CAMPING!!!

Good day, friends! I have been recharged! Why? Because we finally were able to take a camping trip last weekend with the family! I can’t even count how many times I’ve been camping each summer when I was a child. My parents started us off on this tradition very young. One story that I’ve heard over the years on many occasions, was how when I was little I pooped on one of the playground toys. My family would take us all around in Canada and NoDak and SoDak. We were pretty lucky to have such wonderful experiences as these. I have pictures of us feeding chipmunks potato chips and sitting around the campfire, fishing, etc. I honestly can’t recall a bad memory from these excursions.

I don’t know about you, but summer has been going at light speeds! I can’t believe that it’s almost August!! Doesn’t seem fair! Anyway, I finally took my family camping this past weekend and I want to go again this weekend. Unfortunately, I work late on Friday and Saturday we have a family event in town and then I work on Sunday. The weekend after, I am going to be away from my little one for 3 whole days!! It’s going to be weird, but I think it will only prepare me for the long week for my mom’s birthday trip in December and then another long 18 days when we go to get our adopted child sometime next year. It’s all about baby steps!

As you all know, health is my priority when it comes to raising my daughter and my family. Sometimes, I feel like because of this, she misses out on cultural traditions. I decided that our camping trip would not be like this. We were able to accomplish this by, drum-roll please…. making my own S’mores for camping! What kid doesn’t get s’mores when they go camping? One of my less desirable memories of when I was camping as a child was when my dad and brother and I went camping and ate a lot of s’mores, then ran around in the woods playing hide and seek. The next day, was not so fun. Apparently, I ate too many s’mores and got so sick that when we made it to Reptile Gardens I ran to the bathroom to only discover that I waited too long and vomited in the bathroom about 2 feet away from the toilet. I was so embarrassed that when a concerned lady asked if I was okay, I ran out of the bathroom and was given a 7up from my dad to help calm my stomach.

Gratefully, none of us over ate the s’mores and we all felt great the next day and filled up on a vegan frittata. My daughter was pretty hesitant to try it, but when she finally did she was pleasantly surprised at how great it tasted. I was too! It was actually a hit with all of us. My husband and I decided to try it with Majestic Garlic spread, which I tried to make as soon as I got home because it is to die for! Unfortunately, I don’t know their trick because it is WAY too spicy and theirs you can’t really tell that it’s garlic, let alone raw garlic. Anyway, the addition of the spread on the frittata was delicious! Wanna test them out? Look below to try em and let me know what you think  🙂 Until next time…

My Camping Recipes: 

Stevia Sweetened Marshmallows – can’t roast these but you can get them soft enough to melt a bit
Graham Crackers (I used brown rice syrup instead of honey and molasses to cut down on fructose)
Chocolate ganache – 1/2 cup cacao, 1 cup coconut oil, stevia to taste (I also added some YL peppermint essential oil)
Vegan Frittata – I’m avoiding eggs because of the reaction I got from them so this was a yummy sub

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Grateful

What a week, what a week! Last Friday, we were supposed to draw for our raffle for our adoption fundraiser, but we had a lot more tickets we needed to sell and one of my helpers mailed their tickets back to me and I didn’t receive them on time. Therefore, we extended the drawing to this Saturday. What a good idea that was! We have sold a lot enough to meet our home study goal! Yay! Speaking of, we did our home study on Thursday and it went awesome! Starting to feel real!

Before we met our goal (which we were able to meet today – thank you so much for those of you who made this possible) and because we were trying to sell tickets, I decided that I would ask my favorite store, The Breadroot Co-op, yes my favorite store is for food. I asked if they would take me in for an hour or so to try and sell more tickest to their patrons. While this venture wasn’t a big success (only sold one ticket and was graciously given a $20 donation) I was able to stop for a minute and just watch people come and shop through the store.

I was pleasantly surprised at the variety of people, not just gender, but young and old and different ethnic backgrounds. I don’t pay attention most of the time when I’m out shopping to the culture variety of other people in my community. I’m the type of shopper that tends to make lists (or I’ll forget everything that is needed) and get in and out as fast as possible. I’m not a shopper! So three nights ago when I was camped out in the Co-Op, I not only got to see my diverse community members, but those with similar interests in terms of eating choices, anyway.

imageOur shopping list. We write things we need as we go and then take a pic of it before we head to the store.

