eat, drink and shrink with healthy substitutions!

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These lovely substitutions are courtesy of Picklee.com!  Check out her website, you’ll love all her inspirations!

sick and tired of being sick and tired?

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Most of the foods we eat are obviously not good for you……no matter how good they taste.  Especially all these fun treats we have around the holidays!  These foods include sugar, trans fats, dairy products, fried foods, junk foods, carbonated drinks….oh the list goes on and on.

Turns out, when we eat these foods, we can’t stop – and that’s when we overeat and just never feel fully satisfied.

Why?

The reason  we feel tired, sluggish and bloated (but not satisfied) is because we are not getting enough nutrients from the foods we are eating!  We are filling ourselves with low-nutrient food and lots of chemicals.  Our digestive system is working overtime to process these foods and in the meantime, they have decided to stick around….for days…..undigested.  Ick.

Sugar, put down the sugar!!!

sugar-addiction

Says Dr. Oz, in his book, You on a Diet, “Simple sugars create a rebounding effect.  You’re feeling blah, so you eat a 3 Musketeers.  That sugar surge works like an electrical jolt, and you instantly feel more energy.  But less than two hours later, that energy surge (in the form of elevated blood sugar levels ) plummets, and then you feel blah again.  Your conclusion?  You must need another Musketeer!  That rebound effect can put your body in biological turmoil, where you eat to feel better, though what you’re eating is actually making you feel sluggish, so you swirl and swirl around, always feeling like you need to eat.”

What’s a person to do???

  • Eat a little fat 20 minutes before your meal (70 calories or so like 6 walnuts, or 12 almonds)
  • Fill up on fiber in the A.M. (think oatmeal, cereal, whole grains and fruit)
  • Change your plate (try using a smaller or kid’s version of a plate for smaller portions)
  • Slow down, turbo (take your time, put down your fork and chew, chew, chew)
  • Get spicy (add a little hot pepper or salsa to your food to increase your metabolism)

Start simple by eating a large salad.  Nix the croutons, heavy dressing and cheese.  Have fruit for a pick-me-up snack.  Add more veggies to your dinner, drink lots of water and YOU, my friend, are on your way to a healthier, happier YOU!

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gorgeous gogi berries….

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Pretty, huh?  The Tibetan School of Medicine has been growing this superfood for 2500 years!

But you don’t have to go to Tibet to try this little gem.  American gogi berries are grown mostly in the southwest deserts (AZ, CA, CO, UT, NM, TX) with a few grown in Mexico and South America.

These little beauts can really pack a punch!  They are known to:

  • boost immune function
  • increase alkalinity and vitality
  • protect your liver
  • improve your eyesight
  • improve your blood quality…..and more!

If you want to live for a loooong time, and actually feel good, then this superfood is for you.  It’s even been nicknamed “the longevity fruit” or even better, “little red diamonds“.    Enough said.  I’m in.

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The gogi berry tastes kind of like a cherry and a cranberry got married and had wrinkled baby berries.  Be sure and look for organic berries that haven’t been sprayed with the pesticides that those of us in the ’60’s played in…..(if you are from the south you will remember the ‘mosquito’ trucks that drove around while we ran and played in the “mist”….sigh).

Gogi berries can be soaked and rehydrated in water that you can use for your base in your smoothie!  It’s easy!  Take about 1/2 cup of berries and soak in 3 cups of pure water.  Soak for about 2-4 hours.  Strain and add handful of berries and 1 cup of remaining gogi water, a tablespoon of agave syrup or honey and 1/4 – 1/2 tsp vanilla.  BLEND and dance.  You might want to add some cacao powder to the mix.  Feel free to mess around with the ingredients until you find the flavor you like best!

Gogi berries can also be added to cacao nibs, dried fruits, nuts and seeds to make a SUPER trail mix!  Have fun…but not just any fun….have a gogi day!

Spirulina, the Protein Queen…..a crowning achievement…

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Spirulina….a lovely algae, no?  The Aztecs knew what was up, back in the 16th century and were known to mix it with chocolate.  Chocolate, people.  I’m already on board.

This is one bad (as in good) protein and here is why:

  • It contains the highest concentration of protein (by weight) of any food known.
  • Spirulina is the richest beta carotene food
  • It is the highest source of B12
  • A disease fighter
  • A blood builder
  • An immune system booster

Unlike animal foods, (which day by day I am talking myself out of) Spirulina is a pure, raw source of protein.  It does not have to be cooked and in fact, never should be cooked.  Yay!  Less cooking!

It is readily absorbed and can be easily blended into your favorite beverage, such as a smoothie, or juice.

