Friday, April 19, 2013

This blog has moved!

Hi Friends, this blog has move to a new location!

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Open eyes and wise decisions

First- my apologies for the long span since my last post. It is with excitement that I announce I am now a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition which as proven to be a wonderful experience so far (4 weeks in). I have settled in to my new schedule so I will be posting more frequently. (If you are interested in the school feel free to inquire- I would love to share my excitement with you.)

The more I learn, the more I see the importance of awareness and self education. As long as we rely on the media and our modern culture as our sole source of education, we will be ignorant. To me ignorance is similar to having your eyes closed. If you do not know how to get around without your sight- you will eventually get hurt. Closing your eyes is a lack of sight by choice. We all have the opportunity to open the eyes of our mind. It is good to close your eyes when you want to sleep. It is not good to close your eyes when you are walking across the street. If you cross the street as a semi truck is heading your way, ignorance is not bliss.

It's amazing what you can learn when you start asking questions and being curious. For a long time I had my favorite "healthy" fast food restaurant. The day I decided to look at the ingredients in the "healthy" option, I realized it was all in the marketing. There actually wasn't anything healthy about this food. It was full of MSG, lots of things I don't know how to pronounce and a dash of a chemical preservative which is a form of butane. What struck me is how easy it was to find this information. I just googled it. It was on the restaurants website.

The problem for most of us is that we do not want to know. It is much easier to turn a blind eye and keep doing what we have always done, eating what we have always eaten. The challenge here is to simply open your eyes. Be willing to look at the ingredients of your favorite fast food. Find out what unpronounceable ingredients are on the labels in your pantry. Just find out. If you don't know what an ingredient is- look it up. Then, the decision is yours. If you decide for your family, you are OK with certain less than healthy foods, that is your decision. What is scary is when we let advertising (from the ones making money off our choices) do the deciding for us. Any time you don't know what you are eating, you are letting someone else decide what you ingest. It would be wise to trust the one feeding you- or feed yourself. Trusting food companies who are just businesses making money- it not wise.

It's intriguing how people will fight to defend a certain food or brand, when the reason they believe what they do, is a direct result of marketing, culture and habit. The very one who persuaded you to believe that food was good, is often the one making money off your decision. Wouldn't it be a good idea to question the nutritional value of foods? Let's not walk blindly by choice. What we eat is working for or against our health and immune systems. You be the decider of how often your food is working for your health.

Let's take responsibility for what we eat. Be willing to be wrong. Be willing to learn. Be willing to change. Watch amazing things happen.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Cookies n' Cream Cupcakes

This came out of my craving for cake! This summer I have been to several parties and weddings where beautiful, temping cakes were served. I decided I would create a version of cake to fit my lifestyle. The results were delicious and didn't last long in our kitchen! We ate it before I could get a picture taken- I'll take a picture next time. This is a small recipe so feel free to double after you try it. (I like to try small recipes to see if I really like it before making a lot).

For the cake:

3/4 C. spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 1/2 T. olive or coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 T. cacao powder
4 packets stevia powder (or about 16 drops of liquid) this makes for a very lightly sweet cake, if you like more sweetness- try adding a little more stevia.
1/4 C. plus 2 1/2 T water

Mix all dry ingredients and set aside. Mix all wet ingredients in separate small bowl. Combine dry and wet ingredients and stir until well mixed.

Divide batter into greased muffin tin. (8-9 mini muffins or 4-5 regular muffins)

Bake on 350 for about 20 minutes. Let cool. Cut each cupcake in half and spread icing. Place the top back on the cupcake and top with a generous amount of icing. Place in refrigerator to let the icing firm up. Store cupcakes in fridge for up to three days.

For the cream cheese icing: follow link Cream Cheese Icing (you will need less than half this recipe if you make a single recipe above.)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Raw thoughts

Good Evening, I have another section of raw thoughts for you. This one left me speechless. It was a typical, yet unusually quiet Wednesday afternoon. As I sat at my desk running through my task list, I was interrupted by the following words:

"Brittney, you think too much about what you are supposed to be DOING, when I want you to focus on keeping you heart right. If you heart is right, whatever you are doing will honor Me. If you're goal is truly to honor Me, you only have to focus on love and guarding your heart. If you do these things, you can trust Me to take care of the what, when, where and how. Do you think Jesus knew when He woke up everyday who he would heal and where it would happen and how he would do it? NO! He woke up everyday with a perfect, pure heart, steadfastly set on honoring Me. I then put opportunities in front of Him wherever He went. You are trying to be the navigator and the driver- that normally ends in a wreck, or lost. It you will focus on navigating your heart, I will drive you to the correct locations." 

