Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tuscan Kale Salad


I found this recipe in the Whole Living magazine this month, and it is DELICIOUS!  I find myself craving it, and it's so good for me that I usually give in to that craving!  Besides being delicious, it is simple to make and takes only a few minutes to put together. I guarantee that this is the healthiest salad you have had in a while, and the flavors will have you making it again and again.  :D


  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 bunches Tuscan kale (about 14 oz), ribs removed and leaves sliced into 1/4-inch shreds
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus shavings for garnish
  • 2 Tbsp whole wheat breadcrumbs, toasted


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper flakes. Add kale and toss to coat. Let sit at room temperature for 10 to 30 minutes.
  2. Add grated cheese and breadcrumbs and toss.
  3. Garnish with shaved cheese before serving. Cover and refrigerate leftovers up to two days.

    A few changes I made:  I didn't bother to toast the bread crumbs, and it tasted great.
    Add a little less garlic if you are not a huge garlic fan.  I usually only do 1 or 2 cloves.
    I made the dressing and kept it in a bottle in the fridge to use all the time.
    I substituted baby greens for the kale a few times and it was very good.
    I found the cheese in the specialty cheese section at Harmon's.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Help for Acid Reflux

I recently began looking for some dietary solutions for the problem of acid reflux and I came across a great article by Dr. Jorge E. Rodriguez.  In it, he outlines some of the foods that can cause acid reflux to occur and some other foods we can eat to prevent it from happening.

Here is what I learned:


Acid reflux is caused by the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) loosening and allowing gastric acid to escape from the stomach into the esophagus.  


Some foods actually cause the LES to relax and lose its tone, leading to acid reflux.  Other foods slow digestion, causing stomach acid to put pressure on the LES, which can loosen it and initiate acid reflux.  Those foods are:

Mint or anything containing mint oil
Saturated fats
Processed meats
Deep-fried foods
Carbonated beverages
Coffee, even de-caf


#1 Solution:  Quantity
People with acid reflux should not eat large quantities of food all at once.  Try eating several small meals throughout the day instead of two or three large ones.  

#2 Solution:  Fiber Intake

Fiber helps promote regularity and keeps everything moving smoothly.  Increase your fiber intake and you will put less pressure on your digestive system.


Lean meats like chicken and fish
Natural, unprocessed foods
Fresh fruits and vegetables
Whole grains such as brown rice
Green leafy vegetables like lettuce, spinach, or broccoli
Cauliflower, zucchini, green beans, sweet potatoes, eggplant, 
asparagus, and artichokes

(If you would like more information, Dr. Rodriguez's book is called "The Acid Reflux Solution".)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Amazing Clients!

I love my clients!  I love working with them and supporting them in reaching their goals.  I am so thankful for all that they teach me as we meet together.  I never realized how much I would receive back in my own life by doing this work.

These testimonials are the reason why I love being a health coach.  To be able to be a part of someone transforming their life for the better and achieving the goals they set for themselves is the most amazing opportunity I have ever had!

"I was at a point in my life where it was time for a change.  I was in a rut and it was time to open my mind to something new that would help me increase the quality of my overall health and energy!…After completing this program, I now have the skills, ability and knowledge that will allow me to finally master my body instead of having my body master me!  It feels nice to be in control and aware!  This program has altered my life."
Brandon V.

"We all think we will take the time to get to the things we want to work on, but if you're like me, that never seems to happen….I have come a long way and it feels good to think about how I can become a better person and concentrate on those things."
Becky M.

"Some life changes that have happened for me so far are:  Eating more home cooked meals with my family, planning ahead makes this possible.  I am more aware of the choices of food that I buy and put into my body.  I have gained a greater knowledge of food.  I have gained knowledge of my outer ring of health and how to keep it balanced in my life.  I have learned about relationships and keeping them in balance as well.

All of these changes are a process.  During this process I have noticed that I am better able to handle my stress.  I have better relationships with those I love.  I have more energy and I am happier in my life.  It has made a huge change in my life as well as the life of my family…I am excited to keep working and see even more changes."
Kristie T.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Don't be scared, but I actually made up this recipe myself!  I was in the mood for some vegetable beef soup, so I started throwing some stuff in a pan and this is what came out.  It's a fairly simple, easy to  make recipe, but my family and I really enjoyed it.  If it looks a bit anemic, it's because I used organic beef broth, so no artificial colors!

