12/20/2012

5 Days Till Christmas

I can't believe it's only a few more days until Christmas is here. As I write this post, I think of all the things I am grateful for in my life. I think about the trials I have had that have made me stronger and better as a person. I know for every bad, a good happens, and sometimes that just takes a little waiting. There are many things I love about Christmas, and many things I dislike. I love how some people are extra kind this time of year, or how we just feel like giving more and getting less. I dislike those who have too much greed and selfishly want only for themselves, or who don't think of giving more to the poor or doing more service. I know that service has always been a huge part of my goals set. Simple things that involve giving to the less fortunate, such as a sack lunch to a homeless person or even a small bag of something. It's the small things in life that can make all the difference to someone else. This time of year, it's so important to think of our Savior and his coming. We need to all think of what's really important this time of year, and our Heavenly Father and Savior are who we should be reflecting on. On a different note, I am finally feeling those cute little kicks. I get them more and more, and to feel my little one moving is so cool. I love it, and I can't wait until the harder ones come. It's just great! Hope you all have a Merry Christmas, and remember, EAT HEALTHY!!!!

12/15/2012

He Knows All Pain

When I heard about the tragedy that happened in Newtown CT, yesterday, I felt immense pain, especially for those who lost their little ones, friends, and relatives. How could something like this happen again. Can one feel anger and sorrow at the same time. My immediate reaction of course was anger, but when I feel anger towards this 20 year of guy who did this, I feel I am wasting my emotions on him. He is handled by God, and that is what matters. My attention has focused on the people who are suffering for their loved ones who were lost. I feel for those people who do not have the gospel, or understand what the gospel is about. Those who do have the gospel can feel greater comfort from our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. For they know all pain. God lost a child, his son, Jesus Christ. Jesus knows the pain of suffering so all mankind be here today. I wish every single individual suffering for those lost in this tragedy, could understand the atonement and how God's tender mercies can comfort us through pain.He knows the suffering of these parents and others who are grieving. My prayers are for those who are suffering.

12/06/2012

Scrambled Eggs and Kale

I've posted a breakfast idea on here before, but I wanted to share this one, since I have it so frequently. It's scrambled eggs with finely chopped kale and turkey sausage/bacon. It is quite good, and when you just don't want the grains, this breakfast really satisfies. So, here is what you do. Take how many eggs you plan to scramble, beat them, and cook on low heat so they don't stick to pan. Add the pre-cooked sausage/bacon to the eggs, and just minutes before serving, take about 1/2 c. of chopped kale leaves and mix into the eggs. Now you have a nutritionally complete breakfast. Serve with salsa verde and fruit salad, recommended. I recommend you use Omega 3 enriched eggs, organic/cage free eggs. They are a bit more, but so worth it. Pregnancy Update: It's going fantastic. My little prince(ss) is growing like a weed. I am almost at the half way mark. It's going so fast.

12/03/2012

Blender Tortilla Soup

This recipe, one of my favorite blend-tec soups, is one I haven't made in a very long time, until a few days ago. This soup, which if you are a regular Costco shopper, is often on demo for the blend-tec. However, if you do not own a blend-tec, and just a standard blender, you can also use it as well. Just be careful, as you don't want to damage the blades on standard, weaker model blenders. Fast, easy, and delicious, you can make this soup in less then 10 min. In a blender, place 3 washed, roma tomatoes, 2 tsp. taco seasoning, 1 cube of extra sharp chedder cheese, 1 handful of fresh cilantro leaves, 1 carrot, or 4 baby carrots, and about 1/8 of a cut onion. Add 2 c. of boiling hot water, and 1 tsp. of garlic salt into the blender and puree until smooth. Place about 1/4 c. of tortilla chips and puree for another 3 seconds. Garnish with whatever topping you prefer. Photo from http://www.blendtec.com/recipes/tortilla_soup

Candy Coated Mixed Nuts (A Healthier Alternative This Holiday)

I make every effort to stay away from treats, but during the holiday season, too many delicious, savory aromas are in the air, and temptation really gets me. Thank goodness for these candied coated nuts. High in fiber with an added bonus of cinnamon and brown sugar, these hit that temptation just right. Also they are paleo approved for those living that lifestyle. These are the same nuts you smell and see in the mall this time of year, which are outrageously expensive sold by the pound. Making these is so simple and affordable, I just had to share!!! This recipe begins with just 2 c. of almonds. I like cashews as well, so I do one cup of each. You will need to preheat your oven to 250 degrees. The first thing you do is beat one egg white
for about 3 minutes, or until it looks the consistancy of meringue. Next you add 1/2 c. of soft brown sugar, 2 tsp. of pure vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp. of salt, and 1 T. of cinnamon. Mix it all in with the nuts and spoon out onto a well greased or foiled cookie sheet. Bake up to 1 hour, stirring every 15 min. Allow to sit out for at least 1 hour before serving. Makes great gifts too. Picture taken from nuts.com

11/13/2012

The 2nd Trimester Begins

Here is my latest ultrasound picture at 12 weeks. And it looks like it's a girl, from what I could tell. The nurse said this baby is very active and constantly moving. Everything is looking great!!

The 2nd Trimester Begins

Here is my latest ultrasound picture. Measurements

11/10/2012

How To Make the Most Nutritious Bone Broth

I am a convert to bone broth. I had heard about it so many times, even from my visiting teacher, but I never knew exactly how to go about making it. Complicated it sounded. Well, I decided to get my gear in action and learn how to do it. I mean, come on, how hard could it be. You go to the grocers, you go to the meat section, and you pick up some bones (chicken, beef, ham, any bone works). The issue was, there was no bones in the meat section that you could just buy alone. So, I talked with the butcher, asked if he had any bones with marrow, and little or no meat on them. He did, in fact, he had multiple selections and ended up cutting me femur bones which are the highest in bone marrow. I have made bone broth about 4 times now, and each time has not been easy. It takes practice. But I must say, as I am making some in my crockpot right now, that it does get easier each time. The first few times, I had too much fat in the broth, and I had to drain it multiple times. This time, I cut off the little fat on each bone, which is the way to do this, and then placed about 10 bones in a large crockpot, and about 8 c. of water. I set it on high for the first few hours, then reduced to low. When you make broth this way, make sure you allow to come to a boil and then reduce the heat. Allow about 10 hours for the bones to release vital nutrients into the water that mostly come from marrow. Why drink bone broth? Bone broth is the most nutritious way to go. Marrow is full of collegen, vitamins, calcium and minerals to name a few. Do the research. You will be amazed at how simple and nutritious bone broth is to make. Make sure you do drain the fat before you drink in a mesh colinder. If you have any bones left from chicken, beef, turkey, or pork, Never throw them away. The bones have vital nutrients you could never get in a single vitamin alone.

11/07/2012

baby girl

My family and I, are a family of girls. My sisters had mostly ALL girls, and of course boys are the minority. Ever have that strong inkling that you just know what your having? I am having a girl, just wait and see. Only 3 weeks until the gender ultrasound. I have a closet full of baby girl clothes right now. Yes, that is my mothers doing. She has shopped for baby girl clothes for my baby. Even she knows. Anyway, my birthday today was AWESOME!!!!!!!! I went to the club at 7 am today, saw my cool buddies, had the best birthday party at this Vietnam place, and the best soup of my life, and got tons of presents. Probably more then i ever have. Whoohoo. Life is good!!!

