Friday, June 27, 2014

Summer Break

Summer is a great time for seasonal fruits and veggies! The prices drop on summer produce because it's in season and more available! I found this great article I wanted to share with you so you can keep your favorite fruits and vegetables all year long! Since this article is not mine I wanted to link it so you can look at and possibly refer back to this great website!

http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/preserving-tastes-summer?page=0,0

Make sure you check out the Cook link for some great summer recipes to try out!

I will try and post consistently but my world has flipped upside down with my husband being hospitalized for a week and now having to do care at home for a while, so I don't make any promises to consistent posts but I promise to try and post helpful and healthy info through out the summer months!

Remember to make healthy choices this summer and drink plenty of water!


He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;

Friday, June 6, 2014

Accountablilty

There is something to be said for having someone hold you accountable for your goals or lifestyle. I am sharing this video with you because I haven't been sleeping well at all with a lot of new things and changes happening I can't get my brain to shut down and I have been getting to sleep between 2am and 4am and waking up between 7am and 8am... so that isn't much sleep! I like to go to classes and personal trainers when possible because it's just easier or more motivational sometimes to have someone just tell you what to do when you are working out. I have a great friend who has a great friend who has become our personal trainer once a week. He kicks our butts and we love him for it because we really notice a difference when we leave (and for a few days after). I asked our personal trainer to take video of my workout yesterday because frankly I didn't want to be there... I wanted to sleep (as if that was possible after my almost 4 year old woke up) or just lay around BUT I had an appointment with my friend and the personal trainer so that got me there. Accountability=Action

I encourage you to watch this video and try out some of these awesome workouts and if you get nothing from that at least find one person that can hold you accountable and possibly workout with you to help you maintain that healthy, fitness lifestyle!

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. -Proverbs 27:17 ESV

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Ginger

So it's getting into the summer months and things are busier than ever! I have a new job (I'm a Princess, it's pretty awesome!) So forgive my last two weeks without a post but life happens and I just gotta roll with it! Also I have a personal trainer Friday Mornings so that takes up some of my Friday time! BUT HEY it's Food and Fitness Friday so it's all good!

I wanted to talk about one of the most amazing roots you can find an incorporate into your diet: Ginger! No, not that red head you know (my husband is a red head so I had to get cheesy). It's a great cleansing root.

Food Matters lays out 10 awesome benefits of Ginger:
1. Haven’t been feeling hungry? Eat fresh ginger just before lunch to stoke a dull appetite and fire up the digestive juices.

2. Ginger improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body.

3. Ginger clears the ‘microcirculatory channels’ of the body, including the pesky sinuses that tend to flare up from time to time.

4. Feeling airsick or nauseous? Chew on ginger, preferably tossed in a little honey.

5. Can’t stop the toot-a-thon? Gas—oops—guess what?! Ginger helps reduce flatulence!

6. Tummy moaning and groaning under cramps? Munch on ginger.

7. Reeling under joint pain? Ginger, with its anti-inflammatory properties—can bring relief. Float some ginger essential oil in your bath to help aching muscles and joints.

8. Just had surgery? Chewing ginger post-operation can help overcome nausea.

9. Stir up some ginger tea to get rid of throat and nose congestion. And when there’s a nip in the air, the warming benefits of this tasty tea are even greater!

10. Bedroom blues? Try adding a gingery punch to a bowl of soup. (Psst...the Ayurvedic texts credit ginger with aphrodisiac properties)

THEN they give us some practical ways to use it:
1. Ginger & Herb Rice

Cook basmati rice. When you take the lid off the pan, quickly stir in finely chopped garlic, ginger, green chilies and fresh cilantro leaves—the burst of flavor and fragrance will drive your senses crazy with desire!

2. Ginger In Your Juice

‘Grate’ idea: grate some ginger root and put it in your juicer, along with carrots and apples and a little lemon juice. Totally yummy and, of course, so good for you!

3. Gingery Dessert

Even a smidgen of grated ginger on your vanilla panna cotta or strawberry sorbet can wake up the flavor!

Personally I use it more often it tea. I shred it up into a mug, throw a tbsp of raw honey and a few shakes of cinnamon and run my Kureg and let it steep, then drink away. 

It has many more benefits than 10, such as help with weight loss, relieves tired muscles, helps your body absorb nutrients, helps with arthritis, inflammation and circulation. It does SO much more but I recommend making this apart of your regular diet especially if you are trying to loose weight.