Vegetable, Beef and Barley Soup

1-2 cups leftover Sunday roast, cubed or shredded
2 cartons organic beef broth
1/2 cup barley
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 can green beans
1/4 tsp. pepper
Salt to taste

Combine 1 carton beef broth, onions, celery and carrots in a large pot.  Add a little salt and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes.  Add other carton of beef broth, roast beef, barley, green beans and pepper.  Bring to a boil again.  Reduce heat to med-low and let simmer another 30 minutes or until barley is tender.  Serve with homemade bread or rolls.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Group Health Coaching Start Date Changed!!


The dates of the Group Health Coaching Sessions have been changed because of a scheduling conflict.
   Here are the new (tentative) meeting times:

Session #1:  October 30th
Session #2:  November 13th
Session #3:  November 27th
Session #4:  December 4th
Session #5:  December 18th
Session #6:  January 15th
Session #7:  January 29th
Session #8:  February 12th
Session #9:  February 26th
Session #10:  March 12th
Session #11:  March 26th
Session #12:  April 9th

Please know that I will do everything I can to accommodate every person's schedule and that these dates are very flexible.  Once the group has started meeting, I am confident that we will be able to work out any other scheduling conflicts that may arise.  Please don't feel as if you cannot join because of one date that may not work for you.  

Here is a preview of some of the subjects we will be covering:

*  Adding more greens to your diet

*  Causes of cravings

*  When to buy organic produce

*  Healthy snacking

*  Energetics of food

*  Exercise according to body type

*  5 love languages

*  Portion control

*Nurturing the self

*  Seasonal eating

*  The power of gratitude

Here is what a current client had to say about the 6-month program:

"During this process, I have noticed that I am better able to handle my stress.  I have better relationships with those I love.  I have more energy and I am happier in my life.  Health coaching has been an amazing blessing in my life.  It has made a huge change in my life as well as in the life of my family.   I am excited to keep working and see even more changes in my life." 

What would your life be like if you had less stress, more energy, and felt great in your body?  Wouldn't you like to find out?

Email me today at for pricing options and a more detailed class outline.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Balanced Health, Balanced Life Group Program


Are you ready to make a commitment to changing your health and your life for the better?  There is no better time than now to start!  I will be launching a new group program in October, and I am beyond excited!  This program will follow the same basic structure of my individual 6 month program, but in a group setting.  There will be less one-on-one instruction, but you will have the support of a whole group of like-minded people, plus you will be paired up with a buddy who can support and encourage you!  

I am so pumped to get going on this program that I am offering it to you at HALF the cost of my individual program!  In addition, if you pay the full tuition up front, the cost goes down even more!  

Sessions will be held twice a month on a bi-weekly basis, except for a few occasions where holidays or family vacation times may take precedence.  Here is the schedule for the class:

Session #1:  October 16th
Session #2:  November 6th
Session #3:  November 20th
Session #4:  December 4th
Session #5:  December 18th
Session #6:  January 8th
Session #7:  January 22nd
Session #8:  February 5th
Session #9:  February 19th
Session #10:  March 12th
Session #11:  March 26th

All classes will be held on a Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. at my home and will last approximately 60 to 90 minutes.  

This program IS for you if:

*  You are ready to take your health to the next level and feel amazing!

*  You want to be as vibrant as possible so you can care for your family 
in a way that they truly deserve.

*  You desire to decrease your stress levels and really enjoy your life!

*  You are open to learning to listen to the messages your body is sending you about what it needs and provide those things in a loving way.

*  You have struggled with weight loss in the past and are now ready to stop fighting against your body and start loving it back into it's perfect weight!

*  You want to understand how your lifestyle, spirituality, relationships, career and physical activity affect what you eat and how much you eat.

This program is NOT for you if:

*  You are not committed and willing to change your life.

*  You don't feel it is worth investing in yourself.

*You are not motivated to work toward or do not have any health goals.

Email me now at to get more info on pricing, class outline, and all the other exciting details!   

