Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats

Since I just finished my Ultimate Reset, I have been ready to indulge in some healthy treats.  I was so glad that I had a yummy looking cookbook to review!

Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats:  Allergy-Free & Vegan Recipes from the Famous Los Angeles Bakery by Debbie Adler 

sweet debbies cookbookAdler-Small

Reading through this cookbook makes me wish I lived in Los Angeles!  So many of the recipes are on my MUST TRY list!

My favorite dessert ever is brownies – this cookbook has a whole brownie section – HEAVEN!!!!

Gourmet Dark Chocolate Mesquite Brownies, Girl Scout Brownies, Blondies with Roots, Sunflower Buttercup Brownies and Caramel Glazed Fakin’ Bacon Brownies OH MY!

I love that the recipes are healthy versions, using gluten free flours, dairy-free and she uses sugar alternatives.  She takes all the guess work out!

If you are thinking, I don’t really eat sweets and would rather have bread….. no worries, she has a bread section too!  I’m pretty sure the Pumpcornbread and Krispy Kale N Cheese Soft Pretzel Rods are going to be eaten frequently in our house YUM!

Sweet Cranberry Hemp Bars:

sweet ccranberry hemp bars

Just in case there is some confusion, hemp seed has nothing to do with marijuana.  So sorry to the messenger on that one.  But the good news is, instead of making you all high and hungry, help fills you up, levels off your blood sugar and contains heart-healthy omega-3 and omega-6, as well as vitamins A, B, D and E.    So now you can have the high of your life just knowing that you’re harboring such nutritious kernels in your snack.

MUST HAVE

sheet of parchment paper slightly larger than 8×8 inches

1 3/4 gluten free oats

1/3 cup all purpose gluten free flour

1/3 cup hemp seeds

3/8 tsp guar gum

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

6 TBSP coconut oil

6 TBSP coconut nectar

1/4 cup dried cranberries

MUST DO

1.  Preheat oven to 325 F.  Line an 8 x 8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper, whit a little extra over the sides.

2.  Mix together the oats, flour, hemp seeds, guar gum and salt in a large bowl.

3.  Microwave the coconut oil and coconut nectar in a 2 cup measuring cup for 20 seconds and stir to combine  Pour the coconut oil mixture into the oat mixture.  Fold in the dried cranberries.

4.  Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it into the corners and on top with a wet baking spatula to cover the pan evenly.

5.  Bake for 24-25 mins or until the oats are a light golden brown.  Rotate the pan from front to back halfway through baking.

6.  Transfer the pan from the oven to a wire rack and let sit for about 15 mins before putting in the freezer for at least 1 hour.

7.  Transfer the parchment paper to a cutting board and cut into 16 bars.

Wrap each bar individually in parchment paper or bakery tissue paper, place in a sealable plastic bag and keep frozen until ready to pack or eat.

Nutrition Information Per Serving  (1 bar):  100 calories, 6g total fat 0.0 mg cholesterol, 19 g carbohydrates 40 mg sodium, 2 g fiber 2 g protein, 5 g sugars

Pick up your copy today at your favorite bookstore!  You’ll be glad you did!  Enjoy!

Ultimate Reset Results!

For the last 3 weeks I have been following the Ultimate Reset.  It is a food based cleanse (for lack of a better word).  I had to modify it just a bit, but I finished yesterday and thought I would share my results.

This reset is not for the faint of heart, by that I mean that it is hard but it is worth it.  It takes a lot of food prep, a lot of willpower and a lot of commitment.  For 3 weeks, you will follow a meal plan of yummy food, but it may be some foods you are not familiar with, such as tempeh, jicama, seaweed and millet.  I loved almost all the recipes.  The only ones I didn’t like were the roasted fennel (not a fan of licorice) and the avocado/cucumber soup.  I didn’t think that was too bad out of 3 weeks of meals and snacks.

UR day 2 ur day 6UR day 11 UR day 21 

You can choose to have Shakeology for one of your meals or snacks if you like (as long as you use the vegan Shakeology).  I did continue to have mine for breakfast everyday.  I just love that stuff!

There are also some supplements that you take daily.  The alkalinize may take a little getting used to (it is a green drink – similar to wheatgrass) and the detox doesn’t taste bad, but it was a texture issue for me (tasted like weak lemon tea), I got used to it quickly though.  None of the supplements will have you running to the bathroom, so rest assured, it isn’t that type of cleanse.  You are not supposed to do any strenuous exercise while following the program.  Light yoga, stretching and walking are allowed.

I was ready to throw in the towel the last week.  I had a lot going on and was running around like crazy, but I stuck with it and I am so glad that I did.

I lost 4 lbs and 6 3/4 inches.  I’m happy with these results.  This is my second time to do this and the first time I lost 8 lbs and I don’t remember how many inches.  So, I am sleeping better, the bloat in my tummy is gone and I’m glad I did it.

If you are interested in checking out the Ultimate Reset, just check out my page.  It is a LOT of hard work, but you won’t be sorry you did it!

