Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fall Pumpkin Granola

Here is a granola recipe perfect for fall! Enjoy and let me know what you think!
Serves 6
2 ½ C. rolled oats (gluten free oats in needed)
¼. Ground flax seeds
¼ C. finely chopped pecans
¼ C. pepitas (small pumpkin seeds)
1 t. cinnamon
½ t. pumpkin pie spice (optional)
1/3 C. pure maple syrup
1/3 C. canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
3 T. coconut oil, melted
½ t. vanilla
Preheat oven to 300.
Blend the oats, nuts and ground flax seeds together in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together maple syrup, canned pumpkin, coconut oil, vanilla and spices until well blended.
Stir in oat mixture. Place the mixture on a large baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until crispy and golden brown, not burnt. Stir twice during baking to avoid burning. Cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. (This makes one tray of granola. Double if you are serving a larger crowd)

Gluten Free Fall Apple Crisp

I made this crisp to take to Somae last week for one of the mentor's birthdays. I loved how it turned out and think it will be a great addition to our Thanksgiving this year, especially considering that it is made out of whole foods!
Fall Apple Crisp:
Apple Filling:
7 medium sized apples
drizzle of grade b maple syrup on top o the apples (probably 1-2 T. worth)
1/2 T. arrowroot powder
1/2 small lemon, squeezed over apples
sprinkle of cinnamon over the apples
dash of sea salt
2 C. old fashioned oats
1 C. almond flour
1/2 T. cinnamon
1/4 C. coconut sugar
1/3 C. grade B maple syrup
6 T. coconut oil (melted)
dash of sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Peel and very thinly slice apples. Layer in a 9x13 glass dish.
3. Drizzle maple syrup, add arrowroot powder, squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon on the apples, sprinkle cinnamon lightly over all the apples and add a dash of salt.
4. Mix the apples until coated.
5. In a separate bowl, mix oats, almond flour, cinnamon, coconut sugar, maple syrup, melted coconut oil and sea salt.
6. Spoon topping over the apples and bake for 45 minutes at 375 or until crust is golden brown and apples are soft.
7. Best served warm with fresh whipped cream (use a hand mixer to whip the whipping cream and once set, drizzle in a little maple syrup to sweeten)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Healthy Lunches Week #4

This week was super busy, but lunches went great. I feel like we are really on a roll now. Nothing to exciting and new ideas, because the kids really just want repeats of everything they have already had.
Now that our 4th week is over, I am pretty sure that they have figured out their favorites: pizza lunchables, uncrustables sandwiches, like the one below, leftover tacos and whole wheat banana bread with a frozen smoothie.

Now that we have finished our fourth week, I will keep posting periodic lunches, those that are new and worked with the girls, lots of tips and things we do to stay healthy, whole foods dinners, treats and I will post our weekly schedule and how we allow for moderation with treats and dinner out one night a week.

Here is the rundown for the week:

Today was salad, as requested by both girls. They LOVED it last week. They had romaine lettuce, chopped carrots and cucumbers and shredded chicken. They had two poppy seed muffins from the freezer. Recipe I posted earlier on week #1 HERE and a small container of honey crisp apples.

They loved this and containers came home almost completely empty. One mini  muffin would have been enough.
Whole Wheat uncrustable with natural peanut butter and raw honey, honey crisp apples, cucumbers and carrots and some popcorn. I will admit I was in a hurry and used popcorn from a microwave bag....which isn't a whole food because of the additives...but that was actually the last bag in my house. Now we will only be able to make our usual air popped.
This crimper is the best and my girls LOVE eating a sandwich this way. I think it was the best thing pampered chef has made. It keeps the peanut butter and honey in. They are getting more and more willing to eat veggies and I LOVE THAT!
Today was leftovers from dinner last night. I made tacos with ground turkey (recipe below) and I made a double batch, which I will do from now on so that we can all take leftovers the next day. The girls had warmed meat in their thermos, with re fried beans (not pictures), whole wheat flax tortilla and shredded lettuce.
This is their new favorite lunch. They ate everything and they said it was enough to fill them up. I did heat up the tortilla before school and wrapped it in foil.
Today was were all in a hurry, so it was nice to be able to use things from the freezer. The girls had fresh apples (we have 40 pounds of honey crisp to use), blackberries, frozen smoothie, more about that on the first week HERE and a frozen slice of banana bread from 100 Days of Real Food HERE
Everything was gone after school except a few bites of bread.
The girls really liked today's lunch cause it was different and something we haven't done before. They had thin Triscuits (only 3 ingredients), natural turkey in squares, string cheese, pickles and a whole wheat cupcake, recipe below.
They LOVED THIS! It was fun and different and they liked having something sweet.
New Recipes This Week:
Ground Turkey Tacos
(This makes a double recipe, which could probably serve12)
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 packaged ground turkey (each were just over a pound)
1 can black beans, drained
1 T. chili powder
1/2 t. cayenne
2 T. cumin
seal salt to taste...maybe 1 t.
1 small can, 6 oz.  tomato sauce
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
1. In a large pan, saute green and red pepper, onion and garlic in 2 T. olive oil over medium heat.
2. Once onions are translucent, add in ground turkey and cook until no longer pink.
3. Add beans, spices and tomatoes sauce.
4. Cook until well seasoned and bubbly.
5. Stir in cilantro and turn off heat.
We serve ours with: whole wheat tortillas, shredded romaine, some cheese, sour cream, home made salsas and avocado slices.

