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Welcome!!!

Thanks for stopping by! I'm young, I'm in love with my man, and I'm a mommy. We're busy, but happy. I'll share with you how to eat natural, healthy, whole foods while balancing family life! Learn to love your food, it will love you back!
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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Lemon Garlic Quinoa


 
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Well this whole food week has gone pretty good. I have really tried to put a lot of thought into my meals. I usually start the day with  a shake, then I have a lunch with a lot of fruits and veggies and maybe like a string cheese or something.
 
I ended up making some awesome steamed asparagus and baked chicken with a lemon, garlic quinoa!  I just kind of played around with some ingredients a I had so we didn't just have plain quinoa, it turned out really great! Super easy and an awesome healthy side for an awesome dinner.
 
Whole food living can be difficult, especially when you work or are chasing kiddos everywhere. I'm a big fan of pre planning and even pre- packaging your lunches...it's easy and all ready for you. The number one tip to remember is to stay as close to nature as possible and you'll be golden!

Lemon Garlic Quinoa
 
1 cup uncooked quinoa
 
1/2 lemon
 
1 garlic clove, minced
 
2 cups of water
 
Add quinoa and water to a medium sized sauce pan. Cover and bring to a boil. Add 1/2 lemon and garlic clove. Reduce to a simmer for another 10-15 minutes until water is all absorbed. Serve warm~ Enjoy
 
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The truth about what it feels like to be healthy!

 
So now that we're half way done with the second month of this new year, it has caused me to reflect on resolutions, everyone's drive to become a healthier, happier person.
 
Lately I have noticed a large amount articles passing around Facebook about health. The articles that I see shared the most are articles that actually seem to tear down those who try and live healthier lives. It seems strange to me, the articles make good points about how obsessed people can get about the perfect weight, getting rid of those baby pounds, they get obsessed about what the human body should look like. I agree with that in many ways. However, I do not agree with the defensiveness that just abounded during the month of January, almost degrading those who post a before and after picture, against those who may post their excitement about how they are improving their health and lives.
 
I have made my own set of resolutions, I'm not saying it's right or anything, but I've come to this conclusion based on my own experiences.
 
I have gone through weight loss, I have gone through weight gain. It has been a great amount as in I gained 60+ pounds and I have also lost 60+ pounds. After my third little was born I made the decision though, that I personally am not striving for a set weight. To be honest I rarely step onto a scale. I am judging my health by how I feel! I'm judging my weight by my clothing sizes...I have goal sizes. not weight. I figured if my energy is up, if I'm feeling toned and fitting into my old pre-baby pants without a pair of spanks...I'm on the right track.
 
I want to talk about the feeling of being healthy and why you shouldn't get defensive or just settle for a non-effort towards health. Being healthy can be pretty much the hardest thing to do I feel like personally because when we surround ourselves with processed sugar it programs our brains to want more, our bodies actually can become addicted to junk.
 
If you feel the difference between fatigue caused by diet, or being sluggish, headaches, muscle aches and stomach pains...and to just not having any of these symptoms you may become a little more patient towards people who seem to constantly be talking about health.
 
I agree some people are annoying...some people that's all they seem to talk about and there is just no room for error or having a junk day...I get that.
 
So....I have been on both ends I have felt the difference, I also understand having cravings for junk, I myself continue to have a Dr. Pepper problem. I have several each week....guess what? I live with it. I work at my diet each day. I do promise though that cravings become less and less as you clean up your diet.
 
I do not agree with becoming dangerously obsessive with meeting your certain weight. I recommend cutting out processed food. I myself am going to be starting a month of whole food after valentines day! I just figured that was a good time to start! I'll be honest...I probably will continue to have a few Dr. Peppers throughout the month, I am going to cut processed cereal, crackers, boxed food etc.
 
This new year don't get defensive about health...care about health. Do your own work for yourself...you don't need to be perfect but you will feel so much better....I promise if you work towards living a healthier life!
 
I'll be posting meals throughout the month of my whole food experience...comment if you'd like to
join in!
 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Chicken Veggie Skillet




Ok- This may be a short post, but I had to post this! This was DELICIOUS! I love when made up dinners turn out AWESOME! So My husband said he would buy this dinner....I enjoyed that compliment! It is quick and very low fat. It technically isn't considered clean since I used 1/4 of a ranch dressing packet and Italian dressing packed...but it really made an awesome flavor...so I'm sticking with it! -Here is my lesson for this post...did you know that you don't need to use butter when cooking meet or oils? Use broth! First of all it prevents sticking and it also makes the meat juicy which is the goal right? There you go...use broth...ditch the oils and butter.

