Monday, November 5, 2012

A new season, but better view.

Fall is here and my heart is smiling. A year ago, my heart was forecasting  the future as a widow,single mother, and dreading a funeral within reach. Now, health in our family has been restored and I have never been so grateful for the daily, small things in my life. My husband and son, below, are able to do father/son things and as I sit back and soak it all in, my heart is praising Jesus for His restoration and renewal. He says He makes ALL things new and this phrase alone brings tears to my eyes...because I believe first hand, 
it's true.  

This was the first year that D played flag football. At first, he was very timid and wasn't quite sure of the concept as it is very different from soccer. As soon as his daddy came in from work and showed up at the game, he was scoring touchdowns that had us all on our feet! So fun!

Today, D is learning a new sport and a new love for football, that these two share deeply. My husband has a new lease on life and able to travel the world through his work.  

I continue to learn more and more about healing naturally and I have never been so happy in my life. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Thanks to Marna- Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

So fall is in the air; I can feel it!!! A childhood friend used to adore the fall season. It always reminds me of her but I also appreciate the use of the oven again, cozy pumpkin smells and the fall foliage getting ready with colder days. 

A friend stopped by a couple weeks back and we got to talking about health and nutrition. Surprise, surprise- I KNOW! But alas, I continue to learn and appreciate the different perspectives on food that align for all one purpose; to feel and arrive at optimum health. 

I did a little study of my own after talking with her and consumed some yogurt and air popped butter popcorn one night. The next day, I did NOT feel so hot. I ached and was sore all over. As I reflected back on what I ate the night before, I was SOLD on giving PALEO a shot.  

It's been two weeks and I've not only naturally dropped 4 more pounds (eliminating grains, legumes, cheese, yogurt and BUTTER!) but when I ache in the morning, I know it's my muscles that were worked the day prior and not due to food consumption. With this post, I hereby stand and!  Butter, I am afraid you are on hiatus for now.  

Which all leads me back to this blog that I have been following for awhile but now more than before! 

Living Carroll happens to be a girl who I went to school with growing up and it's her story with her family. One day, she posted these muffins where her kiddos thought they were cupcakes! WHA? 

After eating all natural foods for awhile now, the taste buds really change and are more sensitive to sugar. With our windows open all day today and our A/C finally off, I was ready to give these treats a bake!   

THANK YOU MARNA!!!! Not only does my house smell like fall but my waistline has not suffered from this savored treat. 

This recipe is based on the recipe found here.
  • 1½ cups almond flour
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup Raw honey or Coconut Nectar
  • 2 tsp almond butter

Preheat oven to 350℉.
Mix all ingredients and pour evenly into tins.

Coat muffin tins with coconut oil (or use paper muffin cups and add 1/2 tsp melted coconut oil to batter).     (I used the bite size muffin tin and put in for 10 minutes)

Bake reg. muffins for 25 minutes on the middle rack.

With my pumpkin patch going crazy, I'm excited to have fresh pumpkins to work with! 
Happy baking people! and Welcome fall! 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Natural Imperfections

With my husband working in Africa, my mom and I, along with the lil man decided to take a road trip back to my roots in Washington state. It had been three years since I had been back and I was ready to beat this heat and hit the road. Since my mom is getting older and the lil man is ansey, we decided it would be best to stop halfway and stay the night.

So we pulled off into this little farming community and right next to our motel was a produce stand. When picking out our watermelons, I asked the girl, "How do I know a good melon?" She replied, "There's three things to look for: 
#1. When you knock on it, you want to hear a good solid 'THUD.' (...okay...?)
#2. When you look at the where the stem was, it should be brown when ripe.
#3. When you see these markings (below) it means a bee smelled the sweet fruit. As the bee realized it could NOT get to the sweet nectar, it tried to sting it!"  

HA! Who knew????  A fun tidbit learned this summer! 

She said a lot of times, people overlook these markings as something BAD, imperfect or wrong with the melons. Quite the contrary!

Boy, am I glad I asked how to pick one out because this melon was definitely a winner! Not only was it bright RED inside, SUPER SWEET but it was literally smiling at me when I cut it open. 

Almost as if it had a personality and laughing at the bee who couldn't get what it wanted. 


So with all of this watermelon, I made Watermelon Popsicles from Pinterest
Truly one of my favorites but as you can see below, the boys agree! 

Here's the recipe! 

Watermelon Frosty
serves 2

2 1/4 cups frozen watermelon cubes
1/2+ cup water
2 Tbsp real maple syrup
1 large lemon, squeezed (lime juice also works very well! use 2 limes)
1 fresh banana

Blending Tip! The best way to blend up this frosty is in a Vitamix - it really frosts up that thick frozen watermelon!

You can drink after blending for a refreshing cooler or fill up containers & freeze for popsicles later! 

