Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Roasted Veggies for Dinner!!

Some days there is nothing better than your kids' taking a nice long nap, on their own! Today was one of those days. I put them in their room at 1:00 and it's 2:59pm and I haven't heard a peep! Yes!

Gives me lots of time for dinner prep. The last hour has been spent rocking out to some Pandora radio and washing/cutting veggies (and munching on some as I went).

Tonight for dinner we are having crock pot chicken and Roasted Veggies. The chicken is nothing special. Some chicken breasts in the crock pot that I will salt and pepper when they are fully cooked.

The veggies are special. Zucchini, butternut squash, carrots, califlower, some gloves of garlic (left in whole cloves) all in the pan topped with about 1/4 cup coconut oil. I cook them at 375 for about an hour and then I dash them with sea salt. This is a family favorite. The coconut oil makes them sweeter and the contrast with the salt is nothing short of fantastic.

Have a good dinner!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

You washed those, right?

I have a really smart Gramy. She has lived a few years longer than I have and although I used to be guilty of not really applying the things she told me, I have gotten way better. Like I used to just say, "yeah, uh huh," and now I actually try what she tells me and it almost never lets me down. It's funny how the older I get, the more I realize the less I know and the more eager I am to actually give others a chance to teach me something. We aren't supposed to have to figure it all out ourselves.

So a few years ago my Gramy saw me using some "produce wash" I had paid a pretty penny for and suggested that I just use vinegar and water. The next time I saw her she actually gave me a gallon of vinegar. So I tried it. I now have a gallon of vinegar under my sink at all times, right by the trash.

So if I am washing a large quantity of food I get out a bowl, fill it about 1/2 way with cold water from my tap, and add a TBS or 2 of vinegar. Then I put in my grapes, carrots, lemons (with the peel), whatever. After they have sat there for a few minutes I drain them and quickly rinse and go on my way.

What's crazy is the residue that is usually left. Disgusting!!! That white picture is the bottom of the bowl this morning after I drained the grapes, and that's nothing. I have seen much worse in bowls of the past! Yuck. To think you would actually be eating that is gross.

Another method I use for small quantities, like if Braxton wants an apple or something, is a spray bottle which is filled with the same thing. Water and vinegar. I just give the apple a spritz and ripe it with my hands and rinse it off.

Vinegar is an antibacterial and kills most of what is living on your produce. It's super cheap and effective, without any side effects or chemicals.

And just to note I wash the organic produce the same way. People have still handled it and you never know where anything has been.

Check out this blog here! It's exactly what I wanted to say, without having to say it myself.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Grass muffins?

**Attention MomSpot goers! I forgot to tell you that I added Chia Seed to the pumpkin muffins as well. I heaping Tbs!! Thanks Jena for introducing me to Chia!!**

First off a special thanks to all those who attended my little class today! Super fun to have you all and thanks for all the good questions and comments. Also thanks to those of you who said prayers on my behalf and who sent me encouraging emails and texts. Much appreciated :) It was successful and I think we all recommitted ourselves to try a little harder and do a little more in regards to our health.

On that note here is the Pumpkin Muffin recipe that I promised.
(Today I brought these as a sample for the class and one of the moms honestly told me it tasted like grass. Afterwards she's like, "Do we get the recipe to these grass muffins??"
They really are good. She wanted to make them at home but she admitted that she was used to a much more sugar laden muffin. Never to late to make positive changes in your diet!

So here you go. As usual, I made it up:

Makes 24 muffins

Mix together:
1/2 cup honey
1 cup pinto beans (I put them in my blender to puree them)
4 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup amaranth flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 Tbs. chia seed
1 15oz can pumpkin

Spray muffin tins and pour in batter to 3/4 full.
Bake in 350 oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

- low sugar content (honey, small amount)
- high fiber (beans, pumpkin)
- high protein (beans, amaranth, eggs, almond meal)


All ketchup is not created equal

Did you know that Heniz Ketchup has High Fructose Corn Syrup in it?