11/04/2012

growing baby

This Sunday I will be starting my second trimester. I really can't wait to say so long first trimester, it was nice knowin ya. The sickness has faided, the fatigue is going away, and the major hunger is beginning. The paleo lifestyle is about 50% right now, or until my hunger settles down. But until then, moderation is key and know matter how many times those obnoxious cravings creep up on me, I am happy to say, I never knew how much willpower I have. Willpower, it's important.

11/01/2012

Happy Halloween!!!

Happy Halloween!!!! I hope everyone had a spook filled Halloween full of fun, creativity, and of course healthy food. At work, I had a fun time working with kids in a small group setting, who of course did not want to work on reading, but instead talk about their Halloween costumes and favorite candy. As I watched these blue teeth, purple tongue kids (no doubt too much food coloring in their candy), I thought, how I remember getting excited like that when I was a little girl. Now, I actually dread Halloween because I can't stand the site of candy around my house. I dread it even more that we didn't get one trick or treater this year (blame that on the new development where we live and many vacant homes). I was however very excited to come home and dress up in a costume which I always do every year. Except, this year I didn't know what to be. I thought and thought and then a thought occurred to me. I will be a pregnant woman since I am practically showing already. But then I thought, Na! I will be a cowgirl like I am every year and so that is what I was. I am almost entering my second trimester. Morning sickness is getting better. My baby will be here before I know it!! Have a nice weekend ya'll.

10/22/2012

Fast Food Idea #2

So last post I mentioned it was Taco Bell I was craving, but now it's McDonold's. There is no secret behind my obsession with both of these places. As a little kid, there is no reward I wanted more then McDonold's. My favorite thing to get there was the Happy Meal, and I always ate the hamburger without the bun. I hated bread, and I think it's funny that now, eating the paleo way, that is exactly how I love eating my burgers once and again. So, if you have the urge to eat a hamburger, ask for it wrapped in lettuce. Every place will do it for you, and often times they double the lettuce in lieu of the bun. You are eating the paleo way without even knowing it, and you will notice you don't even miss the bun.

10/04/2012

Paleo and 7 weeks Prego Going Strong!!!

I decided to do the paleo diet during my pregnancy and I am so glad I am. I have to admit that weeks 5-6 of pregnancy were the toughest time to do paleo. I was contantly craving carbs, cheese, and everything else that is paleo forbidden. Last weekend, however, I gave into the urge and made a hoagie sandwich to shut my craving up. Ha, what a foolish thing. After being paleo for over two months and eating a huge hoagie sandwich, compare that to going to a foreign country and eating fermented beans for the first time. Seriously, you begin to hate bread after being diligent at paleo. So, I am 7 weeks prego, saw my tiny babies heartbeat, and am amazed at how awesome I feel. I am beginning to love my rapidly growing baby. My husband has been acting so funny and paranoid during this pregnancy. He is worried about me doing paleo due to the lack of calories, he gets upset when I lay on my stomach or lift heavy objects, and just loves this little growing embryo so much. I think I am way more relaxed then he is, but the man wants to be a dad more then anyone I have ever known. I applause him for that. The paleo diet is becoming so much easier now and I have total faith in it during my pregnancy desite my husband's insecurities with it. I am beginning to find cooking paleo not difficult at all at this point. Each time I come up with a new paleo recipe, I jump for joy. I don't think I have ever been into food this much these past few years. In addition to eating my paleo diet, here are some other things I am doing during my pregnancy that keeps me feeling great. I am doing zumba classes, going to curves, doing my yoga daily, and of course packing up because we are moving. Overall, I have good energy during the day, sleeping well at night, having only a little morning sickness which is hardly bad at all, and just eager for what's to come.

10/02/2012

Paleo Breakfast Idea

Sorry about the format of this recipe. Blogger resigned their look and I have yet to figure out how to change it. This breakfast is so enriched with vitamins and full of fiber, you really couldn't resist it. As a paleo eater, I do eat nuts and seeds in moderation due to the high phytic acid contained in them. I do recommend you soak your nuts and seeds for at least 24 hours in 1/4 tsp. salt to reduce the acid levels. Then bake them in the oven for about 5 minutes at 200 degrees to dry them. This cereal includes nuts and seeds that contain lower phytic acid levels. Paleo Crunch Cereal 1 c. chopped pecans 1 c. pumpkin seeds 1 c. of hemp seeds 1 c. of flaxseed (whole seeds) 1 c. unsweetened shredded coconut 1/4 c. of chopped yellow raisons 1/4 c. of chopped prunes 1 c. of coconut flour 1 c. of extra virgin coconut oil 1/4 c. of honey cinnamon nutmeg Begin by melting oil and honey in a pot. Combine the flour and nuts and seeds in large bowl. Add the oil and honey mixture. Spread on a greased cookie sheet and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes. May need an additional 5 minutes depending on oven heating variations. Serving ideas This is similiar to granola. You can eat with coconut milk or milk of your choice. Add fruit such as banana and peaches if you like. Makes a large serving, so should last several days. Store in a airtight container to ensure freshness.

9/26/2012

Zucchini Lasagna


  • This paleo style lasagna uses thin layers of zucchini in place of noodles. It is made exactly the same way as traditional lasagna is made, omit the noodles, cottage/ricotta cheese and cheese on top. Now by all means, if you are not as strict paleo eater, go ahead and add the cheeses. Either way, it is outrageously healthy and satisfying. Zucchini Lasagna 2 large zucchini sliced thin to resemble what lasagna noodles would like like 1 can of olives, chopped 2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes 1 6 oz can of tomato paste 1 pound of ground meat of your choice (turkey, beef, sausage) 1 small onion, chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 tsp. oregano 1 tsp. basil 1 tsp. garlic powder 1 tsp. onion powder 1/2 tsp. sea salt 1/4 tsp. black pepper olive oil Optional: cottage/ricotta cheese, and other cheese of your choice. Nutritional yeast for topping (this has a cheesy flavor naturally) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Begin by sauteeing onion, garlic, and meat of your choice in a pan with olive oil. Add all seasonings and tomato and paste. Simmer until sauce begins to thicken. Now here is the fun part. :) In a standard size cassorole pan that is greased, begin by layering the sliced (with skins on) zucchini on the bottom of the pan. Add mixture and diced olives. Repeat with zucchini, then mixture and olives. Keep repeating until you end with sauce on top with more olives. Bake at 350 for appr. 30-40 minutes. Enjoy!!

9/25/2012

Need Help Finding Paleo Recipes?

I found this site very helpful for paleo recipes. There are tons of recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and in betweens. Paleoplan.com

9/19/2012

Avocado, Raspberry, and Peach Salad (With the BEST alkalizing salad dressing)

I am turning towards more alkaline foods during my pregnancy. Alkaline foods are the healthiest foods to eat. You want to avoid too much acidic foods if you can. I wanted to share with you a basic (very basic) salad, as well as this dressing that really makes it good.

Alkaline Salad and Dressing

1/2 c. of chopped peach
1/2 c. of chopped cucumber
1/4 c. of chopped red onion
1/2 of a avocado, chopped
1 T. of chopped fresh mint
2 c. of fresh chopped organic rommaine lettuce or baby spinach if you prefer that instead.
1/4 c. of organic raspberries
1/8 c. of chopped walnuts
Combine and toss

Dressing

1 T. of apple cider vinegar
2 T. of extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced fine
1/4 tsp. of sea salt
1/4 tsp. of black pepper
1 tsp. of fresh squeezed lemon juice
Whisk with fork well, and toss over salad. Enjoy!!!

