Friday, December 21, 2012

Bed Rest, Exercise, Clean Eating -- Seems Contradictory But It Can Be done!

I am 27 weeks pregnant with my 4th child, and my first little girl!  I went in for a doctors appointment this last Wednesday and I am already dilated to a 2 - yikes!  My babies just like to come early!  So, the doctor has put me on bed rest; I can't work, or really move to do anything.  At first, I thought I would go crazy seeing that I am a busy-body and love to be active.  I like being productive at work and I love my morning gym time but all that has to change until my angel arrives.  It is time to get creative and since I'm new to this "bed rest" thing my mind has been flowing with ideas to maintain my sanity.  I hope if any of you are experiencing anything similar that my ideas may be able to help the time pass more positively as I know we are all counting down the days that it ends!

Disclaimer - I know there are different extremes to bed rest so please consult with your doctor before you try anything new as you don't want to make issues worse.

Exercise is VERY important to me! I believe most of us feel the same way. Our body and minds crave it more than we know. Bed rest is a quick way to deteriorate the muscles and bring on depression making life very unhealthy. I know this can be avoided.  Just like I found my motivation to wake up early every morning to go to the gym because I loved the results, I know I'll have to do the same thing with my new found bed rest prescription.

If you have already encompassed the clean eating lifestyle this will all be much easier on you. If you haven't this is a good time to start.

Help is obviously needed when on bed rest since we can't really do anything ourselves. The only time I am allowed out of bed is to go to the bathroom or to take a shower, which I look forward to.  I know it's important to move to prevent blood clotting so blood circulation is key.  Let me share some ideas...

First, have someone get in the habit of getting you a big glass of water for you first thing when you wake up. Stimulating your metabolism is important to help keep the blues away! My husband fills me up a big container of ice water with my no-sodium electrolytes that I love (I have them listed on my blog).  The potassium and magnesium will help your muscles not to feel so stiff as well as keep you hydrated.

If any of you have a Cocomotion I can't rave enough about it! My next morning regimen is to have my warmed vanilla coconut milk with some added cocoa (mixed and warmed in my cocomotion). I use the SO Delicious coconut milk brand. Yum! My husband has got good at making this for me. Coconut milk has more calcium than milk and the fat in it is SO good for energy and your immune system. If you've read any of my other posts/recipes, you know how much I love coconut oil and its health benefits and the same goes with the milk.

Now that I have all my liquids right next to me at my convenience I am ready to stimulate my muscles a bit. To prevent muscle deterioration, you have to use resistance weights.  I have a 10lb dumbbell that lays right next to me all day. For those of you that are not use to lifting weights I would suggest starting with 2 1/2 pound weight. You only need one dumbbell as you don't want to engage your core too much by having one in each hand. Start off slow and be sure to have someone place the dumbbell close to you where you don't have to strain to reach it.

I like to start with a military press. I can't sit with my back completely straight as this is a "no no" but laying at an angle I slowly press the dumbbell from the side of my body,  a 90 degree angle away from my head, palm out, and keeping my elbow in a square position - I do 25 repetitions on both sides, repeating twice back to back.  I then move to chest press staying in the same laying position.  I push the dumbbell up away from my chest toward the ceiling, keeping the elbow square in the down position. I like to straighten my elbow at the top of the movement, not too tight, but enough to engage my triceps. I do 25 repetitions on both sides, repeating twice back to back.  Oh, it feels good! You can feel the blood moving!  I then take the dumbbell and grab it with both hands holding it horizontally straight in front of my chest. I extend the dumbbell above my head, keeping my arms straight with a slight bend in the elbows, and bring it straight down in front of my chest. I do 30 repetitions, repeating twice back to back.  Last but not least, I hold one end of the dumbbell with both hands and do a center chest/tricep press.  Raise the dumbbell above your head and bend the elbows to bring the dumbbell in front of your face. You'll feel this in your chest but probably more so in your triceps as you just engaged them in the previous exercises.  This should take about 5 minutes to complete.  Try to do it throughout the day to get a total of 20 minutes in.

I just ordered an exercise band from Amazon as well that I can use to stretch my legs and arms in bed to prevent blood clotting. They are very safe and easy to use and provide the needed resistance that I need to keep from swelling through out the day.  As for now I can lay on my side and do knee lifts to get the blood moving in my legs. I will also lift my leg slightly, not too high as again we don't want to stimulate the core, and hold and contract it in position for 20 seconds.  Point your toes and circle your feet and really get the blood moving.  I also take my exercise ball and push one of my heels at a time and roll it in towards my butt.  I repeat this 25 times on each leg, twice back to back.

Once my blood is moving I function so much better. Now, go get a good magazine or book and read. I don't watch much TV so unless my husband is home with me the TV stays off, not to say it's a bad thing. I am currently keeping my mind occupied with reading, writing up exercise plans for when I am in recovery after the baby is born, creating recipes that I can test when I can be "ME" again, and writing on my site. :) Finding a good hobby such as knitting or art work would rejuvenating too. There is so much that can be done. I've thought about starting a journal, which I should do anyway, and document each day. I have set a goal to learn something new every day whether it is about nutrition or anything that interests my mind and to write it down - I could add that to my journal.

