Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hearty Green Smoothie

I just made this Hearty Green Smoothie this morning and I thought it was great.  I liked that it is a little more well rounded than my usual green smoothie in the morning.  It has spinach, a carrot, oats, almonds, a banana and an apple.  I thought it was much better colder, but maybe that's a personal preference.  I'll probably do frozen fruit next time so it's cold enough right when I make it, but for now, I just made a big batch and put it in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!

Here's a bad cell phone pic of mine, but there's a much better one on their site.  It really is green, not radioactive yellow. :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Hi All,

Ashlee asked me awhile ago to review a book I had read and I'm just getting around to it.  It's called Your Body's Many Cries for Water; you're not sick you're thirsty! and was recommended by an alternative Dr. we have been working with.  The book is not very well written.  He is obviously a physician and not a trained, professional writer.  It reads more like a medical journal in certain places and the content jumps all over the map within each chapter.  The ideas and content of the book was very good, however. Hopefully I can share a little bit about it here.

He reminds me a lot of Dr. Fuhrman in that he has practiced all of his ideas on thousands of his own patients and found great results, but is not taken very seriously by many in the medical profession.  But he claims that so many of diseases and sicknesses that we live with or medicate is due to chronic dehydration: Morning sickness, headaches/migraines, Type II diabetes, alzheimers, peptic name it, he lists it.

It all makes sense to me.  We all know that we are chronically dehydrated people and water should be the first defense.  He does say that once you have symptoms, you can't just "drown it".  You can't just down 64 oz. of water in one hour and expect that to take care of the problem.  You should have it 8 oz. at a time and keep it constantly in your body.  He suggests having 8 oz. when you wake up, at least 1/2 hour before you eat, 2-2 and 1/2 hours after you eat and before bed.  The reason being is that your body can only take in so much water at a time and the rest just leaves the body if you take in too much at a time.  Not that it would hurt to drink more water than less, but you do need to make sure that you consistently and periodically take in 8 oz. glasses throughout the day.  He did a study where he gave 2 glasses of water to someone at the same time and it didn't help the body as much as if you took those 2 glasses of water and spread them out in an hours time.

You've all heard that by the time you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated.  He says it this way: If your body is lacking water, then your most vital organs/functions are going to get the water first at the expense of other organs/functions that aren't as crucial.  The last place you should feel the lack of water in your body is in your mouth.  Your body is designed so that even if the rest of your body doesn't have water, your mouth does, so that you have saliva to break down the food that you eat.  So if your mouth is dry (as it constantly is for people in old age), not only are you lacking water, but it's a clear symptom that nothing else in your body has the water it needs either.

Your brain is mostly water, so there are obviously problems with not having enough water for your brain.  Mucus is also mostly water and helps the body get the bad bacteria/virus/whatever out of your body, so especially if you are sick, you need more water.  I was diligent about this last time I got sick and I think it helped a lot.

As far as the type of water, he says that tap water is best.  He says it's even better than bottled water because you usually always have access to tap water and most people can't afford to drink that much bottled water every single day.  He says if you fill a pitcher up with tap water and let it stand on the counter for an hour or so, a lot of the chlorine and junk in regular tap water evaporates and then it will taste pretty good.  Or you can use a Brita pitcher or something else.

Although this isn't talked about in the book, I know there are a lot of people who swear by alkaline water.  People say that drinking alkaline water does as much for your body as eating raw 100% of the time.  I don't know how accurate that is, but it definitely does help.  The less acid you have in your body, the less calcium is leached out of your bones, etc. to neutralize the acid.  The problem:  You have to buy an expensive water machine to make it, or pay someone who has a machine.  We have a friend that has one and we've gotten some from her before.  She swears by it, and so does our alternative Dr. we have been working with.  His main practice is in Kansas, so we don't have access to it, but he lets his patients just come in with water jugs and get as much water as they want from it because it's so beneficial in his opinion.

I am not sure that I believe that water is the only answer to some of the bigger health problems he lists, but I do think that if we treat ourselves with water first, we won't need as many treatments and medicines.  I know I feel much better when I am diligent about drinking small amounts of water all throughout the day than when I am not as good about it.

I hope that's what you wanted to know, Ash!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Healthy French Fries

Jocelyn kept begging for french fries the other day so I found a better option here.  I don't know that I would totally consider this a health food but compared to the alternative, I felt better about it, and they were delicious!  Next time I am making sweet potato fries...mmmmm

Yummy Breakfast

I followed these instructions and had a great breakfast of oatmeal with sunbutter drizzled with agave the other day! Jocelyn loved it too.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Follow up on Probiotics

So, Cory loves the Good Belly stuff, but it has the equivalent of a multi-vitamin in it, so with being pregnant and already taking a prenatal, he got me the Big Shot (also Good Belly) which has no added vitamins/supplement.  Also, coincidentally it is THE NASTIEST thing I have tasted, and I'm sure part of it is just me being pregnant.  So he went off to find another one for me and found Nature's Life Acidophilus in Berry Blast... it's delicious (for a probiotic) and you only have to have 1 Tbsp. a day.  And I put it in Jocelyn's Happy Shakes and/or Almond milk and she doesn't know the difference.  Just FYI...