9/18/2012

Refreshing Cucumber Mint Drink

With fall approaching, this may be a little late in the season to drink. However, I actually made this by accident thinking it would be a salad dressing. I ended up not liking it as that, and came upon this drink. I am glad I did. It's so light, minty, lemony, and has a hint of cucumber flavor. You must try!!

You will need:
1 large cucumber
1 c. of ice cold water
2 T. of mint
1 T. of lemon juice (fresh)
1/2 T. of agave, honey, or stevia
Blend together and serve!!

9/13/2012

A SUPRISE!!!!!!


I'm speechless!!

The Paleo Diet Solution Notes and Summary

If you have not read "The Paleo Solution" by Robb Wolf, get your hands on it now. This is the best book I have ever read. It is a book I could not put down. It has taught significantly. If you choose not to purchase the book, I have highlighted key points Robb brings up in the book.

Here are 26 key points Robb Wolf talks about in his book.

According to Robb,


(1. We don't need carbs, our bodies make all the carbs they need from protein and fat
2. No simple or complex carb is healthy. It all converts to sugar, glucose, and fructose. Eating refined white bread and white rice is the same as eating a candy bar. Complex carbs are not healthier. They eventually break down to that sugar, but not as fast as simple carbs.
3. Carbs such as wheat, grains, corn, and table sugar cause blood sugar imbalances and blood sugar crashes.
4. The more carbs you eat, the more addicted you become to the sugar. You become leptin resistant which makes it so you constantly have to eat. Hence, you gain weight and experience bloating and other stomach fat.
5. The liver and panncreas are filled with toxic overload from carbs break down of sugar. The heart and brains also suffer.
6. Low insulin is optimal for health
7. cortisol releases in excess with carb overload. Too much cortisol is a bad thing.
8. High glucose causes type two diabetes. High glucose is caused by too many carbs and way to much sugar.
9. When you have high glucose levels, your body begins to attack itself and eat its own tissue up (waste away). Fat cells begin to increase making one even fatter. This causes weak bones, loss of muscle mass, loss of strength, and the inability to walk or run.
10. High glucose levels are toxic to the body.
11. Sugar from simple and complex cards react with good proteins in the body in a negative way. It damages hormones, enzymes, DNA, and hormonal receptor sites at the surface of each cell.
12. If you eat too many carbs, the damage to your gut gets worse and worse leading to many diseases.
13. All diseases, including cancer, start with how digestion works in the body. Your body cannot digest carbs correctly.
14. You must reduce inflammation in the body by eliminating all carbs such as wheat, grains, corns, and legumes.
15. The paleo diet heals the gut and entire body as soon as 6 weeks.
16. The more carbs you eat, the more damage you are doing to your body without you even knowing it.
17. Type 2 diabetes almost always leads to cancer and death if not controlled.
18. Medicine does not heal the body, it only slows down the death process.
19. Meat, veggies, and good sources of fat like avocados and coconut, remain unchanged in the gut, carbs like grains and wheat break down into a structure your body can't recognize.
20. Grains, corn, dairy, and legumes contain lectins. Lectins are not broken down in the digestive track, but rather stick around in the gut damaging it.
21. Lectins affect every organ in the body.
22. Gall bladder removal is the first sign of too many lectins.
23. Not properly digesting food causes you to always be hungry. This is a result of constant consumption of carbs.
24. Grains and other simple/complex carbs cause mal-absorption in the body.
25. Grains are pissed that you want to eat them, and they want to fight back.
26. Eating the Paleo Diet has changed the life of many people across the world. Countless studies have proven this diet heals and will prevent disease.

9/11/2012

Approved Paleo Diet Foods

When I first started the Paleo Diet two months ago, I didn't know what the heck to eat. I couldn't believe everyone saying this was the "perfect diet." How? Well, two months later, I know how. You must practice this diet. It is not easy at first, but after two months, you will be a pro at it. Promise!!!

Foods to NEVER eat on Paleo Diet. These foods all contain lectins which are not good for anyone. If you do choose to eat rice and legumes, please remember to soak it for 24 hours before cooking. This reduces the lectins.
All Grains. This includes:
Wheat and gluten
corn
popcorn
rice
quinoa
millet
legumes (all beans)
all pasta that is grain based

Avoid all sugar and dairy, so no:
cheese
milk
cream
butter

Foods to eat in moderation (because they do contain lectins and you must soak these as well).
Nuts and seeds, including almonds. (I recommend soaking your nuts for at least 12 hours as well).

Foods to eat on Paleo Diet

Cauliflower Salad

Think of potato salad, but with tender cauliflower instead. This salad is one of my favorites and makes a great side dish for the Paleo Diet.

You will Need:
1 head of cauliflower
2 chopped celery
2 chopped pickles
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 T. of fresh finely chopped parsley
3 hard boiled eggs
1/4 c. of chopped olives
3 T. of grapessed oil veganaise
1 T. of dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
fresh lemon juice

Dressing:
Mix grapeseed oil and dijon together. Add salt and pepper and about 1 tsp. of fresh lemon juice. Add all seasonings except the paprika. set aside.
Steam the cauliflower until it is tender. Once tender, chop the cauliflower up into small pieces. Add all veggies and chopped egg, and mix in dressing. Sprinkle salad with paprika and chill for about 1/2 hour to allow the flavor to kick in. This should not be bland. If you need a hint more flavor, add some lemon and more sea salt/pepper. Enjoy!!

Baked Turkey Meatballs Over Julienned Sliced Zuchinni

When you are on the paleo diet, a julienne slicer is mandatory. The julienne slicer is available at Bed, Bath and Beyond, or any kitchen store. It slices veggies into long noodle shapes, and thins out the veggies making them even more tolerated by people. On the paleo diet, you don't eat any grains, so you are using veggies like zuchinni to mimic noodles. If you don't have a julienne slicer, there is a technique you can use to slice your veggies. See this youtube clip to learn how: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmefj-FRKoQ.
Here is a picture of what julienned veggies look like


Baked Turkey Meatballs Over Julienned Sliced Zuchinni

2 zuchinni- julienned sliced, sauteed in extra virgin olive oil. (set aside)
speghetti sauce of your choice, set aside

For the Meatballs
1 pound of ground turkey
1 zuchinni
1 carrot,
2 garlic cloves
1/4 c. fresh cut parsley
1/4 c. blanched almond flour
1 egg
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. chili powder
Preheat oven to 350. In a food processor, pulse zuchinni, carrot, parsley, and garlic until finely chopped. Set aside
In a bowl, beat egg and almond flour together. Add 1 pound of ground turkey. Add salt, pepper and chili powder. Add veggie mixture and mix into turkey.
Drop balls onto parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes.
Serve this speghetti style by first placing your julienned sliced zuchinni on your plate. Next add speghetti sauce of your choice. Add meatballs on top, and enjoy your meal!!!

Blanched Almond Flour Bread-Paleo Bread


I make this bread quite often on this paleo diet. It is bread made out of blanched almonds and coconut flour. It turns out so good that even a few friends have requested how I make it. You must know that almond flour is VERY expensive. One pound costs between ten and twelve dollars, so I recommend you blanch your own almonds and blend the flour yourself (if you want to save money, not time). The process of blanching almonds can take roughly an hour, depending if you have help. I bought a big bag of almonds at Costco and found that blanching them myself made twice as much flour for the money. For reference, blanching simply means removing the skin of the almond so only the white part is visible. If you buy almond flour from store, skip the process of blanching below and go straight to recipe.

To Blanch your own almonds you must:

Pour the desired amount of almonds in a bowl. Fill the bowl with boiling hot water and allow to sit for at least 5-10 minutes. Drain the hot water, and then pour cold water over almonds. Allow to soak for about 5 minutes more. Once this is done, drain water and dry the almonds with towel. Begin peeling the skins off the almonds. You now know how to blanch almonds.

Once almonds have been blanched, you need to make sure they are completely dry before adding them to your vita-mix or blend-tec. There can not be any moisture on the almonds when trying to make flour.

Pulse the almonds several times until you see flour. Once that is done, measure the amount of flour needed to make the bread. Now onto the recipe.

Blanched Almond Flour Bread (Paleo Bread)

1 1/2 c. blanched almond flour
2 T. coconut flour
1/4 c. flaxseed (ground up)
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 large eggs
1/4 c. coconut oil
1 T. honey
1 T. apple cider vinegar

Steps
Mix both flours, ground flaxseed, baking soda, and salt in bowl
In seperate bowl, beat eggs for about 2 minutes. Add honey, vinegar and oil.
Pour egg mixture onto flour mixture and beat on low for about 1 minute. Pour batter into 9 x 5 loaf pan (you may use a smaller or larger pan depending on your preference).
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Picture from source http://theairdiet.blogspot.com/2010/04/miscellaneous-almond-bread.html











Paleo Salad Dressing Ideas

Being on the Paleo Diet for two months now, I eat a lot of spinach salads. I use baby spinach instead of romaine because I get it for cheaper. A lot of people wonder what kind of salad dressing to use to make their salad tasty. I have a few recipes to share with you.

Grapeseed Oil Veganaise Dressing/sandwich spread (My Favorite)

1/4 c. of veganaise salad dressing
1/2 T. of fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp. of dried cilantro leaves
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. curry powder (or use red pepper instead)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 garlic clove, minced
mix together in a small bowl and chill in fridge for at least 1/2 hour. Spread on salad and mix well.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Olive Oil Dressing
1 T. of apple cider vinegar
1 T. of extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced fine
1 tsp. chopped onion
1 T. of fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Mix with fork in a bowl and pour over salad. If this is too strong, dilute it with a little more olive oil.

Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil Dressing
1 T. balsamic vinegar (you can also use red wine vinegar instead)
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/3 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
minced garlic
Whisk with fork and pour over salad.

Questions
Why Do You Use Veganaise instead of regular mayo or mayo light with olive oil

I get asked this question a lot. I don't believe in using vegetable oils or any canola oils. Your standard mayo dressing is loaded with vegetable oils that are not high olaic expeller pressed, which preserves the delicate oil, ensuring it to be healthier (such as why I use veganaise for that very reason). Typical vegetable oils found in mayo go through a cheap process that does not leave the oil in a healthy state. The only oils I use are expeller pressed oils such as grapeseed oil or I use extra virgin olive oil. I also prefer to make my own salad dressings over purchasing them for reasons described.

9/10/2012

Green Smoothie Recipe


This smoothie is my breakfast. I love how satisfying and healthy it is. Now that school has started and I am back to work, this smoothie is the perfect thing to make each morning.


Green Smoothie
2 c. of organic baby spinach
1 avocado
2 c. of coconut water (great source of electrolytes).
1 banana
1 cucumber


Blend the spinach and coconut water by themselves for about 1 minute. Next add the banana and cucumber and blend for about 20 seconds. Add the avocado last. If your smoothie is too thick, try adding more liquid to thin it out. Enjoy!!
Picture from http://itsahuntlife.blogspot.com/2011/01/my-day-looked-up.html

6/11/2012

Day 1 of A Whole New Way Of Eating

to heal. I did some research yesterday on how to heal leaky gut and an irritated gut. It seems I have still been bloated and I couldnt figure out what has not been working in my whole foods diet. It turns out, I hadn't done all the research I should have because let's just say, no changes were happening like I wanted to. I had been eating foods that were still irriating my gut and after doing a lot of research I found I need to eliminate all these foods for 6 weeks. This is how long it takes to heal with this extensive program. I am excited to at least learn that villi (the fingerlike things that move food in the intestines) is capeable of healing every 24 hours. Isn't that remarkeable. After 25 years of abuse to my body, eating all the dangerous foods to my gut, villi can heal in 24 hours. I knew God had to have mercy and let our bodies heal. The body is so forgiving. Also, the body can heal in 4-5 days I found, if avoiding foods that irritate it as well. I know this 6 week program is the total heal that the body needs and I have the protocol to do this. I have a path to follow now, and I think I might make it this time.

Foods to Avoid for 6 weeks
Dairy
Grains including all rice, quinoa, millet, amarath, oats and more
Legumes like peas, beans, lentils, chickpeas, soy and tofu
Starches like potatoes, carrots, beets, pumpkin, squash, and sweet potatoes
High glycemic foods
Bananas, dried fruit, and fruit juice
Sugars of all kind

Healing foods (the list is long, so I will name the ones I like to eat the most)
apples
apricots
berrries
grapefruit
lemons and limes
nectarines
peaches
plums
pomegranates
watermelon
pineapple

Veggies to heal (the list is long, so I will name the ones I like to eat the most)
alfalfa sprouts
asparagus
artichokes
bok choy
cilantro
parsley
celery
kale
rommaine lettuce
dandelions leaves
saurefraut (fermented foods)
chard
tomatoes(yeah)
zuchinni
scallions
Olive oil
Honey

Today I went to Good Earth and out of all the healing products I had on my list, Good Earth only had a few of the things at the store. I got: hemp seeds, hemp protein powder, chia seeds, Garden of Life Zyme-Ultra (a digestive and probiotic blend), a probiotic that needs refrigeration and is 20 billion strains of good bacteria, zinc, sea buckthorn, biotin, candex, yeast cleanse, zinc, a liqiud calcium, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, phyllim husk powder and tons of veggies. I spent a lot of money today, but I felt peace in knowing it was an investment in my health and healing. I looked for a recommended supplement called phytoplankton, but they did not have it. I would like to order that online and try it.Do I dare spend more money. I did take back a purse and top and got 118 in credit, so that helped pay for all these things I need for my healing quest. Here is the 6 week healing phase broken into two parts.

Part 1 (3 weeks long)
Only foods acceptable on list, no vitamins or minerals at this time, just your yeast candida cleanses, probiotics and digestive stuff. Eat hemp seeds when hungry, they do fill you up big time. I like that.
Part 2 (3 weeks long)
Introduce eggs and fish into your diet. Eat a little more brown rice.
I hope I can do this. I really want to heal my gut. I worry about major weight loss though. I know once my body is healed, the weight can be re-gained.