Clean Eating - yes, you can still eat clean on bed rest. If anything, it's probably easier. Snacking every 2-3 hours is great. My hummus and gluten free whole grain crackers is one of my favorites. I also love the protein shakes I use to make but now my husband gets to do it. :)  We make a fruit or a chocolate shake packed full of goodness! Yogurt, nuts, unsweetened dried fruit, salads, are all good snacks to eat through out the day. I have a mini crock pot next to the bed where I have a sweet potato that slow cooks for me.  I dob it with a little bit of coconut oil, cinnamon and agave before I devour it, skin and all.  Don't let yourself get full. Eat when you are hungry otherwise it will be easy to gain a lot of weight quickly. Be sure to drink your fluids, especially water through out the day.

I would love to hear any of your ideas as I am sure there are many of you who are pro "bed rest-ers". :)  Healthy tips are much appreciated!

I am throwing positive thoughts all your way - send them back to me too! ;)

Monday, May 21, 2012

1 Minute Flax Muffin

 This muffin recipe is sure to be a favorite!

Mix together:
1/4 cup flax meal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 egg
1 tsp coconut oil
2 tsp agave

Place parchment paper inside a mug.  Pour mix into the parchment paper and microwave on high for 1 minute.

Cinnamon, baby food carrots, baby food prunes, apple pieces, almond butter, bananas, unsweetened dried fruit,etc.  Get creative!

Coconut Flour

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Coconut oil is one of the greatest oils to cook with.  It has a long shelf life unlike most other oils.  The health benefits are wonderful.  Did you know that coconut oil is made up up 50% lauric acid?  Lauric acid is the medium chain fatty acid found in breast milk.  It works to strengthen the immune system and works to destroy disrupting fungus and bacteria.  Besides breast milk, coconut oil is the only other food source that contains high amounts of lauric acid.  Cheap vegetable oils are being used in replacement of coconut oil which could be one of the reasons we see so much more sickness these days.



Gluten Free Baking & Pancake Mix

This mix is by far one of my favorites.  Whether you need to eat gluten free or not, this will become a favorite!  I have used this mix to make crepes, muffins, pancakes, waffles, cinnamon rolls, biscuits, banana bread and pumpkin cake.  Baking gluten free has never been so easy.

If you sign up for Amazon's Subscribe and Save program, the pricing on this mix is the cheapest I have found anywhere.  It is even less expensive than when it goes on sale at my local Sprout's and Whole Foods.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Save $10 on your purchase of $40 or more now through March 31st! Free shipping on any orders over $20 too. This site offers great prices as well as FAST shipping. Use promo code KEN780.

Happy shopping!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Gluten Free Coconut Flour Cornbread

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Mix together cornmeal and milk. Set aside.
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup milk or coconut milk

In a separate bowl, blend together the following:
1/3 cup sorghum flour
1/3 cup brown rice flour
2/3 cup coconut flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt

Whisk together:
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 T. Sucanat
4 T. Agave
1 egg
1 1/4 cup milk or coconut milk

Combine all ingredients together and mix well. Pour into an 8x8, coconut oil greased pan and bake for 35-40 minutes.
Thank you to all of you who have left comments. Please continue to do so.

With getting married, relocating and trying to find work, I apologize for the lack of entries on my blog.

I am dedicating most of my recipes, going forward, to those with Celiac's Disease. I have been eating a clean, 100% *gluten free diet, but if anyone has requests regarding recipes that do include *gluten (*the protein found in wheat, rye and barley), please let me know. I am always busy creating new and wonderful clean recipes. I want to help you ALL achieve a successful clean eating lifestyle.

I wish you all the most success to feeling your best with clean eating!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

For those of you who have an allergy to wheat or Celiac disease, this is an awesome recipe for you! There's no reason to feel deprived now! Even individuals that CAN have wheat tell me that this is their favorite cookie! I hope you enjoy! is where I purchase the Hi-Maize resistant starch and corn bran. Everything else I purchase at my local whole foods store.

1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup flax meal
1/4 cup soy flour

1/4 cup brown rice flour

1/4 cup corn bran

1/4 cup Hi-Maize resistant starch

1/4 cup macaroon style coconut (no sugar or dioxide added)

1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder (aluminum and gluten free)

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 eggs
1/2 cup + 2 T extra virgin coconut oil (melted)

1 tsp pure vanilla

1/2 cup turbinado sugar

2 T agave
1/4 cup sucanat

1 pkg gluten free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl mix the flours, starch, coconut, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt together. Blend well. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, coconut oil, sugars, agave and vanilla until well blended. Add the wet mix to the dry mix. Stir well. Mix in the package of chocolate chips.

Use a cookie scoop to ball the dough onto a cookie pan (I use stoneware). Bake for 8-9 minutes.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

French Coconut Pie

*Choose from pie crust below

2 1/4 cups turbinado sugar
2 T. whole wheat pastry flour
6 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup macaroon style coconut (unsweetened)
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and flour.

In a large bowl, mix the eggs with a wire whisk. Whisk flour mixture into the eggs until smooth. Stir in buttermilk, coconut oil, coconut and pecans. Pour into unbaked pie crust.

