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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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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Easy Key Lime Stir Fry

Real quick, I wanted to share with you a yummy, veggie filled recipe that would fit into the 90/10 plan on eat to live since it has a small amount of chicken, but TONS of yummy veggies! My mom stopped by while I was making it and she had a little bowl and she said it was delicious! I loved it, my older kiddos weren't too sure, but my two-year-old devoured two adult sized servings...he's growing I guess!


Key Lime Stir Fry
1 head of Napa Cabbage
1-2 chopped broccoli crowns
2 oz of chopped chicken
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp ground ginger
3 T low sodium soy sauce
3 chopped carrots
3 Key limes
1/4 c vegetable stock (or less, my cabbage was pretty saturated with liquid)

Add chicken to wok or pan. Cook it through. Add soy sauce and stock. Add carrots with minced garlic and saute for five minutes. Add remaining vegetables and seasonings and saute for another 7 minutes, covered stirring occasionally. Remove lid and let simmer for a few more minutes to make sure all the liquid is absorbed. Garnish with key lime juice and a little zest for a really nice zing to the flavor! Serve over brown rice or noodles!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Simple Eat to Live 6 week plan guidelines

Eat to Live 
The 6 week plan...simplified

Since I've begun the Eat to Live plan I already feel better: as in healthier. I wanted to write out the plan in a simple way so those of you who choose to join in can have something to follow. It can be complex eating plant based or it can be simple. It depends on how flamboyant you want to go with your meals. The vegetarian meatballs I made, or the mac and cheeze are a little more time consuming than a simple Eat to Live guideline salad. So for the 6 weeks, since my family is quite a bit busier and on the go, I have decided to keep it far it's working. 

So you have your basic foods that are unlimited and Dr. Fuhrman encourages you to to eat as much as possible, in fact try to eat one pound a day:
*Green lettuce, kale, collard greens, snow peas, bell peppers, cucumbers, sprouts, carrots tomatoes etc. 
These are just examples of vegetables, not the only ones you can enjoy. The emphasis is on leafy greens. I found the full head of lettuce or one pound of greens isn't too hard to reach if you enjoy a green smoothie somewhere in the day.

One pound of steamed/cooked veggies daily (Again, emphasis on the green vegetables)
*string beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, bok choy, asparagus, zucchini, spinach etc.

Use everyday for flavoring: Onions and mushrooms for taste and texture. They both have shown to have great anti-cancer properties. 

Beans/Legumes: 1 cup daily
You can add beans to your salads, make a bean soup with vegetable stock. This is great source of plant based protein that will help keep you full. They can be canned or uncooked. Check out this hummus recipe for a great snack and way to get your bean serving.

Fresh Fruit (avoid canned and dried for the 6 weeks)
-No fruit juice (except for dressings)
-Frozen fruit is good
I found it fun and interesting the first time I did this plan to buy an exotic, new fruit each time. We've tried passion fruit (which honestly I'm not very passionate about) star fruit, persimmons, dragon fruit etc. Those might not be exotic to some of you but we basically stick to berries, apples, oranges and bananas in this house. The sky is the limit with fruit, but particularly focus on berries each day because of their antioxidants and disease fighting properties. 

Now there are some foods to limit on the plan, don't cut them out, just tone it down. 
-whole grains and cooked starchy veggies
Although Dr. Fuhrman states to eat a sweet potato or things like that over bread and pasta. You are allowed to eat these things, just sparingly. He says in Eat to Live adding some whole grain pasta on a salad is fine, or some brown rice. Oatmeal for breakfast is also a great choice, but that would be your only grain serving. 

Things to eliminate (this is where the hard part comes in)
-Animal and dairy products.
-Refined sugar, artificial sweeteners
This means, no cheese, no milk, no meat* No SODA (my weakness)
-mid meal snacks (unless it's fruit or veggies)

Add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed each day, but no more than 1 oz.
Also, remember those awesome nuts and seeds, but again limit to 1 oz.

Here is an example of a day

Breakfast: Green Smoothie w/flaxseed and 1 cup of oatmeal sweetened with stevia or honey
Lunch: Large salad, topped with beans and a side of mixed fruit or a whole apple.
Dinner: Large salad with slivered almonds, two cooked veggies for a side and fruit for dessert.

