Thursday, October 20, 2011


Non-Toxic Cleaning Products!

Simple Changes For a healthier Home, and a Healthier YOU
As Moms we want the best for our children. We would never willfully harm them, or worse poison them.  The old saying "What you don't know won't hurt you" and "Ignorance is Bliss" is just not the case when it comes to our homes and families.
What we don't know, can harm us.

Ignorance can be fatal.

Before I knew much about TOXINS I always assumed that if a product was out in the market, that it MUST be SAFE.  Luckily I have learned without the painful experiences that most come to learn, that nothing could be further from the truth.

92% of all poison exposures occur IN THE HOME, involving everyday household products such as medicines,cleaning supplies, cosmetics, and personal care items.

EVERY 13 SECONDS: a family calls a poison control center re: an exposure to poison at home!
And it isn't just swallowing a toxic product. The products we put on our skin and hair create possible toxic exposures though skin absorbtion.  (Think: Soaps, Creams, Lotions, cosmetics, shampoo, deoderants)
Think about it: The workers in the labs or workplaces that create and work with commen everyday household cleaners and products we use, are required to wear safty goggles, gloves, and sometimes even a respirator when they use or come into contact with the products!  But we use the same products with no protection, ventilation, and around our innocent little ones.
THE Consumer Product Safety Connission has reported that 150 commen household chemicals have been linked to allergies,asthma, birth defeccts, cancer and psychological abnormalities.
DID YOU KNOW? We tend to think of outside air pollution of being toxic, but according to the EPA most homes have airborne concentrations of hazardous chemicals that are two to five times higher indoors then ourdoors.
The REASON they are so high? One reason is because cleaning products, personal care products, etc release toxic chemicals in to the air when used. Some even when being stored. ( Take a wiff when you walk down the cleaning aisle, or even just think about it from previous trips... it smelled like the cleaners, correct?) The packages are all tightly sealed/closed, but you still smell them...

IN the Winter with windows shut and in the summer with the a/c air, these toxic fumes have no where to go except to build up to higher and higher levels.  Household cleaning products are amoung the most toxic substances we encounter daily.

DID YOU KNOW? ( over a 15 year period/study) researchers determined that women who worked at home had a 54% higher death rate from cancer then those who had jobs away from the home.  The study concluded that the increased death rate was due to daily exposure to hazardous chemicals found in ordinary household products.
WAY BACK in 1989 a house committee asked the National Inst. of Occupational Safty and Health to analyze 2,983 chemicals used in personal care products.
884 were found to be toxic.  778 of these can cause acute toxcity, 146 can cause tumors, 218 can cause reproductive health complications, 314 can cause biological mutation, and 374 can cause skin and eye irritations.
The same products we think should be promoting hygiene, health and beauty are making us sick.  Poisonings can happen slowly, in fact most do, over a period of time, by gradual skin absorbtion and daily exposure to toxics we breath in the air. Dr.understand that toxins build up in our bodies over time, and studies like one done in 2003 by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine found an average of 91 industrial compounds in teh bodies of volunteers. Of the 167 chemicals found, 76 cause cancer in humans or animals, 94 are toxic to teh brain and nervous system, and 79 cause birth defects or abnornal development.
Are you Surprised?  Education is always a FIRST STEP, which just happend a bit though you reading this tiny little except.
THE NEXT STEP is to eliminate TOXICS from your home, and daily lives. Of course cleaning and personal care products are not the only souce of toxic chemicals in your home, they are amoun the most toxic and deadly.
START: Get ride of household bleach, all purpose cleaner, laundry detergent , dish detergant, and YES, those Clorox Wipes! Replace them! There are many products out there on the market that are non-toxic, and even organic. And to be honest, if you find the right ones, they will work better as well, and often, esp when making your own (Like Laundry detergent!) MUST LESS EXPENSIVE!
So you can SAVE YOUR HEALTH and YOUR CHECKBOOK BALANCE. and ENJOY your wellness~!

I personally use "Melaleuca" cleaners, detergents, make up, shampoo, deodorant, etc. This company has always been a wellness company, focused on non-toxic and organic products before people even knew that toxins were out there. You shop online monthly if you become a member of their company store, which gives you discounts, concentrated products. Think: 8 bottles of Tub and Tile cleaner that works amazing for $5.69  and most importantly, they smell great, work great and are safe enough to NOT have to have a child proof lock or cap. They are a company that believes in wholeness, going "Green", and saving and helping lives, and I LOVE shopping there!!!:

I also use vinegar, lime,baking soda,  and tea tree oil like they are all going out of style. All have natural antibacterial effects, and all clean well!

I have friends that use "Method" Brand of cleaners and "7th Generaion" or other Organic products. I personally don't want to spend all the extra money when I can get non-toxic, safe, great products for the same or less then the normal brands. We should be rewarded to live healthier , produce less waste for the enviroment, not punished with paying double or mroe the price, right!!?
With that, I still gotta LOVE Burts Bees, and have always been a Burts bee girl, esp when they have a sale, or coupons. Gotta splurge sometimes, right!

Ill get into makeup and personal care more later, but for now, I hope you will consider making the switch to safe, non toxic cleaning products and laundry and dish detergants! Your body, skin, and brain with thank you!
TIP! HOUSE PLANTS Can help absorb toxins!!! Click on the link below to see which ones!
15 Houseplants for improving indoor air quality!

Check out this short documentary calle TOXIC BREW !
that is part one ( above) and below is part two:
Even Oprah has done a show on this subject! She talks about Shaklee products, similar to Melaleuca, non-toxic, natural products.  A little more spendy, and I haven't tried them, but have heard they are AMAZING products as well!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Our Week in Dinners Oct 17-23rd

Monday Oct. 17th- Chicken and Rice Casserole
(For us, I made this in the morning since I would be out of town, so my hubby could just pop it in the oven for dinner, so it works well for that, or an easy meal after work, etc!)