Bake in a 9 inch deep dish pie pan for 1 hour.

Easy Pie Crust
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (soft white wheat)
2 tsp turbinado sugar
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2 T. milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place all ingredients in a 9 inch pie pan. Stir together with a fork. Pat mixture in the bottom and up the sides of pan. Poke holes in bottom and sides of crust with a fork. Bake for 15 minutes or until light brown.

*Bake prior to filling the crust if the recipe calls for it.

Almond Pie Crust
1 1/2 cups almond meal
4 T. coconut oil
2 T. turbinado sugar

Press in the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie pan.

Almond/Coconut Pie Crust
1 cup almond flour/meal
1 cup (unsweetened) macaroon style coconut
1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
3 T. Milk
2 T. turbinado sugar.

Press in the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie pan.

Pecan Pie

*Choose from pie crust below.

Pecan Pie Filling
2 tsp butter
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup real maple syrup
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1/4 cup sucanat
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 T. whole wheat pastry flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

On the stovetop, melt the butter in a pan on low heat. Add the pecans and stir for about 5 minutes or until nuts are toasted.

Mix together beaten eggs, maple syrup, turbinado, sucanat, coconut oil, vanilla, sea salt and flour. Stir in nuts. Pour filling into uncooked pie crust. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until filling is set. Cool on a wire rack.

Easy Pie Crust
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (soft white wheat)
2 tsp turbinado sugar
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2 T. milk

For all pie crusts below, bake before adding pie filling if the pie recipe does NOT require cooking. For all pies that require to be cooked, place filling in the unbaked crust.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place all ingredients in a 9 inch pie pan. Stir together with a fork. Pat mixture in the bottom and up the sides of pan. Poke holes in bottom and sides of crust with a fork. Bake for 15 minutes or until light brown.

Almond Pie Crust
1 1/2 cups almond meal
4 T. coconut oil or butter
2 T. turbinado sugar

Press in the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie pan.

Almond/Coconut Pie Crust
1 cup almond flour/meal
1 cup (unsweetened) macaroon style coconut
1/4 cup melted butter
2 T. turbinado sugar
2 T. Milk

Press in the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie pan.

Easy Pie Crust

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (soft white wheat)
2 tsp turbinado sugar
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2 T. milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place all ingredients in a 9 inch pie pan. Stir together with a fork. Pat mixture in the bottom and up the sides of pan. Poke holes in bottom and sides of crust with a fork. Bake for 15 minutes or until light brown.

Pumpkin Pie

3/4 cup turbinado sugar (you can use 1/2 cup turbinado and 1/4 cup sucanat for a richer flavor)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 eggs
1 (15 oz) can Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine sugar, cinnamon, salt and spices. Beat eggs lightly in a large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Stir in evaporated milk. Pour over unbaked pie crust.

Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted in the center, comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours.

Almond Pie Crust
1 1/2 cups almond meal
3 T. coconut oil or butter
2 T. turbinado sugar
Press in the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie pan.

Cheescake with Almond Flour/Coconut Crust

4 (8oz) packages of cream cheese
1 1/2 cups turbinado sugar
3/4 cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 T. vanilla
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (also known as soft white wheat)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch springform pan with coconut oil.

For the crust, in a medium bowl, mix together 1 cup almond flour/meal, 1 cup (unsweetened) macaroon style coconut, 1/4 cup coconut oil 2 T. turbinado sugar, 2 T. milk. Press in springform pan.

In a large bowl mix the cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk and mix in eggs one at a time. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.

Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes. Turn the oven off and let cake cool in the oven, with the door closed, for 1-2 hours. This prevents cracking.

Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Chicken & Rice Casserole

2 cups cooked chicken
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup slivered almonds (for added flavor, toast the almonds)
2 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cup olive oil mayonnaise
1 can Health Valley Cream of Chicken Soup (you can find this at your local health food store)
1/2 onion, diced
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut chicken into small pieces. Mix all the ingredients together. Place in a 9x13 pan, top with shredded cheese and cook for 30 minutes.

*Optional - add steamed broccoli or spinach to the mix.

Whole Wheat Bread

3 cup warm water
1/4 cup honey or agave
1/4 cup olive oil
1 T. sea salt
1 - 12 oz can evaporated milk

Blend above ingredients together.

In a separate bowl, mix together 4 cups hard white whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup gluten and 2 T. yeast. Add to wet mixture above. Add up to 8 more cups of flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough pulls away from sides of the bowl. Let knead for 8 minutes.

Let dough rasie until double in size. Punch down and shape into loaves and let raise again.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Tartar Sauce

1 cup olive oil mayonnaise
1 T. dill pickle relish
1 T. minced onion
2 T. Lemon Juice
Sea Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together and enjoy!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fish Tacos

For replacement of the beer in the fish batter, take 1 cup chicken broth and mix it with 1 teaspoon yeast. Let sit on the counter at room temperature for a few hours or until ready to make the batter.

Before preparing the fish batter make the white sauce as listed below.

White Sauce:
1/2 olive oil mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain yogurt
Juice of 1 lime
1 Jalepeno pepper, minced
1 tsp minced capers
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground oregano
1/2 tsp dried dill weed
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
Mix all ingredients together.