Put this in the context of you own life and let God speak to you. He is so willing if only we will listen and set our hearts right before Him.  

Monday, May 28, 2012

The most important ingredient

There are many key ingredients to healthful recipes. I have found certain items are on my staple list. For example, I aim to always have fresh veggies (dark leafy greens and anything other veggie variety), bananas, apples, dates, coconut oil, nuts, cacao powder, beans, quinoa or millet, liquid aminos,  chili powder and cumin in my pantry or fridge. I can always throw together a meal and snacks if I have these items. Some weeks, I am the super star planner and have all my meals written on our lovely calendar in the kitchen. Other weeks...I lean on my staple ingredients and creativity to throw together meals. 

Whether you are a planner, the creative type, or both like me, you will find keeping staple ingredients in your kitchen will make your life much easier and will greatly aid you in staying on track with your dietary goals. Through trial and error you will find what healthy ingredients you and your family most enjoy. It's OK to not enjoy every fruit and vegetable. There are just some veggies you probably won't like- so move on to another variety. Our Creator has been gracious enough to give us a massive fruit and veggie selection- enjoy His goodness. 

As you master your own unique list of staples, make sure you include the most important ingredient- love. This ingredient phenomenon will add flavor to any dish, sweet or savory. This may sound like fantastical, but I firmly believe your food will taste different, and even increase the nutritional value when prepared with love. The alternative is also true. Think about it.  As a kid, how many times did you ask your mom  to make your sandwich for you? Your reason was always "but mom, it taste better if you make it." Sure, sometimes you might have been using a little manipulation because you didn't want to make the sandwich. However, the sandwich really did taste better when mom made it. Why? I believe it's because she made it with love. 

There is something about sitting down to a meal prepared with love no other ingredient can compare with. I believe in picking choice ingredients to feed your self and those you love. Many of my post are in regards to finding, purchasing and making dishes with such ingredients. Love, is indeed the most essential ingredient to feeding those you love the most nutritious, delicious food available. 

If you have had a rough day or you are stressed and frazzled; take a few minutes to gather yourself. Get in  in a loving frame of mind before you prepare a meal. It makes a difference. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Buying Organic without breaking your budget

While I think it is certainly best to buy local and organic, that's not always possible 100% of the time.  On the journey to eating for life and health, everything is a process. This process includes our time and money. I'm sure you have all noticed buying 100% local and organic would greatly increase your food budget if you are currently buying conventionally grown produce from your local grocery store. It is healthy to always move towards buying more organic & local produce. However, on your way there, you may find the following tips helpful.

Techniques I have used in our family process of going organic: 

1- Shop around. I shop at a few different grocery stores that carry organic produce. As I shop, I mentally note how much the organic items are. Over a few weeks I did this at all the stores I shopped at. Now I am familiar with what organic things should cost so I don't over spend on an item. Using the same idea- shop the sales. This means I normally shop at two different stores a week.
2- Look for alternate options. Because the nearest large organic foods grocery store is about an hour from us, I have looked for other places to get organic produce for a reasonable price. Do a little research to see what organic farms are near you as well as local co-ops. You might be surprised at what you find. I always try out an co-op before I join, that way I can see how much food is in the box and if it is conducive to our budget.
3- Wash your non organic produce in more than water. The following link has some great suggestions of produce wash that helps draw out impurities and pesticides. How to wash non organic produce the easy way
4- Prioritize what you buy organic. Make the dirty dozen your top priority to always buy organic and the clean fifteen your lowest priority. If your not eating the peel, it's low priority. The Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen.  

Remember we are all on a journey. Celebrate progress and keep moving forward.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Juice

I made this juice on this beautiful Sunday afternoon when I was feeling a bit sluggish- it perked me right up.

7 Carrots
2 Gala Apples
2 Oranges
small handful parsley
1 inch ginger

Put all ingredients through juicer and enjoy! Makes about 25 ounces.