Whole Wheat Cupcakes
(inspired from Eat Good 4 Life HERE)
2 cups white wheat, whole wheat flour
1/2 C. raw sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1/4 cup coconut oil or 1/4 cup butter
1 cup vanilla almond milk
2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
1. Mix the wet ingredients together and then add the dry. once well mixed, put in little cupcake tins, with liners.
2. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 350. I filled mine to the top, so mine only made 24 cupcakes.
 In a bowl, combine 8 oz cream cheese and 1/4 C. soft butter with a hand mixer.
Add in 3 C. powdered raw sugar. I just put my raw sugar crystals in the blender and it made great powdered sugar.
We also added 1 t. vanilla and 2 T. cocoa powder for chocolate.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Healthy Lunches Week #3

This last week was a short week for us because of fall break and my kids didn't have school on Thursday and Friday. We decided to get out of town and went south to St. George for a warm weekend. It was nice to get away and let the kids swim, catch frogs, hike the red rocks and enjoy staying up late.

The kids have been having so much fun with lunches. My 7 year old still has to ask me everyday what is for school lunch...she just needs to make sure she isn't missing out on too much...and most days she is excited with her home lunch vs. what the school is offering. A few times she would rather have school lunch, but agrees to it anyway!

Monday was salads for both girls with red grapes and 100% whole wheat bread. Recipe was under last weeks post HERE. Their salads had chopped romaine, cucumber triangles, carrot slices and some natural turkey slices (they are now selling at Costco). I forgot to put dressing in their lunch, so they just used some light ranch they got from the teacher lounge at school. My girls thought they were so cool that the principal let them go in there to get dressing for their salad. Teachers were impressed that they would actually eat that!
Soo.... not gonna criticize about the ranch! 
 Lunches came back mostly empty. Both girls didn't eat a full slice of bread and left some lettuce and carrots at the bottom of their container.

Tuesday was a breakfast burrito day. I make these often for breakfast before school, but they just had smoothies, so we decided to make breakfast wraps for lunch. Whole wheat flax tortilla (from Costco) with 1.5 scrambled eggs and a little cheese. We rolled it up and wrapped it in foil.
 This is what it looks like all wrapped up in their lunch with orange slices and their favorite.....Honeycrisp apple slices.
 Lunches came back mostly empty. Fruit was ALL gone from both girls and one daughter only ate 1/2 her burrito because she had less time to eat lunch.

The girls requested an uncrustable again. We used the circle crimper from pampered chef. They had natural peanut butter and raw honey in theirs with 100% whole wheat bread. They also had fresh pineapple and strawberries. 
They LOVE these sandwiches because they both told me that the honey doesn't fall out. They ate all their fruit and said they were full.

Since the week was short, I thought I would show a few breakfasts that we rotate through regularly:

Whole Wheat Waffles
This is the waffle recipe my mom came up with when I was younger. We ate waffles every Sunday after church and they were always whole wheat. It is Victoria's (9) favorite. We make a double batch and keep them in the freezer for mornings we are in a hurry.

Plug in waffle iron to heat up.