2 chicken breasts
1 cup brown rice
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups broccolii,chopped
8 oz cream cheese
2 cups (shredded) chedder cheese
1/2 chopped onion, 2 chopped garlic cloves
Season salt
* Cook Chicken breasts in skillit w/a little oil,chopped onion, garlic, and season salt to taste. (Tip:Check and make sure you do not have any seasonings that have MSG (monosodium glucanate) in them! Just about everything can be purchased with NO MSG now days!)
*Cook 1 cup rice with 2 cups water until done.
* In a 9x13 baking dish, mix together  hot cooked rice, chicken ( chopped into bite sz pieces), broccoli, cream cheese(may be easier if you have out at room temp for easier mixing),  & chicken broth. Top with cheese. Bake @375 for 20 mins.

Autum Veggie Lasagna
Ingredients: 2tbsp unsalted butter, 2 1/4 cups peeled,cubed butternut squash, salt&pepper
1 can (15oz) pumpkin puree ( or can use fresh cooked, 2 cups)
1 egg, 10 egg roll wrappers (5-in square), 1 3/4 cups shredded gouda cheese (8oz), 8 large basil leaves.
White sauce: 2tbspbutter,1/2 cup finely chopped shallots, 1/4 c flour, 2 cups milk (warmed) 1/4 cup grated parmesean cheese. Salt and pepper ( Melt butter in saucepan, add shallots cook 5 mins, then stir in flour (2 mins) whisk in warm milk, bring to boil, and cook for 2 minutes. (whisk constantly) Remove from heat and stir in parmesan and 1/2 tsp salt &pepper.
*Directions: Melt butter in skillet, add squash and 1 cup water and simmer over med heat, season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring until water is evaporated and squash is golden and tender. Set aside
*(Position rack in upper third of ocen and preheato to 400)
Grease a 8 in glass baking dish, and spread 1/2 c white sauce in bottom. In a bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and egg.
cut half the egg roll wrappers into 3 strips each. Fill large bowl with hot tap water(as you work w/the wrappers, dip them in the water to rinse off the starch) Use 1 whole wrapper and 3 strips to cover the bottom of the dish in a single layer ( overlap will be ok) Spread a generous 1/2 c of pumpkin mixture on top and sprinkle w/ 1/3 c cheese. Repeate the layering.
Add another layer of egg roll wrappers, spread with 1 cup white sauce, and top with squash, basil and 1/3 c cheese. Add another layer of egg roll wraps,remaining pumpkin, and 1/3 c cheese. top w/ remaining egg roll wrappers, and white sauce.
Cover dish with Foil, and bake in upper oven for 30 mins., then uncover, sprinkle remaining cheese and continue to bake until top is golden/bubbling ( about 10 mins) Cool, and Enjoy!

Roasted Potatoes and Cabbage
This may seem to be too light of a meal for some, so you can easily pair with meat, but this is a easy meal night for our family, sometimes paired with Chicken or fish, other nights, we enjoy a fresh blended fruit smoothie (recipe below) after.
4 Potatoes of choice ( mix red and white, or just use russet!)
2 tbsp Olive oil
2 tbsp butter
salt, pepper, fresh or dried Rosemary and basil
Rinse, and cut potatoes into chunks. Set into 8x8 dish. Melt butter and add to oil, and pour over potatoes. Season to taste with above seasonings and mix well to coat oil,butter and seasonings. Cover with foil and bake @375 for 20 mins, then remove foil, toss and contiue to bake for 5-7 mins.
Cabbage: 1 med- large head of green cabbage.
2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp honey, salt and pepper
Chop cabbage, and place in deep skillet with 1 1/2 cups water. Add cider, honey salt and pepper, and bring to boil, then reduce to low boil. Cover and simmer for 20 mins/until water evaporates.

Fruity Smoothies
1 cup mixed (or any) frozen berries
1 cup plain greek yogurt
1 tbsp honey
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
3/4 cup coconut milk
Blend above together in blender, and serve. makes two 8 oz glasses
Easy Turkey Chilli
1lb ground turkey, 2tbsp oil,1 onion chopped,2 cloves garlic, 1tsp ground cumin,1 tsp chilli powder, 15oz can chick peas, 2 cups fresh diced tomatoes,(or 14-15 oz can of diced tomatoes) 1/8 cup tomato paste, 1/4 cup sliced scallions.
Brown turkey in oil, add onion,garlic, and spices and cook.  Add chickpears, tomatoes and 3/4 cup water, bring to boil. Simmer until thick. Serves 4.
(add 1/2 cup sweet organic corn if desired at same time as tomatoes!)
Yummy Searved with Wholegraine tortilla chips or fresh bread!!

Lentil Stew ( with Sausage, chicken or sweet Italian)
2 tbsp olive oil, 1 lb chicken or sweet itailian sasauge, 1 onion chopped, 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped, 1 large carrot, chopped, 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, 8 oz brown lentils, rinsed. 4 cups chicken broth, 2 cups kale, chopped. Parmesan cheese (to sprinkle over top if desired)
Heat oil over med-high heat, add sausage and cook until browned, transfer to a bowl. Add the onion and carrot, and cook 3-4 mins, add garlic and rosemary, then lentils and broth, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer until lentils are tender ( 25-30 mins) Stir in Kale and sasague and cook 3-4 mins.  Season w/salt and pepper.

