Posts tagged ‘food’

December 23, 2013

Happy and Safe Howlidays!

 Christmas brown lab asleep

Hi, there! This is Brooke, your pet-loving gal here. The holidays are here, and you are probably up to your eyebrows in things left to do, cookies to bake, and cards to send—I know I am! Here are some tips on keeping your cherished pets safe and happy during this festive season.

Christmas Trees

This is an example of a bad kitteh!

This is an example of a bad kitteh!

  1. Make sure to anchor your trees from adventurous kitties that climb and dogs with crazily wagging tails—you don’t want all your hard work “decking” the tree to come crashing down in the middle of your eggnog!
  2. If you have a live tree, keep your animals from drinking the tree water, which may be full of pesticides as well as bacteria from the stagnant water. Ingestion of these nasty things can cause diarrhea, nausea, and upset stomach.
  3. Regardless of whether your tree is real or artificial, be sure to clean up the dropped needles often. Curious pets will eat those needles faster than you can say “No, don’t—!“ They are toxic and will cause vomiting, even if fake (trust me on this L).
  4. Do not leave pets unattended with the Christmas tree, if possible. A fully decorated tree comes stocked with all kinds of dangerous “toys”:
  • Hot light strands can burn or electrocute dogs or cats, which have a tendency to chew on things. Keep light strands secured and covered or away from the lower levels of the tree.
  • Be sure to put glass or metal ornaments higher up on the tree, and watch for broken ornaments with sharp hooks or attachments—little paws can easily step on these items.
  • Tinsel may be beautiful, but it’s a big no-no, especially for cat households. Cats will ALWAYS find stringy, dangly items, and tinsel (along with other strings or wires) can be ingested and can get tangled in the stomach or intestines, leading to scary emergency surgery or even death if not caught in time. No thank you!!

Holiday Plants

Many plants that make our houses cherry and bright this time of year are bad news for our furry family members. For a more extensive list of toxic and non-toxic plants, check out this link from the ASPCA: http://www.aspca.org/Pet-care/poison-control/Plants. If you suspect your pet has gotten into anything suspicious, whether plant, food, or otherwise, be sure to call your veterinarian or emergency vet clinic IMMEDIATELY. You can also call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Hotline, which is open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year: (888) 426-4435.

Common Holiday Plants Your Pets Should Avoid

  1. Lilies: deadly to cats, can cause kidney failure
  2. Mistletoe (especially the berries): highly toxic, causes upset stomach and potentially fatal heart problems
  3. Holly: causes nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy
  4. Poinsettias: not as toxic as often thought, these should still be avoided as they can upset pets’ digestive system
  5. Amaryllis: causes diarrhea and vomiting
  6. Certain species of ivy, namely English ivy: can be extremely harmful if ingested

Forbidden Food and Drinks

Christmas cat and dog eating

We all know that your animal friends are very skilled at watching you pitifully as you shove another yummy treat in your mouth. Their doleful eyes entreat you to share a bit of delicious food with them. Don’t do it!! You can show your pets that you love them in so many healthier ways.

  • Be sure and feed your pets before dinner or party guests arrive—that way, Spot will have a full tummy and be less likely to beg for scraps from your guests. Also, give your animals some special treats made just for them when they have been good (or just because), and politely ask your guests to avoid passing along tasty morsels to your pets.
  • This shouldn’t even need to be mentioned, but be sure to keep the dogs and cats (and any other small creatures) in your house out of the booze and smokes. Even accidental ingestion of alcohol or nicotine by a curious pet can be deadly, so if your party is getting very merry—be careful!!

Some foods that can be harmful to your furry friends are:

  • Turkey skin and gravy: can cause pancreatitis
  • Onions and onion powder: can destroy red blood cells, causing anemia
  • Chocolate: can damage the nervous system and urinary tract as well as the heart muscle; can be deadly
  • Grapes and raisins: grapes, especially, can cause kidney failure (who knew?)
  • Bones, especially poultry bones: can tear or block the intestinal tract; these injuries can be fatal
  • Not a food but food items: strings that are used in turkeys or roast, as well as the little  “pop-up” thermometers; discarded aluminum foil; food and fixings garbage—make sure to keep these items picked up and thrown away, with garbage sealed tightly

Joy to the Animals

Sweetness!

Sweetness!

We can absolutely include our furry or feathered family members in the holiday festivities—we just have to be smart pet parents. Stuff your pets’ stockings with worry-free toys, like rubber dog toys, indestructible Kongs filled with special treats, durable rope “bones”, size-appropriate balls, catnip mice, interactive krinkle mats, and colorful lanyards with bells and mirrors for your favorite bird.

Ok, you guys. Get to jingling those bells, and stay warm!