In a bowl, add:
2 eggs, beaten
2 T. oil
2 C. buttermilk
Whisk together and add:
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
Let sit for a minute and bubble up. Then add
1 3/4 C. whole wheat flour (I use fresh ground white wheat)

This makes between 3-4 waffles in my big 4 square waffle maker. For this recipe, I do not use a Belgium waffle maker, I use a flat one. You can find them at the thrift store for really cheap. 

Green Smoothie with Banana Bread

We like Blue Bonnet Chocolate Whey Protein Powder from grass fed cows and sweetened with stevia. We buy it HERE

In a blender, add
1 C. almond milk
1-2 frozen bananas (we keep in slices)
1/2 C. ice
2 handfuls of spinach
Blend the above and then add:
2 Scoops protein powder.
This is enough for my kids and a little for me if I am in a hurry.

The banana bread is from 100 Days of Real Food. The link is HERE
I did make these changes: 
I added 4 bananas instead of 3, 6 oz. natural vanilla yogurt instead of 1/4 C. plain yogurt, and added these spices: 1 t. cinnamon, 1/4 t. nutmeg and cloves and 1/8 t. ginger. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

We love FALL...and I LOVE Pumpkin Muffins

This is our third fall since moving to Utah. Growing up in San Diego, I didn't really get to experience the kind of fall that many other parts of the United States. Our kids LOVE the fall and we make a point to experience it as much as possible. Our kids are also outside kids, so it is really nice to take a break on a Sunday afternoon and get outside. Also...we are lucky that we have a canyon in our back yard and this is only 10 minutes away!
 Tyler, Victoria and Jocelyn
My kids actually do like eachother....once in a while

 Tyler, Victoria, David and Jocelyn
 Vicotira and I

Feeling and seeing the fall weather got me in the mood for something pumpkin. I came up with these muffins and they are great. None of my kids are pumpkin fans, so they haven't tried them...but I sure did!

Grain Free Pumpkin Muffins
In a bowl, mix the following:
1 3/4-2 C. almond flour (add a little more if it is too wet)
3/4 C. canned pumpkin
2 eggs
1/2 C. honey
1/4 C. coconut oil
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t. cinnamon
Mix all together and put in muffin tins. I think I made 15. Bake at 350 until set (about 20-25 minutes)
I froze them so they are quick to grab on the go.

Healthy Lunches Week #2

I have to say that last week was a success. The kids really liked the lunches and weren't even sad when they ate their homemade pizza instead of the pizza served at school.
Both my girls just wanted pizza every day this week, but I knew that wouldn't be interesting for a blog post and eventually they would get tired of it, so I limited their homemade pizza consumption to just one day this week. Here is the run down:

Monday was their FAVORITE from last week. Whole wheat pizza crust wedges from the freezer. Recipe from HERE. I actually used Costco Sauce. They have a new Kirtland brand that is natural and only has 5 or 6 ingredients in it, so I keep that on hand when I don't have any homemade sauce. They also have cucumber slices, APPLEGATE natural pepperoni and mozzarella cheese.
 Review: This is their favorite lunch to date! They say its even better than the store bought pizza lunchable.
Victoria requested a Panini because she saw them somewhere. We don't have a panini maker, so we stopped by the thrift store and bought a small George Foreman Grill for 4$. It was the perfect size for one sandwich. Her sandwich has 100% whole wheat bread, with a little butter on the outside, scrambled egg (I cooked three eggs for both girls. Mix three eggs in a bowl with a little water and scramble with a fork. Put in a hot greased pan and let sit, once the eggs are getting firm, cut in half and flip both sections over. That way you have flat eggs that will stay in the sandwich). She also requested a little cheese and avocado. I then flattened the sandwich with my hand and we put it in the grill for a few minutes. We wrapped it in foil before going in her lunch. She also had natural applesauce with cinnamon and one almond snickerdoodle, from HERE. (The only thing I did different for the cookie is roll it in both cinnamon and a little raw sugar before baking).
 Tuesday: The makeshift panini was a HUGE hit as well as the almond flour snickerdoodle. One of my girls said the cookie tasted different then what she's used to, but it was still gone!

Today was fruit skewers. We used fresh pineapple and cantaloupe, sliced cucumbers and carrots and shredded chicken mixed with a little olive oil mayo wrapped in a whole wheat flax tortilla (from Costco). The girls also requested a raw cookie ball (that I keep in the freezer). That is wrapped in wax paper by the fruit. You can find the raw cookie ball recipe HERE.
 Review: Too much fruit for the girls, but they ate all their veggies and loved the chicken roll-up. My girls love the raw cookie balls and Jocelyn (7) even asked to take one to her teacher at school... 