Happy Melon picking! 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Morning insprirations

So a few weeks back, I went to the Farmer's Market and saw a booth where this lady had made her own scrubs. They were pretty fabulous because of her ingredients. BUT I got to thinking, that I could probably save the $25 and MAKE MY OWN! 

After speaking with Lexi, the neighbor girl a couple weeks ago, she inspired me with only a few ingredients. 
  • Brown Sugar 
  • doTERRA Wild Orange Essential Oil (a few drops)
  • and I decided to add coconut oil (of course!) 

No measuring, just gut. Our climate here is extremely dry and being in the sun, I've had chapped lips for awhile now. I woke up this morning, tried this scrub on my lips and was impressed! NO toxic chemicals!! And I know exactly what is in it!  

In the past, I have used "Look Ma New Hands" from Bath & Body Works and although I like the product, I  DON'T appreciate not knowing all what I cannot pronounce. What are the effects on my body after it seeps into my skin? SO thus the doTERRA Wild Orange Essential Oil. Using this on my hands this morning was awesome!  

Now go and find your inspirations for the day. God Speed- 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Homemade Coconut Butter

A few months back a friend of mine introduced me to coconut butter. My jaw about hit the floor. A little side note: I LOVE BUTTER. We go waaaaay back to my years of single digits and "we'll never divorce." I was never a mayo kid; it was always butter. But coconut butter? Really? There's sucha thing?

 With a lot of buzz lately on how it's made, I decided to try it myself. Afterall, look at the cost difference here: $7 plus for 8 oz compared to $3 plus for 12 oz of Bob's Red Mill shredded unsweetened coconut. I heard the size of shred matters. The smaller, the better. Also, after I had made this, I had learned that researching how the coconut is dried can be important when it comes to nutrients, etc. I'm not sure at what temperature Bob dries his coconut since other brands can be more expensive...I see a possible future inquiry to him. 

 I slowly started out with a small amount of shredded coconut in my Vitamix until the entire package was in there. Yes, it's true. It took about 15 minutes of blending but I would turn it off and stir along with the use of my tamper while blending. Although I could have gone a little bit longer, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this was.
I am finding these days, that when I get overwhelmed about trying out new things, it's best to just dive in for the try in order to put another recipe in the books. What about you? Have you tried making coconut butter? I'm curious what kind you have tried and how did it turn out?

Sushi Mama!

A couple years back in our small group, a friend said she made her family sushi & California rolls at home. I remember feeling so overwhelmed at the thought and having no clue on how to even start that process. The lil guy and I in the past have enjoyed the occasional 'sushi' bar at the store but it's always been 'crab', spring rolls or California rolls. Never really raw fish. Well, one day I was at Costco and noticed the nori on the end of an aisle and it was considerably cheaper than the health food store. After searching the ingredients and debating for longer than the normal grab, it ended up in my basket.

After weeks of sitting in the pantry, a creative juice finally flowed and here is our result: dampened nori, quinoa, shrimp, raw bell pepper & carrot and avocado to top it off.

(My photography classes were back in high school so don't judge my skills or lack thereof.) This is the lil guy's plate of seconds! Not only did he love these, but after looking at the ingredients of the store's 'sushi' ingredients, there are so many, too many names to pronounce and the processed ginger even has red dye! Sufferin' suckatash.....sucha downer.

These were by no means...perfect. However, I am no longer overwhelmed by my friend's statement of her making her own at home. On the contrary, I realized that I too, am capable....sorta.

An added bonus here: our lil guy asked to try the nori plain and dry....he LOVES them and eats them like chips!  Who knew?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Granola Girl

Growing up in a small town in Washington, I was a country girl, low maintenance, no make-up and some even called me "Granola Girl."  Then, I'd just smile and considered the comment for being 'earthy' or 'natural.' Today, I reflect back and seem to appreciate it even more.

Enough of history for now...making homemade granola IS SO EASY!!! and it makes the house smell amazing. About a year ago, I discovered some fun granola made through a Co-op here but then when I looked at the price, it was $10 for 2lbs....ummmm whoa! Then I saw on Food Network, the Neeley's were making their own. (Love the rest stops)  So I ventured to make my own. I couldn't keep it stocked as my husband was devouring it as fast as I could make it. Back then he was very ill & he wouldn't eat much so I thought it was a good thing that he had found something he liked. Today I know that the oils used are extremely important and canola oil (what the Neeley's used) is no longer in my pantry. For high temps, I use coconut oil or almond oil. Extra Virgin Olive Oil goes rancid after it hits around 170'F so I mainly use that for salads, etc.

