Monday, March 31, 2008

Just a little light reading.......

I have told you MSG and Aspartame are things to stay away from, but I thought you might like to hear it from an expert. I couldn't do it justice so take some time and read through this whole article. It is both enlightening and scary. Free glutamates are in everything. I personally feel that this is a huge factor into why the rate of autism went from 1 in 10,000 in the 80's to 1 in100 now and why every other child has ADD. Take the time and read this. Understand why we need to change what we are eating. The more I read labels, the more I realize that we are poisoned to death every day. There are choices and alternatives out there. It can be done. Tell the big companies that we don't want our food contaminated anymore by boycotting what they sell.

Dr. Russel Blalock: The Devastating Effect of MSG, Aspartame and Excitotoxins.(click here to read)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

There is magic in the world!

It is that glorious time of year again, Spring Cleaning! I have my various stages of cleaning: the "surface clean"; the general wipe down of the house , no deep scrubbing or toothbrushes involved. I then have my "two year old clean". This is when I get on my knees at a two year old level and see a whole new dimension of fingerprints and marks never seen before. I also see a bit more dust on the baseboards and carpet spots this way. Then, I have my "new house clean". That is the bi-annual deep clean, get all the marks off the walls, retouch any paint , scrub all the nooks with toothbrushes, restore the house to a new house clean. Like I said, this only happens twice a year. So, for any of you also in the spring cleaning mode, make sure you arm yourself for the truly mystifying MAGIC ERASER! Be prepared to be wowed. It gets everything off. You know when your child throws a toy against the wall and the blue paint from the toy spiderman car rubs off on the wall? Well, this will get it off. All the black scuffs on the baseboards...Gone! Murals from your two year old ;crayon, marker or even white board marker...Gone! I bought one last year and was so excited that I couldn't put it down. My house looked repainted in an hour. You all must have a box of these in your home. Watch out and test on paint first. I am sure it wears down a layer but I haven't had a problem yet. This is a must in any home. They are cheap and truly magic!

Friday, March 28, 2008

"Safe Food" Friday

So Miss Enlightened Homemaker has been humbled. After bragging in my class Wednesday that my children are never sick and no one has had a broken bone due to lack of calcium from not drinking milk, I got a slap of humility. Tate came home with a fever that day and Randi broke her wrist the next day. I guess I am human after all. Tate is all better today and after an all nighter at the lovely St. Josephs Hospital in Down Town Phoenix, the wrist is back where it should be. I get the point. Stuff just happens sometimes.

For the first "Safe Food" Friday, I thought I'de tell you about this Soy Vay sauce I used the other night. It is very hard to find Chinese dressing, sauce or food of any kind that is on the Safe list. This is a great product and also very tasty. I have tried a couple of their products and have loved them all. This one, the "Veri Veri Teriyaki" was a great little sauce for chicken and broccoli stir fry. Using my pressure cooker for rice that took about 5 minutes, I had this little simple dinner done in 10 minutes flat! I bought this at Fresh and Easy but have seen it at Trader Joe's and at some grocery stores.

April Heymore emailed me about a friendly peanut butter she tried and liked called "Naturally Made". It does have sugar but everything else is great. I love the Costco Organic Peanut butter that only has peanuts and salt but if you have kids that are hooked on the jif, this may be an easier switch. It also does not need to be refrigerated or stirred.

I have a great recipe that incorporates both of these ingredients to try out on your little eaters. It is one of my families favorites by far and adapted from a recipe from Miss Molly. The peanut sauce is the best homemade recipe I have tried and is great to make extra for a Thai Pizza. Try it out and see what you think.

Thai Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce

2-3 chicken breasts, minced
half red onion, chopped finely
1 cup shredded green cabbage ( I add about 2 cups)
1 cup shredded carrots
1 T or more of grated or minced ginger (not powdered)
2 cloves garlic, minced
soy sauce or Teriyaki Sauce
Lettuce cups, washed and chilled (cut iceberg in half and peel cups apart)

Cooked Rice, about 2 cups

Saute onion in hot oil until tender. Add chicken and saute until no longer pink. Add the rest of the ingredients except soy sauce and saute about 2-3 minutes until tender. Sprinkle with soy or teriyaki sauce as desired for flavor. I also like to add some Chinese Red chili paste, About 1 T. for a little kick. Keep warm while you make the sauce, don't let cabbage get soggy!

