Week 2 -Determination

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This week started out wacky. My daughter has not been sleeping well and subsequently, neither have I. She has developed a habit where she only falls asleep when nursing; or should I say I allowed her to develop that habit. Our class meets on Monday night and I worked all afternoon Monday. I went straight to class after working and I was so tired from two nights of NO sleep I felt like I was in a complete fog! Hopefully, my class didn’t notice. We talked about going from Desperation to Determination. I was determined to work out this week so I made plans to go to run club with a friend on Wednesday! On the way to run club Wednesday night we were bombarded by the storm of the century. Ok, I may be exaggerating a bit but it was bad. There would be no running outdoors that night. Boo…
I thought, no problem I can run one morning this week! At the end of sleep deprived night #3, that ship sailed as well. I was still determined to make a change, so Thursday we went to the grocery store and with my list in hand I purchased the items to make several meals. This is different than most trips where I purchase random BOGO items that look good. I have successfully made dinner two nights in a row! Now I need to apply my determination to working out 3 days a week!

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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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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!

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!

Organic Gardening with Essential Oils

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Gardening this summer? The warmer weather brings a multitude of pests; ants, aphids, web worms, caterpillars and let’s not forget the trusty snail. Snails did a number on my squash before I knew about oils in the garden. 😦 Never fear! You can garden without pesticides! Here are some essential oils that can help keep your garden healthy and thriving and your family safe!

For more information on the benefits of essential oils, please visit my website!

Interested in earning free products? Contact me! 

Almond milk, almond flour, almond butter…

We all remember the movie Forrest Gump starring Tom Hanks as a lovable, simple man from Alabama. In the movie, Forrest befriends “Bubba” Blue while serving in the army. Bubba comes from a long line of shrimp boat captains. During one scene of the movie, Bubba rattles off a litany of all the things one can do with shrimp. It is a pretty funny scene and not unlike our versatile friend the shrimp, almonds offer a variety of culinary opportunities.

Check out this great info-graphic about almonds from Nuts.com! Nuts.com is a family-owned business that has been operating since 1929. Don’t be fooled by the name! While nuts are their specialty they also offer high quality flours, candy, baking goods and coffee and tea at comparable prices delivered right to your door. I am honored to be able to collaborate with them on this post.

As you can see, almonds are a high protein, low-carb, gluten-free food. They are also a great snack as they are filling and portable! You can read more about the health benefits of almonds here.

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While I made the switch to almond butter and almond milk years ago, my favorite use for almonds these days is almond flour/meal in place of wheat flour. I love baking and this gives me a low-carb alternative while still enjoying my favorite treats! Here is a terrific almond pancake recipe from PopSugar.com. I made these one morning during the Sugar Detox and my husband was none the wiser; he loved them! Be sure to watch the heat as almond flour can burn faster than wheat flour. You will also notice the texture is crumbly versus fluffy but once you are used to the difference, you won’t go back!

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Low-Carb, Gluten-Free Almond Pancakes

INGREDIENTS

3 cups almond meal
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 large eggs
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, light coconut milk, or milk
2 tablespoons extra-light olive oil, walnut oil, coconut oil, or butter, melted

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the almond meal, flaxseed, salt, and baking soda.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the milk and oil or butter and whisk thoroughly.
  3. Gradually whisk the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Add more milk as necessary, one tablespoon at a time, to reach pancake-batter consistency.
  4. Lightly oil a skillet and heat over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto the skillet. Cook for three minutes, or until bubbles form and edges are cooked. Flip and cook for three minutes or until underside is lightly browned. Repeat with remaining batter.
  5. Serve with desired toppings.

Makes 14 four-inch pancakes. The following nutritional information is for one pancake made with unsweetened almond milk and coconut oil.

Enjoy!

*I did not receive any type of compensation for this post.