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    • Grill Time!

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    •  6/30/2013 11:23:23 PM
    •  It's summer time and most people are gathering for fun BBQ's and family time. I remember the adjustment phase when we switched to a plant-based diet... what do we bring and still look normal or not draw attention to our new lifestyle? My solution was bean burgers... they are hard not to notice which somehow spurs a small debate of health food and we gracefully would try not to offend those eating steak or hotdogs at the table. We have since tried to bringing large portabella mushrooms, they grill up just like a piece of meat and can be eaten on a hamburger bun to blend in with the family (or friends). At our last gathering we had friends eagerly waiting to taste a slice and they were all pleasantly surprised. No health food banter was necessary! I love when good food can speak for itself.  If you have been afraid to give it a try then you are just like me, it took me watching someone else do it before I dared. Let me tell you, it is easy and very hard to mess up. Give it a shot.




      It is very simple, just remove the stem and drizzle with olive oil to help make it juicey when grilling, We like ours with just a little salt and pepper, and maybe a few other seasonings to help bring out the flavor. Just place it on the grill stem side up and wait until you see juices coming into the center or you can poke it with a fork, juice should leak out. 



      The great thing about mushrooms is they can be consumed raw, so you don't have to worry about under cooking them!

      I have had them both ways; on a bun and just plain in the last month and have enjoyed every bite! I have to be honest only two of my kids are keen on the idea, but all I can ask is that they each try a bite or two when they are prepared. I know their tastebuds will soon appreciate this fine cuisine! 


      Happy grilling!


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    • Summer Recipes

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    •  6/24/2013 9:41:18 PM
    •  I LOVE summer foods! There is nothing better to me than a refreshing cold smoothie, a crunchy green salad, fresh chopped fruit or freshly grilled veggies! Oh yum, summertime!! I wanted to highlight some of my favorite recipes!



      Peachy Green Smoothie


      2 oranges peeled

      1 cup rice milk or water

      1 banana (fresh or frozen)

      2-3 large handfuls of spinach

      1 cup frozen peaches

      Blend until smooth and sit back and enjoy!!! 




      Meal on a plate- Salad





      Choice of Greens (I used Green Leaf)

      1/2 cup broccoli florets

      1/2 cup beans (I actually did a mix of kidney and black)

      1/2 cup brown rice

      1/2 a red pepper, chopped

      2 strawberries, sliced

      E2 Basics Dressing:

      2 TBS nutritional yeast

      1 TBS tamari (or soy sauce)

      1 TBS mustard (I prefer stone-ground)

      Juice from 1 lemon, lime, or oragnge

      1 TBS agave nectar, honey, or maple syrup

      1 TBS wheat germ

      Whisk the ingredients together in a bowl.  Store leftover in the refrigerator.




      Grilled Veggie Kabobs



      2 zuchini -cut into 2 inch chunks

      2 yellow squash- cut into 2 inch chunks

      2 yellow or red peppers- cut into 2 inch chunks

      2 ears of sweet corn- cut into 2 inch chunks

      1 medium red onion- cut into wedges

      8 oz fresh mushrooms cleaned

      3 TBSP olive oil

      2 TBSP fajaita seasoning


      Mix olive oil and fajita seasoning together. Place chopped ingredients into 2- 1 gallon bags that seal.  Dump half the olive oil mixture into each bag of veggies and shake to make sure all veggies are well coated. Place in fridge to marinate. While the mixture is in the fridge, soak your kabob skewers in water for twenty minutes to prevent them from burning while on the grill. After the twenty minutes place the veggies on the skewers and grill.

      serve with brown rice and a fresh green salad. 



      * you can soak the skewers while chopping the veggies and throw them on the grill immediately without marinating the veggies.




      Happy healthy summer!


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    • Refreshing Thoughts

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    •  6/18/2013 1:00:26 PM
    • I just got home from a four day yoga conference. It was such a great time, I was able to laugh and learn with large group of like minded yogis. I really enjoyed learning more about the anatomy portion of yoga, how to engage the proper muscle to be able to gain the most out of the practice, hold poses longer, or more effortlessly. When the weekend was done I learned so many great things to take away from the event. Some of my favorites were the little words of inspiring wisdom that were shared by the teachers when the class was getting intense or frustrating. I feel like the words they shared could be applied in all areas of life, especially on the journey to a healthy happy body.


      Splits photo credit: Fit Sugar 


      During an intense class we were working on poses to open the hips and deep stretches. There is a point when you just cannot stretch any further, for some of us that is bending over to touch our toes and only reaching the knees, others can reach their toes but want to reach inches beyond. The trouble comes when we compare with our neighbor and then start feeling frustrated. Our teacher saw this starting to happen, in a room full of 200 yogis at all levels, there is bound to be someone better than you. While we were holding the pose (which can get pretty uncomfortable or frustrating), the teacher started talking us through it.  I will do my best to paraphrase and hopefully you get the same inspiration that I had. She said, "Be on the same team as your body!"  We spend so much time fighting against it or complaining about it being too something; tall, short, big, little, or weak. We are very good at being an enemy to our own body. In any thing we are trying to progress in,  if we aren't loving ourself, we will be our own stumbling block. How often do we look in the mirror and get excited about what we see reflecting back at us? Wouldn't it be awesome to look in the mirror and see your best friend that you love and respect (YOU!). Imagine if you were on the same team as your body and not fighting against it, hating the little imperfections we are so good at finding. What would that be like? If we could just appreciate who we are right now and just be grateful for all of our working parts. Starting the day with gratitude for what we have and where we are on on our journey, don't you think we will take better care of ourself?  The weight loss or gain, physical or personal strength, or depth of a pose will come in time if we are taking care of and loving ourself. Too weird? I loved the thoughts that her statement brought to me, BE ON THE SAME TEAM AS YOUR BODY! It is not easy but worth making a new friend and ally in yourself.



       Another great moment happened during an inversion class, headstands and handstands. We talk anatomy and how to use which muscles to properly hold the poses. After some time discussing the details and proper alignment of the poses it was time to attempt them! Wahoo! Doesn't it look awesome? That is what we were all trying to achieve, a perfect headstand. We had instructions and knew what it should look like so we all dove right in. After a few minutes of the room full of yogis either standing on their heads or those of us struggling, jumping, falling, and pushing against gravity to achieve the beautiful end pose. The teacher stopped us and started talking to be us about the journey. Yoga is so easy to compare to real life events.  There are so many things that we learn about and know how it is suppose to look  or be. We focus so much on the end result and push ourself so hard and end up  forgetting about the journey. We can learn much if we stay in the moment, go slow, and embrace the process. There are many health benefits of standing on your head, but that is not the only thing we can gain from learning how to do one. I have fallen out MANY times to say the least, I did not walk away from it.  I still go to classes and learn more and how to properly aline my body.  Each time I try I gain more strength and confidence in standing on my head, sounds crazy right? How many times do we do the same thing in life or on our  whole food plant based journey. I know I am not perfect at eating right all the time, does that mean I give up this lifestyle all together? NO! I get right back at it, day after day, meal after meal.  I learn and I am able to enjoy the process, each time I come back I know more and am a little stronger. I have more confidence in all areas of life  because I can fall and get back at it, and now I can stand on my head! Who knows what I will achieve next! :)

      I hope I didn't take you too far in the land of yogis. I just wanted to share some inspiring words with you! Life is a journey, embrace where you are right now, be your own best friend and ally,  and enjoy the journey! 




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    • Juicing to Go

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    •  6/11/2013 8:45:56 AM
    •  When I know I have a busy week ahead, I try to plan meals in advance or pre make a few items to make meal times easier. When I know I am leaving town, I pre-pack little baggies of veggies to take along with me. Those little veggie baggies are either get gobbled up too quickly or go bad while traveling. I have come up with a new solution for myself. I am traveled on a three day trip last month and tried making a few juices ahead of time. It worked PERFECT! I was so excited to start each day with my juice. It helped me keep on track when eating out. I wasn't starving and making poor food choices. VOILA! My perfect solution. This week I will be heading out of town again for a couple of days. 


      Three days of Juice:



      3 apples

      3 bunches of kale

      1 1/2 beets

      12-15 large carrots

      2 cucumbers

      1 bunch of parsley

      10 celery sticks

      3/4 inch chunk of ginger

      3 lemons

      Finish product:


      Fresh juice is always best, but juice last about three days before losing a significant amount of nutrients. I would rather have two day old juice than compromise and eat something devoid of nutrients. I am actually thinking of making this a habit. Making juice a few days ahead of time means I only get out the juicer three times a week instead of daily planning on it and then never getting to it. I am excited about this new option.  


      Happy Juicing!



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    • Springtime Allergies and Cold remedies

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    •  6/4/2013 10:21:34 AM
    •  I am not sure if I should say remedy or allergy and cold relief.  I rarely come down with anything, but this has been my year to catch a bug or two. I am currently fighting was feels like a head cold, but could very well be allergies. I have not yet suffered allergy symptoms that I know of. This is uncharted territory for me. I have spent the evening researching and testing a few methods. Here are my two favorites so far and a few other common suggestions.

      The first thing I always reach for when anyone in my home is coming down with something is my essential oils book. (SO HANDY!) If you have been afraid to jump on that train, I highly recommend grabbing a ticket and getting on board. It is a wonderful way to take healing into your own hands. There is so much information out there and it's pretty hard to mess up! (key for me!) My book recommends eucalyptus oil to help open the nasal passages and clear sinuses. It is very easy to use and also has antibacterial properties. Boil a small pot of water and add a few drops. I am placing a bowl of steaming water and oil mixture next to my bed while I sleep.

      The next item I chose for tonight help soothe. TEA! I love a warm cup of herbal tea. I like to keep it simple and just use straight herbs, no mixtures. Chamomile tea is soothing and healing. You can also use the tea bags once they have cooled to place on your eyes to help with itchy watery eyes. I haven't tried that personally, but have heard good things. 

      Let's not forget FLUIDS, drinking enough water and getting enough sleep. I am hoping that I can take it easy for a day or two and kick this out of my system. 

      There are several other natural remedies that I often hear good things about; eating spicy foods to clear sinuses, the ever impressive neti pot (still haven't attempted this one), steam always seems to help, and if it is allergies getting you down, try finding local honey.  

      I hope none of you are suffering the unfortunate symptoms along with me, but if you are. Give a natural remedy a try before heading to the medicine cabinet. 


      Happy Healing,




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