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    • Pomegranate Kale Salad..mmmm

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    •  10/29/2012 9:30:54 PM

    • Pomegranate Kale Salad

      2 bunches of kale, stalks removed, roughly chopped

      1 TBS olive oil

      juice from 1/2 a lemon

      1 tsp of salt (I used Kosher)


      Combine this above ingredients into a LARGE bowl and begin massaging the kale with your hands.  This helps to break down some of the fibrous walls of the kale, making it a bit softer to chew.  After about 5 minutes of "squishing" it through your hands add the following:


      1 orange bell pepper, chopper

      1/2 cup craisins

      1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

      3 green onions, chopped

      1/2 cup of toasted sliced almonds



      2 TBS balsamic vinegar

      2 TBS rice vinegar

      4 TBS olive oil

      2 TBS pomegranate juice

      1 TBS sugar or sweetener of your choice

      Combine the above ingredients in a blend or simply whisk together.

      Pour over the kale salad and mix well.

      The nice part about kale is that it will keep in the fridge for a couple of days even after it has dressing on it (unlike lettuce or spinach which start to wilt).

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    • Do you Meditate?

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    •  10/24/2012 5:08:30 PM
    • Life has been CRAZY for me for the last few months!


      There have been some major changes - some expected, others unexpected.  I have been more emotional over the last few months than probably at any other time in my life.  With selling a house, moving, a tragic suicide in the family, and taking in a couple of extra kids temporarily....I have been QUITE emotional...and stressed!


      I could slowly feel  an imbalance within myself creeping up.  It's hard to describe (especially because I am usually not too stressed out), but there was a constant tension that seems to go down to my very cells. My healthful eating seemed to be one of the first things to go...which only added to the stress of my body.


      I did yoga yesterday for the first time in over 6 months (there was a time when I was doing it 3-4 times a week!).  It felt great and I could tell the calmness of the class was exactly what I needed.  I feel like I have been running on empty for awhile; it was a nice reprieve.


      The interesting thing is that I don't think I am the only one!  So many important people in my life seem to be going through their own set of trials and challenges.


      I am a very spiritual person and I have found that prayer and scripture study have been my life preservers throughout my life. I always find that when I can take the time to make them a central focus of my life, somehow my stresses seem so much more manageable.   The key point is actually taking the time :)!


      I came across this 21-Day Challenge today and thought it would be the perfect thing to force me to take a little time each day to just BREATHE! I'll admit that meditation is definitely NOT my forte and I'm not exactly sure what to expect from this challenge.  I guess I figure even if I learn to do just a little more calming, mindfulness throughout the day that I will benefit from it!  So check it out!





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    • An Oldie but a goodie!

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    •  10/17/2012 7:45:36 PM
    • This was a post from last year, but I thought it was worth repeating!


      I saw this cute idea on Rachel Ray today and I thought I just had to try it out for our Halloween party The first thing you will need is any kids mask like this one (I bought it at Hobby Lobby):



      Here is what I put in the dip:


      15oz can of garbanzo beans, drained

      juice from a small lemon

      1 tbs of tahini

      3 cloves of garlic

      1/2 tsp of salt

      2 tsp of pesto (optional, but I loved the flavor this added)

      1/2 bunch of cilantro

      1 avocado

      4 oz of cream cheese, softened

      (I rarely use cheese, but thought it would help hold the "mask" together)

      Put all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until it reaches the desired consistency.

      Keep in mind that hummus is pretty hard to screw up.  Just add or omit ingredients at your discretion.




      Line the mask with plastic wrap and fill it with the bean dip.  Place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

      Once the dip has hardened up a little, gently turn it over onto a tray and peel away the plastic.  Brush half of the mask with pesto and the other half with pureed sun-dried tomatoes.  For the eye socket I used a fresh sage leaf and an olive with pimento.  The mouth is sun-dried tomatoes with sliced almonds.  The eyebrows are cucumbers.  Then simply surround the mask with veggies and crackers.  Get creative and let the kiddos help out!


      As a side note, I thought I would share a little something that I did with my kids last Halloween.  Before the big day I went out and got them each a gift that I knew they would love.  For example, littlest pet shops for my girls, a football for my oldest and stuff like that.  We all went trick-or-treating and had a blast. Of course the kids ate some of their candy as we were out.  When we got home they each dumped their candy out on the floor and then I brought out each of their very tempting gifts.  I told them that they could choose 3 of their favorite candies and their gift (and then give me the rest of the cnady) OR they could simply keep all their candy.  I was shocked at how quickly they each chose their gift (I think it helped that they still got to keep 3). Anyway, it was a big success and we all went to bed happy that night!

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    • No Calorie Lime Rickey

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    •  10/12/2012 8:26:29 AM

      Every once in a while I just want some carbonation!


      I am not much of a pop drinker. Not because I don't like it, but simply because it usually is accompanied by loads of sugar or even worse - man-made chemicals like aspartame (which happens to be the single item that the FDA gest the absolute most complaints about).


      My husband is a huge Diet Coke connoisseur!  I think he would have an I.V. drip if it were socially acceptable. He has been known to have his mug as his carry-on when we travel and he knows the local places that have the best "calibration".  It is the one habit that I sincerely wish he would give up. 


      Anyway, for the most part his Diet Coke habit is not that tempting to me.  I don't really like the stuff at all, but every once in a while I am seriously in the mood for a big glass of refreshing carbonation!


      Well when that happens, here is what I make.  Very simply and ZERO calories.



      Juice from 1 lime

      1 or 2 packets of stevia

      1 glass of soda water

      crushed ice (I usually put some cubes into my Vitamix with a little of the water to make it "slushie" and then add it to my drink


      Voila, perfect guilt-free refreshment!

      You can check out my food journal HERE!


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    • Chocolate Drop Cookies (no bake)

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    •  10/3/2012 1:55:12 PM
    • I was in the mood for a treat last week (surprise, surprise) but I wanted to make sure that it was sugar-free and gluten-free (since I had already had my sugar binge which you can read about HERE).


      I was originally going to make something with peppermint extract and was terribly disappointed to find my bottle EMPTY.  So I turned to the next best thing - almond extract.  These treats turned out perfectly.  For the photo I decided to add a little dollop of peanut-butter and a few chocolate chips. It was a delicious combination :)


      Chocolate Drop Cookies

      1 cup of dates (about 12 medjool dates)

      1 cup rolled oats

      1/4 cup chopped cashews

      1/4 cup chopped walnuts

      1 tsp stevia powder

      3 TBS cocoa powder (I used dutch processed)

      1/4 tsp Almond extract

      1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

      Almond milk as needed*


      Soak the dates in about 1/2 cup almond milk overnight (or for a few hours to soften).  Drain the milk* off and use as needed.


      Combine all of the ingredients into a food processor.  I had to do this in steps.  I started with the dates and a little of the milk.  I set these aside in a bowl and then put the rest of the ingredients into my processor and blended until in was well chopped.  Then I slowly added in the chopped dates, adding a little of the milk.


      Once the ingredients are well incorporated, simply roll them into a ball, flattening slightly.  These will keep in the fridge for quite a while.



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