Thursday, October 13, 2011

The end of the blog - The beginning of my business

My business is going strong and I have so much more that I want to share with you.  This blog has been replaced with my monthly Ezine "Simple Healthy Solutions."  This FREE Ezine will be delivered right to your computer.  Every issue will include simple steps to good nutrition, a healthier life, and a more connected family. 

Subscribe today at http://thenutritionmom.net/ and join our group of Nutrition Moms!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Life Without a Microwave & More

As stated in a much earlier blog, I had tried to use our microwave less and less.  But, it was there, it was available and yep, I still used it.  That is until I received a message that someone was in need of one.  This was my chance.  I happily made that donation on February 1st and I felt really good about it.

I started to use my stove top more often for reheating.  This only became more of a challenge when I replaced my non-stick cookware with ceramic.  Now, that was a hard transition.  Not so much for the reheating, but I do love to fix eggs in the morning.  No more sunny side up.  But, scrambled is good.  I am getting the hang of the ceramic cookware and I am now using my toaster oven a little more as well.

I am also happy to report that I now have an Excalibur Dehydrator where the microwave use to be.  I am loving the crackers, fruit leathers and dried fruit that I can now make.  I look forward to making more Raw Food Recipes as well.  Check this one out for Banana Macadamia Nut Fudge Cookies  - YUM!

Banana Macadamia Nut Fudge Cookies
1 cup of raisins
1 cup of walnuts
1 cup of macadamia, chopped into big pieces
1 cup of bananas, peeled and chopped

Blend raisins and walnuts in a food processor until smooth
Remove mixture and place in bowl
Stir in macadamia nuts and bananas
Form into cookie shapes and dehydrate for 8 - 10 hours at 105 degrees.

Since my last blog, I have become Raw Chef Certified.  I am thrilled about that.  I look forward to teaching you more Raw Food dishes and plan to offer classes in the Fall.  Hope to see you in a class!     

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hot Lava Juice!

This was posted by one of my fellow IIN classmates and I loved it so much I asked her if I could share it with you guys.
 
Hot Lava Juice!
 
I am so excited- I actually was able to get my almost 6 year old daughter to drink a Green Smoothie- and really enjoy it. In fact, she asked for more!
It all came about unexpectedly, actually.  We were playing together, enjoying our girl time. She wanted us to pretend that we were Hot Lava Girls and had lava inside of us that could destroy our enemies (she has quite the imagination!)  Anyway, she  told us it was time to drink some lava  juice so that we could get more powers.
That is when a light bulb went on in my head: aha! let’s drink some real “lava juice.”  So I told Briana that we should make some real “Hot Lava Juice” together and she was all for it! She became especially excited when I told her she could be my trusty assistant! :)
So this is the recipe we made:

Hot Lava Juice
Frozen strawberries
Frozen Mixed berries
about 5 slices of cucumbers (mmm… i recently discovered how great they are in smoothies!)
kale
spinach
half of a banana
Orange Juice (fill up the blender about 1/4 full)
Water (fill to the top of all the ingredients)

It even turned out red, like lava! She liked it so well that she wanted it every day!
Now, my 7 year old son, on the other hand, is still very stubborn. He takes one look at a drink and says “Ew!!!” before he even tries it.
Hmm… maybe today I should play Hot Lava Dudes with him. ;) LOL

If you try this recipe, please let me know what you think! Just remember, it is so important to get your kids involved, and make it FUN!  Eating healthy does not have to be a chore!

Check out Kellie's blog at http://nourishedandnew.tumblr.com/

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Green Smoothies for Kids

Did you read my Guest Blog featured on Team Giles?  It gave a little of my background, a horrible "before" pic and my vision for the future.  Check it out at  http://www.teamgiles.com/2011/04/guest-post-the-nutrition-mom/.

