Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet!
Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet!
Often when I attend various craft shows I am asked what is that machine you are using ending with … Is it a Cricut? I smile and answer, no every time. Honestly, Cricut is a well known term even to non-crafters, but I have found no one seems to understand there is a really BIG difference.
I can say with confidence now that the machine I choose when in my craft room is the Silhouette Cameo. I understand this machine is not for everyone, however I have never been so happy with a personal cutting machine and it amazes me everyday to see how well this machine performs. Feel free to post below your opinion and let’s share our crafting experience together!
What a great workout and then a scenic walk to the stadium. As I sat waiting for the opening ceremony to start I was reflecting on my day so far. I am so blessed to be a part of this organization. What I’ve loved the most is that anyone can be a part of this journey. Today I met young old just beginning and pros male and female … it doesn’t matter where you are at in your journey, Beachbody has something for you on your journey toward health and happiness. It just takes a step of faith and a willingness to try. Are you ready to begin? #strongereveryday
Summer is here — and you know what that means — you’ll have kids with friends coming in and out all day long grabbing frozen treats and lots and lots of drinks. Save your money and the environment this year by making homemade refreshing fruit-infused water for the kids. By making these beverages in mason jars, you can store a lot of them in the fridge and your teen can easily grab a fruit-infused cooler anytime. They aren’t filled with sugar like fruit juice, but still provide enough flavor to please kids. Read on to learn my top three kid fan favorite fruit infused water recipes.
Continue reading Healthy Hydration – Fruit Infusion Made Simple
Jicama makes this salad crunchy and really filling! This recipe infuses extra flavor into it by soaking the matchstick size pieces in a lime and red wine vinegar dressing with oranges. It’s worth the extra effort to toast the pine nuts in a hot dry pan until they become fragrant and start to turn golden brown.
Looking for something sweet, but still healthy? Try this nutty shake sweetened with maple syrup.
This high-protein snack wins on so many different levels. The flavor is outstanding, using an array of bold spices. The preparation is simple – it just requires combining a few ingredients in a bag and letting them marinate overnight. And the final product has a moist, chewy texture that would rival even the best store-bought jerky.
Continue reading Looking for a snack you can take with you? How about Salmon Jerky?
While this is a little later for me this year because of the cooler weather, I am enjoying a bounty of black raspberries. My oldest goes outside and eats them straight from the bush. I love adding them to my smoothie.
If you too are looking for an easy way to enhance your Vanilla Shakeology, it’s as simple as blending in some fresh (or frozen) berries and almond milk to create the Vanilla Berry Delight Shakeology Smoothie. They’ll give the shake sweet fruit flavor, and give the finished drink a beautiful jewel-tone color. Try a handful of local grown berries in yours today!
There’s salad. There’s pizza. And then there’s pizza salad.
This ingenious recipe combines the flavors of both and lets you enjoy all the delights of pizza in a 100% healthy way. From the creamy mozzarella to all of the fresh peppers, mushrooms, and onions you’d find on a veggie lover’s pizza, this low-carb version of everyone’s favorite Italian dish will make you wonder why no one thought of this sooner.
This recipe calls for fresh mozzarella bocconcini, but you can use shredded mozzarella, or even Parmesan. Like other vegetables on your pizza, like artichoke hearts or roasted broccoli? Both would make a welcome addition here.
Continue reading Vegetarian Pizza Salad
Happy 4th! Piña Coladas always taste like sweet, sunny summertime. They also taste like sugar, cream, and calories. And
headaches I mean rum. This popular Piña Colada Shakeology recipe comes to the rescue with a healthy version of the tropical cocktail!
This recipe substitutes Vanilla Shakeology for coconut cream, and adds pineapple juice and pure coconut extract to create a flavor that will make you daydream that you’re lying in a hammock watching waves crash on a sandy beach (just don’t get caught in the rain). A colorful cocktail umbrella completes that pretty picture.