When I say large salad I mean large salad...take up the plate! Dressings, blend fruit, use a little fruit juice, salsa, or low-fat, low sugar store bought dressings. I admit I struggle with the dressing department and it takes a lot to change my tastes on dressings, but they do change. Your salads should be so full of a variety of things, your tongue should not be bored!

That's the basic plan, if you want to join me comment below. I'd love to have others to provide support to one another! 

*there is a 90% rule. 90% of the time you eat plant based, 10% of the time you can eat lean meats, or other animal products.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Hate Cycle

Are you like me? Do you stand in front of the mirror each morning and look at your disheveled reflection saying no less than ten affirmations to yourself. Positive uplifting things that you love about your body? No...yeah me either.

It's rather unfortunate the above scenario doesn't happen in each of our lives. It should. Instead, perhaps thoughts or words come across like this

Man I need to lose weight...

My arms are huge...

I try to exercise, but everything's embarrassing

Ug my hair is a mess and I have the worst skin, makeup doesn't do any good...

Looks like it's sweats again this week since my gargantuan hips can't fit into any jeans...

NOTHING looks good on me...

Look at that...I didn't know a human could have three chins...

I bet my husband/wife wishes I looked like I did when we got married...

I'm going to do a week juice cleanse and eat junk for me...

I hate my stretch marks...I'll never wear a two piece swimming suit...

I always have to stand behind people in the pictures to hide my stomach...

Crop that one...check before I post a single picture...

Sound familiar at all, or is it just me? This past week I came to the realization after I had spent an afternoon comparing myself to others, silently admiring their fit physiques and mounds of energy. Outside I smiled, but inside I berated myself and compared every inch of my body AND personality to these other people.

As I drove home I thought about the hateful thoughts I'd allowed myself to think of my healthy, maybe a little soft, but fully functional body. Then my sweet little daughter's face passed into my mind, right now I am beautiful to her, she thinks my short, wacky hairstyle is like a rock star...she often  tells me "you look so awesome mom!" I thought to myself that it needed to stop...NOW. For her sake, for my two sons' sakes.

How long are we going to allow this cycle...this HATE CYCLE go on for our children to learn and adopt? Whether you agree with me or not, to me, each time we think those awful things about our bodies, or maybe our personalities, we are haters- of ourselves. The more we say the more we hate ourselves.

I am a spiritual person, so for me I view it as each time I look in the mirror and tell myself I'm just not good enough, I'm just not beautiful enough, I am viewing myself through Satan's eyes. Hmmm, when it's put in that context it's rather eye-opening. The being that hates me the most, absolutely despises me, pretty much wants me to be miserable...each time I say such awful things about this body, that is such a beautiful gift, I'm giving this despicable being power over me.

What would it be like if we looked at ourselves through a different being's eyes? What could we change in our overall happiness if we showered our beautiful gifts we call our bodies with love and thankful affirmations? What if we loved ourselves the way God loved us? How would that love filter into other areas of our lives and relationships? Even if you aren't religious, can you see how saying such things to ourselves is just as if a person who truly hated us were standing in the room degrading us?

I believe it would be a ripple effect. Yes, obesity is a problem. I've fallen off the bandwagon for the last year and half...I'll own it. But if we begin to love ourselves, won't we naturally want to take better care of ourselves? Won't we want to feed our bodies the proper foods? Won't we want to laugh, play and run with our families?

Now, please I know there are many content people who love themselves wholeheartedly who may be overweight...I'm so happy you have found such a peace. This message is for those who are stuck in the hate cycle. You may be 100 pounds and hate your image...I don't know. Whatever situation you're in, if you find  you spend more time focusing on negative images of may be stuck. Would you dare say some of things you say to yourself to your child or spouse? Why do we allow ourselves to say it about our own bodies then?

This cycle needs to stop. For the little people, but also for ourselves. I do not want my daughter or sons to stand in front of the mirror someday and scrutinize themselves to the point they leave the house self-conscious and full of self-loathing. I want them to look in the mirror, smile, think of who they can serve that day, and leave my home ready to strive for greatness. Think of what we can change if we show confidence and love to ourselves...think of what that will do for our families, friends and those we have yet to meet.