Today was leftover Dairy-Free Cheezy Broccoli Soup. You can find the recipe HERE on my blog. I heated it up and put it in the girls thermos containers so it would stay warm. They also had a frozen smoothie. You can read about them on my first lunch post HERE. and whole wheat bread. My bread recipe is at the bottom of this post.
 Review: Only one of the girls really loves this soup and the other is not a soup fan, but they both love the bread and frozen smoothie.

Today, the girls had a frozen smoothie (in the red container. Read Thursdays lunch to get the details), orange slices, celery with natural peanut butter and dried cranberries and 2 slices whole wheat banana bread from 100 Days of Real Food HERE. I make this two loaves at a time and freeze it in half slices once cooled. That way they can grab it whenever they want, especially on a morning we are running late. It works great in the toaster. I did make a few changes to the recipes: I added 4 bananas instead of 3, 6 oz. natural vanilla yogurt instead of 1/4 C. plain yogurt, and added these spices: 1 t. cinnamon, 1/4 t. nutmeg and cloves and 1/8 t. ginger. YUMMY!
 Review: This was too much food for both the girls. They only ate one (1/2 slice) of the bread and didn't finish all their oranges. They loved the celery with craisens and peanut butter and my older daughter only ate half her smoothie.

 Overall, this was a successful week and most all their food was consumed. I also don't worry too much about cramming veggies at lunch, because we always have them with dinner and they drink a green smoothie after school.

Gramy's Whole Wheat Bread
(This recipe is from my Gramy Su. It is half her french bread recipe and half her loaf recipe)
In a small cup, combine:
 1/4 C. warm water with 2 T. active yeast and 1 T. honey.
Let sit for 10 minutes until bubly.
In your mixer, add:
2 1/2 C. warm water
1/3 C. oil (I did use vegetable oil, cause that is what I have..I will try it with coconut oil next)
1/3 C. honey
3 C. white wheat flour (I grind mine fresh, but there are places you can buy white wheat instead of red wheat flour)
Once blended with your mixer, add in yeast water mixer.
Mix again and add:
1 T. sea salt
2 more C. white wheat flour
With mixer on, add enough flour slowly until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl...maybe 2 or 2 cups more.  When you can touch it without feeling too sticky, then your dough is ready.
Put oil on your hands and take dough out of mixer. Shape it in a ball and put in a clean bowl and cover with a clean towel for an hour or until doubled.
Once dough has doubled, divide in two equal pieces and press into a rectangle on separate baking sheets.
Roll each rectangles from one side to the other and tuck the ends under. Should look like a french bread roll. Cover each baking sheet with a clean towel and leave until doubled.
Preheat oven to 375. Bake for 20-35 minutes until golden brown on top. Cool on a rack.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Yummy Dairy-Free Ice Cream

I have wanted to find a "healthy" ice cream recipe that I could make and share with people that can't have dairy. I have had requests for it before and tonight was a great find! I found a recipe on DelightedMomma.com called "Paleo Strawberry Ice Cream." You can find the recipe HERE and once I saw the picture and ingredient list, I knew I had to make it. It is super simple and here is my version of the directions:

In a bowl, add about 20 frozen strawberries. (I like frozen because of the extra juice they give once thawed). If they are super large, use a few less. Let them sit out and thaw enough to mash. Once mashed, add them to the following mixture:

1 can full fat coconut milk (I like the Sprouts Brand from Sprouts)
The juice of 1 medium-sized lime
2-3 T. honey (I think we were between those two)
2 T. vanilla
Once you add the strawberries, mix and add to your ice cream maker. I add mine once the maker is on and turning. It was done in 20 minutes and everyone LOVED it except my 4 year old. He ate about 5 bites and then went off to play.

 Jocelyn wanted to make sure I got a picture with her mouth open...so here it is!

Pretty and Light Pink!

Next time, I am going to try key lime ice cream with whole wheat graham cracker crumbs. YUM!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Healthy Lunches Week #1

To see what I am doing with the "lunch challenge" why I am doing it and my inspiration for this challenge, click HERE!

I have to say that the first week of our whole foods lunch challenge went really well. The kids were excited to see what they were getting, and for the most part, they liked everything. It was fun to see their lunch boxes at the end of the day and see how very little was left.