Okay so this granola was inspired by Fake Ginger BUT I substituted the infamous coconut oil for the vegetable oil. (I like to think of our hearts getting healthy fats instead of artery clogging fats these days.) I did NOT stick to her recipe completely as I added dried apricots, dried cherries, dried coconut and craisins.  I used pecans, almonds and chia seeds but omitted sunflower and sesame seeds. Sometimes I have personally found that sunflower seeds can overpower a recipe. The added applesauce was a twist that I had never thought of for added sweetness. I also substituted in sucanat for the brown sugar. I apologize for the sticklers on measuring; I didn't really measure much here. It seems more free-spirited that way AND it still turns out amazing!

So returning to my roots, earthy and natural that is, this one's for you. A little salty, a little sweet and a whole 'lotta' natural! Spread those pantry doors open wide, dive in and mix it up! I promise being "granola" is a fun journey.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie!

vegan cookie cake

I decided after finding Chocolate Covered Katie yesterday, it was time to put my sweet tooth to rest. With all of these graduations going on and me passing up cookies and cake, I was excited to dive right into something healthy without any guilt! MAN O MAN does this cookie hit the spot! Thank you CCK!

Here is her recipe for the giant chocolate chip cookie cake

  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce (So fun using homemade!)
  • 1 can white beans or garbanzos (drained and rinsed) (250g)
  • 1.5 tbsp canola oil  (here is where I substituted in coconut oil) 
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar (You can try adding less, (I did a lil less)  if you’re used to healthy desserts. Also, white sugar will work if you don’t have brown, but brown is recommended for the best taste. I can’t personally vouch for the results, but some commenters have reported success with xylitol, if you want it sugar-free.)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Blend everything (except the chips) very well in a food processor. Mix in chips, and pour into an oiled pan. Cook at 350 F for around 20 minutes. Let stand at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan.
My little guy and I truly enjoyed this treat. He even wanted more! It's hard to believe there is NO flour in this recipe. Truly amazing.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Spring Cleaning

To re-organize the pantry has been on my  to do list for months now. I had already cleaned out a lot of the old junk, ie. trans fat, sugars, processed boxes etc. but I really wanted to clean and switch plastics to glass too.  With each passing day, I would see things that no longer had a place in our life. It was liberating to get this done.     

Organizing always seems to be a work in progress but this was where I stopped at 11pm last night. 

Honestly, a highlight for me now in my pantry is there's a place for my recipe books and I can walk in it! 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

RAW crackers

I had a friend call me and say they tried to make RAW crackers and that I needed to try them. (Thanks Vic & Grace!) So I decided to toss in some pecans, almonds, green pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, soaked flax seeds and soaked chia seeds with a lil bit of the water they were soaking in. Also a dash of sea salt.  (Sorry, I don't measure. It's more fun that way.)
I was really surprised to find out how oily this mixture turned out to be. 
I left them in the dehydrator for about 30 hours or so checking them and rotating the tray levels. 
 I could continue to leave them for a bit longer to be crunchier and add a little bit more sea salt and other seasonings. (Vic loves them spicy!) Overall, these are moist (naturally oily) and knowing that this snack is a protein & fiber filled OMEGA punch~ that is GLUTEN FREE is an awesome experiment! I say go for it!  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Kombucha Wha?

I was reading about five weeks ago on about Kombucha tea. I was instantly intrigued but totally clueless. This is a perfect example of a "rest stop" as I call them where I feel like God honors my desire to know more and understand more so He opens up a journey to do just that!

Last week, I was at the health food store right here in town and it's a very small town! The owner there told me about a lady here in town who makes her own Kombucha and sells it for $12 a gallon.

(These 16 oz. bottles in the picture, I have found at Fred Meyer's or Rosauer's for $3 each. The Grape on the left has chia seeds (mega healthy! another future post) in it and the Passionberry Bliss is my favorite so far!  But you can slightly see the enzymes on the bottom of the bottle on the right. Trust me, they are more scary in person!  DO NOT SHAKE!!! Shaking will destroy the enzymes and become less beneficial to your digestive gut. When I get to the bottom, I give it a swirl and swallow hard, picturing only the benefits going in.)

Yesterday, I met Mary, "Kombucha Mama!" The entire trip to her house was a gift. She walked me through how she makes it, dates it and how she stores it. I got to try several different kinds that she makes and was so impressed. When I originally went on the link "KombuchaKamp" from realfoodfreaks above, I thought, I'll just buy and never brew; it's too overwhelming and I'm too frugal to purchase the brewing system they showed.

If I have learned anything at all on this journey thus far, it's that whenever I say "never" in my thoughts or out loud, God has a way of bringing it back around to fruition each and every time! I guess this one slipped by my conscious mind until today. Mary doesn't use the expensive brewing system that I saw previously online. Instead, she starts by boiling water, sugar, (yes sugar) and black tea. This begins the process but when the tea has sat for a day and the "Scoby" is added, it consumes the sugar and leaves behind natural enzymes & probiotics. These are natural probiotics and definitely cheaper than the ones you buy in capsules on the shelf for $40-50!!  These days, yogurts unfortunately are so processed that there are very few probiotics or live cultures left by the time we consume them. Now, my lil guy thinks Kombucha is the soda that I never use to buy!