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fresh Peach Cobbler

I found this delicious recipe on the website of one of my teachers at IIN, Andrea Beaman.  She is a natural foods chef, TV personality, and fellow graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  I had a ton of fresh peaches to use up last week, and this recipe was the perfect way to do that.  I'm not normally a cobbler person, but I even liked it, and my family loved it!


5-6 peaches, skinned and sliced thin
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. all purpose flour
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup peach nectar or water


1 cup oat flour
1/3 cup maple sugar
(I couldn't find that so I used coconut sugar)
1 tsp. baking powder
2 dashes cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
5-6 tbsp. unsalted butter

1.  Preheat oven to 375.

2.  Put peaches into 9x9 baking dish.

3.  Whisk vanilla, flour, sea salt, and nectar or water and drizzle over fruit.

4.  In separate bowl, combine oat flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and sea salt.

5. Work butter into the flour until crumbly.

6.  Sprinkle crumbles on top of peaches.

7.  Bake 40-45 minutes or until fruit is bubbling and crumble is nicely browned.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Daily Detox for Your Body

We live in a world filled with toxins.  There is pollution in the air we breathe, impurities in the water we drink, and chemicals and pesticides in the foods we eat.  Our bodies generally do a good job of getting rid of toxins, but they can become overloaded with the amount of toxins that we encounter on a daily basis.  

Many of our internal organs help flush out the toxins in our bodies, but the skin is the largest organ of elimination that we have.  Through the shedding of dead cells and sweating, the skin is able to remove more waste products than any other organ.  

If you can take a few minutes every day to help your body maximize it's ability to process and expel toxins, you will feel healthier and happier, and your body will thank you.

Try using one of these seven detox methods each day of the week.  I promise you will notice the difference!


Drinking a glass of warm or even hot water with a squeeze of fresh lemon in the morning is a signal to your body that it is time to start digesting again.  After all, when you wake up, you have been fasting for 8 - 10 hours!  The warmth of the water will stimulate digestion and the lemon will help flush out toxins.


Use a hand towel dipped in hot water to scrub your body vigorously for a few minutes before you jump in the shower.  This stimulates the pores of the skin to help them eliminate toxins more easily.  It also creates a rejuvenating flow of energy in the body and helps melt away subcutaneous fat and break down cellulite.  (You can also use a soft brush, loofah, or  a bath glove if you prefer.)


Any type of physical activity that gets your heart rate up and makes you sweat helps your body rid itself of toxins.  Strive to get at least 30 minutes of this movement for the most health benefits.


Treating yourself to a massage does more than just relax you.  It helps your body get rid of toxins!  The friction on the skin and the stimulation of the muscles gets blood flowing and impurities moving out of the body.  Make sure you drink plenty of water afterwards to prevent soreness and to keep toxins from being re-absorbed by the muscles.


Fill your tub with hot water and add a handful of Epsom salts, 10 drops of Lavender essential oil, and 1/2 cup of baking soda.  Soak for 20 minutes.  This combo draws out toxins, balances your body's pH levels and lowers stress-related hormones.


Not only is sitting in a sauna relaxing and soothing, it also helps you sweat out tons of toxins!  The deep sweat produced in a sauna can help reduce levels of copper, lead, mercury, zinc and nickel -- all common toxins we pick up from our environment.


At the end of your shower, alternate between water temperatures as hot and as cold as you can stand.  This will increase circulation and help flush out your lymphatic system.  

Using one or all of these techniques as often as you can will increase your energy, decrease skin and digestive problems, and leave you feeling  fresh and toxin-free inside and out!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Quinoa Squash Pilaf

I love squash!  Especially yellow squash and zucchini!  So when I found this recipe for squash with quinoa and spinach, it sounded so delicious and healthy, I had to try it! I made it tonight for dinner, and I have to say, it was awesome!  With our gardens in full bloom, it is a great time of year to try out this light and tasty recipe and use up all of those squash that are taking up space in your refrigerator.  I made this as a main dish and topped it with a little parmesan cheese.  It could also make a great side dish!