Chicken Veggie Skillet

1 lb chicken, cubed
1 medium zucchini
1/2 yellow onion
1 cup frozen corn
1 yellow squash
1 red bell pepper
1/2 cup veggie or chicken stock (low sodium)
1/4 ranch dressing packet
1/4 Italian dressing packet
1/2 tsp. chili powder
pepper to taste

Add broth to a skillet. Add cubed chicken and chili powder. Cook over med-high heat.  When chicken is browning on all sides add red pepper and onion. Saute with the chicken until the vegetables begin to be tender. Add remaining vegetables. Add in seasonings from both dressing packets. Cover, reduce heat and let simmer for 5-10 minutes until the broth and seasoning form a thicker sauce. Serve over rice or Quinoa! 

*you can add any vegetables you would like it all would be amazing!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Crock Pot Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti




Squash is a frustrating vegetable for me to prepare...does anyone else feel the same? Spaghetti Squash is one of my favorites however, because I truly feel apart from a different texture there isn't much taste difference between the squash and a noodle. I have really wanted to try a good recipe that involves spaghetti squash, but honestly sometimes I'm lazy and don't want to deal with the hassle of cooking the squash. Well no more...this was easy and hardly any work on my part! My 5 year old and 2 year old just ate it like it was plain ol' spaghetti (which is the 5 year old's favorite dinner) Also my husband...let me move over to his reaction...I can always easily tell when my husband doesn't like something I make...he simple eats it. No compliments usually just a "Thanks for dinner!" If however, he likes something he usually will say "This is pretty good, Thanks for dinner!" IF he LOVES something he repeats that multiple times and also adds "This is a keeper!" Oh how predictable we are sometimes to each other!

Anyways, during dinner this spaghetti got an "It's a keeper!" line! It is healthy, its filling and it's delightfully simple! Enjoy

Forgive me for no pictures of the process or finished product, my computer is quite sick and it is not uploading photos well at all (this explains my lack of blogging lately)

Crock Pot Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

1 medium spaghetti squash
1 lb ground lean turkey (optional)
1 can crushed tomatoes
*2 C low sodium vegetable stock 
1 T basil
1 T oregano
1/2 T minced garlic
1/2 T parsley

Cut spaghetti squash in half so it has the top and the bottom, not so there are two long pieces. Add tomatoes, broth, cooked turkey and seasonings to a crock pot. Place the two pieces of squash cut side down into the sauce. Cover with lid and cook on low for 5-6 hours. The last hour take a fork and carefully shred the squash out of the shell. Continue cooking for remaining time! Serve with green salad and you're going to have a healthy, yummy spaghetti dinner! Enjoy

* If you'd like a thicker sauce or like the flavors of canned sauces in place of broth add 1 jar of store bought sauce!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cheesy Cauliflower Quinoa


This may sound like the most random meal...however if you are strapped for cash this holiday (I feel ya) and looking for a fast, healthy, meal that your kiddos even husband will eat...then look no further! This meal came from looking in the fridge for inspiration to come to me...to our plates within 30 minutes! It was very tasty.

After I explained to my husband my idea for dinner...he gave me the nose wrinkle! Yuck! Well I am happy to say that after the first bite (because he's a trooper) He said..."This is really good!" My husband can be like a kid and if he doesn't like something he'll push it around his plate and he won't finish the meal...this was gone with no leftovers! This equals a happy mom!

Cheesy Cauliflower Quinoa

1 head of cauliflower, chopped
1 1/2 c uncooked quinoa
2 c vegetable broth
1/2 c cheese of any kind, I prefer white cheeses (you can add more if you'd like it really cheesy)
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp italian seasoning
dash of parsley 

Add cauliflower and Quinoa to a large pot*. Add broth with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover with lid until liquid is absorbed. Add, shredded cheese to pot, mix until melted. Mix in seasonings and top with parsley! Serve immediately. Enjoy!

* if you like more firm cauliflower, add it after you bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer



Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thanksgiving Left Over Round-Up


Thanksgiving is my favorite meal! I love mashed potatoes and gravy...oh it is my #1 comfort food! I love it all, the veggies, the turkey, the pie! Yes, one day a  year I indulge in it all. I do however have a rule to keep myself in check, I keep it to a holiday season of 1/2! I have a serving of just about everything, but I half it. I don't have full piece of pie, I cut a piece in half.