Roasted garlic and fresh rosemary make these burgers extra flavorful. Adding grated zucchini to the lean ground beef helps keep the burgers moist, and is an inexpensive way to add bulk. If you are like me the zucchini is all coming ready for harvest at this time of year. Plus, it’s almost undetectable, so it’s a clever way to sneak extra veggies into your diet. If you like the zucchini, experiment with adding a second grated zucchini! Try this with turkey or chicken burgers, too.
Have you seen the latest cat video floating around social media? If not, maybe you should.
Instead of groaning and deleting that cat video your friend forwarded your way, open it. An Indiana University Media School study of nearly 7,000 people found that watching cute cats gives us a medically signiﬁcant mix of the warm-and-fuzzies and positive energy.
So sit back and check this out!
Early Vegetable and Lentil Salad
Looking for a simple and filling salad for your Spring Veggies? Give this a try.
½ cup lentils, washed and sprouted
½ pound asparagus
1 cup peas
1 cup corn
1/2 cup sliced turnips -raw
2 large carrots, shredded -raw
1 Tbsp. parsley
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp prepared mustard
1/3-cup olive oil
How to Sprout Lentils
Place the lentils in the quart glass jar. Add about 3 c water. Cover the opening of the container with cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band. Keep the container at room temperature out of direct sunlight. Soak the lentil for 8-10 hours.
Leaving the cheesecloth and rubber band intact, drain the lentils, thoroughly rinse them and drain again. Place the drained lentils at an upside down angle, to allow proper and thorough drainage. Keep the upside down container at room temperature and out of direct sunlight for 24 hours, allowing the lentils to sprout.
Drained and mostly dry sprouted lentils may be kept in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.
Once sprouted you can build your salad.
For asparagus, cut or snap off bottom 2 inches, rinse in cold water. Steam with peas and corn for 3 minutes. Remove and run under cold water, drain. Whisk together dressing ingredients then combine with all vegetables.
Makes 6 servings.
Per Serving: 149 calories
So you have heard about eating clean and may have even tried a few recipes. But what is clean eating and where do you really begin?
Clean Eating 101
Let me first start by saying there’s no one way to eat clean. There is no magic list of what to eat and what not to eat. It is a way of thinking about food and learning how it makes us feel. Clean eating does have a foundation based on whole foods, but what makes it work is personalization for your body. It can’t be as simple as “be gluten free” or “never eat sugar ever.” I’m not a fan of gluten, and we all know processed sugar isn’t healthy, but blanket statements like that don’t give us the tools we need. We all lead complicated lives. We are busy and life doesn’t stop on a whim. I mean if it did, I would be able to get so much more done haha
What we need is a template, various recipes to get us started but more importantly strategies to help us figure out what works for us in the long term. Instead of don’t eat this, we need a guide of what to eat.
The heart of it all
A clean kitchen is the heart and soul of your clean lifestyle. It is the space in your home where you keep the ingredients and tools you will need to make clean meals that nourish you and your entire family. Keeping your kitchen well stocked with the following items is one of the most important ways to make clean eating and cooking from scratch easy and fun. Having a wide variety of ingredients and condiments around will also take the stress out of preparing recipes that satisfy whatever taste you’re craving at the moment.
If your kitchen is full of processed quick meals and snacks like above, you will eat it. Ok so at first you may hear and even later when your kids are grumpy, “There is NOTHING to eat… insert a 14 year old groan…” But the truth is we are all human and having it in our kitchen is defeating to our goals.
What should be in your kitchen
Let’s look first at produce
Fresh fruits and vegetables are the foundation of clean eating. Look to purchase a wide and colorful variety of organic, chemical-free produce. Stock up on inexpensive leafy greens, such as arugula, chard, collards, and kale. Carrots, turnips, and root vegetables are great for adding heartiness to a meal. Keep fresh onions, garlic, ginger, and herbs, such as basil, parsley, thyme, and dill, around to make it easy to add flavor to meals. Finally, keeping fresh produce on the kitchen counter in a bowl will encourage you to eat it more frequently.
