Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Coconut Snow Cream


This is just a really fun seasonal post. We got almost 4 inches of snow here in the Raleigh area, which only happens every few years. A girlfriend of mine asked for snow cream recipes. I thought that sounded like fun! (Original recipe by eatinginnately.com)

Here's my version:

4-5 Cups of Snow
1/4 Cup Organic Whole Coconut Milk
2-3 Tbsp Raw Local Honey or Coconut Nectar
1 Tsp Organic Vanilla or Almond Extract 
1/4 Tsp Ground Ceylon Cinnamon-(optional; really good)

Directions:

Whisk everything in a separate bowl except for the snow. 


Then mix with the snow. 


Enjoy it! 

Eating Healthy On The Go


So I'm a single homeschooling mom, I'm running a health counseling business, I'm making and selling body care, plus I work  part time at a small health food store. I think it's fair to say that I'm busy. 

I love my life and all that I'm doing. It sure takes a lot of healthy fuel to keep me going though. In order to go at this hectic pace, I also need to make time to slow down. Guess what...I have great energy, but I'm not super woman. I need to rest and so do you. I really try to get in bed by no later than 9-9:30pm. I don't always succeed, but I'm mostly consistent. I'm an early riser, and true sleep is important.

I often wish I had two of me and that there were two extra hours stuck in the morning somewhere, but that's not the case. Getting good rest makes a huge difference. Guard your sleep time.

So back to the fuel, you might ask, what are you eating? The answer is I'm eating as simply as possible. I thought I'd give you a list of foods to have prepared or just ready produce so you can just grab them or foods easily warmed.

Foods to Prepare

Cook 2-3 cups of brown rice each week to use for just sides, to throw in soups, and to make veggie patties.

Make 2-3 cups of quinoa to have on hand to throw in salads or soups, for veggies patties, or bars.

Soak and cook 2 cups beans and legumes, alternate kinds each week to use for different dishes, throw them in salad, soup, tacos, or purée them for homemade refried beans. They are inexpensive and full of fiber.

Take the time 1-2 times a month to keep homemade organic chicken stock in the fridge. Really the nutritional benefits are immense, and you can make a quick soup if it's ready as well as cook veggies or grains in it. Then use the chicken meat...won't use it all in one week? Freeze some and take it out later.

Bake 6-8 sweet potatoes weekly. You would believe how these come in handy! They are awesome just to grab to warm up at work and eat. You can also mash the flesh though for various recipes. Leave a few unbaked too for roasting or sautéing.

Hard boil around 8-10 eggs and you will have a portable meal. There is super nutrition in farm fresh free range eggs. 

Prepare a pot of soup each week in the winter. Soup is wonderfully portable in a thermos. 

Having muffins and breakfast bars made and keeping them in the freezer is huge! Find a recipe you like and be diligent to make it. Make the toaster oven your friend with these.

Homemade trail mix is awesome. I keep washable snack bags available to fill with my own variety of trail mix.

Produce I Keep Around

Slice up organic carrots. If they are ready you can just eat them as is, roast or sauté them, throw into soup, or lightly steam them. Kids love carrots!

Chop up a head of broccoli and keep it ready. No time to make a salad? Grab some broccoli and home dressing, toss it in a mason jar along with a hard boiled egg-score! This makes for easy steaming too.

Chopped kale is a life saver. I get mine at the farmers market, 3 big bags for $5. It's not pre-chopped, of course I have to do it, but this superfood is worth it. Throw it in smoothies, soups, veggie patties, sautes, and of course salads. 

Grab a ripe avocado and a spoon as you run out the door! Seriously, it's full of healthy fat, fiber, and protein; the things are perfect. 

Organic apples are wonderful for snacking and chopping up for salads.

Always have plenty of onions, green onions, and garlic cloves around. They don't cost much and add tremendous flavor.

