Monday, July 15, 2013

A New Beginning, a Recipe and a Favor......

Good morning everyone! I have been patiently waiting for today for over a month. Today is the day that I begin my studies at the Institute of Integrated Nutrition or IIN. To say that I am totally stoked would be an understatement. The program is a year long, but I can start seeing clients in six months! I can't wait to learn, to share & to grow. I am exactly where I want to be right now.

If you want to know how I came to this decision, I made a video that tells you all of the things that went into play. It was certainly one of those moments that hit me like a ton of bricks. Check it out here....

If you have EVER considered creating the career of your dreams around health & wellness, now is the time. I have a full time job, a part time business, I am a single mom AND I can pull this off too. Trust me folks, I am not super mom. If I can do it, you can too. Click on the photo below for more information & feel free to ask me ANYTHING. Most of you already know that I am an open book. 

For those of you that follow me on Instagram, I also promised a recipe today. :) Talk about mouth watering delicious!!!! Check out my yummy Watermelon Juice.....

You are looking at 160oz ounces of pure deliciousness right there. It conveniently worked out to be the juice from one watermelon. We actually bought two yesterday so we could eat one & drink the other. Watermelon is so absolutely refreshing & should be consumed as much as possible. 

Fun fact - Did you know that the seeded watermelons are actually sweeter & that is why they often cost more? Good news! With this recipe, you can buy the seeded if you want. You will figure out why if you watch the video. Or you can comment below or email me to ask.

Kristina is amazing & I love so many of her recipes. is one of my go-to sites. Check out her video, make this recipe & let me know how you & your family & friends like it. I don't think these 5 jars will make it past today. 

Can you do me a favor? Can you post a link to my blog on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, or whatever platform is your preference? (Or even all of them if you don't mind.) Getting the message out on health & wellness is important & I can't do it without you. Not to mention all of the absolutely delicious recipes that I share!! I am extremely passionate about helping you and your friends, family & coworkers to get a little, or a lot, healthier. Let me share what I learn over the next year with everyone that you care about. 

Thank you for your continued support. I look forward to you coming along for the ride.
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Monday, July 8, 2013

How Many of These Did YOU Eat over the Holiday Weekend?

I want to start off by saying that I hope that everyone had a wonderful 4th of July holiday. The beach was packed, our street was crazy, the food was good, the company was a blessing & new friendships were formed. Not to mention that the weather was PERFECT. What did you do?

Let's get in to the meat of this post. We all know that hot dogs are not good for us. They almost always hit the food lists of worst possible foods that you can eat. So, why do we keep eating them?

I'll be honest, I have been guilty of this in the past as well. I used to have a hot dog addiction between Memorial Day & Labor Day. It was only once I became more informed, WANTED to hear the information & was willing to ACCEPT it that I was 100% okay with completely eliminating hot dogs. This weekend, I was put to the test & I WON!!!! I had absolutely zero desire to eat one. Even after they were offered to me more than a few times.

Later that night, my son & I were watching food videos on YouTube & we came across the one that you are about to watch. There is a moment in the beginning that completely disgusted me & I near gagged. Brandon even asked if we could stop the video. Then I remembered those times that I would be enjoying a hot dog & bite down on bone. Totally gross, I know.

So I have decided, should I ever get tempted to eat one of these horrible, unhealthy, mystery meat hot dogs, I have to watch this video first. It is sure to do the trick.

So tell me, which part of this video turned you off the most?

As always, please forward / post a link to this blog on your Facebook page, sharing is caring! Also, receive these posts via email immediately upon publishing. No need to remember to come visit the blog. You can do this in the upper left hand corner of this page. :)
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Friday, July 5, 2013

How Adventurous Are YOU?

So, how adventurous are you? Don't worry. I am not going to ask you to climb a mountain, jump out of a plane, or swim with the sharks. Well, not today anyway. (If you are down for any of those things, email me.)

I really want to know about your culinary adventures. When I say adventure, that doesn't mean drinking milk after the due date. Gross by the way. I can only speak for myself, but I am not really a milk person to begin with.

When was the last time that you tried something new? Not necessarily a recipe that contains foods that you are familiar with or love. But a totally new food that you have never experienced. Perhaps, one that is good for you & your well being?

Think about it, if we tried ONE new thing a week, we would taste 52 new things a year! It may be unrealistic to consider that they will ALL taste delicious, but what if we enjoyed half of them? That would be 26 new foods each year! Think of what that would do for your body, your family, your menu planning & your restaurant experiences. Bonus - you would earn the title of adventurous foodie. (Or any other fancy title that you would like to claim.)

Trying new foods doesn't have to be expensive either. I picked up an eggplant for $1.49 at Trader Joe's. You could incorporate this plan into any budget. Start out slow & easy OR jump into the freezing waters in your birthday suit. (Disclaimer - I do not want to see your photos of you jumping into the freezing waters in your birthday suit. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.)

This week I have tried not one, not two, but five things. The $1.49 eggplant was one but it is gone now & therefore I could not snag a photo of it. Here are my findings:

Hemp Protein - I have to say that I was a little terrified when I opened this. It looks like, grass powder. I am not sure what I was expecting but, green powder wasn't it. I waited a day or two before I worked up the nerve. I added it to my smoothie. Result: I couldn't even taste it. I received the benefits of the protein with ZERO taste. Score!

Flax seed - I have been afraid to try flax seed for years. Since I am all adventurous now, I decided that it was time. I was looking for plain but Trader Joe's had this version & being that it had blueberries included, I figured my chances were better that I might enjoy this. I also added this to a smoothie. Result: Delicious! I couldn't pick up the taste of the blueberries but it brought a nutty texture to my smoothie. Yum! Good stuff.