1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) vegetable or chicken broth (I used chicken)
1/4 cup water
1 medium zucchini squash, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 medium yellow summer squash, halved and sliced
1 cup coarsely chopped white onion
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp. minced fresh cilantro 
(optional -- I used 1 drop cilantro essential oil)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped

Coat a large skillet with cooking spray and toast the quinoa over medium heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.  

In a medium saucepan, bring broth and water to a boil.  Add quinoa.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.

In the same large skillet, saute squash and onions until slightly tender.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer.  Stir in tomatoes, cilantro, seasonings, and quinoa.  Bring to a low boil.  Add spinach and cook until spinach is wilted, about 1-2 minutes.

3/4 cup = 126 calories, 3 g. fat, 0 cholesterol, 377 mg. sodium,
 21 g. carbs, 3 g. fiber, and 5 g. protein

This recipe adapted from Taste of Home Healthy Cooking Website

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

3-Bean Baked Beans

I found this recipe on the Taste of Home website, ( which is my favorite place to search for new recipes to try.  I altered it slightly, omitting the ground beef it called for and it tasted awesome!  I guess if you wanted it to be more of a main dish instead of a side dish, you could add the beef (1/2 lb.) but I liked it without.  I served these beans with pork ribs, corn on the cob, and some fresh sliced veggies from our garden, and it was the perfect summertime meal!  


5 bacon strips, diced (I used pre-cooked)
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 16 oz. cans pork and beans, undrained
1 16 oz. can butter beans, rinsed and drained
1 16 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup organic ketchup
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
2 tbsp. molasses
2 tbsp. mustard
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt

In a large pan, saute the bacon and onion in a small amount of olive oil for about 1 minute.  Add beans. Combine remaining ingredients and stir into bean mixture.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer on stovetop for about 30 minutes, OR bake uncovered in a greased baking dish at 350 for 1 hour.  

3/4 cup = 230 calories

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Health Benefits of Cherries

I love cherries.  Unfortunately, my husband is allergic to them, so I never used to buy them because I was afraid my boys would be allergic as well, and I didn't want to find out the hard way!  But now, all of my boys have tried cherries (not when I was around) and it turns out none of them inherited the allergy!  So now, we eat them quite often, and poor David just has to go without!

Here are the health benefits of these wonderfully sweet, locally available fruits:

*  ANTIOXIDANTS -- Cherries are packed with antioxidants called anthocyanins, which are the pigments that give them their red color.   These help rid the body of free radicals which can cause cancer and heart disease.

*MELATONIN -- Another antioxidant that helps regulate heart rhythms and sleep cycles in the body.

*FIBER -- The fiber in cherries can help regulate the digestive system.

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY -- Cherries are good for people with gout and arthritis because of their ability to rid the body of excess fluids.

*VITAMINS AND MINERALS -- They are a rich source of beta carotene, vitamins C and E, potassium, magnesium, iron and folate.

*LOWER CHOLESTEROL -- Cherries can help lower cholesterol levels as well as aid in weight loss, especially belly fat.

*AFTER WORKOUTS -- Eat cherries or drink tart cherry juice after your workout to help reduce post exercise muscle and joint pain.

Now is a great time of year to find cherries at your local fruit stand.  Eat them plain and fresh as a snack, add them to a smoothie, or put them in a summer fruit salad.  

Monday, June 25, 2012

Herb Topped Stuffed Tomatoes

Summer brings lots of tomatoes from our garden, and I love this recipe for using up all the tomatoes that build up in my refrigerator!  It's a super easy, tasty side dish for grilled chicken or fish.


1 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. butter, divided
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
4 large tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp. minced fresh parsley

1.  In a small skillet, saute onion and garlic in 1 tbsp. butter until tender.  Melt remaining butter.  In a small bowl, combine the onion mixture, bread crumbs, cheese and melted butter.  Spoon 2 tbsp. onto each tomato half.

2.  Place on baking sheet.  Broil 8 inches from the heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned.  Sprinkle with fresh basil and parsley.  Serve immediately.

* 2 halves = 143 calories, 7 g. fat, 246 mg. sodium, 19 g. carb, 3 g. fiber, 4 g. protein.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tangy Homemade Barbecue Sauce

 I found this great recipe for homemade BBQ sauce in the Simple and Delicious magazine this month.  It did sound simple and delicious, and I decided to give it a try!  We put it on some chicken and grilled it along with some pineapple and vegetables.  It came out great, but was pretty sweet, so next time I may increase the mustard. 