Looking to save money? Then try growing some. It is easy to do and maintain, even in small spaces. Here I took a pallet that was free, turned it upside down, made it a raised bed, bought a few packets of 25 cent seeds and tossed it in, bought 2 two dollar pipes and put old plastic over top and voila instant cold frame.
The bottom left has carrots and peas and the picture on the right is kale, spinach, and lettuce. The top is my beautiful daughter, Emma next to the cold frame.
Eggs are one of nature’s most nutrient-dense foods and a relatively inexpensive source of protein. Look for organic and pasture-raised eggs. Better yet, keep a few hens in your backyard. I had chickens, but sadly the township made me get rid of them. I miss them terribly, not only for their eggs, but chickens make awesome pets too. Why pasture-raised? Pasture-raised varieties contain lower amounts of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and higher amounts of omega-3, vitamins A and E, and beta-carotene. If they are your hens, you will not have any ticks on your pets or kids.
Beans, legumes, and lentils are all great sources of quality calories and protein. Having a variety of these ingredients in the pantry can make stews and soups more hearty and add protein to vegetarian dishes. Don’t shy away from dried beans. It is not as hard as you think.
Meats and Fish
Purchase good-quality meat: grass-fed, organic, and pasture-raised. Chicken, turkey, beef, and lamb. Meat can be bought in bulk from farmers’ markets and stored in the freezer. Animal organs are inexpensive and nutrient-dense. Bones are great for making gut-healing delicious bone broths and stews. When it comes to fish, smaller cold-water fish are good options because they contain fewer heavy metals and toxins. Consider eating salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, herring, and small halibut. Also shellfish like shrimp, crab, clams, and oysters can also be a good source of lean protein, minerals, and iodine.
Dairy and Grains
Dairy, I caution you on. it’s one of the whole foods that gives people the most trouble. I know I know… I love cheese too but it is a source of inflammation for most. Skin and digestive issues, constipation, and excess mucus are some of the common symptoms. However, if you have tested dairy and found that it works for you, small amounts can give a meal that extra flair and flavor. There are many different kinds of dairy. I suggest organic varieties, free of added vitamins. Some people do better with raw dairy, while others have found goat and sheep work best for them. Cooking with butter produced from grass-fed cows can also be a great way to add nutrient-rich fats to your diet, but only if dairy does not cause you issues. non-gluten grains, such as quinoa, millet, amaranth, buckwheat, and rice, can be great additions to your diet. Having these inexpensive foods around the kitchen can be very useful in making all types of gluten-free breads, pancakes, and side dishes. TIP: Soaking the grains for a few hours before cooking can make them easier to digest.
Nuts and Seeds
Good sources of healthy fats and proteins, nuts and seeds contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Look for raw and toasted varieties free of preservatives, sugar, and seed oils. They make great snacks. A jar of nut or seed butter (almond, sesame, etc.) kept in the cabinet can be used to quickly create sauces and dips and thicken shakes and smoothies.
Oils and Fats
Fat has gotten a bad rap. But the truth is, we need fat in order to live. Our bodies need healthy fats for every system to function, especially our digestive system and brain. Look for organic expeller and cold-pressed, unrefined oils. Coconut oil is my recommendation as an all-purpose cooking oil and provides a good source of saturated fat. It is also a wonderful moisturizer and addition to shakes. Coconut Oil is a medium chain fatty acid and is known to have tremendous health benefits. Olive oil is also good for medium-temperature cooking but is best used in salad dressings or as a condiment. Avocado oil has a high smoke point and is good for high-temperature cooking. Nut and seed oils, such as pumpkin and walnut, can provide essential fatty acids and nourishment but should not be used regularly for cooking because they are unstable at high temperatures and can turn rancid. Don’t eat oils high in polyunsaturated fats, such as soybean, peanut, corn, cottonseed, and canola.
Now go to your kitchen and make a clean sweep and get it set up for success. Your success!