Goji Berries - I have tried candy before that contained Goji berries that I have to admit was quite heavenly. I was super pumped to try these Goji berries since they would be the healthy version of my candy. WRONG. I didn't spit them out, but I wanted to. They are dehydrated & not flavored with sugar & 15 ingredients that I can't pronounce. Of course the taste would not be the same. What was I thinking?! This bag cost me $9.99 so I was determined to find another use. I rehydrated them in water & then added them to my Scrumptious Super Food Energy Bars. Now, they are delicious!

Cacao Powder - In a nutshell, chocolate powder. I think I am going to need a MUCH larger bag of this. This one goes without saying & I am pretty sure that I had you at chocolate powder. Am I right? There will be many future creations featuring this perfect food. 

So, let's hear it. What are YOU going to try this week? ONE thing. You can do it. Comment below, make the commitment & there share with everyone your results so that we can all learn from each other. If you want to go the extra mile, post about something new that you have recently tried as well & let us know what you thought about it. I'd like this blog to become a platform where we can all share & help each other to grow. 

Go.....leave a comment, like this post & share this delicious blog (just click on the FB icon below) with someone else that loves food! 

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Scrumptious Super Food Energy Bars......

Do you need a delicious, healthy, guilt free, raw, natural energy bar? Not only do I have what you need, I have what you WANT. This bar is scrumptious!

I had a bar similar to this at Whole Foods this week. It looked absolutely divine so I couldn't resist. Apparently when I took the first bite, I made a weird face. Allyson asked me how it was & I said, "interesting".

I am learning as I try new things that my brain expects a sugary, processed flavor & when I don't taste that....the first thought is that it is not good or interesting at best. So, I have promised myself that I will not make any decisions until the second or third bites. 

I took a second bite & I thought, not bad. Then the third, fourth, & all subsequent bites, I could barely stop myself. It is a good thing that I only purchased four little chunks & drove off before the tasting. Otherwise, I could have had a energy bar overdose. 

Since Emily's website over at This Rawsome Vegan Life has become my go to site, I thought I'd see if she had posted any similar energy bars that I could create my own from. To my pleasant surprise, she had. Her version is called "super food energy bars with cacao". Mine....well, I suppose it needs a name. I am open to any crafty suggestions that you have. 

This was incredibly easy to make & was fun for Allyson & I to do together. I find that if the kids help, they are more invested in the final outcome & are much more open minded to trying new things. Brandon wasn't home when we came up with our creation so after eyeing it in the fridge, he asked what dessert we had waiting in the fridge. Score number one! He thinks it is dessert. Dessert is usually associated with thoughts of deliciousness. 

We go into the kitchen & I take out the bars so that I can cut, store & taste our final product. Brandon doesn't leave my side. As I cut them, he lets me know that he expects one.....NOW. So I cut a little piece & then the initial fear sets in & he asks me to taste it first. Before I do, I explain my method of multiple bites before judging the recipe. 

My first bite was much like the Whole Foods version. Interesting. For me, it was the same as my previous experience. The second bite was better & then it became a situation of restraint from eating the entire 12 bars in one sitting. Score number two!

Brandon took his first bite & I could tell that he had the same feelings when the taste hit his tongue. But he took the second bite anyway. That followed with, "Mmmm. It is really good". I asked him if he really meant it or was just being a sweetheart & didn't want to hurt my feelings. So he said, "Oh my gosh! Look over there!" When I did, he grabbed a chunk of the bar & was making a break for it! He duped me so that he could steal another piece. Score number three!

Now it was on to my biggest critic, Allyson. Although she helped me with the preparations, she seemed to think that every healthy addition to the mix was gross. I pretty much figured at that point that she didn't want to be in the same room with these bars. I explained my tasting methods to her & she took her first bite. Again, I would see that unsure look. She took a second bite & her facial expressions changed. It was when she voluntarily reached for that third bite that I knew she genuinely enjoyed it. Score number four!

For fear that the kids would eat all of the bars while I was at work today I mentioned that just because they are healthy, doesn't mean that you can just sit down & eat the entire pan. They are meant for a boost. I told them that this is the kind of thing that you eat if you are going to work out & Brandon said, "Then I will be working out!" Score number five!!!

1/2 cup almonds - Trader Joe's
1/2 cup cashews - Trader Joe's
1/3 cup chia seeds - Navitas
1/3 cup ground flax w/blueberries - Trader Joe's
3T hemp protein
1/3 cup raw cacao powder - Navitas
3/4 sesame seeds
1/2 cup goji berries- Extreme Health
12 medjool dates
2T melted coconut oil - 365 brand

Throw the dry ingredients in your food processor, then add the dates and process until everything it starts to stick together. If too dry, add more dates or coconut oil. Put in the remaining dry ingredients you left out and mix in with your hands. Press into a lined pan and set in the fridge for an hour or more. Cut into bars and store for up to one week.

I am realizing more & more with each passing day how we influence our kids eating habits. If I go for an apple & almond butter, the kids will ask for me to cut one for them too. If I make a big salad for all of us instead of just myself, they will eat it. If we introduce chia seeds, flax seeds, raw cacao powder or other foreign, unprocessed, healthy items with a positive attitude....they will try it. 

I challenge you this week to introduce ONE new item to yourself & your family. If we added one new thing every week, we would have experienced 52 new foods in a year's time. How incredible is that? They may not all be winners, but I bet at least half of them will. I am also finding that the healthier I eat, the less I crave "the bad stuff". When I do eat something that is not true to my daily eating habits, it doesn't even taste as good. So with each passing day, this journey gets easier & easier. 

Please comment below & let me know what you are going to introduce this week. I would also greatly appreciate it if you would like this post, share it & follow me on social media outlets if you enjoy what I share with you.

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