Saturday, July 28, 2012

Create. More. Love.

Just getting ready for a bridal shower and let my creative juices flow. I'm a total gift bag/shopping bag recycler, so I pulled out a LOFT bag and started cutting up a scratch sheet of some of my watercolor art to cover up the store name (the other side of the bag has an orange watercolor starfish happily covering up LOFT). Then when I turned the bag over I decided to paint a V and an E to spell out LOVE! What bride wouldn't love this? I love to create! To be honest I was in a super annoyed/angry/crappy mood until I let myself explore some ideas and create, and now I'm feeling sooo much better.

Life Lesson: Love can come of any situation, any combination, if we let go and let our heart lead the way. And taking time to be creative can totally shift and lighten your mood!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sprouted Lentil Wrap Mix Recipe

Soak overnight:
2 cups Lentils
1 cup Sunflower seeds
1 cup Almonds
1/2 cup Sesame seeds

Drain in the morning and allow to sprout 24 hours, rinsing occasionally. Process in a food processor to be a coarse mash and add:

Handful of chopped cilantro, basil, or parsley
1 Bell Pepper, chopped
1 Onion, diced
1/4 cup Lemon juice
2 Tbsp. Extra-virgin Olive oil
2 tsp. Sea salt
1 Anaheim pepper, diced (optional)
2 Tbsp. Flax oil (optional)

Use as a filling in cabbage, lettuce leaves, or sprouted-wheat tortillas. (I put slices of avocado on top and it was delicious.)

*This recipe makes a lot, you can freeze leftovers or cut the recipe in half.

I found this in my garden!

Sometimes I like to fan myself with kale. It's a home-grown, light-weight, off-the-grid air conditioner.

I was just outside picking some fresh kale for dinner when I realized it could be time for a garden picture. I haven't taken any yet this season! So here you go. A little taste of what's growing in my backyard. Isn't this leaf of kale beautiful? More pictures to come! What's growing in your garden?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Whole Foods Menu Planner

Green Smoothie Girl is now selling an 8 week menu planner book. This can be a great way to get you started eating healthy. She includes money and time saving tips, and the menus are designed for a family of four and costs approximately $100/week.

Menu Planner
Get $5 off by entering code '8weeks' until the end of July.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

What's better than a sunflower? . . .

. . . A 2-headed sunflower!

              And what's better than a 2-headed sunflower? . . .

. . . Two 2-headed sunflowers!

Thank you, deer, for chomping my sunflowers a few months ago. Who'd have thought I would be saying this now? I was really angry at you at first—I even blogged about the incident! My sunflowers are the sunshine of my garden, and I thought I'd lost them because of you. But now I'm seeing how something so upsetting can actually turn into a beautiful surprise—something more beautiful than I ever could've imagined! My garden now has 7 sunflowers instead of 5!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Red, White, & Blue Skinny Muffin

If you can't tell, I'm really into skinny muffins. They are so good for you and so versatile! You can pretty much throw anything in there as an experiment, and it almost always ends up amazing.

For the 4th of July I decided to take my patriotism to a new level via the skinny muffin, of course. A red, white, and blue muffin just so happens to be good on any day of the week, though, even the 5th of July, which I found out for myself this morning.

Here's how the Red, White, & Blue Skinny Muffin is made.

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1-ince slice of a medium banana, mashed
1 cage-free egg
2 packets Xylitol natural sweetener (Xylitol comes from the fibrous parts of plants, and compared to table sugar, it has a very low glycemic index and 40% fewer calories. I buy XyloSweet.)
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 medium strawberry, diced
10 small fresh blueberries

1. Stir together everything except the strawberries and blueberries in a coffee mug.
2. Carefully fold in the berries.
3. Microwave for 75 seconds.
4. Remove from microwave and turn mug upside down to let muffin fall onto a plate.
5. Enjoy, and maybe even exclaim, "Happy birthday, America!" if you so desire.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My Top 4 Diet Changes for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Cancer, and Other Illnesses

Oh the joy! There's nothing that makes me want to dance and leap around the room more than when I hear someone say they are ready to take a stand for their health. Lucky me, I've been able to hear it come out of 4 different people's mouths in the last 3 days—this morning I happened to hear it from one of my most favorite aunts, who also happens to have rheumatoid arthritis. I feel overjoyed after hanging up with her.

I'm blogging today to not only share my joy and excitement but to also share how when you set your sights on something, truly desiring it, we inevitably collide with the answers we're seeking through multiple sources. My aunt wanted to know how I first went about changing my diet, and after practically every new thing I told her she'd say, "No way! My friend was just telling me that same thing yesterday," or "We went to dinner last night, and a man there was talking about how his cancer has been getting better because he's been doing that too!"

So it's time to share. Here are the 4 main health changes I made to get improve my nutritional intake and improve my health on multiple levels:

1. Eat alkaline foods.
2. Eat salmon and/or fish oil.
3. Eat cruciferous vegetables (i.e., cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, kale, and collard greens.
4. Drink green smoothies.

You may hear me got on my soap box time after time about alkaline foods, but it's for a reason. Everything we eat falls on a spectrum of acidic on one end and alkaline on the other end. Click here and here for a chart of where foods fall on this spectrum. The goal is to eat more alkaline foods so that your body can reserve it's resources to fighting illness rather than neutralizing acidic foods in digestion.

Salmon contains much needed omega 3s that reduce inflammation and build up muscles to support joints, particularly helpful for rheumatoid arthritis. Salmon is also high in Vitamin D, which has been shown to reduce the production of blood vessels that cancer tumors feed off of.

Cruciferous vegetables are full of disease-fighting phytochemicals and are known to help prevent various forms of cancer, such as colon, prostate, and breast cancers, as well as rheumatoid arthritis. If you're dealing with poor health, it's recommended that we eat these friendly veggies 4 to 7 times a week. At first I thought this was ridiculously impossible until I realized that I already was drinking kale practically daily in my morning green smoothie! Who knew kale was a cruciferous vegetable?—The more you learn. And if you'd like to learn more about cruciferous vegetables, click here.

Drinking green smoothies not the first health change I made 2 years ago, but hands down it was the most significant. Greens such as kale, spinach, collard greens, and chard are packed with vitamins and minerals. They are full of iron, calcium—no wonder there's calcium in cow's milk because cows eat greens all day long, but who knew you didn't need milk to get calcium?—and mega amounts of vitamin A and C. According to Self Nutrition Data, kale is "a good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese." Apparently it's a vegetable worth including in your diet! Self Nutrition Data is an awesome website for looking up the health benefits of foods.

Here's a blog post bonus to keep inspiring you. It's time to take a stand for your health!