Monday, November 25, 2013

Customized Tortilla Soup....

In California for Fall Break, our dear friends the LeSueur's invited us over for dinner. It was cold outside and the dinner could not have been more perfect. She made a delicious Tortilla Soup that warmed the soul and was spot on perfect! Now, I have had lots of tortilla soup before but this was different and soooo delicious! I loved the method of making the base and letting everyone create their own soup. It's really more of a Mexican stew when you are done.

This is great for families with allergies as you can customized the ingredients for each person.

First, you make the base:

1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. oil
1 28 oz can pureed tomatoes
4 C. chicken broth
2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp pepper
juice of one lemon
1 tsp. ground cumin

Combine the onion, garlic and cooking oil in a 6 qt. pot and cook over medium high heat until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and heat for another 15 min. Adjust seasonings as needed.

Soup ingredients:

Have these all in separate bowls for each person to pick from as desired:

chopped chicken
chopped cilantro
shredded cheese
lime slices
sour cream 
black beans or pintos
diced tomatoes
Salsa (I loved a little spoonful on top of the soup)

Fill your bowl with whatever ingredients you desire. Then, put a ladle full of soup base over the top. I liked the soup wet but not swimming in the base. More of a stew.

Whatever soup base you have left over, freeze for another time! It was perfectly delicious and a hit with my kids!

Thanks, Ashlee! 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Finishing strong.

First off, this post isn't about running. Secondly, I am not a runner despite the above photo. Thirdly, you won't see a number pinned on me again. 

There is a mentality out there in the workout world that drives me crazy. I am sure many people don't care and many aren't educated in the first place but it makes me want to scream at times. I have seen the damage done, sometimes irreparable. It may not matter to you but it will affect you. There is such a focus on how we look that the big picture can be lost. What we need to focus on is not how we look, but how we feel. Many of us will be on this earth much past our 'looking good' years. What we did to our bodies during our body obsessive period will determine how we feel the rest of our lives. You may be here for 90+ years. How do you want to ride that out?

I am a total advocate of getting exercise. It is good for the soul and the body. If you like to run, run. If you like cross fit, do it. Do something. Be outside and be active. What drives me totally nuts is those who are so fixated with what their bodies look like and how many races they run and how much they can lift that they totally neglect the health of their body. Being active is important but what is more important is what you are putting into your body and how well you treat it. 

You can be skinny and rock hard and be a total mess on the inside. Consequently, you can be a little curvy and soft on the edges and be a total picture of health. If we would only change our mindset to becoming healthy our race on this earth would be a much more pleasant and better race.

I get soooooo many emails from women who are a total mess right now. As I have said before, many of them are workout nuts. Their daily workout routines have not made them healthy. My first question to them when they email me: What are you eating? I cringe when I hear about their protein shakes and bars. Oh the false advertising and conspiring ads! Oh, my friends, please, oh please be wise! Your body deserves so much more. It is your only place to live.

Let me tell you a little something about protein supplements. In just about every one of them, there is soybean isolates or whey protein isolates. You are told that soy and whey is a great source of protein, right? Well, maybe in the days of old soy and whey were good. But, what happens now is the way the soy has been genetically modified and how our cows have been pumped with hormones and antibiotics. Now, take those products and  hydrolyze them. When you do that, you are now changing the chemical process of the whole food and you are creating the isolates thus releasing the glutamates. Have you heard of MSG? You all know that is bad. Well, that's what you have when you create isolates. Look at your protein bars and drinks. Any of that sound familiar? MSG is devastating to the body. I have only seen one protein drink that is worthy of being on the shelf and that is by Sunwarrior. It has sprouted brown rice protein. With that said, I still prefer whole foods that I see in its original form. 

Why in the world do you need protein shakes anyways? How about a handful of nuts and an egg? It's way cheaper and its real. Unadulterated. You aren't going to kill your thyroid with an egg. And, if you are going to lecture me about the fat content in eggs and nuts, get over that one! You need healthy fat. It  will digest as it should in your body unlike other fats. I eat raw peanut butter nearly everyday. It is the perfect pick me up on an apple at lunch. Did you know the pectin in the apple helps to regulate your blood sugar? It will help you get through the afternoon sleepies. 