The majority of the things I noticed in their hands, were drinks. It was a super hot day that day (I think it got up to 102F) so it made sense that a cold beverage was selected for almost each customer I saw. It was so hopeful, though, to see all of the people choosing to buy good ‘ol clean foods! And I was only there for an hour and a half. I know the rare occurrences I am in Safeway or a different grocery store I’m appalled by what I see in shopping cart after shopping cart. Here though, I saw an elderly man buy farm fresh eggs and veggies, and a man with down syndrome in his late fifties buy an assortment of foods to bring home. There was a grandmother with her granddaughter and a couple of girl friends and I saw fathers bring in their toddlers, ultimately teaching them how important it is to eat non-GMO, organic raised foods. That’s one of the most important things we can teach our children. They are the future and they need to know how to navigate this confusing world of food. So high fives and big hugs to all of you teachers to young and old on how we can protect the health of ourselves and of the environment by making conscious decisions on how to vote with our dollar every time that we buy food.

My Top Ten List of foods to buy from the Co-Op

1. Local, organic produce (usually greens, and root veggies like carrots, beets, radishes)
2. Loose leaf tea, my favorites are licorice root, nettles, peppermint, marshmallow root
3. Raw nuts and seeds (then I soak and sprout them at home and sometimes add seasonings)
4. Grass fed, organic meats
5. Sparkling water so I can make my own soda (three drops of liquid stevia, squeeze of lime and the water)
6. Daiya shredded cheese and their pizza
7. Jackson’s Sweet Potato chips– three ingredient chips sweet potatoes, coconut oil, and sea salt!
8. Mochi– I put them in a waffle iron for a quick breakfast
9. Rice cakes – top em with nut/seed butter, coconut oil and cinnamon, or eat em plain
10. Lily’s stevia sweetened chocolate – no sugar chocolate! Yes please!

Any of you agree with my choices? If not, what are your favorites? I’d love to hear them!

Work it, work it good!

Howdy, friends!! How has your week been? For me, it’s been pretty awesome, so far! If you read my post from last week, then you may know that I have started the Master Cleanse and it’s going great! So far I have lost 6 pounds. My mom started the same day as me and has lost 5 as of Tuesday. But what I wanted to write about today is working out, I know, I know, those are some dirty words to some, however, I have to share my experience with something I’ve started. Plus, I’ve included a delicious after workout smoothie bowl recipe (below).

It’s called Metabolic Aftershock, which uses interval training. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m the kind of person who dreads a strict and lengthy and tough workout. I’ve done workouts like P90X and I couldn’t even make it 5 minutes in before I was done and this is so much better! I’m also, the type of person who starts a new work out and I do great for a week or two and then I’m either bored or make some excuse to not do it anymore. This has been the exact opposite! I am actually looking forward to my next day of working out and I just worked out this morning!

The Reasons This Workout Works Out for Me

  1. Time: First, being a busy mom, I don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to working out so this works great for me. Why? It’s only 15 minutes for 3 days a week!
  2. Allows for Rest: You work hard, and then you rest whenever you need for however long you need to get the best workout
  3. Results: Afterward, the workout speeds up your metabolism and allows fat burn for 24-48 hours!
  4. Price: For three discs it was less than $40! That’s way cheaper than joining a gym and along with the discs you get online access so you can do it anywhere! Plus, they do a free trial so if you absolutely hate it, you can get your money back and no harm, no foul.

Now, like I said before, I usually throw in the workout towel after a week or two tops, but I have been doing this now for almost 3 months! I feel stronger and have been sleeping so well since I started doing this!

I know the website and stuff may come off a bit cheesy, but you get 90 days to try it and if you don’t like it just send it back. Click here to learn more.

