Vegan Oatmeal Cupcakes

I am always looking for foods for my baby girl to take for lunches. Today, I made these.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups rolled oatsoats
  • 1 cup instant protein
  • 2 1/2 cups of mashed fruit (mashed ripe bananas or I used a combo of mashed peaches and applesauce)
  • 4 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
  • 2 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 plus 1 tbsp oil (coconut, or other veg based oil)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Optional add ins: cinnamon, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, ground flax, dried fruit

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 380 F
  • Line 14 cupcake tins with liners
  • Mix all dry ingredients in one large bowl
  • Mix all wet ingredients in a medium bowl (fruit included)
  • Mix wet into dry ingredients
  • Pour scant 1/4 cup of batter into each cup
  • Bake 21 ish minutes

These can be frozen and reheated

New Year’s Time Saver – Chili & Refried Beans

As a busy mom, I frequently look for ways to accomplish more in less time.  Cooking is an area where I can easily do this.  I like to make the most of my time in the kitchen, so last night, I prepped some beans for the crock pot today.

It doesn’t take any additional time soak twice as many beans, so I soak enough to make more than one bulk dish.  Last night, I soaked 1 pound of small reds, 1 pound of black, 1 pound of light red kidney beans in my larger crock pot.

This morning, I’ve got both Chili and Refried beans in dueling crock pots.  You don’t have 4 crock pots in your possession? (Yes, I may have an issue with crock pots.) Not a problem.  Make chili today and cook those refried beans tomorrow. Just put that helping of soaked beans in the fridge and cook ’em tomorrow. 🙂

(Looking to kick the nutrition of your refried beans up a notch?  Grab some Moringa leaves from a tree and throw them in right before you put in the fresh beans.)

Looking for a tasty veggie chili?

Dueling Crock Pots

My crock pot fetish. The crock on the left was my grandmothers, then my aunts, and now mine. It is an original crock pot and still works wonderfully. The crock on the right is my trusty favorite. Its frequently on my counter. I use it as a prepper – in most cases we don’t like our veggies cooked to mush (pulls out and destroys the nutrition) but is wonderful at cooking down stocks from left over carcasses (chicken bones) and cooking tomato dishes and beans.) We eat lots of beans here. 🙂

Choices & Consequences = Our Current Health???

So, I’ve been preaching choices and consequences to my daughter quite a bit lately.  At 7 she wants what she wants and she cries if she doesn’t get it.  It frustrates me to no end, I don’t feel like we spoil her, we don’t buy her everything she asks for, she has responsibilities, and she is required to eat what is fixed for meals.

Today, she wanted to go to the park. I said okay and that we would ride our bikes there.  She was very excited.  (It is August in SW FL) As we prepared to leave she decided she would rather ride her scooter.  I discussed this with her and tried to focus on the consequences of this choice, that she would be required to bring the apparatus home after the park and that her bike would be easier than her scooter, yet she insisted. – Long story short – the mile home seemed like 15 to me! She kept whining and complaining that she was just going to die, that she couldn’t go on another step. We didn’t have a choice – we had to get home, plus, she had plenty of water for the journey.

CLB pouting at dinner

We get home and it is lunch time. Consequences—> She still has chicken and mixed veggies from the other night that she has refused to eat – so that is lunch.  She is now taking a nap in her room because she is just too exhausted to eat. LOL 

Why is this relevant to your life?

Our daily choices have consequences. Everyday we choose a soda pop, or a donut, or a bowl of cereal, or a 10,000 calorie sandwich from a fast food restaurant.  Our daily choices have consequences. 

Unfortunately, we don’t see those consequences so readily as having to eat the food we refused the night before or by having to get home on our scooter when we’ve decided we are done.

These consequences may take years or even decades to develop. Enter the current state of our national healthcare crisis.  Forget about the fact that no one can afford the care they need – WHY DO THEY NEED THE CARE IN THE FIRST PLACE?  Choices & Consequences

I saw a new YouTube video

yesterday that points this out clearly. 

I don’t typically like, what I call, scare monger tactics to make people see things, but this video stuck me hard.  Our choices have consequences.  I count myself lucky because I had friends who pointed me in a healthier direction.  Better Choices.

This video, clearly shows WHY I am so adamant about our children having recess and PE at school, WHY I protest teachers giving the kids candy or food for answering correctly or cooperating, WHY I stress that our daily choices make such a difference.

I was close to this in my 30’s.  Though not this big, I was struggling with my health, with depression, with pain, and the answer I was given at that time was to take prescriptions. SIX of them at one time – some to handle the side effects of the others.  I was miserable.  I thank my friend, Betsey, for opening my eyes to what nutritional choices could do and to how easy those choices could be.

What can you do?

If you are struggling with your weight, with pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, pain in your joints, the beginning of heart disease, lethargy, cravings and such, changing a few things gradually could have a synergistic effect and redirect your current path.

I would love to work with to show you what simple choices could make a HUGE impact on your health! HUGE (and I’m not trying to sell Kia’s here either. – local humor) 

Simple steps can begin to turn things around for you so that you don’t find yourself where this gentleman has found himself.

CONSIDER THE CONSEQUENCES BEFORE

YOU MAKE THAT CHOICE!

Sweet & Sour, Crunch & Chewy Broccoli Salad

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This is an amazing salad that even my husband will eat… His first response was “raw broccoli, ick” then he tasted it and was pleasantly surprised.  The flavors of these ingredients melt together to give the perfect combination of flavor, texture, and pleasure in food. 

