The Healthy, Happy Ebook

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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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Friday, November 2, 2012

Winner's of the Launch Party!

First I would like to say thank you to all those who participated in our launch party of our e Book!

I'm excited to announce the winners of the prizes. These winners were selected at random and I can't wait to get all this fun stuff out to you!

Prize 1-
Chia Seed: KATIE COX


Congrats you guys enjoy some hidden health in your meals!

Prize 2- Measuring Cups


Congrats Michele! Enjoy the adorable little cups!

Prize 3: Mixing Bowls and Whisk Set


Congrats Krista, I hope you love your new mixing bowls!

And the one you've all been waiting for....the GRAND PRIZE Ninja Blender goes to.............


KATIE BUNNELL! Congrats Katie! Thank you for your purchase of the book and I hope you enjoy your new blender to make all sorts of yummy treats!

I will contact the winners to get addressess so you can soon enjoy all your fun prizes! Thank you again for all your support everyone!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hearty Fall Crock Pot Vegetable Soup

Crisp fall air just screams for soup that warms your whole body. It is beautiful during this season, the leaves all up and down my street are so colorful...the only problem is...the bugs are trying to come inside for the winter! Seriously they are everywhere!
But one thing I look forward to is soup, soup and more soup...maybe a few bread bowls thrown in there. In the past most of my soups contained a lot of cream and cheese. If I'm going for creamy soup I try to stick to a cashew cream sauce base instead of cream cheese!
Soup is so diverse also since you can use almost anything you have on hand and usually turn up with a great tasting creation! That's what happened with this hearty vegetable soup. It was delicious and I used vegetables I just had in my fridge. It was so simple and may entire family devoured it. I made some homemade garlic biscuits to go with it and it was a very filling meal. I made this soup in the crock pot but you could easily do this on the stove top if you wanted to! Enjoy--this is sure to warm you up and make your stomach's very happy!
Fall Vegetable Soup
3 russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 large carrots chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 head cauliflower
1 c fresh or frozen peas
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 c vegetable or chicken broth (low sodium)
2 c water
1 T Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
Heat small amount of olive oil  to a skillet add chopped onion. Saute for about 7 minutes over med-high heat, add garlic. Saute together another 2 min. Reduce heat to medium and add all remaining vegetables. Cook for about 5-10 minutes until the potatoes begin to get somewhat soft and onions are translucent (this sauteing is what really pops the flavor). Meanwhile add tomatoes, broth and water to a crock pot. Add seasonings to skillet over the vegetables. Add vegetables to the crock pot. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4 hours! You can mash the potatoes against the side of the crock pot once cooked to thicken it up! Enjoy
Remember our Ebook has recently been put out, don't miss out on your chance to win a Professional Grade Ninja Blender, all you need to do is buy our Ebook for $3.99 and you're in the running! Here is the link to the prizes

Friday, October 12, 2012


This morning has been a blast, thank you for all who have had fun with us and who have purchased the book! I hope everyone entered into each prize category, you are going to want a shot at all of them!
I hope you all enjoy our Ebook, it was written with the concern for helping others in mind! Now onto the grand prize...I know it's what everyone has been waiting for!
The grand prize is......
Say What?!?!?! Yes, a professional blender. When you live a whole food diet a great blender is essential! I want to help someone get started on a whole food journey by giving them this amazing blender! This blender is a $100 value and it is amazing. I've had one myself. It will chop nuts, apples, oranges, whatever you'd like and it comes with a one year warranty!
How do you get your hands on this awesome toy? Well, head on over to the book links and purchase the book for only $3.99!
Inside the book you'll find awesome recipes that well....use a blender! So you'll have your knew guide to whole food living and hopefully you'll have your new blender in tow as well!
The PDF downloadable version can be found here
And if you are a Kindle owner head on over to here
if you will --if you buy from Amazon, please leave a review at  your convienience.
We are still working on the Nook and the iPad, it takes some time to publish with these, but they will be available shortly!
Thank you for enjoying our launch party of "The Healthy Happy Family" it means so much to us! Enjoy the book, and please feel free to email us with any questions you may have!
Remember these prizes are all open until Oct.26, so don't worry if you missed Launch Day!
Eat Yourself Healthy and Happy
* All of these prizes were purchased with my own money to be used in this giveaway. The manufacturers are not involved or did not give these to me for free *

be sure to check out all the giveaway prizes here, here and here 

It's a PARTY part 2- Super Cool Prize

Wow, this day just keeps getting better and better! It feels like a real party going on...who doesn't love giveaways?

I'm so passionate about what this book represents, I know that it can benefit ANYONE! Yes, anyone in any situation! We priced it so low because, we want to spread the news so I'm so grateful for everyone who has come out and joined our party today, you are doing so much good for your own health and for those around you!

Now onto the super cool prize- I may fight the winner for these...they are that adorable! The super cool prize is a full set of Trudeau measuring cups! These aren't your typical boring measuring cups, they are styled like mini mixing bowls....ahhhh I think I love them, seriously so cute.

Onto the rules, all you need to do to be entered into this fun prize is head on over to the side bar of the blog and click LIKE ME ON FACEBOOK! Pretty easy right! So get on over there and get clicking and these cuties could be yours! If you have already liked me on face book...leave me a comment either on the facebook page on this link, or leave a comment on the bottom!

"One of the most important things to remember is that you only have to encourage. Don't force this lifestyle upon anyone. Really young kids may put up a fight for the first several times you stick a plate of broccoli in front of them, but they quickly adapt. It has been shown that it takes eight to ten times of introducing a food to a child for them to actually like it. It is so important to not give up. After you've tried and tried multiple times, give the food and your child a break. They really may not like it. Even though neither of us likes tomatoes, we still give them to our kids and keep trying them ourselves, hoping one day we will enjoy them." pg. 17

How many of you are tired of the battles with your kids about eating their dinner and especially eating healthy food choices? Well we have been there, and somedays we are still there with our kids. We have given multiple strategies that are simple but effective for young kids to love their healthy food! We know they work because they've worked for us with two very different personalities of children! They can work for you too!

Book Links: PDF Kindle Version

be sure and check out the cool prize and enter here

It's a PARTY!!! Part 1- Cool Prize

Welcome to the Ebook launch of "The Healthy Happy Family" I can't tell you how excited we are! This has been a long road and it has been an exciting one!

So to celebrate this amazing book we are going to be having a massive giveaway day! These prizes will stay open  until October 26! The winners will be announced on October 28, giving everyone plenty of time to enter. You can enter into all the drawings...and who knows you may just walk away with more than one's all selected at random! Each post will be a prize, be sure and read them all leading up to the GRAND PRIZE! Each post will also give an excerpt from the book....and tell you a little bit more about our baby

Should we get this party started?!?!? I agree

Cool Prize: The cool prize is awesome. Some of my favorite things to use in our whole foods kitchen...Ground Flax Seed and Chia Seed!

Spectrum Essentials <em>Chia Seed</em>, Omega-3 & Fiber - 12 oz (340 g)Spectrum Essentials <em>Flaxseed</em>, Premium, <em>Ground</em>, Organic - 14 oz (396 g)

I use these babies for everything...egg replacers, I mix them into breads, jams, smoothies salads and they both provide a tremendous amount of nutrients without even tasting a difference!

Rules for the cool prize....leave me a comment saying what your favorite way to use flax or chia seeds are! Now if you have a preference between which one you'd like...specify! There will be two winners of the cool prize.
One for the Flax one for the get writing!

"According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around one-third of adults in the U.S. are obese. Obesity invites so many different conditions including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, strokes and certain types of cancer – all leading causes in death. The saturated fat associated with fast foods, red meats and cheeses are a leading culprit of heart disease. Did you know heart disease was not a common occurrence a little over a century ago? In some parts of the world today, there is little to no heart disease. Yet, in the U.S., heart disease is the leading cause of death." pg. 6

 We felt it to be very important to give a good explanation about the importance of great health. Sometimes when you are able to visualize something it really helps it sink in more! We share an amazing story about the country of Norway in the beginning of book, it really gets you're mind thinking!

Alright leave your comments for the Cool prize and we'll get started!

Links for the book: PDF  kindle version

Thursday, October 11, 2012

It's a PARTY! Part 3- Super Duper Prize

Things are getting really exciting by now. I hope all of you have made your way over to our website to really learn about the book and what it is all about, this short Ebook will be a great addition to your digital library!

Well as we get closer to the GRAND PRIZE we have one more step...the SUPER DUPER prize! This one is fun and it will help you out when your mixing up delicious food for you, your roommates, or your family!

I love color, and these mixing bowls sure bring some color the meal! I'm also throwing in a set of wire wisks to put these mixing bowls to good use! Again these are brand new, I just wanted to show you how cute they were so I removed the wrapping~

The rules for the super duper prize: You must like the facebook page (if you haven't already)'s the difference, on the face book page (click right there)  there will be a link to the book, I would like you to share that link on your own facebook page, not the like button! Make sense? It's easy there is always a share button after each post, just click it and your golden. I will track the shares so it's easy to see who does it! That is the entry fee to the super duper prize!

"Fruits and vegetables should not be on the backburner of your plate; ideally, they should be your plate. It's okay to serve up a plateful of greens and have a salad for your meal instead of as a side. If you top your salads with nuts or seeds, avocado, other green vegetables and some beans, you have given yourself a filling, healthy and well-balanced meal." pg 7 

One of the easiest ways to increase your health is to add more produce! I call it the produce revolution. These amazing foods (fruits and vegetables) are excellent defenses against disease! Add a green smoothie to your morning routine instead of cold cereal, eat cucumbers, grapes and carrot sticks instead processed crackers or granola bars! You get the idea! It will do wonders and you WILL feel a difference.

Book Links PDF Kindle Version

be sure and check out the cool prize and super cool prize here and here

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Skinny Banana Bread

Myth about whole foods:

Your food will never taste like the "normal" recipe does when you adapt it for whole food natural living!

NOT TRUE! I can't tell you how many awesome recipes I've been able to adapt to fit my lifestyle of whole food, healthy living! It is an amazing journey when you start, to feel your body actually love you for what you are putting into it...that feeling of happiness grows even more when you see your family love everything they are eating also! It's amazing.

So if you think you will be sacrificing taste and delicious comfort food to eat healthy, whole and natural...I'm going to prove you wrong with this revamp of my comforting banana bread! It was amazing! I made it for my husband who requested banana bread. Well the night I made it, he worked late. The kids and I slaved and slaved, then probably ate half the loaf (yes you read that right)  and then I tucked the rest away nicely for my husband to enjoy for breakfast and while he was in class!

When I got home from work the next day I asked him if he liked his banana bread, because it was all gone. He said he didn't even get ONE PIECE! I laughed so hard, between my kids and our babysitter the next morning they ate the rest of the loaf of banana bread! It lasted less than 24 hours!

So I promised I'll make it again soon for the hubs...

If you want a guiltless loaf of banana bread this is your lucky day! Originally this recipe contains 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 a cup of shortening! Yikes! This baby needed a makeover...Enjoy, I know you'll love it

Skinny Banana Bread

3/4-1 c raw stevia
2 T vegan margarine
1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
2 flax eggs- (2 T ground flax + 6 T warm water ) I also added about 1/4 tsp chia seed
3 ripened bananas, mashed
1 3/4 c whole wheat flour (or any flour you'd like)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1 tsp baking soda
2-3 T dark chocolate chips or nuts of choice

Cream together margarine and stevia, slowly add applesauce and continue to cream. Add flax eggs and mix well. Add bananas, mix well. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and chocolate chips. Fold together well. Place in a loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until golden and fork comes clean (your house will smell amazing!)


Monday, October 8, 2012

It's time!

This week is the week!
We are releasing our Ebook this Friday Oct. 12!
I can't believe that it is really time to put our hard work out there! I am so excited and feel so passionate about what we have written I want to share it with everyone!
Why would you want to buy this book? Well think about these questions...
Do you worry about your children's health because of the standard diet?
Have you ever been at a loss on how to feed young children healthy?
Do you think that eating truly whole and natural is too expensive?
Do you think that eating healthy consists of eating birdseed?
Do you want to improve your overall health and your family's?
Do you want to cut back on doctor visits?
Have you wondered where fitness really fits in?
If you have thought or wondered any of these we discuss it in the book and much more! I may have been MIA the last little while on the blog because this book has been so important to me. I want it to go smoothly so I have been making sure that it will!
Here are some awesome reasons to be surfing this blog on Friday...
  1. You get to buy a super cheap Ebook with a wealth of health knowledge
  2. There are going to be awesome prize drawings
  3. You have the opportunity to gain valuable information to change your family's health and your own!
Thank you for all the support we've been given from everyone! I can't wait for Friday! Spread the word
The Grand Prize by the way is going to be a $100 value! So make sure you get entered...details to come on Friday! Get out there and tell your friends and family...Their health and happiness means something too right?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Spaghetti Squash Vegan Alfredo

I've been thinking lately about how many people I've come in contact with that are choosing gluten free for health or because they have an allergy. My mom has Celiac disease so I'm very familiar with gluten free living, and now my sister has put my nephew on a gluten free diet. My cute little nephew is lactose intolerant as well and still having some tummy issues so the doctor suggested gluten free. 

Tonight's dinner was made with my cute nephew in mind. Dairy free and gluten free! I wasn't sure how my kids would like tonight's dinner...I kept waiting to see if they could tell that these noodles weren't quite the same. Well the end result....I think they could tell but that didn't stop them. To my surprise my son ate better than my daughter and the last few weeks it's been like pulling teeth to get him to actually eat what I put in front of him and not play with it!

This is a thick alfredo isn't conventional alfredo sauce, but it still tasted rich and creamy even though it was vegan. I typically try and stick with a very natural whole food diet, but every once in awhile I'll add some of these mixes. We used Tofutti products, they are dairy free, but still processed so not so whole foods I'd say. But they have much less fat than regular cream cheese...pick your battles!