Blessings, Brooke

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August 6, 2013

I eat food….

“What do you eat?”–I must get that question a bajillion times a day. My answer is always, “FOOD!” I am not trying to be a smart a$% when I answer it that way, but its simply the truth. I don’t count calories. I know for a lot of people that works…but the problem is too many people look at the number versus the quality of the food. 100 calories of Oreos is still Oreos. For me, I like to just really think about the food that I am eating and putting into my body. The better the quality of the food and the more dense nutrition packed in there the more of it I can eat. I don’t necessarily have to worry about my portion control that way. Why? 

Did you ever wonder why you can sit down and eat an entire bag of chips or a an entire pizza pie and not be full?  Yet if you are eating a steak and sweet potatoes you fill up rather quickly with no room in your belly for more? Its because the steak and sweet potato are filled with dense nutrition which signals your body that its full. When you are eating those “empty calories” filled with zero nutritional value, your body requires way more to be satiated, at which point it never really is. So when I say I eat food, and I don’t have to portion or weigh it out, its because when you are choosing food that is whole and good for you, you will know when you are full. Its when you are choosing those items that are processed and have little to no nutritional value that you really have to weigh out your portions because otherwise you will overeat. 

Make better choices. Eat less food from boxes and more food from the Earth. So that next time someone asks you what you eat, you can say FOOD! Image

May 8, 2013

Picky Eater Options for a Non-Chef

Part of being a Healthy Housewife is doing one’s best to keep the entire home as healthy as possible. For me, that includes a husband, two teenagers, and two fur-babies. My step-daughter and I are surrounded by four other men in the household. I’m including both male pups along with the male humans. Ironically, both of us girls will pretty much each whatever; however, I have a sticky note with the following dietary preferences for the men:

Post Its

1. No onions, no chives, no humus, no cucumbers, no cauliflower, no mint gum

2. No mushrooms, no black olives, no spinach.

3. For both pups, separate feeding times, and peanut butter and ice cream are ideal treats. They love carrots and ice too.

Cooking is interesting and down-right frustrating on days I’m not feeling creative; however, I managed a few meals that won blue ribbons with the household, so I wanted to share:

Chicken-Nuggets-at-Home

“Organic Chicken Skinny-Nuggets”

Cut four organic chicken breasts into cubes

Mix in bowl #1: Chipotle-flavored Tabasco sauce and olive oil

Mix in bowl #2: gluten-free bread crumbs or croutons, sea salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese

You know the drill! Drop cubes of chicken into bowl #1 then bowl #2; coat evenly and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees; Flip and bake for 5-7 minutes more. Cool, and serve with dip of choice.

Mexican-Unfried-Ice-Cream

“Unfried Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • Greek vanilla frozen yogurt
  • Special K Cereal, crushed
  • ground cinnamon
  • crushed almonds
  • Hershey’s dark-chocolate syrup (optional)
  • cherries or almond for topping (optional)
  • Truwhip for topping (optional)

Mix the cereal, cinnamon, and crushed almonds in a bowl. Scoop your frozen yogurt as normal and roll (lightly) in a bowl of the crushed Special K mixture. (You can also make three smaller “balls” for a different display option.) Set in a bowl and top as desired (depending on person’s preferences.)

Pinwheels

“Pinwheels”

With such picky eaters, this is one of my favorite “go-to” items.

Ingredients:

Favorite wrap or tortilla (based on preferences, there are gluten-free, whole-wheat, regular, or vegetable options)

Spreads: I make humus, almond butter, or cream cheese pinwheels–just not altogether. 🙂

“Meats”: I use Amy’s Bean Burger crumbles or patty (crumbled up), Garden Burger, or Turkey burger; however, you can use nitrate-free turkey or chicken slices as well. I also pair the following with the almond butter: raisins, dried fruits, smashed banana, warmed organic apple horizontal slices. If I’m having a sweet tooth, or an allergy attack, I simply spread locally-grown honey the almond butter and wrap it up. Yum.

Veggies: spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, or thinly-sliced squash

Roll your preferences, and slice into inch-thick slices. Arrange on your favorite platter or baggie them up for a boat cruise or family picnic.

NOTE: Bring peanut butter and a spoon for the pups.

I’m looking forward to learning so more picky-family friendly recipes, and I enjoy referencing the following on my journey.

http://www.skinnytaste.com

http://www.yummly.com

http://www.growingupherbal.com

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In health (and for the sake of keeping the peace), Lacey

April 21, 2013

An App a Day…

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What do they say? “An App a day keeps the doctor away?” Maybe not just like that, but with the myriad of technology tools available for fitness-minded people, it’s a wonder weren’t not the leanest, fittest country on the planet.  Sadly, we’re closer to the fattest and most-unhealthy in terms of nourishment and activity level. Some Americans feel that you have to pick a side–fitness-focused with a strict diet or simply unhealthy. It’s possible to create a fit and fun lifestyle tailored toward your personal preferences and needs. All it takes is some creativity and some “App”lication. There’s an App that will count calories for you, act as a personal trainer, do both, or show you the closest trails, gyms, and food resources to fit your lifestyle. 