Boston Baked beans ( Julie O'Hara)

1lb dry navy beans, rinsed
2 bay leaves, 1 large white onion chopped, 5 cloves garlic, chopped, 10 tbsp tomato paste, 4 tbsp sucanat, 2 tbsp pure maple syrup, 2 tbsp low -sodium soy sauce, 5 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tbsp dried mustard powder, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp sea salt, fresh ground pepper to taste, and 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper.
In dutch oven or  heavy ovenproof pot, add beans and enough water to cover by 2 inches.  Nring to a boil unvovered on high heat, boil for 2 mins. turn off heat and cover and let sit for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans, wash pot and return beans to pot
to pot with beans, add 6 1/2 cups water, and bay leaves.bring to boil, reduce and simmer until beans are tender, about 1 hour ( partially cover w/a lid)
preheat oven to 300' and add remaining ingred. to beans and stir until combined. When beans return to a simmer, remove lid and transfer pot to oven. Bake uncovered 1- 1 and 1/2 hours stirring every 20 mins, until beans are thick and dry crust forms on top. if beans seem too dry add 1/2-1 cup addtitional water. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
260 calories per servings ( serves 8), 1.5g fat,49 carbs,15g sugar,14g protein

Weekend Baking

Flourless PB & Choc Chip Cookies
 *1 c Peanut butter, 1 c brown sugar, 1 lrg egg, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 c semi-sweet chips
* Beat first four ingredients together, stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tbsp of dough         two in apart on baking sheet.                                                                                   Bake @350 for 10 mins
Citrus-caramel Poached Pears
2 bose pears, peeled. 1 and 1/2 cups orange juice (5 oranges, plus zest) 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 cinn stick
in sauce pan, place pears, orange juice, sugar, and cinn stick. Cover and cook over low heat until fork tender ( 30 mins) Remove pears and reduce liquid over med high heat until syrupy (12 mins), remove from heat, and drizzle over pears, garnish with zest.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Our week in Dinners!

Veggie Black Bean Avocado Burritos w/Cilantro-lime Rice

Black Bean Wholegrain Veggies Burritos with Chipotle's Cilantro-lime Rice

2 Cups cooked Black Beans
4 wholegrain tortillas, warmed
1/2 cup sweet organic corn
1 tomato, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1 head romaine, chopped
1/2 cup (each) Cilantro-lime Rice ( see below)
*Sour cream and shredded cheese optional

1 tbsp butter
2/3 cup Basmati rice
1 cup water
1 tpsp fresh chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
1 lime(juice)
*melt butter in saucepan, add rice, and lime juice stir for 1 min. Add water and salt ans bring to boil. reduce heat, cover and simmer about 25 mins. Fluff with fork, before serving stir in cilantro. * Add additional lime juice if wanted.
Fill Burritos with beans,rice and veggies, fold tight, and enjoy!

Tuesday:White Chili with Chicken

1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup sweet organic corn kernels
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon light olive oil
4 cups chicken broth
2 (15.5 ounce) cans great northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
8 oz light cream cheese
2 cups cubed, cooked chicken


  1. In a large saucepan, cook onion, corn  and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in broth, beans, parsley, lime juice and cumin; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into chili. Add chicken and cream cheese. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. 

Toasted Quinoa, Corn and Avocado Salad

1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
5 tablespoons olive oil vegetable oil
1/2 cup fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper, plus more to taste
1 garlic clove, grated
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears)
1 cup diced (1/2 inch) firm, ripe plum tomatoes
1/2 cup thin-sliced (1/4 inch) scallions (white and green parts)
1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and diced (1/2 inch)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer under cold water for at least 45 seconds. Shake the strainer to remove as much water as possible.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the rinsed quinoa and cook, stirring, over medium heat until it is light golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add 2 cups water to the quinoa, and bring to a boil. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is translucent and appears to be uncoiling, 18 to 20 minutes.
  4. Let stand, uncovered, until cool, about 10 minutes.
  5. To Make the Dressing: Sprinkle the cumin in a small skillet, and toast over medium heat, stirring, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. When the skillet is cool to the touch, add the oil, lime juice, jalapeño pepper, garlic and salt. Transfer to a large bowl, and whisk to blend.
  6. Add the cooled quinoa, corn, tomatoes and scallions to the dressing, and toss to blend. Spoon the salad onto a large platter, and sprinkle the avocado and cilantro on top.
Fruit Kabobs!
*Grapes,berries and oranges on a stick. Served with plain green yogurt with honey mixed in for a sweet treat!


Thursday: Parmesan & Buttered Bowtie pasta, & Broccoli 
1 package of Bowtie pasta
1 stick of butter
1 cup shredded Parmesan  cheese
3 cups fresh, steamed Organic Broccoli florets 
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (for serving)
*Boil Pasta, drain. Add cheese and butter cook over low heat until melted. Serve with broccoli on side, or mixed into dish. Sprinkle cheese on top of each dish as served

Breakfast Friday- Hash brown casserole, Roasted peppers, and fresh fruit parfaits!
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups small curd cottage cheese
  • Sour Cream and Salsa for garnish
  1.   In a bowl, combine the  ingredients Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish.
  2. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until set and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting., 
* Slice Red and Orange bell peppers, drizzel in olive oil, place in baking dish and broil 5-7 mins
* In see through cups layer fresh or frozen mixed berried, 1/2 cup yogurt, and 1/4 cup granola

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pantry Staples of a Mom with two toddlers

Whats to eat?