Psalm 31:19
Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Hide the Veggies

I have been getting a lot of people asking how they can get their husbands and kids on board with the veggies and that is a great question!

Simple answer. Hide the crap out of them! They will never know vegetables are in their foods! Easiest foods to do this with are spaghetti sauce, smoothies, and meatloaf.



Puree peas, spinach and carrots into spaghetti sauce. Throw it in a pot while it's warming up and stir Wal-Ah!* Side note switch to Quinoa Noodles and your husband and kids will not be able to taste the difference AND they look like regular noodles!



Smoothies are easy, put a about 1/4 of a beet into the smoothie or juice it if you have a juicer. Throw in bright red berries and a handful of spinach, even broccoli again they will be none the wiser!






Meatloaf, chop up carrots, onion, bell peppers, spinach, kale, you name it (as long as it's finely chopped) and throw it in the meatloaf mix and bake as you normally would. (Make sure to use organic ketchup that is made without high fructose corn syrup, trust me they make it).







Fries! What kids doesn't love fries!?! Make homemade sweet potato and carrot fries! Cut like fries and drizzle with olive oil salt and possibly chili powder paprika and pepper depending on your kids tastes and bake. (Pinterest has lots of recipes and again make sure to use organic ketchup that is made without high fructose corn syrup).




Wilt and finely chop spinach up and mix into shredded cheese before grilling.






Another idea for your kids is start a garden and let them help. Studies show that kids that helped in a garden more than doubled their intake of vegetables.






Once you have hidden them successfully a few times tell them what they have been eating and MAYBE (at least your husband) will have a change of heart toward the veggies, or just keep hiding them and come up with more creative ideas as you go!

Genesis 2:8
And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Glazed Pecans and Summer Salad

I created a video blog for you today:




Pecan's are full of antioxidants that help prevent heart disease, More than 19 vitamins and minerals. The have proteins, fiber, no sodium and no cholesterol. They actually can help lower cholesterol and help with weight loss because they increase the metabolic rate in your body. They have heart healthy fats, so no transfat! Over all it is just an amazing nut and a great idea to consume a few handfuls daily. (http://www.seedguides.info/pecans/)

Also this is the brand I choose to buy for coconut sugar and they list out it's benefits on the website.

1 tiny thing I forgot to mention in the video is about the salad I make constantly, it goes great with crumbled goat cheese!

And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:11,12 ESV).

Friday, April 25, 2014

It's FRIDAY again!

It's Friday again... SO SOON!

This week I wanted to get in touch with the fitness side of Food and Fitness Friday. Tomorrow I am doing a Survivor Mud Run! Some people think I am crazy, but I love the challenge of an obstacle course! It's not boring! That is the biggest thing for me, it's FUN! I am competitive (if you know me you are so laughing right now and saying "psht that is putting it lightly") with others but mostly against myself. I strive to be better and live up to my standards. Switchfoot has a line in a song "This is your life, are you who you wanna be?" and that song speaks to me. AM I who I want to be? Are YOU who you want to be? If the answer in no then you need to find out what that person is for you. Once you find out what that person is (all aspects) you can start working on getting there.

Tomorrow I am going to face the race with the challenge of the obstacles one at a time! I will commit to doing my best on each obstacle and continue to give it my all on each obstacle. I have done a few of these and I always feel awesome after! I have come so far in my journey of health and to actually complete a 5k obstacle is rewarding! I try to not stop running even if that means I run super slow, the point is to not quit! Remember I am challenging myself, competing with myself. When I do that, I always do better and more. The whole mindset around it gets and keeps you going. Negative thoughts have no room when I am challenging myself!

So you think I am crazy for doing this, but I plan on doing the "Wipe Out" run called ROC (Ridiculous Obstacle Course) in September! I really don't like running that much, even though I am not bad at it so these obstacle courses are great because I get so much workout with cardio! This is also a test of my body strength; for all the past months I have been working out and lifting weights! I can't wait to see how I do!

This Friday I really want to encourage you to ask yourself if you are who you want to be physically and mentally. I want you to make a plan and list all the fitness activities you want to try and find what motivates you and what challenges you to challenge yourself. What do you want to be AWESOME at? Now go make it happen and stop putting it off because 3 months from now you will still be the same or worse if you don't start at all.