Don't even get me started on the workout people that are drinking their Diet Cokes. I have visited that way too many times. Just don't email me when you have arthritis wondering how to fix it. Stop drinking it now!!

Just eat right. Eat real food. I know there are so many diets out there right now but if you eat real food, in moderation, you will be fine. Don't eat out of boxes. Eat organic. Drink water. Cook at home. Eat good fats. Eat a hearty breakfast. Limit meats and keep them organic. Did you know that pesticides are stored in muscles (animal meat)  so if you are eating non-organic meats, you are getting higher dosages of pesticides than those in your non organic produce? High Paleo diets can be very hard on your liver and bodies with these pesticides. Eat a good variety of healthy foods.

Don't overdo it! You only have one set of knees and feet. They are meant to last a lifetime. If you are abusing them through  exercise  or by being overweight, you will pay the price. If you are running all the time, you are going to wear them out. Exercise for health, not for medals and big muscles. 

Stretch! If you have tight muscles, you will pull your bones out of whack and tear muscles. Yoga, pilates, foam rollers will help keep you stay stretchy and loose. I used to always have my back and hip out of place. Ever since I started to focus on my stretching, I rarely have to get fixed. Keep loosy goosy.

I may not look quite as good in my jeans as I did a few years ago. However, I feel better than ever. I have lots of energy. I can do a hard workout and finish strong. I don't have any health problems and life is good. 

Ladies, we need to focus on the big picture. How do you want to run your race? How do you want to get to the finish line? If we don't take care of ourselves, someone else will probably end up having to take care of us. Don't you think that is a little selfish? Some things we can't control but for the most part, it is up to us. Being unhealthy is a burden to our families. Take charge and step it up.

Life is good. Enjoy it all. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

If you just plant one thing.....

Hello, Friends! It's a little late but it's time for my bi-annual garden plug. I pray you all have something growing. I have blogged several times why you should all be gardeners but if you came late to the game, here's a little recap:

Having produce on hand in case our food supply changed

Knowing where your food comes from

Increased health benefits from fresh picked produce

Becoming educated in gardening in case you HAD to garden

Being self-reliant

The list could go on, but please, please plant something. IF you only plant one thing, one easy to grow, simple thing; let me give you an idea:


Kale is as simple as it gets to grow. You can buy seed or plants but it takes very little effort to grow it. You can plant it in a pot if that's all you have. It will give you a good supply with one even plant. I would go for a good set of two at least. Kale doesn't get as much attention as spinach and broccoli in the health news but in actuality, it is even more of a rock star. It is also so very versatile! Let me give you the 411:

Kale is HUGE in the antioxidant department. It contains a whopping 684% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin K. Vitamin K is responsible for increasing your antioxidant activity. It will help kick cancer in it's face and help the body get rid of all sorts of toxic elements. Kale also contains huge amounts of A and C which are also big on the antioxidant scale. It contains Quercetin which is a natural anti-inflammatory. This is great for healing gut issues along with other inflammatory ailments. Kale is also great for lowering cholesterol. The cholesterol lowering properties are increased when lightly steamed. This powerhouse green is loaded with calcium also and a chemical to boost DNA cellular repair. Who wouldn't want this growing in their back yard?

What to do with it? I put it in smoothies, in soups, in salads. I added it to our frittata last night. It has a very mild flavor akin to spinach. You can also puree it and freeze it in ice cube trays to use in smoothies later. Kale plants will provide for you up until the hottest part of summer when it bolts. I keep chard growing all year, which has great antioxidant properties as well. I just pulled out a 3 year old bush of chard a month ago. 

Don't over cook your veggies! Keep the nutrients in by eating them fresh or lights steamed or stir fried. They taste much better that way anyways!

To keep your garden healthy and productive, start a compost bin! I am always amazed at how those scraps of left over food and yard waste turn into dark, rich soil. The only amendments I add to my soil are mulch and manure. My plants are healthy and productive. I don't get all fancy with fertilizers. When I have tried that, I suffered plant atrophy. I am a "keep it simple" gardener. 

