Hello 2017!!!

2016 brought many changes for our family.  The Papa opened a new practice at the same time my sewing business took off.  I ended up having to step in and take on a bigger role in the practice than anticipated, so needless to say we were BUSIER than ever.  The Mama wasn’t “at home” anymore, and this required much adjustment on many different levels for everyone in our family.  One of the biggest areas that suffered was our healthy lifestyle, both with exercise and eating.  It became easier and easier to brush off exercising and homemade food in exchange for quicker, easier options.  I can honestly say that I firsthand have a brand new appreciation for working mamas.  That is not to say that being “at home” isn’t hard work; it is!  But trying to maintain that same level of everything that I had while at home while also working outside of the home on a daily basis was a brand new challenge for me.  I have given myself 6 months to transition, but now it is time to get down to business!  I have never been a fan of New Year’s Resolutions being a requirement in one’s life.  I believe that any time is a great time to make a decision to change.  BUT, the new calendar year brought a perfect opportunity to give me the push I needed to buckle down.  I have a renewed desire to feed my family healthy, homemade snacks and meals.  It is just going to require a stronger desire, incredible organization and forethought and planning.  I know that I am capable of all of these things, and I am excited to see what this year brings for our family.  Let’s start the year off with this delicious smoothie we had this morning for breakfast.  I did not have all the ingredients, so it was modified.  I will post the original recipe below, along with my changes.  ENJOY and make it a great 2017!!!

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Blueberry Blast Smoothie (Whole Food Energy by Elise Museles)

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 Cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 pitted Medjool dates*
  • 2 Tbsp. hemp seeds**
  • pinch of sea salt

*I used 2 Tbsp. raisins instead  **I used 2 Tbsp. Tahini  ***I also added 2 Tbsp. Peanut Butter and some crushed ice

Add ingredients to high powered blender in the order listed and blend until smooth.  This smoothie has a strong lemon flavor, and also a nutty flavor the way I made it.  It was delicious and very filling.

We enjoyed this before and after a family run.  We are embarking on a mostly whole foods diet this month.  Check back often for recipes and ideas.  Happy New Year!

New Recipe (GF, Raw & Vegan) & One Great Birthday Gift!

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If you know  me well, then you know that I was beside myself when I opened one of my birthday gifts and it was……….a Spiralizer!  I know, its’s hard to contain the excitement isn’t it?!? Seriously, though, I was so excited to get this because I have wanted to delve into the world of veggie pasta for a long time now.  Last night I finally made a dish using my Spiralizer, and it was super easy!  Cutting the zucchini took a few minutes, tops.  It was fun to make and eat.  There is just something about eating “pasta” that you cannot resist! There are some of you I will never convince to eat zucchini pasta, but for those of you who are interested, here is what I did!  I followed this recipe from Pinch of Yum with some changes; my version is below.

I paired this with a yummy salad and corn on the cob for a delicious, filling meal.  I also made cheesy pasta for my swimmers.  It was their favorite by far.  They ate the entire bowl, saying it was even better than the boxed pasta that I buy from Amy’s!  I have made homemade Mac and Cheese before, following recipes to the ingredient, and I have never had this much raving about it.  I literally cooked some pasta, pulled it off the stove, and mixed in a few Tbsp. of butter and a handful of Mexican cheese!  Seriously, that’s it! LOVED IT!  It will definitely be a staple in my house over the next few weeks.  Without further ado, here is the recipe for zucchini pasta:

Zucchini Spaghetti with Avocado Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 zucchini, spiralized
  • handful sliced cherry tomatoes
  • handful sliced red, yellow, and orange bell peppers
  • handful sliced carrots

Avacado Sauce:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 Cup fresh parsley
  • 3 green onions (only green part), sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • pepper to taste

Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix.  Mash avocado, parsley and green onions together in a separate bowl, then whisk in all other sauce ingredients.  Pour sauce over zucchini noodle blend and mix to combine.  Best eaten the same day!  ENJOY!

Taco Night!!!

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Taco night might be our favorite here.  It’s really the perfect meal for a large family , any family really, because everyone can pile what they want on their taco (our only rule is that they have a protein and one or more vegetables on their plate.  It’s also really easy to prepare, which is a bonus for me, and it fills everyone up.  Use whatever kind of protein you like; this meal can so easily be whatever you want it to be.  Carnivore, omnivore, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, you name it!  I usually use black beans, soy crumbles, or a combination of both.  I saute them with a bag of frozen organic corn.  Trader Joe’s has a nice box of 12 taco shells made with organic corn.  Add a nice salad on the side and the meal is complete!  You can see the picture below of my latest salad dressing obsession.  I try to stay away from dairy, but a little bit of this on your salad goes a long way.  It is really delicious!  I picked it up at Publix.  Also pictured are some of my favorite salad greens from Trader Joe’s.  It is a nice combination of organic baby greens ready to eat.

All of the following deliciousness made it onto our table this evening:

  • salad (tomato, roasted pumpkin seeds, mixed Power Greens, artichokes, olives, red onions with white cheddar dressing)
  • salsa
  • black beans/soy crumbles/corn
  • shredded cheese
  • avocado

Have a great night!