(I am the one on the left at last years Rugged Maniac)


Philippians 4:13

English Standard Version (ESV)
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The "Gross"-ery Store

Hello All,

I am back from my vacation visiting my best friend in Omaha, NE, which is why last Friday you also saw no post. While there I discovered a few things I hadn't thought of too much while living here in California. Now, if you know me you know I am not a fan of California for the most part but it has been brought to my attention that it has at least one positive thing going for it and that is the availability of fresh produce and other food items, and lots of health food stores and farmers markets that last most of the year. I wanted to touch on that today, as I know many of my readers live in Wyoming and other states that get cold winters and have small towns. Your grocery stores... you know the chain grocery stores by Kroger and such suck... flat out. I went shopping in two different stores in Omaha and was mortified! I had forgotten just how bad regular grocery stores are. I went to a Bakers and Fareway and I couldn't find hardly anything that was healthy, non-gmo, or pesticide free. They both had the smallest organic sections I had ever seen and I spent a fortune on the measly stuff I did find that was actually food! I asked the meat department if they had any cage free or vegetarian fed chicken, and with almost a laugh the man working said "um, no". I felt gross just shopping there! Seriously I thought about the millions and millions of people in the United States eating food like products, and not food. I looked around at the people shopping there and it occurred to me that almost all of them were overweight and I see why! I don't mean to judge people because if you want to buy that stuff then you have every right to do so, but I am truly ashamed at our lack of knowledge and responsibility in this country!

So what can you do? Well my friend had no idea what a health food store was or where one was so of course I hopped on the computer and found farmers markets (that didn't open until May or June because it's Nebraska and cold so farming things has a season) and a Natural Grocers Store the had organic produce! Not just a tiny selection of half rotting fruits or veggies! The spices were according to my friend amazing and she fell in love with this store and guess what!?! It probably cost less because they didn't have the waste factor, because people actually buy it! There is a difference between a health food store and a grocery store so google "Health food stores in________" and fill in the blank with your city or town.

There are also things called bountiful baskets and other programs for people that don't have as much selection as other states. http://www.bountifulbaskets.org click and see if it's in your neighborhood. Another place to look is http://www.localharvest.org, that site gives you food co-ops, csa's, farmers markets, stores and other helpful links to healthy food in your area. Check out amazon, and other online sites that will mail or deliver you healthier options and stop caving to the grocery stores and big industry selling you hardly food items that harm you, cost them very little to make and give them big gains (which I would have no problem with if they didn't spend tons of time and marketing to lie to us about the "food" we consume).
www.znaturalfoods.com

I have learned to LOVE grocery shopping, but not at the chain grocery stores. Learn to love shopping, save money on the good stuff and don't end up paying for cheap food now and having prescriptions and hospital bills out the wazoo later. Feed your body don't deprive it with junk "food".

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2). 



Friday, April 4, 2014

Stoup!

Hey Everyone!

Sorry I missed last Friday I was on a retreat and was under the impression I would be staying at a hotel with Wifi so I could post Friday night, but that was not so. I was actually in a cabin with little to no phone signal and only Wifi in the main building where we had our speaker and activities, that is what I get for not reading where we were actually going. Since I wasn't driving I didn't really pay attention.

ANYWAY lets get to it this Friday!

Today for lunch I had a friend who came over and we threw together a combination of healthy foods and we made this AMAZING stoup as she calls it because it's like stew and soup (and she has made this before so we will also call it stoup)! It's still cold and/or raining in some places (like it is here today) so this is the perfect recipe for your left over veggies or an amazing warm meal! As much as we like to plan our meals out that occasional time comes where we don't really know what to do and sometimes something amazing comes out of it. Well this might just be what you need to make!


So basically you could add any number of things to make a variation of this but here is what we used:
1 carton of organic vegetable broth
2 boneless skinless free range veggie fed chicken thighs (cubed)
3 organic carrots (chopped into chunky slices)
1 head of organic broccoli (chopped to desired bite size pieces)
5-6 cloves of garlic minced
1 stalk green onion (chopped/sliced thinly)
1 handful of spinach
Few shakes mediterranean seasoning 
Few shakes smoked paprika
Few shakes cumin
Few shakes italian seasoning
Few shakes smoked palm island sea salt 
Tad bit of cayenne 
Olive oil
Approx. 1 cup Quinoa Pasta Veggie Curls (yes they are tasty, you should know by now I won't steer you wrong)

And here is how you do it:

Get out 1 pot with a little olive oil over medium heat. 
Get out 1 pan that can hold a few cups of liquid then heat over medium high with a little olive oil.

