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    • Baked Brown Rice

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    •  2/29/2012 4:25:54 PM
    • I have been looking for a better way to cook BROWN RICE.  I have a rice cooker, but it never seems to come out the way I want it.  Even when I cook rice on my stovetop, it seems to be more mushy than I would like.  My sister-in-law found this recipe below and shared it with me.  By far, it makes the best brown rice that I have tried.  You do need to allow for an hour to make, but it is well worth it.

       

      Baked Brown Rice

       

      Ingredients

      1 1/2 Cups Brown Rice (rinsed)

      2 1/2 cups HOT WATER (I boil mine in my kettle)

      1 TBS Butter (optional)

      1 tsp Salt (sprinkle over the rice evenly)

       

      Directions

      Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

      Place rice into a 8 inch square casserole pan.  Pour hot water over the rice, add butter and salt as desired.  Quickly cover casserole dish with tin foil and bake on middle rack for 1 hour. 

      The rice comes out with a great texture, fluffy and really yummy!  Lasts a week in your fridge (if not longer).  Hope you enjoy!

      Life is good!

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    • Happy Valentine's Day!

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    •  2/14/2012 10:01:21 AM
    • Ahhhhh…. February, the month full of LOVE and other “goodies”!

      This month seems to be full of treats, especially for our little ones in school! How do we avoid that? Truth, you don’t. There are times when you have to give and take. This is a give around our house, we let the kids have a few treats, but monitor them and pump them full of greens! Always have extra broccoli in your possession! 
       
       
      RECIPE IDEA:
      Chocolate covered Strawberries! It is very easy to find chocolate that contains no dairy. I am not saying that a chocolate covered strawberry is a health food, just suggesting it as an alternative to store bought goodies. Anything you can make at home will be better than buying it in a box.
       
      Melt 1 cup chocolate chips (non dairy)
      6-8 large strawberries
      Dip strawberries in chocolate and place on wax paper to let cool and harden.
      ENJOY!
      Really it’s that simple!
       
      Love,
      Whole Food Mommies
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    • Confessions of a Vegan Pregnant Working Mommy

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    •  2/8/2012 9:25:53 PM
    • Hello MOMMIES!

       
      So I am pregnant (Yeah for me!)...AND I really don't like to label myself VEGAN (I STRIVE to eat a whole food plant based diet focusing MORE on what I should  eat, than what I should not eat)....
      AND I work.
       
      I actually have 6 jobs that are clearly defined.  I have job schedules for each and job descriptions.  One of my FAVORITE jobs is a WIFE.  And I work hard at this job- and LOVE IT!  I am a WIFE after 8:30 every night (my kids are asleep by then so it helps!).  Right next to my job as a WIFE...is my job as a MOTHER.  My income that I make as a MOTHER is priceless.  Those are just a couple of my many jobs and job responsibilities.
      Needless to say...being a working MOTHER I crave order and constantly work on it daily (I am not perfect!).
       
      I am sure there are working MOM's out there who struggle to find the time and the ORDER to plan and prepare healthy meals for myself and my family.  And then adding PREGNANCY on top of that...IT"S CRAZY difficult!!! 
       
      WHY?
       
      Well…here are my symptoms of being pregnant:
       
      1.  I am hungry (I actually think a lot about food- I am not used to that at all).
      2.  I am tired (it seems each pregnancy I get more and more "sleepy").
      3.  Forgetful (I seem to forget and neglect more than usual).
      4.  I am hungry (And I crave UNHEALTHY FOOD!  What is up with that?  Seriously!)
       
      Luckily I don't get sick or nauseas when I am expecting...and I'm sorry for those who do- that would throw a whole other dynamic that would add much difficulty.
       

      So being TIRED, HUNGRY and FORGETFUL sometimes means not consuming an ideal diet.
       
      Here are some TIPS that have recently helped me a lot. Whether you are pregnant or not, hopefully these tips will be helpful. I know that when I am eating HEALTHY myself...I tend to fix much healthy dinners.  So these tips are for YOU mommies out there- wanting to eat better :)
      Have tips of your own?…PLEASE…SHARE!
       
       
      1.     Tip #1 PREPARED VEGGIES
      I was talking to my sister the other day (who is also pregnant) and she mentioned…if my fridge was full of HEALTHY FOOD I would eat it. But it’s not, so when I go through my hunger spells- I grab whatever is quick and yummy (which is normally chips, crackers or other packaged foods).
      So my tip #1- stock your fridge with pre-cut VEGGIES. I buy carrots, broccoli, celery and cauliflower. I take about 30 minutes to cut them all up and put them in individual baggies. I put these in the front of my refrigerator. When I am hungry…I make myself grab one of these first. And- when you’re hungry is the best time to eat these…because they taste REALLY good with an appetite.
       
      2.     Tip #2: IT’S ALL ABOUT NUTS!
      I know some people avoid eating nuts, due to the FAT content…but when you’re pregnant- I believe you do not need to avoid them. I have a small bag (about 1-2 oz.) every day of RAW almonds or walnuts. I throw in some raisins to help give it a little sweetness. These little baggies feel me up quick in between meetings and they take away my SWEET cravings every time!
       
      3.     Tip #3 HIGH TEA
      In England, there is a wonderful tradition known as high tea. At four in the afternoon, which is a few hours after lunch and a few hours before dinner, a light snack is eaten with tea. It’s usually “mini” sandwiches or pastries, and it’s done in a ceremonial fashion with fancy silver and china. It seems like 4:00 pm is the universal time when people need something. We all have cravings that happen (mine are happening more than usually)…but the practice of eating a small “treat” around this time is probably better than other times like LATE LATE at night or EARLY in the morning or right after a large lunch….because your tummy is empty. Which I have read is the best time to eat a small treat. So if you need a treat…try doing it at HIGH TEA. Make it small and make it FUN! 
       
      4.     Tip #4 FORGIVENESS
      Believe me…I WANT TO EAT THE BEST I CAN during my pregnancy…but there have been days that it just hasn’t happened. Two of the strongest emotions on this planet are REGRET and RESENTMENT. You let that stay in you for a long period of time (like more than a week)…and you could be in trouble. I believe the greatest HEALING tool on the planet is FORGIVENESS. And I practice it daily. I love my BODY (I express my love to it often) and I forgive myself a lot. I am always striving to do better and do the best I can…and I mess up sometimes. SO…I quickly ADJUST (key word: QUICKLY), Learn from the experience, FORGIVE and keep moving forward. I believe a HEALTHY DIET is an ESSENTIAL PART of a healthy pregnancy…but another aspect that is just as important are HEALTHY EMOTIONS. And the difference between HEALTHY EMOTIONS and UNHEALTHY EMOTIONS is FORGIVENESS.
       
       
      There are many things I have been learning during this pregnancy and I am exciting to share them with all of you. Hope your life is good, happy and full of forgiveness.
      MUCH LOVE!
      Veteran Mommy
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    • Big News!

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    •  1/31/2012 9:34:42 AM
    • So this might not be BIG NEWS for you...but I have some BIG NEWS about ME to share!

      I am pregnant!  YEAH!  Yes, VETERAN MOMMY is pregnant...and very happy.

      This will be my 4th child and my children are super thrilled about this announcement.

       

      So I am excited to share some of my pregnancy journey with all of you.  Is there any pregnant Mommies out there?  I would love to hear from you!  This will be my 3rd pregnancy eating mainly a whole food plant based diet...and now it is definitely a way of life for me.  I am excited to share many things I am going through...one in particular- I AM SO HUNGRY!  Normally I don't think about FOOD that much during the day...now it is constantly on my mind (crazy!).  I am learning to deal with this and find ways to eat the healthiest I can.

       

      Anyone wondering about PREGNANCY NUTRITION?  Below is information from a prior blog of mine when I was pregnant with my 3rd child.  Thought it would be a good review for me, and hopefully can help other new mommies out there.

      Hope you enjoy!  Much love!  Veteran Mommy

       

      "The time to begin paying attention to a child's health is long before birth. Even the mother's diet twelve months before conception can influence the child's future health. It is important to eat healthfully prior to conception as well as once pregnancy has begun. Proper nutrition and good health habits are more important than ever during pregnancy and can help in maintaining good health for both mother and baby." (Disease-Proof Your Child, Joel Fuhrman, M.D.)

       

      I thought that I would blog about PREGNANCY NUTRITION- being that I am currently pregnant with my third child. Before I start explaining what I should be eating and why- I would like to ask the question...

       


      Does anyone else find it hard to eat nutritionally excellent while being pregnant?

       

      My first trimester was the hardest.  I have great pregnancies over all- the one small side-effect I feel (only in the 1st trimester) is feeling tired most of the day.  Combine that with feeling hungrier than usual- makes for some not so good eating days.  I have definitely changed my ways and have really tried to focus on eating right…but at times I still feel like I am falling short.  I have stayed away from highly processed foods, dairy and I eat animal protein sparingly (all disease causing foods) but am I getting enough of the good stuff? 

       

       

      What is the good stuff?

      As you can guess- the best diet for a pregnant woman is a WHOLE FOODS PLANT BASED DIET consisting of Vegetables, Fruits, Beans, Nuts and Seeds.  This is the same nutrient dense diet that is recommended for everyone.  BUT…there are a few additional foods that are essential when pregnant or nursing.

       

      DHA and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
      Nutrition for the brain.  These nutrients are essential for optimal brain development for the unborn child as well as a nursing infant.  Since the brain is mostly made of fat- it makes sense that we need to consume the right fat to help a healthy brain develop.
      Flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts are great examples of great brain food that can maximize human potential.  Berries and vegetables are also rich in brain-favorable nutrients.
      I try to eat walnuts and flax seeds (ground using my coffee grinder) every day, in addition to a Vegan DHA supplement (purchased from
      www.drfuhrman.com).

       

      PROTEIN
      Pregnant women need more daily protein in their diet for growth of muscles, bone, blood vessels and nerves in both mom and baby.  The great thing about eating a Whole Food Plant Based Diet is that I get plenty of protein when I eat my cooked beans (1 cup cooked beans = 15 grams protein) and my nuts and seeds (15 grams = 1 cup walnuts or ½ cup sunflower seeds), and my dark leafy greens (11 grams per 100 calories).
      I try to focus on eating 2 ounces of nuts and seeds daily, have beans in at least one of my meals and always try to eat dark leafy greens- whether in my green drink, in a salad, or mixed in with my meals.

       

      CALCIUM
      This nutrient is needed to make baby’s teeth and bones.  Again- very easy to consume enough calcium when eating a nutrient dense diet.  I get my calcium the same way cows get their calcium…green vegetables.  Beans, sesame seeds and even oranges contain lots of usable calcium, without the problems associated with dairy.
      I try to focus on eating my GREENS daily and I also take an herbal calcium supplement a couple times of week.

       

      VITAMINS and IRON
      Again- all the needed vitamins are found in whole foods.  Vitamin A= oranges and leafy greens.  Vitamin B = avocados, almonds and leafy greens.  Vitamin C = potatoes, citrus fruits and broccoli.  Vitamin D = sunshine.  Iron = apricots, dark leafy vegetables and raisins.
      I try to consume as many vegetables as I can.  I also take a multi-vitamin with all these essential vitamins.

       


      In summary...three words:  DARK LEAFY VEGETABLES!  These are the most nutrient dense foods on the planet (Kale, Collard Greens, Chards, Spinach, Bok Choy, Mustard Greens, etc.)  I really want to focus on eating these DAILY!

      Eating an optimal diet for pregnancy is very doable when eating a Whole Food Plant Based Diet.  This blog has definitely been good to remind myself what foods are needed.  Have I eaten perfectly…No.  But I am trying :)  My mother gave me great advice that I try to focus on in my daily life:  To live in the present- try not to dwell on the past or even look too much to the future. To focus on eating well today... (not being concerned about yesterday or how well I will eat tomorrow) but how good I can take care of myself right now. That's the key when striving to accomplish goals- it really seems to work for me

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