Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Before you give up on SALAD, Try these!

I try to have a big salad at least once a day, at least 5 days a week. Some weeks I only get 4 days. But I'm working up to more. Its been about 6 months of  Eating salads. It has changed my body in so many ways. I have reached my 30 pound weight loss goal after 3rd baby, Less bloat, clear skin, maintain weight, steady weight loss, Getting a bunch of nutrient dense food. Not feeling deprived or hungry, Lots of energy to keep up with my kids.
Im really liking the flavored vinegars. I have tried red wine vinegar, orange vinegar, apple cider vinegar.. Here are a few pictures of the salads I love to eat. They are very filling, nutritious and healing. Give em' a try! You can also add Chicken, Fish, or your choice of lean meat if you like to have more protein. I add Chicken to my husbands when he's feeling REALLY hungry. Or even Chopped up Turkey bacon... Get creative!

 I made a veggie dressing out of raw nuts, organic tofu, onions, garlic, sea salt, brewers yeast all blended up. At the bottom of this post, there's a picture of the dressing before I blended it up...I poured it on heavy that day, I was craving a thick creamy dressing. It made a bunch, so I was able to store it in the fridge and have the dressing for a few days.
Sprinkled on top is hemp hearts and chia seeds.

 Black bean burger salad
Orange vinager as dressing, found at Trader Joes, Romaine, spinach, lots of veggies cut up, cilantro, beans... if you like it spicy sprinkle some cayenne or chop up fresh jalapeno..

 Baby Spinach salad
tomato, red onion, seeds, nuts, dried cherries
Orange vinegar for dressing

 Asian cabbage, raw bok choy, romaine salad.
Fresh cooked beans, lots of chopped up veggies, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and sprinkled brewers yeast. (kinda gives it a cheesy flavor.

 Every week I try to prep a big bowel and that current day. It works out to be 6 huge salads. I pre-cut all the non soggy veggies and that way I don't spend a bunch of time I don't have on chopping veggies every day. It takes 1 hr a week... Not too shabby. Sometimes I do it real late when the kids are in bed. Or I'll do it on a weekend when my husbands playing with the kids. Or if I need a break I'll even turn on a show for the kids so I can chop for awhile. Sometimes I even start it, and have to finish it over little chunks of time. It just takes practice.

 Purple cabbage, romaine, spinach salad
This was fresh out of a prep bowl, haven't added the fun toppings yet. See below

 Salad photo right before this one all dolled up.
I made a creamy sun dried tomato dressing. 
1 block tofu, onion, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, brewers yeast, sea salt, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and as much water as you want to reach desired consistency.
I eye ball everything and never measure... I should probably get better at that.. sorry..

 Showing The baby her work of art. She helps chop veggies, hanging in her Bjorn

 Bok Choy, Romaine, Spinach, Lots of veggies finely chopped, fresh soaked garbanzo beans, ground flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp hearts, with red wine vinegar as a dressing.

 Prepping for 6 more days! Once its prepped, it takes 5 minutes to make lunch or dinner. Or pack and take to work. So easy and fast! Try it!I invested in air tight tupper ware and it keeps all the veggies fresh for a week.

 Lunch for my hubby and I
I added black bean burgers and salsa to these.. mmm

 More fresh veggies, raw nuts, creamy homemade nut tofu veggie dressing.

 Taco salad.. Probably my favorite, salsa, Sour cream, beans, avocado... mmmmm

Here is 1 1/2 weeks worth of prepped salad for my husband and I. In the blender is an example of a dressing, more blended up veggies, tofu, tomatoes, seasonings and water. 1 hr of prep = 1 1/2 weeks of lunch or dinner. 

Hope you can be inspired!
Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 15, 2012

My favorite Salad toppings

Salads are one of my favorite foods. All the toppings make it taste awesome and it gives your body all the nutrient dense foods it craves. After I eat a salad I feel energized, satisfied and nourished. When you give your body the foods it REALLY craves, it will work how it is meant to.
Here is a list of some of the toppings..........
Not pictured are whole beans, black, kidney, navy, garbanzo
And Chia seeds

 Raw nuts and seeds. I buy them in bulk and store them.

 Fresh squeezed lemon.. 
we won this juicer at the fair a few years ago, just stick it in and squeeze!

 Hemp Hearts, Flax seeds, Quinoa.. (Costco is amazing with their selection)

 Raw garlic! I put garlic in everything and found buying it already peeled makes it easier to use.
 I freeze half of it because it does spoil fast, no preservatives

I have always wanted to try sprouting. I googled a you tube video by the sprout people and watched how to do it. I just used a jar, and a paper towel and a rubber band.. 3 days later... there was sprouts! 
I want to try Seeds next. 

 I'm all about saving time. I don't want to chop up a salad everyday and honestly I don't have time to chop up a salad every day. But if I take an hour once a week, I can make a lot of salad. In air tight containers it stays nice and fresh. In the blender I have veggies and tofu and I made a salad dressing. Sun dried tomato.. That's another post... I don't add all the wet toppings like tomatoes, avocado, nuts or seeds.. I just prep all the hard vegetables like peppers, lettuce, kale, onion, carrots, celery, radishes, cabbage... the hard ones. Then daily I can add what ever topping I want to make it taste however. Some days I like it creamy with avocado, my creamy dressing or I like it light with vinaigrette or lemon juice. Other days I make it taste like salsa and beans... The possibilities are endless... I have been designated at all the family holidays to bring salad.

My baby girl will have memories of chopping salad. Never too young to start!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fresh Salmon Fish tacos

My Husband loves fishing... Sometimes I think he loves it more than me. (wink) He gets excited for fishing, quiet mornings on the water... no kids... I dread fishing it means I get the mess left in the kitchen, and the fishy smells of fish droplets all over the floor... Someday I'll go fishing and love it as much as him. 
I do love the dinners we make and the Smoked salmon he makes.So he can go fishing... and I'll keep cleaning up his mess...

Salmon Fish tacos are one of our favorites to make. Here are the ingredients:

Salmon.. As much as you need to feed as many people as you want...
Cilantro.. As much as you need
Red onion
Cabbage.. I like the purple cabbage, it makes a pretty presentation. 
Lime (to fresh squeeze on the taco)
Corn tortillas (heat in micro wave or oven before serving)
Sour cream.. I like the low fat

Here's the famous RMF Smoked salmon
Many people say it's the best they've ever had

Salmon Jerky

Almond basil Pesto

We had a huge bunch of fresh Basil from our produce box last week. Instantly I thought we are going to need to make Pesto for dinner.
We have tried the recipe with Pine nuts, but we were out of pine nuts and I remembered seeing a recipe using raw almonds instead of pine nuts. It turned out DEEEElicious!

1 Cup fresh Basil, Packed in tight
1/2 Cup raw almonds (chopped up real good, Blentech or vitamix or fod processor)
2/3 Cups grated parmesean
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup Olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients until smooth, I added bits of water make a little thinner.. you can use more oil too)

I cooked up some Quinoa, Penne noodles, grilled Zucchini (out of our garden), Mushrooms, and I baked some Chicken breast for my hubby and the kids.

 Grilled zucchini, mushrooms, tomatillos

My hubby eats meat, when I make food, I cook some meat for his meal

Here is the meat free version. The pesto is sooooo nummy. I never tried it on quinoa before, but it is great! I also roasted tomatillos, They added a good zing to the other grilled veggies.

I love to make enough food for left overs. For lunch the next day I had Quinoa, fresh and grilled veggies topped with Almond Pesto.... MMMMMMM

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fast Food can be healthy too..

Being out on the road is a way of life when you have a bunch of kids and an active busy life. Family trips, vacations, school days and longs days of family activities can result in unplanned time away from home. I have learned fast food can be convenient and sometimes a good option when feeding a family of 5 out on the road.

Im not suggesting McDonalds, Jack in Box, Burger King, Taco Bell, Dairy Queen, KFC, Sonic, chic-fil-a.....   

Im saying Subway, Chipotle, Taco Delmar, Q'doba, Extreme Pita, Taco Time (Better than taco bell... but still watch the fried foods), Jama Juice...

These are where we end up on days where stuff comes up, late nights, busy days or on days we travel. You can find these healthier food chains Nation wide and it makes traveling with a family of 5 easier to feed.

Pizza is another one of our favorites...(Not just because this is how my husband and I met... Ok maybe thats a small reason why) I try not to get it too often, I even try to make my own at home. Pizza crust can be simple to make... You can use healthier flours.... but this post isnt about making our own.. its about eating the best we can out on the road or on busy days... when the time gets away from us and we are at families or friends houses or we have a bunch of people over... All of a sudden the clock turns to dinner and no one has prepped food ... Papa Murpheys take n bake Gourmet Veggie substitute with red sauce... my favorite... I know its not the best, but it is packed with vegetables and it makes me feel not as guilty.

I try to eat whole food and feed my kids as healthy as possible and most days we accomplish this... Other days when we find ourselves out on the road, we eat the best we can with what we got. Don't beat yourself up if every single day isnt homemade perfect food. None of us are perfect and we would all go crazy if we tried to be! Just try to make healthy choices with healthier food chains! We are so fortunate to have companies out there who offer healthy choices! Take advantage of them!

Papa Murphy's Take-N-Bake Pizza
Gourmet Veggie red sauce...  

I was raised to eat fanatically, and it is difficult to uphold. I have learned to not be so crazy and to do the best I can. Most days we eat a ton of vegetables, and home made food. Other days we do the best we can.

How to eat healthy while Dining out...

Eating out at restaurants is a big part of our families way of getting out and getting together. We have a big family, and birthdays, holidays, special occasions usually results in a get together at a restaurant. There are all sorts of things you can do make your dining experience more healthy, and keep you on track for healthy eating. 
I try to avoid restaurants who use a lot of fried foods or who don't offer a bunch of vegetables on their menu. 

~Mexican restaurants
..... My personal favorite. The kids love it too! 
Whole beans (you gotta ask for them). Ask if Lard is used in re-fried beans
Veggie fajita, corn tortilla, whole beans, hold the sour cream, devour the guacamole, smother on the salsa..
 *I hold the rice too or I give it to the kids.. A lot of times  Restaurant Mexican rice is white rice with tomato sauce on it. 

~Thai Food....
Another one of my favorites
Lots of vegetable options
seafood or tofu

Fresh food, lots of vegetables and seafood or meats

~Indian food ...
Great lunch buffets! 
Lots of Veggies, They use great seasonings.
 I like to be inspired by their food and try to make it at home. 

~Breakfast restaurants...
When we go out for breakfast We like to find wholesome restraunts
I always order garden scrambles.. If the menu doesn't have one, I always have them scramble some eggs and throw whatever veggies in they have in back. I've had some pretty neat creations that way. 

Some other tricks when I go out to eat:
 I don't get dressing on my salads, (side of lemon)
I always order salad instead of fries, 
some places even have fresh fruit or veggies as sides...
Nothing Fried.. Always grilled or baked
Corn tortillas instead of Flour
Ill make salads out of veggie burgers and hold the bun
*I get water or hot tea, or UNSWEETENED ice tea
I eat half the food and put the other half in a to go box

Eating healthy food doesn't have to be limited to just your kitchen. You just have to know what your looking for.

  If we are going somewhere with a big group of people and I know there isn't a lot of healthy choices, I'll eat before I go, and just have a small side of steamed veggies or side salad. Going out to eat is about getting together and enjoying everyone's company! I try not be the crazy food person who makes a big deal out of stuff.


A few Kid Plates

Kids can be picky eaters. I try to make small adjustments to have them eat the same things we eat. Whole unprocessed foods is my goal every meal, some days are easier than others. Here are a few kid plates we have made recently. We arn't vegetarians, but we also don't eat meat everyday. When the kids do eat meat, I try to make sure its free range, hormone free, fresh caught fish and preservative free. I used to be a vegetarian, but I cannot deny that whole food is whole food and some "Veggie" burgers or "Vegetarian" products are more processed than meat, and often times have more additives in them.

 Avocado, Cherry tomatoes, Organic Turkey sausage (Nitrate free, preservative free)

 Fresh picked Black berries from their Grandpas house. They love picking berries and coming home and eating their hard work.

 Old Fashioned Oat Meal, Bananas, Green Apple, Blueberries, Chopped walnuts (Raw), Flax seed. Drizzled with Pure Maple syrup.

 Avocado, tomatoes, whole beans, Daddies Salmon,
 The kids love to watch daddy clean his fish and cook it. Recently they went on the boat and went fishing. Kael started dancing with fish when they pulled it in the boat and it was flopping around.

 Home made bean burger, Whole grain bread, peanut butter & Honey, Veggie fruit smoothie, Veggie burger from Costco.

 Fresh fruit is always a big hit!

 Home made pickles 
Apple cider vinegar cucumbers
When I first made these I never thought my kids would eat them. My 2 yr old LOVES them...

Peas, Organic tofu, Yams, Red wild rice

 Scrambled eggs, Avocado, Veggie smoothie (Kale, Spinach, blueberries, carrot, banana, water)
The kids like to run around the house pretending to catch Dragon eggs,
 so they can have "Dragon Eggs for breakfast.

 Frozen Cherries
they taste like mini soda pops
our family loves them

 We make pancakes a few times a month
we put blueberries or bananas, or green apple and cinnamon
to flavor them
Also pure maple syrup

 More fresh fruit!

After nap snack
instant energy!

Friday, October 5, 2012

quotes to ponder

I have always loved quotes. I have numerous quote books around my house, and I can dwell on quotes for hours. Sometimes a simple quote can set my mind in the right direction and put things in perspective. Here are a few of my favorite food related quotes. Enjoy! ~

“It’s bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children’s health than the pediatrician.”  ~Meryl Streep

“Today, more than 95% of all chronic disease is caused by food choice, toxic food ingredients, nutritional deficiencies and lack of physical exercise.”  ~Mike Adams

The more you eat, the less flavor; the less you eat, the more flavor. ~Chinese Proverb

"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are." -Brillat-Savarin

The spirit cannot endure the body when overfed, but, if underfed, the body cannot endure the spirit. ~St Frances de Sales