  1. Toss the chicken in the pan with a little olive oil that has been warmed in the pan, then put a few shakes of Mediterranean Seasoning on it and stir. Cook until done but try not to get it crispy (or browning on parts) I suggest letting this cook while you cut the veggies.
  2. Place broccoli in pot that has been warmed with a little olive oil
  3. Place carrots in pot with broccoli
  4. Throw the minced garlic into the pot after the veggies have cooked for 1-2 minutes
  5. After about a minute pour in the vegetable broth and shakes of seasoning.
  6. The chicken will probably be ready by this time so place chicken into the pot. Wash out the pan and fill with some water and get it boiling in preparation for the pasta.
  7. Toss the spinach and green onion to the pot and get the spinach almost wilted in combination with the next step.
  8. After water is boiling toss in the Quinoa Pasta noodles and let cook to just before they are done.
  9. Drain noodles and add them to pot.
  10. Let the pot cook for a few minutes bringing all the flavors together
  11. Serve and prepare yourself for an amazing stoup experience!

I have to say I am not a huge soup fan, as in when I think of things to make this is at the bottom of my list, but this has completely changed my mind and I can't wait to make it again! It was hearty, filling and my taste buds were delighted! So go try it!

I also wanted to tell you about classes you may find at gyms and such called TRX. TRX is my new favorite workout that uses straps attached to a high rack that is attached to a wall or may stand on it's own bolted to the ground depending on where you go.


I am going to warn you this class is intense but you are getting an awesome workout using your own body weight. You are able to work out the entire body and in every move you also are working your core. I highly suggest trying this out a few times if this is something available to you!

"These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full" (John 15:11 ESV).

Friday, March 21, 2014

I made my own recipe!

Hello Everyone!

I am so excited to share this recipe I made up all on my own! I brought it to a Saint Patricks Day party and it was a HIT! I am in love with this recipe and have already shared it with a few who made it at home and love it! I am pinning this to Pinterest, http://www.pinterest.com/sandyrwessel 

The recipe is called Avocado Cilantro Lime Hummus and here is how you make it! Remember Organic, Non-GMO and local if and when possible!






  • 2 cups of soaked and rinsed chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or 1 can chickpea's (garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed
  • 2 small avocado's or 1 large
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • About an inch thick wedge of red onion
  • 1 whole bunch of cilantro
  • 2-3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Add all to food processor and blend until smooth
              • Add salt and lime until desired taste. I don't measure them I just add, but if I had to guess it's be about a tsp of salt to a tsp and a half and maybe 3 tbsp lime but that's purely a guess. Just put in a food processor and blend and keep testing it until it tastes as salty and lime-y as you want.

Don't be afraid to add more garlic, onion or even throw in JalapeƱo or your favorite pepper or hot sauce to spice it up a bit.


This recipe goes great with seed crackers, organic chips, or vegetables (again organic, Non-GMO and local if possible)!

Here are some of the brands I favor for chips and crackers:
Way Better Snacks
Late July
Que Pasa
Blue Diamond (check the labels)

I encourage you to try this and tell me your thoughts, and if you change it up a bit and what you do and how it tastes!

Genesis 1:11
Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Busy Busy Busy

Today I don't have much time to post as I have a very busy schedule, more homework than normal (I am in school for accounting) and my husband is home sick. So today I want to leave you with some helpful links to check out yourself.

HAPPY FRIDAY!

I found these  Food Bars at my local health store Sprouts and the Active Green Bar was delicious, and a great meal (yes entire meal) on the go so no excuses for not eating or having to get fast food when you get have some of these on stock! Organic Food Bar (check if your local store has them cheaper, mine did)!

Helpful for starting your garden (which I did this week! so much fun) 16 foods that'll regrow from kitchen scraps

I have added these to my workouts because summer is approaching and that means it's swimsuit season! 9 moves to shrink your muffin top

My nutritionist/personal trainer friend Heather's Blog. Very helpful info here and if your local maybe you can schedule you some sessions http://mylifeworkout.blogspot.com 

Great Fried "Rice" recipe http://damndelicious.net/2012/10/19/quinoa-veggie-fried-rice-and-a-giveaway/

Body Fat Charts with pictures of what approx. body fat looks like for Men and Women and what is actually healthy! http://www.builtlean.com/2010/08/03/ideal-body-fat-percentage-chart/

Just for Women: Think about the chemicals in our feminine hygiene products... kind of scary so take a look at this http://www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/are-feminine-hygiene-products-slowly-harming-you-plus-safe-alternatives  I have switched to Dr. Mercola and you can find products here that are safe http://shop.mercola.com/catalog/feminine-products,65,9.htm also Sprouts has a good brand I hear but have not personally tried, but I trust my source.