Fish Batter
In a large bowl mix the following:
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp guar gum (thickener)
1 cup fermented chicken broth
1 egg

Cut up 1 pound of fresh cod fillets into 1-2 inch portions. Place 1 cup coconut oil in a med sized saute pan. Warm the oil on med-high heat. Dip fish in the fish batter and fry until crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Lightly oil a separate pan with coconut oil and warm the corn tortillas until nice and soft.

To serve, place fish in corn tortilla topped with shredded cabbage and white sauce.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Popcorn Snack

1 bag of Orville Redenbacher's Natural Simply Salted Popcorn, popped
1 cup Corn or Wheat Chex
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 T. turbinado sugar
1/2 cup peanuts or toasted almonds

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the popped popcorn, melted coconut oil, cinnamon, turbinado sugar, and nuts. Enjoy!

Quick & Easy Pasta

1 1/2 boxes Dreamfields Rotini Low Digestable pasta, cooked - (if you can't find this pasta at your local grocery store, you can purchase Dreamfields Pasta at this site)
1 8 oz. package neuchatel cheese (located with the cream cheese)
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 lb. cooked ground turkey
1 packet dry Italian salad dressing mix
1/2 cup shredded cheese

Cook and drain the pasta. Mix the neuchatel cheese into the hot pasta. Add cottage cheese, cooked ground turkey, Italian dressing packet and shredded cheese. Mix thoroughly. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Whole Wheat Crepes

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup coconut milk
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp turbinado sugar
1/4 cup melted coconut oil

Add flour to a bowl. Make a well in the center. Add the salt and half of the milk and whisk to make a smooth batter. Whisk in the eggs but do not over mix. Stir in the remaining milk, vanilla, sugar and coconut oil. Cover and let the batter sit for 1-2 hours. Just before cooking, stir the batter and add milk if necessary so that the mix is the consistency of thin cream.

On medium high heat, warm an 8-10 inch pan. Spray or oil pan with coconut oil, making sure the entire surface of pan is covered. Fill a 1/4 measuring cup with batter and pour into pan. Immediately pick up the pan and swirl the batter around the entire bottom of the pan. Use a spatula to pull the edges away from the side of the pan. Use both hands to pick up loose edges and quickly flip over. Cook until lightly brown - usually less than 1 minute. Fill with your choice of filling.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes

Wash 2 large sweet potatoes or yams, very well. Rub the outside of the potatoes with coconut oil. Place in crock pot and sprinkle tops with cinnamon. Cook the sweet potatoes on high for 3-4 hours. After 3-4 hours or when potatoes are soft, cut each potato down the center and drizzle with agave and cinnamon. Drizzle agave around the sides of the potato as well. Let cook for 15 more minutes. Serve and enjoy!

*Cooking more than two sweet potatoes at a time will vary the cooking time.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Taco Seasoning Mix

1 T. chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fresh Strawberry Salad

4 cups fresh strawberries, washed
2 - 8 oz. containers low-carb yogurt (I use a vanilla and strawberry flavor)

Cut the strawberries into bite sized pieces. In a large bowl, add the yogurt. Mix gently. Serve!

*Hint - For work, I cut up the strawberries and put them into single serving, freezer safe containers. At work, I let the strawberries thaw slightly. I add the yogurt and mix. This is a very satisfying, healthy, quick and easy snack!

This makes a great smoothie too, by blending all ingredients in a blender!

Additives To Avoid

Additives are substances added to processed foods. These additives range from vitamins and minerals to fortify food, preservatives that prolong the shelf life of the food, sugar and natural/artificial flavorings, and dyes to make food look more appealing.

Additives in the form of vitamins and minerals can be good for you. It's other additives, especially the ones that are hard to pronounce, that you should question the safety of before putting them into your body.

Some additives are cancer causing such as nitrates, nitrites, food colorings and others cause allergic reactions or adverse effects such as monosodium glutamate - MSG.

Foods that contain a long list of additives should raise a red flag. You are better off selecting food items that contain fewer additives to prevent health risk.

Below is a list of sweeteners, preservatives, and colorings that are strongly suspected of causing cancer. Avoid them!

  • sodium nitrate (found in processed meats)
  • sodium nitrite (found in processed meats)
  • blue #1
  • blue #2
  • blue #3
  • green #3
  • red #3
  • yellow #6
  • saccharine (sweetener)
  • acesulfame K (sweetener)
  • acesulfame potassium (sweetener)
  • potassium bromate (usually found in white flour)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Jell-O Protein Snack

This is a fun and delicious protein snack without the dyes found in regular Jell-O. I love it!

Mix 4 packets of gelatin in 3/4 cup cold water.
Add 1/4 cup boiling water and mix until gelatin is dissolved.
In a blender, blend together 1 cup coconut milk, 1 cup low-fat milk, 1/2 cup soymilk, 1/2 cup of 100% orange juice, 1/2 cup cottage cheese and 1 cup xylitol (or whatever sweetener you prefer). Blend until smooth.

Add the blended mixture to the gelatin and stir until combined. Pour mixture into individual containers or a 9x13 inch pan. Chill until set (it sets very fast).