Ahead of time, I made pizza crust from 100 days of real food. I used her recipe and made three thin crust pizzas. I poked holes in the dough to limit the air bubbles and cooked it on a pizza stone. Once cool, I cut it into some squares and some slices and froze them ahead of time. The recipe to her crust HERE.

I also made smoothies ahead of time and froze them in the smoothie containers that Lisa uses on 100 days of real food. I bought them on Amazon. You can order them HERE. The smoothies I really like are from The Yummy Life and you can find the recipe HERE. When you see the list of options at the bottom, I used almond milk, Greek yogurt, honey and agave, bananas and frozen strawberries. There are my kids favorite. Pour in the silicone smoothie tubes and they stay in the freezer.
My spaghetti sauce (Here) made on Sunday, shredded mozzarella cheese, pizza crust from the freezer (link to recipe above), Applegate natural pepperoni (see HERE) and cut strawberries.
 Reviews: Both girls said this was their favorite lunch they have ever had!

Lunch was dehydrated strawberries (made myself), Somae granola in fridge (recipe HERE), poppy seed muffin from the freezer (recipe at the end of the post), hard boiled egg with lemon pepper and Greek yogurt blended with berries and agave (in blender, mix 1 C. Greek yogurt, 1 C. of triple berries from Costco, thawed, and 2 T. agave). Blend and that's it!
 Review: Victoria didn't like the yogurt, but ate half of it....she never eats any yogurt...so this was good. Jocelyn licked hers clean! They said the dehydrated strawberries were like candy!

Lunch was cut up cantaloupe (cut up the night before), one of my raw cookie balls (recipe HERE), air popped popcorn with sea salt and a little drizzle of melted coconut oil and a sandwich with natural peanut butter, homemade low sugar raspberry jam in a cool cut out sealed circle from Pampered Chef (HERE).
 Review: Nothing left at the end of the day for either girl

Lunch was cut up veggies with ranch (not the best, but doesn't have MSG and much junk. Fresh at Costco), Quesadilla on whole wheat flax tortilla, new at Costco with smashed avocado in the container). Girls also got a smoothie (not pictured) in a silicone smoothie tube (info at beginning of post)
 Review: Success! I sent too many quesadilla slices, but other than that....they LOVED IT!

The girls were so excited about the pizza lunches, that they BEGGED me for them again. They have the same thing, expect applesauce with cinnamon and a raw cookie, like Wednesday.
 Review: The girls were excited to have this again, especially cause this was the first time I haven't let them get the school pizza. They felt included and loved this even more they said!

Every day, the girls got water and an ice pack in their lunch. They came home from school happy, content and drank a green smoothie when they got home. Our favorite is :

1 C. almond milk
1/2 C. Naked Orange Juice
2 Frozen bananas
1/4 C. plain Greek yogurt
1-2 C. spinach
2 C. thawed strawberries

Blend together in a blender until smooth. Sometimes I add some ice to make it thicker and sometimes I add water to thin it out. I then add 2 scoops Somae Pure Protein (whey and egg white protein) and blend for a quick second. Everyone drinks a cup after school and if they are still hungry, I keep my raw cookies in the freezer and we make popcorn.

Whole Wheat Poppy Seed Muffins
  In a bowl, stir:
2 eggs
1 6 oz natural vanilla yogurt 
1/ 2 C. buttermilk
1/2 C. coconut sugar
2 T. raw honey
Juice of one lemon
Zest of one lemon
4 T. coconut oil (melted)
2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 C. whole wheat flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
2-3 T. poppy seeds

Mix and Bake at 400 for 10 minutes or until golden. 

