Tuesday, July 30, 2013

14 Secrets for Losing Weight For Good

We live in a funny society.  We treasure slim, thin, skinny and yet we dole out mountains of processed snack, junk and fast foods.  We sit around and watch television instead of getting up and walking to the park or grocery store.

In our society, it seems like it is a constant obsession to try and get fit yet all the time reverting back to the food and entertainment forms that are so prevalent.  Every single family get together, every holiday, every celebration is centered around food and drink.  Most of the time gluttonous food and drink!

When we start to become unhappy with the way we look, we start cutting calories.  (no one associates their illness or sluggishness with food).  Every New Year the diet industry pulls out all the advertising stops because every New Year we resolve to lose ALL the weight we put on the year prior.  Diet pills, replacement shakes, artificial sweeteners, surgeries, magazine and fad diets are all the rage.  The problem is, these things make our problems worse.  We may lose weight quickly at first, but we lose muscle mass at the same time and then gain back all of the fat, which is not good.

Then here we are, minus the muscle, PLUS more fat!!

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, look to people who have successfully done it.  You will notice that they did not use diet pills, replacement shakes, or fad diets.

14 Proven Ways to Lose Weight for Good:

1.)   Eat breakfast.
2.)   Eat when you are hungry.  Have healthy whole snacks on hand.
3.)   Drink more water.  If you are hungry, drink a glass of water first.  See if it satiates you.
4.)   Eat (cook) at home.  Portions are much larger out.
5.)   Eat whole foods.  If it comes in a package, it's processed.
6.)   Reduce stress.  During stressful times we tend to put on weight.
7.)   Get a good night's sleep.
8.)   Get moving!
9.)   Keep a journal.
10.)  Eat some good, high quality protein with every meal, including breakfast.
11.)  Take a vitamin supplement. (whole food based, not synthetic).
12.)  Eat more vegetables.
13.)  Give up the "c"'s.
14.)  Do a kitchen makeover and don't keep the foods that tempt you in your house.

What do you think about skipping the fad diets?  Just eat HEALTHY.  If you want to lose weight, eat more green vegetables and less simple carbohydrates.  Give up the "C"'s - cakes, cookies, chips, candy.  Once those are out of your house and your life, you WILL lose weight!

This is what you DO eat:

  • Fruits and vegetables.
  • Whole grains.
  • Small amounts of high quality protein.
  • Healthy fats (ie: coconut oil, avocados).

Start implementing these techniques, then come back and leave a comment to report how good you feel!

Be well,


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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Create a REAL FOOD Frozen Treat Kids Will Love!

Blueberry Coconut Frozen Treat

July is National Blueberry Month.  National what?  In 1999 blueberries were declared the nation's fruit for the month of July by the US Department of Agriculture.  I hadn't realized this until I learned that over 90% of the blueberries produced in the world are grown in the U.S., in 35 states, so naturally it makes sense.  We are lucky enough to have wild blueberry bushes in our front yard and they are starting to peak.  I wanted to make something delicious, refreshing, and kid-friendly to honor this fine fruit.  Nothing screams "summer" more than a delicious popsicle!

wild blueberry bush in our yard
I was looking for more than just a run-of-the-mill puree recipe so 'googled' some more creative choices. The blog The Coconut Mama turned up an amazing recipe, and I simply swapped the strawberries she uses with fresh blueberries. Creamy, healthy coconut milk pairs nicely with blueberries and is one of the most healthful and nutritious fats available.  It reduces cholesterol and is a great cure for arthritis and joint pain.  I'll get into more of the benefits of coconut, it's milk and oil, at another time as today's post focuses on blueberries.

What's so amazing about this little fruit anyway?  Besides being incredibly delicious, blueberries have a vast array of health benefits:

1.) Blueberries are full of ANTIOXIDANTS, which have been scientifically proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

2.) Blueberries are an excellent source of VITAMIN A and C, as well as POTASSIUM, FOLIC ACID, and FIBER.


4.) Blueberries are an ANTI-INFLAMMATORY food.

5.) Blueberries are low on the GLYCEMIC INDEX.

6.) Blueberries help improve EYE HEALTH and MEMORY.

and the list goes on and on.........

The next time your kids want a frozen treat, think twice about pulling out a store bought popsicle laden with high fructose corn syrup and artificial coloring (banned in most countries except the US, by the way).  When it's so easy and delicious to make your own frozen pops with nourishing calories as opposed to empty, why wouldn't you?  Kids love it, too!


  • 3 cups organic blueberries
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons raw, local honey


- Puree blueberries in a blender with 1 tablespoon of honey.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the coconut milk, vanilla extract, and other tablespoon of honey.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of blueberry puree into each popsicle mold.  Then add 2 tablespoons of the coconut milk mixture.  Alternate until you reach the top of the mold.
- Place molds in freezer and let set for about 6 hours.

**If you like this recipe and are interested in others, check out my Seasonal Nourishing Menu Plans.

Child Enjoying Healthy Frozen Treat

Be well,

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If you like this recipe and are interested in others, check out my Seasonal Nourishing Menu Plans.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Quick Carribean Black Bean Salad with 6 REAL Ingredients!

This past Saturday my family and I were rushing to get all of our Saturday morning "to-do's" done prior to running off to an annual barbecue at my brother's.  Half an hour from being out the door I forgot the most important thing of all, to plan and prepare a dish to bring to the party!  With just 30 minutes and the ingredients in my pantry and fridge, I had to be creative - quick!