Prepared Foods/Condiments I Like To Have On Hand

Trader Joes or Kirkland Brand Organic Peanut Butter
Raw Almond Butter
Sunflower Seed Butter
Ziyad Tahini
Organic Maple Syrup
Coconut Sugar
Himalayan and Celtic Salts
Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos
Coconut Secret Coconut Nectar
Y & S Raw Honey
Local Raw Unfiltered Honey
Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
Bionutrae Organic Strained Tomatoes
Jar or Two of 365 or Eden
Organic Apple Sauce
Native Forest Whole Canned Organic Coconut Milk
Spices: Ground Organic Garlic, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Ginger, Chili, Cardamom
Dried Herbs: Organic Black Pepper, Basil, Oregano, Dill, Rosemary, Minced Onion, Parsley

Nuts/Seeds/Dried Foods

Raw Cashews
Raw Almonds
Raw Sesame Seeds
Raw Pecans
Raw Walnuts
Raw Pumpkin Seeds
Medjool Dates
Raisins
Hempseeds
Flaxseeds
Chia Seeds
Sulfur-free Sundried Tomatoes Not In Oil
Quinoa
Brown Rice
Organic Brown Rice Pasta
Goji Berries
Shredded Organic Unsweetened Coconut (Flakes too)
Almond Meal
Cashew Meal

So there is a peek into my pantry and refrigerator. I hope the prepared food ideas were helpful. Be healthy, be blessed, be a good steward!

5 Things To Do With Quinoa (3)


I'm sure if you're anything like me you're busy and sometimes all you have time to eat is something you can grab as you're running out the door. So whatever it may be it had better be quick, easy, portable, and healthy.

Quinoa is packed with protein, fiber, and calcium. That makes it a super choice for breakfast! While it may not be the first food that comes to mind, I think you'll really enjoy the following recipe for breakfast bars.

Quinoa Breakfast Bars (Makes 6 bars; double it easily)

Ingredients:

1/2 C Chickpea Flour 
1 Cup Quinoa, cooked
1 Cup Traditional GF Oats
1/2 Cup Raw Walnuts, chopped
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1 Tbsp Ground Flaxseed
1/2 Cup Organic Creamy Peanut Butter
1/3 Cup Coconut Nectar or Organic Maple Syrup
1 Egg
1/2 Cup Mashed Sweet Potato
1 Tsp Organic Vanilla Extract

Directions:

Mix all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Grease an 8x8 dish with coconut oil. Press mixture into dish. Bake on 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Let them cool, slice, and serve. 

*Make a double to quadruple batch, slice them into individual pieces, and freeze them.

Be healthy, be blessed, and be a good steward!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

5 Things To Do With Quinoa (2)


Yum, yum, yum....Here we are again talking about the wonderful, versatile, and yet simple quinoa! Today I have your second recipe for you. I think you will truly enjoy this one.

Are you following a Paleo diet right now? Do you love Italian cooking? Did you think you'd never have Italian again? I'm here to debunk that myth with a little twist from quinoa.

Whether you are eating Paleo or vegan this recipe will suit you. Outside of a salad those two eating types do not usually coincide. This recipe will allow you to bring all of your friends to the table for the main dish. Just make some grass fed meatballs on the side for the Paleo lovers :)

This is my version of lasagna. Yes, that's right, lasagna. No, it won't be your traditional with lots of cheese, although if you are not a strict Paleo follower you could totally throw cheese in this dish as well as if you are a Lacto-vegetarian. If you do that though, you might not stop eating...that's really tasty!

Quinoa Lasagna
Tip: If you know when you are going to make this, you could could your quinoa a day or two in advance to save time. Depending on the sized dish you use will dictate how much quinoa you need to cook as well as veggies. You can always lessen this amount. I'm using a 9x12 dish, so consider your dish size. In fact your veggies can be cooked a day before as well.

Here is a link on how to cook quinoa.

Ingredients:
  • 8 C Quinoa, cooked (you will be layering with this hence why you need so much, so cook about 4 cups of dry quinoa)
  • 64oz Favorite Tomato Sauce, yours or someone else's (about 2 jars, maybe get 1 more just in case you like more sauce)
  • 2/3 Cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 Small Eggplant, chopped
  • 1-2 Onions, chopped
  • 4 Fresh Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2-3 Zucchini
  • 1/3 Cup Coconut Aminos or Tamari
  • 2-3 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 3 Tbsp Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil

*Note: Paleo or Ovo-Vegetarians, adding two eggs mixed into the quinoa with the sauce will yield a firmer consistency out of the oven.