I have the sweetest two boys, one is 3 and my baby just turned 2. They are energetic, happy, fun, and a lot of work! I am constantly hearing and seeing that it’s ‘just too hard’ for moms that have young children to have healthy pantry items that are also quick and easy. But I am here to tell you, that is just isn’t so! It may seem so, but really, it’s possible to have quick, healthy, and yummy!  1) We do not own a microwave yet I do “quick & healthy “snacks and meals almost all of the time. 2) It doesn’t have to be out of the budget, in fact I am pretty sure that processed and fast foods add up to be much more in cost then when you prepare at home.
(Little secret:  I shop our local “Grocery Outlet” once a week and look for new Organic products to try at half the cost. I always check to make sure they are not near expiration date (never have had a prob. With that yet!) I have found some great items such as Organic Hot cocoa mix *I refuse to buy the regular hot choc mix so this is so fun for them esp. when the snow comes! I have found Organic Greek yogurts, and wholegrain organic cookies, even organic whole grain pop tarts! Organic Blue Agave (we use as syrup on pancakes/waffles), cheeses, veggies, etc.. All at literally ½ or less the cost of our regular natural food store.) See if you can find a store like this in your area!
Here are some of the “Pantry” Items my boys have in their “snack” drawer at home:
v  Organic Cliff Bars (adult sized/cut in half to share between my boys) their fave: Oatmeal Raisin. * My kiddos actually prefer these over the Kids Z Bars by cliff, but they do need to be halved to use as a snack, as a whole bar would be a meal for their tummies.

v  KIND Bars, Mango Macadamia (fruit and nuts and tastes like a treat!)

v  Organic pre-packaged Applesauce (comes in packs of 6) w/no sugar added

v  Trail Nut Mix – we often make our own together, and add crasins, and chocolate pieces as a bonus. We just discovered Sprouted Almonds, and they are a hit! Crunchy, easier to chew/swallow for toddlers, and easier to digest too!

v  Pirate Bootie- (Veggie). I put these in portion controlled Ziplocs and toss in their drawer for when we are heading out and need a snack for the backpack, or something like that. My kids love them so I have to portion size them out. =)

v  Annie’s Homegrown Crackers ( in Graham or Cheddar cheese) similar to fish crackers or grahams, but no  GMO’s, Fat, and 80% organic. Oh and wholegrain!

v  Fruit leather. Need a say more? It’s pretty much like candy to toddle
v  Snyders of Hanover Honey Whole Wheat (Organic) pretzel sticks. Paired with a slice of cheese=Yum!

For Quick and Healthy snacks that you store in the Fridge, here are our favorites:

v  Stony field Oikos Plain Organic Greek Yogurt with added honey and sometimes granola or wild blueberries
v  Organic Valley  Berry pourable Yogurt
v  O.N.E. Coconut water ( bonus: added electrolytes and potassium!)
v  Mozzarella Cheese sticks
v  Homemade hummus ( 1 cup garbanzo beans, 5 blk olives,1/4 red bell pepper 2 artichoke hearts, 1 garlic clove, 1 tsp olive oil, pepper, onion powder, blend)
v  Carrot sticks or baby carrots ( dipped in hummus!)
v  Almond Butter and Organic Preserves ( we like apricot!) over crackers or wheat bread slices
v  Fruit ( of course!) At my kids ages they like berries, watermelon, apples, grapes and bananas the best
v  Organic ( Canned, I know!) Sweet Peas, rinsed well.  If your kiddo likes peas, why not give it as a snack?

And of Course: Frozen Favorites!
v  Gardein  Brand “chicken” (meatless) strips
v  Queron “chicken” (meatless) patties. Are  a fave of my kids with cheese on top
v  All fruit ( no sugar or fake sugar added) bars
v  Haagen-Dazs five vanilla bean ice cream ( has only 5 whole ingredients and is a super sweet treat!)
v  Frozen berries ( we ALWAYS have berries on hand for smoothies, yogurt, muffins,etc)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rogers Family Autum Meals and Treats

Autumn Farmer Market inspired tried and trues from our home to yours!

* Spaghetti Squash Alfredo
     This turned out fantastic so its a must share! Will admit I did use a jar of Garlic Alfredo sauce from the store, but you can make it easily too from scratch! 1 large Squash, 2 cups Alfredo sauce. Halve, scoop and boil the squash for 20 mins. With a fork remove the stands of squash,and set aside into strainer. Make (or pour) sace into saucepan, add 2 tbsp sweet cream butter(salted), and a "dash or two" of the following: Pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, parsley, and itailian blend herbs, and 2 minced or pressed fresh garlic cloves. Heat over low/med heat for 15  mins to blend flavors. Place squash into a dish ( about 4 cups), and pour sauce over it. Mmmmm soooo good!

*Pumpkin Butter
This is so great and good to have for breakfast toasts, waffles, or even on crackers!
ITS SO EASY TO MAKE and here is what you need:
*1 med pumpkin ( or 1 can pumpkin puree 29 oz),3/4 cup apple juice,2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves,1 1/2 cups white sugar, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
(to cook a pumpkin. Cut off ends, then cut in half. Scoop out seeds and stingy guts, and place in shallow dish with 1/2 of water on bottom. Bake at 375 until tender (30 mins or so)
Directions: Combine cooked pumpkin, apple juice, spices, and sugar in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently. Transfer to sterile containers and chill in the refrigerator until serving.

*Fall Beans
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 lb  beans (presoak over night in 4 cups of water, Drain, then add fresh water/cook
1 cup apple cider
1/4 to 1/2 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions: Cook beans slowly over med heat on low boil until done. In sep. skillit sautee onions until tender and add to beans, add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.Simmer 20-25 mins. to bring flavor together. Serve!

Boiled Cabbage, Corn and Sweet Apples
need: 1 large pot, and 2 large skillets to "throw this together" quick!
Skillet 1: fill 1/2 full with water, and 1/2 stick butter, and 1 med/large sz chopped cabbage Bring to low boil, add salt and pepper to taste and simmer 20ish minutes.
Skillet 2: Core and Chopp 4 apples. Add to skillet with 1/2 cup water, 3 tbsp. brown sugar, 1 tsp nutmeg, 2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 stick of butter, sautee stirring often for 10-15 mins.
Pot: Fill with water. Shuck and add 4 whole sweet corn cobs. Boil 20 mins.
Serve! Yum!