See that nice compost I just turned in? Oh my garden is happy. The best part is that it is free! You can put all produce and yard scraps, rice, egg shells, noodles and breads in the compost. Don't add anything with fat or meats of any kind. Compost shouldn't smell bad. Mine has lots of cockroaches in it. Pretty disgusting but they don't carry over into the garden and pretty much stay put. I add some DE in the compost now and then to get rid of them but they are harmless. 

Happy gardening my friends! I got my garden in late this year due to our fall break vacation but I have faith that the plants will flourish and provide! I truly love being outside playing in the dirt. I love to see life come from my hard work and I love that I can feed my family food that I know is free from pesticides. 

Good luck and get to work!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The New Age

There has been a topic floating around in my head for months now and after several conversations about it this week alone, it's time I pen it out. If you have kids, you have had this same conversation in your head. You can't hide from it. You can't pretend it isn't here. You have to face it and make your own set of ground rules. You will probably change the rules as you go. The world has changed. It is the New Age, like it or not! 

     When my oldest child was 13, he was sure he needed a cell phone. That was almost 7 years ago and they were still fairly new in the teen world. Not only did he think he NEEDED one, he was sure he was entitled to one. Needless to say, that didn't go over well with me. Entitlement is not something that will ever go over well with me. I decided that he wouldn't get one until he understood what he really NEEDED in this world and that no one is ever ENTITLED to anything. Also, I was a bit scared to let this into my parenting world. His own phone would mean that he had more discretion when it came to who he was texting and calling. I wasn't ready for that. Well, grandpa surprised him (and me) and got him one for Christmas. I was sort of happy about that because I didn't have to give in and the battle ended. He ended up getting the point. No way was I going to let him have a smart phone or the internet on his phone. He didn't get a smart phone until he was 18.

     Fast forward, I now have another 13 year old and he has a smart phone with the internet. I have changed the rules a bit and let me tell you why. 

    For better or worse, we live in a different world. No, we don't always have to change with it but on this point, I have chosen that I need to adapt my set of rules. Why? Well, your child WILL have access to the internet no matter what. Their friends have phones. They can even get on the internet on their phones at school. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram will all be part of their teen lingo. You can hate all of that but missionaries are now starting to use Facebook as a tool to spread the gospel. It is just part of our new world. It seems scary that the same tools that can be used for good can also carry with it such evil. Teens  will most likely encounter pornography at some point in their youth. They don't even have to search it out. It is there. Everywhere. I feel that as a parent, my job is to teach them how to live in this world without falling prey to it's pitfalls. If you simply remove all temptations (which you can't) and keep them away from all technology (which you can't), are you teaching them how to use self control and prudence? If they don't practice restraint now, what will happen when they get out on their own and mom isn't there to monitor? I am a firm believer that kids must be taught the importance of being obedient, not just how to be submissive. They need to learn that with bad decisions comes natural consequences in life. This is what we need to teach them. 

     So, how do we teach them? I think the very most important thing we can do is talk, talk, talk! So many parents can't even say the word "pornography" let alone have a discussion about it. If you can't talk to your child about sensitive subjects, they will never feel comfortable talking to you about it. These words shouldn't be taboo. Kids need to understand why we don't want pornography and immorality in our lives. Yes, it should be obvious but remember, we are talking about teens. Their brains don't always tell them the right information. I have had very open conversations with my kids about what pornography will do to you. We discuss why it will destroy a marriage, a family, a person. We discuss how images will never leave your mind. I am open with them about when I was 8 years old and saw the cover of a Playboy magazine at a neighbors house that was left on a table. To this day, I can still see the front cover. I want them to know that even though it wasn't my fault that I saw it, it is still there, permanent in my mind. I want them to know the very dark part of what pornography will do to a person. I want to paint the clear picture of why they never want to participate. Teens will be curious. That is all part of the plan. Things will pop up and they will see it but you need to teach them what to do when it does. Talk, talk, talk! I ask my son all the time if he has seen any "boobies or naked ladies" lately. Maybe blunt but if he does, I want him to be able to say those words back to me and not be scared. I hope he always can say he hasn't but I am not naive ...anymore. 

     Just because I allow my kids to now have smart phones doesn't even for one second mean we don't have rules. Yes, they need to practice some self- government but not without some limitations. They aren't ready for complete self-government yet. They do need a little help. Here is how it goes down in our household:

     1. Our home computers are in open spaces. We use K-9 parental controls. It is a free filter download and we have used it for 9 years. It works great and the kids can't get past it. No naughty stuff allowed. 

     2. I have parental controls on their phones. They can't delete their history even if they tried or go to inappropriate sites. You can access this on an iphone by following these steps: (at  least on ios7)

Go to "Settings"
Go to "General"
Go to "Restrictions"
Click on "Enable Restrictions"
Create a passcode.
Tap on "Websites"
Tap on "Limit adult content"

You're done. That will also make it where they can't have private browsing or delete their history. That is a new feature. Before this was allowed, I had check history all the time as noted in rule 3. 

   3. If I ever saw their history deleted, the phone was gone. I am allowed to have random phone checks at any time. If anything is every questionable, the phone is gone. I can read texts, instagrams, whatever. Nothing is private. They need to learn that what they put out there can be read by anyone! Forever. 

   4. Overuse of the smartphone is a disease. I have to remind myself of this sometimes also. Life will happen without them if they are always on the phone. If they are on it too much or late at night, it is time for me to either take it away or for them to use their own restraint and put it away. They need to learn this to carry into adult hood.  I am trying to practice this as well. 

    5. I have made sure that photos cannot be streamed back to them. Location services need to be turned off so some crazy hacker can't find my child. Go to their settings again and turn off location services for anything that can track them. It's an easy fix. I use scare tactics when teaching. I want them to hear real world stories of what can happen to you if you put all your info out there for anyone to see. Being a little scared is good. 

    6. Reevaluate as I go along and per each child. The New Age will keep changing. Ugh.

     I remember when my oldest was 11 and we didn't have a filter on our computer yet. I was completely caught by surprise when he saw a horrible image pop up on our computer through a game site. I was totally naive in thinking that was possible. EVERYONE should have a filter. I hated the fact that I let that come into my home. However, it was a caveat for an amazing discussion I had with my son on pornography. Use everything as a teaching tool. We both learned a lot that day and I met K-9 for the first time. 

     Everyone has their own rules. No matter what your rules are, make sure your child understands why we need to have rules and the dangers that come with disobeying the rules. Please keep the dialogue open. Keep it open in all things! When my boys first started kissing, I made sure we talked about where their hands should be and that they had absolutely no right to ever put them in the "Strike Zone". "Safety Zone", not "Strike Zone." My husband even blushes when I talk to my kids but they can tell me anything. Don't be afraid. Being open may save them from the world.

    What are your rules? Feel free to share and I am perfectly aware that some of you may disagree with my point. 



Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A guest Post

Go check me out on the  Grain Crazy blog today! I did a little guest post.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

If I were 90.....

     I get the privilege of spending lots of time with my 92 year old grandparents. I love them. I love to hear their stories. Sometimes we forget that they were young and vivacious and did something other than watch Fox news. Now, what intrigues me is what 80+ year olds talk about.  I used to work at an insurance office across the street from Leisure World retirement home. I had many elderly folks walk in the door for business. I can truly say that I enjoyed the conversations. I would play a little game as they began to talk. I would visually try to smooth their wrinkles back and see what they may have looked like when they were younger. I then would listen to their life stories and get to know what memories lasted for them. It was intriguing. As I sit weekly with my grandparents and hear their stories, I have realized that when you are 90, there is a common thread of what memories are the most important and what really mattered in your life. 


     I cannot tell you how many times I have heard the story of how my grandpa caught this fish in Hawaii. I know the very details and the emotions involved. His face lights up as he recounts the events of the day. 


     The hunting trip to Alaska...another story that I can recount like I was there. I know that the meat was delicious. I know that you had to field dress it and get it off the land quickly. There were rules to follow. The country was amazing. The air was crisp and full of life. I love the way his eyes beam just like they are in this picture after he retells the story. Each time like it is the first time. 

     Rarely does he talk about his career. I hear about certain people he worked with but not about the millions he made, and lost, his cars and other material posessions. No. I hear about adventures and life being lived. He LOVED his hikes to the top of the highest peak in Utah on several occasions where he signed his name in a ledger in an old mail box at the top. (someday I want to climb it and see if his name is still there) He had gentleman duck hunts in the south where they wore suits and had waiters bring them gourmet meals in the field. He played in a big band at the Rainbow Rendezvous in Salt Lake with some famous musicians when he was in high school. He was and is a fantastic Sax player. I love these stories. My grandmother has the same good stories of playing in the creek in Pine, AZ and life in the mountains. It is still her happy place.

     This makes me think, If I were 90, what stories will I be repeating to my grandchildren? What will I have to tell? What will be important to me? I can tell you, it will NOT be about posessions. It will be about family and experiences. 

     I tell my children all the time, life is made up of experiences. Don't let them pass you by. Get out and see life. Don't spend your life on auto pilot letting it live you. It will be over before you know it. You never know when illness strikes and you have missed the opportunity for adventures. Make them happen now. 

     The outside magazine for this month is inspirational. Get a copy. I have devoured it! I read several passages to my children and husband tonight at dinner and now my hubby is deeply immersed in it's pages. The basis is "get outside" at all ages and LIVE! 

     As Tate and I spent a couple hours on a bike ride yesterday, we went to 4 different neighborhood parks. The neighborhood is packed with little kids and the saddest part was that in 2 hours, there was not one child outside playing! Not even in their yards. I didn't even hear kids. It was 3:30-5:30. Where are the kids? The weather was perfect. Are they all in classes, playing video games inside? What? It made me sad to think that they were missing such a beautiful day. We saw a turtle sun bathing by the lake and chased several ducks into the pond. We went down slides and crunched leaves. I had several "important" sticks in my purse when I came home. We rode our bike to the store and bought dried ice to play with at home. There are lots of cool things to do with dry ice and and soap. Hours of fun. It was a nice day. Some days are rushed. Somedays we can ride bikes. We should ride bikes more often and spend less time with scheduled classes. 

    Today Tate made mud pies in the garden. Mud pies are always fun.
 We found this very cool guy on the pepper plants. Biggest caterpillar I have ever seen. Super cool find for Tate. Just think, we would have missed it if we were inside playing computer games. 

    We all need to get out and live life. Life should be less scheduled, less confined, less boring. We work too hard to buy things we don't need. Kids are much happier, and adults, playing in the dirt and water. 

    Make memories now so you will have a great story to tell your grandchildren. I would hate to have to listen to boring stories over and over again from my grandpa. I am so thankful he has some good stories to tell!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Another gluten free way to start your day.....

     When going gluten free, to me the hardest part is breakfast. I have lots of gluten free recipes but this was my very first one I tried 7 years ago. It is my "in a pinch" recipe as I always have the ingredients on hand. I am sure many of you have this recipe but for those who don't, enjoy!  There is not a easier recipe than this and it is so mild on the tummy! I pile it high with fresh berries and leave it at that. Even if you aren't gluten free, it is always great to use moderation and not have grains all the time. That is how we keep ourselves healthy! Moderation in ALL things. 

Grain free Banana Pancakes

1 banana
1 egg
pinch of salt

Mush banana or puree. Add egg and salt and mix until combined. Cook on griddle. Increase the recipe as much as you like! I would eat this batch alone. 

Blueberry compote: frozen or fresh blueberries and a touch of real maple syrup. Heat in pan until berries burst and get saucy. It is just fine without the syrup as well! It just helps to make it a little thicker. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Before you complain about your health.....