Have a great weekend, eat clean, live green and get moving!

Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and inyour perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-8 NASB

Friday, March 7, 2014

Goal Setting

Goal setting is one of the most important things you can do to achieve your health and fitness overall goals.

START SMALL

Make small goals that you can reach in a week or 2, such as loose 2 lbs this week, workout 3 days this week, eat at least 7 completely clean meals this week. Setting a small goal and achieving it can give you strength and encouragement to move forward in reaching your overall goal. Once you see that you can do that small goal, the next week or 2 add to that goal such as workout 4 days this week eat at least 11 completely clean meals and loose another 2 lbs (you don't want to get outrageous with the pounds because you hit plateaus and you want your overall goal to be healthy so it really depends on how much you weight as to how much you will loose each week, and where you are physically).

Grab yourself a calendar that you will see daily and write down your goal on the day you want to achieve it. If it's a calendar everyone will see and you are uncomfortable with that, just write Goal day or make a symbol that you will see and it will remind you of your goal daily. Another great thing to do is ALWAYS write down you goal somewhere you can see it or you will look at everyday even if it's not posted on a calendar but maybe in a journal that you look at everyday.There is  something about writing goals down that makes them more achievable.

"The physical act of writing down a goal makes it real and tangible. You have no excuse for 

forgetting about it. As you write, use the word "will" instead of "would like to" or "might." 

For example, "I will reduce my operating expenses by 10 percent this year," not "I would like 

to reduce my operating expenses by 10 percent this year." The first goal statement has power 

and you can "see" yourself reducing expenses, the second lacks passion and gives you an 

excuse if you get sidetracked" (Mindtools). 


If you have a weight goal, especially if you are a women, DO NOT weigh yourself everyday... it can be discouraging when you eat really great, and workout really hard and the scale doesn't budge... that is normal. Your body can take a little time to catch up. Weight yourself on the same day every week at the same time, clothes off. I recommend doing it in the a.m as the water weight and food intake of the day will not mess with your weight in the a.m (as in before you consume anything).  And again just for women, if you are on your monthly cycle, skip that week completely... I know I can gain a little and it all (maybe more) comes off after my cycle, so I just say screw that week if you are weighing in. That is my personal opinion).

You will not believe how motivating just achieving a small goal can be. And further motivating each week as you achieve more and more as the weeks progress. Making small practical goals is important because say you have 50lbs to loose, that can seem astronomical at times! So you break it into baby steps giving your self a pat on the back or special treat (not food!) that is a reward for achieving a baby step. These goals need to be very specific not just "get healthy"... because well yeah, that is the overall goal but how are you going to get there? You really need to break it down to being realistic, having a time frame, and being actually attainable.

This is one of the best ways to be successful and keep a life style change. If you jump into it "cold turkey" (which you can if you really want to, it does work for some) you might get burnt out and feel overwhelmed, and end up giving up and going back to old ways, and in a few months regret not sticking with it and ending up back at square one. Let's not jump on that cycle, it's vicious. Get a pen and paper or open up a word document now (print it out after) and start setting your goals for the next week or 2! If you are comfortable, share your goal or goals for the upcoming 2 weeks in the comments and then tell us next week how it went!

NOW let's try a new exercise to help us shed those love handles... this one is a challenge! I say start with 16-20 twists (each side counts as 1) 3x 3-5 days a week. (Do I see a goal suggestion? *hint *hint)




Philippians 3:14
"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus".

Friday, February 28, 2014

Juicing (No, not steroids!) and Blending

Click HERE and watch the next 22 seconds



 That video cracked me up! Had to share!

 But now let's get down to business and talk about Juicing this Friday. Is it a new fad? Actually no, it's been around since the 1930's and was invented by Norman Walker, who by the way lived to be 100 which speaks volumes to the benefits of Juicing. It was also pitched by Jack LaLanne back in the 70's and 80's and he lived to be 96... seeing a pattern here? So, no Juicing isn't a new fad, it's actually something very healthy and a great thing to incorporate in your everyday life ESPECIALLY if you hate vegetables  Pack a juicer full of greens and vegetables, throw in some pineapple or a fuji apple (because they have enough sweetness to cover the taste of the veggies) and *WAL-AH! You are getting your veggies in daily and probably the recommended serving in 1 6-8oz glass! 