1 cup ketchup (I used Muir Glen organic -- no HFCS!)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. prepared mustard
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Whisk together and use as a basting sauce for grilled meat.

Store any leftovers in a jar in the refrigerator!  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Capellini Pomodoro

My favorite light pasta dish to order at The Olive Garden is Capellini Pomodoro.  So I decided to see if I could create my own version at home.  I found the recipe on the Olive Garden website, and I changed it slightly to fit my taste.  I served it with a green salad and Olive Garden dressing that I bought at Sam's club.  I added 2 tbsp. of vinegar when I made it, but next time I think I will start with one and add more if it needs it.  I think you'll agree that this is an easy, zesty pasta dish!  Enjoy!


14 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
8 medium roma tomatoes, diced very small
11 fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic
6 Tbsp. olive oil
1-2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Black pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to directions on package.  Meanwhile, saute diced tomatoes, basil, garlic, oil, vinegar and pepper in a large skillet on low heat.  Drain pasta and toss in pan with tomato mixture.  Heat through and serve immediately.  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Italian Sausage Bean Soup

This soup has become a favorite in our household because of it's mixture of flavors and comforting warmth.  It's pretty simple to make and is great the next day as leftovers.  The barley will continue to expand, so you may need to add more chicken broth when you reheat it.  I got this recipe from the Taste of Home website, and I modified it just a little.  I try to use organic and low sodium ingredients whenever possible.  

Italian Sausage Bean Soup

1 lb. Italian  pork sausage 
(or you can use regular sausage and add Italian seasoning)
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 - 2 32 oz. boxes chicken broth
2 cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup pearl barley
1 large carrot, diced
1/4 tsp. sage
1/8 tsp. rosemary
4 cups chopped fresh kale

1.  In a large pot, cook sausage and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer.  
2.  Stir in broth, barley, tomatoes, barley, carrot, sage and rosemary.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 35 minutes.
3.  Stir in beans and kale.  Return to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are tender and kale is wilted.

1 1/2 cups = 339 calories, 9 g. fat, 23 mg. cholesterol,
 1100 mg. sodium, (less if you used low sodium broth) 48 g. carbohydrate, 11 g. fiber, 19 g. protein.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Jalapeno Sausages with Peppers

I usually make this dish with organic chicken and apple sausages, but this time I decided to try the spicy mango and jalapeno sausages, and it was a hit!  In fact, I think David and Devin both preferred the spicy flavor to the sweet.  It is very simple to make, and it goes great with the Chinese Coleslaw recipe I posted from March 20, 2012.  (I made a slightly different version of the coleslaw this time, and added in some zucchini).


1 small onion, halved and sliced
1 sweet orange pepper, julienned
1 sweet red pepper, julienned
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 pkgs. (12 oz) organic chicken sausages

In a large skillet, saute onion and peppers in oil for 1 minute.  Stir in sausages and heat through.  Add garlic toward end of cooking time.  Serves 3 to 4 people.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mexican Beans and Rice

 This is a super easy, quick to make dinner that tastes delicious!  Pre-cook some short grain brown rice in your rice cooker and leave on the warm setting.  Combine 2 cans of low-sodium, preferably organic, pinto beans (drained and rinsed) with 2 cans of Rotel original diced tomatoes with green chiles in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil and let simmer for a few minutes.  Serve the bean mixture over the rice and top with your favorite toppings:  shredded cheese, sour cream or plain yogurt, green onions, etc.  We had this dish last night with my husband's famous homemade guacamole.  The recipe will be listed below.
Devin made his beans and rice into a burrito/taco.  He designed the plate himself!  This is a high protein, meat-free meal that your family will love!  


2 ripe avacados, mashed
1/2 large white onion, diced
2 jalepenos, diced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 tsp. lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and serve immediately.  (Best with Tostitos multi-grain tortilla chips.)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Eat Those Greens!

Eating green leafy vegetables is one of the best things you can do for your health.  Now that Spring is here, we can all add more greens to our diets and our bodies will thank us when we do!  


