.

Food Day’s goal is nothing less than to transform the American diet—to inspire a broad movement involving people from every corner of our land who want healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way. In other words, we want America to eat real. We want to get Americans cooking real food for their families again. We want fewer people at drive-throughs and bigger crowds at farmers markets. We want to celebrate fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy whole grains—and to support the local farms and farmers that produce them. We want all Americans—regardless of their age or income or geographic location—to be able to select healthy diets and avoid obesity, heart disease, and other diet-related conditions.

So can you tell me what the driving principles are?

Food Day 2011 has five key priorities:

  1. Promote healthier foods so fewer people get diet related diseases
  2. Support sustainable farms and stop subsidizing agribusiness
  3. Expand access to food so people aren’t hungry
  4. Reform factory farms to protect animals and the environment
  5. Curb junk-food marketing to kids

Friday, October 21, 2011

AppleSquash


Yep, just like Applesauce but I used apples and butternut squash. Pealed the squash, peeled the apples. Cut them all up into chunks. Put them in a pot with about 2 inches of water. Brought the water to a boil. Boiled the chunks until they were tender. Mash, mash, mash until all the water has evaporated or soaked in. Add a dash of cinnamon. Yum.

My friend Tori is a doll. She brought me some butternut squash from her parents garden today. Then she told me that apples were on sale and that she was going to make applesauce for baby food. A lightbulb went on in my healthy mindset and I said, "hey, you should add the squash to the applesauce!!!!!"

My kids are at the table right now eating this fresh after school snack that I just concocted. They are loving it. No added sweeteners. The apple is enough sweet. Try this out. Even if you don't like squash you will totally love this!

And fyi Costco has butternut squash right now in their produce, already cut into chunks!

This seriously took me about 15 minutes start to finish to make. Easy, fast, cheap, healthy. That's what I'm talking about!

So we all know apples are good for you but what about squash?

Squash is super good for you?? Like a total Power Food!

Health Benefits I found here:
Low in fat, butternut squash delivers an ample dose of dietary fiber, making it an exceptionally heart-friendly choice. It provides significant amounts of potassium, important for bone health, and vitamin B6, essential for the proper functioning of both the nervous and immune systems. The folate content adds yet another boost to its heart-healthy reputation and helps guard against brain and spinal-cord-related birth defects such as spina bifida.

Squash's tangerine hue, however, indicates butternut's most noteworthy health perk. The color signals an abundance of powerhouse nutrients known as carotenoids, shown to protect against heart disease. In particular, the gourd boasts very high levels of beta-carotene (which your body automatically converts to vitamin A), identified as a deterrent against breast cancer and age-related macular degeneration, as well as a supporter of healthy lung development in fetuses and newborns. What's more, with only a 1-cup serving, you get nearly half the recommended daily dose of antioxidant-rich vitamin C.

As if this weren't enough, butternut squash may have anti-inflammatory effects because of its high antioxidant content. Incorporating more of this hearty winter staple into your diet could help reduce risk of inflammation-related disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.



October 21 is National Mammography Day

With October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month today is
National Mammography Day.
There are plenty of debates out there as to whether or not mammograms are effective but I am not going to pick a side on that one. My perspective is limited and my knowledge on this topic is slim.
However there are some truths that I strongly believe in. One of them was stated well in an article I just read on Breast Cancer;

"Drugs do not cure disease anymore than bullets cure war."-Sayer Ji

That's a strong statement and you probably think I am a picketing hippie but I'm really not. I just want people to know that there are options other than taking a pill. Sometimes you have to do both, take the pill for a while until you can get your body built back up.

If you are dealing with something, anything really. Stress, depression, breast cancer, fatigue, PMS... I would strongly encourage you to take a look at what you are eating and make some changes. Less sugar. More veggies. Less trans-fats. More protein. Seriously put it to the test.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Quinoa

Ok so it's been a busy week! This whole keeping up two blogs things is for crazy people. Good thing I'm crazy and good thing I have some junk in my trunk to pull out on days like these when ya'll are waiting for a new post.

Quinoa is so yummy and so healthy and hearty. It's become a staple around here and one of Emmett's favorites.

Here are 2 other quinoa recipes that we eat a lot of. Check them out.

Tonight however is my recent favorite. I adapted this recipe from my good friend Sarah who is basically gourmet!

Cook quinoa is organic chicken stock. I also use bouillon sometimes if I don't have chicken stock. Just follow the directions on the package. It's simple and fast. Boil water, add quinoa, put on lid and simmer for like 15 minutes.

