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I taught my first Made to Crave class September 7, 2014. The class started with five ladies. I’ll admit, I was a little disappointed it wasn’t a huge class but as I prayed the Lord reminded me that the women who were there were sent by Him. By the end of the 12 week class, I had one student. Yes, one. I had seriously considered throwing in the towel and not teaching the class again but as the word spread more and more ladies started asking about it. In hindsight, the one person who stayed really needed me there as a friend more than a teacher. Yes, she was in need of nutritional guidance but she was more in need of someone to listen and care about her. I am thankful it played out that way! God always knows what He is doing even when it makes no sense in our finite minds.
Fast forward three years, and we have seven ladies this semester! That is a great size for a class of this nature and I now know with all my heart that the women have been placed here by God. He changed me and gave me clarity about my role as a class leader.

Now, if I can just get my act together and do my homework….

Made to Crave God, Not Food

Tomorrow night I will embark on a journey with a group of ladies through Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst. I want to change the climate of this blog for 12 weeks and chart my journey. I have taught this class four semesters and each time it has been a sweet time of fellowship for the ladies. This time around, I will be participating. Since I had my daughter in October, I have had a more difficult time controlling my food choices and fitting in exercise. I know that ultimately a lot of my eating is a result of stress, lack of preparedness and lack of self-control. Ultimately, it comes down to making choices that glorify the Lord and are healthy for me both physically and spiritually. I look forward to sharing what I learn over the next 12 weeks. If you are interested in learning more about this book, you can visit Lysa’s website here.

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Skinny Slowcooker Lasagna Soup

I mentioned in my last post how I was planning on cooking more now that we are getting into a groove with the little one. After our Sprouts trip last week I was super excited to get started. I came across this recipe while perusing Pinterest during a early morning feeding. We love lasagna in our house and make it probably 2-3 times per month. It is an easy stand-by that can be modified anytime to suit your current needs. Soup seemed just as simple and I had most of the ingredients on hand. The recipe I used as my base came from the website The Little Kitchen from the Skinnytaste cookbookAnyone who knows me knows that I LOVE Skinnytaste! I have made countless recipes from that website and you can find many of there on this site. The recipe was a hit so I will make it again 🙂 The only modifications I made were I added leftover diced tomatoes, three large rainbow carrots (shredded) and I used turkey sausage instead of chicken. You can add different vegetables like kale, mushrooms, eggplant or squash to make it a veggie lasagna soup. You can also change the type of meat you use or omit it all together. I served this with crusty french bread. Click here for the original recipe.

Skinny Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup (sorry that I did not take any pictures!)
Serves 8
223 calories/10 g fat/4 g saturated/56 mg cholesterol/793 mg sodium/17 g protein
***omit diced tomatoes if you are watching your sodium***

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Topping
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Soup
  • Cooking spray or oil mister
  • 14 ounces sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 3 large carrots, shredded
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • 1/2 tbsp dried parley flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 6 ounces lasagna noodles, broken into small pieces
  • 6 Tablespoons shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Adapted from www.TheLittleKitchen.net, Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup

 

 

Welcome Back!

Wow! Has it really been almost 2 years since I posted? Several things have changed since then. I decided to close my nutrition consulting business. With a full-time job, it was costing me more to keep the business going. It was a difficult decision but God always has a better plan! We started a new company at my current employer and with that new company came a new voice over gig that paid very well.

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Fast forward to February 2016 when my husband and I found out we were expecting! Fast forward again to October 29, 2016 – our beautiful Addie Grace was born!

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Life has been a bit crazy since then! She will be 4 months old next week. As you can imagine, nutrition was last on my mind during the last several months. Although, I am thankful I did not gain much during my pregnancy. I stuck to my workouts as much as possible (thank you Orange Theory!). Over the last month, I have started cooking and trying to get us back on track.

They opened a Sprouts near us and boy was I excited to check it out! We went the other night and spent a small fortune. Their produce is beautiful and they have an excellent organic selection. I purchased Daikon radish mainly because it was pretty. Turns out they are high in potassium and vitamin C. What does on do with Daikon you ask? I did not know either so I started researching. Most of the recipes were stir-fry and salads. I decided to shred it using my Salad Master tool along with some rainbow carrots. Topped with sesame oil, rice vinegar and soy sauce it was a perfect combo! My plan is to start posting recipes again! Happy Friday!

FIT Hits the PAN Friday – Lemon Blueberry Scones

I had this recipe sitting on my counter for almost two weeks. I kept saying, “Tomorrow, I am making scones!” I had never made scones so I was a little nervous although I have no idea why, as baking comes naturally to me. My original intention with this recipe was to use lemon essential oil in place of the actual lemons. Then I realized I was out! UGH! I wanted to use the oils because not only is it more concentrated, there is less waste. One drop of lemon essential oil is equal to the juice from five whole lemons! Not to mention, the host of additional health benefits and household uses. Make sure the oils you use are therapeutic grade organic oils!

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This recipe if from Diane Sanfilippo’s BalancedBites website. She is the creator of the 21 Day Sugar Detox that I participated in about 6 months ago. She has a lot of great recipes and tips to eliminate sugar cravings!

Cheers!