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My new favorite is an App that will inform you of substitutions for favorite recipes! Did you know you can use almond flour is you want to try gluten-free cookies? Arrowroot is an excellent fill-in for corn starch! If a recipe calls for breadcrumbs, opt for grinding oats in a food processor or chia seed/flax seed in a coffee grinder. You can actually make brownies using puréed black beans! It’s an amazing App for my picky-eating family too. Someone can’t stand onions, break out the garlic, leeks, and/or celery. 

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As a holistic nutrition student who opts for the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle from time to time, another favorite App is Filibaba Meals. The built-in timer is a nice addition to a wide variety of mouth-watering, animal-void recipes. To confuse everyone around me, I follow more of a “flexatarian nourishment plan” meaning that although I have my personal beliefs about food sources, I try to remain flexible so not to set off an anxiety attack in myself and/or my family members and friends. 
As a travelista (logging around three to five flights monthly), I’m stuck resorting to almonds and herbal tea (no cream or sugar) most trips, as some regions, towns, business associates still only offer standard American diet basics. No harm, no foul–we all move at our own pace, and I’ve always felt that the person/party with the pickiest preferences should bring their own provisions.  It doesn’t seem right to be frustrated when a location doesn’t have my personal preferences available. After all… I’m the guest. That’s why you’ll always find a baggie (or two) of almonds and/or cashews in my travel bag. 
However, no matter your location, use the App, Restaurant Finder to locate food options around you, save favorite restaurants at specific locations, and read/write reviews for restaurants, so fellow travelers can get their diet needs met too. (By the way, check out HMSHost’s new App that allows you to order food from airport restaurants and have it delievered to your gate. brilliance! Now deliver my TSA-approved favorite hairspray, hair cream, and perfume to my gate and I am set!)
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Sort of like how Google makes us all smarter, the growing number of fitness and nutrition-related Apps available allow us to remain proactive in our health and wellness journey. Since none of us have extra time to research best food options or find creative ways to get a workout in, let technology work for us. Plus, this makes me feel better after I gave technology so much grief for keeping my clients glued to either their television sets, iPads, or iPhones too long, thus stealing precious time away from their day–time they could use to workout, prepare wholesome meals, or visit in person with family and friends for some positive affirmation time. 
 
The next time you click on the App store from your smart phone or find yourself perusing iTunes to update your workout music mix, consider searching fitness and nutrition apps. Lets make technology and our smart phones, pads, and computers work for our health and wellness goals, so we can free up the time spent in doctor’s office waiting rooms. 
 
Some personal favorite Apps:
Fitocracy (compete in fitness quests with other challengers)
GymPact (if you enjoy a little gambling and competition) 
Runkeeper (every traveling runner’s best friend) 
Healthy Desserts by Green Kitchen (For when the sweet tooth strikes and won’t back down.) 
Eat Right for your Blood Type (food suggestions based on your blood type) 
Whole Foods Market Recipes (obvious) 
 
After you choose one or two favorites, check-in with your App daily for optimal results. The last thing you need is more dead weight–on your body and in your App library.  In health–Lacey 
 
March 14, 2013

4 Easy Steps to get Back on Your Health & Fitness Track and a Delicious Zucchini Noodle Recipe

HiI I hope everyone is having a wonderful week.  Last week, I shared my amazing trip to California and the organic farm in Cabo San Lucas but what I didn’t share is that while traveling, I got out of my routine! And getting out of my routine means not eating the way I need to and not exercising like I do at home.  With the best of intentions I packed my Bullet blender, Sun Warrior protein powder and resistance bands and drum roll….never used them!  Not even once!  Each day I tried my best to eat a healthy nutritious meal coupled with a little vacation cheat here and there and before I knew it I was completely off track. Almost overnight, cheat meals became my every meal and I gave myself a great excuse for not working out….vacation!

When I got home and looked in the mirror I did not like what I saw.  I was very discouraged and mad at myself too because I have worked so hard over the past year and I am still working to achieve my fitness goals.  This two week vacation left me craving junk food and having little energy to work out.  I am sharing my experience with each of you because maybe you started the year off with the bang and really focused on eating healthy and exercising but now just two months later and old unhealthy habits have creeped back in to your life for whatever reason.  Don’t despair and don’t beat yourself up! Its actually easier thank you think to get back on track.