This tea ages back far into cultures where refrigerators didn't exist and natural fermentation was considered a healthy thing. People were way more healthy! Where did that go? Oh ya, our culture & society today says carbonation belongs in soda, otherwise it's garbage. Huh?  I beg to differ! There are SO many benefits from Kombucha, I've snagged a few here:

  • Liver detoxification
  • Increase metabolism
  • Balance internal pH
  • Rebuild connective tissue
  • Cancer prevention
  • Relieve headaches & migraines
  • Increase energy and vitality
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Reduce kidney stones
  • High in antioxidants & polyphenols
  • Improve eye sight
  • Heal eczema
  • Fight candida & other yeast infections
  • Reduce gray hair  (this one alone was worth a try for me!) 
  • Lower glucose levels
  • helps leaky gut
  • aides in digestive issues
After reading up on Kombucha benefits & talking with Mary yesterday, I hardly think this ancient tea is "garbage" because of its' fermented goodness! Yes, the scoby is a bit scary but I think over time, with Mary's help, I may just try brewing it myself.  After all, my kid thinks it's soda! When something SO great for your body tastes that good, I take it as a gift from God! Kind of like the stumbling over Kombucha five weeks ago...this whole health kick in our New Year has this amazing magnetic force to unravel more hidden health secrets. I'm slowly becoming less clueless and more intrigued...and I'm lovin' it!       

Half pizza, half vegan

I found organic pizza dough through Co-op this week so I decided to try it tonight. I'd definitely get the dough again. Since Dres is a huge fan of "just cheese" pizza, I decided to journey through the fridge for my half. My sauce topping is a favorite go to for me; green hummus! What else could I name it...AvoMus? (let me know on that one.)

Super Simple Hummus: 1 can of garbonzo beans aka chick peas, (I do canned because I've tried soaking these raw and then cooking them but even after a week, they were still too hard for me to enjoy) extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, 2 garlic cloves, 1 avocado and juice of a lemon & lime! Taaa Daaaa!  Green Hummus!

I also topped my side with quinoa, which I also keep pre-made in the fridge, sun-dried tomatoes (Costco) pickled asparagus, avocado, dehydrated tomatoes and pecans. I'm thinking this half could qualify for vegan...? Not that I am, but thinking it could be an overwhelming diet to tackle, I can't help but get excited when I can successfully take a recipe down for the vegan team!

I've always heard that Chicago & Italy are the pizza capitols of our planet. Maybe one day, I'll be blessed enough to visit and try the pizza there. Until then, have fun experimenting with toppings and allow your taste buds to dance to a new beat. Blessings, B

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Crazy ride outside a box

All of these ingredients were tossed together tonight for a sprouted bean trio (Costco), coconut and pecan "salad" if you will.... Definitely a different concept to throwing things together but again I revert back in my mind, "What's my intent with food for this meal?" This dish is full of fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals & nutrients my body will love AND I will be fulfilled by my positive choices. I am finally realizing that food is fuel for the body; not a journal to pour my emotions into. I saw a word poster on Pinterest saying, "You are not a dog so don't reward yourself with food." Boy, did that hit home. I love how my "rest stops" always have a gift of empowerment. Jesus, I am truly blessed by you!

How does one draw emotion away from the food we consume? Well, I am finding that it's a journey and different for every soul. As I rid the toxins of my spirit, my body and mind are enjoying life truly on a different level. Heck ya better late than never!  

Recipe Ideas

 Coconut Flour Chewy Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars Recipe photo

Check out for some great ideas! I love that I can now take old recipes when I used to use "WHITES" and substitute for the healthier options: 

sucanat, xylitol, real maple syrup, evaporated sugar cane juice for white sugar
coconut flour or almond flour for whole wheat or white flour
coconut oil for any other trans fat oil 
(I wonder if coconut butter could work for butter....hmmm butter and I have been the best of buds since I was six...that one may be hard to say "see ya" to...although these days, coconut oil is moving in closer) 

As far as recipes go, when it comes to making dinner, hands down most overwhelming meal for me to be creative with. So I'm learning to think outside of the box. Some days are easier than others. But for snacks and smoothies, I love throw caution to the wind and explore! Let me know if you find any keepers!    

Today's Favorite Foods

So I have been on a kick to add more protein to our diet simply because I do not consume meat on a daily basis and like fiber, protein helps fill us up so we are no longer hungry. It also helps in the muscle department but that's another post.