Hunts does not!

Trader Joes Organic Ketchup does not!

Just fyi.

And, I've heard there are commercials out there that actually argue that high fructose corn syrup is not bad for you. They are wrong.

High fructose corn syrup is not good for you. It chemically engineered and reeks havoc in your body. Avoid it when you can, like for example, buy different ketchup.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Live on Tuesday, and Lemon Water

So you want to know something awesome?

This Tuesday I am speaking LIVE at MomSpot! It is one of my dreams to one day go around and speak to large groups of women, regarding health, and give them easy pointers that they can adapt to change their lives and the lives of their families and MomSpot has invited me to do just that. (On a smaller scale, of course).

MomSpot is the new name for the MOPS group that I have been a part of for the last 4 years, whoa, I didn't realize it had been that long until I sat and thought about it.

This year I haven't been able to attend because I have been doing Cooperative preschool with my little girl, but...........

They asked me to come this week and talk to all the mommies about raising healthy kids!

What an honor.

I am so thrilled, happy, excited, jittery about this I can hardly stand it.

I love this group. I love the support I received there over the years. I love the leadership positions I held on the committee in the past and all the beautiful women I came to know and form friendships with. I love this new season I am in and the chance that I have to go back as a guest and teach about the two things I love:
1. Being a mom
2. Doing it as healthful as I know how

So, you should totally come if you are in the area! Email me and I will hook you up with the details.

Here are some of the things I will be discussing:
My kids, how awesome they are, ha, I know, but really :)
Healthy snacks
100% fruit juice and if it's really GOOD FOR THEM???
Sugar ins and outs
Home remedies for common ailments
Supplements that I give my kids/ and take myself
recipe alterations (stinkin fun and easy!!)
Books that I have read and that I recommend
a few recipes and hints...

I hope you will join us. Child care is provided, as is breakfast ;) and I will be serving up a little something myself.

Until then squeeze a fresh lemon and drink the juice to start your day tomorrow.

The Amazing Health Benefits
of Drinking Lemon Water
by Ann Heustad, R.N.

After visiting some friends recently who drank copious amounts of water spiked with fresh organic limes and lemons from trees in their yard and freely offered this delicious concoction to all their guests, the following article reminded me of the value of our mutual dedication to planetary health and wellness through simple healthful remedies.

There are basic lifestyle habits that are important to incorporate into your daily life, and this is certainly one of them. However, we are talking about organic lemons that are tree ripened.

“When life gives you a lemon... squeeze it, mix it with six ounces of distilled water and drink twice daily.”

The value of eating lemons is reported by Jethro Kloss in his book Back to Eden:

“The medicinal value of the lemon is as follows: It is an antiseptic, or is an agent that prevents sepsis [the presence of pathogenic bacteria] or putrefaction [decomposition of tissue]. It is also anti-scorbutic, a term meaning a remedy which will prevent disease and assist in cleansing the system of impurities.”

Due to the digestive qualities of lemon juice, symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, bloating and belching are relieved. By drinking lemon juice regularly, the bowels are aided in eliminating waste more efficiently thus controlling constipation and diarrhea.

On page 659 of Back to Eden, Mr. Kloss points out that, “The lemon is a wonderful stimulant to the liver and is a dissolvent of uric acid and other poisons, liquefies the bile, and is very good in cases of malaria. Sufferers of chronic rheumatism and gout will benefit by taking lemon juice, also those who have a tendency to bleed, uterine hemorrhages, etc.; rickets and tuberculosis. In pregnancy, it will help to build bone in the child. We find that the lemon contains certain elements which will go to build up a healthy system and keep that system healthy and well. As a food, we find, owing to its potassium content, it will nourish the brain and nerve cells. Its calcium builds up the bony structure and makes healthy teeth.