*  They purify the blood
*  They help prevent cancer
*  They improve circulation
*  They strengthen the immune system
*  They provide us with a feeling of lightness and energy
*  They lift spirits and help with depression
*  They promote healthy intestinal flora
*  They improve liver, gallbladder and kidney function
*  They help eliminate and reduce mucus in the body

If you are looking to protect your heart, eat Romaine lettuce.  One cup of Romaine meets almost your entire daily requirement of Vitamin A, which along with Vitamin C helps prevent high cholesterol.

If you want to lower your risk of breast cancer, eat Watercress.  This green contains a compound that tells the body to starve cancer cells of blood and oxygen.

If you want to reduce inflammation in your body, eat Spinach.  Vitamin K in the leaves of spinach can decrease the kind of inflammation associated with osteoporosis and heart disease.

If you want to strengthen your bones, eat Arugula.  This green has 125 mg of calcium per cup.  It's also low in the mineral oxalate, which can block absorption of calcium.  

If you want to look and feel young, eat Kale.  Kale is high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.  It is also high in antioxidants, which aid in the battle against chronic, age-related diseases.  It is high in carotenoids which help prevent cataracts, and it is high in folate and B6, which can help prevent osteoporosis, heart disease and dementia.

Visit my health coaching website for a basic recipe for preparing greens.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pantry Makeover

 I decided to makeover my pantry to be more organized and more healthy.  My thinking is that if I have a beautiful, organized pantry full of healthy, organic, accessible foods, it will help me to eat better and cook more often.  The baskets on the bottom hold my couponing bargains.
 I did lock n locks for my dry foods like pastas, flours, oats, sugar, etc.  The smaller ones hold all my baking supplies like brown sugar, raisins, etc.  I don't bake too often so I didn't need a ton of space for that stuff.  Canned foods are arranged on a two-tiered shelf.
 I wanted to especially organize the snacks and little odds and ends that always seem to get tossed everywhere and usually end up spilling and making a mess.  I organized them into categories like popcorn,  popcorn oil and salty snacks in one, rice cakes, peanut butter and honey in another.  (I eat that pretty much every day for a snack)  I came up with baskets stacked on wire shelves that I found at BB&B.  The baskets are from Target.  I got X-large mason jars to put all of my dried beans, rice, quinoa, bulgur wheat, etc, in.  I spray painted the rings and flats red to match the baskets and lock n locks.
For cake mixes, jello, and various other stuff I found white wire baskets that keep things tidy while still making it easy to see what I have.  I also put a few more wire shelves to create more space for tucking things away.

I realized about halfway through that I should have taken some before pics.  Trust me when I tell you that my pantry is by far more organized and much nicer to step into than it was before!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Five Foods You Should Avoid

(I just realized that I posted these tips on my blog a couple of years ago, but it never hurts to have a refresher course, right?!) So here, once again, are the foods we should avoid:

The biggest culprit is soft drinks. It is not good for you for the simple reason that it causes a spike in your blood sugar levels, which eventually leads to a drop in blood sugar levels, a major cause of overeating. The sugar highs and lows also cause your body to store excess insulin, which leads to weight gain and possibly diabetes and heart disease.

Refined sugar is nothing more than empty calories that make you crave more and more sugary foods. You never feel satisfied after eating sugar because there is no nutrient value whatsoever in sugar.

"Enriched" means that all of the important vitamins and minerals have been removed, and then a few added back in to call it enriched. There is little to no nutrient value in this, so choose breads and pastas that say "whole grain" instead of "enriched white".

Fatty meats and deep fried foods are high in these bad fats, so eat them sparingly or not at all.

Also called hydrogenated fats. These are fats that have had hydrogen added to them to keep them solid at room temperature. Can be found in margarine, butter, and many processed foods, although they are becoming less common as more and more consumers are demanding they be taken out of foods.


Plan your menu for the week before you go to the store, make a list of what you will need and take it with you to the store.

Avoid the center aisles of the grocery store! The center aisles contain all of the packaged, processed and sugary foods that are bad for you. Shop the perimeter where the fresh fruits, veggies, and recently alive foods are found.