I discovered "pea powder protein" but then found these organic peas at Costco. I've included the Nutrition Facts to show how much fiber and protein are included in such a small amount. I've started to add these to our smoothies, also on top of my eggs in the morning, and sometimes a side at dinner. I keep them in the freezer and find them super simple to use. (I found a protein powder but go figure; the lil guy doesn't like it!)
Super nutritious! 
 HA! Bet ya never thought you'd see "fries" on here did ya? Well peeps, these are sweet potato fries baked in coconut oil with a dash of sea salt! Man o man, I love these!  So good and also super nutritious! I'd love to know what are some of your favorite foods? 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My morning detox

So I have to confess about something...Last night I went to the local frozen yogurt place for a play date and to meet a dear friend who just had her second baby. We walked in and the girl greeted us at the beginning of the yogurt line. Out of curiosity, I had asked her if she had a list of the ingredients that they used and SHE DID!  Little did I know I was about to be overwhelmed on a level with food that I have never experienced before. The one prior 'splurge' to this was eating Red Velvet Cake for Rob's birthday back in early February but even then, all of this info was still so new. There was SO MUCH RED DYE in that cake, I regretted my few bites the next day.  I know we are "allowed vacation meals" but this lifestyle change after 4 full months has left me not even wanting anything like cake or ice cream etc.  (We had a Groupon to use up so that's why we went there.)

While I'm standing there, I'm letting everyone else go first as if I was debating on whether I was really going to do this! The feeling of being this overwhelmed ABOUT SUGAR was an eye opener to me. It was as if I was looking back on how hard I have worked to learn everything I can and now for a few minutes, I'm going against these grains. It truly felt so un-natural. Speaking of un-natural, this morning my body was NOT happy. I WAS EXHAUSTED!  Instead of waking up with the sun- naturally, I drug and drug and drug, sleeping in an extra three hours. I was relating to why they say that sugar is like cocaine; controlling your body, spirit & mind.

When I finally put my feet on the ground, I made a smoothie for the lil guy and proceeded with extra's just for me. (If I would have given this to my lil guy, he would have said, "Uh no thanks.")

This smoothie consisted of: 
coconut water
almond milk
red bell pepper

In my mental state, I was appreciating the natural foods that can go in and detox genuinely when we've veered off the natural food path. This was proof that my body does perform differently when fed good versus not so good foods. Tonight, I am finding myself still more tired than I am used too. I am curious for tomorrow if I will be able to naturally rise with the sun once again. Stay tuned.....   

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Coconut to the rescue!

Can I just say, " I LOVE COCONUT!" Maybe you didn't quite get my drift. I ABSOLUTELY TURN TO COCONUT ON A DAILY BASIS THROUGHOUT MY DAY!!!

When I discovered that there was 10,000 pus cells in 2 TBSP of dairy milk, not to mention that it interferes with our bodies natural ability to produce much needed hormones to be healthy, I QUIT BUYING DAIRY MILK!  I never looked back. SO I have turned to Coconut Milk. Occasionally, we'll pick up Almond Milk as an alternative but Coconut Milk is our staple. I mix it with Coconut Water to drink my vitamins, I put it in smoothies, and even pina colada pops! (Pinterest calls those "crack on a stick" and they don't kid!) Coconut Water has more electrolytes than Gatorade and guess what? THEY ARE NATURAL!!! 

I absolutely LOVE Coconut Butter (in the little jar). A spoonful in the afternoon is a great snack and FULL OF FIBER!! 

Coconut Flakes are great in RAW snacks such as RAW nut balls. YEP ya just crush nuts, RAW honey, Coconut Oil and some sea salt. Roll into balls and toss into freezer. I keep them there for a snack on the go! I have learned NOT to use peanuts as they are grown with a natural layer of mold, YES MOLD! plus they go rancid very quickly. YUCK! and then a waste of the other awesome ingredients. 

The gallon bucket is my favorite: Coconut Oil! If you've ever heard anyone say it's bad for you, send them my way. I am a walking testimony of how coconut oil has transformed my journey. I use to cook with, bake with as many other oils go rancid when they reach high temps or they just plain SUCK for your insides. Vegetable oil, Canola oil, Safflower oil, Sunflower oil...the list is long but they pretty much CLOG YOUR ARTERIES and are known as TRANS FAT! As soon as Coconut oil hits your tongue, your body recognizes it as a good fat, knows exactly what to do with it and where to put it AND its' used right away as energy! Tell me that's NOT a WIN/WIN!  

Okay so back to my uses...Cook, bake, fry, YES FRY because it's a healthy oil, a spoonful in smoothies for energy, RAW snacks, smear on almond butter sandwiches, (bread is a whole other post) a base for my deodorant, lotion, YEP LOTION. After watching David Wolfe (on You Tube seminars) he has mentioned that using coconut oil as a lotion helps penetrate into the skin, promoting our bodies natural ability to balance our hormone levels. And are you ready for this one? After researching cosmetics on the market, I decided to try it as my moisturizer and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! In the past week since using it on my face, I have had two people comment on how the color in my skin looks so healthy. Ahhhhhhh music to my heart. So yes, this is definitely a LOVE!  I'll never be the same and I LOVE it! 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

No Lab Here!