Now, having said all that, I can not wait to have something yummy and pumpkin flavored!  I’ll be having that today and then I’ll be back to eating healthy!  I’m going to follow the protocol for adding certain foods in slowly.  Most of the reset is following a vegan diet.  But that pumpkin spice chai is really calling my name!

 

Bless This Food

It’s hard when you are going through tough times to look for your blessings, but I have found that really, this is when you need to be looking the hardest.  They are always there, but sometimes you have to look a little harder.

I pray and I think I pray a lot.  It makes me feel closer to God, but also makes me feel better.  I do try to let go and let God, but I am a worrier.  I always have been and probably always will be.  Counting my blessings and being grateful, thankful are so important to me and I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams.

I found a cool book that gives some very nice and very varied blessings.  It includes prayers from all cultures and will certainly give you some food for thought.

Bless This Food: Ancient & Contemporary Graces from Around the World by Adrian Butash

BlessFood_pbk_cvr.indd

 

From the publisher:

At large family gatherings, we often recall simple practices that can easily get overlooked in the rush of our day-to-day lives, such as pausing a moment before eating to say grace. But what happens when those who are gathered look to us to say the blessing and we haven’t a clue what to say?  It was a similar quandary that inspired Adrian Butash to write BLESS THIS FOOD: Ancient & Contemporary Graces from Around the World (New World Library, August 15, 2013).

Sharing food is the most universal cultural experience, connecting people to one another, to nature, and to the infinite. Expressing thanks for food was the world’s first act of worship and is common to every known society. This beautiful cultural and religious tradition acknowledges bounty and our daily sustenance as gifts from the divine. According to Butash, some of the oldest human records we have – ancient cave paintings of deer and bison – offer the very first expressions of gratitude for food in pictorial form.

BLESS THIS FOOD presents 160 timeless mealtime blessings in an easy-to-use format for contemporary families, offering background on the traditions to provide context for the eloquent prayers and poems. Prayer has been carefully selected from each of the world’s major religions, as well as from ancient traditions and the work of great poets, thinkers, and activists-including Shakespeare, Milton, Gandhi, and Mother Teresa. Also included are two prayers in American Sign Language and the short prayer “bless this food” in nineteen languages.

Open BLESS THIS FOOD to any prayer, and you will find meaning and beauty. Butash also suggests letting children choose a prayer to read before a meal so they can participate actively in the family ritual instead of remaining passive spectators at the table. Elegantly decorated, the book is perfect for gift-giving or just having on hand for regular meals as a reminder of the benefits of connecting with each other in the spirit of thanksgiving and gratitude.

One of my favorite prayers from the book:

May the blessing of God rest upon you,

May his peace abide with you,

May his presence illuminate your heart

Now and forevermore.

~ Sufi blessing (seventh century)

I thought the book was well written and had a wide variety of prayers and poems, some you will recognize for sure.

If you are looking for a book of blessings that will be a blessing to your home, be sure and pick up a copy of Bless This Food.

Many blessings to you on this Spirit Sunday!

Budget Friendly SuperFoods

Everyone is always trying to be healthier and eat healthy.  Superfoods can be expensive and confusing.  Jessica Cox has provided me with a list of 10 Budget Friendly Superfoods and a few recipes!

superfoods1

Gogi and acai berries, pomegranates, and even spirulina algae are taking the stage as superfood superstars. But a one-pound package of powdered algae costs $30 to $40 (and who wants to eat that anyway?!), and you’ll pay about $35 for a one-liter bottle of goji juice. But superfoods don’t have to be exotic or expensive. Superfoods are foods that contain higher concentrations of nutrients and relatively fewer calories per serving than other foods. This includes most fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, herbs and spices and fat-free dairy. Incorporating these nutritional superstars into your diet regularly will help ensure that you get enough of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy without blowing your budget on expensive specialty foods and supplements.

Top 10 Budget-Friendly Superfoods:

1. Beans and peas Legumes: including kidney beans, black beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas and lentils, are an excellent source of meat-free protein, fiber, folate and potassium. Diets highs in beans and peas may help to reduce the risk of heart disease and prevent diabetes.

2. Dark green leafy vegetables: Kale, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens and mustard greens are excellent sources of fiber, folate, Vitamins A and K and antioxidants that contribute to heart and bone health and may help to prevent some forms of cancer. Choose fresh greens in season, or purchase frozen chopped spinach and kale to incorporate into casserole and pasta dishes for the best value.

3. Yogurt: Low-fat and fat-free yogurt contains calcium and Vitamin D necessary for healthy bones, as well as potassium, which can help maintain a healthy blood pressure. Choose Greek yogurt for twice the amount of protein in regular yogurt.

Clean Eating Refrigerator Oatmeal
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • ¼ cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ – ½ cup unsweetened applesauce or pumpkin puree
 Instructions
  1. Place first six ingredients in a half-pint jar. Tightly screw lid onto jar, and shake to combine. Remove top, add applesauce or pumpkin puree, and stir well. Refrigerate overnight, or up to 3 days.

4. Quinoa; This ancient grain contains more protein per serving than any other grain. It also contains filling fiber, as well as iron and potassium. Try substituting quinoa for rice and couscous in grain recipes.