The next best thing about Thanksgiving is the leftovers. Are you like me though...I can only eat so many Turkey Sandwiches! I like variety and I love to use my mashed potatoes again :)

I wanted to share with you two
of my favorite Post Thanksgiving leftover recipes the greatest part about these recipes is they all Freeze! There is no rule that you have to indulge in all your leftovers in the same week! That could do some damage if you are trying to reach some health goals especially weight loss. My opinion on the actual dinner it is OK to keep it and use it in these meals...now my opinion on the pies...I personally don't keep them I love them for the Thanksgiving day and that is all for me. That is up to you if you keep the desserts in your house. I cannot eat that much dessert and stay on track...it's just not how my metabolism works unfortunately.

So the first leftover recipe incorporates ALL the Thanksgiving goodness except the potatoes. The veggies are the ones that I had for my personal dinner, if you had something else I really think just about any veggie would be wonderful, this is probably the easiest casserole ever because everything is cooked and right there ready to be thrown in.

1) Thanksgiving Casserole
2 cups chopped Turkey
1 c leftover stuffing (or whatever you have)
1/2 c chopped green beans
1/2 c chopped carrots
1/2 c leftover gravy

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a layer of vegetables on the bottom of dish, add layer of turkey, add a layer of stuffing then cover stuffing with a layer of gravy. Repeat until all is used. Cover with foil and bake 25-30 minutes until gravy is bubbly. Enjoy

My next favorite use of that leftover turkey, is turkey chowder. Traditionally I've done a Turkey Noodle soup, but lately I've been loving the chowder and this is no exception. It is a light chowder that really is a great way to use up that cooked turkey. If you don't want it right away throw it in a container or bag and freeze it for another day! 

2) Healthy Turkey Chowder

1 1/2 c chopped turkey
1/2 onion chopped
1 baking potato cubed
1 c frozen corn
1 c frozen peas and carrots 
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 T basil
thyme and rosemary to taste
4 c vegetable or chicken stock
2 c skim milk

Add all ingredients except milk to pot. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until potatoes are cooked. Add milk and simmer another 2 minutes. Serve immediately. Great with leftover dinner rolls and salad!




Thursday, November 21, 2013

Spicy!!!!




Oh man I had such a spicy craving tonight...and I DON'T EVEN LIKE SPICY FOOD! Weird! I told Derek I was having Pregnant Lady cravings...and no I'm not Pregnant I just really wanted food with a kick! 

I take back what I said...I do enjoy a spicy flavor I love southwest salads! So I decided as one of my sides tonight I would have a southwest Quinoa salad, I will admit I was not a fan of the dressing on the salad, I was alone in that...my husband loved it he said it was very flavorful. I think I would enjoy having just lime juice sprinkled over the top! But try it out and see what you think!

My husband was thrilled, he is such a spicy food fan, he actually says I'm bland in my tastes. Which may be true! He couldn't stop himself! That is the goal in my mind! 

Probably the most exciting moment tonight was when my two year old tried the roasted asparagus and said "Mom, this tastes good!" He munched that stuff down! I was so happy. 

If you are ready for some food with a kick that is clean and healthy then this is the meal for you!

Sweet and Spicy Chicken

 1 pound Chicken Breast
2 T cajun seasoning
3 T honey
1/2 T coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
1/2 C salsa

Add chicken to the crock pot. Add remaining ingredients over the top of chicken. Cook on high for 2 hours. Stir after 2 hours to make sure it is all coated. Reduce heat to low and cook for another 4 hours. Enjoy!

South West Quinoa Salad
1/2 red onion
1/2 red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C corn
1 can black beans
1 C uncooked quinoa

Add uncooked quinoa to 2 cups of water. Cook until water is absorbed. Meanwhile, add 1 T olive oil to a skillet. Add red pepper, onion, and garlic. Saute until slightly tender. Add corn and black beans. Cook over low for 3 minutes. Add quinoa and cook another 3 minutes. Add dressing to skillet and absorb flavors together for about 2 minutes! Enjoy

Southwest Dressing
Juice from 2 limes
2 T olive oil
2 T chili powder
1 T cumin
2 T red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp onion powder (optional)
Combine all ingredients well.

*Tomorrow I'm going to be doing a post on healthy snacks that are sure to help you in workout recovery as well as helping you stay on track this holiday season! *