While that is doing it's thing roast veggies in the oven.
Chopped up whatever (you can use any or all of these depending on what your family likes, and what you have).
asparagus
garlic
onions
peppers
carrots
cabbage
zucchini
broccoli
snap peas
mushrooms

After the quinoa is done and the chopped veggies are roasted mix them together. Add some marinated artichoke hearts (which I buy at Costco) and you are set with a complete meal. My family likes this served warm but I prefer it cold the next day. Yum! Oh, and sometimes I add sun dried tomatoes too.

And just a bit on quinoa...seriously this stuff is good for you!! Eat it, feed it to your kids!

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?dbid=142&tname=foodspice

"Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. It is a recently rediscovered ancient "grain" once considered "the gold of the Incas."

Monday, October 17, 2011

Supplement Monday

I don't know why the picture is so small? Anyway the day is half over so I better get on with this post!
Today's supplement is from Integrative Therapeutics, Inc. It is called:

Echinacea Vitamin C

This supplement is a chewable. Last year when Emmett got sick with swollen glands and the whole bit this is what I gave him. It totally worked. All of us in this house take this when we are sick.

I don't give my children any sort of cold medicine. There are too many added chemicals and too many other ingredients that I have no idea what they are or what they do. Read here for a little more insight on that if you're interested.

I am a firm believer in the old school cold remedies; honey, chicken noodle soup, extra rest, echinacea, vitamin c, lots and lots of fluids, humidifier, garlic...

Anyway, back to the supplement. This chewable is packed with lots of good stuff for your immune system. Both vitamin C and echinacea have properties that help you fight the common cold. I've given my kids up to three a day when they've had a cold. Don't give this one to them forever.

Here is the info they had online:

Echinacea Vitamin C provides important ingredients necessary to support a healthy immune system. The vitamin C is augmented through the inclusion of citrus bioflavonoids, which enhance its effects. Vitamin A, important in preventing infection, maintains the cellular integrity of the skin eyes and mucosa. Zinc enhances wound healing and is involved in a large number of metabolic processes. Vitamin B6 is involved in energy transport, red blood cell formation and healthy nerve responses. Echinacea, commonly known as purple coneflower, has a long history of preventing and treating respiratory ailments. It promotes overall immune support. Western larch, the source of the powerful anticancer drug tamoxifen, stimulates the production of the body’s own killer T-cells.
http://www.vitabase.com/supplements/allergy-immune/nf-formulas-echinacea-vitamin-c.aspx

Friday, October 14, 2011

Go Butter!

"When I eventually understood the nutritional myths that had me snookered and miserable, the biggest headline was that REAL FATS ARE GOOD- even the maligned saturated fats and its corollary, INDUSTRIAL FATS ARE BAD. It's not complicated. Eat real fats and avoid industrial ones." Nina Planck, Real Food for Mother and Baby.

Tasty fish oil for dessert!

This top picture is the one you all tasted last night. It's delicious but like I said, my Gramy bought it for me so I'm not sure where to buy it. You can look it up online.
This is the one I buy typically. It's a local company and I like the quality. They taste really comparable.

So as I confessed to some friends last night my kids each get a tablespoon of this after both breakfast and dinner. It's their dessert! I'm not kidding. They love this stuff! I have a firm belief in this product. It is good for concentration and I have noticed this in my children. They really do focus well. They are young and energetic but they have tremendous abilities to focus and concentrate on school work, books, art projects...
Provides greater resistance to common colds and flus. This too rings true for us. I have never had a flu shot. I don't give my kids flu shots. I work hard to build up their systems and immune function so that the flu doesn't get it and if it does it is short lived. This product has supported that effort as well.
I've always taken this in an extra dose during pregnancy and so far, so good!

Read the facts below and try some!

Why Omega 3's you ask?

www.mercola.com/nutritionplan/beginner_fats.html

Americans consume a dangerously insufficient amount of omega-3, a fat essential to good health but only found in fish oil and a few other foods. Meanwhile, our intake of omega-6, another fat found in corn, soy, sunflower and other oils, is far too high. The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 should be 1:1, but the typical American's ratio ranges from 15:1 to 50:1!

Benefits of omega-3 found in fish and cod liver oil:

Helps fight and prevent heart disease, cancer, depression, Alzheimer's, arthritis, diabetes, hyperactivity and many other diseases

  • Increases your energy level and ability to concentrate
  • Provides greater resistance to common illnesses such as flu and cold
  • Helps pregnant women avoid premature births, low birth weight and other complications

While a helpful form of omega-3 can be found in flaxseed, walnuts and a few other foods, the most beneficial form of omega-3 -- containing two fatty acids, DHA and EPA, which are essential to fighting and preventing both physical and mental disease -- can only be found in fish.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I actually know what I'm talking about!

So I did my 2nd nutrition class tonight and it was awesome!