I have experimented with different flavors. You can add frozen berries, lemon, lime, etc. Have fun with it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Chicken Salad Mix

Place 12 chicken tenderloins in a crock pot. Cook on high for 3 1/2 hours. When chicken is cooked, transfer it to a cutting board and shred with a fork and knife. It will shred beautifully.

In a bowl mix together the following:

Shredded chicken
1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup veganise or olive oil mayonnaise
1 small red onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 celery heart, diced
1 tsp sea salt or to taste
1/2 tsp ground pepper or to taste
2 tsp mustard
1 T. dill relish (find one that does not have any added sugar)

If more moisture is needed, I add a little coconut milk. You can also use low-fat milk.

I like to serve this on whole wheat toasted bread, in a whole wheat pita, in a wrap with avacado, or with crackers such as Triscuits.

*Optional - Sliver and toast some almonds. Let cool. Add to the mix right before serving. Grapes or unsweetened cranberries are a nice addition as well.

Zucchini Bake

This is a great summertime dish when zucchini is abundant. We love it around our house!

1 T. olive oil
1 whole zucchini, chopped into bite size pieces (do not peel)
1 small onion, diced
1 clove of garlic
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup pasta sauce
Shredded Cheese

In a stove-top pan, warm the olive oil on med. heat. Add the zucchini, onion, garlic (pressed with a garlic press) and sea salt. Cook until zucchini is tender, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add pasta sauce. Mix well and immediately top with cheese. Serve!

*Optional - Mix in 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese and 1/2 cup ricotta cheese to add a protein boost.

Mexican Casserole

This is a very simple casserole that everyone will love. You can experiment by adding corn, onion, green peppers, olives, etc. Also, if you make your own refried beans, that would be wonderful too.

1 can refried beans (find one that doesn't have any added fats)
1 lb. lean ground turkey, cooked
1 20 oz. can Rosarita Enchilada Sauce
Baked tortilla chips
Shredded cheese

Spread the refried beans across the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Layer the cooked ground turkey over the beans. With your hand, crunch the baked chips over the ground turkey (using about 3 servings of chips). Pour the enchilada sauce over the chips. Use a spoon to evenly spread the sauce. Sprinkle cheese over the top and bake uncovered for 2o minutes at 350 degrees.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Quick & Easy Quiche

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4 0z shredded cheese (I use both swiss and a mozzarella blend)
6-8 slices nitrate free sandwich meat
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp natural seasoned salt
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped

Grease a 9 inch pie pan. Rip the meat into pieces and layer on the bottom of pan. Sprinkle the cheese over the meat. In a blender or with a whisk, blend the eggs, milk, sea salt, seasoned salt and flour. Mix until there are no clumps. Add the onion and mix until blended. Pour mix over the meat and cheese. Bake for 35 minutes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tortilla Roll-Ups

These are a great snack!

1 high fiber, whole wheat tortilla/wrap
1 T. low fat cream cheese
2 tsp. green chilies or 505 Green Chili Salsa
2 slices nitrate-free sandwich meat

Spread the low fat cream cheese over the tortilla. Add the green chilies and sandwich meat. Roll the tortilla and slice into 1/2 inch thick circles. Enjoy!

*Variation: I've also made these by spreading 1 T. pasta sauce and 2 T. low-fat ricotta cheese over the tortilla/wrap. Sprinkle with a little mozzarella cheese. Roll and slice into 1/2 inch thick circles. Serve warm or cold. Delicious!

Crock Pot Oatmeal

I love throwing this in the crock pot before I leave for the day! My kids wake up to a delicious, healthy breakfast that they love.

In a crock pot, with a whisk, mix together the following:

2 eggs
1 cup vanilla coconut milk (I use the 'So Delicious' brand)
2 cups 1% milk
1/4 -1/2 cup agave (depending on how sweet you like it)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Add 1 cup whole grain oatmeal and a 1/2 cup of groats to the milk mixture and stir until combined. Quinoa also works well in place of the groats.

Cook on high for 2 hours or until a nice, creamy consistency. Serve with milk, if desired.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cilantro Lime Dressing

This dressing is great as a veggie dip or for your own Costa Vida style salad!

1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
1 c. veganise (This is a mayonnaise substitue. You can find this at your local health food store and it tastes better than mayonnaise!)
1 c. buttermilk
2 tomatillos, remove husk, diced (or buy canned)
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic
Juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno (use the seeds if you like it spicy, if not remove the seeds)

Mix all ingredients together in the blender. Enjoy!

Macadamia Nut White Chocolate Chip Cookies

All I can say is YUMMY!!! These will not last so make sure you hide some for yourself..... Also, they freeze beautifully (hint hint).

In a bowl mix the following dry ingredients together:

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup macaroon style coconut (no sugar added)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda (aluminum free)
1/2 tsp baking powder

In a separate bowl, blend together:

4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 cup agave
1/2 cup coconut oil

Mix the dry ingredients with the wet. To the batter, add 1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts and 1 cup white chocolate chips (you can find these at your local health food store).

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. The agave will make the tops of the cookies brown quicker so don't overcook.