One of my goals is to teach Mom & Me cooking classes.  In these classes I want to make some Green Smoothies that are so yummy the kids will be begging for them.  The bonus, of course, is the amount of fruits and veggies that they will be getting, while making those cute green mustaches. :)

Try this one out and let me know your feedback:

Green Slime Smoothie
2 cups spinach
2 cups strawberries
1 banana (ripe)
1 tablespoon of honey (eventually you will not need an additional sweetener, but for starters you might)
1/2 cup ice
1/2 cup water

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Let's talk about Easter and Natural Sweeteners

Easter is coming fast.  I need to think about the meal, but foremost on my mind are the baskets and eggs.  The individual baskets are not that hard.  The bunny knows my kids like DVDs and toys.  But, we host the family for Easter and I need to fill up eggs for the Easter Egg Hunt. 

I posted a great site for ordering Easter candy.  But, if I can just go to a store and get what I need, I always prefer that.  I ran into my local health food store yesterday and found some Vitamin C Pops and Fresh Fruit Candy Drops by Yummy Earth that looked good.  All organic, gluten free, real fruit extracts and no artificial dyes or flavors.  They do contain natural sweeteners.  So with that, I wanted to share the following:

I read this recently.  The subject is natural sweeteners.  "Sugar is sugar is sugar is sugar.  There is a little benefit from raw organic honey- so if you have seasonal allergies eat ½ teaspoon a day (yep, that was ½ of a teaspoon!). So this idea of organic sugar, raw sugar, agave, etc. being healthy is ridiculous. Your body handles it all the same, it raises blood sugar, raises insulin, increases oxidative stress, inflammation and stress hormones.  It also causes AGES – that is where sugar binds to proteins without the need of enzymes and accelerates aging." 

Wow.  So there it is.  Yes, you should no doubt avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup, but really, we need to watch all sweeteners.  I won't even go into Artificial Sweeteners.  You know better than that. :) 

But, this is candy we are talking about.  This is a special treat and I try not to be the Food Police with the kids.

I will be making a trip to Party City and buying fun stickers and trinkets to add to the other eggs.  This year I am going to put money into some too.  Taking the focus away from what candy is found.

I also found this great recipe for anyone wanting to make their own chocolate.  I thought it sounded great and looks easy to do.  Find a cute bunny mold and these would be perfect for the baskets.  Wrap them up in cellophane and add a pretty bow.

Home Made Yummy Real Chocolates

Ingredients:
4oz Coconut butter
2 TBSP coconut oil
2 TBSP + 2 TSP raw honey (more if you like sweeter chocolate)
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup cacao powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 dashes cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp of ancient sea salt
2 plastic chocolate molds

Directions:
In a double boiler (or in a metal bowl over a sauce pan of simmering water) melt the coconut butter, coconut oil and almond butter.  Add the cacao powder, cinnamon, cayenne and salt.  Stir to combine.  Do not let mixture get too hot, just hot enough to stir.  It will be a bit thick like a batter. Spoon chocolate mixture into molds.  Flatten mixture so it is even with mold.  Place molds in freezer for 15 minutes to set.  Pop chocolates out (use a knife if necessary) and store in air-tight container in fridge.  They melt at room temp, keep them chilled until serving.
So there are a few of my ideas.  I'd love to hear yours.

Hope you all have a Blessed Easter. 

P.S. Check out The Nutrition Mom on Facebook and also my website TheNutritionMom.net

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Dirty Dozen and the Consistently Clean

 
You know the importance of buying organic fruits and veggies.  But, sometimes due to cost or limited availability, it's just not possible.  The lists below can help.  Read on after the lists and I'll help you decipher some of the food labeling that is used too.

