The Healthy, Happy Ebook

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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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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Berry Green Salad

Salads are just what I want in the summer! They don't require turning on my stove or oven, they are full of flavor and they're cold! This salad is in one word yum....I love berries or fruit on my salad and to top it with a yummy vinegarette...that's just what I crave in July! I made this one festive so I can use it for the 4th of July bbq, so this will be my "freedom Salad"...cute right :)

Berry "Freedom" Salad
1 head romaine lettuce
4 sliced strawberries
1/2 c blueberries
1/4 c yogurt raisins

Combine all ingredients together in bowl! Keep chilled and top with raspberry vinegarette or any dressing you'd like!

Yes you really can get into shape




I was not a runner. I didn't like it, it was hard, it hurt, I felt like I was going to die  because I couldn't breathe I said bad words in my head the whole time :) Then my wonderful sister and brother-in-law really started getting into running, they both ran a half marathon a few months ago and I was at the finish line with a sign cheering them on. I saw how hard they had worked and how they had started from being out of shape too and I also saw how pumped up all the runners were, so I was motivated. My husband was motivated so we've signed up for our first race. My husband is just going for it and doing a half, I'm doing a 5 K. I felt whimpy at first for not doing the half, but now I've set my own difficult goals for a 5 K. 
-I want to run the whole time
- I want to be smiling when I cross the finish line
- I want to do it in under 25 minutes
I can't wait to do an update and let you know how it goes!

I don't enjoy getting into shape and I don't know many people who do, but if you just get started and keep at it and really play that mental game with yourself and push yourself hard even when you want to stop you can do it. Signing up for a race has really helped motivate us, it's given us one more reason to get into shape, having family or friends do it with you is always a great way since you have a support group so on your hard days someone else can push you! 

I now look forward to my time when I get to work off some stress from the day or when I get to go out in the morning when it's still cool outside and just clear my head. I love the feeling after you work out of your muscles being worked, I like the "good pain" feeling of tired muscles. I know you can get started just get out and do it. I've got to run with a double jogging stroller with 50 pounds worth of kids in it....lets get tough that's what I keep saying...you can do more than you think you can... it doesn't matter if you run, strength train, walk, bike whatever just get dirty, grit your teeth and get tough! :)







Friday, June 29, 2012

Decadent Chocolate Torte



Are you kidding me!!!!! Can this recipe really be vegan, and taste this AWESOME!!! This was so rich and chocolatey it will satisfy any choco-holic in no time. I got this recipe from my favorite healthy vegan recipe site you can see it at this link. This has sugar in it, but my goodness compared to other desserts this rich there is no comparison which is a healthy choice! It has whole grain flour, almond milk, and the secret ingredient! I have been waiting to try this recipe for two months, honestly because of the secret ingredient! I was a little nervous, but I am so glad I did (and so are my kids)
      There are a few things that I really don't like just because of the texture...green peppers, I use them all the time in my cooking but by the end of my meal I see I have subconsciously picked them out and they are off to the side...and avocado. I really don't like the weird soft texture...like at all....so this brings me to the secret ingredient!!!


Avocado!!! Don't run away...remember what I just said I HATE avocado! You cannot taste it I promise...all you taste is silky chocolatey goodness! I am so glad I braved up and tried this. I had this dilemma you see, next week we're having a big family party and I'm in charge of bringing a dessert...well I thought okay this is my chance to show how I eat and cook how I want to cook no matter what I do so I can still eat healthy and enjoy those awesome family get togethers. Well this has solved my problem! I know this will be a hit and I'm not going to say what's in it until someone asks...I want the shock factor :) I'll update how it goes later!  Here it is

Decadent Chocolate Torte
Crust
1 c + 6 T Spelt flour
1/4 c + 2 T cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 c + 1/3 c sugar (any type, I used pure cane, but next time I might try coconut sugar)
1 T arrowroot powder (you can also use 3 T flour for the thickener)
1 tsp salt
4 T + 2 tsp canola oil
1/2 c almond milk
3 T maple syrup

Filling

2 C avocado (about 3)
1/3 c almond milk
2/3 c maple syrup
1 T peanut butter
1 T arrowroot powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 c + 2 T chocolate chips (melted)
1/4 c cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl sift together dry crust ingredients. In a small bowl combine wet crust ingredients. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Scoop crust batter into spring form pan or pie dish. Spread out along the bottom, it will be a little sticky. Bake for 22-25 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare filling in blender. Combine all filling ingredients except chocolate chips. While ingredients are blending melt chocolate chips in microwave. Add to blender and blend with other ingredients. Remove crust from oven and let cool 10 minutes (mine was pretty cake like). When cooled spread filling over the top of the crust until completely covered. Put in the freezer and freeze 1.5- 2 hours.


