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Chia Seed Ice-Cream (Sugar Free and Vegan)

My favorite commercial right now is the Geico one where ex-NFL player Ickey Woods is waiting in line to buy cold cuts, and gets ridiculou...

Friday, May 30, 2014

Very Veggie Green Smoothie - For Kids!

Sometimes the only way you can get a kid to eat a vegetable is with a little sneaking around.  Sure they might enjoy corn, green beans, peas, and even broccoli, but I'm talking the extra nutritious superstars:  in this case, leafy greens and radishes.  That's why I'm such a huge fan of blending green smoothies.  Mixed with some of their favorite sweet fruit, they are none the wiser that they are eating these exceptionally healthy vegetables!  Of course once you win them over with the taste, you can let the secret out.  Letting them help drop the vegetables into the blender is a fun way to teach them the importance of eating right.  But at least with a sweet smoothie, there's no more fighting about eating your vegetables!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Bomb Pop Green Smoothie (with red bell pepper, celery, cauliflower, + fruit!)

Christmas is my favorite holiday, but the 4th of July is a close second.  I grew up in a small town in Iowa, and the day of the 4th was packed with activities from sunrise to well past sunset.  The whole town was out and about, along with plenty of visitors.  Like most smaller towns, people have been moving away over the last few decades, so sadly it isn't quite the celebration it used to be.  But I still can't seem to go anywhere else with my family for this holiday.  So in a few weeks we're packing up the car and heading east, to savor summer and celebrate Independence Day. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Chocolate-Raspberry Chia Jam

Did you know that you can make homemade jam out of chia seeds?  Every morning I crave toast after my green smoothie.  Gluten free, of course.  Even though I love peanut butter, I have been limiting it because of the aflatoxin mold, which is a carcinogen that peanuts can contain.   While I still eat it occasionally, I try to find alternatives.  My next favorite choice for toast would be Nutella, but I don't need to make that a daily habit! 
I love raspberry jam, and was inspired to make my own from some fresh raspberries I bought the other day.  However, I cook simple things, and canning a bunch of jam is not on my agenda anytime soon!  Enter Chia seeds.  These amazing little seeds absorb up to 9 times their weight in water, turning into a gel.  For that reason, they help to turn fresh fruit into a super healthy jam.   Not only are they full of Omega-3 fatty acids, they also contain magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants.   But I didn't want just any jam, I wanted something as decadent as the Nutella I love so very much.  So this became chocolate-raspberry jam, because hey, cocoa powder has it's own long list of health benefits.  Spread it on pound cake, stir it in yogurt or oatmeal, or just eat it for breakfast.  A piece of toast with this jam and a cup of coffee, what better way to start the day?

  • 1 6ox. container of raspberries (fresh is best, but frozen works too)
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 packet of stevia
1.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the raspberries, honey, and water for 10 minutes.  Gently smash the berries down with a fork to help break them down. 

2.  Remove from heat, and stir in the cocoa powder, chia seeds, and stevia.  Let cool for about 30 minutes, occasionally stirring so the seeds are all immersed in the jam.  Once it has set up into a jam, store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 

Cherry Almond Green Smoothie

When my parents were visiting a few months ago, I wanted to make something special.  I found this recipe for Cherry Almond Sour cream cake on Pinterest: 
My Mom loves almond flavoring, and my dad loves cherries-perfect!  It. was. delicious.  And even though the frosting contains 4(!) sticks of butter, and 2 cups of sugar, and the cake contains Maraschino cherries (made with red dye that I'm totally against), I made it anyway.  Everything in moderation I say!  It was worth it, even though I would only make it once a year.  Of course it inspired me to made a green smoothie with the wonderful flavor combination of almond and cherry.  This smoothie hides 3 leaves of kale, a carrot, and fruit, but it tastes like a creamy, decadent treat.  Perfect for those mid-afternoon sweet cravings. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

5 Nutrition Books Everyone Should Read

Sometimes a book turns your whole world upside down.  Each one of these books had a similar effect on me, at least in terms of diet.  If you are looking to take control of your health, I feel that these books are the place to start.  As anyone who is living a healthy lifestyle can attest to, you may be flooded with negative thoughts about changing your diet, either from yourself or from others who are skeptical:

     "I could never give up gluten (or dairy/sugar/meat) it's just too hard."
     "You have to die of something!"
     "But where do you get your protein from?"
     "People have been eating this way for ages."
     " I want to enjoy my life, not worry about every little thing I eat."
     " I don't want to live to be 100 anyway!"

These are all statements I've heard countless times.  But I know in my heart, from reading these books as well as other research, that this is the right path for my family.  Do we eat perfectly all the time?  Absolutely not.  I don't let that stop me from trying every day to be as healthy as I can be.  You have to allow yourself wiggle room, life happens, especially life with kids!  We eat meat occasionally, have gluten when we have company for dinner, my kids eat their fair share of sugar, and I will never stop loving cheese!  But to truly reach an optimum level of health that allows for an energized and long life, I am committed to this way of eating. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Red Cabbage Slaw with Tahini & Miso

Move over coleslaw, there's a healthier slaw in town.  Actually, I have never liked coleslaw.  I know, it's almost un-American, but the gloppy, heavy, mayonnaise-laden side dish never appealed to me.  What I do love is chips in the afternoon.  (stay with me....)  Usually blue corn tortilla or sweet potato chips.  And while these are slightly more virtuous than greasy potato chips, they're still not an ideal snack.  However when 5 o'clock rolls around and I'm making dinner, I want something salty and crunchy to snack on.  Most of the time, before I realize it, I've filled myself up with chips by the time dinner is on the table. 

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