The Dirty Dozen (Try to always get these organic)

Apples
Bell Peppers
Celery
Cherries
Grapes
Nectarines
Peaches
Pears
Potatoes
Raspberries
Spinach
Strawberries

The Consistently Clean (The least contaminated by pesticides)

Asparagus
Avocados
Bananas
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Sweet Corn
Kiwi
Mangos
Onions
Papayas
Pineapples
Sweet Peas

Labels

"100% Organic" - Displays the USDA Seal
"Organic" - 95% Organic, USDA Organic Seal
"Made with Organic Ingredients" - 70% Organic, No Seal
"Free Range" - Has access to the outdoors
"Natural" - No artificial coloring, chemical preservatives or synthetic ingredients

Happy Shopping!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Kid Approved Healthy Snacks

Ants on a log

Celery stalks filled with peanut butter or almond butter with raisins or dried cranberries. For a sweet treat, use dark chocolate chips.

Apple Sandwich

Core an apple and cut in half. If it's a large apple, you can cut it to make 4 apple slices, instead of 2. Just like the ants on a log, add peanut or almond butter. You can also add raisins, cranberries or dark chocolate chips, Yum!

Hummus, a healthy fun dip

Hummus is a dip made from garbanzo beans and tahini (sesame paste). I'll post a recipe for this later. I think everyone likes to dip. So have some carrot sticks, celery, cucumber chips, apple slices, or flax seed or whole wheat crackers ready and dip away.

Toasted garbanzo beans

For a crunchy, nut-like snack, rinse a can of garbanzo beans and toss them in a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add a touch of sea salt, put them on a cookie sheet in a single layer, and then put them in a 250 degree oven and bake them, tossing the pan occasionally, until they are dried and crunchy.

Fruit smoothies

You know I am a BIG fan of green smoothies, but let's start small here. Throw in your kids fav fruit with some coconut water or milk (almond milk is great too) add a frozen banana or some ice and just a little kale or spinach. Blend. Add some stevia or xylitol if it needs to be a little sweeter. As time goes by, add more greens and less fruit. Come up with fun names for the drinks. I will teach a Mom & Me cooking class soon and we'll have fun making some tropical drinks that the kids will love.

Love Chocolate?

Yep, my family too. We buy 72% dark chocolate. A little square is a great treat. But, you could melt it and dip your fruit in it too. Did I say YUM?!

Popcorn

Not for the microwave! We have an air popper. It is so fast and easy. You can buy organic popcorn kernels. We add sea salt, pastured butter and garlic powder. Yes, we do bring our own to the movies. ;)

Nuts and Seeds

We have bags and bags. We love almonds, brazil, walnuts, pecans, pistachio, sunflower and pumpkin. Best choices are Raw, not roasted or salted.

Dried Fruit/Fruit Leather

Pre-packaged ones are questionable. But, if you have a dehydrator, these are a great snack.

There are tons of healthy options. I find that snacks need to be prepared and ready to grab. If heading out for a road trip, think ahead. You can usually find nuts in a convenience store, but pickings are slim and bad choices are abundant.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cha, Cha, Cha, Chia

Remember that song?  Who would have thought that those little seeds would be considered a Super Food?  I have learned that Chia seeds are pretty super!  I've listed some benefits below:
  • 30% of the chia seed’s oil is Omega 3 oil. 40% of its oil is Omega 6 oil. The chia seed’s substantially dense percentage in alpha-linolenic fatty acid also makes this seed a healthy dietary source of fatty acids.
  • You do not need to grind the chia seeds to digest it. It is a relatively easy to digest seed, whereas flax seeds are not. Often, one has to grind flax seeds to be able to process them in their digestive system. That is not the case with chia seeds.
  • The chia seeds are great for athletes because they are highly hydrophilic. Being hydrophilic means it absorbs large amounts of water. Chia seeds can absorb over 10 times their weight in water making them a great enhancer in hydrating our bodies. They absorb the water we drink holding it in our system longer.
  • Studies show that eating chia seed slows down how fast our bodies convert carbohydrate calories into simple sugars. This leads scientists to believe that the chia seed may have great benefits for diabetics.
  • The chia seed gels when becoming wet and this gel, when in our digestive systems, helps prevent some of the food, hence calories that we eat from getting absorbed into our system. This blockage of calorie absorption makes the chia seed a great diet helper. Eating the seeds also helps dieters by making them feel fuller faster so they will be less hungry!
  • Chia seeds provide antioxidant activity (side note - Researchers believe that antioxidants can lower blood pressure, open up arteries, slow the aging process, stop the growth of tumors, and improve neurologic function. This means they fight cancer, heart disease, and neurological processes such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Our cells, including skin cells, age more slowly. Brain waves slow down and enhance calmness and sleeping).