Update on Life

I have been out for a while. First of all, crazy summer and getting pregnant in June contributed to no extra ability to blog...let alone clean my house, cook, take care of my crazy kids, and be involved in life around me. I am now 15-16 weeks pregnant and feeling great. My kids are in school: Victoria (9) is in fourth grade, Jocelyn (7) is in second grade, and Tyler is in preschool three days a week.
I  have been hired by Somae Health as an independant consultant to rewrite training materials and help revamp their procedures as they expand and grow. I LOVE Somae! David and I used them in March and David lost a total of 30 pounds. I lost 16 and am finding each one of those pounds again as the baby grows each week.
I LOVE that Somae promotes whole foods, I LOVE that they believe in healing your gut and your digestive system, I LOVE that they have one-on-one mentor coaching to help you with your individual needs and I LOVE what they stand for and are trying to promote....overall health and wellness through a whole foods lifestyle.
When I started my blog almost 2 years ago, that is what I was trying to do. It hasn't been perfect and it hasn't been easy and there have been times when it was easier to revert back to everything that was convenient and fast. I have learned so much since then and have met amazing people along the way to teach me and set such a good example for me.  And now, as a family, we are slowly on our whole foods journey together.
I told Somae that for 4 weeks, I would blog about whole foods lunches and what I am fixing for my kids. My ideas for the challenge came from 100 days of real food and the amazing lunches Lisa creates every day for her kids. My friend Trina told me about her website and once I took a few minutes to check it out, I couldn't believe everything she was doing with her kids. I decided to take on the challenge for 4 weeks and then evaluate how it went, what the kids like and don't like, and what I can continue to do to make lunches exciting and fun (and easy for MOM).
I am hoping that I will find time to not only blog about the lunches we create as a family, but what else we are doing to stay healthy this fall and winter, what we fix for dinner, fun things we do and are involved in, and just give a little more insight to our every day lives and how eating a whole foods lifestyle fits in with a crazy schedule.

 Victoria on her first day of fourth grade. She is smart, kind, funny, gentle, accepting  and we call her our "old soul." She plans on being a veterinarian and gets this compassionate love for animals, definitely from her dad.
She has had the hardest time "enjoying" healthy choices at home, but is slowly coming around, and I have realized that the less I push her, the more she decides its good for her on her own! She doesn't want to know what is in her food and is more likely to eat something healthy if she doesn't see me make it!
 Jocelyn on her first day of second grade sporting her brand new braces. Jocelyn is spunky, brave, strong, full of life and determined to do things her own way. She wants to do make-up for runway models someday! She LOVES eating salads and drinking green smoothies and begs for healthy things! (She also loves sugar, but admits that it doesn't make her feel good and knows that she is happier and less feisty when she consumes less sugar! She also sleeps more soundly and has less trouble falling asleep when she doesn't have anything "junky" in the evening!
And last, but CERTAINLY not least, our Tyler. He is 4 and LOVES preschool. He wants to be a ninja when he grows up (like his friend Kevin-one of David's P.T. interns). He loves dinosaurs, playing by himself, scootering and HATES using hair products! Junk food, especially artificial dyes, high fructose corn syrup and enriched white flour make him CRAZY! He is drawn to those foods because he likes the tastes, but then bounces off the walls or becomes sick and lethargic from too much. When he makes better food choices, he is more obedient, has no runny nose, sleeps better and is less likely to bite or hit one of his sisters. He will only drink a green smoothie if he know he is gaining some sort of super power from it....SO....we get creative around here!

Enjoy our journey and glad to be back! Don't count on a post every day, but do plan on new recipes, healthy tips and great lunch ideas in the near future!

I don't promise to be perfect, to know all the answers and to do everything right, but I do promise that I am committed to:
  •  health created (as much as possible) at home,
  •  moderation
  • trying different things
  • learning from others
  • admitting someone can do it better
  • listening to my kids and what they like/don't like
  • making healthy eating fun and easier
  • having fun
Here's to HOME-MADE HEALTH and the freedom that comes from living a whole foods lifestyle....most of the time!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Somae Health Company offers weight loss and wellness : Utah News from the Daily Herald Newspaper

Somae Health Company offers weight loss and wellness : Utah News from the Daily Herald Newspaper

Here is a link to an article in the Daily Herald about my husband and I. First time I have really shared my story about my emotional eating...hopeing to be able to share more about it soon. This is a new road for me to go down, but excited to be upfront and honest and maybe I can help someone else like me overcome emotional eating. If you have a few minutes, please read.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Raw Energy Bars

Raw Melissa has several recipes that you can get for free on her website. I love her cookbook too, but I also love the freebies she has posted. I have had the opportunity to go to her raw cooking class and have had the privilege to be served a four course dinner that she creates. She is a beautiful, talented and inspired women who makes wonderfully tasting food that is healthy, beautiful and much of it is raw.
The link to her granola bar recipe is HERE. She also has an an awesome chocolate banana smoothie recipe on there too!