Food Matters states "After regularly consuming freshly pressed vegetable juices, which are highly alkalizing, you will experience improved energy levels, digestion and mental clarity, clearer skin, and an overall sense of wellbeing." There are so many benefits of juicing I won't list them all but anyone knows fruits and veggies have enormous benefits to the body so you cannot over do it. You can go above and beyond the suggested serving size and it will only benefit your system, especially if you are trying to detox.

There are different types of Juicers, Cold Press Juicers are the best but can be costly. They get the most fiber out of the foods, and can do amazing things such as extract nut milk (Almond milk and such), juice grasses and herbs, little to no heat so the enzymes stay intact and last up to 72 hours. 

Although the cold press offers more benefits, any juicer (Centrifugal Juicers) still offer you benefits and will help increase your fruit and veggie intake, which is great!  

Basically juicing allows you to douse yourself in nutrients and because it's in a liquid form it is absorbed quickly into your system giving you quick benefits such as energy! I just got my cold press juicer (thank you tax return!) and it says it also makes smoothies and has pulp control so I can't wait to try it!

Speaking of smoothies... if you are not into juicing but LOVE a smoothie, GO FOR IT! You will not be able to get as much into your smoothie as you would your juicer but it's a great option for again, getting in more fruits and vegetables. I and many others would recommend a high powered blender such as a vitamix or Ninja because they will blend MUCH better than a regular Oster or other brands. Add super foods, super herbs and seeds to the smoothie for more amazing benefits!

This post isn't to try to sell you on products but these have made a tremendous difference in mine and my husband's health. Just to give you a real life example... my husband has lost 25 lbs since the second week of January and he juices about once a day and works out about 2 days a week on average. I on the other hand reached my goal weight of 135 a little while ago but maintain my weight of about 133-135 and have still lost inches and have gained muscles and see my body toning up and I workout about every other day (3-5 times a week).

Another thing I recommend getting is a 10 cup blender, I found mine for $34 on Amazon and it works amazing! It allows me to make the most amazing desserts that need food processing such as making almond flour and adding dates to make a crust. I just made this amazing, super easy dessert  (you will not regret trying this) because of my food processor: Chocolate Cream Carmel Bars (note I added 1 tsp vanilla to the chocolate and carmel layers).

Don't be afraid to try new things and new foods! If you haven't ever juiced (again not talking about steroids) find a whole foods, or Nugget  or anyplace that has a juicing bar and try a few things! If you aren't a huge fan of vegetables get one with fruits and veggies, and slowly train your tastebuds by taking out a little more fruit each time. Not that fruit is bad it's good! But some people need less sugar and more veggies!

Mark 4:8
"Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold."

Friday, February 21, 2014

Growing your own food

I am not sure where you live BUT the state of California thinks it is spring. Which reminds me that planting season is coming soon. Many people complain (understandably) about the prices of organic, great whole foods and it being one of the main reasons they don't eat well. There is a solution for that, grow your own food. While you can't grow everything you can grow your staple foods. I lived in an apartment and grew things on my patio so no excuses, you can find space if you want to make it a priority, you can build wide or high or, wide and high to plant various things.

This year I am super excited to be growing my own food and getting my meats from a local farm, and get the veggies I don't grow at a local farm/farmers market. I encourage you to find out when you need to plant your staple veggies and chart out starting a garden in your backyard (or wherever you have to start it). You can spend about the same amount on a plant as you would for 1 or 2 trips to the store for that same item give or take a few things. The initial cost of starting a garden may seem a little overwhelming because it is an investment. You do need to buy the good soil, I suggest an organic plant food that gets mixed into the soil, the planting boxes (or go on Pinterest and make your own from things around the house or cheaper items built) and the plants. It's also a time investment, but really not a big one after all the planting is done. Build a drip system, or simply water the plants everyday. Most nurseries tell you a time frame of when the plants will mature and be ready to pick. Do a little research on the plants you plan on planting and do your best to have a successful garden. Plan ahead, as in this weekend and next week, don't procrastinate or you may miss planting times. Take some time to do research. Use an organic soil, organic plants (I don't tend to buy seeds but you can if you are willing to wait), save egg shells, coffee filters, and if you juice save the excess for compost. There are MANY MANY gardening tips for people looking to start a garden so just go looking. I took the liberty of linking you to

How to Start a New Organic Garden.