Pineapple Banana Sorbet

This is from the recipe section of Disease Proof Your Child.  We made it last night and it was fantastic!  On top of that... it's just fruit!  Woohoo!  I'm thinking this would make some good popsicles too.

1 frozen banana

1 (4 oz.) can of pineapple (drained), or fresh pineapple

Blend in blender until it's the texture you want and serve immediately.

Interesting Articles

Just thought I'd share some interesting blogs/articles that I have read recently.

7 Dangerous Food Additives to Avoid

5 Misleading Food Label Claims I know we're all smart, but these are good reminders.  The "All Natural" thing just bugs me.  What is natural about butter granules?  Just sayin...

Is Sugar Toxic?

Surprising sources of MSG

Food Coloring and Kids

What Happens to Your Body an Hour after Drinking Coke I'm sure we all don't drink coke, but even if you don't read the article, click on the link it has for the sponsors of the American Dietetic Association...yikes.  Don't worry about that at all...

Also, I found a great vegan blog that has some great stuff I'm going to be trying out next week, and let you know if it's worth trying!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Caribbean Pumpkin Soup

I made this soup today for lunch from the Green Shakes and Giggles blog.  I thought it was good especially if you're sick of just plain old black bean soup, but nothing sensational.  Just a good staple recipe...except that it could be that I made a few substitutions.  I didn't have chipotle chile (I used regular chili powder) or yellow pepper or coconut milk (I used almond milk-hardly interchangeable, I know).  It's probably sensational made the way it's supposed to be made, but It was definitely good enough to make again, substitutions and all.  I liked the lime flavor.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Busy moms

We are all working moms whether we work outside the home or not.  We all want to make everything from scratch to have our kids eat the healthiest foods possible, but sometimes life gets in the way.  I gotta say, since I am in the middle of show week and working on finals and grading, etc. I am becoming more grateful for companies that make healthy pre-packaged food so that we can keep up our healthy lifestyle but be able to have time to do what we have to do.

  • My mom introduced Gogurt to Jocelyn, and she begs for it.  I've never bought it because, quite honestly, that blue color does not come out of nature, but I found these Simply Gogurts at the store yesterday.  They're not perfect, but I feel a lot better about them than the traditional Gogurts.  We are off dairy completely except anything that will give us probiotics, so we bought them and she had 3 for breakfast (she usually eats nothing for breakfast).

  • Also, have you seen Disney's new "line" of healthy foods?  Jocelyn saw "Pwincess Gwapies" (Princess Grapes) at the store yesterday and had to have them, and ate the entire bag before we got home.  I am so very very happy that there are now healthy options of foods with characters plastered all over them.  I don't love to give in to advertisements, but if it helps us eat healthy it's a win-win.  We have also bought the Donald Duck Orange Juice.  Jocelyn would never even touch Orange Juice before, because it was too "fi-cee" (spicy) and now she guzzles it.

  • Dole Mixed Fruit Cups in 100% real fruit juice.  She loves them and it's easy to take fruit on the go with us.

  • This isn't necessarily a specific item, but I love that I can afford organic granola and raw nuts and all that good stuff in the bulk bins at Winco.  

Here are just a few of my favorites lately, and I was wondering if any of you have some "go to" products that you feel good about buying for your families when you can't make everything?

More on Kefir

I found this interesting article on pro-biotics.  We have found that the pro-biotics in Kefir and Good Belly have really helped our family.  It has helped our immune systems and given us more energy and a better sense of feeling well.  Just thought I'd share.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Shepard's Pie

Shay, I thought your meat and potato man might like this. I got the original recipe from Betty Crocker's Easy Everyday Vegetarian which I checked out of the library this week. I tweaked it, and thought it was better :) So that's what I'm posting :)
Easy Shepard's Pie

2 cups chunky salsa

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup frozen green beans
(not in original recipe)
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
(about 1 1/2 cups)
1 can pinto or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
(original recipe calls for 2 cans kidney beans... I used pinto because it's what I had, but will stick with it I think)
Mashed Potatoes
(I had one large russet potato with about 6 small/med red potatoes- I peeled the russet but left skins on for the red. Boiled till tender, mashed with small amount of trans fat free margarine, rice milk, and smidge of salt and pepper- the original recipe calls for boxed potatoes- yuck! I love the taste of the slightly sweeter red potatoes, and I left the skins on for the added nutrition)

In a covered skillet cook salsa, corn, green beans, carrot and beans until carrots are tender stirring occasionally. (I added a tablespoonish of water). Place in casserole pan, top with mashed potatoes. Cover. Bake at 375 about 5 min until bubbly.

Not a terribly impressive meal, but we thought it was tasty :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sweet Lettuce Smoothie

Just thought you guys might like this green smoothie! My kids loved it. They asked for more and I was thinking, "You just DRANK A SALAD!!!" Parker told me it tasted "fresh".