Remember, you are what you eat -- so eat things that were recently alive and you will feel alive when you eat them!

Eat a variety of fresh foods in all colors, flavors and textures.

Get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. When your body lacks rest, it craves carbs and sugar to give it energy. This leads to making bad food choices.

Experiment with food. Try new things. I recently learned that I like kale, a vegetable that I had never tried before, and that I love asparagus, a food I thought I hated! So be willing to let go of preconceptions and old habits and try something different!! It's fun!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Five Good Things to Add to Your Diet Now

One of the concepts I have learned since I started studying at IIN is the concept of Bio-individuality. Every person's body is unique and different, and that is why some people are allergic to certain things and others are not. It's also why there is no one right diet for everyone. Some people can eat lots of protein and fat and very few carbs, and feel great. Others may need more carbs and less protein. But there are general guidelines that are pretty much good for everyone across the board. I would like to share five things you can add to your diet now to help you feel healthy, happy and full of energy.

Antioxidants boost your immune system, reduce damage caused by free-radicals and help prevent heart disease, macular degeneration, diabetes and cancer. Good sources of antioxidants are brightly colored fruits and veggies, nuts, fish and whole grains.

Omega 3's improve brain function, promote healthy vascular function and help prevent alzheimer's and depression. Omega 3 fats can be found in flaxseeds, walnuts, squash, and soybeans. I like taking a fish oil supplement in capsule form just to make sure I am getting enough. 1 to 3 grams per day is good for most of us.

Fiber aids digestion, rids the body of built up waste products and helps you maintain or lose weight by keeping you feeling full longer. Good sources of fiber are oatmeal, whole grains, dry beans, raw fruits and raw vegetables.

This wonderful fat promotes healthy skin and hair, lowers bad cholesterol, and helps reduce the risk of skin and breast cancers. Saute your favorite fresh veggies in 1 Tbsp. of olive oil for the perfect daily dose.

It is nearly impossible to get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to be healthy from food sources alone. Take a high quality multi-vitamin daily, and if you are a woman who is still menstruating, take a vitamin with added iron. Iron supplements will help your body produce new red blood cells to replace those you've lost.

Next week: Five foods to avoid!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chinese Coleslaw

In my quest to add more vegetables into our family diet, I ordered a Bountiful Basket on Saturday. In my order was a lovely head of cabbage. I never buy cabbage, as I am the only one in my family who even likes it. But there it was, and I felt obligated to do something with it. So I got online and looked up some recipes that had cabbage in them, and this is the one I settled on. I made it tonight to go with our pulled pork sandwiches, and it turned out really great! David even ate two large helpings, and he has had a lifelong aversion to coleslaw. The reason I chose this recipe was because it's not a traditional coleslaw, but instead has a lighter, vinaigrette dressing. The best part of all is it only has 45 calories per 1 cup serving!
(The recipe is written the way that I modified it)

5 cups chopped cabbage
1 cup finely chopped carrots
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained

1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. raw sugar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. organic tamari (gluten free soy sauce)

Toss all vegetables to combine. In a small bowl, whisk dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving; toss again before serving.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Garden Primavera

I got this wonderful recipe from my favorite cooking magazine -- Healthy Cooking. I love it because it contains so many vegetables as well as healthy, whole wheat pasta. When I made it the first time, Devin wondered where the meat was, so I grilled some chicken breasts and added them on at the end. But I think it's great without the meat as well!

Garden Primavera

8 oz. uncooked whole wheat fettucini (I used linguini)
1 cup fresh broccoli florets
1 medium red pepper, julienned
1 medium carrot, sliced
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup sliced celery
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
3/4 cup V8 juice (I used low sodium)
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. shredded parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta according to directions on package. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the broccoli, red pepper, carrot, mushrooms, celery, and garlic in oil for 3 minutes. Add V8 and basil; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 3 minutes. Stir in the peas, salt and pepper; simmer 2 minutes longer or until peas are tender.

2. Drain pasta. Add to vegetable mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serves 4.

1 1/2 C. = 310 Calories
529 mg. sodium

Note: I added extra V8 to make it a little less dry, but you can adjust the recipe for your own tastes.