I want to include a step by step guide for preparing the "spaghetti" of the squash if you're unfamiliar with is so simple!
1. Poke holes in the squash with large fork or knife
2. Bake in the oven for 1 hour at 375 degrees
3. Cut the squash in half lengthwise
4. take out seeds with a fork
5. With the fork shred the sides of the squash until all the noodley squash is out! 
And your done!
It is one of the easiest squash to cut and prepare in my opinion, it just takes some time to bake!

Well how about that sauce recipe then huh?

3-4 T vegan cream cheese
1-2 T vegan sour cream
1/2 c soy milk or dairy free milk
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
dash of red pepper flakes
pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Heat over medium until everything has melted down. Stir over med-low for 5 minutes! Enjoy

Pretty easy right? Talk about a great way to get some veggies into your family all the while having an allergen free meal! It's a great day!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Plant based...some hard things

I have found it can be a hard thing to live healthy and plant based in this society. There are some key nutrients that we need that aren't always easy to get the proper amounts without eating certain animal products. So why don't I eat them? Well I weigh the pros and cons of each I really want the good product so bad that I'd let the not so good stuff into my body?

Some of this that I'm going to write today may be controversial to some and how they view things. This world would be pretty boring if we didn't have different opinions right!

One of the greatest nutrients that is hard to get adequate amounts of is DHA. DHA is the brain building omega-3 that comes from breastmilk for our little babies. It should be in children's diet as well as adult diets. A healthy brain can truly prevent disorders like Alzeihmers and Dementia! I work with people everyday who suffer from these diseases and I don't want them. It's miserable for the family as well as very confusing for the resident at times.

DHA supplements are primarily fish oil. How many of you take a fish oil supplement? I think if you can down them it's better than nothing, however the fatty fish they use for the supplements also supply us with the mercury. I read here that if we take the recommended supplemental amount we will be getting too much mercury in our bodies as well. You've got to weigh the pros and cons. I'm in the process of finding a new DHA supplement for my kids. They have been taking a DHA supplement that is fish oil...its a gummy and they love it. I scoured my nearby stores for a plant based DHA, I've seen them advertised but to my frustration none of my stores chose to carry them. There was flaxseed oil, but it didn't say on the ingredients that it contained I moved on. You can recieve DHA from plant food--just not the serving that is recommended. Foods to eat are walnuts, chia and leafy greens. Hemp seed and flax also give us the omega-3s. So what should we take if we aren't fond of the idea of the pollutants in the fish oil? Well I'm looking for a clean algea supplement- or I may order these drops from Dr. Furhman's website. What do you think about DHA? Have you even thought about it? Sometimes I feel like it is the forgotten supplement.

The next one is the one that I think is going to get the buzz going. Folic Acid! How many of you who have been pregnant before were told to take folic acid in your prenatal vitamin to prevent neural tube deffects like spina bifida? I sure as heck did...I wasn't going to risk the health of my baby. But was I risking my health? So over this past year I've done a lot of research on my family and the best way to eat. The past four years really is how long I've been bouncing back and forth with plant based eating. Awhile back I read an article about folic acid and how your chances of breast cancer increase if you take the synthetic supplement.

Okay so what do I mean synthetic? Folic acid is the synthetic version of Folate. Folate is found in green vegetables. If we eat our spinach and broccoli and romaine lettuce we will get ample supply of folate...we won't need the folic acid supplement. Isn't the natural version better than the synthetic one? I want to link the article here that talks about the increase risk of breast cancer. I am a mom and I will do anything for my children and that includes any future unborn children, but it got me thinking about the miracle supplement folic acid.

It made sense to me that adding the natural, raw nutrients would be just as effective as the man made version...if not more effective because it wouldn't add anything harmful to my body.

I am not a doctor or scientist. This is research I've done for myself. I would talk with your doctor about these things if you wonder...I would most definetly do the research on my own as well and try and educate myself so I can better understand what is available to me!

here is another article I read awhile ago that talked about plant based eating in pregnancy--it discusses folic acid a little bit it was very interesting and really got the wheels turning!