* don't leave out for a long time because of the avocado. Store in the freezer if you have leftovers. I wrapped and then put them in a container with a lid to store. Enjoy

What I don't want in my future


I work in Occupational Therapy, that's my degree, that's' what I do for half the day when I'm not at home enjoying my sweet family. I chose to work with the elderly, and I love it. The geriatric population has always held a special place with me. I still have both pairs of grandparents and I just love them dearly they can teach us "young folk" so much.
      Going along with the work I do I have met lots of different types of people. I also have decided some things I don't want in my future life. I've met several centurions (100 years +) I always ask them what their secret is, every single one I've met eats a balanced diet, they are smaller people, they have good hygiene most have their own teeth etc. They take care of themselves. Most do say 100 years old is too old, but all of them that I've met were living alone, they still did their daily tasks independently and the reasons they were with me was basically for injuries or life was finally catching up with them. If I live to be 100 I hope to be like that, not 100 and bed ridden.

So some things I don't want for the sake of my health when I get older

- I don't want to be heavy, I don't want it to take two people or a lift (yes I've had to use machines to lift people) to move me from a bed or chair or roll me in bed.

- I want to be able to walk and not have my weight cause me to be in a wheelchair, if I'm in a wheelchair it better be for a different reason.

- I don't want to be on oxygen because I'm overweight

- I don't want cardiac issues

- I DO want to live a good long life in a healthy way! I want to stay in my own home as long as possible as independent as possible. I feel the choices we make in our younger lives will affect the outcome of our later years.

This is just something that's been on my mind after working with the wonderful people I do. I'm glad I can be there to help those seniors who may need an extra boost, but I also know what I want my goals to be. I understand life throws us curve balls, but the things I am in control of such as weight, I hope I continue to make a conscious effort to take care of this body for my later years!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

No Bake Peanut Butter Crunch Cookie Balls



This is a super fast way to get a yummy, no guilt treat in your hands! To me there aren't many things that are better than peanut butter and chocolate. I love fast recipes for when I'm craving something sweet and this is one of those! I found this recipe on ohsheglows at this link, I added almonds to mine instead of peanuts and left out the rice cereal, but I still think they turned out great!

No Bake Peanut Butter Crunch Balls

1/2 c unsalted cashews
1/2 c oats
1/4 c flour (I used spelt)
1/2 tsp salt
2 T sugar
3 T peanut butter
3 T maple syrup
1/4 semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 c almonds
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond milk

Put cashews and oats into processor or blender. Blend together until they are flour like in texture. Add flour salt and sugar to blender to combine. Add vanilla, peanut butter, almond milk and syrup and blend until mixed. Scrape the sides of blender or processor, mixture may be sticky, if it is too sticky add more flour or if it is too dry add a little more syrup or milk. Put mixture in a bowl. Place chocolate chips and almonds into blender or processor pulse until chopped. Add chocolate chips and almonds to mixture. Roll into balls and place in freezer for a few minutes to set up. There you have it a fast easy treat at your fingertips!!


* these can be Gluten Free, simply use a gluten free flour!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Some great exercise plans

This is a link I use from my pinterest account, I love pinterest, it has great guides for workouts! This is a very simple plan, but I hope you'll feel the benefits like I have!!!

Three week guide!

Toned Up Legs

Water!!!


 Drinking water is crucial to your fitness goals. It in a sense flushes out our systems. We all know that we need water to survive, but it adds so much to our over all good health. From personal experience it helps me stave off hunger pains, it helps me not want to indulge in a fizzy diet coke so much and I actually feel hydrated.
I used to get chronic headaches. Every day I would have an annoying ache in my head starting in the front reaching back all the way to end of of my neck, where it meets the shoulders. I actually went to the doc to because me, miss paranoia, thought I  might have a tumor or something. I realized basically on my own that it was built up tension in my scalp muscles, neck and  shoulder muscles. It wasn't  all from lack of hydration, some was from the pressure of working, taking care of kids and family, but most was diet and lack of hydration. I chose to make a change in all of that! I began the journey of diet change.
     Once I started eating right I noticed that my headaches were getting "less achy" they were slowly taking a hike and leaving me alone. However, I still wasn't drinking enough, I carried my water bottle everywhere but I only drank maybe half of it throughout the work day, that is not near enough. Then after discussing some things with others and researching, I decided to try and drink my body weight in ounces in water! So I gave it a go! I drank about 3-4 of my water bottle a day (a lot of bathroom breaks) and very shortly after my headaches went from less achy to non-existant! I didn't have them anymore, I also felt like I was flushing out all the bad stuff!
 I love water, I love to keep cold filtered water in my fridge, it's what I crave now and nothing can quench my thirst on a hot day like water! Water will be your greatest friend during your fitness journey. Give it a go today, try the challenge of drinking  your body weight in ounces of water, see how you feel! Good luck!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Easy Marinara Sauce

I love homemade pasta sauces...you just can't beat them no matter how hard store bought brands try! This was a tasty, and super easy marinara sauce that you can use for pasta pizza or whatever you'd like.

Easy Marinara Sauce
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
1/2 28 oz crushed tomatoes
4 garlic cloves
1/2 onion
2 T olive oil
1 1/2 T Italian Seasoning
1 T parsley
2 T Italian dressing
1/2 T basil

Put olive oil in pan and heat over med-hi heat. Add garlic and onion and saute until onion is transparent. Add  tomato sauce, paste, and crushed tomatoes stir to combine. Add dressing and seasonings, mix to combine. Cover with lid and reduce heat to med-low and simmer for 15 minutes! 
Enjoy

Mango Berry Smoothie

There is nothing better in summer than a cool fruit smoothie! I love smoothies I love all the different things you can put in your smoothie. This was a delicious combo, I love mango and berries, so why not mix the two and the spritz of coconut just gave it a little tropical taste. 



Mango Berry Smoothie

1/4 C Almond Milk
1/4 C water
1 1/2 tsp chia seeds
1 1/2 banana
1 mango
3/4 C raspberries
1/2 C frozen strawberries
 1 tsp coconut flakes

Combine ingredients and blend together until smooth!

* this was not a thick smoothie, so if you like more texture in your smoothies maybe do 1/8 c water instead. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Be Nice To You!


I've noticed that health, fitness, and weight are all ways that we as people choose to be mean to ourselves. We never seem to live up to our own expectations, we can always be better. During this journey I've learned that I'm only human, I do have rough days. It's hard when you go on vacation, it's hard when your so tired your just craving some caffeine from that soda, it's hard when you've got the munchies and chips or Oreos are staring you in the face.  
The hardest thing for me is Diet Coke, well carbonation in general, I love the fiz. I love the taste, but what I don't love is after I drink it. I feel like I've just gained ten pounds instantly, I feel very tired and slow during my workouts. So I'd rather feel energized and on the few days where I have the intense craving I stay busy, I drink water and eventually the day comes to a close and I realize I didn't really need it. My mind just thought I did, and I check a small little victory for the day. That to me is better than sitting there after I've "enjoyed" a coke and wishing I wouldn't have gotten one. 
This blog holds no judgement. We all have tough days, I'm the author of it and yes sometimes I indulge in a fatty, chocolaty brownie. But I'm pleased to say the more I eat the way I do, the less I want the bad stuff and the more the good, natural things sound. It takes time. The bad food is designed to get us to crave more and more, sick huh! When we eat whole foods and healthy things our bodies are satisfied, they've found what they are looking for, so we'll see the cravings leave, the munchies, some aches and pains, and our energy will increase. It's amazing! Keep up the good work, forgive yourself and keep trying. 
One good tip I've found useful when your first trying, is plan your cheats. One day a week you get some ice cream, a small portion of course and that's it, no more, then keep working towards a day when you don't need your cheat day because you don't even crave it!!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Seasoned Roasted Vegetables


I saw roasted vegetables a few years ago on Rachel Ray. This was before I was eating natural, but I thought those sound good! And I was right. I've always loved roasted veggies you can really diversify what you put in your mix and it always seems to turn out perfect! This go around I used sugar snap peas, broccoli, carrots and onion. After you choose your vegetables, just pick your seasonings. Super simple! I think I'm going to take these for a bbq this summer for a healthy tasty side!!!

Seasoned Roasted Vegetables
2 c broccoli
1 onion
2 c carrots
2 c sugar snap peas
2 T olive oil
1 T italian seasoning
1 T parsley
1 Italian dressing packet
1 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line cookie sheet with foil and put olive oil on foil. Place cut up vegetables on cookie sheet and coat all over with oil. Season with seasonings make sure all the vegetables are coated. Cover with foil and place in oven for fifteen minutes. After 15 minutes flip vegetables over, cover and bake another 15 minutes. Bake them longer if you like them softer. There you have it, a yummy side for any meal!!!







Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Quick Bean Quinoa Medley

This is one way to make a super satisfying lunch with some leftovers in the fridge. I had left over Quinoa filling from my Quinoa Burritos and a baked potato....what to do they both sounded good....well why not combine them :) you can add whatever other raw or cooked veggies you want and you've got yourself a super quick satisfying, tasty lunch! Also, this can be used as a great side with dinner or the whole meal!  I topped mine with a tablespoon of Italian dressing and was very happy!

Quick Bean Quinoa Medley
1-2 T Italian Dressing
1 baked/boiled potato
assorted vegetables (optional)

Combine all ingredients and heat on stove for approx 5 minutes or in microwave for  1.5 minutes! Enjoy!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Fruity Trail Mix



What a fun snack to make! I really wanted something sweet, but healthy to munch on when the snacking hits. I also haven't brought out my dehydrator for a long time...much too long. So I thought why not make some trail mix! Okay here's what you do, head to your health food store into the bulk section and then...go Crazy!!!! Trail mix is so fun since you can put just about anything in it. I decided I wanted to dry my own fruit so my kids could be a part of it, so I dried some strawberries, bananas and blueberries! By the way I love dried strawberries!!! They are so good...too bad they take like 12 hours to finish, but they are worth it! I also wanted to challenge myself not to put chocolate in something, not that it's a bad thing, it's just I love to sneak chocolate into anything I can...so for my sweet item I found some yummy yogurt raisins (which my son is eating all of) and I think it fit perfect with my mix. This snack can be made it two minutes if you don't dry your own fruit...such fast, easy healthy snack!

Fruity Trail Mix
1 c raw cashews
1 c raw almonds
1 c unsalted peanuts
1 c craisins
1/2 c yogurt raisins
1/2 c sunflower nuts
dried strawberries (I used about 5 cut up)
1 dried banana, or banana chips

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix. Store in Tupperware or plastic bag!



Friday, June 1, 2012

"Cheezy" Chicken Enchiladas

I'm not a huge Mexican Food fan, but sometimes I just get that craving for some spiced up comfort food! I've always loved enchiladas, sometimes they can just be dripping in cheese so I don't always feel so hot after I've eaten them...so I thought up a tasty enchilada full of veggies and my cheesy sauce! I loved the result...so did the fam! My husband loves Mexican food so he's always happy when I get  my little cravings, he is my cheese man also and he really enjoyed these enchiladas. I had originally meant for them to be vegetarian, but I had some chicken in my fridge that I really needed to use so if your aiming for a vegetarian meal just take that chicken right out :)


"Cheezy" Chicken Enchiladas

2 c cooked cubed chicken
1/2 T coconut oil
1 can beans (I used kidney)
1 yellow bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 onion
1 1/2 c cooked brown rice
1 can enchilada sauce, divided
Emily's Cheeze Sauce (recipe link here)
Whole grain Tortillas (I had some yummy blue corn and flax tortillas)

Heat coconut oil in skillet add chicken, brown on both sides, cut up into cubes and cook until cooked through. Add vegetables, beans, rice and 1/4 can enchilada sauce. Simmer mixture on low in skillet. Meanwhile make cheeze sauce in the blender, add 1/3 cheeze sauce to skillet mixture. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place tortillas in baking dish. Fill each tortilla with desired amount and roll closed. Top all tortillas with remaining enchilada sauce and cheeze sauce. Cover and bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve with salad and corn! Enjoy