Here is what you do:
First, add 7 cups of the following (combine however you would like:rolled oats, raisins, pumpkin seeds, pecans, shredded coconut, chopped almonds, chopped dried fruit, rolled quinoa, hulled buckwheat, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds....)
(I did 4 Cups oats, 1/2 C. sunflower seeds, 1/2 C. pumpkin seeds, 1 C. shredded coconut, 1/2 C. diced dried cherries, 1/2 C. grain sweetened chocolate chips).

1 C. coconut oil

3 C. dates (soaked in water for 20 minutes)

1 t. sea salt

1. Drain the dates and set the date water aside
2. Pulse in a food processor until the dates turn into a paste
3. If they seem to dry, add a little of the date water until you reach a smooth consistency like a nut butter
4.Add the rest of your ingredients and mix well together
5. Pat in a a 13x9 pan that is lined with parchment paper
6. I put mine in my oven on the lowest setting for a few hours and then let cool. I cut them in little pieces and wrapped in foil. I keep them in my freezer like in the picture below. They are great to have before or after a run.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jocleyn's Green Smoothie

Jocelyn is my middle child and loves healthy things the most out of all my kids. She begs me for a salad to take to school and loves smoothies. She helped me make the one in the picture and she drank the whole thing in a few minutes. It gave her energy to do her theory that she LOVES....ya right!

In your blender, add:
1/2 C. unsweetened almond milk
1/2 C. cold filtered water (add more if it gets too thick)
1 handful spinach
6-8 frozen banana chunks*
1/2 orange, peeled
8 frozen strawberries

*Frozen bananas always taste better in smoothies because the thicken it up and help to make it creamy. At one time, I cut several bunches of bananas in 1-2 inch chunks, lay on cookie sheets, freeze and then store in large zip lock bags. That way, they are always ready.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Road Ahead Looks Bright!

It has been a few REALLY LONG MONTHS for our family.
End of December-January: I was in a ton of pain from my endometriosis and really couldn't do much!
February: On February 7, I had surgery to remove the new endometriosis growth (last surgery was 10 years ago).
Middle of February: David hurt his back even worse and was in so much pain, he couldn't sleep, stand, sit, or do anything to find comfort.
March: On March 7, David had back surgery (by the grace of God and the quick response from the top surgeon in Utah County to see David and fit him in on his surgery schedule).
Today, March 23: We are all feeling awesome! We have all had our highs and lows (including the kids). David is gaining strength every day and can stand and walk for more than 5 minutes without shooting pain down his legs. I can run again and no longer have endo pain!!!!!
Between the two of us we have lost about 20 pounds!
Enduring the struggles and almost unbearable challenges in our life is really hard and often painful, but when we allow those things to humble us and bring us closer to God, we can rise above it, and truly feel grateful for days like today...when everything...finally....after a long time....seems wonderful and bright!

In honor of that, I thought I would share my most favorite OH SHE GLOWS recipe! (You can see the original recipe HERE along with a much better picture) I can't believe I haven't posted it before. I call it:


In your blender, add:
3/4 C. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
3/4 C. almond butter
(I used the freshly ground from the health food store)
1 T. pure maple syrup
(I used 1 t. maple syrup and 5 drops vanilla flavored stevia)
1/4 t. cinnamon
(I used almost 1/2 t.)

Blend until smooth and creamy. It is thin at first. It thickens in the fridge
You are basically cutting the calories and fat from plain almond butter in half!
I love it with bananas, apples and strawberries.

Celebrate something wonderful about your day with this awesome goodness!

Remember the old saying:
Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!
After what we've been through these last three months, I can safely say:
Pain and Sickness may ache my bones, but Trials will never hurt me!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hot Asian slaw and cold marinated cucumbers!

I really suck at making anything Asian.....sorry for the language...but it's TRUE! I really don't know the ingredients and spices to use to make something that has a true Asian taste and is enjoyable to eat! On Allrecipes.com I read a little bit on their page about stir frying and used one of their recipes as a base for the dish below. It was yummy. We served it with Marinated Cucumbers (also posted below) and a small amount of grilled organic, free-range chicken. My kids had theirs over brown rice. Hope you enjoy it!