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I gave myself two days to cut all the junk food.  Then on the third day I did a very light work out and it felt great to move my body again! The fourth day I woke up a little sore but in a good way and ready for more! I have been back on track for about two weeks now and when I looked in the mirror this morning I liked what I saw.  So if you find yourself off track, remember this:

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4 steps to Get Back on Track

1. Number one because its the most important, don’t  beat yourself up for getting off track! Processed foods that line the grocery store aisles, TV ads, fast foods and restaurants actually work really hard to not make it easy for us to stay on track.

2. Ease back into your health and fitness plan like I did or make a plan that works best for you to keep and follow through.

3. Review your fitness goals.  This may be a good time to completely change up your routine or rededicate yourself to the old one.

4. Try something new! This can be an exercise or a change in your diet.  I have actually started eating more raw foods.  Not sure where this is heading but I’m enjoying the discovery!

Lastly, I have so enjoyed eating raw, I wanted to share one of my favorite new recipes!  You may need to get to a specialty cookware shop to buy a julienne peeler.  I bought one last week and so far I’ve made Pad Thai twice and spaghetti is next.

Raw Pad Thai Noodles & Spicy Thai Sauce Recipe

Noodles:

2 zucchinis, julienned
4 large carrots, julienned
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup chopped fresh basil
1 red or yellow pepper, sliced into strips

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss.

Spicy Thai Sauce:
fresh ginger
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs gluten-free Tamari
½ cup orange juice
¼ tsp cayenne
¼ cup tahini or almond butter
1 Tbs chili powder

Blend ingredients in a blender.  Pour over noodles just before serving.

Garnish

Chopped nuts (almond or cashew)

2 handfuls of bean sprouts

 

Love & Light to All! Kathy, Fit Fashionista

February 19, 2013

Snack Time!

hummus and veggies

Hi, there! It’s Brooke here. Let’s talk about something fun . . . snacks! Now, before we go too far, let’s demystify something. Food and nutrition can be loaded topics—some people have a great relationship with food, while others may think of eating as a confusing, guilt-ridden, boring, or necessary evil. Then we throw in snacks, and craziness breaks out! Snacks are often given a bad rap, mainly because many people choose munchies that are WAAAAY too full of calories, sugar, unhealthy fats, and sodium. Think of those tasty treats in vending machines and gas stations (not to mention your local grocery store, Aisle 17). We’ve all been there. I’m not proud of how much I love the taste of a kosher dill potato chip, but hey, I’m human. I avoid the siren song of this devilish dill delight because I know better—and my body deserves better, as does yours. Snacks will save your rear, in more ways than one.

apple hearts

Healthy gals and guys know one of the most important ways to reach their fitness goals is to eat 5-6 small meals a day, including snacks. Your body is an amazing machine, and it needs to burn quality fuel regularly throughout the day to keep you going strong. If you start thinking of food as fuel instead of something you have to deal with just to survive, your world will be rocked and you’ll become your body’s most powerful ally. Think of your nutrition schedule like this:

Meal 1: Breakfast

Meal 2: Mid-morning snack

Meal 3: Lunch

Meal 4: Mid-afternoon snack (or pre-workout snack)

Meal 5: Dinner (or post-workout snack)

Meal 6: Snack (or dinner)

Notice how you can incorporate pre- and post-workout snacks into your daily plan. You can also shift this structure to the morning if you like your workouts early. To keep your fire burning bright, eat every 2.5-3 hours. For your snacks, try to shoot for at least 10 grams of protein and 25-35 grams of carbohydrates by including 1 or 2 complex carbs (whole grains, veggies, most fruits, beans, brown rice, or oatmeal) and a little healthy fat (nuts, seeds, almond butter, low-fat dairy, or avocado). High-quality protein, carbs, and fats are going to keep you feeling satisfied and give you energy.

Nutritious Nibbles

  • 1 c. raspberries with ½ c. Greek yogurt
  • 1 small apple with 1 Tbsp almond or peanut butter
  • ½ c. cottage cheese with ½ c. mixed berries
  • 1 or 2 eggs (hard-boiled) with 2 whole-grain flatbreads
  • 2 Tbsp almond or peanut butter spread on 2-4 celery sticks
  • 6 carrot sticks with 1 low-fat mozzarella string cheese
  • 4 natural whole-wheat honey graham crackers with 10 red or green grapes
  • 1 c. low-fat milk (or almond milk) with 1 scoop chocolate (or other flavor) protein powder (can be whey or plant-based protein powder), along with a banana
  • Quick Basic Smoothie: 1 c. low-fat milk (or almond milk) with ¼ c. frozen or fresh berries with ½ fresh or frozen banana (Hint: Frozen fruit makes the smoothie thick and icy!)
  • 3 c. air-popped (or unsalted and unbuttered!) popcorn drizzled with 2 tsp flaxseed oil, 1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese, and dash of cayenne pepper, along with 1 apple
  • 6-10 veggie pieces: celery, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, zucchini, or yellow squash dipped in 2 Tbsp hummus or low-fat vinaigrette dressing
  • Homemade Trail Mix: 2 Tbsp dried fruit, 1 Tbsp sunflower kernels or pumpkin seeds, 1 Tbsp unsalted nuts, and a pinch of unsweetened coconut flakes