What are your thoughts? Is there a supplement you like to use?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Zesty Triple Bean Salad

I have given summer a farewell. It's sad, but so exciting. I love the fall and I love all the holidays. My house was decorated for Halloween four days ago...I couldn't hold off any longer!
Fall brings crisp air, beautiful leaves, family, delicious treats, soup and so much more! Last night I attempted to make a chicken noodle like crock pot soup...without chicken. It smelled amazing...but it shouldn't be made it the crockpot...the noodles turned to was crazy! It needs some TLC and then it'll be ready to share with you all!
The side dish made up for my disappointment soup. I made a zesty triple bean salad that really took our taste buds for a ride! It was fantastic, I had it for lunch today also!
Beans are a key aspect to living a plant based diet. Greens, fruit and other vegetables do have protein, but most of my intense protein comes from Adam's Natural Peanut Butter and a huge variety of beans! I love beans!
As a budgeter as well-- beans are cheap...I like love healthy cheap! I want to write a book on 100 things to make with beans they are amazing! They are the magical fruit!!!
So if you are looking for a zesty, flavorful, easy, healty, budget friendly meal you are really going to want to try this! From start to finish it took me 10 minutes to serve it up. Believe it or not in this house this was kid friendly too! How great is that!

Zesty Triple Bean Salad
1 c black beans
1c red kidney beans
1 c navy beans
1/2 cucumber chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 c chopped red pepper
2 T olive or canola oil
4 T red wine vinegar
1 T parsley
If you are using canned beans make sure you rinse the beans well. Combine all ingredients into a medium sized bowl. Mix well. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes or until you serve it. Serve over lettuce! Enjoy your taste bud happy time!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Vegan Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

Oh man do you ever wake up just craving some syrupy goodness? Today I did, it wasn't the pancakes I was craving it was my boysenberry syrup I bought a little while ago! I grew up on that stuff and I adore it is not sugar free, but my pancakes were!

Pancakes warm my soul! I love the flavors and I adore the rich taste of any syrup really poured over the top of fluffy, hot pancakes. What makes me feel better is when I get the same comfort food with no oil and no sugar (apart from the chocolate chips of course :) ) I love watching the kids gobble delicious nutritious food up and ask for more...this morning in particular we had to make a whole new batch--I couldn't keep up with the demand!

I'm very satisfied with my end result this morning. I found these little babies here and I tweaked it just a little bit to make them oil free and a little more holiday spice! Delicious. I didn't even use that many chocolate chips, but they sure melted when I added them to the skillet and it made them quite homely looking! Even though they looked ugly they were very delicious. 

If you want a fast, healthy, satisfying breakfast for your whole have got to try these
Oh and by the way...this only takes one bowl for mixing except a small bowl for the flax egg...pretty sweet.

Vegan Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes
1 ripe banana
1 flax/chia egg (1 T ground flax +1 tsp chia seed +3 T water)
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c steel cut oats (or any oats)
1 T applesauce
3 T almond milk
1 T almond butter- melted down a little
3 T semi sweet chocolate chips or raisins

Mix flax egg and set aside for 5 minutes in a small bowl. Mash banana and baking powder together. Add flax egg, applesauce, almond milk, almond butter, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix together well. Add flour and oats, combine until well coated. Fold in chocolate chips. Heat skillet and pour 1/4 c of batter onto skillet. Cook about 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. You may want to double this only yields about 5-6 small pancakes...
seriously I could eat that by myself :)
*use gluten free flour and gluten free oats for a gluten free option


You may find that you have helpers that want to assist in making breakfast!!! Courtesy of my 18 month old!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

One Dish Bulgar Skillet

I love one dish meals! They are simple and call for an easy clean up! I also adore skillets...the way that they mesh all the delicious flavors makes me sneak leftover bites for days to come! 

I decided to try something new. Bulgar. Has anyone tried it before? It is a whole grain--a groat really from wheat specimens (I sound scientific huh) Anyways it's delicious. I had planned to make hot cereal with it, but our weekends have been crazy and I leave for work before anyone else is awake during the week. So I decided to make a skillet full of veggies and boca crumbles! Bulgar has a nice nutty flavor and it was a great addition to our pilaf skillet.

This really is up to you what veggies you want to add. I used:
1 onion
1 bunch of broccoli
1 garlic clove
1/2 yellow pepper
1 grated carrot
a large handful of chopped kale
I thought my choices of veggies really meshed nice together...
some other suggestions I thought of
broccoli slaw
sun dried tomatoes

After you have all the veggies chopped add the onions with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to a large skillet. Heat them until tender then add the garlic. When it is fragrant add remaining vegetables and heat for about 5 minutes. The amount of Bulgar I used was plenty... 1 1/2 cups. After the veggies are heated add Bulgar. Add 2 1/4 cups of vegetable stock and 1 tablespoon cumin and half a bag of Boca crumbles. Now you simply cover and simmer over med-low until all the liquid is absorbed. 

When it was all said and done I added 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of parsley and some low sodium soy sauce. Serve hot and it is yummy!

Honestly I was hoping for more of a reaction from my kids. I loved every bite, they liked it but you could tell it wasn't their favorite! It is a delicious meal. If you aren't looking for vegetarian/vegan I bet chicken, turkey or shrimp would be great to add into it!

Ingredients written out a little easier for you :)
1 onion chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1 grated carrot
1/2 yellow onion
1 c chopped kale leaves
1 head of broccoli chopped
1 1/2 c Bulgar
2 1/4 c vegetable stock
1 T cumin
1 T parsley
2 T lemon juice
1 T coconut oil
1/2 T low sodium soy sauce
1/2 bag Boca Meatless crumbles

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Raising Kids Healthy

The most touchy subject I think is how someone is raising their child. I try not to judge others on how they raise theirs and I ask for no judgement on how I raise mine. I will judge you if I see you  slapping your kid around...that stuff doesn't fly with me!

Anyways, I have some thoughts, concerns, worries...whatever come into my mind over the last few days.

I try my darndest to feed my kids good...I don't feel like I deprive my children. My daughter and I made a chocolate cake the other day--yes it was sugar/oil free but if she loves it all the same who the heck cares! Don't we all want our kids to love healthy things?

I had a friend post on facebook the other day about her daughter starting kindergarten and how they gave candy for snacks! It started me thinking--before I know it my daughter will be in the school system (I'm homeschooling right now for preschool, but I don't intend to homeschool through her K-12 years) so I realize that she will be exposed to vending machines and loving teachers who give candy as rewards! What can I do about it?

Well I plan to be very vocal in the schools. If candy is given multiple times a day I will probably visit with the teacher--if nothing changes I will visit with the administration. I plan on being proactive in educating my community that...yes kids love they have to have it multiple times a day? Would anyone agree that sugar is addicting? Well it is--it's be scientifically proven. It releases Dopamine in your brain that tells your brain that it loves whatever your it leaves you wanting more.

Feeding kids healthy...truly nothing short of a lifelong battle against the society we live in. I'm a pretty passive person at times...I don't like confrontation. However, kids will bring out the mama bear in me. I feel very passionate about how I feed my children and their disease I plan to do all I can do to give them the best shot at a healthy life that I know how!

Another thought that is right among us--right now! The holidays. Talk about a sugar and fat fest. How am I going to deal with the holidays. I know parties are coming up and I plan on making my own festive snacks...mine won't have sugar though or they will have very little. I originally made the statement that I would let relatives be relatives and they can give my kids some sweets.

Well I think that isn't okay anymore. I'm not saying my kids can't have a cookie or two...but no more multiple servings of soda, brownies, fudge etc! There was a family that had older children, but still...they told their kids to accept but not eat any of the treats given to them during the holiday season and they would go on a family vacation! Well it worked and their kids did it....they went to Disneyland. The amazing thing was they figured by all the sweets and fats given to them their kids avoided 40,000 extra empty calories each! Each child! I couldn't believe it!

I will show my kids by example. I have mentioned my holiday challenge before, well now the holidays are here and I plan to be more vocal. I hope others will respect that. It's not hurting my kids in any way to feed them fruit instead of cookies...they love it just as much!

Any thoughts on our society and children? It's a subject that I'm sure most parents think we just need to decide how to react to it!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Blendtec Sale

Blendtec is having a great sale on an extra four sided jar! The sale lasts until Oct 10~ if you are a blender person check out the great deals blendtec has for unbeatable blenders....seriously they are fantastic! Click the link on the side of my page to get your deal on your four sided jar!!!

Whole food living is almost impossible without a fantastic blender! You won't regret the purchase I assure you!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Deep Dish Vegetarian Pizza

My goodness today has been great! Unfortunately sometimes our Sundays are on the go and busy busy, whatever happened to the day of rest in this house I'll never know. Due to Derek's school schedule he often has to work Sunday nights so rarely gets to eat Sunday dinner with us, but today was a different schedule and we finally sat down to a delicious family dinner!

I had been wanting to make some homemade pizza for awhile now. I originally was intending to make this pizza vegan, but I caved guys, I did. I used a little bit of fresh mozzarella cheese...and it was tasty!

We added the Boca crumbles and it turned into almost a hamburger type pizza without the ground beef! If you don't believe me that this tasted like ground beef, I don't know what else I can say...I am amazed at how much the Boca crumbles resemble ground beef, in texture and taste...I don't know it's been a long time since I've had it, but these are great!

I wanted to add some greens to the pizza so I added a good helping of spinach and it was perfect! This pizza is now gone, yes my kids ate about three pieces and maybe Derek and I had a few more...don't judge!

My little boy is still being funny when he eats, the fork has become the greatest toy he has. He just sits there and stabs food and scoots it all over his's cute but getting really old. Sometimes I really start to worry about his calorie, fat and protein intake...but he still is my chunk so each day I'm going to just keep trying!

You will love this pizza, it doesn't have to be deep dish- I just felt like making it that way! Adding  a delicious green salad turns this into a rockin' Sunday dinner!

Deep Dish Vegetarian Pizza

1 3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c wheat germ
1 packet instant yeast
1 tsp salt
1/2 T raw sugar
1 T honey
1 c warm water
Combine water, yeast and sugar to a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes. Combine salt, wheat germ and flour to a large bowl and mix in yeast mixture. When it is wet add honey and mix it in well. Mold to form a sort of ball in the bowl. Cover and set it in a warm place for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Flatten dough into a greased deep baking dish and poke holes with a fork all over it. Pre bake for 10 minutes remove from oven. 

1/2 bag Boca crumbles
5 chopped mushrooms
1 minced onion
1 T Italian seasoning
1/2 can tomato sauce
1 large handful of spinach
Mozzarella cheese as desired
 In a skilled add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add onion, mushrooms, and boca crumbles. Heat until crumbles are browned and onions are somewhat translucent.Pour tomato sauce over the pre-baked crust and add Italian seasonings, spread evenly over crust. Add mozzarella cheese, then Boca and vegetables. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes until cheese has melted and crust is baked through. 

I forgot to grease my pan so ours turned into more of a pizza casserole since it kind of stuck, but it still tasted delicious.
Again this doesn't need to be a deep dish pizza, it's just what we were craving! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Guest Post Series- Sweets and Being "Whole"

I’ll have to admit, letting go of sugar has been THE SINGLE hardest thing I’ve done tried to do for my health! I was at my best right before I got pregnant with my third baby, then everything went out the window.  My baby is now almost 11 months old and I still struggle with my sweet cravings.

Why should we avoid excess sugar?
I think we can all agree that sugar in excess is not good for our bodies.  Did you know that sugar can make you fat more than fat can make you fat? When you consume a sugary snack or beverage, it causes a sugar rush or sugar high.  This causes the release of insulin, which accumulates fat. Then, increased insulin only drives you to feel hunger once again and eat.  So, you see, it’s a vicious cycle.

Sugar is addictive.  IT IS A DRUG (in my opinion)! Try going without it for a few days, you will have withdrawal. Sweeteners of all types, even natural sweeteners which are a little easier on your body, are still habit-forming and leave you wanting more.

Think about the naturally sweet foods in nature; mainly fruits and vegetables. How often do we eat those to satisfy our sweet tooth?  We may not think of those as foods that would curb a craving, because, the truth is that there is NO food in nature that can compete with the sweetness of refined sugars. Real foods (those fruits and veggies) lose their appeal and we end up eating less of them, or even worse, none at all!

So, what can you do about it?
There is good news for a sugar addiction.  It’s absolutely reversible. By eating the naturally sweet foods found in nature, rather than the sickeningly sweet food-like substances, we can combat the effects of excessive sugar in our bodies.  Here are some other tips:
Drink lots of water
Chances are, if you are drinking something other than water, on a regular basis, you are adding a lot of extra sugar in your diet. I don’t even buy fruit juice.  My husband makes the argument that it’s 100% juice, but when the juice is extracted from the pulp and natural fiber of the whole food, all you are basically left with is the sugar; plain and simple. So, we drink water 99% of the time.

Make breakfast healthy
I think we pretty much tackled this in the whole grain post.  Learn to eat and enjoy hot cereals, granola, homemade pancake mixes, etc. rather than sweetened processed boxed cereals.

Cook and bake from scratch
I think this is probably the most essential when trying to switch to a whole foods diet.  When you cook from scratch, you can control what goes into whatever it is you are making, especially the amount of sugar.  When you stop to look at the ingredient list in packaged food, you’d be amazed at the added sugar in thing you wouldn’t think of.  It is really easy to make your own mixes for many of the pre-packaged mixes and foods we are used to buying at the store.  

Increase protein and fat
When you consume protein and fat, you are satisfied longer, and you aren’t left on the downside of a sugar rush craving more.  Just remember to make sure to limit animal protein, getting much of it from plant sources, and choose healthy fats like avocados, olives, olive oil and tropical oils, and nuts.

Quality, not quantity
If you do choose to splurge on a sugary sweet, make sure it’s worth it!  You are more likely to savor and eat a smaller portion of a high quality chocolate bar than eat the whole thing in one sitting.

Special Occasions
I has been startling to me as I have watched my oldest child go to kindergarten this year. She has come home from school many days telling me they had CANDY for a snack! Really, candy for a snack?  I can see handing it out occasionally for a child’s birthday, but certainly not more than once a week.

This is part of the problem, why there are so many sugar addicts.  Having something sweet has become the norm, not the exception. Define what your own special occasions are and try to stick to them.  

Keep it out of the house
I think this is pretty self-explanatory.  If you don’t buy it you, you won’t eat it.

Here are some alternatives when you want just a bit of sweetener, maybe in some oatmeal, tea or pancakes: raw organic honey, real maple syrup, stevia, turbinado sugar, molasses, brown rice syrup.

Becoming “ Whole”
Just about any food that is available has been processed to some degree. When trying to make good food choices, think about two things and use this rule of thumb: Can it be easily traced back to its source and how different is this food than when it was found in nature? Fresh produce is pretty easy to imagine, even breads and meat.  Twinkies, on the other hand, not so much.

When shopping for food, get in the habit of reading labels.  Look for (and try to avoid) ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, dyes, artificial sweeteners and flavors, preservatives, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and hydrogenated oils.  

When I go grocery shopping, the contents of my basket are probably AT LEAST 75% produce.  That is where I do the bulk of my shopping at. Once or twice a month I shop another grocery store with a great bulk section.  When I go there, my shopping cart mostly consists of lots of bags filled with things like steel cut oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. It is rare to find pre-packaged items in my cart.
My challenge to you is to choose one thing about your diet and make change today!  If you need to go back through my previous posts DO!  Change one thing at a time and over the course of a week, month,  year or more, you’ll find your habits are changing for the better.

Thanks for letting me share with you! Feel free to leave any questions in the comments, or you can also visit me at my blog, Sweet Luvin' In The Kitchen.

Teaching Our Brains New Habits

I just got back from a conference discussing how our brains learn habits. The lecture was given by the Institute of Brain Potential and the presenter was Dr. King, Ph.D. He has a strong background in Neuroscience.  It went into a lot of insightful information about how people get into bad habits and how they can change their way of living. I took this course for continuing education as a health care worker, but the whole time I was in the lecture I kept relating everything he said to food, diet and healthy living!

He used obesity and overeating as an example a lot so it wasn't that hard to compare the two. He gave a statistic about obese individuals and dieting. He said that only 20% of people maintain a 10% weight loss over a period of five years.

How can this number be so low? How is it that with so many diets in the world that we continue to get larger and larger?

This is where the word habit was dissected and explained to us how we can really train our brains to learn new habits.

Most dieters simply do a diet to reach their weight loss goals. This is the first clue for failure, a habit change needs to be a lifestyle change. You will not be as successful if you simply do it to meet a short term goal then return to your old habits. This seems obvious, but I myself have done it before. I have met weight loss goals then I think magically the pounds will stay off if I return to how I used to eat.

Another interesting point he made was habits are not formed by repetition, they are formed by reinforcement. We have an area in our brains that subconsciously makes our choices for us. The Prefrontal cortex of our brains has the ability to override our decisions-this has been termed "willpower". This obviously takes a conscious effort, if you've ever been in a mental battle with yourself this is what is going on. The idea of reinforcement changing our habits comes from the idea that we will the majority of the time choose the option that has the greatest return with the least amount of effort.

He compared this to choosing a piece of chocolate cake to a plate of celery. Instantly most people will feel that is is the same amount of effort to eat a plate of celery or a piece of chocolate cake- but the chocolate cake will in most cases beat the celery, because the sugar in the cake gives us a stimulant which our brain does not soon forget from past experience! do we stop this vicious cycle of junk food always winning against health food. This is where you need to find the benefit of health food and fight the brain against choosing the junk food. Soon your brain will start to see the benefits, like a leaner body, less sugars and refined carbohydrates so your brain can function at a normal level. He explained that certain carbs like refined sugar can heighten our dopamine receptors in our brain which gives us a level of pleasure- this is why it is so hard to change your food habits. Your brain loves the pastas and candy bars!

It takes time, I know this from experience. It is very easy to fall off the horse. I know that if you give it longer than a week- I'm talking a month or more you will start to feel a difference and making healthy choices will become just what you do! It will become second nature. Can it change back to old habits in no time at all? Yes it can- I myself am still struggling with my chocolate chip addiction- but my brain knows the difference now. I can't eat a plate of cookies, cake or ice cream without knowing it isn't good and feeling a level of guilt. Because my brain knows. A habit has been formed and it will always know what the benefits of healthy eating are compared to the benefit of a delicious, dangerous sundae!

My suggestion on trying to change your habits- stop doing short term diets! Make a commitment to change your life! Fight those mental battles for a few weeks, until before you know it you will make the good choices without even thinking about it! It isn't easy- I've been there. I think people forget that I have since I'm the author on this blog- I have been there...remember I've said before I'm the cheese quesadilla girl!

It isn't easy, but it's so worth it to feel what real normal feels like! You can do it! I'd love to help anyone anytime, just message me and you have yourself a cheerleader!