Good Morning! Breakfast doesn't have to be hard. This AM on my plate:  

3 eggs scrambled (rich in omegas which fight inflammation.EVERY body has some inflammation)
cilantro (great detoxifier removing heavy metals and other toxic agents in the body) 
zucchini (lowers cholesterol, high in manganese, anti-inflammatory)
celery (full of folic acid & fiber) 
tomato (rich in fiber, Vit A, C, & K, lycopene, helps fight cancer!!! not to mention natural laxative)  

The protein, fiber and nutrients in this breakfast will take me way further than any bowl of cereal on the market! Plus, the colors here are full of "whole food" vitamins that my body will completely soak up. When you understand the benefits going into your mouth and what they will FOR your body, it's easier to consume. If I eat foods that were produced in a lab, it will take a lab to digest them. The longer the shelf life, the longer it takes to digest. This took me maybe 10 min to make. I got you Rachel Ray! Bon Appetit! 

Friday, April 27, 2012

What's your WHY?

A fun benefit to eating RAW and CLEAN ( meaning I eat next to no processed foods) has been inevitable weight loss. I had NO clue how harsh the ingredients were in our daily consumption. NONE!  On this quest of getting healthier & trying to balance my hormones naturally, I have discovered that consuming dairy and gluten both interfere with my body's ability to produce its' proper balance. I still remember the day when I learned dairy was a culprit; I immediately waived goodbye to flavored yogurt & cheese that were still part of my daily diet. Today, I only use plain FAGE greek yogurt and just this week found a lady who makes her own Kefir! I'm SO EXCITED to learn more from her. As for cheese, I'll admit it's a love I struggle to let go of but I have cut down considerably! The reasoning behind why dairy products can cause hormone imbalance is due to the hormones and antibiotics that are given to cows; then transfer over to the dairy products we consume. They are  again chemicals that our body doesn't recognize and causes us to internally shift or become "off."

As for gluten, I'm still working on this area but again have reduced considerably!  I'm even stepping out of my comfort zone and reaching for coconut flour or almond flour instead of whole wheat. Coconut flour surpasses whole wheat benefits by far in both protein and fiber! Highly recommended! Plus, you are consuming the pesticides that are sprayed on the wheat fields across America. Unfortunately, another culprit to hormone imbalance.

Since I cleaned out our pantry in early January, (and started feeding the birds in the back) I am down 14 pounds. To quote an old friend, "Once on your lips, forever on your hips." -James Charvet  Well, Jimmy, let me tell ya, I've heard "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels" but I say nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.

CHEAP toilet bowl cleaner that's clean enough for your mouth!

Another part of this detox quest is GETTING RID OF HOUSEHOLD CHEMICALS. I love how these three ingredients are what they are and I can pronounce ALL OF THEM! Not to mention, they could and sometimes do, go safely in my mouth at any given time.

So as I have mentioned in earlier posts, my husband had lost his ability to sleep naturally on his own. When healing his Central Nervous System began, he would still lay awake around the clock. So a "rest stop" came to me and I was introduced to doTERRA essential oils. (Thanks Amber!) After using these oils, my husband now sleeps ON HIS OWN WITH NO HELP!  The health benefits are truly endless. So in this photo, there is Melaleuca essential oil to help clean toilets! My advice going forward, FLUSH first, then drop in the baking soda (1/2 cup) and vinegar (1/4 cup.) Together they react in quite a bubbly manner! ( I learned the hard way and made a volcano mess on the counter.)  The Melaleuca (10 drops) helps go & tackle bacteria and give it a fresh smell.  

Call me radical...The trek ahead is healthy!

Going Glass

Our family (well pretty much me but my husband and son have adapted very well) has made some pretty radical changes since the New Year. Having been at rock bottom as far as health goes, any changes for the better, no matter how radical in my book ARE TOTALLY WORTH IT! Since Rob's healing process began in early January (a few months ago) I have been full throttle in researching a healthier lifestyle. I had got to a point in my life where my dreams of any future were shattered and I found myself daily pleading with God to bring healing. This part of the journey seems like a gift more than a chore of making these changes. After realizing that we were ALL toxic, I had NO problem listening, soaking it in and taking steps to our better life. 

As a female, I have known since the birth of my son that my hormones have been "off." I never wanted to take the time to go to the doctor as I didn't think it was that big of a deal and I've always been anti-meds anyway; assuming since my OBGYN at the time, did in fact prescribe for a possible solution. I never ended up taking those meds as they would have effected my milk production at the time. 