If you need a basic snack, an apple and some nuts or maybe even a protein shake and a banana are great options. However, if you are headed to the gym, be sure to grab something rich in slow-burning carbs and lean protein (like oatmeal and scrambled egg whites) to fuel your efforts. Here’s one of my favorite recipes that I love to fix before working out. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Yum!

Yum!

Banana Blueberry Power Snack

  • 1 whole-wheat English muffin
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter
  • ½ banana
  • Small handful of blueberries
  • ½-1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • Small drizzle of honey

Toast both halves of the English muffin. Spread 1 Tbsp almond butter on each half of the muffin. Slice the banana into small slices, and then arrange the slices flat on each half. Place the blueberries around and in between banana slices (the berries tend to roll off—trust me!). Sprinkle ground flaxseed across each muffin half, and then drizzle each half with a little honey. Yum!!

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Keep fueling that beautiful body of yours, and have a super week!

~Brooke

January 31, 2013

Great Kid Finds!

This week I wanted to share a couple of exciting kid related items that I recently came across. The first one is Bento Box lunches for kids. Lately I’ve been really struggling with my daughter to get her to eat fruits and vegetables. I really have to sneak them in or even resort to bribery at times….not good! Well late one evening while enjoying one of my favorite past times…surfing Pinterest – yes I probably need a “Pintervention”. I typed in “cute healthy meals for kids” and pins and pins of Bento Boxes appeared. They really are cute and healthy and more importantly very appealing to the discriminating eye of a picky five year old eater.

Bento Boxes make kids lunch healthy, fun and colorful. I love the idea of having the meal in one container with separate compartments, rather than two or three different containers and sandwich baggies. Bento lunches are meant to be pleasing to the eye as well as delicious and there are many ways to be creative while putting together a box for your child. Some people go all out when they’re packing a bento box. They design food art in the shape of hearts, trains, caterpillars, animals and even tv characters. There are many tools to use such as colorful silicone baking cups, themed food picks, cookie cutters and the actual container itself.

Hello Kitty Sandwich Obento sheep  wiltonsiliconecups bentopicks wiltoncutters

Knowing where to start can be a little overwhelming so I have attached many links that I found to be helpful and an excellent blog on the tools needed and what goes in the assembly of the box.

Start Here First – Great How-To on Bento Boxes
http://alphamom.com/family-fun/how-to-make-a-kids-bento-box

Blogs
http://www.meetthedubiens.com

http://www.bentolunch.net

Bento Inspiration
http://pinterest.com/bentousa

Recipes

http://www.aibento.net

Bento Buying Resources
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dgarden&field-keywords=bento+box

http://www.allthingsforsale.com

http://en.bentoandco.com

http://www.jlist.com/category/820
http://www.from-japan-with-love.com

 

artki
Next I recently came across Artkive in the App store. I am so excited about this app! I have two tubs filled with my daughter’s art work. I have never been able to throw any of it away and in kindergarten it seems all they do is make art! I have really stressed about this mounting clutter which my daughter is so very proud of. Well hooray for Artkive! This app digitally saves your children’s artwork and makes it easy to share with other family members and friends. You simply take a photo, tag it, and store your child’s artwork on the Artkive cloud. You can even create photo books from their art which is my next home project!

artkivehomepage-300x248

I have attached this cute video from Artkive.  I must confess I did try to throw away a few things but I was caught red handed so this gave me a little laugh!

www.artkiveapp.com
The App Store – $2.99

GapKids/DVF Collaboration

dvf_gap
GapKids just announced their second collaboration with Diane Von Furstenberg. The collection will hit stores in April. I’m guessing there will be some adorable summer clothes and beach wear! Looking forward to picking up some pieces for my little Fashionista.

On a separate note, while researching this topic I found out Gap Inc. just purchased Intermix, a luxury boutique. Not sure what that means for either company maybe more style for Gap? And more affordable prices at Intermix? I doubt it! Hopefully some new designer collaborations at Gap… well a girl can dream!

