Sunday, September 30, 2012

Welcome to 31 Days of Healthier Grub!!!!

I am SO excited for tomorrow!!  Tomorrow marks the first day of my series:

Why healthier grub?  Because the saying "you are what you eat" is actually quite true.  That when we put junk into our bodies, frankly, we feel like junk.  We are bombarded with a plethora of symptoms from bad eating which range from fatigue, headaches, migraines, colds, brain fog, etc.  And how do I know this? Because I'm the worst one to fall into a pattern of reaching for the pastries and chocolate.

So, to start off the series, I am making a pledge to you, and inviting you in on a challenge.  Starting tomorrow, and for the rest of the month, I will be avoiding all refined sugars. I will reduce my intake of caffeine, and I will actively avoid greasy and all around bad foods for my body.

Do you know that sugar is in just about EVERYTHING???  Here's a few things I found around my house that contain sugar:

-Spaghetti Sauce
-Applesauce (only when you accidentally buy the "Sweetened" version. Oops!)

So, what about you?  Do you want to join in on the challenge?  Can you live 31 days without sugar, even with Halloween around the corner?  Don't be too discouraged by this post, because I never said we would avoid foods that are sweet.  There are so many other sweeteners that are natural and better for our bodies, that we can consume and not feel that sugar rush followed by the sugar low.  We'll talk more about that in the days to come.

Each day I will come back to this post and add a link to the current day I am writing about.

Thanks so much for coming along on this adventure with me! :)

Day 1:  You don't need sugar to be sweet

Day 2:  Drink and be Merry!

Day 3:  Smoothies

Day 4:  Breakfast, the most important meal of the day

Day 5:  The Healthy foods that Aren't

Day 6:  Thanksgiving

Day 7:  Cheating...

Day 8:  Healthy and Frugal possible?

Day 9:  How to Make Kefir

Day 10:  Getting Kids to Eat Healthy

Day 11:  How to Make Healthy Earth Balls

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Feeling Under the Weather

I've been feeling a little under the weather here, so of course, what do I decide to do when a bad head cold hits?  Move furniture of course!  I have been doing a lot of de-cluttering over the past few months, and some of that has come in the form of furniture. So today I shuffled some stuff around.  My favorite spot in our house right now is this:

(Stop looking at the dust!) ;)

This spot makes me think of those places in Asia where you sit on the floor to eat. This is the hutch that goes to our desk, which is now in another location for another use.  The table holding the keyboard has recently been mod-podged...because come on,mod-podge is fun!

The funny thing is,this computer doesn't get used. We have three computers in this house. Ridiculous, I know, but my husband has his own laptop for work that he takes with him, and I got his old one.  This computer in the picture is just in a bad location...near sleeping kids.  We talked about getting rid of it, but it's actually doing something there...providing us with our wireless connection for the rest of the computers.  I'm sure we could change it around somehow with some tools, but the thought of that is too complicated for my brain.

Anyways, I digress...

So, after I spent the afternoon moving furniture, I was really feeling the head cold.  Totally being in "pumpkin" mood lately, I decided to make a pumpkin smoothie but add some greens.  Greens are definitely a good choice when you are sick!

Pumpkin Green Smoothie:

1/2 cup cooked pumpkin
2 bananas
2 large handfuls of spinach
Milk of your choice
1 Tbsp Agave
1 Tbsp Flax

And I just realized I forgot to add some spirulina, but if you decide to, it will make the smoothie darker of course.

So yummy!

And of course, I had to accompany that with some raw vegan treats.  I've discovered this new website, Healthful pursuit, and I kid you not when I say I've spent the past few nights SALIVATING over her recipes, and bookmarking dozens of ones I want to try.  I did make some No Bake Fudge Drops.  This is the picture that played out shortly after in my house:

Notice they have one each.  I won't tell you that I who ate the other six.

So, all in all, it's been a busy, delicious day.  Now I'm ready to do some crocheting, and fall into bed, ready for a busy day of swimming lessons, flyer reading:), and homeschooling tomorrow.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pumpkins, pumpkins, we love pumpkins!

The air is feeling crisp, the woodstove smell is in the air, and I'm loving the start of Autumn!  Of course, Autumn is also a great time for lots of yummy treats.  Since I am trying to stay away from those treats, I decided to figure out how to use pumpkin for good! :)

Alas, I present to you, the pumpkin smoothie!

Okay, so I'm not the first to invent something like this, but it's good, nonetheless.

Here's what I did:

I bought a pie pumpkin, but you could use canned pumpkin.  I could only find the pumpkin pie filling which is loaded with sugar, so I decided just to buy a pumpkin and cook it up.

2 cups of milk of your choice.
1/2 cup of pumpkin
1 banana
1 TBSP Agave or sweetener of your choice
1/4 cup leftover oatmeal from breakfast
1 TBSP Flax
sprinkle of cinnamon
sprinkle of ginger

Throw it all in a blender, and there you pumpkin smoothie.

I kinda wanna make another one.  I just finished my last one 2.5 minutes ago.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Meat or Vegetarian?

In our house, we eat meat, but not every day.  On average, we eat meat about once a week.  It's a perfect compromise for my meat-lovin' husband.  But you may still wonder how in the world I am able to convince him to eat so many meals that do not contain meat.

When wanting family members to join you in healthier choices, my biggest piece of advice is to lead by example.  Forcing your health choices on your spouse will not go over well.  Never did I come into the house and declare that we would get rid of all meat products and I'd only be making vegetarian fare. That would make for one unhappy husband!  But gradually, I started making more vegetarian meals, and less meals that were centered around meat.  I also made sure to mix it up...feeding Sam (my husband) beans and rice every day would not end well.  And when something was clearly disliked (like a lentils and rice dish I made that I truly thought was a winner until everyone shared their disdain for it!)  I didn't make it for them again.  And of course, every once in awhile I add meat to the dishes.  I tend to add meat as a stretcher, and not as the main fare.  Meat ends up in stirfries, soups, or chilis.

I also didn't try to force my husband to eat any of the meals I made, but if there was something that he really didn't want, he always knows he can make himself something different, and if he wants something else bad enough, he will!

This is what has worked in my house.  So much so that the other day I tried a new recipe, lentil tacos, and Sam told me I could make that anytime.  Not gonna lie, I smiled a little to myself in that moment. ;)

Monday, September 17, 2012

31 Days of...

Lately I had been thinking it would be good to take a month and blog EVERY SINGLE DAY.  So, imagine my surprise when I discovered a whole network of bloggers doing just that for the month of October over at The Nester!  If you want to follow along, starting October 1st I will be blogging every day for 31 days about a topic I'm passionate about:

(Like the name?  My good friend thought it up.  She's doing her own 31 days for the second year in a row.  You can follow her 31 days at Imperfect Homemaking.)

For 31 days I will be sharing things I've learned along the way of my own personal health journey, as well as recipes and the benefits of changing your diet.  As well, for the 31 days I will be embarking on my own personal challenge, which will involve not eating any refined sugar, caffeine (dark, healthy chocolate excluded of course! ;) ) and junk food.  What about you? Are you up for the challenge? Do you want to spend the month of October choosing a healthier way to eat?

Although I can eat some pretty healthy/unique food, the past year with pregnancy and keeping up with three kids, I've found myself more often than not stuffing my face with pastries and chocolate to get through the day.  I am ready to jump back into a diet that will encourage a feeling of wellness, and not the opposite.

I hope you will join me in my adventure!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Black Bean Brownies

Yes, you read the title right.  Brownies made from black beans.  Now, before you close this blog as fast as you can, hear me out first.

This is the perfect recipe for so many reasons.  It is gluten-free, and it is healthy.  No flour, no refined sugars, and this is one dessert you WANT your kids to have seconds of.

I was a little skeptical at first myself, but this seriously tastes like a brownie!  The only thing I wold recommend is letting them refrigerate for an hour or so before consuming.  They taste way better that way, and the texture is nicer than straight out of the oven.

When my husband came home last night, I gave him the last brownie. (me and the kids ate the entire batch.)  He kept taking bites of it and then looking at it strangely, trying to comprehend how this beany brownie could taste so much like, well, a regular brownie!

You can make your own batch if you follow this link:

Also, I made a cream made from cashews to top it off.  The kids didn't particularly like it, but that was okay because it meant more for me. :)  The recipe for that is over at:

I hear you can make brownies from chickpeas too.   I will have to try that!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Going Bananas

One of my favorite foods has and will always be bananas.  To me, they are the perfect food: easy to grab for a quick snack, a creamy base for smoothies, or a yummy lunch when paired with some nut butter.

To satisfy me banana cravings, I tend to go to the store for bananas every couple days.  Since I freeze a lot of bananas for things such as smoothies, or raw vegan pancakes,or soft-serve ice cream. I decided I should start buying these bananas in bulk.

You should have seen people's faces when I came up to the checkout with this:

I was asked by an employee if I was from Dairy Queen! ;)  Having my 3 little monkeys with me should have been proof enough that we needed a lot of bananas!

Anyways, I can't wait to turn these bananas into delicious treats such as this:

Green smoothie with bananas, frozen fruit, lots of spinach, and flax!  

My next thing I want to try with bananas is crepes made in the dehydrator.  Crepes with berries...yum! :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A New Day

I am not new to blogging, but after feeling a bit bored with my other blog, I felt it was time to start fresh.  I am the mother of three beautiful children, and when my newest one came along just over 4 months ago, I struggled to find time to blog.  Now that those first busy months are over, I'm ready to be back.

When I started blogging a few years ago, I wanted a place where I could share the happenings in my life, but mostly, I liked to share about our food.  Over the years I had developed quite an interest for strange healthy food.  I had dabbled in many areas, such as raw veganism, green smoothies, juicing, etc.  However, as much as we still have a green smoothie almost every day, my dedication to preparing healthy meals has definitely been lacking, especially over the past year.  With pregnancy and adding a new baby to the mix it became increasingly easier to grab a handful of store-bought crackers, or rely on pick-me-ups such as coke or sugar-filled snacks.  And of course, with all of this I have noticed an increase of fatigue, colds, and other negative symptoms.

So, I've decided to start this blog as I share my journey of getting back on the "health" wagon. Here at this blog you won't find me committing myself to a full raw vegan diet, nor will you find me refusing all SAD (Standard American Diet) foods. I do, and most likely will always eat some meat.  I do, and most definitely will always choose to indulge in a high, sugar-laden dessert once in awhile.  You won't find perfection here - you WILL see me struggle, and you WILL see me fall off that wagon sometimes.  But hopefully you will also see me get back on it.  

Along with food, my interests include fugality, homeschooling, crafting, and JESUS.  I won't just be sharing food, or health here at my blog, but life as I know it in my little corner of the world.

Me and my munchkins :)