     Did you ever even hear of gluten/dairy free diets when you were a kid? Did you have classmates that were bringing dry,gluten free breads to class and had to sit out on the pizza parties? There was maybe one kid in the whole lunch room that had to sit at an allergy table, if at all. Times are different and you want to know why? Because we have messed up EVERYTHING. Food is not the same as it was. A Ding Dong is not even the same. It used to be sugar and other real foods. Now it is plastic and preservatives. Since our food has now been genetically altered and laced with pesticides and synthetic ingredients, our bodies don't even recognize food as food. If you buy processed foods, you are eating genetically modified corn and soy that destroys your gut. Pure and simple. These "foods" or really "poisons", actually punch holes in the gut lining creating destruction in numerous ways. When you have these holes, the proteins from the hard to digest gluten and dairy don't break down and "digest", they absorb. They absorb into the blood stream and wreak havoc on your system. Inflamation will begin. Mucous will form. Allergies will abound. These proteins can actually become opiates to the brain actually acting like a drug. I have sure seen the affects of that on many kids on the spectrum! Our gut is the pathway to our health. If you mess that up, stand back and get ready for a breakdown. 

     More and more studies are linking auto-immune diseases to gut disorders . MS, Thyroid issues, Autism, ADD, ADHD and the list goes on. When you mistreat your gut, your body will yell back with things like yeast production, bacterial infections, the inability to produce the proper chemicals and poor immune responses. It won't just sit back and take it. Now my pet peeve is when people will torture their bodies repeatedly and then complain to everyone about their health problems. If you abuse, you will suffer the consequences. Take back your health. Tell your body you will treat it with respect and that in turn, you want it to treat you with respect. It is hard work but so very worth the reward. You have to live in this body. Hopefully that will be a very long time with a very pleasurable experience. Being sick just isn't fun.

     Now I won't go into a lengthy discussion on why you need to change your diet and remove processed foods, that should be obvious. I could go on and on about sugar, artificial food dyes, overuse of antibiotics, and so forth but that is for another day. What I will tell you is if you have health problems or your children are often sick or have stomach and earaches, before you go off to the Dr. to complain, do some work first. Remove all dairy, gluten, soy and sugar if you can. Try it for a month, even a week if that's all you have at first. Don't cheat. See how you feel. Eat real food. Now if you have been in a health crisis for a while, you won't be healed in a month but it is a start. This is the first step, not the last. You will loose weight. Your bowels will be much happier. Allergies usually calm down a bit along with a clearer complexion. Eczema can go away. Energy can return. It isn't the cure all but it is definitely a piece to the puzzle. Try it out. I try to do a gluten/dairy/sugar cleanse every few months to help my body be where it needs to. If I am ever feeling not quite right, it is the first thing I do before I go to a Dr. So far, I haven't needed the Dr. 
     Treat your body well and listen to the little complaints before they become big ones. Take note of  your children's minor complaints as well. A regular stomach ache is a sign of a problem. They are not happy with what they are eating. Please, please, feed them a good breakfast and lunch. Stay away from boxes and get back in the kitchen. Enough of my soap box. Here is a little breakfast item I made this morning. Easy as pie.

GF/DF Banana Waffles

In a blender, add:

1/2 cup organic millet
1/2 cup organic brown rice
1 cup almond/coconut milk

Blend until smooth.

Add to the blender mixture:

1/2 ripe banana 
2 eggs
1/4 cup coconut or avocado oil
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla

Blend until smooth. Add more milk if needed. Cook and freeze the leftovers! I eat these with applesauce or a little real maple. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Lemony Spice Coconut Cupcakes. Gluten/Dairy free.

     As I mentioned earlier, Tate has now decided to become a chef. The problem with when Tate decides something is that it is not optional. When he has an agenda, it is my sole purpose to fulfill his dream. That is according to Tate, anyways. He ALWAYS has a project and lately, it has been cooking. The little guy will google whatever he has in mind and I have to create it. Right now, we are into cupcakes, pies and hermit crabs. Fortunately, the hermit crabs are not for eating. He just thinks they are way cool at this moment in time. 

     Today he was adamant that we make cupcakes. Since he is dairy and gluten free, we have to make some changes and I was low on GF flours. We had to improvise a bit and Tate did the work. I added a couple things that I didn't think would go together but they are totally delicious and these absolutely don't need frosting! They are moist and flavorful and perfectly yummy. Tate agreed. No grains, dairy or refined sugars involved! 

     He is very serious about his work. I told him to make sure all the lumps were out. Believe me, they were.

     Once you get a basic Coconut flour muffin/cupcake recipe down, you can really tweak it to any flavor you like. I only had about 1/3 cup coconut flour left and I needed 1/2 cup so I put some  shredded, unsweetened coconut in the blender and blended until fine. It was perfect and gave the cupcakes a little texture, which I like. Here's the skinny:

Lemony Spice Coconut Cupcakes

1/3 cup coconut flour
2 T. finely blended unsweetend coconut
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Blend together.

melt until just mixed:

1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup raw honey.

You don't want this hot, just let it get warm so they honey and coconut oil will mix.

Add to the flour mixture:

Oil/honey mixture
4 eggs
2 T. Coconut milk or Almond milk
2 tsp. Vanilla
5 drops lemon essential oil (not extract)

Mix with hand mixer until lump free. Fill mini muffin pans with liners or silicon muffin trays. Bake about 12-14 minutes at 350 degrees or until the middle springs back. Let cool. Freeze any extras. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The oh, so many reasons why I love Costco!

     I love Costco. Few companies really impress me or have my trust but Costco, you have mine. They continually surprise me with the behind the scenes goings on that most of us won't even know about. We go there for deals but Costco is in business with heart. They actually care about us, the consumer and their employees. That is so rare for companies this day. Most businesses are about the dollar. Don't get me wrong, Costco is raking in the bucks but they don't skip on quality and they give back.

      Did you know that the CEO of Costco two years ago capped himself at $350k per year while the CEO of Sam's Club made over $5million? Costco pays their employees on average $17 per hour while Sam's pays around $8. 85% of Costco employees have health insurance. Sam's/Walmart average around 50%. You get the point. But, what I love even more is Costco's dedication to food quality! HUGE! Get this:

     They want to know where their food comes from and how it was raised/made. For their free range eggs, they made sure they are actually free range. When companies said it wasn't economically possible to raise completely free range chickens and eggs, Costco asked their top 3 chicken farmers to test it. They hired people to help the farmers  set up these farms and oversaw the implementation. Well, it worked and you can bet your bottom dollar that Costco's organic free range eggs are exactly that. For their beef, Costco hired the famous Temple Grandin (watch the movie) to go to their Cow farms and to help them design systems for humane treatments of their animals. Temple Grandin! Really. I can't even imagine Walmart/Sam's club even stepping foot into their cow farms let alone hire the biggest name in the business to set it up. Their Chocolate chips have real vanilla in them and just read the back of the bag to see what they did to make sure the cocoa farms are sustainable. I have a year supply of them.

     I went into Sam's twice. Each time I walked out with one item of food: Organic Spinach. That was all they had in the entire store that was organic. Costco, are you kidding me, each time I go there is some new organic or healthy item on the shelves. I am in love with their quality. Here is just a few items that I purchase from Costco:

Organic Chicken
Organic spinach, Kale, greens
Organic beef
Organic Apples
Organic potato and corn chips
Avocado Oil
Organic Peanut Butter
Organic Marinara Sauce
Organic Pasta
Organic Quinoa
Organic Rice
Organic Fruit Twists
Gluten Free bread
Organic Eggs
Organic frozen White corn, brocolli, green beans
Organic frozen berries, cherries, peaches
Organic fresh strawberries
Chocolate Chips
Organic Milk
Organic granola
Real Maple syrup
Organic salads
Organic dressings
Wild caught fish
Organic Strawberry jam
Organic chicken broth
Organic olive oil
Organic creamy tomato soup

And the list goes on.......

Yes, you pay a membership but sign up for American Express and you get some big bucks back from Costco and American express. I usually get over $500 back paying well over my $100 Costco fee. 

Thanks for caring about me, Costco. I will forever be your patron. I can't wait to see what you have next for me. If you don't already, read their magazines they send in the mail to hear about all the great things they are doing. 

I tried you twice, Sam's. I had a free pass. Thank goodness because I would have been ticked that I actually paid to go into the store. Step it up. Costco takes care of people and their products and still manages to be number one in the business. Learn from that, Sam's. It can go both ways.