Since our new fork in the road has arrived, I love how God whispers to us at times and allows us to change our course. Now it seems like at every rest stop along the way, He delivers more guidance and more tools for me to draw upon as the "CEO" of my family. The latest tool is GLASS! Storing in plastic can be toxic to the body when it comes to hormone production! (Who knew?) Unfortunately, this also means bottled water. According to David Wolfe on "Hungry for Change," he comments about all bottled water on the market today. In order for the water to be non-toxic, the plastic bottles would have to sit for a year (hollow) in order to detoxic their toxic properties. We all know that NO company has this kind of patience when it comes to making money so they bottle the water as soon as the plastic is done being molded. AND what gets me? THE FDA SAYS THIS IS FINE!!!  The government in my opinion is a whole new post so we'll save that for later.   

So my project lately has been saving anything glass and transferring over things slowly. It's a process and for some, too overwhelming. I get that. BUT when you've looked at death straight in the face, (for me it was planning our future as a single mom without the love of my life) that was the most overwhelming. This is simply my way of bouncing back, enjoying God's gift of a second chance. With that said, I will RECYCLE and definitely REDUCE our use of plastic, however, I choose now not to REUSE. We are going glass! 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Healthy is a choice

So it's been 2 1/2 weeks since our house became lighter, brighter and we began healing as a family. I had NO idea how I as the 'CEO' of this family had contributed to our sinking ship. God has brought me to a place of humility where I am eager to learn all that I can. I have NO desire to retract the past 10 years in anyway. After going through our pantry & refrigerator and educating myself on what the ingredients TRULY are, I had NO problem extracting many things.

As for Rob and Dres, I pray this transformation will become easier for them with time as the healthier sides of us all, begin to become more noticeable. Rob is already slowly gaining healthy weight even though I'm sure his old habits tell him "fast food all the way will do it!" With the aid of essential oils, that I am learning about and diving into, Rob is going from not sleeping naturally at all, to slowly being able to sleep again. (This is a man who has had to take 15-20 Tylenol PM's a night and MAYBE it'd work. This year, we switched over to Melatonin and even still, he's been having to take 70mg or so and still not guarenteed to put him out.) Go doTerra essential oils! We are beginning to find what oils will work for Rob and he continues on this amazing revalational ride.

Thank you Jesus for designing our bodies to not only heal themselves but also producing natural medicines in the earth that can help aid in healing our bodies even faster. I heard today that "Nature knows what to do with nature but nature does not know what to do with chemicals!"

As for Dres, I have to realize that his little mind works a lot like mine and he's got a little radical in him. With food now, he's always asking, "Is this healthy?" "Does this have red dye in it Mama?" "Is there sugar in this?" I say "Bless his little heart" for coming along on this radical ride. Your future lil guy is going to be wealthy in good health with all that you are learning right along side of me. I do find myself needing to be careful in how I present things to him as he could be borderline of not wanting to eat anything at all with the slightest possibility of it being bad. He is so precious. At times, I wish I could go back and feed him avocados and hummus as a baby to prevent his tastebuds from becoming fans of sweets and formed otherwise. The good news? Tastebuds can be altered and renewed. His favorite food is broccoli so I may be okay afterall.

If you are reading this and wondering more about the essential oils, feel free to email me at and I will try to answer whatever I can. You can also go to to learn more about them. I am seeing how amazing they are working for my family as well as others and I'd rather invest in something that works than pay a doctor who can't really do anything for me naturally.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Its' a New Year!

I keep saying how I can't believe how fast time flies. It's been over a year since I've updated this; Thanks Lindy for the reminder! ;0)

Dres is half way through Kindergarten and LOVING IT. He has a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Karr, who is amazing with them all. He enjoys engineering (playing and building with Legos) and also PE. He has also started to read in the past month and I couldn't more excited. I studied this stage last year in grad school but to see it actually happening is a completely different experience. He is coming right along and I am elated.

I finished grad school at George Fox University back in June '11 and graduated with straight A's. Not to toot my own horn or anything but I was pretty stoked. In all my years of school, straight A's seemed impossible for me. (Okay, I can't lie. I did get one A- but I didn't agree with it.) Grad school was tough but I am so glad that I did it and can look back at my experiences, lessons learned and passion found in the classroom. I have yet to have a classroom of my own but I KNOW God is in charge of that one. I also met some pretty fun people along the way, including students who snagged my heart pretty quickly. I will forever be indebted to Wendy and Melissa for teaching me tricks of the trade and being more patient with me than I knew possible. I miss seeing you both very much.