Be intentional about your garden and you will be greatly rewarded in fruitfulness, health and the feeling of actually doing something for you and your family. You will not regret it. I do have a few tips I learned from last year and the year before that when gardening buy lady bugs to act as a natural pesticide, helping get the most out of your garden. You may need to buy netting or wiring to protect certain fruits and veggies from birds and other animals but it is well worth it.

I really hope you do this, and take pictures as you do so you can really take pride in the end and have motivation to keep it up. Then you can motivate other friends and family members to try it as well and start helping others get on track with a healthy life style!

Happy Food and Fitness Friday, and thanks for reading!!! If you liked this post please share and look at my previous post for more help on getting healthy!

Meat buying tip: To save money buy a WHOLE chicken (from a local organic farm if possible), and cut it up yourself.

Ezekiel 34:29
I will establish for them a renowned planting place, and they will not again be victims of famine in the land, and they will not endure the insults of the nations anymore.

Friday, February 14, 2014

What's for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner?

Happy Friday!

Many people have asked for recipes for things I make so I am going to give you some of my staple meals and how I make them, plus a few I have tried recently and thought were AMAZING!

Breakfast:

Kashi Cereals with Almond Milk 

Scrambled eggs with Cheese and Spinach

Pancake/Waffles - Namaste Food’s Mix. In all honesty I could totally make this myself but haven’t yet and it was on sale after the first bag I bought to try. This is a great healthy alternative to white flour mixes or any bisquick stuff you may typically buy. Top it off with organic Maple and try drizzling it on instead of dousing.

Carrot Cake Waffles- I tried these last weekend but we did a breakfast for dinner meal. I found this recipe through http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com  but I had to quadruple the recipe because I think her 2 waffles must have been small or something.  This recipe is really really good and another great alternative to regular pancakes/waffles.

Carrot Cake Waffles
(Triple or quadruple if making for more than 1 or 2 people)
1/2 cup spelt flour (or all-purpose or Bob’s gluten-free) (60g)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
pinch stevia extract, or 2 tbsp agave or pure maple syrup
1/4 cup shredded carrot (32g)
1/3 cup milk of choice (decrease by 2tbsp if using the agave/syrup) (80g is 1/3c)
1 tbsp more milk of choice or 1 tbsp oil (15g)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (4g)
Combine first 6 ingredients in a mixing bowl, and stir well. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Grease your waffle maker, with oil or oil spray (be sure to grease well if using the oil-free version), then let it preheat. Pour wet ingredients into dry, and stir to make a batter. When the iron is hot, pour half the batter into the center of the iron, and close the lid. (My machine has a light that goes out when the waffle is ready. Don’t lift the lid before the waffle is finished cooking.) Frost these vegan carrot cake waffles with either coconut butter or my healthy cream cheese frosting (linked below the second photo in this post).

To top it off like a “carrot cake” I found this fo-cream cheese frosting with was pretty darn good on the waffle! Problem is I can’t find where I got it from but just know it isn’t my recipe.
"Cream Cheese" Frosting:
½ C Non-Hydrogenated Shortening
½ C Earth Balance Butter (or omit and add an additional ½ C shortening)
½ C Honey
1 Tsp. Creamy Almond or Cashew Butter
1½ Tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1½ Tsp. Lemon Juice
¼ Tsp. Salt (omit if almond butter has salt)
2 Tsp. Pure Vanilla


Lunch:

Lunch is pretty much my favorite right now!

I make a lot of Quesadilla/Grown up grilled cheese type meals for lunch now that I am home and I LOVE it!

Here is what I always have in them:

Colby Jack Grass Fed, rBST free cheese shredded just enough to cover
 2 whole wheat Non-GMO no hydrogenated oil tortillas (I get these at my local Sprouts store and it’s Sprouts brand I buy)
or if it's a Grown Up Grilled Cheese 2 slices of Spelt Bread.
Hand full of one of the following: Organic Spinach,  Organic Super Greens mix , Organic Arugula
½ an Avocado (this is one of the clean 15 you do not need to buy organic because the pesticides do not penetrate the skin)

The rest is what I change up in the quesadilla:
½ Organic Red Bell Pepper (sliced)
Alfalfa or clover Sprouts small handful spread out
½ Organic Tomato (Sliced)

Lightly spray or coat with EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) Light (I just like the less olive taste) and pan fry till cheese melts and tortillas are crisp!