Pumpkin Cake (or bread) W/ Cream Cheese Frosting

This pumpkin cake is always a hit! I also use the batter to make pumpkin bread loaves and they always turn out perfect. I hope you enjoy!

1 1/2 cups turbinado sugar
1 1/2 cups sucanat
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 T baking powder (aluminum free)
1 T. baking soda
1 T. cinnamon
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup coconut oil
3 1/4 cups pure canned pumpkin
4 slightly beaten eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients in order. Beat until smooth. Pour into a 9x13 inch pan and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 8 oz package cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
1 T. coconut oil
3/4 cup turbinado sugar (you can substitute agave in place of the turbinado - use 1/2 cup)

Blend all ingredients together. Let sit 5 minutes and blend again. Let cake cool before frosting.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cutting Back on "Bad" Carbs

By: Reader's Digest

Ten ways to make low-carb healthy.

Thanks to the popularity of low-carb diets, nearly half of Americans say they are watching the amount of carbohydrates they eat. If you're among them, we're providing these 10 tips so your carb control is healthy and wise!
Bear in mind that there is a huge difference between Cheese Doodles and oatmeal. Both might be categorized as carbs, but their benefits are on opposite ends of the health spectrum. In the last chapter, we detailed the benefits of “good carbs.” Now it's time to explain what a “bad carb” is. Here's the simplest answer: white flour, refined sugar, and white rice. More broadly, any food made primarily of a carb that has been processed in such a way as to strip out ingredients that hinder quick and easy cooking. Why are refined carbs a problem? Easy: They digest so quickly that they cause blood sugar surges that lead to weight gain and other health troubles.Here are some ways to avoid troublesome carbs while still getting the fuel you need for good health. Carb-counting meets common sense, right this way...

1. Tell the waiter to hold the bread. At almost every restaurant, your meal starts with a basket of rolls, breads, and crackers made from white flour. If it's not put on the table, you won't eat any. Or, if you really need something to nibble on, ask if they have whole wheat varieties.

2. At Chinese restaurants, ask for brown rice, and limit how much you eat to one cup. In fact, some Chinese restaurants have started offering to swap a vegetable for the rice in their combo dinners, knowing that many people are on low-carb diets. At home, always cook brown rice instead of white. Brown rice hasn't been processed and still has its high-fiber nutrients.

3. Instead of bread, use eggplant slices to make a delicious sandwich. Broil two thick slices of eggplant until brown, then add mozzarella and tomato, olive oil and basil to one slice, suggests Nicole Glassman, owner of Mindful Health in New York City. Top with the other slice of eggplant and broil again until the cheese melts.

4. Wrap your food in lettuce leaves. Yes, skip the bun, tortillas, and bread slices and instead make a sandwich inside lettuce leaves. Glassman suggests going Mexican with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, salsa, and chicken; Asian with sesame seeds, peanuts, bean sprouts, cut up green beans, and shrimp with a touch of soy sauce; or deli style with turkey, cheese, and mustard.

5. Buy old-fashioned snacks in kidsize bags. Truth is, pretzels, tortilla chips, potato chips, and cookies are mostly bad carbs, made primarily of refined flour, sugar, salt, and/or oil. You want to remove as many of these foods from your daily eating as you can. But if you can't live without them, buy them in small bags--1 ounce is a typical “lunch box” size--and limit yourself to just one bag a day.

6. Break yourself of your old spaghetti habits. Almost everyone loves a big bowl of pasta, topped with a rich tomato sauce. The tomato sauce couldn't be better for you; the spaghetti, however, is pure carbohydrate. While spaghetti is fine to eat every now and then, for those sensitive to carbs or wishing to cut back on their noodle intake, here are some alternatives to the usual spaghetti dinner:

-Here's the easiest choice: Switch to whole wheat pasta. It is denser than traditional pasta, with a firm, al dente texture similar to what you'd get in Italy. -Grill vegetables such as eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and onion and slice them into long, thin pieces. Mix up and pour your spaghetti sauce over the vegetables for a delicious and immensely healthy meal. -Substitute spaghetti squash for the pasta. Boil or microwave the squash until soft, then scoop out the seeds and pull the strands of squash from the shell with a fork. -Top with your favorite sauce and a grating of real Parmesan. -Try healthy whole grains as a replacement for pasta. Spaghetti sauce goes better than you'd expect on brown rice, barley, chickpeas, and such.

7. Cut up 1-ounce portions of cheese and divvy up 1-ounce portions of nuts into tiny snack bags. Now you have a handy snack at the ready.

8. Eat potatoes boiled with the skin on. The effect of potatoes on blood sugar depends on how the potatoes are prepared. No need to unspud yourself completely! Also, new potatoes tend to have fewer simple carbs than other types of potatoes.

9. Eat lightly of the new low-carb products. More than 1,000 low-carb products were introduced in 2003, but the FDA has yet to publish any guidelines as to what “low carb” really means. Instead, many new “low carb” foods are to carbcutting what “low fat” cookies were to fat-cutting: just a new way of pitching foods high in calories and low in nutrient value. In fact, Consumer Reports found that many packaged low-carb foods are actually higher in calories than their regular counterparts. For instance, a serving of Keto's low-carb Rocky Road ice cream has 270 calories, almost double the calories found in many regular ice creams and twice as much fat.