“Its magnesium, in conjunction with calcium, has an important part to play in the formation of albumen in the blood. The lemon contains potassium 48.3, calcium 29.9, phosphorus 11.1, magnesium 4.4. Lemons are useful in treating asthma, biliousness, colds, coughs, sore throat, diphtheria, la grippe [flu or influenza], heartburn, liver complaint[s], scurvy, fevers and rheumatism.”

Since many people today suffer from what they used to call biliousness, it is important to edify our readers to the definition.

Biliousness -- 1. A symptom of a disorder of the liver causing constipation, headache, loss of appetite and vomiting of bile. 2. excess of bile; a bilious fever.

Why the lemon works so well

On page 19 of A.F. Beddoe's book “Biological Ionization in Human Nutrition,” he states that: “Man does not live off the food he eats but off of the energy that is produced from the food he eats.”

The energy you get from your food comes from the atoms and molecules of energy in your food. A reaction takes place as cationic food enters the digestive tract and encounters anionic digestive enzymes.

To explain further, an ion is part of a molecule con-atom or a group of atoms that carry an electrical charge. Ions which carry positive charges are “cations.” Lemons are considered to be anionic, having more electrons (negatively charged ions) of energy as compared to cations (positively charged ions) in their atomic structure. Saliva, hydrochloric acid, bile and the stomach's other digestive juices are also anionic.

Lemon is one of the only foods on the planet that has more anions than cations in its atomic structure.

When considering the electromagnetic properties of food Dr. Beddoe points out that all foods are considered cationic with the exception of fresh, raw lemon juice. Some have suggested that the reason fresh lemon juice is similar to digestive enzymes is due to the low amount of sulfur in lemons. It should be noted that pasteurized and packaged lemon juice is cationic and, therefore, ineffective as a health remedy.

Who Can Benefit From Lemon Water

Dr. Beddoe continues on page 194: “Lemon water is used in every person that can tolerate it. That is, if there is no allergy to lemon (a very few have a true allergy to lemon) and no active ulcers, then all adults and most children should use the lemon water. The purpose of the lemon is to:

provide a natural strengthening agent to the liver enzymes when they are too dilute.

The liver can make more enzymes out of fresh lemon juice than any other food element.

The lemon helps fix oxygen and calciums in the liver because it regulates blood carbohydrate levels which affect the blood oxygen levels.”

In the above book, Dr. Beddoe also cites an article by Dr. Michael Lesser on the medical promise of citric acid in “Anabolism, Journal of Preventive Medicine.” He uses this article to validate the value of using fresh lemon juice daily: “It appears that citric acid, the major carrier of biochemicals in the body's energy system, shows important promise, primarily because of its excellent properties as a chelator. Its ability to form soluble complexes with calcium offers major promise in the successful treatment of pancreatic stones and has also been employed to dissolve kidney stones. Since calcium deposits are of major significance in the much greater problem of hardening of the arteries, citric acid may possibly contribute to a safe and effective reversal of this widespread degenerative disease.”

Even though medical doctors are not currently employing lemon juice in the treatment of the above conditions, this article substantiates the fact that one of the benefits of fresh lemon water is the way the citric acid is able to act upon the body's systems differently than any other food.

Lemon Remedies Published by Jethro Kloss in Back to Eden

For sore throat, dilute lemon juice with water and gargle frequently. Dilute one-half lemon juice with one-half water. It is even better to use straight lemon juice.

A slice of lemon bound over a corn overnight will greatly relieve the pain.

A slice of lemon bound over a felon [pus formation on a finger joint] will not fail to bring the pus to the surface where it can be easily removed.

To relieve asthma, take a tablespoon of lemon juice one hour before each meal.

For liver complaints, the juice of the lemon should be taken in a glass of hot water one hour before breakfast every morning.