5/30/2012

Cha Cha Bowl

This recipe came from Jeanetteshealthyliving.com, but I did adapt if by making it vegan, as well as changing a few of the ingredients around. This meal is fabulous. It is so light and nutritious, while being hearty and packed with flavor at the same time. I know I say you must try all my recipes I post, but this one, you must try.  I recommend you soak your quinoa and beans to reduce the lectin content.
Cha Cha Bowl

Ingredients for Pineapple and Zuchinni Salsa
1 zuchinni shredded with peel
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 c. pineapple tidbits
1/4 c. chopped scallion
2 T. fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 garlic, clove minced
1 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lime
1/4 tsp. salt
Combine all together in bowl and mix thoroughly.

Fresh Tomato Salsa
2 c. fresh tomatoes, chopped with seeds and pulp removed.
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. jalepeno pepper, minced
1.4 c. chopped cucumber, peel removed
2 T. fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/8 tsp, salt
1 T. lime juice
Combine all together

-Quinoa, cooked in vegetable broth for flavor, and salt/pepper and evoo for flavor
-Black beans
-Chopped Avocado, optional

In a bowl,  add about 1 c. of cooked quinoa. Add a scoop of cooked black beans, then add pineapple and zuchinni mixture, as well as fresh tomato mixture on top.
You may substitute rice for quinoa. 

5/23/2012

Mango, Strawberry, and Quinoa Salad

I made this the other night and while it is similiar to other quinoa (pronounced keenwa) salads in the past, this one had chopped baby spinach and strawberries. A combo of sweet, salty, and lime flavors, truly enhances this dish. I couldn't stop yumming while I ate this . I loved it so much that I ate this whole recipe in less then two days. You must try this! :)

  You need: (recommend organic produce)
1 1/2 c. Cooked quinoa
1 1/4 c. Seasoned cooked black beans, or 1 can
. 1/2 c. Chopped cilantro leaved, fresh
1/4 c. Chopped scallions
1/2 of a orange bell pepper
1/2 c. Chopped baby spinach, chopped finely
1 mango, diced
1 c. Chopped strawberries
1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped.
Combine with cooled quinoa, mix together.

  Dressing
1/4 c. Extra virgin olive oil
2 T. Red wine vinager.
Juice of one lime.
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Black pepper
Combine and wire wisk until combined well. Pour dressing over quinoa mixture and mix well. Chill for 20 minutes at least before serving.



5/15/2012

Three Years In The Making

Our three year anniversary is here. Boy, has it gone fast. Here are a few pictures that capture these three great years we've had.
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Here's to many more years together!!!

Green Algae

I have felt green for some time, I mean going green as in saving the trees, zero paper, stopping pollution, etc. Each time I am out in nature, I gain more appreciation for each tree, but fast forward 20 years from now. Do you think more trees will be saved from more people going green? Do you think more trees could be kept around to absorb the toxic pollution that is spread from the use of cars fueled by gasoline? We need our trees, and I have always been a huge advocate of saving our trees and our environment. What do you all think about green algae instead of gasoline? For the past few years, I have been following Josh Tickell's quest of saving energy, stopping pollution, and saving American's money. According to Good Morning American report, "Tickell just finished a 10-day drive from Los Angeles to New York City in his Algaeus. On the trip, the car averaged 147 miles per gallon in the city, where it runs on electricity alone. On the highway, where it works as a hybrid, it averaged 52 miles per gallon. Most amazing of all, Tickell stopped only six times for fill-ups. So how does the Algaeus get such extraordinary mileage? Essentially, the Algaeus is a tricked-out version of the already fuel-efficient Prius. Tickell added a nickel metal hydride battery and a plug to the hybrid car. Instead of gasoline, the car's engine runs on algae fuel. He currently fuels his prius with green algae and says, "The set-up is so effective that the Algaeus can run on approximately 25 gallons from coast to coast." Pause. Why isn't green algae available for everyone currently? According to a report from Good Morning America, It is "Developed by the green startup company Sapphire Energy, algae fuel is produced on a farm in the deserts of New Mexico. Proponents of algae fuel claim that it has the potential to be a new source of 100 percent carbon neutral energy that won't require changing the country's current energy infrastructure. That's because algae has the same chemical composition as gasoline and is, therefore, compatible with existing gasoline technology, from refineries to car engines. Unlike an oil rig, an algae farm can be located almost anywhere, and does not require converting farmland or nature preserves. Right now, algae fuel isn't available to consumers, but its makers hope to make it available commercially within the next five years. If you want to see green fuel become a reality, Tickell has a few suggestions. He recommends calling your representatives and urging them to create incentives for algae fuel, or holding a town hall meeting in your area to help spread the word about the technology." Imagine how much pollution could be reduced by fueling with green algae instead of gasoline. What are your thoughts on this?

5/14/2012

Plastics To Avoid

Over the weekend, I educated myself about all unsafe plastics that you you may use in your kitchen. On the bottom of every plastic item is a number usually in the center of a triangle or circle. Check for these numbers, 3, 6, and 7. If you see these numbers on the bottom of your plastic kitchenware, baby/children's toys, baby bottles, and anything else that is plastic, throw them away. Most of these items are not made anymore due to FDA guidelines in recent years. Safe plastic items have numbers of, 1, 2, 4, 5. However, even most plastic water bottles with these numbers are bio-degradable and not meant to be used more then once. If you have purchased plastic items in the past few years, don't worry about the unsafe numbers are much, as more research has been done on BPA leached from plastics and harsh chemical consumption through plastics. More and more plastics are being designed to be safe nowadays, which really eases most peoples minds. But I still recommend you check the numbers on your plastics. Over the weekend, I found about 10 items in my kitchen with number 7 on the bottom, in which I threw away. Here are some other tips I recommend. 1. Never microwave anything in plastic, and don't use any plastic wrap in the microwave. There just isn't enough research done to know if this is safe or not yet. 2. Never re-use a plastic water bottle that is designed for a one time use. 3. Check the number on the plastic your are purchasing. I do know some people who drink out of glass water bottles since even stainless steal bottles have concerns about leaching nickel through the bottle. If you are interested in glass water bottles, you can check on amazon.com for some well made, safe, heavy duty glass water bottles. They are a little more pricey, but I recommend you read the reviews before purchasing any of them.

4/17/2012

Common Food Staples, Fresh Produce, and Whole Foods Meal Planning Suggestion

My suggestion for Whole Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping:
I try to get items I will need for one whole week's worth of recipes. What I do is line up about five recipes (taking into account leftovers) and then get those items for the week. If I forget an item, I just make sure to get that item that day. Since I am using Jeanetteshealthyliving.com as my main recipe source for this whole foods challenge, I am writing down all the recipes I want to try that she has made, and then get my food list ready. This makes it so easy.

I wanted to list food staples here that you may find helpful to have in your pantry for your whole foods meal planning.

These are seasonings I recommend the most:
Paprika
Onion powder
Garlic Powder
Coriander
Cumin
Thyme
curry powder
sea salt
black pepper
oregano
basil
rosemary
cilantro (dried)
parsley (dried)
sage
celery salt
chili powder
lemon pepper
cinnamon
nutmeg
cloves

Canned Goods
(I am eliminating most canned goods because of my efforts to do whole foods, but I highly recommend canned goods for food storage purposes. There are still canned items I need to use sometimes such as coconut milk since I don't have patience to work with coconuts. I also recommend canned pineapple, and other canned fruits that may be seasonal. Also, tomato paste/sauce, and diced tomatoes are good to have on hand in case you don't have fresh tomatoes.