10. Think lightly of the new net-carb measurements. Many of the low-carb weight-loss programs are trying to get their followers to use “net carbs” as the measurement of choice for the appropriateness of a carb food in their diet. This is a measurement of the “bad carbs” left in a food after you adjust for those carb ingredients that don't immediately affect blood sugar. The folks at Atkins Nutritionals say the proper way to measure net carbs is to subtract fiber (as well as sugar alcohols and glycerin, when applicable) from the total carbs listed on the nutrition facts panel of a product. But that's just their version, and that's the problem. “Net carbs” is not a regulated or standardized measurement--manufacturers can define it how they want, and say what they want on product packaging. And there is no science to say that tracking net carbs offers any unique weight-loss benefit.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Raisin Bran Muffins

1 cup raisin bran flakes cereal (I use a brand called Mom's Best that I purchase from my local health food store)
3/4 cup 1% milk
1 egg
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 T. agave
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup oat bran
2 T. flax seeds
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup turbinado sugar (or sucanat)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees:
Combine the cereal and milk until moistened. Beat in egg, agave and coconut oil. In a separate bowl, mix flour, oat bran, flax seeds, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and sugar. Mix the dry ingredients in with the wet only until combined. Do not over mix. Scoop batter into an oiled, 12 cup muffin pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
Optional: Add chopped pecans or walnuts, oats and raisins.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Friday, December 12, 2008

School Lunches

How can we improve school lunches for our children? The article below is inspiration that it can be done. I am blown away by the lunch menu my children bring home from school and how the lunches/breakfast are advertised as being "nutritious". The studies prove that children excel in many areas when they are eating right. I know that we all want the best for our children; let's make a stand today!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sweet Potato Souffle

This delicious sweet potato recipe will sure to be a favorite for the Thanksgiving holiday!

Cook and mash 3 large sweet potatoes or yams = 3 cups
Add and mix together:
2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup sucanat
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2/3 cup evaporated milk

Pour mixture into a greased 9 X 13 inch pan. Mix topping mixture below and sprinkle on top of mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes

Variation: Use a total of 4 eggs, 4 cooked sweet potatoes, 2 T coconut flour, replace the turbinado sugar with agave and use buttermilk in place of evaporated milk.

1 cup whole grain corn flakes (You can also use whole grain oats)
1/2 cup macaroon style coconut (non-sweetened)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2 T Turbinado Sugar or Sucanat

Sunday, November 9, 2008

hGH - Human Growth Hormone

We all want to look and feel our best all the time. It seems we are constantly trying to find the "magic" supplement or food that will delay the aging process within ourselves. Of course, on top of clean eating, we should be exercising, supplementing and getting plenty of good sleep to stay looking and feeling as young and healthy as possible.

When we are young, our bodies produce large amounts of what we call Human Growth Hormone or hGH. As we age, we produce less and less of this "wonder" hormone. hGH is needed to build muscle strength and size, aids in muscle recovery, repairs/rebuilds cells, is key to weight loss, helps with immunity and is needed to look and feel young. If there is a "magic" anti-aging supplement, hGH would be it!

As we get older, there are a few things we can do to keep our hGH at it's peak.

1. Get plenty of good quality sleep - our bodies produce most hGH when in a deep sleep
2. Eat Clean - Lean protein is needed to sustain/produce good hGH levels
2. Exercise - Exercise stimulates the production of hGH

Inhibitors of hGH that you will want to avoid are hyperglycemia, estrogen and interrupted sleep. Stay away from refined sugars/foods that promote hyperglycemia. Avoid hormone replacement if possible and avoid consuming too much soy as it increases estrogen production. If you have issues with getting quality sleep, depending on the problem, there are many herbal formulas that can assist in helping you get a good nights rest.

hGH supplementation is very costly so I recommend promoting the natural production within the body by taking the best possible care of yourself.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Why Use Coconut Oil?

Excerpt from back jacket:

"If there was an oil you could use for your daily cooking needs that helped protect you from heart disease, cancer, and other degenerative conditions, improved your digestion, strengthened your immune system, and helped you lose excess weight, would you be interested? This is what coconut oil can do for you."

Within the past year, I have incorporated coconut oil into my daily cooking. I remember being told at a very young age that coconut oil was a saturated fat that should be completely avoided. I avoided it for years and realize how I've missed out on so many health benefits that come from using coconut oil.

The studies that were done to show that coconut oil and all other saturated fats were bad for one's health was because they raised serum cholesterol levels. However, these studies were done on coconut oil that had been hydrogenated in the oil refining process (hydrogenated means the food is altered from it's natural form into a trans fat). Trans fats are found in many foods and they will cause health problems.

Now that you know the truth, start using coconut oil today!

What Coconut Oil DOES NOT Do:
  • Does not increase blood cholesterol level.
  • Does not promote platelet stickiness or blood clot formation.
  • Does not contribute to atherosclerosis or heart disease.
  • Does not contribute to weight problems.

