Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Breakfast Protein Shake

I hope everyone had a wonderful memorial day. We spent the weekend remodeling the exterior of our house. The change is so refreshing and looks wonderful! The only bummer part is that we are selling it after we finally removed our title of "the ugliest house on the street". I will post better pictures later - there was a big ugly dump trailer in our driveway.
This is what it looked like when we bought it

Roof partially done, trim and fascia painted

After color coat! Still have some planting to do

I thought I would share what I eat for breakfast almost every morning. I'm not the kind of girl that just eats a banana and goes on my way... I like to eat and hate feeling hungry. So with that said, this shake is actually filling and tastes good! I can't tell you how many I have tried and ended up gagging my way through it!

By now you know that I'm a fan of Jordan Rubin and "The Maker's Diet". Well, he has a line of products out called Garden of Life and I've tried the probiotics and LOVE them. I'd wanted to try his protein powder but it was always expensive and I didn't want to fork out the money if I didn't like it. It's kind of funny how this happened but I was grocery shopping one day and my mom asked me to grab a couple of things for her. Of course it wasn't at the store that I was going to so I went out of my way to the other store. It turned out that they were offering 20% off all vitamins and health products AND they were sampling both the RAW protein powder and RAW meal! AND they had coupons for another $5 off!! Ok... so how crazy is that?

I never really understood what the RAW meal was so it was really great that I was able to talk to someone and try it first. RAW meal is protein powder but it also has vitamins, enzymes, and probiotics in it. It's a meal replacement powder. It's made from sprouted grains too so it's easy to digest and doesn't have soy or dairy products in it.

Well I decided to get the RAW meal since it would mean that I didn't need to buy some of the vitamins or probiotics that I usually get. I whipped up a quick shake the next morning and it was awesome! I am officially addicted to the stuff and I can seriously tell a difference in how I feel already. Here is my simple recipe - feel free to tweak it however you like! I would love to hear what you use!

Breakfast Protein Shake
1 scoop of Garden of Life RAW Meal
1 fresh or frozen banana
12oz organic low sugar almond milk

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend! Yum!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Soaked Whole Wheat Bread for a Breadmaker

I figured that I should probably tell you what soaking is and why I do it before I go any further.....

Did you know that whole grains are actually difficult for your body to digest? Some people don't seem to notice it as much as others do. If you ever feel bloated or crampy after eating whole grains like wheat, oats, etc. you may be more sensitive than others. Whole grains are packed with important minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and copper. But whole grains contain phytic acid which actually binds to these minerals and prevents your intestines from absorbing them. These minerals are vital for healthy teeth and bones. Soaking also helps partially break down gluten so those who are trying to be gluten free should try soaking and see if it helps. Our bodies don't have the necessary enzymes to break down whole grains, so soaking provides beneficial bacteria, and enzymes to help break it down, making it easier to digest and absorb the vitamins and minerals.

A great resource is Healing Naturally by Bee

On to my bread recipe! I've tried a few different kinds before and none of them have come out as soft and perfect as this one. I adapted this from a recipe that I found at passionate homemaking. Her recipe is for handmade bread and I wanted to make it in my breadmaker.

Soaked Whole Wheat Bread

Yields 1 loaf

2-3/4 cups whole wheat bread flour
1/4 cup acid medium (kefir, cultured buttermilk, whey)
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup honey
3 tbl coconut oil or butter melted
1 tbl ground flaxseed (optional)

2 tbl water
1/4 tsp honey
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 - 1/4 tsp sea salt

1. Combine the flour, acid medium, oats, honey, melted oil, flax seeds, and 3/4 cup warm water in a large bowl. Mix, cover, and let soak at room temperature for 12-24 hours. DO NOT SOAK IN BREADMAKER! You will destroy the finish.

2. After soaking, in a separate bowl, combine yeast, 1/4 tsp honey, and 2 tbl warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes or so, until fully proofed. (proofing means to let it foam and approx double in size)

3. Place your soaked mixture in your breadmaker pan, add your proofed yeast, and salt. Select the wheat setting on your machine and choose your desired crust and push start!

Should you choose to do this by hand, follow the instructions found here: Passionate Homemaking Whole Wheat Bread. Keep in mind, hers is a bit different than mine.

4. When the breadmaker is done, take out the bread and let it cool on a rack. (this keeps the crust from getting soggy.)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Quinoa Burritos

These burritos are fabulous! It's a recipe from a friend and I have tailored it to what my family likes. We don't like spicy at all, so I use seasonings that aren't too spicy, but it could definitely be adjusted to what you like. It's a vegetarian burrito, but full of flavor and super filling! And if you have to have your meat, you can shred up some chicken and add it in.

Quinoa is a grain that should be soaked, but doesn't have to be if you don't have time. It doesn't contain as much phytic acid as other grains do. However, if you choose to soak it here are the instructions:

1. rinse quinoa thoroughly
2. Place in a bowl or pot with enough water to cover.
3. Add 1tbl of acid medium (whey, cultured buttermilk, yogurt, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar) per cup of quinoa.
4. Soak at room temp for 7 hrs or longer.
5. Rinse thoroughly
6. Cook as directed.

Here is the recipe for the burritos. Let me know what you think and how yours turned out!

Quinoa Burritos

1 cup quinoa (pre-soaked)
1 cup salsa + 1/2 cup divided
2 tsp taco seasoning
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed.
2 cups frozen corn
About 2 cups shredded cheese
8 large tortillas

1. Cook quinoa, along with 2 tsp taco seasoning and frozen corn, according to package directions.

2. After quinoa is cooked, add the black beans (slightly mashed) and 1 cup of salsa. Mix thoroughly.

3. Warm tortillas and place about 1/2 cup of mixture in the middle. Sprinkle with a little shredded cheese and wrap up.

4. Place burritos seam side down in a large baking dish.

5. Top each burrito with a little more salsa (I omit this) and cheese.

6. Bake at 350 for about 12-15 minutes, or until warmed through.

Top with your favorite sides. I like to use plain yogurt (instead of sour cream), lettuce, and avocado.

I hope you like them! They've become one of our favorites around here and even my SUPER picky toddler eats them! He almost ate a whole burrito by himself tonight!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Roasted Veggies w/ Brown Rice

Tonight's dinner was slightly chaotic. It really is a simple dinner to make but with all the chopping and a toddler throwing a tantrum, it took SOOO much longer to make than normal! Half the time I was making it, I had Trevor on my hip so my pictures didn't come out as well as I'd hoped. Aside from all that, it's one of my favorites and it's completely vegetarian. You could add some tofu or toss some chicken in later if you wanted to.

I love the fact that almost every vegetable I used was grown organically right here in Ramona. I"ll blog about all the great farm stands here another time. With the exception of the potatoes and broccoli, everything else was either from San Diego Organic Farms or Connelly Farms. It's amazing how much better everything tastes when it's fresh!

Ok, normally I would soak the rice prior to making this but my planning skills haven't been what they normally are. We are doing a complete exterior remodel on our house right now and I had carpenters here at 645am this morning! Fortunately brown rice doesn't have as much phytic acid as other grains do so I usually don't have trouble eating it. Here are the instructions for soaking if you were to do that.

Combine the amount of rice you want with the normal amount of water (usually 1cup of brown rice per 2 cups of water) and add 1-2 tablespoons of acid medium. I usually use cultured buttermilk, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar. Soak for 7hrs at room temperature. After soaking just bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes.

A blog that I LOVE is http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/ and she has a wonderful post about why soaking grains is beneficial and instructions for each type.

With all that said, here is the recipe!

Roasted Veggies w/ Brown Rice

1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
4 cups chopped veggies (I used beets, potatoes, broccoli, onions, carrots, zuchinni, & yellow squash)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar (regular would work too)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dried basil
salt and pepper to taste


1. Soak rice for 7hrs as directed above.
2. Preheat oven to 375.
3. Chopped all veggies and toss into a large bowl. Crush your garlic and mix with veggies.

4. Add your balsamic vinegar and olive oil and mix until everything is coated.
5. Arrange veggies in a deep baking dish in a single layer. (I like to lay down some parchment paper first to make clean up much easier)

6. Sprinkle with basil, salt and pepper and stir around until coated.

7. Roast at 375 for 1 hr.
8. Cook rice according to package instructions.

9. Arrange veggies on top of rice and serve!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mineral Makeup!

I wasn't sure what I was going to post about today but as I was getting ready this morning I realized how much I love my makeup and thought I would share. Don't hate me, but I've never been someone who has really struggled with acne. I always got a few breakouts around "that time of the month" but nothing too bad. I had used MAC makeup for years and loved it! In my transition to healthier products I became more aware of how much stuff we put on our skin, and how our skin absorbs it into our bloodstream. How many medicines do you know of that are applied topically but affect things under the skin? I can think of plenty!

I will still admit that I use one thing (that I will explain later) from MAC because I haven't yet found something better, but I haven't given up my search yet. My sister in law started looking for a mineral makeup at the same time that a friend of mine tried out Bare Essentials. I got my husband to watch our son, who was only about 9 months at the time and hit the mall with my friend. I tried Bare Minerals foundation and it felt like I wasn't wearing anything... in a good way. I still had the coverage, but it just felt like there wasn't anything there. I got a starter kit and tried it out. It took some getting used to because it's a 3 step process for the foundation. You put on the color, add your blush, and then a finishing powder to diffuse the blush and set everything.

I liked the results but did a search on the skin deep website and found out that Bare Essentials foundation still wasn't great for your skin. I did a search on that website for a mineral makeup that was a 0-2 (the lower the number the better it is) and found a company called EcoGlo Minerals. I ordered a sample foundation kit to figure out what color I was and then started ordering stuff as I ran out of the original starter kit I had bought from Bare Essentials.

I was so impressed with the quality of the foundation and the price! The makeup stays on all day and feels so light on. I can't even remember the last time I had a breakout! I used to have to use an exfoliating scrub once a week and now I rarely ever use anything! My face is softer, and healthier than it's ever been. Never, ever will I switch back to anything else.
Definitely wasn't planning a photo shoot today but at least you can see how light it looks.
I decided to try out some eyeshadow next, so I ordered a few sample jars. I LOVE the fact that you can order a sample size of everything. You can also order refill baggies and just refill the jars you already have. Less trash and less money! Anyway, I ordered some neutral colors as bases and a deep purple and chocolate for crease colors. One of the colors didn't match my skin tone very well, but all of the others I love and swap out all the time.

Ok, so here's the kicker..... the one thing that I still use from MAC. Concealer. It's not because the mineral foundation doesn't cover enough, because it does. It's because I love when eyeshadow pops and doesn't crease on your eyelids. When I put the concealer on, it allows the color to show up much better and I have no creases during the day. If I don't use it, the color doesn't show as much and I have creases. I still don't know how to fix it... I've even tried putting foundation on my eyes before eyeshadow but that doesn't help either. I just recently tried the yellow color corrector from EcoGlo but that didn't help either. It did help offset my dark circles though. Those are from my 16 month old son who didn't sleep for the first year of life! :) I still have yet to try the wet application method. I'll have to take some before and after pictures of that.

It is such a wonderful feeling to know that my makeup has actually made my skin healthier over time and isn't putting harmful chemicals into my body. EcoGlo Minerals isn't a big company either. She's a work at home mom and I love knowing that I'm supporting another mom out there like me. Thanks for the great products and keep up the good work!

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Maker's Diet and Raw Milk

I never thought I would be one of those "healthy weird people" even 3 years ago. I still don't consider myself to be weird, but who thinks that they are weird, right? I always thought that life was too short to freak out over every chemical, preservative, etc. But a few years ago, when I couldn't get pregnant my whole thought process changed. I went through fertility treatments that were so hard on my body that I looked like I was 4 months pregnant! I fortunately was able to get pregnant, but once that happened I didn't want anything to hurt this precious life growing inside me. I had been through too much to lose him now. A friend of mine lent me a book about "the organic pregnancy". I wish I could remember the name of it but it has totally slipped my mind. It had all kinds of great information about cleaning products, and eating healthy. The changes gradually happened from then on. I'd always thought of myself as a healthy person with a strong immune system, but I found out real quick once I had my son that I wasn't as healthy as I thought I was. I desperately tried every prescription possible to get rid of an illness I was struggling with without any luck. That's when I turned to a book called "The Maker's Diet" by Jordan Rubin. What an eye opener! I never knew about soaking grains, drinking raw milk, and how important probiotics are. There is so much more than just that, but the idea of going back to what God had originally taught his people to eat made perfect sense to me. He is the all-knowing God of the universe, so why not turn to him for health?

I made simple changes at first, soaking grains, drinking raw milk, and taking probiotics. The results were amazing! What all the prescriptions couldn't do for me, diet did.  I haven't stepped into the realm of lactofermentation yet, but I'll get there.

I'll get into why soaking grains is important later, but I'm sure some of you are wondering what "raw milk" is. Raw milk, is milk that has not been pasteurized. It is full fat, cream top, full of beneficial bacteria and enzymes. In fact most people with milk intolerance can drink raw milk with no problems because the enzymes that help you digest milk are not destroyed in the pasteurization process.  I was scared to try it at first because I thought it was going to be thick and strong tasting. I was very surprised! I could hardly tell much of a difference between the raw milk and the 2% I was used to drinking. The one problem I had was trying to find raw milk for a good price. Paying $7.25 per half gallon was just not an option for me! I made a few phone calls and was able to find someone locally that was willing to sell it to me for "animal use only" for MUCH cheaper, let's say 4x less than what I could buy it at the store for. The only reason it's labeled as animal use, is because there are certain regulations that prevent dairies from selling unpasteurized milk. Yes, I have to drive 25 minutes each way to get it about once a week, but it is well worth the time and extra effort. I have never had cleaner, more fresh milk than I do. In fact, my 16 month old refuses to drink anything but raw milk. Once you try the real stuff, the milk at the store actually tastes old and kind of gross! A great website to check out is www.realmilk.com. They even have resources on where to find it.

I would love to hear your thoughts on raw milk, and what healthy changes you've made recently.