Peanut Sauce

1/4 C. Creamy Peanut Butter
1/ C. Sugar
3 T soy or Teriyaki sauce
4 Cloves Minced Garlic
3 T Water
2 T oil ( I use grapeseed oil)
Thai chili paste if desired, about 1 tsp or more

**I usually double this

Cook sauce in pan on low to medium heat until sugar dissolves. Whisk until smooth. Stir often and keep warm. To assemble wraps, spoon rice in first, top with chicken mixture, spoon on sauce. Dig in. This is such a nutrient packed little meal! Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Thanks to all of you who came to my class today. I had a good time and felt good venting a bit of my food frustrations out! For those of you who missed out, our main topic was what we are eating and how to identify the poisons in our food. I made a list of some of the biggest contaminates. There are so many more but this list is some of the more common and most unhealthy additives out there. It is so hard to find foods without these nowadays but it can be done. Even some of the foods I thought were safe are not. For instance, the Annies cookies I just blogged about and some of their other products are great except for they contain Yeast Extract. Sounds fine, however, it is a form of MSG. I had no idea yeast extract was a bad ingredient until I really started studying additives. Believe me, you don't want MSG. I do believe that in moderation you would be fine and in combination with the good ingredients in Annie's it is not as bad as many of the other snacks out there, but there has to be something better. Most of the time, the answer will be to make it yourself. Then you will know what is in the food and know that nothing is hiding under the mysterious label like "Natural Flavor". Some of the ladies in the class suggested that we start a "safe food" list. I think this is a great idea. Whenever you find something, anything that is free from the junk we don't want, shoot me out an email and I will create a list. I will blog that list every friday. I will keep a master list so that eventually I can get a great collection for you all. Sometimes the things we think are safe change. For instance, the whipped cream I bought at costco now contains many bad ingredients. Darn. I will have to keep looking. I suggest you type the list below and keep it in your purse. If you are signed up for a class, I have this list laminated for you. The basic rule of thumb is, you should be able to know what the ingredient is and pronounce it. It should be like a recipe that you would read out of a cook book. You never will add Disodium EDTA to your recipes! Don't let them add it to yours food!
Anything Aluminum
Anything ammonium/ammonia
Artificial colors/flavorings
Autolyzed yeast
Benzoate of Soda/Sodium Benzoate
Calcium Caseinate
Corn Protein
Disodium EDTA/Guanylate/inosinate
FD&C Colors
Free Glutamates
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Hydrogenated Oils
Isolated Soy Protein
Modified palm oil/maltodextrin
Monosodium Glutamate/ MSG
Natural Flavors/flavorings
Partially Hydrogenated Oils
Pea Protein
Potassium bicarbonate/bromate/sulfite
Sodium bisulfite/caseinate/nitrite/nitrate
Soy Isolates
Whey Protein
Yeast Extract

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Is This in Your Pantry?

Fruit Roll Ups "Electric Blue": Ingredients

Corn Syrup
Dried corn syrup
partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil
citric acid
sodium citrate
distilled monoglycerides
malic acid
vitamin C
acetylated mono & diglycerides
natural and artificial flavors
color red 40, yellow 5 blue 1 and red 3

Hello! Is this even legal! Where is the food in this food product! And... we let our children eat this?! May as well go let them drink some battery acid in the garage.

Just a Little Reminder.....

Just a little reminder for those who signed up for my class - Don't forget! I am baking some delicious and nutritious snacks to sample right now! 9:30 am , tomorrow. If you can no longer come, please email me ASAP. Thanks.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Its All In The Numbers...

I hope you all had a great spring break! If you are like me, you now need a vacation to unwind from the week. I had a great list of all the things I was going to do, the list is still there but we had some great park time and that is what matters. The weather was beautiful!

Now that there are so many great fruits and veggies coming into season, I thought we would chat a bit about how to select good produce. There is so much more to it than how they feel or look. In fact, that really isn't what matters so much. If you have been to a local farmers market, you will notice that the produce looks a bit on the rough side. The taste is great but you wouldn't really want to set them out for company. We much prefer the beautiful waxed appearance of the fruits at the grocery stores. I am sure we all know that what is on the outside of these perfect looking apples and oranges is not what we really want on the inside of our bodies. It is hard to determine sometimes what to buy, what really is organic, what is genetically modified and what will taste good.

There is a number system out there. You know those cute little stickers on the fruits and veggies that are hard to get off? Look at the numbers when you are in the stores. They will let you know about what you are buying. I really try to buy organic when I can, but you can't always be sure that you are truly buying organic unless you know the code system. If there isn't a sticker on the fruit or veggie, there usually is the number on the sign. Here's how it goes:

If the number is:
4 digits, it's conventionally grown using pesticides
5 digits starting with 8, its genetically modified with pesticides
5 digits starting with 9, its organic

If you shop at a local farmers market (which is the way to go if you can), even if it isn't marked organic, most of the time if it is local they don't spray pesticides or use a very low grade. The food will usually taste better since it is usually picked when it is ripe. For you local gals, I love the Guadalupe Farmers Market on Power just South of Elliot. They also stock raw honey and Gluten Free products half the price of other stores. They are also great about trying to order what you ask them for. They have fresh roasted peppers, tamales and tortillas too.