Kathy, Fit Fashionista

January 30, 2013

Avoiding The Pitfalls of Nighttime Eating

Avoiding The Pitfalls of Nighttime Eating

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Do you ever find yourself so easily walking away from that yummy looking cinnamon roll with no problem at all in the morning and then fall prey to it right before bed? I have been there. And as someone who tries trying to stick to a clean and healthy diet, this can be so frustrating! I would get so mad at myself for having such great discipline all day long and then at nightfall go into a feeding frenzy. I was so MINDLESSLY consuming the majority of my calories after dark. I would do this even though I knew that this is actually when my body has the lowest need for calories.   I know that I am not alone. Studies from the Department of Agriculture show that “in America, we eat more during dinner than any other meal”. And not only that, after dinner is the second highest snacking time.

Like many of you, I lead a busy life. I am a working mom and by the end of the day, I can easily find myself emotionally and physically depleted. Because of this, I know that my willpower is tested more at night and find that I am more vulnerable to the pitfalls of nighttime binge eating. So here are several strategies that I try to put in place daily to help set myself up for success when the sun goes down.

Eat regularly throughout the day. When one’s glucose levels are down, studies show
that you are more susceptible to lose your self-control.  So when we don’t stay on top of our eating throughout the day, we are setting ourselves up for failure at the worst time of the day to consume high amounts of calories. Instead of fasting and ending up starving at night, make sure you eat small meals containing protein.  This is one of the best ways to not only lose weight but also maintain it long-term.

Have a plan. If you know you are likely to search the pantry late at night, put a plan in place in case you give in. Set out a healthy snack such as fruit or raw vegetables. This will lower your chances to act impulsively. And if you do end up snacking on your healthy snack, don’t do it standing up in front of the fridge. Make your self sit down and mindfully pay attention to each bite.

Find other ways to relax. Eating can become the way that people wind down after a long, stressful day.  Instead of mindlessly eating the whole bag of chips in one sitting, set in place a nightly routine that helps you wind down; whether that’s reading, taking a bath, or watching your favorite show.

Shut down the kitchen. Clean the kitchen and turn out the lights. Make sure you put away all of your trigger foods and only leave out your healthy “go-to” snack. By shutting down the kitchen you are less likely to wander in there and act impulsively.

Make green tea or set out a glass of water. Sipping on a hot glass of green tea or setting out a glass of water can be a good way to distract your mind from food. Sometimes a little distraction can help break this nighttime cycle.

Rest and Recharge. Since we know that we are more susceptible to losing our self-control while we are tired, make sure you are getting the appropriate amount of rest each night. Give yourself 7-9 hours at night to recharge your body. Also, try to take small breaks to be relax your mind throughout day.

And at the end of the day, we all have weak moments and can falter on a plan. If this happens don’t beat yourself up. Instead, empathize with yourself for struggling, stop the negative self-chatter, and take note of where the plan faltered. Then you are ready make changes to set yourself up for success the next day.

Love yourself to a healthy lifestyle.

Loren Silas

January 16, 2013

A MOTHER’S TOP 10 HEALTH TRICKS

The love of my life-my son Kyson

The love of my life-my son Kyson

Hi Everyone!

I was flattered when Marzia asked me to write a guest post for The Healthy Housewives.  Of course the first thing I thought was ‘what should I write about??’.  Like Marzia said, I always have something to say.  However that makes it so difficult to narrow it down and choose one topic!  I asked some friends what I should write about and it was an overwhelming ‘fit after baby’ response, however Loren has just done a phenomenal job with that topic.  So instead I have decided to do my post on my favorite things.  My list of top 10 priorities in order to keep myself and my son in tip top condition from the inside out!!  I hope some of you will find these things easily incorporated into your lives.  I promise the benefits will be many!!!

So here we go with number one!  My top top health tip is ‘eat real food’.  That may sound silly to some, but it is literally the difference between surviving and thriving in this life.  When I say eat real food I mean cut out all the processed stuff.  I don’t mean just the box crap (definitely get rid of that!) but I mean the stuff that is raised and processed on factory farms or mass harvested on ginormous ‘farms’…blech.  Buy as much local, pastured, humanely raised, or organically farmed (wild-caught when it comes to fish) food as possible.  Not only are you supporting your local farmers and economy, you are feeding your body the food that it knows what to do with!  No extras you may not have bargained for!!

Number two in my bag of tricks is definitely coconut oil.  Yep.  Coconut Oil.  Seriously it is good for everything!!  In my house we use it for too many things to even list!!  A few uses would be for cooking or baking with, it is a stable oil for med/high temps…other oils such as olive can turn rancid at high temps.  I have used coconut oil on my son’s diaper rashes, I use it mixed with coffee grinds as a face and body scrub, I use it as a toothpaste (oil pulling), I use it as moisturizer, it is good to give to your four legged children.  It is anabolic and aids in fat burning.  If there is a magic food/supplement out there, this is it!!