3 Days of Whole Foods (Adults)

Day 1

Breakfast:  Egg Scramble (egg, mushroom, baby kale & onion), coffee with small amount of sugar and half & half

Snack:  fresh squeezed orange grapefruit juice (1 1/2 Cups)

Lunch:  Salad (spinach,egg salad, carrots, tomatoes, blueberries, sunflower seeds, ground flax seeds, coconut aminos)

Snack:  oranges, grapefruit

Dinner:  Stir-Fry (Tofu, snap peas, mushrooms, carrots, red peppers,onion, broccoli, bok choy)

Stir-Fry

Stir-Fry

Day 2

Breakfast:  oatmeal with raisins & strawberries/raspberries, coffee with small amount of sugar and half & half

Snack:  grapefruit

Lunch:  Egg Salad Avocado Smash over cabbage slaw

Snack:  Green Tea

Dinner:  Roasted tempeh/sweet potatoes/carrots/asparagus

Green Tea

Green Tea

Day 3

Breakfast:  2 hard boiled eggs

Snack:  Raw carrot sticks

Lunch:  Leftover dinner

Snack:  **denser more nutritional snack was necessary because I participated in the boy’s run-a-thon at school and ran almost 5 miles total**  Whey protein shake (banana, nut butter, whey protein powder, crushed ice, rice milk)

Dinner:  Brown rice bowl (brown rice, avocado, tomato, red onion, black/pinto beans, corn, leftover stir-fry vegetables)

Roasted sweet potatoes, asparagus, tempeh, carrots

Roasted sweet potatoes, asparagus, tempeh, carrots

Speedy Supper Series: Sunshine Burgers

Speedy Supper Series:  Sunshine Burgers

Speedy Supper Series: Sunshine Burgers

I came across these veggie burgers in Publix of all places!  I was searching for some new “quick” meals, and these caught my eye because I had never tried them and well, they were on sale!  I could not suppress my excitement after I read the label and saw that they were vegan, organic, non-GMO and a bonus of gluten-free. Score!  My entire family liked them, really!  I have tried so many veggie burgers in the past, both homemade and packaged, and none quite perfectly fit the bill.  These Sunshine Burgers were an all-around winner.  It also took under 5 minutes to prepare dinner because (shh…..) I microwaved them!  They were also extremely filling.  I made coleslaw as a side, but honestly, I was barely able to finish my burger alone.  The only thing about these burgers is that they are delicate and fall apart easily.  I found that pressing down my burger into the bread and fillings helped it hold together while I ate it.  It would also be delicious crumbled up with fillings in a wrap.

I served ours with various combinations of the following:

  • spicy mustard
  • ketchup
  • Vegenaise
  • melted cheese
  • lettuce mix
  • tomato
  • red onion
  • red pepper
  • avacado
  • cucumber
Sunshine Burger Label

Sunshine Burger Label

A Grown-Up Whole Food Lunch: Spinach Salad

School Lunch Date

School Lunch Date

The girls and I joined the boys for lunch at school the week before last.  I packed the girls the same thing as the boys, which is shown here.  Here is my “grown-up” version of that meal.  I would have enjoyed it the way the kids did, but I was really in the mood for a salad.  This salad ended up being so delicious, and it didn’t even need dressing.  The juice from the slaw acted like a dressing, and it was so tasty.

Grown-Up Whole Food Lunch:  Spinach Salad

Grown-Up Whole Food Lunch: Spinach Salad

This was so simple to put together.  It consists of the following:

Speedy Supper Series: Salads

Salad

Salad

OK, so this salad might not look that appetizing nor have the best presentation, but I am posting it to prove a point.  Salads are one of the easiest dinners because you can just chop up a bunch of stuff and throw it on a plate.  This is, quite literally, what I did for this meal.  I pulled a bunch of stuff out of the fridge without much thought, some of it already cut from previous meal prep, and some of it not.  The only thing I had to cook for this meal was the tofu.  Oh, and I also made sweet potatoes as extra for the kids, especially the boys, who had swim team practice.  Listed below are all of the things I piled onto this delicious salad:

  • baby greens salad mix
  • avocado
  • red onion
  • red pepper
  • carrots
  • cucumbers
  • sautéed tofu
  • tomatoes
  • artichokes
  • kalamata olives
  • raw walnuts
  • raw sunflower seeds
  • olive oil

Now, none of my children will eat a salad on their plate, I admit it!  BUT, my girls will eat half of my salad (literally) off my plate.  They won’t use their fork; it has to be mine, but they will eat the salad this way.  Not the best manners, but I will take salad eaters over manners in this situation!  My boys will eat various parts of the salad separately on their plate.  When I make salad for supper, I do not make different food for my children.  They can eat various parts of the salad, and with this meal they also had tofu and sweet potatoes.  I still serve the salad weekly because my hope is that they will eventually turn into salad lovers!  Maybe………