Spirulina-Powder

According to herb wisdom, “every 10 grams of spirulina can supply up to 70% of the minimum daily requirements for iron, and about three to four times of minimum daily requirements for vitamins A (in the form of beta carotene), B complex, D,and K. By itself, it does not contain vitamin C, but it helps maintain this vitamin’s potency.

Spirulina is rich in gamma-linolenic acid or GLA, a compound found in breast milk that helps develop healthier babies. Moreover, with its high digestibility, spirulina has been proven to fight malnutrition in impoverished communities by helping the body absorb nutrients when it has lost its ability to absorb normal forms of food.

Another health benefit of spirulina is that it stimulates beneficial flora like lactobacillus and bifidobacteria in your digestive tract to promote healthy digestion and proper bowel function. It acts as a natural cleanser by eliminating mercury and other deadly toxins commonly ingested by the body.”

Ok, so let’s get down to taste.  It is a deep green, slightly blue dry algae powder.  Have you ever been in a bait store?  You know, with your grandpa to go fishing…..well, it sorta smells like that.  Fish. In a wet sock. 

You want to be sure that it has a ‘fresh’ smell.  I’ve heard that bad spirulina smells sour or rancid.  Now that, my friends will be hard to tell.  You should speak to a qualified person at your health-food store….and not the temporary Christmas help….you are going to want good quality spirulina.  Or a better option is to check out David Wolfe and read about his incredible knowledge when it comes to superfoods and nutrition.  You will be ASSURED to get the best quality, organic superfoods!  The website will tell you where you can purchase his products or you can go straight to http://www.longevitywarehouse.com/

Look for it to be sold like this:

  • powder (dried)
  • powder (with lecithin)
  • tablets (what I take…with orange juice to get ’em down)
  • protein powder products
  • blue pigment extracts
  • raw spirulina chocolate bars and spirulina energy bars

I usually add spirulina to my smoothies to mask the taste, when I am using the powder.   I am throwing spinach, kale, blueberries, acai berries, raspberries, banana, and cacao nibs in my blender.  A little spirulina tossed in cannot be tasted….just don’t obsess over it and think of the fabulous benefits!

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So…. what do you put this Grey Poupon?

 Well, yum!!  Remember the commercials?  Ok, if you are in an age bracket that rhymes with schmifty or above….(not necessarily my age…ahem…)…then you remember the two limousine’s pulling up next to each other and asking for some Grey Poupon….but of course! If you are not schmifty or above, then nevermind.

Hey, some fan-freaking-tastic recipes can be made with this magical mustard!

Herb Roasted Potatoes (via)

  • 1/3 cup Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 6 medium red skin potatoes (about 2 pounds), cut into chunks

directions

Mix all ingredients except potatoes in small bowl. Place potatoes in lightly greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan or on shallow baking sheet; toss with mustard mixture. Bake at 425° for 35 to 40 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender, stirring occasionally.

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Delish Mustard Dressing

2 Tablespoons stone ground Dijon Mustard

2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Agave Nectar

Mix all ingredients in small mason jar.  Shake like your life depends on it.  Pour over your favorite salad.

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 Chicken Dijon (via)

2 Tbsp.  GREY POUPON Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp.  water
1/2 tsp.  garlic powder
1/4 tsp.  Italian seasoning
4 small  boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
HEAT oven to 375°F.  Mix mustard, water and seasonings.PLACE chicken in shallow pan; brush with mustard mixture.BAKE 20 min. or until chicken is done

Cacao! Cacao! (not a bird call)

Ahhh….the lovely cacao nut.  It’s latin name, Theobroma cacao, means “food of the gods”.  And why shouldn’t it be called that!!  Did you know that all chocolate is made from cacao beans (aka Cocoa beans)?

Those crazy Mayans even used cacao for currency!  Crazy Mayans.

Cacao offers cardiovascular benefits and cancer protection, and also helps lower cholesterol.  Raw cacao has a higher antioxidant rating than blueberries, acai, and even goji berries. It really is a superfood! 

Here’s the cool part….there is no cacao season.  Chocolate is always in season!  Wooo hoooo!!  Cacao trees trees grow in the shade, mostly in Central  and South America and Southern Mexico.  Their flowers have five petals with a lightly scented, pale, mushroom like growths which grow straight out of the trunk or large branches.

Did you know that you can purchase cacao trees from the internet and place them in a greenhouse?  They’ll be lovin’ them some humidity….just like the crazy Mayans!

What’s in it for me?