The Challenge of these amazing quesadillas is flipping them and keeping the innards together, but here is the beautiful tasty payoff!


PRETTY AMAZING!






If I don't have this... who am I kidding I just keep finding new things to add, it hasn't gotten old yet!

Dinner:

Ahi Tuna Salad - Easiest meal ever!
If you can get some nice Ahi steaks where you live try this one. Get over the raw thing if that's you because it's completely fine and has great omegas and lean protein, plus it's delicious!

Soy Sauce dressing (I only consume fermented soy so this is the only soy you will see me use)
Roughly 1/4 cup soy sauce
Roughly 1 tbsp raw honey
1 clove of garlic 
tsp or 2 of sesame seeds
Mix together.

Get a pan on high heat going. You want the pan to be super hot when tossing the Ahi on.
Meanwhile take a tiny drizzle of your EVOO Light and gently rub around Ahi Steak, tiny pinch of sea salt (finely ground), and a few pinches of pepper then gently rub evenly around steak. Shake some sesame seeds on the steak. Toss it in the pan for no more than 2 minutes each side.

In that 2 minutes grab a handful of Organic leafy greens of choice (unless your choice is iceberg... that is a no go, and besides hardly a leafy "green") I prefer Organic Spinach or Organic Super Green Mix and place on a plate. Slice and Avocado (I typically you 1/2 to myself because I love Avocado but only a few slices are necessary) and spread like cards fanning out onto the greens.

Steak should be done or almost by the time you load up the plates with greens and avo. Take Ahi out of the pan and slice into desired thickness. Use as spoon to drizzle on the soy dressing and WA-LAH!

Another good one is Stuffed Red Bell Peppers with Arugula, Goat Cheese and Organic Parmesan Chicken (Get an organic parmesan dressing to marinate or find an organic chicken sausage with minimal processing and remove the casing). 1 bell pepper is a serving. I use no measurements really but here is the best directions:

Turn oven on to 350 degrees.
Cut 1-2 marinated chicken breast or 2-3 chicken sausages into cubes and cook thoroughly (amounts depend on how many you are cooking for).
Cut in half organic red bell peppers and de-seed, set aside.
In a pan wilt several handfuls of arugula. (Usually you need more than you think because it shrinks up pretty good).
Add 1/2- 1 4oz tub of crumbled goat cheese until melted in with arugula.
Mix chicken into arugula and goat cheese, then spoon into the bell pepper halves.
Place in the over for about 10 minutes.


Another big one is Cauliflower Pizza Crust Pizza that I have adapted to my families tastes. This one can be tricky at first but squeezing the water out of the cauliflower (and there is a lot) before adding in ingredients helps and messing with pizza size for better cooking in the oven.  I sometimes use 4 small pizza stones instead of 1 big one and then we can have personal pizzas and choose our own toppings.

And Burritos! I LOVE burritos! Just make better choices about what you put in your burrito. Buy Grass Fed non rBST lean ground beef and cheeses, plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream, make your own black beans (really easy and much cheaper) and use the whole wheat tortillas from my quesadilla recipe, and make your own taco seasoning. Pinterest is where I found my homemade taco seasoning recipe and it's better, plus you can make a ton and save it for later dinners!


More meals I make:
Chicken, Quinoa, and Asparagus
Strawberry, Spinach, Goat Cheese and walnut salad with poppy seed dressing (Drew's Organic is a good one!)
Brown Rice Veggie Stir Fry
Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti (Use squash as noodles)
Pan fried zucchini and crookneck squash with a can of petit diced tomatoes over garlic quinoa or brown rice

Snacks/Sides:
Kashi 7 grain crackers and different types of hummus
Protein Smoothie
Sweet Potato Fries
Vanilla or Honey Greek yogurt (I put dark chocolate chips in to the mix when I feel like dessert).
Kale Chips
Chips and Quinoa, Flax, and Chia Salsa (an amazing find at Sprouts).
Apple slices and Peanut Butter


These are just some of the things I have on a fairly regular basis. I get almost everything (unless it's on the clean 15 list I still buy organic corn and sweet potatoes because of gmo's and No Spud spray though), organic or non-gmo.

I really hope this helps give you ideas and things to try. Remember you can always reach out with a comment or question and ask for more details, or request something for my next post(s). The goal is to find tasty nutritious meals that you can afford and love. 

Challenge this week: Watch Food Matters on Netflix.

Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart