Friday, March 30, 2012

There's Always Silver Lining

What a horrible no good very bad week this has been....between the 4 of us we've had the flu, a migraine, 3 nasty colds with sore throats, a bout of croup followed by an asthma attack, and pink eye (at least I'm pretty sure it's pink eye)...let's look at the flip side shall we....

I got the flu on a day when Ry could easily stay home from work, he can use his sick leave (which he's got plenty of) to stay home and take care of his family, I magically got better in time to take care of him when his fever was raging above 102, neither of the kids caught the nasty flu (thank heavens! One-year-olds don't know how to aim for the toilet when throwing up)...

Yes, Little Miss having an asthma attack is scary - but she's got an awesome daddy who's had asthma since he was tiny and knows how to help her stay calm and learn how to control her breathing. The bout of croup came on a night when the air was nice and cold, just right for opening up the airways. And the pink eye - well, that belongs to me. Our sweet little ones don't have it (yet) and I know how to not touch my eye and wash my hands when I do.

Another plus - we're not attending normal church this weekend, because it's General Conference (which rocks!), so we can watch that at home instead of missing regular church or getting exposed to more germs. And, my dr had a cancellation today so I can get what I need for my pink eye! Woot!

So...sick, yes - but blessed, very!

And amidst all the sickness I was still able to make 18 jars of jam, freeze chicken & 3 bags of sliced strawberries, paint Little Miss's bedroom, do laundry, and catch up on some of the cleaning. Wow. I'd say that's pretty good for feeling slightly dead to the world.

Do you take the time to find your silver lining?

Come listen to living prophets

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Slightly Indoctrinated

At least that's what my husband would say. I've been on this healthy food kick for a couple of weeks now and changing lots of things. This second documentary, Forks Over Knives, I loved!! It doesn't use scare tactics, it uses hard scientific research studies to back up healthy eating. I highly recommend it! My husband watched it and loved it as well! So ha! He's indoctrinated too.

And ever since he watched it we've both been regularly eating huge salads for lunch together, more fruits and veggies and nothing processed. We feel great!

The documentary follows one scientist and one doctor on their research journeys that they started decades ago. It pretty much proves without a doubt that the Word of Wisdom (don't know what that is? Follow the link!) is completely inspired. A whole foods plant based diet is the best thing for you! They do cut out all meat and dairy...Ry and I just can't be that extreme. Not yet.

The coolest thing about the documentary is that by eating a whole foods plant based diet people are reversing their health problems!! Not just halting, reversing!

So this is what we're doing - limited dairy. I love my milk and cheese. So I try to only have one small dairy serving a day. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Avoid processed foods all together. And meat. Well, we've decided small healthy cuts of meat twice a week is good for us. And no overeating!

Sounds extreme I know - but watch the show! It is amazing! And on netflix. =) So now begins my hunt for some vegetarian recipes for the other 5 days of the week.

Another thing we do is try to find the healthiest version of whatever it is we want to eat. On Saturday we wanted waffles - so we searched for a healthy recipe...then changed some things to fit our needs.

This is what we came up with and it was delicious! We will definitely be making them again!

Oatmeal Wheat Waffles
(adapted from

1 cup white flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cups milled flaxseed
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
4 Tbsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp brown sugar

In large mixing bowl, stir together flour, oats, flaxseed, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; set aside. In small mixing bowl, stir together eggs, milk, butter and brown sugar. Add to flour mixture; stir until blended. Pour batter on to grids of preheated, lightly greased waffle iron (amount will vary with size of waffle iron). Close lid quickly; do not open during baking. Use fork to remove baked waffle. Top with fresh fruit and yogurt. 

Super yummy!! And you can feel good serving it to your family!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mother of all Grains

Quinoa - where have you been all my life?! Seriously, as far as nutritional value - the Incas were right in calling it the 'mother of all grains'...

"Quinoa was of great nutritional importance in pre-Columbian Andean civilizations, secondary only to the potato, and was followed in importance by maize. In contemporary times, this crop has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (18%). Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), and like oats, quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it a complete protein source. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration human occupied spaceflights." - Wikipedia

Incorporating Quinoa into our diet is one of the healthy changes I am making. You can replace the rice in most of your recipes with quinoa - but rinse it first to remove the bitterness. My kids love it! 

Our favorite quinoa recipe so far is from this lovely site I just found, Iowa Girl Eats. Mr Man could not get enough!

Mini Ham & Cheese Quinoa Cups

Makes 28 mini cups
Adapted from So Very Blessed
2 cups cooked quinoa (about 3/4 cup uncooked)
2 eggs
2 egg whites
1 cup zucchini, shredded
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup diced ham
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
2 green onions, sliced
salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine. Liberally spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick spray and spoon mixture to the top of each cup. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges of the cups are golden brown. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before removing from the mini muffin tin.
That's all we had for dinner one night + some fresh fruit and we were all full and satisfied, but we didn't feel heavy. I didn't have parsley, so I used spinach instead.
Have any kid friendly quinoa recipes you'd like to pass on? Please do!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Not a Hippie

I'd like to preface this post with this statement...I am not a hippie. I don't go barefoot, I don't protest big companies with picket signs, I love free market and capitalism, I hate big government...not a hippie. Just a conservative republican. Having said that...

I succumbed and watched Food, Inc. I hate shows that use scare tactics but I was interested. And really, it was on Netflix so...I don't know if I'll ever eat meat again. Ever. Okay - maybe if we raise and butcher it ourselves (and by ourselves, I mean my husband).

Yikes to the food industry! There are so many things I want to change about the way we eat. I was already headed in that direction - but this definitely propelled me forward. More fresh fruits and veggies. Less processed foods.

In the last few months we've made some changes - homemade bread, homemade yogurt (recipes to come), and our chickens started laying eggs! So yay for not having to buy expensive eggs anymore! Everything in California is so expensive - so lots of these changes were spurred by the desire to save money. We've also been canning lots - salsa, applesauce, pears, chicken.

And our garden plots are nearly ready to be planted in. We have 4 plots - 16x4 feet each - super excited to fill them up with veggies! My husband also just planted our seventh fruit tree. We have 3 apple, 2 pears, 1 nectarine, and 1 peach. So excited to reap the rewards of that hard work in the next couple of years!

Other changes headed our way...I really want to incorporate LOTS more veggies and fruit into our diets and minimize the meat. We are not vegetarians - I love a good hamburger. But we don't need meat as often as we eat it right now. I want to find other sources of protein and eat more "pure" foods, less processed. Have any good recipes to pass on? Please share!

Does it make anyone else mad that it costs more to eat healthy than to eat junk food? Maddening! Watch Food Inc if you haven't - it's very enlightening.

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