Rob's health had hit rock bottom in this past month Dec '11/Jan '12. I was preparing my mind to become a widow and was grasping for my faith in God every hour it seemed. I was seeking guidance from our church, The Pursuit and going each Sunday was my saving grace. I felt that the Holy Spirit would seek me out there and chill my core to tears. I was trying to do it all, keep it altogether for the past year and some days, I'd just break down emotionally in a quiet place. I was begging God to have mercy on my husband as he was in unbearable pain every single day, despite the extremely heavy pain meds he was on. He had closed himself off in our office, put a blanket up over the window to block out any light and would only get up to vomit. He had stopped eating since the pain had taken away his appetite. My 6'6, 210 pound husband was withering away to a 160lb frail & pail body who was also hunched over to about 6' resembling an 80 year-old man. Dresden would often ask "Why is Daddy so sick? Why can't Daddy play with me anymore? Why can't Daddy even hug me back when he lays there in bed?"
My heart was slowly breaking for this little boy who simply didn't understand what was happening. I was trying to keep life as normal as possible for him as we went everywhere together to keep our spirits lifted.

A couple of guys from our church even stopped by to see the devastation in Rob for themselves. They encouraged me to press on and be what Dresden needed as God would work in Rob. I was feeling more helpless for him with each pressing day. I was getting to the point where I was afraid to open the office door in the case that my husband had passed away in the night.

Over Christmas, beginning December 12th, we had received a delivery where no one was at the door. Deliveries continued all the way up til Christmas; each one anonymous. Gifts, cards, cash etc. I had posted daily on Facebook what it was like. SURREAL. It was as though the hand of God was at work here. The magic of Christmas was alive in Dresden's face with each delivery. The joy in Dres alone was such a gift for me. With Rob and I both unemployed, things have been tight. God was providing our needs but He made it apparent that we were to be blessed beyond our needs during this time. By Christmas day, I felt overwhelmed with emotion, knowing that God was showering US on His son's birthday. Talk about a generous God.

In the timeline scheme of things, I know that I am leaving tons out but here we are January 10th, 2012. Last week, we had received a letter in the mail from our counselor at church who was granting us a FREE visit to see this doctor for an evaluation. He didn't practice traditional medicine but was wondering if he could help. So I read the letter to Rob as he laid in a ball in the dark. Although I had a glimpse of hope, Rob was barely functioning. I agreed to call them to see what it was about. The next day, we went in and he was a chiropractor who dealt in healing the Central Nervous System which runs up and down the spinal cord. He looks for pressure points to match up where there are problems in the body. Surprisingly, he evaluated us both for FREE. I was reluctant because I really wanted Rob to receive all of the care but I was so thankful Dr. B insisted since I have suffered from headaches and migraines which were becoming more frequent. Sure enough, he found where Rob's blood flow had been cut off in his spine to his kidneys, causing death like pain. He also found pressure in my neck and shoulders causing my headaches. We went away that afternoon with more hope than ever. We were scheduled to return the very next morning, first thing.

I had awakened with a headache coming on strong and I was anxious for Rob to get relief. When I entered the office to get him, he said he was so weak that I needed to reschedule. (very common in past appointments) I was putting my foot down on this one and told him that I had a headache and we needed to go. He said I could go alone and I responded "not an option." We both needed to go and I asked him not to do this to me. With that, he got up. An hour later, he was walking in hunched over. Dr. B adjusted him and when Rob stood up, he was not only straight & tall but he was smiling; something that had gone M.I.A. for a very long time. He said his pain was immediately GONE.

We are not only talking about 10 years of medical bills but the past year of seeing numerous doctors & specialists, a year of kidney pain where Rob felt like a knife was always in his back, a year of being misdiagnosed with kidney disorders and infections, many times consecutive visits to the E.R. in the same week. Boom, ONE adjustment for blood to flow properly again like God designed us and he's healed. Who knew?

In the past few days, I have seen my husband with color again. His appetite IS back and we are hopeful that weight will find him quickly. I am finding myself dream again of our future and how prosperous we can be TOGETHER. The year 2011 was definitely monumental for me. I felt one on one with God where He taught me that although I am stronger than I realized, it's also ok to draw strength from Him and his people in time of need. It's ok NOT to have it altogether and show vulnerability. Pastor Paul at church this past summer did a series on the Generousity Revolution. He said that God desires his people to be generous and give. BUT if we are in a season where we cannot give then we need to be reassured that there's generousity to be had. This hit me as if God whispered it into MY ear. This year has also been the first year of our marriage (going on 10) where we have finally given God first place financially. Afterall, everything we have comes from him, why shouldn't we show gratitude and give back first. Josh at church once said, "I dare you to give more than you ever have. Put God first. See what happens. If you find yourself in need, we will give it back. But I bet you will find yourself in a place where God sheds light on His fruit and you will be more blessed than ever." Josh, you were SO right and I'm so thankful for your leadership on this journey. Be blessed. I know we are. Happy New Year.