I needed something fast, easy, tasty, appropriately-themed, and most important, healthy.  Then I saw it, the can of Natural Directions Organic Black Beans waving to me from inside the cupboard.  That would be my base, the dish would revolve around that, the healthy and protein-packed black bean. Here are some other cool benefits you may not have realized:

BEANS PROTECT AGAINST CANCER:  Beans are turned into butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid. Butyrate halts cancer cells from growing and causes them to die.  Colon cancer is greatly reduced by eating a diet regularly including beans.

REGULATES BLOOD SUGAR:  Packed with both protein and fiber, it digests slowly and evenly in the body.  This reduces extremes in blood sugar spikes and dips.

KEEPS THE NERVOUS SYSTEM HEALTHY:  Beans are full of folate, otherwise known as vitamin B6, which the nervous system relies on to function.

HEART HEALTH:  Black beans are rich in soluble fiber, which is the type of fiber helpful in lowering blood cholesterol levels.

GOOD FOR DIGESTION:  Because there is so much protein and fiber in black beans, it helps move food through the stomach and large intestine at a steady and healthy rate.

Next up, finding a handful of goodies that would make the beans sing.  I decided on peppers I had in the fridge, a red onion, and some cheddar cheese.  I followed that up with a lime dressing and voila! The Carribean Black Bean Salad was born.  Best yet, once the veggies were prepped, we got the kids involved to toss in the bowl and mix all ingredients together.  The most fun, for them, was the dressing!


Tossed in dressing and garnished with fresh lime slices.

The girls were proud to bring this to their uncle's.


- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 2 cups diced peppers (a medley of colors to add pop to the dish; I used green, yellow, and orange)
- 1/2 cup cubed hard cheese of choice, I used sharp cheddar
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 lime for garnish
- cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a large party bowl except for the limes, olive oil, and seasonings.  In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, lime juice, dash of cinnamon , salt and pepper (adjust cinnamon level to desired taste).  Poor dressing over salad then fold until all of the dressing is absorbed.  Add lime slices to top for garnish.

Be well,


If you like this recipe and are interested in others, check out my Seasonal Nourishing Menu Plans.

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Sunday, July 7, 2013

You Too Can Have an Herb Garden

Every summer we have a garden, and every year we add in new vegetables to the mix of old favorites. This year we took our garden off site and are utilizing a community garden space.  We are curious to see if the results will yield better vegetables as we feel the soil may be better quality than what we have in our own back yard.  However, we did keep the herb portion of our garden at home, and have decided to try the "urban deck" method.  We have pots and pots of herbs right at our fingertips, ready for snipping and cooking.
This also makes it very convenient and an appropriate chore for a 4 and 6 year old. They take great pride in watering the herbs with their fancy watering cans and are fascinated by the changes they see in the herbs each day.  Furthermore, they love to 'run out to the garden' to collect whatever I need for the day's meals.

My personal favorites are the basil, dill, rosemary, and parsley, although the options are unlimited.  (mental note:  need to plant mint next year).

Lemon Quinoa with Fresh Herbs and Onion:

Today for lunch we made lemon quinoa and dressed it up with fresh herbs from the garden.  Quinoa is not a grain, rather, a seed that ancient people of Peru and surrounding areas have been eating for 3,000 - 4,000 years. Yet, somehow, it has only managed to hit my family's table in the last 5.  It's delicious and so versatile! Quinoa contains essential amino acids, flavanoids, and minerals including calcium, phosphorus, and iron.  It's also a complete protein source.  Who knew??

- 2 cups quinoa
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Half a Vidalia onion
- 3/4 cup of packed basil
- 1/4 cup of parsley
- A few sprigs of dill
- Himalayan salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Cook the quinoa according to package directions.  Set aside and let cool.  Dice 1/2 onion and mix with quinoa.  Transfer to a serving bowl.  Add lemon juice.  Chop 1/2 of the basil into thin strips and toss with quinoa. Add the remainder as whole leaves.  Add in parsley, salt, pepper, and mix well.  Add dill sprigs as garnish.  We chose to make this dish vegetarian, but you could easily add shrimp, scallops, chicken, or fish of your choice for a hearty meal.

What have you made with your fresh herbs this summer?

Be well,


If you like this recipe and are interested in others, check out my Seasonal Nourishing Menu.

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Simple Summer Shish-Ka-Bob

There is nothing quite like summer dining, al fresco in your own back yard.  We try and enjoy the weather as much as we can these hot summer months, and part of our joy is eating together on our patio under the sky.  Since summer days are long and eventful, we find the most pleasurable dinners are often the simplest.

For a delicious, light, vegetarian fare, (and kid-friendly!), a simple summer shish-ka-bob is sure to be a hit. What is better than eating with your hands?  Check out this colorful summertime feast chock full of nutrients and antioxidants, including mushrooms, which have been proven to help reduce one's chance of developing breast cancer.

- 2 cups zucchini, cut in 1 inch squares
- 2 cups red pepper, cut in 1 inch squares
- 1 cup of button mushrooms, halved
- 1/4 onion, cut in 1 inch squares
- 1 cup of grape tomatoes
- 1 cup of fresh pineapple, cut in 1 inch squares
- Balsamic vinegar (to taste)
- Grapeseed oil (to taste)
- Dash of Himalayan Sea Salt
- Course ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary

Combine all vegetables in a bowl.  Put the pineapple aside.  Add in the grapeseed oil and balsamic vinegar.   Next season with Himalayan sea salt, black pepper, and rosemary.  Let marinate for at least 30 minutes. Place on skewers alternating vegetables (and include pineapple) so you have an even amount of each piece of goodness on each skewer.  Grill, and enjoy!

What is your go-to summertime recipe?

Be well,


Interested in learning more?  Please visit my website.