Packaged beans, rice, oatmeal and legumes
dried garbonzo beans, black beans, pinto beans, and other favorite types of beans you may use. Brown short grain rice, Oatmeal, lentils, quinoa and millet.

Meats
I don't eat much meat at all, but when I do (maybe 3 x a week), I like to turn to my freezer. I recommend salmon, shrimp, organic ground turkey and chicken.
I have made every effort to eliminate all red meat from my diet.


Pasta

Potatoes
I also recommend keeping a big bag of potatoes on hand.

Vegetable and Chicken Stock/broth
I go through this like crazy because I use it in so many soups I make. I recommend getting a case of it at Costco or any store that carries things in big bulks.

Non Dairy Items

Soymilk, almond milk (you can actually buy these in cartons that do not need to be refrigerated until openend.
tofu


Fresh Produce/Perishables
I go to the grocery often because I like to buy the most freshest produce as possible. This time of year, as summer approaches, I like to go to Farmer's Markets to get fresh garden produce and more seasonal things.
Veggies I use the most include:
Cauliflower
Kale
Chard
Parsnips
Dandelion leaves
brocolli
leeks
beets
cilantro and other fresh herbs like basil and mint
mung beans
corn
mushrooms
sweet potatoe
onions
garlic
zuchinni
carrots
celery
asparagus

Fruits
Apples
Berries in season
pineapple
peaches
nectarines
kiwi
lemons/limes
tomatoes
avocado
pears

Going All Natural :)



When people think of doing a whole foods diet, they sometimes forget that even things like toothpaste or their deodorant may have artificial ingrediants and colorings in it. We often don't think to look at the ingrediants found in toothpaste or even shampoos/conditioners, but what you see, is a whole lot of questionable things. I don't use any deodorant with aluminum in it, but instead use this very one instead, which is all natural. You can pick this up at a healthfood store or even off amazon. Toothpaste has preservatives, naturally, to prevent it from going rancid. The most frequent one you will see is sodium lauryl sulfate. But, did you know that not all preservatives have to be bad. Natural and safe preservatives include, lemon and vinager, salt, ascorbic acid (vitamin C),tocopherol (vitamin E)and even alcohol. If you squeeze fresh lemon juice over avocado or fruit salad, it prevents them from turning brown in the fridge. Citrus fruits tend to keep in the fridge unlike apples and bananas.

Bad sythentic preservatives/additives include: TBHQ, EDTA, Sodium lauryl sulfate, titatium dioxide, BHA, sodium nitrate, sodium benzonate, red 40, yellow 6 (and many other artifical flavorings and colors), msg, and partially hygrogenated oils.
Uh, I am sure there are much more, but I have un-familiarized myself with them yet. Did you know that before the invention of synthetic preservatives, people used only natural preservatives in their foods such as those above. If you go to a healthfood store, you can find all natural toothpaste, that even is flouride free. Dentists recommend flouride for healthy teeth, but I question that. This toothpaste is flouride free and has many natural things in it. I have ordered mine from amazon because I couldn't find toothpaste that was this natural in the healthfood store.
To learn more about natural preservatives you want instead, go to this article.
http://www.ehow.com/about_4743326_natural-preservatives.html

Stay Away From Hydrogenated Oils

We have a lot of peanut butter floating around our parts. The other day, hubby nearly almost ate a big spoonful of skippy peanut butter. I looked at the bottle's ingrediants and nearly gasped. What do you think I saw, my friends?? If you are not familiar with the two words I am about to type here, educate yourself now!
HYDROGENATED OILS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Along with the cheap, made for profit, high fructose corn syrup, this oil is bad. Yes, it is very bad, and it's most likely found in your peanut butter, unless you made it from scratch or purchased it at a healthfood store. Husband had the spoon of PB two inches away when I stopped him. Of course this led to a fight, but as I showed him an all natural peanut butter that was made from organic peanuts and contained two ingrediants only, peanuts and honey, he immediately began to calm himself, especially after he ate a spoonful of this wholesome stuff instead. :) Oh, what would dear husband do without me!!!
So, look for this oil which is found in many items including even packaged granola bars and some cereals. This oil is an additive just like msg is.When you eliminate all processed and pre-prepared foods, you don't need to worry about these preservatives and additives. That is why I encourage you to do the whole foods diet, to eliminate any exposure to these chemicals.

Breakfast Idea

So I am a regular oatmeal eater for breakfast, but recently I found out that cooked short grain organic brown rice, and quinoa work great served in the morning. Here is how I prepare mine.

You can prepare rice in a rice cooker the night before or the morning you plan to eat it. I highly recommend short grain brown rice for its fluffy nature. I serve my hot rice with either almond or soymilk, chopped berries such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, a squeeze of agave (see my January 30th post to learn about agave) and a pinch of cinnamon. You can also substitute quinoa or even millet for brown rice.

I have learned that rice is a great diaretic food. It is one of the most easy to digest foods. Rice is very cleansing and nurishing to the body, when eaten as a whole grain. I hope you all incorporate this humble grain into your breakfast.

Corn Chowder With Turkey Bacon (non GMO corn)

This is a dairy free soup that I wanted to share as I continue with my whole foods challenge. This soup is rich and filling, and you would never believe there it is dairy free.


Corn Chowder With Turkey Bacon

2 c. of frozen corn
2 large potatoes, chopped
1 c. of chopped onion
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 stalks of celery, chopped
4 slices of turkey bacon, sliced into peices. (I used organic, uncured turkey bacon, free of nitrates and preservatives).
4 c. of organic chicken broth
1 c. of plain organic soymilk
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 c. of water for cooking
In a deep pot, pour in 1/2 c. of water and toss in carrots, celery, potatoes, onion, and garlic. Cook with lid on pot, until tender. Add broth, seasonings, bacon, and corn. Allow to simmer for about 20 min. Add the soymilk last and allow to simmer for about 5 more minutes. Serve hot.
I served this meal with some steamed beets, and it was a meal sure to make you feel great. Update: As of 5/19, I have eliminated corn from my diet after discovering my intolerance to it).

4/14/2012

Spiced Pumpkin Soup and Shrimp

I got this recipe out of my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. This soup is a wonderfully warm and delicious soup that is perfect for anytime of year in my book. The spicy pumpkin flavors in the creamy soup, combined with the shrimp, is perfect.

Spiced Pumpkin Soup w/shrimp

2 medium onions, sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 T. fresh cilantro
2 tsp. fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 14 ounce can of chicken broth
1 15 ounce can of pumpkin
1 c. of soymilk
1 8 ounce package of frozen, peeled, and deveined cooked shrimp, thawed.
1/2 c. water for cooking

1. In a large saucepan, cook onions, carrots, ginger, allspice, and garlic in water. Let cook until tender, stiring a few times.
2. Transfer veggie mixture to a blender and add 1/2 c. of broth. Cover and blend until smooth.
3. In the same pot, combine the remaining 1 1/4 c. of broth, the pumpkin, and soy milk. Stir in blended veggie mixture and shrimp. Serve hot.