What Coconut Oil DOES Do:

  • Reduces risk of atherosclerosis and related illnesses.
  • Reduces risk of cancer and other degenerative conditions.
  • Helps prevent bacterial, viral, and fungal (including yeast) infections.
  • Supports immune system function.
  • Helps control diabetes.
  • Provides an immediate source of energy.
  • Supports healthy metabolic function.
  • Improves digestion and nutrient absorption.
  • Supplies important nutrients necessary for good health.
  • Supplies fewer calories than other fats.
  • Promotes weight loss.
  • Helps prevent osteoporosis.
  • Has a mild delicate flavor.
  • Is highly resistant to spoilage (long shelf life).
  • Is heat resistant (the healthiest oil for cooking).
  • Helps keep skin soft and smooth.
  • Helps prevent premature aging and wrinkling of the skin.
  • Helps protect against skin cancer and other blemishes.
  • Functions as a protective antioxidant.
Lauric Acid (found in coconut oil) is necessary for good health says Dr. Mary Enig, a Ph.D. nutritionist/biochemist and one of the world’s leading authorities on fats and oils. She states, “Approximately 50% of the fatty acids in coconut fat are lauric acid. Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid, which has the additional beneficial function of being formed into monolaurin in the human or animal body. Monolaurin is the antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal monoglyceride used by the human or animal to destroy lipid coated viruses such as HIV, herpes, cytomegalovirus, influenza, various pathogenic bacteria including listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and protozoa such as giardia lamblia. Some studies have also shown some antimicrobial effects of the free lauric acid."

Coconut oil is expensive but it is well worth the benefits. The least expensive place I have found to purchase coconut oil is at On your first order, if you enter in promotional code KEN780, you'll save $5 off your total. I purchase the 32 oz. Jarrow Formulas - Extra Virgin Coconut Oil for $14.37. You can't beat that price!

  • A Deliciously Healthy Cooking Oil
  • Better than Butter
  • USDA Organic
  • No Hexane
  • Rich in Lauric Acid
  • Unrefined & No Trans Fats
  • A Soothing Body Oil
  • Nature's Ideal All-Purpose Cooking Oil

The Coconut Oil Myth

Coconut oil was once mistakenly considered unhealthful. The fact is, this oil is cholesterol-free and rich in the medium-chain "good fats" doctors recommend. Why is it that baby formulas often include coconut oil? Because coconut is one of the world's most nourishing super foods. Nutritionists suggest enjoying up to 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin coconut oil each day, so help yourself to this heavenly, creamy taste of the tropics.

Nutiva's Coconut Oil is:

Cold-Pressed & Pure White: Not refined, deodorized, or bleached! Savor its naturally rich aroma and enticing light taste.

Organic: So it's free from pesticides, GMOs, and hexane.

Versatile: Ideal as a high-heat cooking oil (up to 350°), as a nutritious substitute in baking, as a "better-than-butter" replacement on bread, vegetables or popcorn and as a luscious oil for skin care, hair care, and massage.

America Needs an Oil Change - While doctors suggest we consume a 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3, the average American diet provides a ratio of 20:1 or more - contributing to heart disease, skin disorders and arterial inflammation. So avoid out-of-balance soy, corn, and canola oils with their trans fats, oxidation and GMOs. Cook with coconut oil (with only 1% Omega-6) and use olive oil (also low in Omega-6), and hemp oil (with the perfect 3:1 Omega ratio) for unheated recipes.

Not all saturated fat is bad!

Coconut oil is cholesterol-free and contains medium-chain good fats with 50%-55% Lauric Acid-a healthy nutrient that supports the metabolism.

Out Of This World Zucchini Bread

3 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder (aluminum free)
3 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 c. *macaroon style coconut (optional)
3 eggs
1/2 c. coconut oil
1/2 c. canola oil
1 1/4 c. sucanat
1 c. turbinado sugar
3 tsp. vanilla
2 c. finely grated zucchini
1 c. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, oils (you can use a total of 1 cup coconut oil rather than the 1/2 c. coconut oil and 1/2 c. canola oil, if you'd like), sugars, vanilla and zucchini. Add the dry ingredients to the wet. Blend well and mix in the chopped walnuts. Bake 50 minutes or until center is done. Let cool in the pan for 20 minutes.

Because the sucanat is dark in color the final product will be as well. The sucanat gives it a rich color and flavor that is so yummy!

Variation: If you are a chocolate lover, add some grain sweetened chocolate chips to the mix. You can find these at your local health food store.

*Macaroon style coconut is a fine shave of coconut with no added sugars. You can find it at your local health food store.

Amazing Banana Bread

2 eggs, beaten
1/3 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. coconut oil
1/4 c. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. ripe, mashed bananas (about 3)
3/4 c. sucanat
3/4 c. turbinado sugar
1 3/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. *macaroon style coconut (optional)
1/2 c. chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Blend eggs, buttermilk, oils, vanilla, bananas and the sugars. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and coconut. Mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix in the nuts.

Pour into a 9 X 5 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour or until center is done.

*Macaroon style coconut is a very thin shave of coconut with no added sugars. You can find this at your local health food store.

This is a very moist banana bread. Because the sucanat is dark in color, your bread will be dark in color as well. This is the best banana bread recipe I have ever tried. I suggest to double the recipe since it will disappear fast!