To break up la grippe [flu or influenza], drink a large glass of hot water with the juice of a lemon added, while at the same time have the feet in a deep bucket or other vessel of water with mustard added to it. The water should be deep enough to where it comes nearly up to the knees. Keep adding hot water to the patient's tolerance and until the patient begins to perspire freely (about 20-30 minutes). Be sure there is no draft on the person while this is done. The patient should be near a bed so he can get in it easily and avoid any danger of getting chilled. If convenient, a full hot bathtub would be good in place of the foot-bath. The lemon water should be taken every hour until the patient feels that all the symptoms of the cold are gone.

A teaspoon of lemon juice in half a glass of water relieves heartburn.

For rheumatism, one or two ounces of lemon juice diluted in water should be taken three times a day: one hour before meals and at bedtime.

In cases of hemorrhage, lemon juice diluted in water and taken as cold as possible will stop it.

Scurvy is treated by giving one to two ounces of lemon juice diluted with water every two to four hours.

In excessive menstruation the juice of three to four lemons a day will help check it. Best to take the juice of one lemon at a time in a glass of cold water.

Mr. Kloss explains how lemon juice can even help someone with stomach ulcers:

“How can one with an inflamed or ulcerated stomach partake in the juice? Would not a strong acid like that of the lemon act as an irritant? That would depend on how it was taken. If in quantity, yes. But to take it very weak at first [diluted sufficiently in water], it will cease to burn. The sufferer afflicted with ulcerated stomach has to use great perseverance to affect a cure, and it can be cured if care and patience is used. The gastric juice in the stomach is four times as strong as lemon juice.”

In these cases, I recommend one to two tablespoons of Aloe Vera Gel before the lemon water. Taking 500 mg. of Bromelin has also proven to be helpful.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Is bread healthy?

This bread is our current favorite! So good toasted with butter! Healthy too!

This is a debatable topic, I know. I do not claim to know THE TRUTH, about bread. I do know what I have experienced and I do know what I have learned through research. I also know that everyone is responsible for and has the power to learn what works for them and their families. Everyone's bodies are different too. So, this is strictly opinion, based on facts and experiences.

I don't know if bread is healthy or not. I am not going to go there. But a good rule of thumb is if I give it to my kids often, it's good for you. That being said I will tell you I DO NOT FEED MY KIDS BREAD OFTEN, at least not regular bread. I give them sprouted bread, but still not every day and certainly not every meal.

I do know this:
Sprouted grain bread is different than whole wheat bread and is much easier on my digestive tract.
White or Whole Wheat Bread, both turn to sugar in your body
Eating regular bread causes your body to produce insulin. When your body produces insulin it stores fat.
Bread is not a staple food in our house (I substitute bread with brown rice cakes often)
Homemade bread is "better" than most store bought bread, but still turns to sugar in the body
Bread contains yeast. Extra yeast in your diet can cause Candida which is an overgrowth of the yeast fungus and has all kinds of negative side effects (I will post about this soon!)
Store bought bread is filled with preservatives and fillers that aren't good for you
Sprouted bread contains useful enzymes and vitamins that regular bread does not.
Sprouted bread is much higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates, this means that it doesn't cause your blood sugar to rise... creating insulin.... storing fat!
Your body needs carbohydrates but not in the abundance that we Americans seem to think!

Here are some facts from their official website. I pasted in some that stood out to me below:

What Is The Difference Between Enriched White Breads And Sprouted Food For Life Breads?

“Enriched” Breads are made from the endosperm of the wheat kernel (the inside portion), which contains few vitamins and minerals (most carbohydrates). The milling of grain into white flour requires the removal of the bran and the germ. During this process, important natural fiber and bran are lost (including 21 vitamins and minerals). 5 vitamins and minerals (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and folic acid) are added back into the flour and are thus, called “enriched”. By contrast, Food For Life sprouted breads are made from freshly sprouted grains which contain all of the fiber, bran, vitamins and minerals of the original grain plus an average of approximately 100% increase in those vitamins and minerals.

back to top Δ

Why does Food For Life sprout grains in its breads?

Sprouting is the only way to release all the vital nutrients stored in whole grains. The sprouting process activates beneficial enzymes which cause the grains to sprout and become living and nutrient-rich. Stores of vitamins and minerals dramatically increase over the amount available in flour. Sprouting also converts the carbohydrates in grains into maltose, which is ordinarily done by the body during digestion, thereby predigesting nutrients for you. The enzymatic action enables the body to assimilate the vitamins and minerals more efficiently. Plus, the sprouting process naturally increases the protein content and decreases the calories and carbohydrates found in the original grain.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Guiltless chocolate cake

One of my babes is turning 2 on Wednesday. We celebrated on Sunday with friends and family. The cake was a huge hit. At first my brother didn't want any. He knows me well enough that he expected the cake to be filled with spinach. After his girlfriend and everyone around him convinced him it was delicious he tried it. Well, apparently the piece I cut him wasn't big enough. He came back for another slice, which he sliced himself. Nice and big!

Here is my thing about cake. First off, make them from scratch. Most mixes that come in a box are packed with garbage.
Second, use good, healthy ingredients.
Third cake is a treat in itself. Adding ice cream to it is just adding more unnecessary sugars to your diet. We like ice cream around here too, but you don't need to splurge and have both in one night. One is very satisfying and then next time, you can have the other on the next special occasion.

So what is so good about the cake?
Gluten free
Protein packed
No sugar (but there is raw, local, honey)

Here is the Recipe that I adapted from one my mom shared with me a while back.
Whip this up and tell me how you like it. You won't be disappointed!

Preheat oven to 300

In a large mixing bowl combine:
4 cups almond meal (also known as almond meal) (I buy it at Trader Joes, but Bobs Red Mill sells it too but it's way more expensive from them)
1 cup honey
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. Sea salt
4 TBS. softened butter
1/2 cup coconut milk (unsweetened)
1/2 cup homemade yogurt ( I didn't have homemade so I used plain, Greek yogurt)
4 lg eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

Pour into 9 x 13 pan and bake for 40 minutes.

For the frosting I did use powdered sugar. It's the typical butter and powdered sugar frosting recipe but I used rice milk instead of milk.

*Oh, and if you are wondering why it's a Scooby-Do cake it's because Emmett got some Scooby-Do DVD's for Christmas and he really likes them. Also, he says Dooby-Doo and it's really cute and we all are constantly asking him to say it. :)

Oh and this isn't a decorating tutorial by any means but after I drew on Scooby, we took cookie crumbs that we blended super fine to fill in the brown on the dog. Just fyi ;)

Friday, January 13, 2012

worth sharing

I opened this email this morning and thought I would pass it on. Sounds like dinner to me!


Today's Recipe

If you don't know what to serve for dinner tonight ...

This rice salad not only tastes great but can supply over 100% of your Daily Value (DV) for health-promoting manganese and vitamin C to your Healthiest Way of Eating.

Fiesta Brown Rice Salad

Prep and Cook Time: 50 minutes -includes cooking time for rice


4 cups cooked brown rice
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 cup corn
1 cup black beans
4 TBS favorite vinaigrette
1 tsp ground cumin
pinch of cayenne
2 TBS chopped cilantro


Combine 4 cups cooked brown rice, diced bell peppers, corn, and black beans. Toss with your favorite vinaigrette.
Add 1 tsp cumin seed and a pinch of cayenne to dressing. Sprinkle rice salad with chopped cilantro

Serves 4

Monday, January 9, 2012

Supplement Monday

Check out the link or visit my website on the sidebar.

The little chew that packs a huge nutritional punch

Getting good nutrition has never been so delicious. Mannatech's PhytoBurst™ Nutritional Chews support your diet with balanced nutrition. They provide essential nutrients with a food-sourced vitamin complex, minerals and phytonutrients. It's based on Real Food TechnologySM solutions, so it's natural, safe and great for the whole family.