Tofu Alfredo Sauce

Here is a recipe for the tofu alfredo sauce I mentioned in another post. A lot of people wonder why the tofu subsitution for cream, and I will tell you why I choose tofu over cream. Dairy products such as milk, cheese, butter, and cream are full of saturated fats your body can do without. Saturated fats are a leading causes of heart attacks as well as some cancers. In addition, in today's world, there are so much abuse of hormones and steroids used, that I find it best to just stay away. So, with this tofu alfredo sauce, you can get the rich taste of alfredo sauce you crave. Not only is it delicious, but it is 100% dairy free. I even used vegan parmasan cheese I found at Good Earth to sub for the dairy parmasan cheese.

1 (12 ounce) package of silken soft tofu
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1/2 c. vegan parmasan cheese crumbles
1 1/2 tsp. fresh or dried basil
1 tsp. dried or fresh parsley
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 c. plain organic soymilk
1/2 tsp. salt

Directions:
combine all ingrediants in a blender and blend until soft and creamy.
Transfer to pot on stove and heat. Add the salt and more pepper to your liking. Stir and then serve over noodles of your choice.
Tip: This alredo sauce is initially creamy, but tends to get clumpy once you stop stirring. I suggest you don't use this as leftoever the next day. It has it's best consistancy and texture immediately upon making.

Week One Of Whole Foods Challenge

So, I did a whole week of nothing but whole food. Okay, I slipped once, but that was sordive an emergancy. I made tofu alredo sauce (I will post recipe) and served it with whole wheat rice noodles in a very confined small container. I had to work that day, so come lunch, my noodles were mush, and I ended up throwing it out. So, long story short, I had to think of what I could eat fast food wise. I opted for Panda Express and got fried rice for 2 bucks. Big whopping mistake. Full of grease and yuck, I vow never to eat there again, even in emergencies like that.
So, that is the only time I ate something that was not whole food this week, and you all know why Panda Express's fried rice is not whole food, right? It is pre-prepared for the restaurant, and comes with all sorts of additives and preservatives. It is not whole!!
So anyway, this week has been fabulous! I am so excited about this new way of eating. I can't emphasize enough how much I love eating whole foods. This whole week has consisted of foods from Jeaneteshealthyliving.com. You can go to her site for recipes. Her blog is my inspiration and support for this challenge. I have made tons of soups this week off her blog. They include, pureed carrot and coriander soup, pureed cauliflower potatoe and leek soup, pureed cauliflower with soy yogurt, loaded veggie soup, chicken and rice soup, lots of avocados and gaucomole with organic chips, pumpkin soup with shrimp, pureed zuchinni and lentil soup, and much more. The only soup that I didn't nake off of Jeannette's blog was the pumpkin soup and I will post a seperate post for that recipe, as well as the tofu alfredo sauce.
This whole foods challenge is not really a challenge anymore. As I am familiarizing myself with how to cook whole foods, it is becoming easier . I am eating every few hours, and high calorie foods such as avocados really help.
So, that is my first week update of this whole foods challenge. I will continue to post at the end of each week about my experiences and foods I try.

4/11/2012

Whole Foods Challenge and Cruciferous Vegetables


So a cruciferous veggie would be like cabbage, brocolli, and cauliflower to name a few. Veggies in this family are very good anti-cancer veggies, among other fighters of free radicals in the body. I made this wholesome soup with roasted cauliflower. My husband ate his, but he had to use saltine crackers. I feel for people who can't enjoy good nutritious food without the added white flour. Here is a soup that is pureed in a blender. It is filling, and wholesome.

Roasted Cauliflower

Whole Foods Challenge Continues


I hope some of you have decided to join me in my whole foods challenge. It is so exciting to be doing this. I wanted to share another recipe that I made, a soup, that is loaded with nutrients. My ingrediants were organic.

Loaded Veggie Soup

1 bunch of bok choy (use all the leaves, and only use about 2 of the stems) chopped
1 c. of cooked lentils
1 c. of brown rice
2 leeks, chopped
1 sweet potatoe, peeled and chopoped into cubes
1/2 c. yellow onion
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 zuchinni, skin on, and chopped
5 large mushrooms, chopped
6 c. of low sodium vegetable broth
1 tsp. of minced ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. of oregano
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1.4 tsp. celery salt
water for cooking

Set aside cooked rice and lentils. In a deep soup pot, add about 1/2 c. of water and add carrots, onion, zuchinni, garlic, ginger, sweet potatoe, and the two chopped bok choy stems. Allow to cook until soft and tender. Add more water if needed. Once soft and onions are translucent, add the chopped leeks and mushrooms and stir well for about 3 more mintues. Next, add the veggie broth and seasonings. Add rice and lentils and stir well. Allow to simmer for about 30-40 min. Just before serving, add the bok choy leaves (try to remove all middle stems). Serve hot.

4/10/2012

Join Me On A Whole Foods Challenge

In a continued effort to block all refined, processed foods, I am starting whole foods challenge. As seen on this blog here, it may seem I only eat whole foods. Well, now it's time to be strict. That means in this challenge, I am dedicating myself to be at least a 95% whole foods eater. It took a lot of recipe searching and food blogs to find a recipe source so I can make this challenge. It's not easy, and I have tried it before. In doing a whole foods challenge, you are not allowed to eat anything that is pre-packaged, or processed. This means, all the goodness of fresh ingrediants such as garden veggies, fruits and more. Today I started out with my typical oatmeal, followed by a pureed soup I made in my blend tec. I will post recipe below. I am following a food blog in which a woman named Jeannette eats only whole foods and has tons of recipe ideas for you to look at if you are interested. Her blog is amazing and it will be my resource for this whole foods challenge. visit: jeanetteshealthyliving.com

Here is the recipe for the soup I made today.

Potatoe and Lentil Soup

1 T. olive oil
1 c. lentils, cooked
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 of an onion, chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and pre-baked
4 c. of vegetable broth
3 c. of water
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. salt
3/4 c. tomatoe paste
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 T. fresh cilantro leaves
Wash the lentils and cook with one garlic clove in three cups of water. Once liquid is absorbed, they should be done. Set aside,
2. in a deep pot, saute onion, and remianing garlc in olive oil until soft. Add spices and tomato paste. Mix well
3. Add 4 c. of vegetable broth and lemon juice. bring to boil.
4. place soup, lentils, baked potatoe and cilantro into a blend tec or vita mixer*** and secure lid. Blend on soup mode. Serve hot.
*** If you don't own a blend tec or vitamixer, you can use a regular blender, but you may need to do several rounds depending on size of your blender.

4/01/2012

Strawberry and Oat Flour Pancakes

It seems that nothing I eat fills me up, until I gobbled down about ten of these this morning. I ALWAYS crave a hearty yet healthy pancake. Anyhow, I want to share this recipe for these. So here goes.

Ingredients
2 c. Oat flour (buy it, or make your own. I used my beloved blendtec and used two cups of oatmeal to make oat flour. Genius.
3 tsp. Baking soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 c. Soy milk or almond milk. I dont drink cows milk due to hormones, steroids, and other things in there you dont wanna know.
1/2 c. Olive oil,
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
3 c. Strawberries for topping
Mix egg, vanilla, milk and oil in bowl.
Add to oat flour and then add everything else and mix well. Scoop 1/2 c. Of mixture onto hot saucepan. Once done, serve with berries.