I just throw Chia seeds into my Vita Mix and add them to my smoothies.  You can mix Chia seeds into yogurt, sprinkle them on cereal in the morning, add to salads, or even add them to your baking. There are many ways to add these seeds into your daily routine!  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Rotating Your Greens

I am enjoying a green smoothie right now.  It has Coconut Water, Red Stem Chard, Carrots, Ginger Root, Celery, Diakon Sprouts, Pear, Banana, Blueberries, Wheat Grass, Coconut Oil, Flax Seed Oil and Chia Seeds.  It is yummy! 

Until recently, I always used Spinach or Kale as my base.  Both are great.  But, then I learned the importance of rotating my greens.  To meet our nutritional needs, it is essential that we learn to include greens from a number of totally different plant families into our daily diets.   Greens are the prime source of nutrition needed.  It is really hard to EAT enough greens, but so easy to throw them into a smoothie.  Smoothies are an easy and delicious way for us to enjoy our greens and an EXCELLENT way to get more greens into the diets of our kiddos.

The following is a list of greens that should be rotated in our diets.


Greens:
Arugula
Asparagus
Amaranth
Beet greens (tops)
Bok choy
Bamboo Leaves
Carrot tops
Celery
Chard
Cactus, napal leaves
Collard greens
Endive
Escarole
Fresee lettuice
Goji leaves (wolfberry)
Grape leaves
Kale (3 types)
mache
Mitsuna
Mustard greens
Lettuce (all types red and green)
Orach
Pumpkin or squash leaves
Radicchio
Radish tops
Salad Burnet
Spinach
Romaine lettuce green and red leaf (no Iceberg or light colored leaf)
Turnip greens
Wheatgrass
Herbs:
Aloe Vera
Baby dill
Basil
Cilantro
Fennel
Lemon Balm
Mint
Parsley (2 types)
Peppermint leaves
Spearmint
Shiso
Stevia


So get that Vita Mix and drink up and enjoy!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Coconut Oil - It's called a Miracle

Ever heard of Coconut Oil?  It's relatively new to me.  There is actually a book called "The Coconut Oil Miracle."  Let me tell you about this miracle.  It is called the perfect food. When taken as a supplement, used in cooking, or applied directly to the skin, coconut oil has been found to: Promote weight loss; Help protect against heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and many other degenerative diseases; Strengthen the immune system; Improve digestion; and Prevent premature aging of the skin.  Wow!

So how do you use it, you might ask. There are many ways to use coconut oil and incorporate it into your diet. Since it is a stable cooking oil, you can simply replace unhealthy oils in your diet with coconut oil. Since it is a solid most of the time at room temperature or when refrigerated, it can be a butter or margarine substitute for spreads or for baking. It can be mixed in with “smoothies.” Many people do eat  it simply by the spoon full. If you refrigerate or freeze Virgin Coconut Oils the taste changes completely, and some describe it like a “candy” or “white chocolate.”  Some people use it in their coffee or tea. I put 3 tbsp in my green smoothie today.  It gave it a mild coconut flavor. 

Then there are the external uses.  Coconut oil is an excellent massage oil for the skin. It acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skin.  Coconut oil is a safe solution for preventing dryness. It also delays wrinkles, and sagging skin. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.

So go out and get some!  They have little jars at the grocery store.  I got a very large jar at the Health Food Store.  I am excited about using more of this little miracle!