Third on my list of must haves is Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV.  Another super food with many uses!!  I drink water with lemon and ACV every morning!  It is a natural appetite suppressant, lowers blood sugar levels, regulates pH levels, and helps detoxify the body.  I also use it regularly to condition my hair (the smell is strong while my hair is wet, but once dry the smell is gone!).  I have used it as astringent and in homemade cleaning recipes.  It is a must have in my pantry!!

Number four should probably be number 1!  It is so so important to drink clean water!!  This may seem like a simple task, but actually it has taken a lot of research and effort to make sure I get clean water for my family!  The best possible way to get clean water is to install a reverse osmosis filter in your home.  I also recommend a filter on your shower heads!  Next best choice would be an activated carbon filter, however this type of filter will not get rid of fluoride, which I avoid like the plague.  Then last I would say is bottled water.  I only choose pH balanced bottled water from my local health stores, it does get expensive though, so I just do it as needed.  This is one of my major major peeves….the fact that we have all the technology to have pristine water supplies flow from our faucets, yet the amount of contaminants and chemicals actually added to my water make it undrinkable in my opinion!

Fifth on my list is pre and probiotics!  If you I could recommend a must have supplement this would be it!!  We as humans have a delicate ecosystem going on inside of our bodies.  And in today’s environment filled with pollutants, stress, genetically modified foods, prescription drugs, etc etc, the ecosystem in our bodies really doesn’t have a chance without our calculated support!  80% of the human immune system is directly related to our guts.  Recent studies have also confirmed the gut/brain connection, which a huge leap for the health of future generations.  There are specific diets like WAPF, and GAPS protocol to help reestablish healthy guts in people with health issues.  We had to use these diets with my son in order to cure his food allergies (which seem to be all gone at this point!).  If you seem to be a pretty healthy person in general then you should just be able to supplement with probiotics.  You can do this with foods like yogurt, fermented foods (pickles, sauerkraut, kombucha), and then with the the actual powders or drinks, the higher the count and the more strains the better!

Obviously exercise is an important part of health, so I will make that my number sixExercise can come in so many forms.  I happen to love the gym.  It is my escape from reality.  For a couple hours nothing bothers me and I just lift and or do cardio.  For some people that is their worst nightmare.  But there are so many things that can be ‘exercise’.  Whatever you may enjoy, whether it be horseback riding, cleaning, running outside, or playing football with your kids.  I do recommend some sort of resistance training whether it be weights or leg pressing your toddler.  Not only does being active keep you healthy and your body looking good, it makes you feel good, and when you feel good you make better choices in almost every aspect of your life!  So get moving!!!

Seventh on my list will be protein.  I have been drinking protein supplements for at least a decade and the truth is for the first seven of those years what I was using was probably hurting me not helping.  I do recommend a protein supplement for ease.  I drink 2 smoothies each day and I always use a scoop of protein powder in it.  It is a quick easy meal and truthfully it satisfies my sweet tooth!  There are only a handful of protein powders that I will use now.  If I use a whey protein, I always buy Bluebonnet.  They use milk from New Zealand cows which are never treated with hormones and are pastured as cows should be.  But the number one reason I choose them is because they cold process the whey.  No chemicals or high heat for processing which means the protein is not denatured and rancid (as are most proteins on the market).  I also love the Garden of Life RAW protein line!  So we use both of those in my house!  My son loves them too!!

Okay, number eight on my list may catch you by surprise.  Cut out the gluten.  I recommend cutting it all out.  At least for 4 weeks, after the four weeks is over go ahead and reintroduce it minimally, like as a once a week cheat.  You will feel so much better in so many ways!  You will lose weight, inflammation will subside, your digestion will get better.  And probably for a lot of you when you eat it again you will feel awful!  I cut the gluten when I had to for my son (he had a mild allergy to it).  Now, every time I eat it (which is rarely) I break out!!  So you may be surprised what benefits cutting it out will have for you!!  And if you are really serious try going completely grain free!!!  We are completely grain free about 80% of the time in my house!

Alright, finishing up!!  Number nine on my list of favorite tips has to be my daily vitamins.  I don’t take a ton, but I do think what I take is important and people always ask me about it.  So I thought I should include them in this list!  My primary goal is to get what I need from food and sunshine, but I do believe that can be difficult sometimes.  My daily regimen includes a multi-vitamin, B complex, Adrenal support, vitamin D, probiotics, fermented cod liver oil, and super greens (which I put in my smoothies).  I choose brands that use raw organic whole food nutrients so all the co-factors are included in order to be the most bio-available.  You can read about the fermented cod liver oil and where to find it at this link http://www.westonaprice.org/cod-liver-oil/cod-liver-oil-basics#brands

Last but not least, number ten on my list of top tips is use the internet!  I get my best recipes from my favorite bloggers and I find so much motivation on pinterest.  I find the most interesting and thought provoking articles from the people I follow on facebook.  Knowledge is power and that includes when it comes to your body and your health!!  Obviously this comes with a disclaimer, DO YOUR RESEARCH!  Make sure the sources you find are reliable and trustworthy, and use common sense!

