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    • Creamy Tomatillo Dressing

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    •  6/30/2010 7:06:15 AM
    • I have been so excited to post this recipe.

      But I do need to begin with a Disclaimer:

      This recipe is NOT a Nutrient DENSE dressing...

            's just NOT AS bad for you as other dressings out there.


      I go back and forth with my thoughts on DRESSINGS.  There are some HIGH FAT dressings that I believe can change a healthy salad into a NOT SO HEALTHY caloric dense salad.  So when you do decide to use a HIGH FAT DRESSING...try to use the smallest amount possible.


      I do know kids have eaten EVERYTHING I have given them when this dressing is drizzled over the top.  I don't give them much...and it just makes most zesty type meals that much more yummy!


      Creamy Tomatillo Dressing



      2 cups Vegan Mayo

      1 cup sour cream (vegan or non-vegan if you choose)

      1 small bunch of cilantro

      3 medium sized tomatillo's, chopped

      2 green onions

      2 cloves garlic

      Juice of 1 lime (sometimes I use 1 1/2 limes depending on the taste)

      1/2 tsp salt

      1 Hidden Valley Ranch packet (optional- definitely makes the dressing more flavorful)



      Place all ingredients in a HIGH POWERED blender and blend until smooth.

      Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (possibly longer)

      Use over salads, to add flavor to wraps and burritos, or as a dip for vegetables.

      WFM's Bean Burritos

      Sweet Potato Avocado Quinoa Salad (recipe will be coming soon)

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    • Is life too busy to eat HEALTHY?

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    •  6/28/2010 5:15:21 PM
    • There have been a few of my evenings this past week that have been consumed with worry about all the responsibilities I didn’t accomplish that day.  In particular, worries about my children and if I gave them enough individual attention.


      There are moments during the day when all 3 of my children are pleading for my attention.

      Whether that pleading involves my 5 year old calling my name to play a game, or my 3 year old acting disruptive due to my neglect.


      There is always the need of my smiling sweet 8 month old, who is currently on a 4 hour eating plan.

      My days are filled with many other responsibilities calling my name:

      My wonderful husband who I can’t get enough of,
      my least favorite companion- the dirty dishes,

      and of course- my kitchen is always yelling: “What’s for dinner?”

      How many times do I lie down at night and say these four justifying words:
      Life is too busy!


      Life is too busy to keep my house clean…AND spend time with my husband…AND spend time paying the bills…AND spend time writing a blog post…AND spend time serving others…AND spend time doing laundry…AND spend time playing a game with my 5 year old…

      AND…spend time making a healthy meal for my FAMILY!

      We all know the answer to these issues.
      I’m going to throw out another all too common four word phrase:
      It’s all about PRIORITIES!  


      Once I have my priorities in order, and I ACT on those priorities- I seem to have less worrisome nights.


      Feeding my CHILDREN nutrient dense foods is a PRIORITY to me.  There are many reasons for this- one in particular, stated very clearly is:  “Childhood diets create adult cancers.”


      But am I always perfect? Do my kids always eat the most nutritious foods possible?
      NO- but I do try to have the majority of their calories come from whole food plant based foods.


      “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
      Sir Winston Churchill


      Here are a few simple strategies that help me continue towards my success of HEALTHY LIVING:


      1.  No junk food in the house!

      (No foods that are high-fat, high-sugar and/or artificially concentrated) If you make healthier choices easier…and unhealthy choices more can better invest in your health! The key is not to demand perfection, but simply to put resistance in the path of transgression.


      2.  Create a weekly menu
      Make it fun!  Have your kids help!  Go through your recipe book (or browse through our recipe section) and find meals that fit you.  Make a shopping list, and make a copy of it.  So you can use it again.  Many of our recipes call for bulk food storage items that don’t need to be purchased weekly (beans, whole grains, nuts & seeds).

      3.  Cook in Quantity
      I am fortunate to have a family that doesn’t mind leftovers.  Most of our lunches are made from leftovers from the night before.  Most weeks definitely have a dinner containing a couple of dinners from previous nights.  I love leftover night!

      I LOVE TO SAY:

      “Plan for success, and you will succeed more often”


      I’m sure we all would agree with another high PRIORITY – the need to SPEND QUALITY time with our children.

       Yesterday- I hadn’t prepared well for lunch…but I wanted to spend time with my kids OVER spending time in the kitchen.  I had the perfect solution.

      I made a very common and very popular quick lunch…but I made it the WHOLE FOOD WAY!

      Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwiches


      Nut butters are an EXCELLENT source of GOOD FATS for my children.  To read more about good fats…read prior blogs here and here.




      All Natural Peanut Butter (no sugar added)
      All Natural Almond Butter (no sugar added)
      All Natural Tahini (Sesame Seed Butter)
      WFM’s Whole Wheat Bread
      Honey or Jam (low sugar- try to use one without high fructose corn syrup)


      Mix 2 parts peanut butter with 2 parts almond butter and 1 part tahini to make a perfectly yummy nutrient dense nut butter spread.  (This is the combination that I like the best...but make your own spread combining different amounts for your own tastes)
      I mix this spread in a old glass peanut butter jar and store in my fridge.
      Spread the nut butter and honey over 2 pieces of whole wheat bread for a fantastic quick and easy sandwich.
      Eat sandwich with fruit and veggies for a complete lunch.


      Kids are only kids for so long...have fun!  Set priorities...Don't stress...and Plan for success!

      Life is Good!

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    • Folic Acid the Whole Food way

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    •  6/22/2010 12:13:37 PM
    • "Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food."  HIPPOCRATES


      If you are a MOMMY in this country, chances are you know what FOLIC ACID is.  It's that nutrient that pregnant women need a lot of...right?


      As pregnant women, we often hear:


      "Make sure your pre-natal vitamin has FOLIC ACID...or even better- take a FOLIC ACID supplement in addition to your pre-natal, just to be safe."


      FOLATE (Folic Acid) is one of thousands of Plant-Derived nutrients that are essential for optimal health and a healthy immune system.


      Did you know that without enough nutrients, our immune system dysfunctions?

      What does this DYSFUNCTION bring?  Frequent infections, allergies, and eventually...CANCER.  Yes, CANCER.

      Nutritional inadequacies can bring about CANCER.


      FOLATE is found in VEGETABLES, BEANS, and FRUIT.  It is especially high in GREEN VEGETABLES.  And as stated above- it is one of many nutrients that are essential to everyone's health (not just pregnant women :)


      The reason why pregnant women are encouraged to consume this nutrient is due to the increased risk of neural tube defects in the womb (NTDs) with low folate levels.


      So because of this risk...what does our medical industry tell us?  They instruct us to take a FOLIC ACID Supplement.  I love what Dr. Joel Fuhrman has to say about this:


      "Because the American diet is so low in fruits and vegetables, medical authorities advise women of childbearing age to take folate supplements.  Instead of health authorities advising women of the dangers of a diet low in folate-rich green vegetables, they instead advise folate supplementation, as if dangerously low folate levels are the only problem with our nutritionally barren diet.  Thousands of other health-supporting compounds would be ingested if women received their folate from greens, not pills.  Typical nutritional advice, which focuses on individual nutrients instead of whole food, perpetuates the diet style that leads to serious illnesses."  Joel Fuhrman, M.D.


      Not only does taking a FOLIC ACID supplement deprive you of the many other essential nutrients needed for a healthy immune system- did you know...


      • Women who take supplemental folic acid increase their breast cancer risk by 20-30% (According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).
      • Another study was done that compared women who took folic acid during their pregnancy to those that did not.  Thirty years later those women who followed the typical recommendations to take folic acid were twice as likely to die from breast cancer.


      Check out the entire article on the dangers of FOLIC ACID supplementation HERE.

      So how should we consume our folic-acid...Vegetables, Beans & Fruit...the Whole Food way!


      Also, Dr. Fuhrman offers an exceptional PRE-NATAL vitamin that does not contain Folic Acid- I am SO excited about this vitamin!  Check it out:



      Here is an OUTSTANDING recipe that is a perfect way to consume your essential FOLATE-

      This recipe is exciting to me because it is so simple and the possibilities are endless.  It might be more of an idea...then a recipe :)





      The idea for this meal came to me the other day when I was craving a bean burrito.  The local supermarket had a very limited and expensive "vegan" selection.  When talking with NEWBIE Mommy, we came up with the idea of making our own nutrient dense bean burritos.  My favorite part of this idea, was the fact that I could prepare a large amount of them and store them in my freezer for a quick, nutritious meal.  This has been great for my family!


      As I stated above, the possibilities for these burritos are endless.  Here is what I have tried and what my family likes.


      Please substitute any of the below vegetables with vegetables you have on hand...HAVE FUN! And please share :)





      1/2 medium sized onion, diced

      1 green bell pepper (or any other color)

      2 carrots, peeled and diced

      5 collard green LEAFS chopped finely (Kale would work as well) or 2 big handfuls of chopped spinach

      1-2 can(s) REFRIED BEANS (vegetarian, no oil added) or try making your own :)

            - I have used 2 cans when I have used a lot of vegetables

      1 can black beans

      1 can yellow corn (or frozen)

      Cilantro Lime Quinoa (see recipe here) or Brown rice would work

      10-12 Whole Wheat Soft Tortilla Shells



      Saute onion, pepper, carrots and collard greens in water until tender.  Add refried beans, black beans and corn.  Heat bean mixture until all ingredients are heated thoroughly (stirring constantly).

      Place 1/2 to 3/4 cup BEAN mixture on the tortilla and top with 3 big spoonfuls of Quinoa.  Roll Tortilla shell to form a burrito.

      Eat with a slice of lime, salsa, guacamole and/or fresh chopped tomatoes.


      To REHEAT in microwave:

      From refrigerator- High for 1 minute (turning over half way through)

      From freezer- High for 2 minutes (turning over half way through)

      To freeze burritos for a quick nutritious snack:

      Wrap each burrito in tin foil and I place them in a freezer ziplock bag.

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    • We Can Do Better!

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    •  6/15/2010 8:29:08 AM
    • “Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimension.”
      Oliver Wendell Holmes

      We “Mommies” are passionate about our nutrition.  We are passionate about finding out the truth.  What our bodies need to be healthy and happy!  We KNOW that our health and happiness are natural processes.  The things we put into our bodies play the biggest role in determining the quality and length of our lives.

      Dr. Dean Ornish
      Dr. John McDougall
      Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. Jr.
      Dr. Joel Fuhrman
      Dr. Neal D. Barnard
      T. Colin Campbell

      These names might not mean anything to you…we like to refer to these men as some of our heroes.  If you haven’t heard of these Doctors, please look into their research studies. The collective work of these men is astonishing, and each of their findings is of the utmost importance.


                      …their research rarely gets the recognition that it deserves.



      As a result, people who follow their messages are looked at as “extreme”. (But that’s okay :)

      More importantly, because this vital information is not getting recognized, people are being denied access to vital information- information that could save lives.


      “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”
      Thomas A. Edison

      We “mommies” have loved seeing this health-promoting research/information more and more!  It’s exciting!  We also have loved finding like-minded people.  People who do not follow the status quo.

      People who know WE CAN DO BETTER!


      Now to end with one of my favorite quotes:

      "The science is there and it must be made known.  We cannot let the status quo go unchallenged and watch our loved ones suffer unnecessarily.  It is time to stand up, clear the air and take control of our health."

      T. Colin Campbell, The China Study


      We love that we know how to take control of our health!  And more importantly- our children's health.

      Please join us in our journey-


      Life is Good!


      I have been making some fabulous recipes that my kids love!  I will be posting them soon.

      Here are some sneak peaks…



      Cilantro Lime Quinoa


      No Bake Coconut Balls

      Zesty Quinoa Bean Burritos



      Did you know the number one killer in this country is HEART DISEASE?

      Here is some important information that you might not know:

      • The average patient consuming the recommended American Heart Assoc. diet increased their blockages by 28%?  The average patient in Dr. Ornish’s study decreased their blockages by 8%.
      • Dr. John McDougall has shown that in just 12 days the average patient in his program reduced their serum cholesterol by 62 mg/dl.
      • Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. Jr. documented the most successful cardiovascular reversal program on record.

      Do you know how they did this?  A WHOLE FOOD PLANT BASED DIET.

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    • Healthy Peanut Dressing

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    •  6/7/2010 8:29:18 PM

      I was so excited when my mom shared this dressing recipe with me!

      Before you judge whether you think it will be good or not- YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT AND TRY IT!

      It has great flavor and LOOK AT THE INGREDIENTS!  No oil!




















      My family has had fun using this dressing.  Use it as a normal salad dressing or

      Try using it with our

                            ....Crispy Oriental Salad

                            ....Thai Spring Rolls


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    • A Blackberry and Cucumber FEAST

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    •  6/2/2010 10:59:06 AM


      I had to laugh at the story that Maintenance Mommy told in her last blog.  Someone calling her “extreme”… it definitely hits close to home.  I’m sure people call me that as well…the funny thing is, I haven’t seen myself this way?  I guess it helps that I consistently surround myself with like-minded people (also very smart people- I’d like to add).

      But it turns out- that the word “EXTREME” is such a wonderful description for how I want my family to EAT.


      DEFINITION of Extreme:


      • Exceedingly great in degree
      • Of a kind farthest removed from the ordinary or average

          Opposite of Extreme: MODERATE

      Do you want to be MODERATE in your nutrition...or

      Do you want to have your NUTRITION exceedingly GREAT in degree?

      Do you want to be ORDINARYOr far from it?

      If there is something that I want to be FAR from ordinary from…

      or something in my life that is exceedingly GREAT in degree…

      I DEFINITELY want it to by my  NUTRITION!             



      Here is a sample of my EXTREME life:

      Stopping at a local park with my children, after an afternoon of running errands.

      Having an overwhelming sense of JOY while watching each of my children…

      Seeing my 7 month old get excited about each of the new sites and sounds around her.  Having her smile and laugh every time she gets a glimpse of her older brother and sister.

      Having my 3 year old run around and tell me- 

      “Watch this Mommy!  Only boys can do that!” 

      And then my oldest daughter- watching her do tricks on the bars I had no idea she could do.  When did she get so old?  I continue to tell her that she has to stay 5 forever!

      My kids are hungry.

      Do I hop in the car and head to the closest FAST FOOD RESTURANT?

      Fortunately – one of our errands that day was to Costco to pick up our weekly bulk produce.  I head to the car to see what I can find.


      I return with our FEAST:

      A box of fresh BLACKBERRIES,

      my 3 count ENGLISH CUCUMBERS

      and my bag of RAW ALMONDS

      I smiled as I watched the excitement on my children’s face as they

      first see the juicy blackberries.

      Then I laugh as my son grabs his own cucumber and yells “This GREEN VEGETABLE will make me BIG and STRONG” then he proceeds to run as fast as he can around the playground.

      The ALMONDS were my added nutrient punch that they don’t always favor…but they didn’t protest as I told them they each had to eat only 10.  They each counted their own handful (which was a welcome challenge for my 3 year old) and had a contest to see how fast they could eat them.

      The rest of the evening was spent watching my children LAUGH, PLAY and DEVOUR the rest of their FEAST.


      I don’t consider myself VEGAN, not even Vegetarian.
      My family and I try to eat a WHOLE (unprocessed) plant based DIET.
      We limit our animal products (we eat them sparingly)


      Where do I start…

      Because the closer we eat foods to their natural state, the healthier the food.
      And the easier the food is to digest.
      The less our bodies have to work on digesting food- the more energy it has to do the many other jobs it has…like keeping us healthy and disease-free.


      “Reducing the consumption of animal foods reduces the consumption of cholesterol and saturated fat.  Low intake of cholesterol and saturated fat leads to a leaner body, clean arteries, and a reduced risk of developing heart disease and many other diet-related disease such as stroke, breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, and obesity.”  Joel Fuhrman, M.D.


      Start off slow…resist the urge to hop in the car for that quick lifeless meal.
      I tend to find when my kids are the hungriest- they will eat most anything I offer them.


      Give it a try-

      Blackberries and Cucumbers…what a feast!



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