Apple Coleslaw
What you need:
3 cups chopped cabbage, 1/3 cup mayonnaise.2 unpeeled apples, cored & chopped, 1/3 cup brown sugar,1 large carrot, grated 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste,2 green onions, finely chopped.
Directions:  In a large bowl, combine cabbage, apple, carrot, and green onions.  In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, brown sugar, and lemon juice.  Pour dressing over salad and mix well.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


 Taken from , this is the BEST grocery list to show what you should have in your fridge and cupboards, and what you should be shopping for at the grocery stores! Enjoy! 

Frozen, skinless chicken breasts
Low-fat sliced chicken or turkey deli meat
Eye of round beef steak
Turkey burgers
Lean ground beef
Ground turkey
New York choice lean sirloin steak

Old-fashioned oatmeal
Whole-wheat tortillas
Low-fat whole-wheat frozen waffles
Whole-wheat English muffins
Pita bread
Whole-wheat bread
Whole-wheat hamburger buns
Whole-wheat spaghetti
Whole-wheat flour
Brown rice

Water chestnuts
Dill pickles
Spinach leaves
Fresh tomatoes
Romaine lettuce
Sweet potatoes
White potatoes
Canned whole tomatoes
Fresh mushrooms
Canned kidney beans

Garlic powder
Cloves of fresh garlic
Dill weed
Chili flakes
Chili powder

Extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinaigrette
Italian vinaigrette
Low-fat mayo
Caesar dressing
Cooking spray
Grated Parmesan cheese
Low-fat cheese slices
Shredded low-fat American cheese
Shredded Mozzarella cheese
String cheese
Fat-free sour cream
Skim milk
Low-fat cottage cheese
Fresh eggs
Egg substitute
Low-fat yogurt
Cream cheese

Canned tuna
Salmon filet

Sugar-free syrup
Fresh lime juice
Light teriyaki marinade
Almonds/slivered almonds
All-natural peanut butter
Green enchilada sauce
Soy sauce
Lime juice
Brown sugar
Baking powder
Lemon juice
Mixed nuts
Dijon mustard

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Real Biggest Loser: DIETS                                       
Through the last several years I have been discovering a whole new approach to wellness and nutrition. This has led to me getting back in control of my life, my eating, and exercise decisions, and no it isn't a Diet, or a Program. Its a lifestyle change, an awareness, that everyone can enjoy with just a little thought and planning! Here is what I have learned:

Learning how to FEED your body is the key to long term weight loss, not learning how to Starve it!
Here is a more visual example: "Dieting is like going under water and holding your breath. Eventually you will have to come up.  That is how dieting can be...holding your breath underwater, you eventually have to come up and when you do you gasp for air and inhale all you can, so to speak!"
Did you know? Over 50 million americans begin a new weight loss diet each and every year? And even more alarming is ...47.5 million of those same Americans regain all or more of the weight they lost during dieting.

The majority of Diets deprive your body of vital nutrients that they body needs to thrive and enjoy good health. Many diets result in dieters having low energy, and sometimes so low they can not stick to an excersise program! Some diets even suggest no excersise during 
Nutritional deficiences can also cause our immune system to be supressed leading to more illness and disease. Aging skin, headaches, anxiety, depression all have been scientifially linked to improper nutrition that millions of dieters experience.
 Fad Diets especially often lead to water and muscle mass loss, and not fat loss which really is what we need to get rid of!  Losing muscle means losing strength, and abiltity! Diets are a multi billion dollar a year business so they are reaching us from every angle, which in turnis covering up the fact we all need to wake up and see there must be another way for lifetime results!
AND THERE IS! It is called "Lifestyle Changes!" Eating for LIFE!!!
My First KEYS were busting the LIES
LIE #1:  To be healthy you just have to stop eating bad foods
TRUTH: Your health is enchanced by eating the RIGHT foods!
LIE#2: Foods that are good for you don't taste good
Truth: Good Food can be so nutritious and delilicious that the "bad" foods  in comparison look, and taste bad now!
Lie #3 Eating right takes too much time
Truth: You can create time by eating right!

Thre are 1,440 minutes in each and every day, same for you, same for me. We can spend our time, or invest our time!  When you invest your time you produce a greater result that when you spend your time, and guess what? you create a return: You create time!

Investing time in eating right, and nourishing your body allows you to enjoy your wholesome, energy giving, healthy lifestyle. You are essentially Eating for your lifestyle. Eating for Lifestyle allows you to have time to enjoy your life because you are healthy, have energy and stamina to try new things, spend time with those you love and live longer!

1)  Right time What works best for me seems to be best for pretty much everyone, and it is eat often. 6 times a day is what research says is best.  It makes our metobolism work all day, helping burn fat, create energy and stamina, and research shows that eating 6 times a day helps not only burn fat , but maintain lean muscle mass. Muscle burns calories , fat doesn't.
Example: eat 1 big huge meal= Glucose spikes up then crash. Causing you to be more hungry for your next meal, which inceases your chances of over eating.   Eating portion controlled mini meals helps curb hunger and cravings and also can help lover cortisol levels (stress hormmone that contributes to belly fat)When you eat every 3-4 hours you are working with your body instead of against it!

2) Right amounts A portion is pretty much the size of your hand. Portion protein in the size of your palm, good carbs as the size of your clenched fist, veggies in your cupped hand. Really thought,in veggies portions can expand depending on your appitite!  So when you are still hungry, Portions have leeway in the Veggie category! Go for it and help yourself to more Greens!

3) Right Foods (Lean proteins, Good Carbs (oats,brown rice, whole grains,apples,berries oranges) Essential Fats (Omega 6!) found in Salmon,fish oils,spinich,green leafy vegs), Vitamins and Minerals, and WATER! Water is a food group and the most important I think!
(Did you know that water covers 70 percent of earth and 70 percent of our bodies!)
We lose water every day, and drinks like caffinated and alcoholic beverages cause us to lose even more. If we lose about 10 cups of water a day (average), we should be drinking at least that much just to make up for what we lost! Makes sense to me!