That rounded out my list of top ten tips when it comes to keeping you and your family operating in tip top shape!!  I hope you can utilize one or two (or all) of these things into your routine!!  Your insides will thank you!!  I have included links that expand on some of the information I have touched on in this post!  I hope you get a chance to check them out!!  I want to thank Marzia and The Healthy Housewives for inviting me to do this!!

If you are looking for more info, you can start here!

Protein:  http://www.bluebonnetnutrition.com/product/41/100%25_Natural_Whey_Protein_Isolate_Powder
Water:  http://www.mommypotamus.com/category/water-filtration/
Cod Liver Oil:  http://www.westonaprice.org/cod-liver-oil/cod-liver-oil-basics#brands
Probiotics:  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/09/24/one-of-the-most-important-steps-you-can-take-to-improve-your-health.aspx
Garden of Life supplements:  http://www.gardenoflife.com/Products-for-Life/Foundational-Nutrition/RAW-Protein.aspx
Coconut oil:  http://coconutoil.com/
Apple Cider Vinegar:  http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-3598/7-Reasons-to-Love-Apple-Cider-Vinegar.html
Real Food:  http://www.westonaprice.org/  http://gapsdiet.com/

A few of my favorite bloggers:  (I have LOTS of favorite bloggers)

http://www.mommypotamus.com/
http://urbanposer.blogspot.com/p/all-recipes.html
http://www.deliciousbydre.com/

Follow me on Pinterest and facebook!!
http://pinterest.com/jenniferbuckles/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/NPC-Competitor-Jennifer-Lilbuck-Buckles/177869615589437?ref=hl

I made the Dec cover of the Healthy Housewives!

I made the Dec cover of the Healthy Housewives!

Thank you,

Jennifer

December 21, 2012

Spicy Lemon Chick’n Pasta

This is Brooke here, and I’m excited to share one of my favorite recipes with you. Spicy Lemon Chick’n Pasta is an elegant entrée that you and your family (or guests) will love. It’s become a staple in my house mainly because it’s super simple and because the ingredients are usually always around my kitchen. True, it is a meatless dish (you can tell by the apparently misspelled “chick’n”), but because I use a vegetarian meat substitute, even your most adamant carnivores will be happy. Proof: My husband, John (the non-vegetarian), loves it! Ok, here’s what you need:

  • 1-1½ c. cooked Barilla PLUS® Multigrain Pasta (I like farfalle, or bowtie shape—makes me happy somehow)
  • 3-4 Morningstar Farms® Buffalo Wing chick’n nuggets or 1 Quorn™ chick’n cutlet
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Dash of sea salt
  • Good dash of fresh-ground black pepper
  • Good dash or two of red pepper flakes
  • A few curls of Parmesan cheese (optional)

Serves 1—adjust quantities for more servings

Simple Ingredients + 10 Minutes = Magic!

Simple Ingredients + 10 Minutes = Magic!

A Word About Some Special Ingredients

  • Barilla PLUS Multigrain Pasta: This pasta is the bomb! It’s multigrain and packed with protein and omega-3’s. Actually, 1 uncooked cup of this pasta supplies 17g of protein (!), 28% of the recommended daily value of ALA-omega-3 (plant-based fatty acid), and 7g of fiber. Plus, it tastes amazing, and if you fix the whole box, you can have leftovers for days. This is great news for us busy people!
  • Chick’n: Depending on my mood, I use either Morningstar Farms Buffalo Wings or Quorn Chick’n Cutlets. The Quorn cutlets are delicious and are extremely similar to regular chicken breasts—they make a fabulous substitute in chicken salad and other dishes. I usually lean toward hot and spicy, so I used the Morningstar Buffalo Wings. These sassy little bites bring a whole other dimension to the dish. Yum!

Directions

Cook pasta according to package directions. For al dente, be sure to remove from heat and rinse/strain after cooking for 10 minutes. Cook chick’n selection according to package directions. In a separate bowl, mix olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes together with a whisk or fork. Get out a pretty pasta bowl, add your cooked pasta and your cooked chick’n, then pour olive oil/lemon mixture over everything, and stir well. If you like, you can add some Parmesan curls or grated Parm. Enjoy and wait for the compliments!

Pretty Pasta

Pretty Pasta

Have a great weekend, and stay warm and toasty!

~Brooke