Directions:
  • Cook your quinoa in a huge pot, 2 if you need to do so.
  • While quinoa is cooking, chop your veggies. I always leave my eggplant skin on, but feel free to remove it. 
  • Chop the into small to medium sized pieces.The veggies are like your filling.
  • Sauté veggies till nice and soft in the coconut oil. Add more oil if needed. Add the garlic powder. When the veggies seem soft enough add the coconut aminos. This will flavor them nicely.
  • Mix the nutritional yeast with your sauce in a bowl really well. I don't heat my sauce first, you can, but there's really no need. 
  • Once your quinoa is ready mix about 1 C of sauce with about 2 1/2 C of quinoa. (You can potentially mix all of the quinoa and sauce together now to save time or you can mix as you go. If you find you don't need as much quinoa to cover the bottom of your dish, you will have plain leftovers to do with what you wish. If you happen to have leftovers mixed with the sauce you can easily throw that into a pan with a little extra sauce if needed and veggies or organic chicken for another meal.)
  • Spread this on the dish fairly flat.
  • Spread a layer of veggies on top of the quinoa.
  • Repeat on top of the veggies with a layer of quinoa. 
  • Repeat on top of quinoa with a layer of veggies.
  • Repeat once more on top of veggies with a layer of quinoa. With this final layer of quinoa feel free to add some more sauce to spread on top.

*Option: Sprinkle Vegan Parmesan cheese on top, see how to make it here!

Cook Time
Bake your lasagna on 350 F for 30-35 minutes. I don't ever cover anything, because I don't use tin foil due to the aluminum. You can totally cover this if you want to though.

Hope you enjoy it! Be healthy, be blessed, and be a good steward!



Saturday, January 11, 2014

Quick Vegan Sprinkle Cheese (Parmesan)


Yes, I know, I know, it's not really cheese, certainly not Parmesan, if it's not made from milk. Nonetheless there are those of us who either don't eat animal milk products at all, are going vegan for a cleanse, or shoot just plain ran out of cheese and are too lazy to go to the market.

You can use almost any raw nut for this recipe. The key is to not over process, unless you want a nut butter. A food processor or high speed blender is needed. I don't think Mom's Oster from 1973 is going to cut it. You can get a good food processor at the thrift shop. If you don't have one, please do yourself a favor.

You can use this on gluten free or regular pasta, veggies, or popcorn.

Here's a quick flick on how to make it below.



Vegan Sprinkle Cheese Recipe

Ingredients:
1/2 C Raw Walnuts (I suggest soaked and dried to increase enzymes)
1/4 C Nutritional Yeast
1/2 Tsp Celtic or Himalayan Salt

Directions:
Put everything into the processor. Process until it looks ground. *Remember not to do it too much though. Then that's all she wrote folks!

It tastes good, try it! Tell me if you experiment with different nuts, and which ones you like better. You can try raw almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, or macadamia nuts. Get creative and add other herbs and spices like turmeric, garlic, or rosemary. Be healthy, be blessed, and be a good steward!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

5 Things to Do with Quinoa (1)



So it's not exactly new on the health scene anymore, nonetheless I will probably never stop blogging about my favorite pseudo grain, really seed, quinoa. Pronounced KEEN-WAH, is a lovely versatile "complete" plant protein, used widely in Peruvian cooking, that passes the test! It's full of fiber, protein, minerals, tastes good, is gluten free, has a pleasant texture, is easy to digest, simple to cook, and is becoming easier and easier to find in your local markets. I buy mine at Costco.

So what I've heard so many people say about many health foods or new things to them is they will run out and buy whatever it is, but then they let it sit there because they have no idea what to do with it. This post and the following four will hopefully alleviate that problem with quinoa.

Cooking
Rinse your quinoa before cooking if it has not be pre-rinsed. Read about why here. I always cook two cups at a time. Use 11/2-2 cups of water per cup of quinoa. So if you cook 2 cups use 3 1/2-4 cups of water. To cook: put the water and quinoa in a pot together uncovered. Bring to a boil, turn down to low heat, and put a lid on it. Sir it some. When the quinoa looks soft and you can see little circles that seem to have separated from the seed, it's ready! Cook time is about 10-12 minutes.


Once you've cooked your quinoa you are in business to use it however you'd like! I'll be giving you a new recipe in each blog post! I'll place a reminder of how to cook it each time as well. Try this recipe below!

Sweet Potato Quinoa Porridge
This is an excellent breakfast, but can be eaten anytime!
Ingredients:

1 Cup Quinoa, cooked
1 Cup Sweet Potato Purée or Mash
Pinch Celtic Sea Salt
1/2 Cup Whole Organic Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1-2 Tbsp Organic Maple Syrup or Raw Honey
Crushed and Whole Raw Pecans or Walnuts (as much as desired)
1/2 Tsp Organic Ground Ceylon Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Organic Ground Ginger
1 Tsp Ground Flaxseed
1 Tbsp Organic Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

Directions:

Put the first 4 ingredients in a pot and warm on low to medium while stirring until as warm as you'd like it. Mix everything else with warmed mixture in a bowl. Thoroughly enjoy! Double or triple as needed. Feel free to mix other things in there like chia seeds or maca powder.


Tell me if you try this recipe! Be healthy, be blessed, be a good steward! 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

How are You Snoozing at Night?


Sleep, it is so neglected and so underestimated as a vital nutrient in a class of its own. Consistent, quality rest is infinitely important for over all well being, good health, and emotions. Sleep amounts dictate whether or not you eat right, eat enough or too much, as well as what foods you choose. Lack of sleep can lead to brain fog, depression, weight gain, hormone imbalance, negative stress, and depleted immunity. 

This might sound funny, but adults need to give themselves a bed time. Get to know your body.Figure out the number of hours you comfortably need to be a productive member of society. Be resolute about sticking to it as well. The television, computer, and wireless device will survive if they are not used past 9pm. In fact the nine o'clock hour is a great time to start winding down. If you have children that are young enough to be tucked in, then try to do so around 8:30pm. You and your body seriously need the rest and downtime so you will like your family in the morning :)

I realize nursing mothers and people who work nights are at a disadvantage. Regardless do the best you can. If you can ever avoid a job during the night time hours, do so. Working nights is terrible for the body. We were created to rise and set with the sun. I realize the sun has started to go down way before 9pm. Considering our busy lives, and the fact that we do have electricity, 9pm is a good compromise.

Here are some tips to help get to support a good night's rest:

1) Don't eat past 7pm if possible; eating late causes the digestive tract to work over time and doesn't allow the body to rest and achieve the deep sleep that is necessary

2) Utilize genuine essential oils; apply lemongrass topically on the front of the neck with a carrier oil in the morning. Try lavender around the neck, back, and shoulders at night, combine in a dark glass spray bottle with distiller water and spray on bed linens, or diffuse it (when applying essential oils topically use a carrier oil like organic unrefined coconut oil); getting a loved one to do the topical application along with massage is a wonderful way to ease your mind and body at night as well.They are many choices.

 3) Get a magnesium chloride spray. Many people are magnesium deficient. You can tell if you are unable to sleep on a regular basis, you have low vitamin D levels, you don't eat a high plant based daily diet, feel foggy brained, and get muscle cramp, especially in the legs. A magnesium chloride spray is an easy, safe way to add magnesium topically. Spray it on your tummy and legs every night. This is safe for young children and adults.

4) Drink a cup of herbal tea with relaxing properties like lemon balm (Melissa); be sure to let it steep for 4-5 minutes

5) Find safe, useful, natural supplements that encourage the body to be balanced by nourishing the adrenal glands; my two favorite are holy basil (tulsi) and Ashwagandha; these are amazing adaptogenic herbs that help the body deal with emotional, phsyical, environmental, and mental stress, amounts for each person differ

6) Re-evaluate the mattress you are sleeping on, most mattresses have a lifespan of 8-10 years, they are also full of toxic chemicals, which unfortunately you breathe in everyday, consider making or purchasing an organic mattress

7) Don't use electronic devices or watch television just before bed, I know that's challenging for those of us working, nonetheless they are over stimulating for the brain; keep televisions out of the bedroom

8) Journal about your day, often times physically writing down your thoughts of the day, hopes, dreams, and discouragement is like pressing the delete button on the computer and it helps to relax the mind

9) Pray, talking to God before you sleep is a great way to end your day



Got Glutened?


So everyone these days seems to be going gluten free (GF) for one reason or another. There are lots of great reasons to make this decision. I'd like to discuss why this is a good choice in today's day and age, how to do it properly, and what to do if you get what's called, "Glutened" after going GF.

First let me say that it is my personal belief that God did not create us with food allergies or intolerances. Gluten is not the bad guy. I firmly believe these issues stem from the state of affairs of our food system. Over hybridization, genetic altering and modifications, processing, pasteurization, homogenization, the use of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, along with improper crop rotation, diversity, and "rest" for the fields, we have created a monster.