Then I came home and opened my email and found this article.
The amazing part was that the two points stated in this article are also the two points I've focused my classes on.
So this was just awesome!
I am just a mom, trying to be healthy, trying to feed my family well and to educate others with what I am learning. And here you have an expert in the field totally preaching the same thing. That, my friends, is seriously empowering.
It's real.
Take note. Make little changes. You are worth it!!

You can check out the article here. I didn't watch the movies, just read the article.

How to Reverse the Obesity- and Related Chronic Disease Trends

I believe there are two primary dietary recommendations that could make all the difference in the world for most people, leading to a swift reversal in the horrific disease trends we're currently facing:

  1. Severely restricting carbohydrates (sugars, fructose, and grains) in your diet, and
  2. Increasing healthy fat consumption

I recently wrote about this recommendation in-depth, so for more details, please see This Substance Fools Your Metabolism - and Tricks Your Body into Gaining Pounds. If you want to shed excess pounds and maintain a healthy weight long-term, and RADICALLY reduce (and in many cases virtually eliminate) your risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer, then get serious about restricting your consumption of fructose to no more than 25 grams per day, with a maximum of 15 grams a day from fresh fruit. If you're already overweight, or have any of these diseases or are at high risk of any of them, then you're probably better off cutting that down to 10-15 grams per day; fruit included.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Zing Bar


Ok so if you need a snack on the go and you forgot your carrot sticks these can be your new "go to!"
On Friday night Jeff and I got to go down to Seattle to do some marketing for his new business and half way down he got hungry. I pulled out one of these, my favorite flavor, chocolate coconut bars and he couldn't get enough of it. Infact the next day on the drive home he ate my spare that I had in my purse.

What's great about these you ask?
  • wheat free
  • dairy free
  • soy free
  • packed with protein
  • all natural ingredients
  • made in Seattle
  • made by nutritionists
  • balanced amount of carbs, protein, and fat
  • sweetened naturally
The list goes on but you get the idea. I love them! They are a bit pricey but lets all remember that a) your health has to be worth it to you and b) snacks should be eaten in moderation so it's ok if they cost a little because you don't need to munch on them all day.

So, check them out!
And thanks to my very own brother in law they carry these at Haggen! Sweet!


The Story of Zing Bars found here.
It all started innocently enough. As practicing nutritionists, we simply wanted to find a good nutrition bar we could recommend to our patients. But despite our best efforts, there just weren’t any on the market we really liked. If a particular bar was nutritionally balanced, it left something to be desired in the taste department. If it tasted good, it was low in protein and fiber, or full of artificial ingredients, unhealthy fats and empty calories.

Then we came up with a deliciously different idea.

We could create our own all-natural nutrition bar. Our take on the perfect snack. A bar with everything we wanted it to have, and nothing we didn’t. A healthy balance of carbs, protein and beneficial fats, but no artificial sweeteners, colors or preservatives. No trans fats, synthetic vitamins, or allergy-aggravating gluten, wheat or soy protein.

In short, a nutrition bar that everyone- including nutritionists and other healthcare professionals- could love. Zing! Now we hope that you love it too.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Supplement Monday

Today's supplement is Zinc Lozenges. Do you ever wake up with a sore throat this time of year? Well, this is your answer!

Now for the honest truth.... I don't know why zinc is good for sore throats. All I know is that these totally work and besides the zinc they are loaded with vitamin C and Echinacea.

These aren't something you would take on a daily basis. Nor would you give them to your kids on a daily basis.

These are something you always have on your shelf for those mornings/late evenings when you feel a sore throat coming on. Suck on them until they are dissolved. Up to 6 a day.

Sore throat be gone!

Oh, and these are super cheap and you can get them anywhere, even Walgreens, for like $3.50.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

We love CHIPS!

When our daughter was little she used to say, "I want the crunch crunch." We think this meant chips. The girls loves her chips! Who doesn't love chips. They are so crunchy and salty and good!

This weekend I made veggie chips with zucchini (which I still have an abundance of) and sweet potatoes. They were really good and super easy.

My mother-in-law bought me a food dehydrator a couple years back and I love it. I use it all the time to dry fruit but I'd never done veggies because I had never wanted to take the time to cut them so thin.
Well this year for our anniversary my Gramy gave us a mandolin. So now I am completely set!

If you don't have a food dehydrator you can use your oven but research it online. I'm not exactly sure how to do it that way but I know it can be done. If you don't have a mandolin you can just use a knife but slice thin.

Here is what I did:
Wash the veggies.
Put an apron on the husband.
Got him busy with the veggies and the mandoline (guys like things like this, it's sharp and fast)
After the veggies were thinly sliced I spritzed them with olive oil.
Then I spread them out in a single layer on the drying sheets of the dehydrator.
Sprinkled lightly with sea salt.
The salt intensifies as it is dried so really, go light on the salt!
Set the temperature for 125.
Waited
5 hours later I had fresh dried zucchini and sweet potato crunch crunches!