For the slaw, I used what is pictures above:
1 bag broccoli slaw
1 small red pepper very thinly sliced
3 celery stalks, chopped
3-4 green onions chopped

Sauce (from allrecipes):
1/4 C. chicken or veggie broth
1/4 C. soy or tamari sauce
2 t. sesame oil
2 t. rice wine vinegar
dash red pepper flakes
1 t. sugar (i used a dash of stevia)
(mixed together ready to go)

glaze to add at the end:
2 T. chicken or veggie broth
2 t. cornstarch or arrowroot powder
(mixed together, ready to go)

*In a wok or great saute pan, add 1-2 T. coconut oil (high heat oil)
* Once hot, add in 1 t. crushed garlic (I use a refrigerated one because it's faster)
*Add celery for a minute then all other veggies. Saute for a few minutes
* Add broth/soy sauce mixture and stir until veggies are soft
* Right before taking off the stove, add the glaze and let bubble. Once it thickens, you are done!

I topped ours with chopped raw cashews and raw sesame seeds
Different and Yummy!

Finished Hot Asian Slaw
(The broccoli is almost noodle like)

Cold Marinated Cucumbers
David and ALL my kids LOVE these! We eat them a lot at our house and they are super easy and a great way for your kids to get their veggies.
In a bowl, I add:
4 C. sliced cucumbers (not to thick or too thin)
1/2 C. seasoned rice wine vinegar (we like the one with the red lid)
1/2 T. sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything together and let chill in the fridge. Stir a few times while chilling before serving!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Go Raw Granola Review

I first bought this "Go Raw" granola last year when my friend Cody told me about it. We actually ate some before my half iron-man last year... It is awesome. It is live nutrition that your body will know how to use.
I have only tried the chocolate flavor, but they also sell plain and apple cinnamon. You can click HERE to go to their website. They also make bars, raw chips and cookies (think I will order the ginger snaps), flax snacks, sprouts and chocolate (which contain three ingredients: raw cacao, agave, and oil).

Here is the ingredient list of the Chocolate Raw Granola:
*sprouted organic buckwheat groats *sprouted organic sunflower seeds, *organic dates *sprouted organic sesame seeds *organic coconut *organic hemp seeds *organic cacao *organic vanilla extract *celtic sea salt!

This product is:

All live (dried under 105 degrees, all sprouted seeds, no GMO's, no trans fat, no cholesterol, all hand made, all raw kitchen, all family owned!

I LOVE IT!!!! You can buy it from their website by clicking above or heading to: www.goraw.com. You can also buy it from Amazon and save a few bucks and get free shipping. I suggest going to your health food store and trying it before you buy it. My store occasionally has it on sale. I keep it in my fridge and think this makes a great snack in between breakfast and lunch, especially after a hard work out.

Here is the nutritional breakdown for the chocolate granola:
Calories: 240
Fat: 9 g
Cholesterol: O
Sodium: 10 mg
Potassium: 280 mg
Total Carbs: 36 g
Fiber: 5 g
Sugar: 18 g (all from dates)
Protein: 5 g

Something I read on the back of the package "The seeds are optically sorted, soaked in filtered water, rinsed, then sprouted to perfection. The finest organic ingredients are mixed in, then hand spread on trays. The mix is loaded into custom-built dehydrators and slow dried at an average 98 degrees to maximize enzymatic and nutritional integrity and flavor!"
.......ummmmm......Yes, Please?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chia Pudding

If you haven't yet experimented with chia seeds, they are AWESOME!

HERE are the top ten reasons online why chia seeds are great. I love the fact that they expand in water, so when you put some in liquid, they totally absorb. When you ingest these, you will actually feel full longer because of this absorbency factor. These little seeds are also a complete protein.

I survived my half iron-man last June because of my chia waffles. Recipe from HERE.
Recently, I have increased my exercise and have been feeling really hungry. I needed something to help me before or after a run and just to get through the afternoon when I am tired and trying to run the kids around and get dinner done and help with homework.

This is something I have just mixed up:

In a glass, add 1/2 C. unsweetened almond milk, 1 heaping T. chia seeds and let sit overnight, or for at least a few hours. When ready to eat, and 1/2 C. fresh berries (i like strawberries) and a few drops of vanilla stevia if you need it sweeter. You can double this is you want.

It's not fancy, but I really like it. The texture reminds me of tapioca pudding....which I LOVE!

If you don't care for this texture and want something smoother, you can whip everything in your blender.

(picture from the website, for the recipe, listed below)

HERE is a great recipe for some chia pudding that's a little fancier and would be a perfect snack or dessert for a warm spring day (which hopefully is upon us!)