Super Delicious Smoothie Bowl – Adapted from MinimalistBaker
2 servings (if needed, you may freeze or store in an airtight jar for 24 hours)
Ingredients:
SMOOTHIE
  • 1/4 ripe avocado or Coconut Oil
  • 1-2 medium ripe bananas (fermented if possible-see below to learn how)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen mixed berries (organic when possible) – use strawberries/raspberries for a greener smoothie, darker berries for a purple smoothie
  • 2 large handfuls steamed spinach, Swiss chard or kale (organic when possible)
  • 1 medium carrot (scrubbed and ends cut off)
  • 1 small handful red and green lettuce (organic when possible)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk or water kefir
  • 1-2 Tbsp chia seed
  • dash of sea salt
  • Optional: 2 Tbsp creamy almond or other nut/seed butter
TOPPINGS
  • Pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  • Granola
  • Nut/seed butter
  • Raw or roasted nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc.)
  • Shredded unsweetened coconut
  • Fresh berries
  • Hemp seeds
Instructions
  1. Steam greens, not lettuce, for a couple of minutes (should be pretty deep green, I like to steam a lot of greens and then freeze for smoothies later. You don’t want to eat a lot of raw greens because of their goitrogenic properties). Add smoothie ingredients to a blender and blend until desired texture. Add more almond milk (or water) to thin to desired consistency. I like mine a little thick.
  2. If needed, add pinch of green herb stevia for added sweetness.
  3. For the green smoothie, use strawberries (lets the green color come through more) or for a purple bowl used darker berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries).
  4. For more protein, add nut butter, which will offset the natural sweetness of the smoothie.
  5. After splitting the blended smoothie into two bowls, top with toppings. I like to do this to help remind me to chew, plus it makes it taste even yummier!
Notes:
* Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker and  Favorite Green Smoothie.

*Links may contain affiliations, but only because I absolutely trust and believe in a company do I make recommendations. I will never post something or recommend something that I wouldn’t do or recommend to my loved ones and therefore, you as well.

 

There’s definitely such a thing as too much of a good thing

I hope you all enjoyed the Fourth of July holiday and were safe! I had the blessing of having my mom come for a visit to both help when our baby sitter went on vacation and for the enjoyment of bonding with my mom. It was so nice having her here! She is such a great help with my daughter and I am really looking forward to next summer, as she will be moving here for good!

Unfortunately, I over indulged during her stay. I recently did the elimination diet and I was feeling so good! I was experiencing more energy, I lost some fat around my belly, my skin looked amazing, I didn’t have any food cravings, my wrist pain went away. All and all I was feeling awesome! Yet, I decided to eat whatever (even dairy, which is a big no no for me) and I’m paying for it. Now, all of those things I had gotten rid of are back! There is good news though, my experience has empowered me to know that I can get back there and my mom and my sister (possibly even my husband) have decided to do the Master Cleanse with me starting next week and after, I’m going back on the elimination diet. I should also mention, I recently did an IgG food sensitivity blood test and was shocked that when I got it back, none of the 94 foods tested showed up even close to reactive. This just confirms that those tests aren’t very accurate because I absolutely know my reaction to eggs is high after doing the elimination diet. But anyway, back to my story about my moms stay…

When I was around three years old, my moms grandma,or grandma Johnson, would throw me little tea parties. She would bake me peanut butter cookies and we would sit down and enjoy them together. This was one thing my mom had been looking forward to do with my daughter even before I was out of high school! When I became pregnant, my mom was on a mission and bought multiple tea sets and to her luck, we had a little girl. (Not saying she wouldn’t have continued this tradition of we had a boy instead.)

My little one is finally at the age that she can start this bonding experience with her grammy and that’s exactly what they did on one of the days I had to work. I found a healthy recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies (recipe below) and they baked them together. Then after her nap, they sat down at our table to experience this beautiful time together. Thankfully, my husband was home to capture the pictures of this event. And when I got home from work they were still at the table finishing up. I loved that around the table, her stuffed animals were sitting on chairs with little plates for their cookies too. I grabbed a cookie and tea and was happily enjoying not only the delicious cookie, but the joyous tradition my mother has passed on to my child.

What beautiful traditions have you had and passed on in your family?

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1 cup GF oats

1 cup oat flour

1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)

1/8 cup raw, local honey

1/2 tsp green herb stevia

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup raisins

pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Add small amount of water if too dry. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes.