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!


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  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 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!


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


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

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

Friday, February 7, 2014

Drink Up!

I have talked briefly about Food and I have talked about Fitness so what's left?

What We Drink!!!

Water is by far the most important thing you can put in your body. You could survive about 3 weeks without food but "After 3 days, you need water or you'll perish"(Live Science, 2012). Water is needed to sustain life for EVERYTHING! But for the human body here is why you should be drinking water:

1. Muscles- Muscles get easily fatigued and don't have enough fluid and your workouts and daily activity may suffer.
2. Kidney function- Lack of water can put one at risk of kidney stones, and may not be able to flush toxins out of the body!
3. Skin Quality- You will look and feel better keeping your skin hydrated. You will have less dry, itchy skin when you are hydrated.
4. Bowel Function- Let's just sum it up by not getting constipated.
5. Body Fluid Balance- "Your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature." (Web MD, 2008).
6. Calorie Balance-  Drinking water can keep you from eating more calories if you drink it with or before a meal. 
7. Bad Breath- Want to get rid of your Halitosis? Drink Water it will help!

There is still an on going debate of exactly how much water you should be drinking. More evidence is suggesting women drink approximately 9 glasses of water a day while men should drink approximately 13 cups. But a healthy diet, full of veggies and fruits, contains some of the required water so you have a little leeway in that aspect.

DO NOT put anything other than squirts of lemon, lime or actual fruit and veggies in your water. Anything like crystal light, or other water flavoring products have fake sugars and dangerous additives, I mentioned in my first post "Where do we begin".

So what can you drink besides water for tastes and healthy benefits.

Tea... tea sweetened by raw honey or natural organic, raw sweeteners only. Google teas to find out their many benefits, and if you purchase tea make it organic because otherwise you are drinking a lot of chemicals and pesticides. 

Juice, NOT the "American" Juice like Hawaiian Punch. Juice from a Juicer, or juiced products. There are several products in the markets that offer these juiced products and you can often find coupons online, but always read the labels especially if they say Protein on them because it is likely soy and I went over that in the linked post (More details to come on soy alone). 

Now let's go over soda... best to just avoid it but if you "MUST" have it drink Hansen's, Zevia, Blue Sky with Stevia, or something without high fructose corn syrup and horrible crap. It's all about reading labels and researching the product. I have found Sprouts and Nugget Markets have the best option for finding healthy alternatives to Coke and Pepsi. They even make Stevia Pop drops that are flavored like soda that you ad to Sparkling water.

Hydration is important so make sure you figure out how to get hydrated everyday. There are even apps that will alarm when you need to drink water. Check it out if you have a smart phone and have trouble remembering to drink water (like me). 

Now for a stress reducing workout:

Try this beginners Yoga, if you like it check into Yoga. Great at helping flexibility and reducing stress (you do not need to get into the religion for it to help).

And for Debi with Tennis Elbow everything I found says to start back slowly, so you will want to focus on Diet, and bring your exercise up slowly. I did find this link that may help, along with any exercises your doctor recommended for the specific rehab. And WedMD says this:

 "Exercises to build or maintain good fitness are important for your recovery. Walking, cycling, water aerobics, jogging, and other aerobic exercises can increase your heart and lung fitness and increase general strength and endurance, without making your injury worse. These activities also increase blood circulation; increased circulation supplies the injured tendon with more oxygen and may promote healing.1
Appropriate exercises for stretching, strengthening, and increasing your endurance are vital to your recovery.2 Your doctor or physical therapist can recommend the best stretching and strengthening exercises for your condition".

John 4:10
Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you livingwater.”