Lemon-Blueberry Scones [grain-free, nut-free, dairy-free]

PREP TIME: 15 min
COOKING TIME: 25 min
YIELD: 10 scones (10 servings)
NUTRITION INFO: click here (PDF)

ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • zest from 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (from ~ 1 -1/2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 ounces fresh blueberries

preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a food processor or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, thoroughly combine the eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and honey.
  • Sift in the remaining ingredients, except the blueberries, and mix for about 2 minutes or until the batter is well combined and forms a loose, very wet dough. If the batter is still too loose to somewhat hold its shape, let it sit for 5 more minutes.
  • Gently fold in the blueberries until they are evenly dispersed through the mixture.
  • Using 1/4 cup of batter for each scone, gently roll each scone into a loose ball and put on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press down the top of each scone to flatten slightly.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. (mine only took about 22 minutes so watch them!)

FIT Hits the PAN Friday – Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

My husband is starting a strike schedule at his job next week. He will be working six 12 hour shifts per week until the unions and his company come to an agreement. He does not like eggs so I have been researching portable, healthy breakfast foods he can grab and go. This morning I did a test run of the Oatmeal Breakfast Bars I found on WellPlated.comNot only was the recipe easy to follow, the ingredients were already in my cupboard. This is a big selling point for me!

I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes (my bars were finished in 23 minutes so keep an eye on them)
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 8 bars ( I cut mine in squares and was able to double the yield)
Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
Ingredients
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond, but any kind will do nicely)
  • 3 tablespoons honey (Elisabeth’s version calls for agave)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter (creamy or crunchy—I used natural creamy)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 large banana, quartered and diced

Directions

  1. Place rack in the center reheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat an 8×8 inch square pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. In a separate large bowl, combine the milk, applesauce, egg, honey, peanut butter, and vanilla.
  3. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and stir to combine . The batter will be very wet. Fold in the diced banana, then pour into the prepared baking pan.
  4. Bake for 35 minutes or until thickened and golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool, cut into bars, and serve.

Notes

Storage: Once cooled, bars can be wrapped individually in plastic and kept in the refrigerator for 5 days or frozen in a zip-top bag for up to 4 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours before serving. For a larger yield, increase the ingredient quantities by 1.5 and bakes in a 9×13 inch pan for 25-30 minutes.

I’m Eating WHAT?!?!

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I regularly post articles about the scary chemicals in processed “food.” That phrase really is ironic, isn’t it? The word “processed” is the past tense of process which is defined as to convert (an agricultural commodity) into marketable form by special series of steps… According to Dictionary.com, “food” is defined as any nourishing substance that is eaten, drunk, or otherwise taken into the body to sustain life, provide energy, promote growth, etc.”
The key word in the definition of process is, marketable. How could chemicals like CANTHAXANTHIN, POTASSIUM BROMATE or ASTAXANTHIN be marketed? They can’t, so manufacturers use words like “wholesome, low fat, healthy and sugar-free” along with brightly colored packaging to entice people to purchase their chemical-laden products. In case you are not familiar with the additives listed above, let me introduce you! Our friends as Phys.org created a more detailed list that you can visit here.

CANTHAXANTHIN is a pigment added to egg yolks to make them more visually appealing. Tests have shown that large amounts of this chemical can cause retinal damage
POTASSIUM BROMATE increases volume in white flour, breads and rolls. Most bromate rapidly breaks down to an innocuous form, but it’s known to cause cancer in animals _ and even small amounts in bread can create a risk for humans. California requires a cancer warning on the product label if potassium bromate is an ingredient.
ASTAXANTHIN – Almost 90-percent of salmon sold in supermarkets today come from farms. The diet of farmed salmon doesn’t include crustaceans, which contains a natural astaxanthin that causes pink flesh in wild salmon. As a result, producers add astaxanthin to farm-salmon diets for that fresh-from-the-water appearance. Astaxanthin is manufactured from coal tar.

Nothing like loading up your cart with some nice omega-3’s and topping it off with a bit of coal tar!
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So what do we do? To begin, educate yourself! How often do you pick up a box or package off the supermarket shelf and throw it in the basket without even taking a look at the nutrition label or ingredients? I have been guilty of making a purchase simply based on the photo on the package knowing full well the photo isn’t even real food. It is a perfectly molded art project designed to draw my attention away from the actual package contents. Take a look at this quick video to see how they make chemicals look so tasty!

Read labels! This is key when making healthy choices for your family. While it will take some time to completely eliminate chemicals from your diet, this will get you started. A great tip is that if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it!

Another great tip is to stay in the outside perimeter of the grocery store isles. Most of the processed foods are located in the center isles. The perimeter is where you find dairy, produce and meat.

Start with small, attainable goals like reading labels and eliminating processed foods from one meal per day or from school lunches. You control what your children eat, so packing their lunch is key! School menus are atrocious! Check out this video of a talk by chef Jamie Oliver. He has made a campaign to educate children (and parents) about food and reform the school lunch programs in western culture.

Try cooking classes as a family. Many grocery store chains and local civic centers offer free or inexpensive cooking classes. Getting the kids involved will make the process smoother because they will have an opportunity to experience the food before they eat it! This also applies to getting the family involved in the grocery shopping. If the kids get to help choose the ingredients, they will be more likely to try new things.

Check out 100 Days of Real Food for some terrific resources to get you started on your journey to a real food lifestyle!

Applying all or some of these tips will help you begin your journey to a healthier lifestyle for your and your family!
If you have already begun, share some ideas to help others in the comment section below. You never know who you may inspire!

Cheers!