The other problem is all of the fake food or food like products getting passed off as healthy...and the hugest detriment is we spend our money on these science projects.

What is Gluten
Gluten is the protein in several grains. . You can be sure you have gluten if you are eating wheat, kamut, spelt, rye, barley, farrah, semolina, and couscous. Lots of food are mixed with foods that contain gluten. Wheat is brushed, sprayed, and mixed on naturally GF foods as well. You must read labels and know what to look for on it. 

The traditional wheat Jesus ate is gone. Due to man made changes to the plant the gluten count, according to doctor and author William Davis, the gluten count went from 5% to over 50%! That's an incredible amount of protein. It is extremely abrasive to the digestive tract. This cause great inflammation through the entire body.

Reasons Why
Perhaps you've recently discovered through tests that you have the auto-immune disorder called Celiac Disease. In this case, run don't walk to your kitchen and do a "clean out" of all foods with gluten. 

Maybe you have not tested positive for Celiac, yet you notice a direct intolerance due to foods with gluten due to gut issues present like Crohn's disease, colitis, gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, Candida, or chronic unidentified stomach pain like diarrhea or nausea.

Perhaps you have symptoms like chronic migraines, foggy brain, memory issues, depression, excess weight you can't lose, acne, or excema. Yes, these can and are caused by sensitivities to gluten. I am a walking testimony to it. 

Have arthritis or joint pain? Gluten is exacerbating the pain and making it worse.

Consider Going GF
If you haven't experienced any of the symptoms I've mentioned, consider yourself blessed. Why allow the possibility of them popping up in the future though? If you are certain that you are perfectly fine and healthy, might I encourage you to eat a wide variety of foods, eat much less foods with gluten (veggies and fruits are all GF), and if at all possible become wheat free. As mentioned early wheat is not what it once was and it confuses the body by being an overload. 

Other grains containing gluten are not as processed or changed. For anyone intolerant though, it's best to remove all gluten because the body's immune response is now in over-react mode.

When the health of our intestines has been compromised, our over all health and wellness is headed for a quick decline. Our immunity is all in our gut. Healing the gut takes time to do. It is not an overnight process. Hear me: prescription medication cannot heal your digestive system. Only the consistent use 
of real, organic, gluten free foods and certain natural supplements along with periodic fasting will give it life again. 

Too much stress can also irritate the gut. Being sure to manage your stress with purposeful action will be exceedingly beneficial.

Got Glutened?
Okay so perhaps you've gone GF for a while. Then it happens, you've eaten some food with gluten whether it's on purpose or not, you aren't feeling so good. Getting "glutened" is the term used for that circumstance. This is real and don't let anyone tell you it's not a real condition.

When I get glutened, I feel foggy brained, sharp pains in my stomach or nauseas, and very lethargic. Some people might vomit, have diarrhea, or break out with a bout of acne. I avoid it as much as possible of course, but it happens sometimes. 

Ways to Avoid Getting Glutened
Make food at home.
Look for certified gluten free items.
Don't purchase much pre-packed GF foods like bars and snacks; these are USUALLY, not always, but usually junk.
Beware of bulk bins in grocery stores; cross contamination happens easily.
Avoid most GF store bought breads, they aren't the cleanest and tend to have genetically modified ingredients.
Look for complete GF restaurants. 
If you can't find a GF restaurant, look for GF friendly places that really are GF friendly. A GF menu doesn't stop cross contamination.
Take a high quality protease enzyme like Enzymedica Glutenese every time right before eating at a restaurant or even someone's house. It will help the body break down the rogue gluten that wound up on your plate.

What to Do If You Get Glutened
Drink lots of filtered water to flush the body.
Another good drink for flushing would be dandelion tea.
Chew some raw ginger, if it's available, a little bit at a time for a few hours. This will help ease the inflammation. Otherwise carry organic ginger capsules with you for such an occasion. Himalaya is a good brand. Health food stores have it.
Take some bentonite clay liquid to help flush the gluten from your system. Health food stores should carry it.
If you forgot to take a protease enzyme, take one now, it still may help. 
Drink a smoothie with papaya and the pineapple stem. These fruits have awesome enzymes that will also help ease the distress.
Rest, your body needs to recouperate.

Join me next time when I talk about where else gluten is hiding. Got questions? Ask me below. I'm 100% GF and currently taking health counseling clients who want to do the same. Be healthy, be blessed, be a good steward!