  • antioxidants
  • magnesium
  • iron
  • chromium
  • manganese
  • zinc
  • copper
  • vitamin C
  • omega-6 fatty acids

How do I use it? (via)

  • Purchase raw cacao products (beans, nibs, powder, butter) and blend them into your favorite beverage.  One tablespoon of cacao powder per quart works great with any beverage.  Blend cacao into coffee for a special treat!
  • Sprinkle raw cacao beans (nibs) on your favorite dessert instead of chocolate chips.  They are the original chocolate chips!
  • Add to trailmix
  • If you love dark, bitter chocolate, eat the beans by themselves.

Know before you go: (via)

Raw cacao is just like most things in the world of health and nutrition- the information changes fast. You need to keep on top of the news. There are many that believe that chocolate, even in it’s purest form of raw cacao, is still not very good for you, perhaps even toxic. The stimulant quality may agitate kidney and liver functioning. Some tests find it to be addictive, leading to mood swings and other withdrawal symptoms when not consumed regularly. Sexual dysfunction has also been listed as a possible side effect of chocolate intake- yikes! Certainly you must never blindly trust the information given to you by someone who is selling the product. Conduct your own research and see what the experts are saying. Though chocolate may not be the knight in shining armor that so many of us wish it was, when eaten in moderation, it doesn’t seem to be causing too much harm either. To play it safe, consume chocolate on special occasions and look for your magnesium and antioxidants elsewhere.

thought about a macrobiotic diet lately?

Hmmm…..the macrobiotic diet.  I’ve heard of it but had always associated it with hippies….maybe chained to a tree.  Turns out, it’s one of the healthiest way of eating and has been practiced throughout history.  It’s based on nutritional balance  and is a flexible pattern of eating that differs according to climate, environment, condition of health, sex, age, activity level and personal need.

Well!  That means it could be slightly different for each person, depending on the season and environment.  So what can I  eat?

The Standart Microbiotic Diet consists of:

  • Whole grains and grain products
  • Soups
  • Vegetables
  • Beans
  • Sea vegetables
  • Fish and seafood
  • Fruit
  • Pickles
  • Nuts and Seeds

There are more guidelines to the macrobiotic way of life (read: hippie) that might keep someone from adopting the entire lifestyle because of these things to avoid:

  • Most exotic and rare woods
  • Aluminum
  • Non-recyclable plastics and packaging
  • Treated non-stick pans and cookware
  • Formica
  • Animal products
  • Copper
  • Products containing lead
  • Disposable products
  • Recyclable plastics
  • Enamelware
  • Alloys other than stainless steel
  • electronic kitchenware

So, if you’re not ready to get rid of your oven, microwave, ziplocs and Tupperware…you might just want to follow the diet by incorporating these healthy foods each day.  Also throw in a LOT of spring water and teas.

You can get more info on the microbiotic diet HERE.

Eating healthier makes good sense and helps you to shine from the inside out!!

headache food…

When dealing with an aching head, it’s become so easy to pop some pills. If you’re trying to steer clear of pain relievers, some of the best help can come from the produce aisle. (from fitsugar.com)

Potato: After a night out, you may think that a plate of greasy fries is the way to go; forget the french fries and go for a baked potato instead. Foods high in potassium have proven to help alleviate bad headaches, and a baked potato with its skin offers up to a whopping 600 mg

Bananas: The dynamic duo of potassium and magnesium come to the rescue in one tasty piece of fruit. Magnesium’s calming effects are a huge help when trying to alleviate an achy head.

Watermelon: A lot of the time when dealing with a headache, chances are you may be dehydrated. A water-rich fruit like watermelon can give you a huge boost and also serves as a solid source of potassium and magnesium!

Pineapple: Fresh pineapple can also help soothe your headache woes. The natural enzyme bromelain has been linked for centuries as a form of natural pain relief. It also boasts anti-inflammatory properties that can help get your head right as well.

Cucumber: In the same vein as watermelon, cucumber can help cut dehydration out of the picture. Composed of 95 percent water, the highly hydrating cucumber is a perfect option for a fresh, headache-fighting snack.

it’s time for more FALL FAVORITES…

Yummy fall drinks and comfort foods…….sound good?  How about….the “not so fattening” favorites???

That’s what I’m talking about……..

PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE

1 cup coffee

1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

1 packet Stevia

2 Tbs. Pumpkin Puree

1 tsp. Pumpkin Spice

Blend together milk, puree and spices, then add to coffee.

(optional: whip almond milk until frothy and sppon on top of drink…sprinkle with add’l pumpkin spice!)

PUMPKIN PIE PROTEIN PANCAKES

1/4 cup egg whites

1/4 cup Pumpkin Puree

1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder

1 Tbs. Ground Flaxseed

1 tsp. Cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

Pinch of Pumpkin Spice

Mix together and pour onto griddle.  These are perfect with a little maple syrup or sliced bananas.

BAKED APPLES WITH CINNAMON AND WALNUTS (via)

2 Baking Apples, cored (like McIntosh)

1 cup Unsweetened Pomegranate Juice

1 tsp. Cinnamon

16 Walnut Halves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the apples in a baking dish. Pour the pomegranate juice over the apples. This will become a syrup as the apples cook. Sprinkle with the cinnamon and bake for 30 minutes, basting with the syrup, or until the apples are soft, but still hold their shape. Serve each apple topped with walnuts and syrup.

VEGETARIAN FOUR CHEESE LASAGNA  (via)

2 cups peeled and diced pumpkin

1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds

5 tomatoes

1 pint ricotta cheese

9 ounces crumbled feta cheese

2/3 cup pesto

2 eggs, beaten

salt and pepper to taste

1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce

1 pkg  pasta sheets (lasagne noodles)

1 1/3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place pumpkin on a baking sheet and roast in oven until browned and tender, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grill eggplant on a charcoal grill or fry in a skillet, turning once, until charred and tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Halve tomatoes and place on baking sheet in oven for last 15 minutes of pumpkin time; cook until tender and wrinkly.

In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta, feta, pesto, eggs, salt, and pepper until well mixed. Fold roasted pumpkin into ricotta mixture.

Spoon half of the tomato sauce into a 9×13 baking dish. Lay two pasta sheets over the sauce. Arrange a single layer of eggplant slices over pasta and top with half the ricotta mixture. Cover with two more pasta sheets. Arrange the roasted tomatoes evenly over the sheets and spoon the remaining half the ricotta mixture over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with half the mozzarella. Top with remaining two sheets of pasta. Pour remaining tomato sauce over all and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.

Bake in preheated oven 30 to 40 minutes, until golden and bubbly.

Here’s the skinny on….skin

What is detoxification?

Detoxification  is a normal body process of eliminating or neutralizing toxins through the colon, kidneys, liver, lungs, lymph and skin.  Our bodies do it everyday, naturally!

There are different types of cleanses and they each come in all shapes and sizes to be tailored to your individual needs.

Today I thought we would talk about a skin cleanse.  Everything that is going on inside you shows up on your skin.  It’s our largest organ of elimination and detoxification.  Think about it….when your colon becomes overloaded or your liver can’t efficiently filter the toxins coming from the digestive tract, your skin will begin to sweat them out, through rashes or boils.

Eeew.

Our skin mirrors our emotions and our hormone balance, also.  Most of us are toxic to some degree.  Dr. Colbert says in his book, The Seven Pillars of Health, “It’s similiar to forgetting to take the trash cans to the curb on trash day, and the garbage piles up in your garage.  Your cans eventually overflow, and the stench worsens.  You feel sick just walking near them.  After a few weeks the smell of the garbage is so bad that you can even smell it inside the house.”

 Got Stress?  It’s going to show up on our bodies through our skin texture, spots and blemishes.  You will lack energy, start experiencing environmental and food allergies and develop excessive mucus production.  And don’t even get me started on how it can throw a woman’s hormone balance off!

However there IS good newsOur diet is the quickest way to change our looks! Remember living foods? Our food is a gift, a blessing from God!  He wants us to enjoy our food and gave us many choices!  The term, ‘vegetable’ refers to foods we obtain from the leaves, stems, flower clusters, roots, tubers, seeds or fruits of plants.  They are loades with complex carbohydrates,  amino acids and essential fatty acids.

Here is what Dr. Rex Russell says in his book, What the Bible says about Healthy Living:

Three Principles God wants us to use for healthier lives

  1. Eat only substances God created for food.  Avoid what is not designed for food.
  2. As much as possible, eat foods as they were created – before they are changed or converted into something humans think might be better.
  3. Avoid food addictions.  Don’t let any food or drink become your god.

It is also essential to begin healing the skin from within, starting with the least expensive treat:  WATER!  Be sure to drink plenty of this gift!  Water is the single most important nutrient four our bodies and is considered a ‘miracle cure’ for many health conditions.

Here is a great detox water refresher!

3 quarts of pure water

2 lemons, sliced

1/2 cucumber, sliced

10-12 mint leaves

Add ingredients to water and let infuse overnight.

So, we’re eating clean, living foods and drinking sufficient amounts of water…..what else?  Stick around…….tomorrow we are going to take a bath…….together.