So, in my personal life, part of loving myself again is choosing to take care of my body. I have been lazy and I admit it. I will be starting Eat to Live again from Dr. Joel Furman...well I've already started, and I am going to get myself back to a comfortable, healthy, and happy me. If you aren't satisfied with something, find out what it is that is making you it your it lack of exercise...are you not you need to rethink your career...maybe you just need to do some goal setting and dream reaching. Someday is too far away to strive for our is when we need to start.

I will be posting my progress sporadically with Eat to Live, comment below if you have ever had a problem with the hate cycle and how you left it or how you plan to leave it!

Stay happy and content!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Battle of the Dinner Table

I wrote a flash fiction piece, called Battle of the Dinner Table. It is some thoughts of the constant battle parents go through getting their kids to eat...let alone eat those blasted green veggies! Enjoy!

The smell of perfectly seasoned, perfectly roasted chicken waft through the kitchen. I breathe deeply pulling it from the oven and expertly navigate myself to the counter, avoiding the scattered “Thomas and Friends” set seeking to take me down. I fill plastic Ikea plates for each of my three adoring children with the perfect chicken and heaping (toddler sized) mounds of, steamed to perfection, green vegetables!

Joining my perfect family at the table, I put each plate in front of my children. My husband sits next to me. I see from the corner of my eye that he has pulled out the newest addition of “Popular Mechanics”. I feel slightly affronted, but he can sense the coming disaster; something I have not foreseen. I look into my children’s faces and then I know. My fork slips in my sweaty hand, instinctively I tense my shoulders preparing for what is to come.
                Across the table, my sassy 6 year old, stubborn 3 year old and mischievous 1 year old are preparing also; preparing for the battle of the dinner table!

Seconds later the 3 year old hits the floor; wailing and gnashing of teeth ensue as I hear the cries of “yucky food” on his plate and he begs me not to make him eat it! “Well played, little one. Well played,” I thought as I watched him rolling on the floor. I moved my attentions to the sly baby; he thought he could win me over with that adorable manipulative smile of his, but I won’t be deceived.

                “No, No, stop right now!” I shout as he slowly lifts his plate towards the salivating lips of our barreling, black Labrador. I elbow my husband, who responds without looking up from the magazine.

                “Stop that J, put it down.” I breathe out in frustration, how did this man know what was happening without even looking up. Did this happen often? Did I block each nightly meal from my memory?

                Ah, another battle lost. The insatiable belly laugh, that could melt any mother’s heart, came from that small, yet intelligent baby’s throat. It fills our boisterous dining room as if to symbolize his victory. The dog was bent down lapping up all the perfect, delicious food. I feel a wave of resolve rush over me, “I WILL NOT CLAIM DEFEAT!” I tell myself.

                I whip my head towards my unfortunate daughter. Her brother’s may have escaped, but this child, oh this one; she was not leaving the table without eating those green vegetables! That was the important part, right? She glares back at me, arms folded across her chest. I shrink slightly, wondering what could be running through her Kindergarten brain.

                “Look, sweetie,” I say kindly, hoping the patient mother fa├žade would encourage her to do my will, “It’s a tree, isn’t that fun? It’s a tiny little tree!” She just stares at me.

                “Its broccoli, mom.”  Blast! She’s too smart for her own good. I decide to take it a step further and not let on that she had me cornered.

                “Yes, but don’t you know broccoli is a special tree for fairies! They let us eat some every once and awhile! If we eat it we can become magic like the fairies!” For a moment she wavered, glancing back and forth between her food and myself. Then that smug ‘I know mom’s fibbing to get what she wants’ smile spread across her face. I could feel the heat rushing to my face, it was going to blow right here and now, and even my husband had looked up from his magazine…waiting…wondering what I was going to do next. The 3 year old, 1 year old and even the dog looked at me, a mixture of fear and wonder filled their eyes.

                “YOU WILL EAT ONE BITE OF BROCCOLI RIGHT NOW!” She looked calmly into my fiery eyes waiting for the other half of my rant, she had heard it before, “after you do that you can have a big chocolate chip cookie!” There, I showed her. I smiled, watching her lift the broccoli, fairy tree to her lips. Scrunching her nose she took the smallest bite she could get away with!

                And in that moment I knew that I had become the foremost expert on child hood nutrition. If I could coin a phrase for the proper way to win the battle of the dinner table it would be: “Nailed it!”

What do you think? Can you relate or do you "Nail it" too each night!!! Happy New Year! (2 days late)

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'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 about health. Do your own work for 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 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!