"To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art." - La Rochefoucauld

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Jake & Ben are in KINDERGARTEN!

Where did the time go? I am so proud of my boys and how far they have come. I am excited for them but am feeling sad that our days of playing on the family room floor and spending our days together are a thing of the past. They now have big boy responsibilities! I asked them if they would hold hands for a picture on the big day and they said "no way MOM!" :(  When did they decide to grow up and be big five year olds!!!

Summer Tea Party!

Cheers to our 2nd annual tea party! 
Gosh I love having a little girl!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

2nd Annual Movie Night

We enjoyed our 2nd annual outdoor movie party last night! It was a great way to kick-off summer. Thank you to all of our friends and family who joined us for the celebration.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer Fun!

Cool down with a cool/crisp hydration drink after a long day in the sun!

Fill a pitcher of water and add the following: Fresh mint, peeled/sliced cucumbers, and lemon wedges. This drink is used at spas and nursing homes to hydrate and nourish the guests.

Junk Food Make-Over

A few of my friends from my recipe club decided 2012 was going to be the healthiest year yet! Each month we have worked toward different goals. 

Jan.- Good-bye processed foods! Cut back on gluten!
Feb.- Beverage make-over! Increase water intake!
March- Get your vitamin D checked and act accordingly!
April- Track your sugar!
May- Amazing Abs! Do 100 sit-ups a day!
June- Junk food make-over!

For our June goal I am asking anyone who is interested, to post in the comments section, their junk food make over suggestions.  The assignment is to pick four regular household staples (one a week) and give them a make-over. Examples may be, salad dressings, BBQ sauce, marinades, ketchup, applesauce, etc., etc. You will be surprised how easy it is to make a lot of these items. The NourishMD pantry cook book has lots of great recipes for our junk food make-over. My first staple make-over is taco seasoning. Check it out!

Yellow Corn Flour, Spices, Salt, Maltodextrin, Paprika, Modified Corn Starch, Onion Powder, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Citric Acid, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Natural Flavor, Caramel Color (sulfites).
 Lets discuss some of these ingredients:

Sulfites: "One food additive — sulfite — has been spotlighted in the media recently because new research demonstrates that it is more dangerous than previously known. Sulfites are chemical compounds used extensively by the food processing industry to preserve foods. They are also used as a dough conditioner, a bleach for starches, and as an agent to stabilize pharmaceutical medications.

Studies have shown that sulfites in foods can cause migraine headaches, which can be a particular problem in children. Some well-controlled studies also found a link between sulfites and tension headaches.

High sulfite levels in the blood and tissues inhibit an enzyme called glutamate dehydrogenase. This enzyme plays a major role in keeping brain glutamate levels from getting too high. High brain glutamate triggers a brain-damaging reaction called excitotoxicity, which can lead not only to headaches, but also to an increased risk of developing such degenerative brain diseases as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and a host of others. Inhibition of this critical enzyme by sulfite may also play a role in the worsening of asthma.

There is compelling evidence that high levels of sulfites can cause damage and chronic degeneration of the nervous system and may even cause behavioral problems such as depression, panic attacks, and anxiety."

Caramel Coloring: "Caramel coloring, found in cola and other foods, has shown a positive association with risk of hypertension or high blood pressure. In fact, The Journal of the American Medical Association conducted a study and found that it was not the caffeine in soda that raised blood pressure, but rather the caramel coloring that may be responsible for the increased risk of hypertension.
Caramel coloring acts as an emulsifying agent that keeps flavor oils suspended in a solution. It is made by heating food-grade carbohydrates (such as corn syrup) to high temperatures. Usually an acid such as acetic, lactic or phosphoric acid is added to break the bonds between the sugars as it is heated to caramelization. The result is a burnt sugar that is the world’s most widely consumed (by weight) food coloring ingredient. It is not found only in colas, but also in sauces, gravies and baked goods.
One must question why this additive is included in so many products. We are a society  that eats with our eyes. Color is the first impression that “sets the table” for other sensory experiences. Caramel coloring gives breads a deeper shade of brown, provides beer with a full-bodied appearance and lends baked goods a uniform appearance.
The FDA reports that the absolute safety of any food coloring substance can never be proven.  Because scientific knowledge is constantly evolving, federal officials often review earlier decisions to assure that the safety assessment of a food substance remains up to date." 

Autolyzed Yeast Extract:  "Autolysis is a chemical process in which salt and live yeast interacts. The salt causes the live yeast to essentially self-destruct--the digestive enzymes in the yeast "eat" themselves. This creates an inactive yeast with an entirely different set of proteins. Further processing creates autolyzed yeast extract. Many processed foods contain the ingredient; but what few are aware of is that autolyzed yeast extract, with its hearty flavoring, is also an abundant source of MSG."

Refresher on the dangers of MSG: "The risks associated with ingestion of (or even contact with) monosodium glutamate and other ingredients that contain MSG are simple and straightforward:
Brain damage
Endocrine disorders (obesity and reproductive disorders)
Behavior disorders
Adverse reactions      
Neurodegenerative disease."  
With all of that being said I would like to share a healthier alternative. I found this taco seasoning recipe from the wonderful people at NourishMD in their pantry cook book. If you use organic/clean spices, this recipe will be a healthier and more cost effective food for your family.  

Taco Seasoning Recipe:

2 T. Chili Powder
5 t. Paprika
4 t. Ground Cumin
3 t. Onion Powder
2 t. Celtic Sea Salt
2.5 t. Garlic Powder
1/8 t. Cayenne Pepper

Cook one pound of ground beef thoroughly.  Add 3/4 cup of water and 3 T. of taco seasoning mix.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. 

Store taco seasoning in an air tight glass container. 

Choose which family staple you'd like to make-over and please share!!! :) 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

We miss you Nora!

We so enjoyed the company of Miss Nora this week! :)

Mother's Day Fun at Pre-School!

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I would like to send a special shout out to my sis who is raising three sweet, loving, caring, thoughtful beautiful girls! She does all this while working a high powered business job, hours of homework with her girls each night, planning great parties for the family, etc. etc. and always making her kids feel loved!

A New Adventrue!

If I post it, I will do it!!! I hope.... Since my first pregnancy back in 2002 I have made a conscious effort to live a healthy, clean life. Not only for my children, but for myself. I do fall off the wagon and give into guilty pleasures from time to time but try my hardest to be a role model for my children. Studying nutrition has been a wonderful/on going journey but I knew there was one more piece of the puzzle missing..FITNESS!  I have been through many extremes with fitness over the years...from running a half and full marathon to doing nothing for a period of time. Being pregnant and stuck in the house with four babies didn't help the cause. However, as I approach my 35th birthday I working toward a new goal that I am hoping will last a lifetime.

I am highly considering (with lots of self-doubt) becoming a fitness instructor, starting out with indoor spinning. My husband and I joined a gym about a year and a half ago and it has proven to be a great decision. I have realized that I needed regular fitness in my life, not only for my physical well-being but for my mental well-being.

Mondays are my long days. No school for the kids, lots of activities and my hubby plays baseball after work.  My patience is tested, to say the least. I started running while my kids are at their tennis lesson and I have realized it changed my entire mind set. I went from thinking...I am not sure I can get through bed time to I am ready to tackle bedtime with a smile on my face. It completely changed my entire demeanor.  I am officially addicted to exercise endorphins. I do face the guilt of being away from the kids while I exercise but I have come to realize that it makes me a better mom! Certainly more patient!

Sooo with that being said, I am thinking about taking my love for exercising to a new level. I am so blessed to have an exercise mentor, who is also my dear friend Maria. She does an amazing job at motivating an entire room of people to be their best. Not sure I have that in me but I have a great role model to show me the way.... THANK YOU MARIA for taking me under your wing! XO

So now that I posted my new adventure, I HAVE TO DO IT! :) Wish me luck!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Super Sunday

Super Sunday!
Nothing like a family filled day of fun! Yard work, side walk chalk, bike riding, and a little BBQ! It was a beautiful day. The day ended with some homemade, healthy ice cream. It was DELISH!!! Here is the recipe:
1) Peel and cut 3 bananas. Freeze.  
2) Once frozen, add to a food processor. 
3) Add 3 T. of natural peanut butter.
4) Add 2 T. of organic/raw honey.
5) Add a splash of organic/raw milk.
6) Add a few ice cubes.
7) Blend until the consistency looks like ice cream. You may need to add more milk or peanut butter to achieve the proper consistency.
8) Prepare and enjoy immediately. It will melt quickly. 

Dental Procedure Warning!

If your child is going to have a sealant put on their teeth, check with your dentist 
to see that they are using the BPA FREE product. Strengthen your children's teeth with vitamin K! A good source of vitamin K can be found in pasture fed meat and dairy.

A New Meal Idea!

A big thank you to my mommy-in-law who created this recipe. I put my own spin on it and I apologize for not having the exact measurements.  I made this a few days ago and have eaten it for lunch everyday. It is so healthy and filling. You can dip some tortilla chips in the salad or boil some collard greens and use as a wrap.

Couscous/Quinoa Salad

Cook one serving of couscous.
Cook one serving of quiona.
Cool in fridge.
Chop veggies very small: cucumber, tomato, peppers, onion.
Add all of the above ingredients to a big mixing bowl.
Add a handful of either slivered almonds or pine nuts.
Add olive oil, balsamic, a squeeze of a fresh lemon, fresh copped cilantro, Celtic Sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano to your liking. 
Mix well and chill in fridge.