3/30/2012

Homemade Tomatillo Salsa Verde

I love salsa verde, and making it is so easy. Use it in homemade tamales which I made tonight, or use as a dip for chips, ect. I love the lime flavor combined with the tomatillos. So yummy, yummy, yummy. :)

Ingrediants
1 pound tomatillos
1/2 c. Onion
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 c. Water
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 jalepeno pepper, chopped
1 T. fresh cilantro leaves
Bring above to a boil, then simmer til tender. Puree in blender. Chill and serve, or serve hot.

Chicken, Yam, and Chard Soup (one pot soup)


I got the idea for this recipe from sara from lifewithladniers. So, she made this soup and I had to make it too. So good, hearty, and healthy. The day I planned to make it, I had to track down chard. Nobody carried it that day, so I went to Kaysville and found it at Bowmans. I was very determined to get chard to make this soup. And it was worth the drive to get the chard.
Ingredients
1 bunch of chard, chopped with stems
2 T. Olive oil
1 yam, peeled and cubed
1 pound chicken thigh meat, chopped
2 carrots chopped
1 bunch of green onions chopped with whites too
1/2 c. Chopped onion
1 jalepeno pepper, seeds removed, and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. Oregano
1/2 tsp. Thyme
1 tsp. Sea salt, divided
1/2 tsp. Pepper
1 fresh lemon
4 c. Vegetable broth reduced sodium
6 c. Water
In deep pot, add oil and saute carrots, pepper, garlic until translucent. Add thyme and oregano.
Meanwhile, add 1/2 tsp and 1/4 tsp. To chicken, mix well. Add chicken to pot and cook until tender.
Add broth and water and everything else to pot, along with chard and chopped stems. Add remaining salt and pepper. Simmer 20 min. Add fresh lemon juice to individual servings. Enjoy!! :)

3/15/2012

Avocado Lime Quinoa

I made this avocado lime quinoa salad tonight for dinner. I bought two bags of quinoa at Costco, and I am already half way through the second bag. Yes siree, I eat lots of quinoa, almost everyday. I eat it cooked in chicken stock, with lemon pepper seasoning and dried cilantro. There are many recipes on this blog with quinoa.

1 1/2 c. Quinoa. You can use a rice cooker to cook it also. Cook with lid on stove on low heat. Keep the lid on and let cook for app. 20 min or so. Check it often and stir. It will be very fluffy and light when cooked properly.
Meanwhile do this:
Chop 1/2 c. Red pepper
"" "" "" "" cucumber
"" "" "" "" tomatoe
"" "" "" "" "" avocado
1/4 c chopped scallions
Set aside
Open can of black beans and set aside.
Now do this:
Add 3 T. Olive oil
"" 2 T. Red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. Salt
"" """ pepper
Juice of one lime
Whisk this dressing with fork, then mix cooled quinoa with veggies and black beans. Toss in dressing and then stir all together. Let chill in fridge 15 min before serving. Serve with dried cilantro and fresh lime juice on top (if desired).

3/12/2012

Indian Curry (My Way)

I eat a lot of Indian Curry, like once a week if I can. I wanted to share this recipe. It's so quick and easy.

2 c. rice of choice cooked in rice cooker while curry is being prepared
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
1 can cocunut milk
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. tumeric
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. chopped chicken or shrimp
dried cilantro (optional)

In medium saucepan, cook meat until done. Add chopped onions and cook on medium until onions tender. Add tomatoes and cocunut milk. Stir and then add all other seasonings. Simmer for 10 min. on low. It is supposed to be thin, so don't worry. Pour over rice and you are good to go.
dried cilantro on top (optional)

1/30/2012

Agave

My mom introduced this product to me. I was excited to learn that this all natural sweetner can be used to replace white table sugar. Agavve grows mainly out in the desert, and the beauty of this sweetener is that it has a low glycemic index, which makes it absorb more slowely in the body, preventing spikes in blood sugar. We all know that excess white table sugar can cause hyperactivity, obesity, and poor attention spans, just to name a few, but this product, which comes from the heart of the agave plant and is 100% in it's natrual state, has not been refined like sugar has, meaning it's pure honest to goodness better for you.
I use this as a substitution when I bake, using this in place of sugar. It is also sweeter then sugar, so you don't need as much. It's perfect for trying to ween my husband off his sugar addiction he has. I love that I can use this product and my husband doesn't know the difference. And when we have children, I will use this product instead since I will be raising them sugar-free. I love that this product is delicious and nobody can tell the difference between white table sugar and this. I highly recommend this product for better health for your family. You can purcahse this off amazon, at Costco, or any healthfood store.

Restore Your Hair With Mayo

We have all seen the expensive hair treatment creams you can buy at the store. Here is a simple, inexpensive way to treat damaged hair. Mayo! Mayo contains a lot of protein from eggs that stregthens the cuticles of your hair shaft, making your hair stronger, healthier, shinier, and youthful. You can use mayo on your hair up to three time a week or more, depending on how damaged your hair is. To do this, you will need these items:
1. Mayo or light mayo
2. comb
3. towel
First you need about 1 c. of mayo to disrubute evenly in your dry hair. More needed if longer hair. Comb, the mayo into your hair and put the towel around you to allow the hair to freely hang down while you are combing the mayo through your hair. Leave on for 30 min. and wash out.
If you choose to wash your hair first, you can disrubute the mayo on washed, wet hair as well and leave on for 30 min. Either way works.
I also wanted to share with you some more beauty tips for making your own facial masks from home. click this link to view about 25 recipes for homemade facial masks.

1/20/2012


Did I just hear hear that dark chocolate is good for you, even recommended for your health, even recommended to eat daily. Yeah!!!!!!!!! I love deep, rich, dark chocolate, and this is the very chocolate I am eating right now. I love the extra dark, 85% chocolate. Lindt brand is my favorite. I love the pure taste of cocoa. Rich in anti-oxidents, and great for your skin, this dark chocolate is sure to be the dessert of choice for me.

1/17/2012

Music


Music has always been a huge part of my life. I have played several musical instruments over the years because of my passion for music. I remember taking harp lessons and practicing harp hours on hours of the day. I remember ar byu practicing the piano so often I actually became confident to play in public. I remember duets with my dad, us playing violin and viola. I remember singing in huge choirs and private voice lessons. I remember playing in the orchestra at BYU. I love music, but I also love dance. Not only is music and dance enjoyable, but I have researched the benefits of music on a human brain. A holistic doctor once told me about how even snowflakes, seen under a microscope change into different formations when different music is played. Soothing music has greatt benefits for feeling inner peace within the body. Lately, I have turned to music since we don't have television. I make sure relaxing music is playing all around me, and love doing my yoga while listening to relaxing music. Take time to allow music that you enjoy to play in your home daily, you will truly love it.

1/10/2012

Redmond Clay


This is Redmond Clay and it is one of my favorite facial masks. This clay is nutrient and mineral rich and found millions of years ago and used by many natives as a natural remedy to healing. It is found in volcanic ash and completely beneficial for topical or internal use. I have read stories about people drinking it for health benefits and has proven to be a miracle cure due to the high mineral and vitamin content it contains. It is also soothing on the stomach. I have drank it myself many times and the taste is a little murky tasting but it's definately tolerable. I love this product as a facial and body mask. I mix it with luke warm water, and then I smear it over my face like mud. It dries fast and really keeps your skin beautiful. You can find this product at Healthfood stores or even on Amazon for around 7.00.

Tasty!

Tasty!
Mango Salsa (see January archive on right for recipe)