I found the following information here on health benefits of dehydrating.

Dehydrating: Health and Nutrition Benefits

Dehydrating is the process of slowly removing all of the water from fresh vegetables and fruit to make healthy, cheap, raw and long-lasting snacks and treats.



The dehydration process retains almost 100% of the nutritional content of the food, retains the alkalinity of fresh produce and actually inhibits the growth of microforms such as bacteria. Fresh foods can sometimes contain simple yeasts, mould and bacteria; however, by inhibiting the water content their growth is considerably reduced.

Dried vegetables and sprouts are naturally low in ‘bad’ fats, yet high in fibre and nutrients. Although a very small amount of Vitamin C is lost, dehydrating retains all Vitamin A (or Beta Carotene) in plant foods which is an essential anti-oxidant. Minerals such as selenium, potassium and magnesium are also preserved giving you minerals in a perfect balance.

A dehydrator is an excellent way to ensure that there is always nutrient-dense, raw food readily available so that you do not snack on junk!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Clam Linguine

Have you ever used brown rice pasta? They are so delicious! I don't even think you can tell they aren't just plain ol' noodles. Same texture and everything. These ones pictured above are my favorites. Maybe because they are the most affordable? I get them at Trader Joe's.

Thursday night we had Clam Linguine for dinner.

I made a few substitutions to this recipe to make it a bit healthier for our family.

Added extra garlic! Garlic is so, so, so, good for you. I will post on this soon! In the meantime eat lots of it!
Used butter only, no olive oil because of these reasons.
Added extra juice from the clams to make it more runny and less oily.
Used the brown rice noodles picture above.

So there you have a yummy dinner. I also served broccoli coleslaw on the side. The kids loved the linguine. I wasn't sure how fond they would be of the clams but they totally ate it up!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How to cook squash

Let me tell you how to cook a squash. Just in case you don't know. It's super easy!

Think baked potato.

Tonight we had acorn squash. I think this is my favorite variety. It's nice and mild and really tasty.

First I thoroughly washed it.
Next I took a knife and stabbed a slit through the skin.
Then I threw it in the oven, with the stabbed side up.
I baked it at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
Then I brought it out of the oven. Let it cool for a min. so I could work with it.
Cut it in half and scooped out the seeds (threw them away).
Then I scooped the flesh out into a bowl, put a dab of butter on top.
Ate it!

You can also wash it.
Stick it in a crockpot, whole, with a stab or two.
Cook on high for a few hours until it's soft.
Eat!

Please don't give this to your kids with brown sugar on top. Ok, you can if you want but here is the thing.
They get enough sugar already.
If you don't give them sugar on it the first time, they won't expect it the next time.
It's sweet enough without it.
If you really need something use raw honey! But..... really it doesn't need it!

Oh, and tonight Adelle ate her squash. Thanks to Braxton who ewed and awed over his the whole time.

And Erin, to answer your question, I get local raw honey at the co-op or Haggen or at one of the local farms.

This is the brand I have right now:







Learn all the good stuff about squash here .

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pumpkin Breakfast Biscuits


Remember this biscuit recipe that is my family's favorite?

Well I modified it yesterday to make it taste a little more like fall.
I used only whole wheat flour
Instead of the milk I added pumpkin and water
Then instead of the cream of tartar I added cinnamon and nutmeg.

They were super delicious and my kiddos gobbled them up for breakfast with butter on top.


In our home it's all about making from scratch. This eliminates so many fillers, preservatives, chemicals, extra sugars, corn syrups, pesticides...
These biscuits will last on our counter (well considering they didn't all get eaten) for about 2 days. After which they would get moldy.
To me that says they are a much healthier option than anything you would buy at the store.

Plus they are so easy and fast!



I

Monday, October 3, 2011

Italian Prune Crisp

Ha! I welcome kitchen help.
This guy decided to put his whole face in the whole wheat flour this weekend.
Maybe this is what he will look like in 60 years or so?

Many thanks to those of you to came to the class on Thursday!
I had a blast and really appreciated all your participation and questions/comments.

Here is the Italian Prune Crisp recipe that you asked for:
No added sugar!!

Preheat oven to 350
Wash, pit, and cut in half about 6 cups of Italian Prunes
Layer in 9x13 pan ( I used my stoneware)
sprinkle with minute tapioca (this will help thicken the juices as they cook)

In a bowl mix together:
2 cups rolled oats
1 cube of butter, softened
cinnamon and nutmeg (your preference, 1-2 tbs.

Evenly distribute oat mixture on top of prunes.
Bake in 350 oven for 50-60 min.

Serve warm or cold!

The prunes are sooo sweet. There is no need for extra sugar.
Enjoy!