It also contains a sugar, a fat, and a salt to help cause the brain to give you that “satisfied” feeling after you have tasted, chewed, and consumed it.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups of finely chopped broccoli (I chop it tiny so you can get all the flavors in every bite.)
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 10 rounds of Canadian bacon (Less fat, no nitrates – I buy mine at Costco)
  • 3/4 cup of raisins (I prefer organic green grape raisins)
  • 3/4 cup of slivered almonds
  • 1/2-3/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup raw, organic sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar

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I soak my broccoli in a solution of water & Basic H (two drops) to clean anything still on it.

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I’ve chopped the Canadian bacon into small pieces, then added the finely chopped broccoli

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Add the onion, raisins & almond slivers & mix.

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Whisk together the mayo, organic raw sugar, & white wine vinegar.

Pour over the salad and mix well.  It is best when you let it marinate for a bit before you eat it!  FABULOUS treat!  I like to keep this in the fridge to munch on throughout the week.

What’s in MY fridge?

I got an interesting call Monday evening. Yvonne McClellan of the News-Press called and asked to interview me and see “What’s in my Fridge.”  So, to my house, she came to visit and check it out.  (Click on the photo to be taken to the video or click the link below.)

What's In Your Fridge by Yvonne McClellanhttp://www.news-press.com/videos/life/food/2014/05/07/8810263/

What surprised Yvonne about my fridge?

  • I have sour cream and mayonnaise in my refrigerator.
    • I have a husband who still eats foods I choose to avoid.
    • I DO eat sour cream – I read my labels so I am not eating extra ingredients, just whole cream.
  • How do I have time to make so many tasty foods?
    • I make many of the foods in bulk.
    • I have found it doesn’t take any longer to make it from scratch than it does from a box.
  • How do I make healthy dinners every night when I am such a busy mom?
    • Since I do cook in bulk, I freeze things in portion sizes so on busy nights I can just heat and eat.

Recipes from the video!

Pico de Gallo
Refried Beans
Peanut Butter Protein Bites
Fruit Infused Water
Cream of Anything (Base for Cream of ### soups)
Homemade Chicken Stock

 

This was so much fun!  I hope you enjoy.  Drop me a note and let me know “What’s in YOUR Fridge!”

Perfect Sweet Potatoes–Quick and simple!

My friend, Chris Griffith of Life in Bonita Springs recently shared her recipe for the perfect potato.  I fixed it for my family and WOW!

An easy, healthy recipe to not only make the tater tasty, but I EVEN ate the skins!

Sweet Potatos

Typically, I  will bake a sweet potato in the oven, then crack off and peel off the skin. (Skins have feelings, and nutrients too.) When I finished baking these, the skins were soft and supple and tasty, so… I ATE THEM!

You won’t believe how easy this is!

You will need:

  • 2 TBLS coconut oil
  • coarse sea salt
  • sweet potatoes (works for russets and reds too)
  • 1 gallon zip lock
  • large piece of aluminum foil

Directions!

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Wash potatoes with water and a scrub brush & strain to dry
  • Place coconut oil in zip lock bag
  • put potatoes in zip lock and move around to coat in the coconut oil
  • Lay potatoes on rack to drip off extra coconut oil (OR…remove batteries from smoke detectors and turn vent fans on high prior to cooking)
  • Season lightly with course sea salt
  • Place on top rack in oven with strip of foil under potatoes to catch any additional drippings
  • Cook 45 minutes, or until tender
  • Cut into bite sized pieces and enjoy it all – skins taste amazing too!

Leftover potatoes (I make extra) can then be used to make a very tasty breakfast hash brown recipe.

Remember, Sweet Potatoes are VEGETABLES… NOT POTATOES!

Healthiest Veggie w answer

What makes a snack healthy?

Okay, all this talk about snacks this month is making me hungry.  Winking smile  Not really, I keep my hunger number between 2 & 4

As I began working to improve my health, and thus reduce my waist line, healthy food choices and portion sizes became really important.  I used to crave sodas, breads and pastas, and sweets A LOT! I was certain there was no way to overcome them. 

What I found was, when my body had the nutrition and components necessary for building a healthy body, the cravings melted away just like the inches on my waist.

Why or how could that be?  Lets look at a graphic to explain a bit of it.

How_food-affects_blood_sugar_image_only

What we eat as a snack is just as important as when and how much we eat.  When we grab a soda, or a donut, or a bowl of cereal as our answer to our hunger situation… we are really setting ourselves up to fail. 

This is why the coffee break became so important.  When you eat a bowl of cereal, a pop tart, or a donut for breakfast, as you can see in the chart, your blood sugar SPIKES quickly and drops off just as fast… leaving you in state of “starvation” via the mind tricks because of the sudden and drastic drop in blood sugar.

Otherwise, if your chosen food item is a good quality protein, then your blood sugar doesn’t spike, it stays stable and you don’t get those “I gotta eat a 10 pound donut” sensations 2 hours later.

When we eat was covered in my blog a week ago on how Snacking can make you skinny.

How much to eat depends on your personal caloric needs for the day, how much activity you’ve had during the day, and how long it will be until your next full meal.  I made some great snack suggestions earlier this month.

So, now you have the logistics of how it all works, suggestions of healthful snack option, and a hunger scale to use… all that’s left is a big glass of tasty water to keep things on an even keel.

Fruit_infused_water

Healthy snacking, and may the grumpies stay far, far away!

For more information on healthy alternatives and choices, please contact me.