4) Right Combinations: pair a searving of protein with carbs at your meals. Don't eat carbs alone, always pair with a protein and that simple combo alone calms cravings , helps build muscle and fuel it too ( Carbs can help shuttle the protien's amino acids into your cells!)
Oh, and always include a portion of veggies with your protein and carbs!
SO its really simple when you see the above as just How you live your life.  Changing the bad habits isn't too hard when you realize the change will create moer energy, longer life, and weightloss. No crazy diets to fail, no secrets to discover, its all at our fingertips and its all about a lifestyle that says  "I eat for life, what I eat shows in the lifestyle I now have!"
My little 3 year old said it best the other day when his daddy took him to a resturant that cooks their food  in grease. My son asked Daddy if they use grease. Daddy said "Yes, but just a little bit" To which son later told me- "Mommy we went to the resturant that uses grease. But just a little bit so I only was sick for a little but not a lot of bit."  Even he at 3 recogizes that unhealthy food choices lead to an unhealthy life!  When we eat poorly, irregularly, and consume preservative laden, unhealthy and processed fats and added indredient filled "foods" it shows in our life. Lack of energy, low metabilisim, weight gain,skin problems, sickness, disease are the results.
When we eat for life, eating raw, fresh foods, in the right combos, often throughout the day, adding water, vitamins and minerals by defualt, we FEEL good, and begin to LOOK good!
So raise your glass of water to HEALTH. and LIFE. Ill be here with you with a fresh tall pure glass of H20 to cheer along with you! =) CHEERS~!

Favorite Breakfasts
1 scoop choc whey protein power, 1/2 cup raspberries, ice, water blended
2 eggs, 1/4 avocado, lime and cilantro with 1/2 cup oatmeal and blueberries

Fave lunches:

2 sliced Ezekiel bread spread with light cream cheese, turkey, cranberries, and sprouts
Romaine Salad with 1/2 cup tuna or salmon, fresh basil, pepper, sunflower seeds and mandarin orange slices. Served with lime salted wholegrain chips

Fave Dinners
Chicken tortilla soup (chicken breast,chopped celery,tomatoes,cilantro,cabbage, garlic, onion, and brown rice)  served with fresh squeeze lime and sour cream
Beef, Bean, Veggie Lettuce wraps with cilantro and lime rice
Steak and Bell pepper/onion and pineapple skewers, and baked potato

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Clean Vs. Unclean in the Foods we EAT!

As a health-concious Mamma, I am always attempting to find new ways to "Clean up" our family, esp. nutritionally.
Clean Eating to me means :
  • No artificial ingredients (no chemicals, man -made substances, hard to pronounce words in our food!)We (personally) choose NO pork. Its really a hard-to-digest, unclean protein

  • NO artificial sweeteners, no sodas, high fructose corn syrups. we use raw honey, stevia, organic sugar, etc. 
  • Limit animal proteins. The animal protein we eat is usually goat cheese, cow cheese and strained plain yogurts,tuna, salmon, chicken, turkey, and lean beef. Clean would be Organic, and hormone free, grass fed and free range.
  • In Season produce is what we strive to eat, esp. local organic whenever possible. Raw as much as possible!
  • Choosing whole grains, often Brown rice, brown rice pasta, potatoes, quinoa, oats, & barley
  • Liquid intake is non-bottled, unflourinated, un chlorinated water, teas, coffee, and fresh juice. 
  • We personally avoid animal milk and use Hemp milk , Almond and Coconut milk as main stays in our home.

So in attempt to give some examples of unclean foods and a cleaner alternative, I have created a little list!

UN~ Clean choices:           

Instant flavored oatmeal                    
Doritos (MSG!)                                  
Yoplait Yogurt(HF corn syrup)           
Quaker Granola Bars                         
Fast food french fries                         
Chicken Nuggets                                
traditional cheesecake                 

The Clean Alternatives:
 Quick oats, cooked with added honey and cinnamon
Tortillas with lime salt
Plain greek yogurt with a dash of honey and vanilla
toasted oats w/sliced almonds,sugar,raisins,honey
1 potato.cut/tossed in olive oil,salt,rosemary,baked
Grilled chicken tenders,coated with WholeGrn breadcrumbs
2scp choc whey powder,1tsp p butter,ice,milk,blended
8oz crm cheese,1c plain Greek yog,1tsp honey blended

These are just 8 easy examples of switch-a-roos you can start making for a healthier you, and a healthier family. You will notice the texture, and flavor that you have in "Cleaner" foods satisfies your palate, and will make the unclean food really start living up to its own title!

SIMPLE START: Go through you cupboards and spice racks. TOSS OUT any and all groceries that have MSG ( aka: Monosodiumglucanate) in its ingredients! MSG is a poisin to our bodies and takes time to get out once it is in! Things you will find MSG in are : Rice-A-Roni, Pasta Roni, Doritos,Pringles (even the ones that say no preservatives!), Seasoning salts, steak rubs, pre-packages seasonings (like Taco seasonings)
* Don't despair! Most spices that have MSG are also made in versions with NO MSG, even in the same brand ( Like Johnny's for example) Farmhouse Pasta Boxes can be switched out for Pasta Ronis, Kettle tias for Doritos...etc. You will feel better and enjoy more tasteful foods by this SIMPLE START!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Health Benefits of Himalyan Crystal Salts

A New "SALT" to me, and one I plan on using in many different ways in my home and life, I thought I would share so others could be informed too!

Himalayan Crystal Salt

Is 100% pure and natural. It's not refined like table salt; it's more pure and wholesome than sea salt or rock salt.

A study conducted at the University of Graz in Austria found that people who drank water containing Himalayan crystal salt daily experienced improvement in respiratory conditions, organ functions, and connective tissues. Participants also reported sleeping better and having more energy. The study noted a boost in the ability to achieve higher concentration levels. Some of the study participants stated they lost unwanted weight while others involved in the study showed enhanced hair and nail growth


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Organic OR Not Organic...that is the Question!