Sweet Lettuce Smoothie
1 c green grapes
1 c romaine lettuce, chopped and washed
1/2 medium apple, halved
1 c ice cubes

Blend and enjoy!
Note: To have enough for me and the kids I made two batches, (there would have been enough room in the blender to just double it but I wanted to try it out before we went whole hog).

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Happy Shakes!!

Remember the Happy Shakes I told you about?  We got our package in the mail of all sorts of goodies so that we could make them.  I can't tell you how excited I was to receive this:

I got the Raw Greens powder from our Doctor's office, but the rest was from that site I emailed you about.  The little Orange packages are the sample packs for $2.50 so we could try them out before spending close to $20/pound for each.  We got samples of Maca Powder, Cacao Nibs, and dried Goji berries, and a pound each of cacao powder and bee pollen.

The final result didn't disappoint, either.  It's like chocolate soft serve ice cream with 4 cups of spinach, raw greens powder, maca powder, cacao powder, coconut oil, I put 4 kinds of frozen fruit in (peaches, raspberries, blueberries and bananas), and topped with bee pollen and cacao nibs.  I know it sounds cheesy, but it really does make me happy :).  We've been having this for breakfast every morning.  Even Jocelyn loves it!

Question for Emily or anyone else:  What do you think about giving Maca Powder and other superfoods to kids?  I have only read the beginning of "Superfoods" by David Wolfe and I've just done some internet research.  I'll still do my own research, but I wanted to know what you thought.  Some people think you shouldn't give it to kids, but there's no hormones in it, it just helps your body regulate hormones better, so I don't see what the harm is, but maybe I'm ignorant?

I started thinking about it, though, because she had a lot of my Happy Shake yesterday and she was an energizer bunny all day long.  I mean, she didn't even have any dips in energy, or tired moments all day long, to say nothing of not taking a nap.  Maybe it was something else, but I thought there might be a correlation and I got to wondering.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Burton Kale

Hey friendies... I was just wondering how many of you have greens on the side, and how you like to eat them? I am trying to serve a dark leafy green with every dinner. We try and vary the greens, and have a few favorites. Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts are easy go-to's, but we have been trying to branch out. Kale is the newest member of our family. I buy it at Walmart in this HUGIE HUGE bag, and it is already cut and washed which makes it easy. It seems to last well, and price wise totally comparable to buying a bunch, sometimes cheaper. This is our favorite way to eat it:

Burton Kale

Olive Oil
Tons of Kale- washed and chopped
Veggie Broth
Red Wine Vinegar
Italian Blend Mrs. Dash

I put about a tablespoon of the oil in, and heat it up. Next goes in the Kale - as much as I can stuff in the pan. Then I pour a bit of broth and vinegar over the greens, and season with Mrs. Dash. I put a lid on to steam it down a bit. I stir occasionally until it is the cook-edness that we like.

Anywhooooo... I would love any suggestions of how you do greens at your house. We do salads and stuff, but I don't like some of these heartier greens like Kale in salad. Too much for my teeth... and while my boys are awesome salad eaters, they won't do it either. Any ideas would be appreciated :)

One Success and One Failure

Let's go with the failure first... get that out of the way... This morning Aly and I decided to make zucchini bread. Yummm! But I wanted to incorporate all of our new goals so I couldn't use our standard recipe. I started by finding a no-sugar recipe HERE. Then I thought... okay how can fat-free-veganize it?!? So I used applesauce instead of oil, and a combo of baking powder/water for the eggs. IT WAS DISGUSTING! Like... WOW. So, so gross. Bummer!

Now here is my success story: Chocolate Pudding! Original Recipe HERE. It was quite tasty indeed. I doubled it with just a few adjustments... not too many... and it worked out great. Aly and I loved licking the spatula this morning, and I can't wait to serve it to the whole fam after dinner. It is chilling in the fridge right now in darling little ceramic bowls that are the perfect size! I have had these bowls forEVER, and never had a use for them. Now I do! The thing I am most excited about: Jack will eat it, I'm positive, and that is good because he has NOT liked avacados in normal form- on top of mexican recipes and whatnot- but I know he needs those good-for-you-fats! Okay enough chatter. Here's the recipe:

Vegan Chocolate-Avacado Pudding
(2 servings)

In a blender blend thoroughly:

1 peeled and pitted avacado

3 heaping tablespoons raw cacao
(I used normal cocoa powder because I had it on hand)
1/3 cup agave nectar (I think this must TOTALLY depend on avacado size. Mine were medium and I got away with less... plus also, since I was doubling, I did half agave, half honey... you could definitely taste the honey, but I didn't mind it)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
(I used kosher, and again- less)
2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup water
(I was tempted to use almond milk, but it didn't need it, it was VERY creamy)

Serve right away or chill for later :)

I thought her suggestion of using this as a fruit fondu was great. It would go with any kind of berry or banana or kiwi etc. beautifully! If you happen to try this Shay, I hope Jocelyn likes it! Maybe call it something different than pudding?!? To not associate it with the memories of the puddings she didn't like? I'm curious... did YOU like the puddings you made?