“Those who think they have no time for exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”  ~Edward Stanley

One should eat to live, not live to eat" -Benjamin Franklin

“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”  ~Thomas Edison

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”  ~John F. Kennedy

“Just because you’re not sick doesn’t mean you’re healthy”  ~Author Unknown

“True healthcare reform starts in your kitchen, not in Washington”  ~Anonymous

“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.”  ~Mark Twain

Healthy is merely the slowest rate at which one can die.  ~Unknown

“To insure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.”  ~William Londen

“A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools.”  ~Spanish Proverb

“Now there are more overweight people in America than average-weight people. So overweight people are now average. Which means you’ve met your New Year’s resolution.”  ~Jay Leno

“Don’t eat anything your great-great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. There are a great many food-like items in the supermarket your ancestors wouldn’t recognize as food.. stay away from these”  ~Michael Pollan

“Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.”  ~Doug Larson

“Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.”  ~B.K.S. Iyengar

“If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it”  ~Common sense
“In order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired.”  ~Author Unknown

“Health is like money, we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it.”  ~Josh Billings

“Time And health are two precious assets that we don’t recognize and appreciate until they have been depleted.”  ~Denis Waitley

“From the bitterness of disease man learns the sweetness of health.”  ~Catalan Proverb

“Mainstream medicine would be way different if they focused on prevention even half as much as they focused on intervention…”  ~Anonymous

“Our bodies are our gardens – our wills are our gardeners.”  ~William Shakespeare

If diet is wrong, medicine is of no use.
If diet is correct, medicine is of no need.~ Ancient Ayurvedic proverb

"It is easier to change a man's religion than to change his diet."
— Margaret Mead

"Most people work hard and spend their health trying to achieve wealth. Then they retire and spend their wealth trying to get back their health." -Kevin Gianni


Found this cool craving chart! Very interesting! 
When the body doesn't get the nutrients it needs, it starts to have cravings... If we understand what these cravings are saying, it makes it easier to feed our bodies what they need. 

I found when I was pregnant all 3 times I was able to keep  cravings to a minimal with making sure I was always eating nutrient dense food.

Here is a visual that you can use whenever your cravings strike:
This chart is for “everyone”- no labels of RAW, VEGAN, Vegetarian, or Carnivorous – just information.
If you crave this…
What you really need is…
And here are healthy foods that have it:
Raw nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits
Broccoli, grapes, cheese, dried beans, calves liver, chicken

Fresh fruits

Chicken, beef, liver, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes, grains

Cranberries, horseradish, cruciferous vegetables, kale, cabbage

Cheese, liver, lamb, raisins, sweet potato, spinach
Bread, toast
High protein foods: fish, meat, nuts, beans
Oily snacks, fatty foods
Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame
Coffee or tea
Chicken, beef, liver, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes

Egg yolks, red peppers, muscle protein, garlic, onion, cruciferous vegetables

NaCl (salt)
Sea salt, apple cider vinegar (on salad)

Meat, fish and poultry, seaweed, greens, black cherries
Alcohol, recreational drugs
Meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, nuts

Granola, oatmeal

Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame

Supplement glutamine powder for withdrawal, raw cabbage juice

Sun-dried black olives, potato peel broth, seaweed, bitter greens
Chewing ice
Meat, fish, poultry, seaweed, greens, black cherries
Burned food
Fresh fruits
Soda and other carbonated drinks
Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame
Salty foods
Raw goat milk, fish, unrefined sea salt
Acid foods
Raw nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits
Preference for liquids rather than solids
Flavor water with lemon or lime. You need 8 to 10 glasses per day.
Preference for solids rather than liquids
You have been so dehydrated for so long that you have lost your thirst. Flavor water with lemon or lime. You need 8 to 10 glasses per day.
Cool drinks
Walnuts, almonds, pecans, pineapple, blueberries
Pre-menstrual cravings
Red meats (especially organ meats), seafood, leafy vegetables, root vegetables
General overeating
Nuts, seeds; avoid refined starches

Cheese, liver, lamb, raisins, sweet potato, spinach

Vitamin C supplements or orange, green, red fruits and vegetables
Lack of appetite
Vitamin B1
Nuts, seeds, beans, liver and other organ meats

Vitamin B3
Tuna, halibut, beef, chicken, turkey, pork, seeds and legumes

Walnuts, almonds, pecans, pineapple, blueberries

Raw goat milk, unrefined sea salt
Nuts, seeds; avoid refined starches

Vitamin C supplements or orange, green and red fruits and vegetables
This information was gathered from
Lectures, Cheryl M. Deroin, NMD, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, Spring 2003 (healthy food recommendations)
Benard Jenson, PhD, The Chemistry of Man B. Jensen Publisher, 1983 (deficiencies linked to specific cravings and some food recommendations)