Tabbouleh Salad
Ingredients
  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • ½ English cucumber, diced
  • ½ cup finely chopped green onions
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
 Instructions
  1. Cook quinoa according to package instructions; cool to room temperature.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add quinoa, and toss to combine.
  4. Let stand 1 hour before serving.

5. Hot peppers: Low-calorie peppers contain cancer-fighting, heart-healthy antioxidants and Vitamin C. Capsaicin, the compound that makes peppers hot, can also increase satiety and temporarily boost you metabolism by up to 15%.

6. Garlic and onions; Not just for adding flavor, members of the allium family, including garlic, onions, leeks and chives, are packed with polyphenols, which may help prevent stomach, breast, colon, esophageal and lung cancer.

7. Berries: Fresh blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries are prized for their naturally-sweet flavor, but these fruits are also bursting with a host of healthy nutrients, including fiber, Vitamins A, C and E, calcium and potassium. The antioxidants in berries may help to reduce risk of heart disease, diabetes and some kinds of cancer. As a high-fiber, low-calorie sweet treat, berries can be helpful in weight control. Enjoy fresh berries in the spring and summer when they’re in season, and purchase frozen, unsweetened berries for smoothies and sauces throughout the year.

8. Broccoli and cauliflower: Cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, contain powerful antioxidants that have been linked to reduced risk of several cancers. This group of vegetables is also low in calories and high in fiber and Vitamin C.

9. Cinnamon: Polyphenols in cinnamon help to reduce inflammation in the body that can lead to heart disease and cancer. Sprinkle on oatmeal, coffee or toast for an added antioxidant boost.

10. Tea: Green and black teas contain flavonoids, which may play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers. Just limit the amount of sugar you add to keep this healthful beverage low in calories.

Do you get these foods in your diet on a daily/weekly basis?  Do you use the more expensive superfoods?

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jessica Cox is a Registered Dietitian and chef. She is the Culinary Nutritionist at eMeals, a meal planning service based in Birmingham, AL, that helps busy families enjoy healthy meals together. She creates original recipes that are both good and good for you, writes and edits meal plans, styles food for photography, and writes nutrition content for the eMeals blog. Jessica is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Alabama Dietetic Association, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and the Food and Culinary Professionals Dietetic Practice Group. She also serves as a Board Member for the annual FoodBlogSouth conference and is a Contributing Editor for the Food and Culinary Professionals Dietetic Practice Group’s quarterly newsletter, Tastings. Her writing and original recipes have been featured on the Kids Eat Right website, The Southeast United Dairy Industry Association’s blog, Local Table magazine, and several Oxmoor House cookbooks.

Catching up!

Oh MY, it has been a while since I last posted.  I keep thinking I have my act together, but apparently not….

So much has gone on:

We chanede out our internet and it seems to be working MUCH better.  We are going to cancel our landline phone.  How many of you still use a landline phone.  No one EVER calls us on that line – unless we really don’t want to talk to them ( sales calls, etc). It was frustrating at the very least to get it changed, but FINALLY got it done and all is well now.

Nick and Lauren had their 2nd anniversary!  YAY!!

Brian and I went to New Orleans with our friends and had a BLAST!  I hurt my foot while I was there – not sure what I did, but it is slowly recovering!  This meant I had to cut Focus T25 short.  Not very happy about that, but it is what it is!  Luckily, I guess, it wasn’t broken.

Good friends, good food and good ol’ fun

girls new orleans foot wrap group new orleans

Emma was sick and had to be in the hospital.  So thankful that she is better now.  She is such a happy baby and was still smiling even though she felt horrible.  It was really hard on Mom and Dad.  (Nona and Grumpy too!)  She had some kind of stomach virus and got dehydrated. All better now!

Emma hospital

We took Madelyn to see Disney On Ice again.  No wonder, she loved it!  This time it was Ariel, Rapunzel, Brave and Belle.  All her favorites!  We had a blast at the Tulsa State Fair too.  She LOVED the petting zoo and even rode a pony. This is a HUGE step for her. She is such a scaredy-cat!

madelyn disney on ice 2 nona mads petting zoo IMG_1276

I started the Ultimate Reset.   This is a 3 week cleanse program, but you get to eat so much tasty food!  No starving here!

ultimate reset day 2 ultimate reset bracelet

 

Marley got spayed this week.  She is doing great and recovering nicely!  She’s a trooper!

Chase (my oldest son), got a new job in Tulsa OK.  So they will be moving.  I am so happy for them, but sad at the same time.  It will be hard not having them 5 minutes away.  But such an exciting time for them.  Moving to the BIG city!  Meredith, Mom and I went to look for a house to rent yesterday.  They did find one, just waiting to see if they get it.  Keeping our fingers crossed!  Happy and sad tears will be shed in just a couple of weeks when they move.

Ok, I think I am caught up.  I’m going to really try to do better and blog more often.  I so appreciate all of  you hanging in there with me over the last year or so!

Just one more photo of Mads and Emma – adorable, even if I do say so myself!

my princesses