Come on in and take a load off. Want some lemonade?

Why a blog? Why my blog? Good questions.

Hubby's wonderful, the children are lots of fun (and work) to have around, and life is full. While not an exhaustive list, I'm primarily a mom, wife, teacher, writer, reader, student, chauffeur, Christian, friend, patriot, gardener, cook, housekeeper, organizer, nurse, counselor, and referee -- but not necessarily in that order. That means life is crazy-busy.

I am constantly searching and learning; a few specific topics are my main areas of interest (health & nutrition, gardening, organics, politics, and history), but I find myself curious about just about everything.

Also, I like to share what I know, what I do, and what I'm learning.

So, "Why a blog?" Well, why not?

Thanks for taking the time to visit with me. Come again.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Healthy brownies -- what?!?!

In support of our efforts to eat more healthy ("clean") foods lately, I spent some time yesterday searching online for "clean" desserts. I found this brownie recipe, and we tried it today as our first effort to bake with all natural and healthy ingredients (and there's no flour in this one).

By unanimous decision, I can state that the batter was simply delicious. :D C'mon -- you know you eat the batter, too, even with raw egg in it (though I do usually use organic eggs).

The dish is now out of the oven and, again by unanimous decision, and before they cooled for even one minute, they are a hit! We would definitely prefer them with some of Publix's organic vanilla ice cream, but that'll have to wait as I don't have any right now.

So, I encourage you to try this recipe. Let me know what you think and if you have a favorite healthy dessert recipe to share.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Chia, juicing and smoothies, oh my! (healthy living)

You knoooow you remember the commercials from Christmases past.
Go ahead -- sing the jingle. :D Nobody's listening.


The trick, now more so than ever, is to avoid getting ill in the first place.

Look into chia seeds and add them to your diet.
I have some left over from when I've sprouted them before -- sprouts are good on sandwiches, in salads and in stir-fry recipes. We've just started adding chia seeds to our food and Amazing Grass smoothies without sprouting them. There's no taste. If you mix them with water and then wait 10 minutes they gel, which will then thicken whatever you add them to. The diehards just eat the gel, scooping it up by the spoonful. (I'm not there.) There's a lot of info on the Internet re: general use and also for athletes.

I originally ordered chia and my other sprouting seeds from Mountain Rose Herbs (which also has a lot of info & supplies re: sprouting, if you're interested), but I'm ordering more from Amazon HERE.

Re: the Amazing Grass smoothies -- IMHO, they are not "delicious" (not even the chocolate). They are healthy, green (again IMHO, translation = yuck) smoothies. I add ice, coconut water and plain kefir (which is healthier than yogurt and very good for you), which makes them somewhat palatable. You could also add banana, vanilla yogurt (though I highly recommend you stay away from the artificial sweeteners!)...whatever you like. Amazing Grass also offers the mixes in other flavors. (The chocolate are actually really tasty when combined with chocolate almond milk, vanilla yogurt and ice, but I'm trying to stay away from the sweeteners and boxed items. I will play a bit with the recipe for our tastes.) We use the meal and also the greens versions. Also, I get a better price shopping for these items at our local Whole Foods, and they sometimes have sales.

Re: sweeteners -- I'm hearing a lot of good stuff about coconut palm sugar -- I just bought some and will begin using that. When I baked at Christmas, I cut the sugar by half right off the top and nobody noticed.

I recommend that you watch the documentaries Hungry For Change, and their other movie Food Matters -- we've watched them on Netflix. We've also watched Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead on Netflix (Joe Cross is in the first 2 films I mentioned, but his journey is detailed in this one, which is his own documentary). Years ago, DS and I read and watched Fast Food Nation and one other (I think it was Supersize Me), which totally grossed us out about processed food and many farming conditions. Ugh. Sometimes we are desperate and do eat McD's, etc., but those are not the regular fixture or "treat" they used to be.


No more juicing or fresh-veggie smoothies for me -- too messy, too much refrigerator and counter space is needed, and they're not at all tasty. I suppose they would be if you added a lot of fruit, which I know some folks do, but I don't want to do that. (Again, sugar.) I'm going back to the Amazing Grass smoothies, and the kids and DH will continue to have their fruit smoothies in the afternoons, now with gelled chia and coconut water.

Oh! I also bought these. They are great. And they're not just for kids. :D

We eat a lot of salad with baby greens and spinach (we're not loving the taste, but I'm now adding parsley), plus we'll use even more of my chimichurri @ meal time -- yay! (let me know if you'd like the recipe), and lots of veggies, with as many servings as possible being raw or lightly cooked.

I also highly recommend:

  • Organic produce if at all possible. Also organic dairy products.
  • Healthmaster -- Yep, an infomercial! This is great; better than a juicer because you keep the pulp & skin (and so the nutrients), and it will gently warm the veggies into a soup, which is much more tasty (says me) and doesn't kill off all the healthy enzymes that cooking does.
  • Coconut oil, in place of other oils and kind of as a condiment. Not necessarily that brand, but I have used that one before. Look for organic and as unrefined as possible, as well as being a bright, pretty white and with shreds of coconut. (This is a great way to cut mayo in tuna salad, it's tasty on a baked potato instead of sour cream, and it's what I use for sauteing a lot of the time because olive oil goes rancid at a high heat. That's just a few ideas to get you started.)
  • Vitamin C -- THIS version. Daily. More frequently if you're sick.
  • Krill oil -- THIS version. Also daily. They have three versions: regular, tiny (for kids), and with extras for the ladies.
  • Books by Raymond Francis -- he's the Beyond Health/Vitamin C guy, above.

I may get this, because then he'll finally make me smile, but I digress.

That's it. Except for my disclaimer, because ain't life grand.

Disclaimer:  Because I'm not a doctor or a lawyer, and because the FDA (or is it the FTC?) now makes it a crime to state that anything other than prescription pharmaceuticals cure, treat, or prevent disease, and because everything now is classified as a "disease" for that very financially-lucrative reason, I emphatically state that I do not here, or in any of my online or other formats, attempt or intend to offer professional advice in an effort to cure, treat or prevent any illness or disease. I also don't offer advice about things like how to perform brain surgery, fly a helicopter or parasail. In all things, I offer my opinion and I expect others to do their own homework and to make their own decisions about what's right and legal and appropriate for themselves and their dependents.