 Does ORGANIC really matter?   It can! Here is a list I found on fruits and veggies that can get you started towards a healthier path...Lets start with the "Dirty dozen"...
Through the twelve foods most likely to have pesticide residue, people have been exposed to at least 10 different pesticides in one day. This may not sound like much, but the long-term health concerns have been noted to include:

  •     Nervous system effects
  •     Carcinogenic effects
  •     Hormone system effects
  •     Skin, eye, and lung irritation

When should I buy organic?

These foods are referred to as "the dirty dozen" — they're the fruits and vegetables most likely to have residue from pesticides, and they're ranked in order from most to least toxic. This is where buying organic has the most benefit.

    Bell pepper

When is it okay to save money and buy conventional produce?
These fifteen foods are the cleanest in the produce aisle — they're the ones least likely to have harmful pesticide residues on them when you buy them. Get them organic and/or local when you can, but here's where you can feel okay with saving money by going with conventionally-grown produce.

    Sweet corn
    Sweet peas
    Sweet potato

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

GF Granola

5 cup oats (soaked night before) *Make sure they are cert gluten free
2 cups coarsely chopped almonds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup sesame seeds
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups mixed dried fruit (we used apricots, sour cherries, and golden raisins here)
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Mix together the oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds. Make sure you use a large baking sheet or roasting pan for this. (I prefer the roasting pan, because you can really swirl around those ingredients without spilling them on the floor.) Sprinkle the cinnamon, ginger, and salt over the top. Stir it up.
Toss the bite-sized pieces of dried fruit over the top of the oats mixture. To be honest, you might want more than 1 1/2 cups here. I kept throwing more on until about 1/2 of the surface of the oats had fruit on it. Use your own judgment here. Stir it all up.
Drizzle the maple syrup evenly over the surface of the oats mixture. Do the same with the oil. Stir it all up until everything is well coated — not too sticky, but not dry either. Done? Great. Throw it in the oven.
Bake for 12 minutes, then stir up the granola-in-the-making, then put the pan back in the oven. Repeat this process three more times (it could twice or four times for you, depending on your oven). You’re looking for the granola to be not-at-all wet, golden brown, with a bit of crunch.
Pull it out of the oven and let it cool before devouring it.
Makes 10 cups or so.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Kid Healthy/Friendly Munchies from my home to yours...

Toddlers and Kids + Snacks=Normal. Mini meals, and/or snacks are often what makes up a food prymid for a Child, and I have made it my mission to help guide my kids toward healthy "on the go" snacks, that are not full of preservatives, sugars, or fillers... So Here you go! You can do it too!
TIP: Try putting several snacks into a sectioned container, like a muffin tin, and leaving it on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator for kids to help themselves throughout the day! My kids have always had a "snack" drawer, stocked with Organic Applesauce, Oat bars, dried fruit, veggie crisps,nut mixes ( like trail mix) etc. I toss an occasional "treat" like fruit snacks, goldfish, or cookies in , but since it is not "forbidden"and within their reach, they often leave those "speacial" snacks, and go for what they are used to!
Here is a list of quick "on the go" snacks that are ready, or can be ready in a jiffy. Kid tested and approved from my 1 and 3 year old boys:

Almonds (for younger tots you can buy skinless which are easier to chew)
Apple wedges with peanut butter, yogurt, or fruit dip
Avocado chunks
Carrot sticks with peanut butter
Celery with peanut butter (or cream cheese) & raisins
 Cheese cubes
Cheese quesadillas
Cinnamon toast
Cottage cheese with  fruit (pineapple, apricots, peaches, etc.)
Crackers with cheese or peanut butter
Fresh Fruit
Grilled cheese sandwiches
Homemade popsicles
Mixed fruit snack cups
Oatmeal with toppings (raisins, berries, milk & honey, granola)
Peanut butter & jelly(use all natural pb,w/no added oils, and 100% fruit spread)
Peanut butter on banana bread
Pear slices dipped in yogurt
Raisins/ other Dried fruit
String Cheese
Sunflower seeds
Toasted raisin bread with peanut butter or cream cheese
Veggies with veggie dip (see some recipes below)
Yogurt & granola(plain yog w/stevia and the soaked oats granola!)
100% Juice Boxes

TIP: Keep plenty of small plastic storage containers or zipper storage bags filled with portable snacks, ready to grab!

Kid Friendly  Dips!

Cucumber Dip

8 oz sour cream
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup cucumber, chopped
3 tbsp chopped tomato
Beat together sour cream and cream cheese.
Stir in other ingredients.
Several servings. 

Avocado Dip
2 ripe avocados, peeled & mashed
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp sugar

Easy Hummus Dip Recipe

15-oz can of chick peas
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika (optional)
Place first 5 ingredients in blender or food processor.
Blend until smooth.
Serve in bowl, sprinkled with paprika.
Several Servings (about 1 1/2 cups)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Soaked Granola

  • 4 c. rolled oats
  • 1/4 c. freshly ground white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. - 3/4 c. filtered water (warm)
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 c. almonds
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
The night before, mix oats and flour together in a large glass bowl.  Pour lemon juice and enough water to lightly moisten it and stir together.  It shouldn't be too wet.  Cover with a towel and set aside for 12 - 18 hours.
In another bowl, put almonds, sea salt, and enough water to cover.  Stir together and let it sit overnight.
In the morning, drain the almonds.  Dump the almonds and oat mix onto a large baking sheet (I used 16x20 with low sides).  Pour the vanilla, honey, and coconut oil over it and stir together, then spread it out.  Bake at 250 for about an hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
Serve hot, or store in the pantry in a sealed bag for about a week.  Serve with milk or over yogurt or as desired.  Makes about 5 cups.