Mannatech's PhytoBurst Nutritional Chews are the perfect healthy pick-me-up between meals, before working out, or on the go. They're individually wrapped, so they're convenient for your gym bag, desk drawer or briefcase. It's good nutrition you'll actually enjoy.

Enjoy two great flavors in each bag: lemon and mixed berry!

PhytoBurst Nutritional Chews:

Support your immune system*
Promote longevity and vitality*
Help keep your energy levels going*
Provides important antioxidant support from broccoli, cranberry, grape and rutin*
Include naturally-sourced ingredients
Delicious, all-natural flavoring
Are suitable for vegetarians

These are so delicious!! My kids think they are candy because they come in the wrapper. These are a must have in my purse at all times.

They are $30 for the bag and they last us a month. We take them once a day. If you tell me how expensive they are I will most likely just smile but I will be thinking, "I don't tell you how expensive your hair-do is, or your iphone, or your purse, or your designer jeans so don't tell me if you think they are expensive! Fair enough.

Eggs for Breakfast

I am always trying out new ways to implement eggs into my kids breakfast. They are such a good source of protein and vitamins and minerals.

This mornings breakfast looked like this.... until we were done. The five of us ate the whole pan.

I melted a Tbs. of butter in a 9x13 stoneware pan. Oven was on 400. While the butter was melting and coating the pan I whipped up 5 eggs, 1 cup of rice milk, and 3/4 cup w/w flour.
Then I sprinkled frozen raspberries on top and baked it for 20 minutes at 400.

And there you have breakfast.
Tons of protein.
No added sugar (just the natural sugar from the raspberries).
Few carbs.
Yum in the tum!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"this is Absolutely Amazing!!"

There are few things that bring me more pleasure than my husband savoring his healthy, homemade meal and complimenting my cooking in between bites. The combination is marvelous and makes me smile to the point of embarrassment. I just really love it.

Today was one of those days where I didn't feel like venturing out in the rain to the grocery store. Something about hauling kids in, zipping up coats, hauling kids out, unpacking groceries... just wasn't appealing today. Much more appealing was finding a little of this and a lot of that and throwing them together in my comfy kitchen and creating a yummy recipe. That's what I'm talking about.

My friend Amanda emailed me a recipe I requested a few weeks ago. Today in my search for a quick, easy dinner I searched my inbox for the recipe and although I would love to try it... I didn't have most of the ingredients on hand. So this is not that recipe. However, the sweet potatoes in the recipe motivated me to create our dinner (pictured above).

So I washed 2 good sized yams and cut them into cubes. Don't peel them, the skin is full of fiber. I sauteed the yams with a chopped onion and 3 gloves of garlic in about 3 Tbs. olive oil.
I added about a cup of vegetable broth, a cup of water, and a dash of each; cumin and chilli powder. I simmered that for a while (like a long while, probably 45 min until the yams were tender).
Then I added grated cabbage. I love this ingredient in soups. It's such a nice texture. I added 1/2 a green cabbage.
Cooked that until it was tender and then poured in a can of coconut milk and a can of chicken ( I didn't drain the chicken either, just poured it all in).
And there you have dinner.
I garnished with some fresh cilantro because I randomly had some in my fridge, left over from the Holiday festivities.

Jeff's response was better than I anticipated, "What is this? This is absolutely amazing. What is in here? How did you do this?" He got so excited and then... guess what he did?

Yep, he tried to get me to not even post the recipe! The nerve!

The truth is I aspire to write a recipe book. That would be fantastic. I would have healthy recipes, health tips and pictures, personal stories..... Then I would sell them and do book signings and be on Oprah (whatever).... I continually talk to him about this and the crazy head actually takes me serious.
But, the truth, and the reality is that this is number like #387 on my list of things I want to do and I'm not patient enough to not share them NOW.
So on me, please enjoy.