It is almost impossible to buy organic all of the time and it is definitely more costly, but well worth if you can. Try to buy local and at the least try for conventionally grown. I just try to do my best and eat as little pesticides if I can. I know I am still eating plenty of them on my berries but I hope that I dilute them a bit with eating organic in other areas. The more we buy organic, the more we are telling the growers what we want. We vote with our buying power! Shop smartly.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Go Greek for a Day...

For dinner last night, we had a bit of a Greek theme and it was delicious. Everyone agreed and I think there was only one bite of potatoes left. I just have to share the recipes to try out for yourselves. They are very simple and nutritious. My son on the Gluten free diet could even eat all of it , just be careful to get a gluten free soy sauce if you need to.
Greek Lemon Potatoes
4 russet potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch rounds with peel on
1/4 C. lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1 T. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp lemon zest
3 minced garlic cloves
2 tsp salt
feta cheese (optional)
Pre heat oven to 450. In a large bowl mix all ingredients except for potatoes and cheese. Toss in potatoes and turn until all covered in marinade. Spray baking spray in 9 X 13 pan and layer potatoes. Cover with 1 cup boiling water. Bake uncovered until almost all liquid has evaporated and potatoes are tender , about 40 min. Sprinkle with Feta and return to oven until cheese is lightly golden.
Marinade for Shishkabobs
2/3 cup Soy sauce
2 Tbl oil
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
Mix up all ingredients and pour over beef or chicken shishkabobs.Zuchinni, mushrooms,onions and peppers are all great. Let marinade for about an hour or so. Save some marinade to baste during grilling. Grill evenly on all sides until done.
**I only had enough Soy sauce to make half the recipe and did not baste during grilling and these had lots of flavor!
Thanks for the recipe Kristie Bringhurst!
I also grilled some pineapple which was like a dessert. I sliced the pineapple in 1/2 inch slices. I grilled a side until golden and then flipped them over. I then sprinkle them with a little brown sugar and cooked another minute until warm and slightly grilled on both sides. Delicious!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

National Take a Break From Blogging Week

It is a beautiful spring break week and I am proposing a little break from the blog world. It has been fun to reconnect with all the old friends and to make the new friends, but as you all know, blogging can be very addicting. The kids are home all week and I think we should all go outside and play with them. In between strolls in the park, we can make good use of our time by cleaning out a cupboard or two and trying out some new recipes! So, for those who want to join me, make it a no blog checking week. I am ready. I will be posting a few recipes from my delicious dinner tonight for tomorrow then I won't be back until next Monday.
Thanks for all of those who signed up for my class, for those that I had to turn away there are more classes to come. Domestic Bliss in Mesa is opening a new shop next to the one they currently have now at 166 W Main St. called Domestic Living. This will be a beautiful shop that will offer classes on many different subjects. I think this is going to be such a great idea! They have asked me to do a four part series class starting mid may. I am excited about this yet a little nervous. They will be having a grand opening on May 9th and 10th and I will be there to meet some of you and sign you up if you would like to participate. You may also sign up earlier at their current store in April. The series will be broken down into 4 categories:
1. Artificial America: Understanding what's hiding in our food and Why its destroying our children.
2. First Thing and In-betweens: How to start your day off right and fuel in-between with recipes both healthy and delicious!
3. Simply Organized: Organize your home simply to simplify your life.
4. The Healing Power of Food: You are what you eat. Learn what foods you really should be eating to heal your body.
**There will be lots of material in these classes from my blogs but I will go into more depth.
Their Website is

Friday, March 14, 2008

"Seriously, Mom, we need new snacks!"

****I have to edit this blog! Since posting this I have learned about the dangers of one of the ingredients in most of these: yeast extract. It is a form of MSG. Too Bad. These are still much better than the regular stuff but not a safe food.

My son informed me that we need to change up our snacks a bit. We have had the same stuff for quite some time so I ventured off to Sprouts to load up on some new items. We had a little taste testing session when I returned and everything was delicious. So delicious in fact that I had to lay down some ground rules. Although these snacks were free from the bad stuff, they were still snacks, still a bit sweet and still needed to be limited. The rules are, at least when Mom is looking, is that they have to eat fruit or a veggie first then they can have the snack.

You can find some of these products at grocery stores in the healthy section, they are just cheaper at Sprouts. They are probably about $1 more than the junk brands but think of it as less copays to the Dr. since you will be much healthier! They are organic, made with expeller pressed oil, cane juice and nothing artificial. Best part is that they taste as good or better than the other brands. Not all of these are with whole grain wheat flour but most are, I don't mind a little white now and then especially if sandwiched with healthy ingredients.

Here are the items that we tried today:

Nature's Path: Toaster Pastries (just like pop tarts)
Back to Nature: Crispy Wheats (crackers just like wheat thins),Classic creme cookies,Honey Graham Sticks
Annie's Organic: Bunny Grahams (Three varieties)
New Morning: Graham Wiches (Way too good to keep in the house!)
Sprouts brand: Cheddar Curlz (better than Cheetos)

My children are very happy to have some new treats around the house. I warned them that if they are demolished too quickly, we will be back to corn chips and pretzels! That will scare them! I don't think kids really need to snack all day, two times is plenty, if they are still hungry - here's a banana!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I am the cook now, you cook what you want to when you are big!

It took me a while but I am finally there. Finally to the point where my children rarely complain about food anymore. Where they finally understand that we will not be living on plain bean burritos. I used to get the comments, "Why can't you just make eggs," or "do I have to eat THAT" etc. Now, they know better. Now they know, as they have been told over the past many years that I AM THE COOK. I cook what I want to eat. They are free to live on bean burritos when they leave the house. Because we don't eat the plain burrito too often, my little ones are really developing a mature palate. They still love the burrito but they also are really starting to enjoy different flavors. If you start your children off early with good food and variety, they will develop a taste for these foods, most of the time. I hear all of the time, "My child will only eat macaroni". That will definitely be true if you only feed them macaroni. I feel that what is placed in front of them should be what they are going to eat. My first child was five before he even ate a hot dog and had a very strict diet. My others were raised much more leniently. Consequently, at 2 years old, my son would eat lettuce straight out of the fridge and at a buffet restaurant when all the other kids would load up their plates with red jello and french fries (which is what my now 5 year old would do), he would fill an entire plate with raw spinach, no dressing and eat until his teeth were green. What a proud mom I was. My point is, little taste buds are developing just like their little minds and will be shaped by what they eat and are exposed to. Some things we will never really like. I give my children one thing to really hate and don't force it on them. Other than that, grab your fork and dig in cause mom is the boss of the kitchen! I try to explain why I am feeding them what I place before them, I want them to have a good understanding of why we should eat what is good for us. It is really rubbing off. Saturday I was at the school carnival and was in line with my 8 year old for food. As we approached I reminded him that he wasn't going to get cotton candy. He looked at me and said "Why would I want that? It would just make me sick." The brain washing is working!

Tonight I wanted to try a new recipe, (picture above is not the actual product!) I was pretty sure no one but me would enjoy it but so what. It was a sweet potato quesadilla in my quest to get more sweet potatoes into my diet. I dished it up, waited to see the subtle look on their faces of displeasure and to my surprise, they enjoyed it. We are growing up! Try it out! These would go great with the Caribbean tacos or with some black beans on top. I loved them but I think you need something with them or they get boring.

Sweet Potato Quesadilla

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion

2 minced cloves of garlic

3 T. oil

4 cups grated and peeled sweet potatoes, I used the yellow variety

1/2 ts. dried oregano

1 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. ground cumin

generous pinch of cayenne

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup grated mexican cheese

8 tortillas

Saute the onions and garlic in oil until limp. Add grated sweet potatoes and herbs and spices. Don't add the salt yet or pepper. Cover and cook for about 10 mn until potatoes are firm but tender. Stir frequently.Salt and pepper to taste. Spread filling and cheese on tortilla and cook in quesadilla style. Serve garnished with beans, lettuce, salsa,sour cream, etc, whatever you like!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Contain It!

I had a couple of areas that were driving me nuts and decided it was time to do something about it. Why didn't I think of this before or take the time? It was so easy and now makes me breath a bit easier. First, my medicine cabinet in the kitchen was full with all of the wonderful holistic remedies that I read so much about, but it was almost impossible to find what I needed. These cheap little baskets fit perfect in the cupboard from Walmart for only 97 cents a piece. I have them organized into categories; cold remedies, allergies,bandaids, pain medication, etc. I love it! The second issue was with shoes. I am sure you know the drill. With seven pairs of feet in my house, we have too many shoes. I first put this shelf in the garage right by the door for them to put shoes on so they will not be in the house by the door. They keep the nice shoes in their closets. The shelf became piled high with shoes , spilling onto the ground so you couldn't even get into the garage. My 5 year old could never find his shoes before school. He was always missing one. I bought these cheap bins , one for each of them and it has worked out great. I have a big basket on the bottom for the dirty shoes, like cleats and river shoes. I have found that my children actually like organization and if they have a specific place to put something, chances are they will put it there. If there isn't a designated spot, things are lost, cluttered and disorganized. What a trip t walmart will do for a gal!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Failing to plan is planning to Fail!

Back in the 7th grade I won the state oratory contest for a little speech I wrote about succeeding in life through preparation. I remember this speech so well and especially the quote, "Failing to plan is planning to fail." I use that little gem on my kids all the time when they just "happen" to run out of time to do the things that they need to do or want to do. It's all about the planning. As I have talked on previous blogs, I usually lay out my dinner plans for two weeks. This past week, I just didn't make the time. The day I usually make out the list was on the night of my bread class so I was busy. It just didn't happen after that. So, each night I stand in the kitchen with a look of puzzlement of what I am going to make and a quick run to the store to get the ingredients if I don't have what I need. Consequently , my week has not run too smoothly. My lack of planning has really cost me lots of time. I get asked quite frequently how much time I spend in the kitchen, with all of the cooking that I talk about, surely I must live there 24/7. Well, to the contrary, because I plan, I probably spend less time on meals than those who think they don't cook. This past week reaffirmed this for me. My meals have been a lot less creative and I have spent a lot more time in the kitchen. We have eaten dinner late each night and I still need to go to the store, again! The moral of the story, No plan of action= wasting time. Wasting time=still laundry to fold, still shower to clean, still tired. What a little lack of planning has done to my night time schedule is amazing. I can't wait to write my list again.

On that note of sa
ving time, I wanted to fill you in on one of my favorite time saving tools. The George Foreman grill. A few years ago, my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I really didn't know so just to give her something, I told her the George Foreman. I really didn't understand what I was asking for but it was something for the kitchen that I didn't have yet. Little did I know how much I would fall in love with George. George has delivered me beautiful cooked chicken from frozen tenders to cooked tenders in 4 minutes. He has given me perfectly cooked steaks, pannini's , grilled veggies and burgers. The time to cook is so quick because it cooks from both sides. It is also great because you don't need to add oil. Everyone needs one of these.(Go for the bigger & better one, they work better.) I am a huge fan of the chicken tenders because you get more marinated flavor with them since they are thin and they cook really fast. Always have a big frozen bag in your freezer for dinners in a pinch. Everyone has 4 minutes to make chicken. While it is cooking, tear your lettuce, cut some fruit, toast a bagel and have a great chicken salad all in under 5 minutes! You can't even get through a drive thru in that time.

My point is this, you don't have to spend all day in the kitchen to eat a home cooked, healthy meal. You just need the tools and the plan.

Here's a little marinade recipe my sister-in-law passed on to me. It is great for salads and any southwest type dish.

Southwest Chicken Marinade

2 T. olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
1 t. chili powder
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. dried oregano leaves
1/2 t. salt
1 pound chicken

Combine all ingredients, coat both sides of chicken. Marinate in fridge a couple hours or just go ahead and grill on the spot if no time! Still tastes great.

Remember to make extra and freeze some for the future dinner!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Going Bananas? Maybe you should be!

My Grandfather-in-law always sends me cute little emails to read, but this one in particular caught my eye! It was research from a professor at CCNY for a physiological psych class. He was teaching his class about bananas. Now, I always knew bananas were good for you. I knew they were a good source of potassium and energy, but I never knew just how good they were for you. I have been enlightened. After you read this, you will definitely want to go bananas! Let me share:

"Bananas contain three natural sugars- sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90 minute work out. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes.

The banana isn't just a source of energy, however. It can also help overcome and prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions.

Depression: The banana contains tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts to serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

PMS: The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels which affect your mood.

Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure: Extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. FDA has allowed the banana industry to now make claims for the fruits ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: Research has shown that the potassium packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. It helps reduce swelling and irritation.

Nerves: Vitamin B help calm the nervous system.

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because it is soft and smooth. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates you body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels.

Warts: Take a piece of bananas skin and place it on the wart with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a band aid or surgical tape."

When you compare a banana to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals.

I loved this article and just had to quote it for you. I love reading about the amazing healing powers of food. We really have all we need to make us healthy right in our grocery stores. So, if you are not going bananas yet, maybe it's time; especially when all of those little monkeys around the house are making you a little crazy!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Carribean Tacos

My friend, Kristi Moak, sent me a great recipe for a Honey Lime Chicken Enchilada. It was delicious. I loved the chicken so much I tried it in a few other venues. Here is one I loved particularly and was very quick. If you love the chicken, make a bunch and freeze it. It would be great in soft tacos, enchiladas and pannini's. Try it out!
Thanks for all of those who signed up for my class, I have two spots left so let me know quickly if you would like to come. If you have to cancel, please let me know so I can give your slot away. I am trying to keep the class small for an intimate gathering. If I have enough people that need another date or night class, I may try one more class. I am not really looking for a career at this point so we will see how it goes. I am excited though to get to know some of you and to show you my favorites!

Caribbean Tacos

4 T. Honey
3 T. Fresh Lime Juice
1 T. Oil
2 tsp. Chili Powder
1/4 tsp. Garlic powder
1 - 1 1/2 pounds shredded and cooked chicken

Mix marinade and toss with cooked and shredded chicken. Take soft corn, table tortillas (these are the kinds that fold without breaking) or you can use regular corn tortillas, just fry them a bit or get them real crispy If you want to eat them saucer style.Fresh and Easy has cute mini corn tortillas. layer a little shredded green cabbage , chicken and some fresh mango salsa. I bought some great mango salsa from Costco. Vitamin A source. I wanted my tortilla a little crisp but didn't want to fry it so I put it in the toaster.It is very low fat that way.Someday's I just don't care and would go straight for the oil! Get creative! Enjoy!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Just a little more....

For those who I may have offended with my editorial, I am truly sorry. This was not my intention. However, I do feel that sometimes we need to be a little blunt. That sometimes there are too many excuses, not enough truths. It is hard. It will be hard, but the benefits are so important. When I talk about eating right, it is not for the sole purpose of being "skinny". That is not the point. I know that appearances are not what makes the person. My statement of the overweight Americans is not referring to the extra 20-30 pounds that accumulate over the years, or maybe even a little more. I am talking about gross neglect of the body. Even people that eat really healthy can have extra pounds, likewise, many skinny people are some of the unhealthiest! I am pushing eating for your health, not getting into a size 2. I have repeatedly stated that this is a gradual change to be healthy . Those that are ready can read what they want and incorporate what they want. I am sorry but I write for those who want to hear. I write so that you will not be ignorant, that you cannot blame your upbringing for how you eat now. I want to give you the information so that you CAN be in control. I am a blunt person, I know that this will strike a nerve, however, I do have compassion, that is why I write. If I didn't ,why would I spend my time typing with no benefit to myself?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Just An Editorial...

This is why I go crazy. This is why I wonder what is wrong with us over indulgent Americans. This is why I write to get out my frustrations. I was at Costco and as I frequently do, I was checking out peoples cart, checking to see what the average person buys. . I see this family just before me unloading their cart. First, we have grandma, very large and on oxygen. Next we have Mom and Dad, also very large. Then, three children, extremely large and bad skin. Now, to their cart. They start to unload every kind of processed food in the store, not one item I would every buy, not one fruit or vegetable. They had two carts full. The clincher was at the end. They unload from the bottom of the cart three cases of Fleet Enemas! Do they just not get it? They are killing themselves , willingly, just because they cannot control themselves. Stuff our mouths with what tastes good and use drugs to cover up the mess. What do we do to cover up our messes? What drugs are we on because we cannot control our addictions, our desires. I see how overweight the world is and I feel bad. I feel bad that we have been given our bodies as gifts and we choose to neglect them and destroy them. So, for those of you who need to make a change, do it now. It is time. If you put it off, you may not be able to turn back the clock. WE are the ones who are in control. If you don't make the choice for yourselves, make the choice for your children. I read a powerful book from a woman who was faced with her daughters severe illness that went on for years. She finally found the answers which was strictly nutritional. She started to cry,realizing that her daughter didn't have to go through these trials. Then, the impression came to her, "stop crying, you did this to her." She fed her, she let her eat what was slowly killing her. No one else.

What are we doing to our children because it is just easier to ignore what we know is best? They don't do the grocery shopping. It is up to us, the moms.

I hear so many emails from you and many are overwhelmed. I understand. Changing a lifestyle is the hardest thing you can do. But, it needs to be done. I have thought about this so much as I want everyone to find out how healthy of a life they can have and how they can overcome almost all of their afflictions. I want kids to stop having autism, ADD and chronic immune problems. Through the suggestion of some of you, I will have a class to have those who would be interested to come over and taste my favorite recipes and snacks. I will have a booklet with the recipes (about 15 to get you started), lists of grains and what they do and I will have a laminated card with ingredients to avoid to keep in your purse. Then you will have it with you when you grocery shop as this is the most confusing part. I will talk about how to start to change your eating lifestyle and your families to make it a little less overwhelming. I am not sure where all this is going. I just started this as a way to share recipes and it took on a whole life of its own! I feel so inspired to write now and so inspired by all of your stories.

If you are interested, the class will be on March 26th, 9:30 Am. There will be a $10 cost to cover my expenses and some of my time. I will email you the location if you email me that you will attend. If you cannot attend and would like the card and the booklet, let me know and I will mail it to you for $6. If you are interested in this class but cannot attend at that time, let me know and I will see about another class if people are interested.

Thanks for all of you who care, who are doing such a good job and are making changes. Thanks to all of you who inspire me and give me such great tips.

Nothing Tastes as good as Healthy Feels!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Another take on dairy....

If you would like a little more reading on dairy, a neighbor just emailed me with her take on dairy that she wrote last month on her blogsite. Our blogs have just about the same information but thought you might like someone else's opinion also. It is written very well, wish I read this earlier, it would have saved me typing! Thanks, Terri.

Read Here: Diary on Dairy.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Got Milk? Maybe you shouldn't.

For some reason I hesitate to write this blog although it is the number one thing I get emailed about and the first thing I tell people to eliminate. Why I hesitate to write is that it is such a huge controversy to speak against milk. We have been told since we were little, and our mothers before us, that we need 3 servings a day. Ad campaigns are everywhere , we can loose weight with milk, get strong bones, get a great milk mustache. But, who are the people telling us this? Hmmmmm, the American Dairy Council. Who are they? One of the big companies of America out to not make you healthy, but to take your money. So, why listen to them? Listen to the people that know what milk actually does to a body. One of my favorite famous Dr.'s is Andrew Weil, he is a big advocate of eliminating dairy, google his website and read up on any great topic. Dr. Spock , who was once a huge advocate for Milk has since withdrawn his support. The list goes on. So, why? Why not milk? What will happen if we don't drink milk? What will happen if we do?
First of all, we are not baby cows. All other mammals in life are weaned from their mothers in infancy and not supplemented with milk later on. Milk has a very high protein content, one that is too high for people, especially children. Cow's milk is hard on the intestinal tract and can lead to microscopic blood loss in infants which may lead to iron deficiency. People who once never had a problem with milk may develop an intolerance for milk later in life as we stop producing the enzyme to process lactose. I, myself am one of those.
But, the real problems is for the little ones. More than 50% of Americans are allergic to milk , and many who aren't develop that allergy later on. If your child has a constant runny nose and ear infections, chances are that they have a problem with dairy. It will start to lay in the stomach, corroded and make the child feel sick and miserable. Worse yet, it will start to trigger many other allergies if not removed along with asthma, eczema and illnesses. If it is removed, or better yet, never given to children, you can prevent and cure many ailments to come.
For me, I have never given my little ones milk after being weaned. They go right to a fortified rice milk which no one is really allergic to. It has just as much calcium. My little ones, after I found this out from my first one didn't have diaper rashes, runny noses and ear infections ( My last one had some ear infections due to other allergies). They never missed it. This doesn't mean that I don't have any dairy. Since my baby has a true allergy to milk, he doesn't ever touch any of it, but my others have some cheeses, occasional ice cream and I cook with it. But, no fluid milk. There is a difference. When people used to drink Raw milk, it was more digestible. Now that it is pasteurized, it is much harder. Milk that is left to cure is broken down into easier to digest proteins. For instance, hard block cheeses like cheddar, Parmesan, monterey jack and swiss are cured over 60 days. Also, homemade yogurt that is left to cure for 24 hours are better to digest and beneficial to the body.
What about calcium? Calcium is in many other foods, in fact, the calcium in milk is often hard to absorb as it is tangled up with the high protein content. Foods such as almonds, broccoli, spinach and carrots all contain calcium along with whole grains. This is why smoothies are so great to sneak in the spinach. So many studies have been conducted on people who drink milk and those who don't and calcium and bone density. There wasn't a difference. None of my children have had a broken bone. My little one who never has a bit of dairy has calcium tests and he is perfectly fine.
If I could give any advice, first, if you have a baby, never start them on milk. Second, if you have older children, stop letting them drink it. Enjoy the cheeses in moderation and occasional ice cream but no more drinking it. No more cold cereal, or at least in moderation. If you have children with runny noses , asthma and ear infections, this is critical to remove. Milk creates mucus. You will see huge improvements rapidly. Asthmatics should never drink milk. Ever.
There are great articles out there. This is not nutrition according to Shari. The top nutritional Docs are on board. Google it out. Read for yourselves. One article I like can be read here. It talks about the other concerns of milk.
I am not a fanatic. I just had a half a glass of a milk shake the other night, I felt really yucky afterwards but it tasted so good going down. I am old enough to be past the ear infections and diaper rashes, I most likely won't develop allergies from drinking it, your little ones might not be so fortunate. If you can keep the milk away from them now, most likely they won't have an allergy to it later on in life and a good chance you can keep them from developing many other allergies. Allergies are contagious. Once the stomach is inflamed from one allergy, it kicks out the response to start being inflamed and allergic to many other foods. Then you have a much bigger problem on your hands. Trust me, I am there with my little guy.
Please read up, find out what is best for your family. You are the mom. Be educated and don't trust just anyone to tell you what to do , especially the ad companies.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

What's for Dinner?

I have had quite a few emails lately about dinner planning and execution. Dinner is always a hard time of day, but we all must eat dinner. We shouldn't be shocked everynight and most of the time, we are in charge. The more you can do to plan ahead of time, the easier it will be when the time comes. For me, I favor the two week list. I write out a list of meals for two weeks, I cook usually 5-6 nights a week. I write down recipes that I like and a few new ones to try. I then save these lists so that I have ideas to pull from other times when I can't think of ideas. If it is a new recipe, I will write down what recipe book it is in and what page. I try to plan out the meals so that I am cooking ahead. Here's a little example from last weeks schedule:

Monday: Thai Peanut Wraps
Tuesday: BBQ chicken chopped salad
Wednesday: Shredded pork chalupas
Thursday: Linguini with Basil and fresh tomatoes
Friday: Grilled pizzas

So, here is the execution - Since I had already shopped for the two week menu all the ingredients should theoretically be in the house. I know ahead of time what I am going to make that night so many ingredients are planned ahead. For instance: the Thai peanut wraps had nothing prepared ahead of time but I saved some of the peanut sauce for the grilled pizzas at the end of the week, Thai pizza's are delicious. Then next day, I made the BBQ chicken salad and used some left over grilled BBQ chicken from a previous week that I had frozen and chopped. All I needed to do is chop the lettuce and add the other ingredients, I had beans in the freezer also from a big batch I had made a few weeks ago. The next day I made shredded pork in a big batch also to freeze for another week to make enchiladas. Thursday was Linguini with Basil and tomato. Since I had bought a big bag of basil, I made some pesto to store for the following week. I just used that pesto last night for a pesto pasta dish. Simple and delicious. Friday night was supposed to be grilled pizza's but we went out instead. I saved the ingredients to make this week, some pesto for a pesto chicken pizza, some peanut sauce for a thai pizza.

Not all weeks go as easy, some weeks are more of the preparation weeks but if you get in the habit of thinking ahead, dinner time can be cut in half. You can make a dinner faster than you can get take out. It just takes time to plan. You must first take the time to be "dinner organized." Stock up on reusable tupperware containers to freeze everything. I hate to waste anything. I feel that it is not showing gratitude for my food if I do. I also hate leftovers so I will freeze what's freezable then bring in back, reincarnated into a different type of dish. I saved about 3/4 cup of spahetti sauce a few weeks ago for a calzone another week. I also buy a big bulk size of ground beef and will cook it up with onion and garlic. I freeze it up in small containers and can pull it out easily for tacos, sloppy joes, etc. When you grill chicken, double batch it, chop it and freeze it. You can use that chicken for all kinds of quick dinners.

Move over Rachel Ray...I can get dinner done in 15 minutes!

**Fellow E.H. April Haymore says the Happy Baby baby food is great for the little mouths to feed. You can find it at Target in the freezer section. So much better than the canned junk! Thanks, April for the comments!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Naturopathic Doctors

Many have asked me the name of a good Dr./ pediatrician in the East Valley. I have not even been to the team yet since my children are never really sick and my son sees a specialist, but I have a great one to forward on: The team name is East Valley Naturopathic Doctors, number 480-985-0000. I have heard rave reviews from them and will go there when needed. My sister-in-law took her little ones there, and for the one who was sick, the pediatrician told her to give him pro-biotics and fish oil! I am so impressed. No antibiotics, they think outside the box! Horray!

Also, just a report, after my husband had the flu for a week, the lay in bed, high fever one, I am pleased to report that none of the other 6 household inhabitants caught it! Thanks to the Oregano Oil and Emergen-C! I swear by it!

Another Note on Aspartame.......

Hopefully you have all had a chance to read the previous post and article on aspartame. But I just had to add a few more notes to those blogs. Aspartame isn't just an ingredient in diet sodas, it is slowly creeping up everywhere. If something says "sugar free" , chances are that it has aspartame. It's so much better to just have the sugar content. I used to buy the only gum out there, shy of Bubblicious, that didn't contain aspartame but now Wrigley's spearmint contains it. So, I just sort of decided that it couldn't be that bad in a little piece of gum and started chewing orbit. Great gum. I chew gum all the time, it is a great way to keep food out of my mouth. Well, unfortunately I can't stop googling and just had to look up aspartame in gum. Darn it. Why can't I just let things be! After reading this article: Aspartame in Gum (click to read), I had to change my school of thought. Read for yourselves. My children also constantly chew gum. I can't stand the thought that they have had so much of this poison. Now, I will pop a good orbitz now and then, I am not a fanatic, a little won't kill anyone, but I have switch to the original gum, GLEE.
I ordered it from Amazon in bulk so it turns out to be about 70 cents each. They are in chicle form and taste good but the flavor doesn't last long. If you order $25 worth, you get free shipping. It is made from all natural products, including the original rain forest chicle! (not quite sure what that is but sounds interesting)

Anyways, sorry to fill you with too much info, maybe you just don't want to know so much, but I feel I need to get the info out there since the Today show certainly won't tell you!

Thanks for all the emails and phone calls asking for certain blogs, I am busy doing my research on your questions so hopefully the blogs will be out this week!