Sunday, December 1, 2013

Mama’s Pepper Spinach Rice Cheese Bake












Mama’s Pepper Spinach Rice Cheese Bake

INGREDIENTS

2 cups cooked rice
¼ cup butter, melted
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp dry thyme
1 tsp molasses
¼ tsp epper
5 oz chopped frozen spinach, thawed
2 cups of chopped raw veggies of your choice (we use red and yellow peppers)
¼ chopped yellow onion
2 ½ cups of shredded cheddar cheese
4 eggs
1 cup milk

PREP

1.       Melt butter, soy, and thyme in small Pyrex, add chopped onion and set aside
2.       In medium bowl beat with mixer the eggs and milk
3.       Add melted butter mix, egg mix, and white wine vinegar to rice  and stir well
4.       Mix in the spinach, then the chopped veggies
5.       Add shredded cheese to final mix and spread evenly in 2 quart baking dish
6.       Bake at 300 degrees F for 50 – 60 minutes until center no longer appears liquid
7.       Garnish with sliced tomatoes and serve hot

Monday, November 25, 2013

Gluten Free Ginger Snap Cookie Recipe

Gluten Free Ginger Snap Cookie Recipe

Preheat the oven to 350ºF

This recipe is a variation of the one that I found at http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/

Hubby and I LOVE crispy, thin ginger snap cookies. We’re quite the cookie monsters in our house and this is one of rare indulgencies. Rolling the chilled dough between parchment paper sheets makes cookie cutting pretty simple.

SUPPLIES
Large baking sheets (I used three), parchment paper, plastic wrap, rolling pin, cookie cutters**

WHISK DRY INGREDIENTS in a large bowl
1 cup gluten free flour (I use Red Mill’s GF flour) 1 cup potato starch
 ½ cup of coconut flour                  1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger                  1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg          1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt                  1 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
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1/2 cup coconut oil
½ stick of organic butter
1/2 cup unsulphured black strap, dark molasses
4 tablespoons milk (whatever variety you like)

DIRECTIONS

  • I don’t have a whisk attachment or pastry cutter to cut the butter, oil, and molasses. I used the back of a tablespoon to cut the cold butter, cold coconut oil, and molasses into the dry mix (see above), but it’s a LOT of work. The mixture will be sandy and crumbly.
  • Add the coconut milk one tablespoon at a time, mixing after each spoonful.
  • Remember, the mixture will be sandy and crumbly.
  • Divide the dough in half, wrapping one half in plastic wrap (place in refrigerator to chill while you work with the other half).
  • Split the half dough ball in two and place in the center of the parchment paper on the counter.
  • Use your palms to press the dough into a slightly flat round shape.
  • NOTE: pay attention to how the dough feels while you are working with it. I found that it started to warm/soften up as I worked with it, and needed to put the remaining first ball of dough into the refrigerator to chill…taking out the second, chilled ball after baking one or two sheets.
  • It is recommended to place a piece of plastic wrap on the top of the dough for rolling, BUT I used a second piece of parchment paper. 
  • Use a rolling pin to roll out the cookie dough evenly to ¼” thickness, remove top layer of parchment (save it for next batch) and cut out your shapes.
  • It is recommended to not move the shapes you cut, but I used a butter knife to carefully lift them off and place them on parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  • If you CHOOSE to keep cut cookies on the parchment, just pull away the pieces of dough surrounding the cookie shapes, leaving the cookie shapes themselves (use a butter knife to help). When you're done you'll have a sheet of shapes ready to bake! Roll up the excess dough to reuse.
  • Bake in the center of a preheated oven for 8-10 minutes (my oven baked them well at 8 minutes because we roll them thinner).
  • The cookies will crisp as they cool. When you take the sheet out of the oven, left them sit on the sheet for a couple of minutes, and then transfer to wire racks to finish cooling.
  • Repeat the process for the remaining cookie dough.
  • I baked one sheet in the center, rotating three sheets until all dough is used up.
  • When the cookies are cooled put them in cookie jar and/or store in double plastic bags for storing in the freezer.
  • Makes 3 dozen cookies, depending upon the size of the cut-outs.

Gluten Free Vegetable Quiche (home made crust)

Gluten Free Vegetable Quiche (home made crust)


 Gluten Free Pie Crust

20 min prep time - 1:35 total time      BAKE shell 475°F, 8-10m or until lightly browned
                                                                 BAKE filled quiche at 375 for 30-45m

1 1/4 cups        GF Flour Blend (2 c rice flour*, 2/3 c potato starch, 1/3 c coconut flour, 1 tsp xanthan gum)**
1 tblsp               raw sugar
1/2 tsp               xanthan gum
1/4 tsp               salt
½ stick               cold butter
1/2 cup              coconut oil
1                          egg
3 tblsp               cold water
·       Combine dry ingredients (flour** blend, sugar, xanthan gum, salt) in large bowl
·       Cut in cold butter / cold coconut oil with fork until coarse crumbs
·       Combine egg and cold water in a bowl; beat with fork
·       Add egg/water mix to flour mix; stir just until moistened
·       Shape into a ball; flatten slightly, wrap in plastic  and chill (~1 hour) ·       Remove from refrigerator and let stand room temperature (~15-20 min)·       Place unwrapped pastry ball on lightly floured (gluten free blend) parchment paper
·       Lightly flour top of pastry with GF flour and add another piece of parchment on top
·       Roll out pastry into 12-inch circle
·       Transfer to pan, pressing down firmly, poke with fork (prevents crust from bubbling up)
·       Crimp or flute edge and back empty shell for 8-10 (until golden brown)
·       THEN, fill and bake (see veggie quiche filling recipe below) 

VEGGIE QUICHE FILLING

2 Tbsp olive oil                                    3 handfuls fresh baby spinach or 2 c broccoli
1 small onion, chopped                       1 c mushrooms
4 eggs                                                 3/4 cup milk
3 Tbsp GF flour                                   1/2 tsp baking powder            
1/2 tsp salt                                           1/2 tsp sweet paprika             
1/2 tsp dried thyme                             ¼ cup sundried tomatoes
1/8 tsp black pepper                            4 oz cheese of our choice (I use cheddar)
OPTIONAL (fresh tomato, cut)

·       Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and mushrooms, and sauté for 5-8 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Remove from heat.

·       In a separate large bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, baking powder, milk, salt, paprika, thyme, and black pepper Stir in the sautéed vegetables and fresh spinach, and stir until well combined

·       Pour the egg and vegetable mixes into the crust, and use a spoon to level the top. Bake in oven for ~30 minutes, add sliced fresh tomato across the top and back for another 10 minutes. Quiche will be done when butter knife inserted comes out relatively clean. NOTE:  the quiche will rise, but will settle back once its cooled from the oven. Cool from oven for at least 5 minutes, slice,  and serve.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Non-Dairy Vegan Broccoli Soup

Non-Dairy Vegan Broccoli Soup

SAUCE PAN INGREDIENTS:
(read instructions below)

1 tblsp oil (olive or coconut)
1 onion, minced
1 tblsp finely shredded, fresh ginger
1/2 cup of dry white wine (optional)
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tblsp potato starch (non-GMO)
1 tblsp gluten free flour (I use ground oats or ground pumpkin seed)
2 cups of vegetable stock

2 cups of broccoli florets
1 small carrot
1 stalk celery

2 cups of fresh organic spinach leaves

INSTRUCTIONS
-In a medium sauce pan warm coconut (or olive) oil, add minced onion and finely shredded fresh ginger.

-Stir in dry white wine (optional), dried organic thyme, potato starch, and gluten free flour of your choice.

-Add vegetable stock

-Steam separately the carrot, broccoli, and celery until soft (cool and set aside - KEEP veggie water).

-Let liquid mix in pan cool to slightly warm (don't want hot liquid in the blender).

-Pour steamed veggies into the blender and add 1/2 of the liquid, process as chopped--stop the blender and add remaining liquid - process as pureed.

NOTE - if  soup is too thick, add small quantity of water from the steamed veggies, blend until you are satisfied with the consistency.

Pour desired amount into microwave wave container, heat, and serve.






Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Healthy Gluten Free Ginger Curry Pumpkin Soup

Healthy Gluten Free Ginger Curry Pumpkin Soup

This soup is a delicious, healthy alternative (no dairy) and gluten free too.




  • 1 tblsp organic coconut oil
  • 1 large organic onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Dash curry
  • Dash ginger
  • 2 cups organic vegetable stock
  • 2 shredded organic carrots
  • 3 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree**

1. Place oil, onion, garlic, ginger, curry, cumin, and garlic in crock pot and heat on high until warmed/melted.

2. Add vegetable stock and shredded carrots and cook on low for one hour.

3.  Add (homemade) pumpkin puree, stir, cover and cook on low for 4 hours

4.  Serve

**You can use canned puree if you don't have homemade.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Challenges of Fitness as We Get Older

Staying Fit as we get Older


  • My motto is "Age is Just a Number."
  • My inner child is a perpetual 10 year old
  • I'm physically/mentally younger than my peers
  • I'm may also be more active/athletic than many of my peers as well.
  • I don't look my age.
  • I don't always act my age.
  • I'm a healthy eating/life style person
  • Even my monthly health insurance premium is statistically lower than my peer group.
All that being said, I am chronologically over 50 years of age and on most days, something on my body hurts.

Until my 51st birthday two years ago (oops, I revealed my age...) I never had an injury that kept me out of the fitness game for more than three months. However, in the last two years I have had two serious ankle/foot injuries that side-lined my 4-6 days a week dancing to nearly two years of recovery!!!!

As much as I feel lucky to have the attributes listed above, the fact of the matter is that I am getting older. 
I often think about my grandma who would tell me how she'd forget that she was in her 80's. I cannot tell you how many weekends were spent with my grandma people watching and walking around the local shopping mall, where she would wear me out. Invariably the next day would have her lamenting about the aches and pains because she was so wrapped up in her adventure that she ignored the fact that she was an 80+ year old woman. Grandma didn't act like an old lady, but her sore body would remind her the following day just how much she had overdone the physical activity the day before. Grandma would often lament that she was a 19 year old trapped inside of an old lady's body.

"Grandma would often lament that she was a 19 year old girl trapped inside of an old lady's body." 
THAT is indeed a statement that I can relate to on a daily basis.


  • So I juggle frequent conflicting thoughts and feelings about:
  • Keep perspective, you are not a teenager anymore.
  • Listen to the messages that your body is trying to tell you about how it is doing.
  • Be kind to yourself, keep perspective, and focus on the positive.
  • Things can always be worse!!
  • Hopefully time does heal all ills and injuries
  • We are human and not infallible (that's why there's erasers on the end of pencils).


Comments? Thoughts?

Drop me a line if you have ideas for future topics. MariaLouise@SmileyWoman.com

Friday, September 27, 2013

Conscious Thinking

Conscious Thinking

It takes a bit of energy and focus, but conscious thinking can have a profound effect on your life and those around you. Deliberately being conscious of your mental and physical states throughout your day helps us break out from auto pilot. 

I have two specific things that I do for my mind and body to help positively program myself.
1.    1) randomly dance or do exercises anytime/anywhere if I feel the need to mentally or physically get in touch. Simple ballet exercises in my kitchen using a counter as a barre or dropping down to the floor and doing push ups or burpees. 2) For the mind I often take breaks by practicing ‘pause moments’ or deliberately doing and/or thinking things that help program me to be grateful.

Interestingly, while reading various news feeds on line today I came across an article on Huffington Post that listed several things one can do to increase their potential to be happy. You can read the whole article ’12 Things Happy People Do Differently’ at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jacob-sokol-/things-happy-people-do_b_3869793.html  Of course, a lot of these are common sense and many of us already practice them frequently, but it is always good to be reminded.

My Commentary on the List of 12 Things to be a Happier Person:
1.      Express gratitude. – making a conscious effort to acknowledge everything you have good in your life by either telling those people or making a list is a step in the positive direction.
2.      Cultivate optimism. – The power of positive thinking is what comes to mind when I read this phrase, but a step further by taking action steps to actually cultivate the positive.
3.      Avoid over-thinking and social comparison. – I’m guilty of this on so many levels. I’m an over-thinker for sure. What’s the hardest for me to kick is comparing my 50+ year old athletic self to my younger athletic self. I NEED to give myself a break, be kinder to myself, and allow myself to be the healthiest ME at this point in my life. Be your best self and don’t strive for perfection. We are human and attaining perfection is unrealistic and unhealthy.
4.      Practice acts of kindness. – doing things for others without any thought of what’s in it for you has a beneficial effect. Doing things for others really does make us feel better about ourselves because we feel fulfilled and useful helping others. Do some volunteer work, help a friend, neighbor or family member and see for yourself.
5.      Nurture social relationships. – ALL relationships need nurturing, including marriages. Don’t take any relationship for granted. It’s important to put time and attention into your various relationships so they continue to grow and flourish.
6.      Develop strategies for coping. – We are not in control of many things in life. Life is full of change and unpredictability. Although there are many things we are not in control of in our daily lives, we ARE IN CONTROL of how WE REACT to those difficult events. My mom used to say that experiences in life are all ‘character building.’ The important thing is to develop healthy coping mechanisms. So count to ten, think before you speak/react, and practice healthy stress reducing exercises to blow off steam. Physical exercise does wonders to make one feel mentally and physically better.
7.      Learn to forgive. – is a tough one. As a survivor of child abuse, it’s tough for me to easily forgive someone who does me wrong, and my natural inclination isn’t to give second chances. However, I’ve learned that to heal and be a healthy person, I need to find ways to work through the wrong done to me and come to peace with it on my own, and let go. I find it to be amazingly uplifting mentally which also reduces my physical stress because I’m not ‘carrying baggage.’
8.      Increase flow experiences. – This one can be hard to explain. I and others I know who are ADD have a tendency to actually hyper focus on a task to the detriment of other things. So temperance is key. The definition of “flow” is - a state in which it feels like time is standing still. One is so focused on what they are doing that they become “one with the task.” You're not hungry, sleepy, or emotional - you're just completely engaged in the activity that you're doing. NOTE:  many adults have super busy lives and having freedom to experience these engrossing escapism moments can be challenging.
9.      Savor life's joys. – I call this “Practicing Pause Moments.” Have you heard the expression, “stop and smell the roses?”  We have to slow down and savor the moments while they are happening. This is a prime example of practicing conscious thinking.
10.  Commit to your goals. – Making a conscious effort to fully commit to accomplishing a goal that you set, telling yourself there is no turning back or changing your mind. Fully committing to a goal provides a sense of purpose which in itself makes us happier. It’s a form of exercising control in your life.
11.  Practice spirituality. – Yes I know not everyone is spiritual. Some equate spirituality with religion, but one can be spiritual and not religious. Practice whichever one that fits you best. The concept is to realize that we are a very small dot in life and in the world. A good example for me is connecting to nature (air, water, trees, animals, plants etc.) Finding a connection may help you figure out what you are called to do in this life.
12.  Take care of your body. – Have you ever heard the expression “The body is a temple?” There is a strong mind body connection that has been proven in science and medicine. Being the healthiest, most fit person you are capable of becoming will put you in a good position to have mental staying power which will keep your mind and emotions elevated towards feeling good, positive, and happy. Exercise has been found to provide an increase in ‘happiness levels’ equal to that of taking an anti-depressant.**


Recipe: Sautéd Cabbage

Sautéd Cabbage

I've scoured the internet looking for cooked cabbage recipes to get hubby to eat more veggies.

Below is a variation of a recipe I found.

Put the following in a large, shallow sauté pan** to warm up -

  • 2 tblsp butter
  • 3 tblsp olive oil
  • Dash of pepper
  • Small diced onion
  • 1 tblsp of minced garlic
  • Dash of onion powder
  • Dash of garlic powder


**My absolute FAVORITE pan for cooking many of my meals is my Circulon  sauté pan**



  • Add three cups of organic broth to the warmed up butter/oil mix.(I use vegetarian, you can use chicken if preferred).
  • Add one large head of finely cut up cabbage.
  • Sauté covered, tossing with two cooking forks about every 5 minutes for 15-20 minutes.
  • Then sauté an additional 5 – 10 minutes uncovered.
The dish is done when all the cabbage is nearly translucent.

Yummiest Black Beans EVER!!

Black Beans



  • Soak 16 oz of black beans for 8-10 hours
  • Add soaked black beans in pan with 3 cups of cool water and bring to a boil.
  • After bringing to a boil, reduce to simmer for 30 minutes (stirring frequently).
  • Add 1 medium red onion, cut fine and simmer for 30 additional minutes (stirring frequently).
  • Add 3 garlic cloves, ½ tsp of oregano and ½ tsp of cumin, simmer uncovered for 30m more.
  • Add 21 tblsp of raw sugar and 2 tblsp of white wine vinegar to final dish, then serve.

Vegetarian Crock Pot Recipe: Tomato Onion Pepper

Vegetarian Crock Pot Recipe: Tomato Onion Pepper


INGREDIENTS
  • 3 extra large tomatoes (without peels, cut small)
  • 2 tablespoons organic butter
  • 1 medium red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup celery (thinly sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons organic raw sugar
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup ground oats (optional)
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Serving ideas
  • Eat as side or main dish.
  • Eat alone or add to black beans (see Recipe page)
-Add all ingredients to crock pot (EXCEPT GROUND OATS...they come later and are optional).
-Set temperature on low and stir well for several minutes until well mixed and butter is melted.
-Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
-Serve 

OR 

OPTIONALLY, add 1/2 cup of ground oats and cook on low for an additional 30-40 minutes.
Tip:  Grind steel cut oats or groats to make your own oat flour and store for use as a healthy thickener.**

**Corn starch is NOT healthy. Unfortunately, a large portion of corn in the US is genetically modified. Cornstarch is made from cornflour which is full of calories, but contains no fiber, protein or any other nutrient. It's empty calories like many additives  such as refined sugar.

I also mix it up by combining the dish above with my YUMMY black beans (see Recipe page on my blog). 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Blog Re-Design


Time for a Change


I found it too hard to find old posts and don't find the 'Archive' particularly helpful for searching specific content. I re-vamped the blog and have included 'Pages' on the right --------------------look over here!

The pages are categories of topics that I typically write about or interest me.

Embracing Ones Inner Child
Recipes
Over 50 Fitness
Nutrition
Writer/Editor
Ballet/Model
Food for Thought
Emotional Health
Photography Graphic Design
Inspirational Quote Pictures

I welcome ideas for additions and changes, so drop me a line MariaLouise@SmileyWoman.com

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Organic Ginger Carrot Lentil Stew (8 hour slow cook crock pot) gluten free

Organic Ginger Carrot Lentil Stew

Gluten Free 8 hour slow cook crock pot


NOTE:  I use only organic and non-GMO products in my recipes.


Place the following in crock pot to simmer on high for about 15 minutes:
-4 cups of organic broth (chicken or vegetable)
-½ tsp of ground turmeric
-½ tsp of ground ginger
-½ tsp of onion powder
-½ tsp of garlic powder
-Pepper to taste (I sprinkle across the top and stir)

ADD the following and simmer on low for 4 hours:
-2 cups of pre-soaked organic red lentils
-4 cups of shredded carrots**

ADD 16 oz bag of organic veggies of your choice and simmer on low for an additional 3-4 hours:
-2 cups of pre-soaked organic red lentils+
-4 cups of shredded carrots**


**This batch was actually all of the carrot fiber left over from that morning’s juicing. It is the equivalent of shredded carrots with the moisture removed. The vegetables for this batch was an organic “Santa Fe” blend which consisted of red beans, carrots, broccoli, and green beans.

+organic red lentils are soaked overnight.

Side note:  I have a gluten sensitivity, not an allergy and I am a MAJOR raw foodie/green smoothie addict. A hearty stew like this is a nice way to satisfy my craving for starches since I do not consume pasta or rice.

TRIVIA:  Did you know that corn starch is BAD? Yes, it's a genetically modified food which has been shown to cause health problems. The healthy alternative to thicken stews, soups, and sauces is to add ground oatmeal.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Nutritious Life Style - Vegetarian Smoothies and More

Nutritious Life Style - Vegetarian Smoothies and More

I AIM for 1,800 healthy calories a day (I tend to forget to eat and was barely getting half that for a while).

WEIGHT LOSS: If this is your quest, do not skip a meal, drink 64-90 oz of water daily, eat the right amount of healthy calories for your activity level, and try to eat organic-whole-raw veggies (8) and fruits (3). If you do not keep your stomach happy, it will go into starvation mode and hold the fat/weight. There are calculators online that help you calculate your daily caloric requirement. Whatever your requirement, in order to loss one pound a week you need to reduce that recommended total by 500 (500 calorie reduction per day, x 7 days = 3,500 calories less per week...the healthy way to lose 1 pound per week and keep it off. Healthy fats are good for you to a degree, but when you are trying to burn existing fat from your body, consuming healthy fat should be minimal. For instance, I LOVE nuts and rarely eat animal protein AND I'm gluten free SO...I'm advised to only eat 1 oz of nuts per day. :(


I DO NOT EAT PROCESSED PACKAGED FOODS - NO SUGAR - NO SALT
Diabetes and high blood pressure run in my family so I'm rabid about my sugar and salt intake. I do not add any additional sugar or salt to my foods. Obviously, some things I consume do have salt in them. For flavor in my crock pot veggie dishes I use pepper, onion (powder), garlic (powder).

Overall diet :
50% veggies  = 900 calories
30% fruits         =500 calories
10% protein =200 calories
10% grains =200 calories (I'm gluten free due to mild sensitivity - groats or steel cut oats)

ALKALINE VS. ACIDIC
I eat mostly alkaline based foods because my system is naturally too acidic (better for my bladder too).  Adequate water is crucial for health, weight loss, and to keep acidity levels lower for a healthy bladder). My nutritionist recommended that I consume at least 80 ounces of healthy liquids daily. My Summer drink choices are either severely diluted lemon grass iced tea (one tea bag of strong tea mixed with 48 ounces of plain filtered water) or just plain filtered water, room temperature. Room temperature or warm liquids aid digestion of food.

VEGGIES - think green and organic!
Grass (alfalfa, dog, kamut, wheat, barley, oat, etc.)
Celery
Chive or onion
cucumber
romaine lettuce (dark leaves)

FRUIT - think lower in acid and lower in sugar and organic!
watermelon
apricot
banana (ripe)
Berries: black currant, blueberry, goose
mango
papaya
plum


Green smoothies are very nutritious on their own and often considered a meal replacement. Also, you don't need to take a daily vitamin supplement (except D and B12). If you add a protein powder you want a plant based soy free and gluten free powder...I use VegaOne which has fiber, omega, probiotics, antioxidants, and greens.

ASIDE:  I also have two other protein sources that are considered Super Foods (Spirulina powder and wheat grass), but haven't tried them in a blender mix yet...in a hand shaker they taste awful to me.

IMPORTANT: use organic fruits and veggies only, if possible. If not possible, wash well and peel.
IF you use ORGANICS, rinse and keep skins on for apple, banana, apricot, lemons, limes, oranges, peaches, pears, and plums.

SEEDS: the general consensus is not to eat the seeds or pits from your fruits EXCEPT cantaloupe, kiwi, and watermelon.**

SERVING SIZE: One cup or whole piece of fruit or veggie equals one serving.
RECOMMENDED TO AVOID - dairy, sauces, condiments, animal protein, or juices.
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The following recipes are excellent, I've found at various places online. Adjust to your liking.

MORNING BREAKFAST GREEN SMOOTHIE (add one cup of dried rolled oats for add'l 300 calories)
– 1 cup ice cold water
– 3 or 4 cups of leafy greens (spinach, kale, dandelion greens, romaine)
– 2 stalks celery
– 4 veggies:  2 small cucumbers or 1 carrot and two small vine tomatoes
– 1 inch ginger
– 1 apple or pear
– 1 cup of fresh fruit (two different types?)
– 1 tablespoon flax seeds

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LOWER SUGAR GREEN SMOOTHIE (343 calories)

Lana’s Green Smoothie
Handful of spinach
3 slices of cucumber
1/2 stalk of celery
1 teaspoon of organic cinnamon
2 frozen strawberries
1 tablespoon of flax seed
1/2 cup of blueberries(frozen or fresh)
3 tablespoon of organic rolled oats
1 tablespoon of raw cacao
6 ounces of unsweetened almond milk

Fat: 12g Protein: 13g Carbs: 45g Sugar: 10g Calcium: 13% Iron: 4.8mg Vit A: 21% Vit C: 41%

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JOANN'S GREEN SMOOTHIE (275 calories)

2 cups spinach
1/2 cup strawberries, with tops still on
1/2 cup blueberries
1 scoop of sugar free chocolate protein powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1/4 cup soaked chia seed (it will be thick and gelatinous) [about 2 tablespoons dry seeds]
A small handful of raw pumpkin seed or walnuts [nutrition information below is for 2 tablespoons walnuts]
Fat: 13g Protein: 18g Carbs: 27g Sugar: 13g Calcium: 11% Iron: 3.2mg Vit A: 41% Vit C: 89%
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SUZANNA'S GREEN SMOOTHIE (345 calories)

2 ounces of spinach
2 ounces of kale
1 ounce of hemp seeds
136 grams of banana (1 large)
1.5-2 cups of water

Fat: 15g Protein: 14g Carbs: 41g Sugar: 17g Calcium: 14% Iron: 4.1mg | Vit A: 79% | Vit C: 128%

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CHRIS' GREEN SMOOTHIE (282 calories)
8oz unsweetened almond milk
2-3 cups spinach (or any green. I use Kale and arugula too) (recipe is for 2 cups spinach)
1 medium banana, peeled
1/2 small avocado
Fat: 13g Protein: 6g Carbs: 36g Sugar: 15g Calcium: 6% Iron: 2.4mg Vit A: 41% Vit C: 47%

I blend the milk and greens first. add the banana the avocado last as it thickens the smoothie.
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DIABETIC FRIENDLY GREEN ICE CREAMS (286 calories)

Chocolate Ice Cream
(makes two servings)
1 cup coconut milk
3 tablespoons cacao powder
half avocado
about 2 cups ice depending on your ice
Blend on medium speed in a high-speed blender or food processor
Fat: 22g | Protein: 7g | Carbs: 21g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 11% | Iron: 3.1mg | Vit A: 22% | Vit C: 13% |
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SPINACH ICE CREAM (72 calories)

(makes two servings)
1 cup almond milk
2 cups spinach
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups ice
Blend on medium speed in a high-speed blender or food processor
Fat: 4g | Protein: 3g | Carbs: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 43% | Iron: 2.4mg | Vit A: 62% | Vit C: 22%
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LEMON / LIME DETOX SMOOTHIE (316 calories)

Lemons, limes and other citrus fruits rank highly for their detoxing properties. They are among the most water rich fruits which help flush toxins out of your body. The fiber in lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit “scrubs” your intestines and helps moves toxins out. This smoothie combines the sour flavor of lemon-lime with the sweetness of banana and orange for a delicious blend. Added to the mix are dandelion greens, believed to be one of the top cleansing greens you can eat. If you don’t have access to dandelion greens, simply use a different leafy green such as kale, chard, collards or even spinach.
Since this is a detox smoothie recipe, I recommend that you use only organic ingredients since conventional produce may have pesticide residues.

1/2 medium lemon, peeled and deseeded
1/2 medium lime, peeled and deseeded
2 medium bananas, peeled
juice from 1 large orange
1-2 cups chopped dandelion greens, kale or spinach (optional)*
Start by adding the liquid to your blender (I use a Vitamix), followed by the soft fruit. Add the greens to your blender last. Blend on high for 30 seconds or until the smoothie is creamy.

Nutrition Information
Fat: 2g Protein: 6.7g Carbs: 79g Calcium: 25% Iron: 4.6mg Vit A: 384% Vit C: 141%
rich source of B vitamins, vitamin K and E as well as copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and potassium.

Serving Size: One. (This recipe makes a large, 32-ounce smoothie. It is a meal-replacement smoothie and not a snack. I recommend drinking half right away and the other half about 30 minutes later. If it is too much for you, store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.)
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ORANGE CARROT SMOOTHIE RECIPE WITH GINGER (200 calories)
2 oranges, peeled
2 large, organic carrots, chopped
½ to 1 inch ginger to taste
1-2 splashes of water
Ice to chill if desired
Squeeze one of the oranges into your blender to provide enough juice to help it blend. Then add the rest of the orange pulp and the second orange, both carrots and the ginger to your blender, (I use a Vitamix). Add a splash or two of water to help it blend and thin out the consistency. You’ll need to add more water if you include the orange pith like I do and less water if you don’t. We like to leave the pith on as it’s loaded with fiber.
Once you have all your ingredients in the blender, you know what to do – blend on high until smooth!
Nutrition Information

Fat: 0g Protein: 3g Carbs: 48g Calcium: 17% Iron: 4% Vit A: 1061% Vit C: 232%
rich source of folate, vitamin B1 – B6, vitamin k, copper and potassium.

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SUPER GREEN SMOOTHIE (meal replacement, 740 calories)

This is a VERY large smoothie and it might not be for everyone. It’s loaded with nutrition and has enough calories to keep you going between meals, especially if you have to go several hours in between meals. It provides an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, Omega-3s, protein and antioxidants. You can use Romaine lettuce or even fresh baby spinach instead of green leaf lettuce. Kale is a good replacement for dandelion greens if they are not available. I sometimes make this smoothie with one cup of fresh or frozen blueberries instead of strawberries.
If you are going to add a protein powder, I would recommend Epic Protein from Sprout Living because it is a raw, all natural, vegan protein powder. It is very light and doesn’t leave a chalky flavor.
Makes about 32 ounces or so.
Super Green Meal Replacement Smoothie Recipe
3 bananas, peeled
1 large mango, peeled and pitted
8 large strawberries
3 cups of chopped dandelion greens
1 head of green leaf lettuce
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1 scoop of raw protein powder (optional)
8 of ounces filtered water
Start with liquid in blender, followed by soft fruit. Add greens blender last. Blend on high for 30 secs or until creamy.

Fat: 8g Protein: 17g Carbs: 157g Calcium: 53% Iron: 122% Vitamin A: 1508% Vit C: 328% Omega-3: 181%
A rich source of B vitamins (except B12), as well as vitamin K. It’s also rich in minerals such as copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

Recipe makes large, 32-oz meal-replacement smoothie, not a snack. Drink 1/2 right away, 1/2 mins 30 later or within 24 hrs
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SHARON'S GREEN SMOOTHIE (adapted from "The Beauty Detox")

6 cups baby spinach (I do a whole bag)
5 cups (or 1 1/2 bunches) romaine
2 stalks celery
1 pear, cored and sliced
1 apple, cored and sliced
2 very ripe bananas
Juice of half a lemon
1 1/2 cups water
A few ice cubes (optional)

Combine the spinach, water, and ice and blend until smooth. Blend in the romaine and celery next, then the pear and apple together, then the lemon juice and bananas. Make sure it's blended really well!  I drink them every morning.
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ORIGINAL Beauty Detox Recipe (88 calories)
2 cups water 1/2 head spinach 1 head romaine juice of 1/2 lemon 3 or 4 sticks celery
1 banana 1 pear 1 apple
* Spinach & Romaine with water    *celery, apple, pear    *lemon juice & banana    *16-24 oz per serving

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Re-thinking Words: Gender Sensitivity

Re-thinking Words:  Gender Sensitivity

No man? No woman? You BE the person!


Hubby and I were having a conversation that turned silly. He was describing those round black things in the ground in the middle of the road.

I said, "oh, you mean a manhole cover?"
He said, "no, that's a person-hole cover to be politically correct"
Well you can imagine the hilarity that ensued from that point forward.
We then proceeded to make a list of all the words, phrases, names, and expressions that we could think of that contained either the word "man" or "woman" and replace it with the word "person."

OF COURSE, this exercise is very SILLY and is only meant to have fun and engage with our "inner child."

Original                                     Replacement
No man is an island                  No person is an island
No man's land                           No person's land
Manned spaceship                   Person-ned spaceship
Who's the MAN!                       Who's the PERSON!
You BE the MAN!                     You BE the PERSON!!
(wo)mankind                             Personkind (of course)
man-of-war                                Person-of-war
a woman's wiles                        a person's wiles
I am woman, here me ROAR     I am person, here my ROAR
(wo)manhood                            personhood (what else could it be?)
It's a man's world                        It's a person's world

Superman                                  SuperPERSON (tee, hee, hee)
Wonder Woman                         Wonder PERSON (ROFL!!!)
CatWoman                                 CatPERSON (oh dear...)
Batman                                      BatPERSON (now we're REALLY getting silly)

alderman, assemblyman, backwoodsman, bellman, business(wo)man etc.

Of course, the MOST HILARIOUS one to us was


               Boogeyman                          


HA, HA!!!!! would become                              BoogeyPERSON (would NOT be afraid of him)

Last, but not least is for those Star Trek fans!!
To boldly go, where no person has gone before!!! :)

Can you think of any words or phrases that we missed?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Vegan Raw Cookie Recipe - Molasses

Vegan Raw Cookie Recipe - Molasses


I've been knee deep in creating a detailed blog post on "My Nutritious Life Style" and put it aside to take a moment and share a raw cookie recipe with you.

In a medium size mixing bowl, add all the ingredients:

-2 cups of finely ground flour (I used 1/2 cup of coconut flour, 1 cup ground groats )
-1 cup of raisins
-1 teaspoon of vanilla
-2 tsp of cinnamon powder
-3 tbl of unsulphured molasses (I used black strap)
-3 tbl of coconut oil

Refrigerate for approximately one hour, take from refrigerator and roll "dough" into small balls. 
Put balls onto wax paper and press flat with the bottom of a jar or glass.
Refrigerate cookies overnight.

Next day, enjoy.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Do you Believe in Ghosts, ESP, or the Paranormal?

 

As a child I had a number of 'invisible' experiences that were bewildering to me. The experiences were varied in that I either felt a presence in a physical space to which I had entered, or a preminition of some future event. My recollections of these experiences are with mixed feelings because I was often faced with ridicule from my family whenever I would vocalize one of the events. I learned to not talk about them with anyone, and prayed that these things would stop presenting themselves to me. As I progressed through my teen years, the experiences lessened and I was grateful. It was not until the death of my maternal Great Aunt, Iva, did I dare to speak again of such things. I did not know my Great Aunt Iva all that well. I saw her a couple of times a year at family gatherings and recall her as an old, small, quiet woman who smoked. Aunt Iva was quite frail and suffering ill health when we received the call late one night. My mother and I were watching a movie together when the telephone rang. I immediately knew that something had happened to Aunt Iva and told my mother so, as she reached for the phone. Once again that sense of knowing was there, and I was doubly sad for its return and the passing of my Great Aunt. As the family continued to grieve the loss of our Great Aunt, I broached the topic of premonitions with my Great Uncle, Scott. He began to tell me of his own experiences with precognition. Interestingly, he and I are/were the only left handed people among several hundred right handed relatives.

Precognition
As I mentioned above, when the phone rang I instantly KNEW what the call was about. I had a quiet "feeling" about my Aunt all day, but did not voice it until the call. My other experiences of premonitions or precognition were much more traumatic. I was powerless to prevent any of the events that I sensed from occurring  so what was the point it having such visions? I fervently prayed for these premonitions to cease, and they eventually stopped before my 20th birthday. As an after thought from a childhood of visions, I've made it a life long practice to be aware of my surroundings and "listen" to my gut.

Paranormal Activity
I have never seen a ghost, but I have definitely experienced a number of "ghosts" or "a presence." My earliest recognition of a "presence" was a feeling that I would experience often upon entering a house for the first time. The experience of that presence was like a quiet whisper or a butterfly fluttering close by. I do not recall experiencing malevolent spirits per se, but I do recall a mischievous civil war era ghost whom I named "George" and negative karma in a house that I once occupied. Many years ago, my husband and I lived in a house at the top of a hill in Northern Virginia. The house is situated on the top of a hill, 365 feet above the historically protected byway known as Georgetown Pike. The house was the third to occupy the land. The original farm house burned down, followed by another house that burned down, until the current structure which was built in the late 1970's. The house is the traditional Virginian brick colonial architecture found so prevalent throughout the Commonwealth. My husband lived in the house for years before I came to occupy it. The following is a retelling of some of the paranormal experiences I had living there. The first time I entered the house on Georgetown Pike, I did not feel that the house was a bright and cheery place. I have a strong belief that events that occur within four walls often leave behind traces of those events. For me the easiest explanation is that houses often have karma, good or bad. This house's karma wasn't evil, but there was definitely something not quite "normal." The house belonged to my second husband and he raised his five children there. I was the second wife who would later come to rid the house of it's negative residue. Besides the house karma, I was to also encounter another surprise related to the house, a ghost -- whom we named "George." My husband's children regaled me with stories of explainable noises and objects moving of their own volition. I just assumed they were stories to scare me, "the step mother. " Although I never saw George, he made his presence known on a regular basis. We ran our businesses out of our basement offices and many times throughout the day I would hear cabinet doors slam, and feet stomp loudly across the rooms upstairs. Occasionally, I would lose my temper and yell, "Damn it George, knock it off!! I'm trying to get some work done down here!" One night my husband awoke to see George at the foot of the bed. He yelled at George, through a pillow at (through) him and then went back to sleep. I had a plan to get rid of George once and for all.

 In with the Positive and Out with the Negative
Often the presence of a lingering spirit is due to some unrest or unresolved issue. I believed that George's presence and the negative karma in the house were potentially related, and decided that if I started to change the house's karma, George would one day be at peace and no longer present himself. So for the next couple of years, I continued to fill the house with positive events that evoked the love and laughter of a family - and a little singing and dancing too! George's visits became quieter and more infrequent, and then one day it occurred to my husband and I that George was finally at rest.