Myths About Unvaccinated Kids

THIS was taken from

This post is a follow-up to the post I did a few weeks ago on Myths About Unvaccinated Kids.  It's not intended to convince you one way or another on your vaccination decision, as I believe it is up to each parent to research the issue and choose what is right for them.
However, that can't happen in the current climate.  Most of the discussions I read, which usually start out with honest questions, quickly disintegrate to misinformation and name-calling -- on both sides.  Lots of rumors fly around out there.  Non-vaccinating parents are told they're "parasites" and much worse.  I can't speak for the other side (though I know there's plenty of misinformation about that, too).  But I believe by reacting this way we are only doing everyone a disservice.
So today, I'm hoping to clear up some of those myths about non-vaccinating parents.  And, please, remember: all parents want what is best for their children.  If you enter the debate with an open mind and that belief, everything will go a lot better.
Here are the myths I've heard:
1) Parents listen to the media/Dr. Wakefield study/Jenny McCarthy when choosing not to vax.
While this may be the first place parents heard about the issue, it's definitely not the final word.  Parents who choose not to vaccinate don't make this decision lightly.  They spend hours upon hours researching every aspect and angle they can find.  Even parents who initially make the decision often feel very uncertain about it, and end up seeking out even more research to verify their decisions.  For many, the media and "celebrities" play little to no role in their ultimate decision.

2) Parents are selfish, relying on those who DO vax for protection while skipping the risks for themselves.
It's important to understand that most of the parents who choose not to vaccinate do not believe in herd immunity.  They also see some benefit to actually catching some of the childhood diseases.  Some actively seek out chicken pox and even mumps or measles!  They do not believe that their children need protection from vaccines, either directly or indirectly.  You will never hear a parent say, "It doesn't matter if I vaccinate my kid since everyone else does it!"  No...parents have reasons that reach far, far beyond this -- and again, don't believe in herd immunity anyway.  (I, personally, wish that fewer people vaccinated...because I believe if we strengthened our children's systems with good nutrition we wouldn't need to, and I'm also concerned, somewhat, about the remote possibility of virus shedding.  I'm not saying anything about anyone's decision, just pointing out that I definitely don't rely on or care about whether or not others are vaccinated when I choose what to do for my family.)

3) Parents believe vaccines cause autism and that is their primary reason for not vaxing.
Do vaccines cause autism?  We don't even know the answer to that question.  There are some parents who did stop vaccinating for that reason -- 11 years ago, when the study initially came out.  But these days, families on both sides are well aware of the controversy.  It may be what initially sparks a parent's interest in the topic, but it's, again, not the last word.  Most of the families who've chosen not to vaccinate (at least the ones I've talked to) rate the autism at the very bottom of their "reasons not to vaccinate" list -- if it makes the list at all.  There are many, many other concerns.

4) Parents don't understand what these diseases are really like, or they would start vaxing.
On the contrary.  Most parents have carefully researched what might happen should their child catch any of these diseases.  They know what the usual course of the disease are, what complications are likely, symptoms to watch for, and so on.  They know what the true likelihood of complications is, and what causes them (for example, reading the WHO's disease papers provides this information...and nutritional deficiencies are one of the primary causes of complications).  Parents then set out to boost their childrens' immune systems naturally so that should they catch a disease, they'll be highly unlikely to have any serious complications.  Though they are aware it could happen and they do accept that risk.  The thing is, parents don't rely on the scare tactics and horror stories...they know what real statistics really say.

5) Parents' reasons keep changing because they don't really have any argument
In reality, parents' reasons don't change when they've done full research.  They have many reasons, but those reasons are always the same.  This is an argument primarily used in the vaccine-autism debate.  "First it was the MMR...then thimerosal...then the schedule as a whole...they don't have an argument!"  Actually, all of these things play a role!  Parents aren't shifting the blame so much as trying to investigate all possible causes.  If one particular element in and of itself doesn't explain it, they move on to another to see if that may also play a role (something that the scientists should be doing, too...).

6) Parents don't vaccinate because they are uneducated or hippie/earth-loving mothers
This is demonstrably untrue, and rather rude.  Every study of non-vaccinating parents shows that they are likely to be college-educated with "above average" salaries and steady jobs.  This, of course, mystifies authorities.  It doesn't mystify me!  Parents in this category are most likely to do their research and make thoughtful parenting decisions, rather than relying on what someone else (friend, parent, doctor) tells them to do.  Many of these parents are not at all what you would consider a "hippie."  And they haven't made this decisions because they believe in "hippie ideals," it's because they have done careful research.  Parents who choose not to vaccinate may be very, very different in other ways (how they birth, how they eat, how they feed their babies, whether or not the mom works, etc.).  There is no "stereotypical" non-vaccinating parent.

7) Parents are "abusing" or "neglecting" their children by not vaccinating, or they don't love them
This one really makes me angry.  Please, before you even say such a thing, remember that all parents truly love and want what is best for their children!  No matter how much you vehemently disagree with a parent's decision, you should never say something like this (and yes...I have had this said to me before).  Parents are very careful to research and think and pray hard before making any major decision.  Not vaccinating does not mean, under any circumstances, that a parent is abusing, neglecting, or failing to love their child.  Period.  To say so is inflammatory and just sick.

8) Parents don't understand that vaccines save lives, they are too worried about rare side effects.
Parents, again, have done careful research.  Part of that research is into how effective vaccines are, when they were introduced, how disease rates fell before/after introduction, how disease rates fell in other countries that didn't use those vaccines, reading the VAERS database, and so on.  They're well aware of how vaccines work and how they've been used, as well as what side effects are likely and what serious ones may occur.  Some parents unfortunately choose not to vaccinate after they, or their children are seriously injured by a vaccine.  For them, the "rare" side effects are only too real.  These parents have carefully weighed the risks of the diseases and vaccines vs. the benefit of each...and have found that the risks of the vaccines outweigh the benefit.