Monday, March 3, 2014

What's in your Medicine cabinet?

The month of February flew by and I did not keep up with my blog as well as I intended.  Thats no reason to give up, I fell down now I am getting back up!  I have been very busy subbing long term at the elementary school here on post in South Korea, coaching my CrossFit class, keeping up with clients, learning as much as I can and then the normal cooking and cleaning that must take place that I let my blogging slip out of my reach.   On top of all that people in school have been falling sick left and right, that bug tried to take a ride with me too.  I can't remember the last time I had a fever before two weeks ago.  I had to work a half day due to the shortage of people because everyone is sick, but as soon as I got off I rounded up my natural medicine cabinet.  I am not one for taking meds, they never really help me anyways except to make me sleepy.  So instead of hitting up the cold and flu section at the PX I decided to do it all natural.  I didn't really know what would come next I just knew it started with a fever and got worse from there, so I wanted to nip it in the butt before it consumed the rest of my week and possibly weekend.

I went and got some fresh made bone broth soup from a local Korean restaurant, some kimchi, coconut water, an orange and a Korean pear and headed home.  When I came home I checked my temperature again and it was still at 101.  So I got to work.  I made fresh juice with the orange and pear, I made tea with coconut water and I ate my bone broth soup and kimchi.  I then did nothing at all.  I laid down and rested while sipping on my coconut water tea and fresh juice.  My husband came home and gave me a cold compress for my forehead and I went to bed for the night.  I slept in until 11:30 am, which I never do anymore.  When I woke up fever was gone and I had no new symptoms.  Way to go natural medicine cabinet!  I went to work the next day and people where very surprised to  see me and to see that I was no longer sick.  I refused to let that bug ride for long.  I gave my body everything it needed to heal it self and it did its job, WOOHOO!  So what are your natural remedies, what helps you and your family kick the bug or stay away from it all together?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Squash! Cut, cook and enjoy!

Squashes are so great and versatile.  I have been using them for a while now.  I have many clients and friends that are new to them and ask me all the time how to cook them, how the heck to cut some of them cause they are not all easy!  So this is the reasoning behind this post.  Some people think its all supposed to come naturally, well guess what it doesn't!  Cooking takes practice, patients, trial and error.  However there is no reason why we all can't help each other out and give up our tricks of the trade right?  So these are my tricks and if you have any of your own please feel free to share below!

Acorn Squash-  this little guy is so yummy.  Probably one of the easiest to cut and prepare.  Simply use a large kitchen knife, and cut it in half.  No need to cut the top where the stem is.  Once you have cut it in half, use a spoon and scoop out the seeds.  Now if you want, you can save those seeds.  You can do that for all the squashes, this one seems to have the most in side though.  If you save the seeds, rinse them off and make sure you get ride of all the squash excess.  Pat dry with a towel and roast in the oven for a nice snack.  I usually dry roast them with a little chili powder, garlic powder salt.  Moving on to cooking the acorn squash,  rub the insides with just a little bit of oil(1 Tbsp), season if you like and place on a baking sheet inside face down in just a little bit of water, so make sure your baking sheet has a lip.  The oven should be at 350 and bake for 30-40 mins.  Some of the different seasonings I use would be: Garlic, chili powder(savory) or Cinnamon(sweet).  You can bake it then scoop it out of its skin and serve or you flip it over and place some filling such as chicken or ground turkey(already cooked) and mixed with tomato sauce and re-bake then serve in its skin.  Enjoy!


Butternut Squash- one of my favorites!  I love this one, so many things I use it for.  Same think with the acorn squash, you can keep the seeds but this one doesn't ever have very many seeds so I don't bother.  So lets get down to business,  cut in half and scoop out the seeds that are located in the base.  Same as the acorn, rub the inside with a little bit of oil.  This one will also be baked at 350 but a little longer, 40-45mins.  From there decided how you want it cooked, do you want a soft mashed side or diced cubes.  If you want it as a mashed side simply bake inside face down.  If you want a cubed roasted squash you must now peal the skin before baking.  Once pealed, dice up the squash.  I normally bake this for 30 mins with my choice of seasoning.  If I want to use this as a breakfast side I will shorten the baking process by 10mins and no seasoning, because later at breakfast time I will pull it out from the fridge and sauté in a tablespoon of coconut oil with seasoning of my choice.  Then we serve it up with some eggs, they are our substitute for potatoes since we mainly eat Paleo.  If I do this,  I do freeze half of the diced squash so it doesn't go bad and I pull it out when the other half has been all used up.

Spaghetti Squash- Oh boy, no this one is a tuff nut to crack!  The oven temp is the same, 350 and the cooking time is 40-45 mins.  The hard part is getting this one open!  Go get the biggest knife you own, dig the pointy end in to the side of it you are going to cut it in half like all the others.  Now what I do is once the knife is in deep enough I pick the entire thing up(knife and squash together) and slam it back down on the counter.  I know this sounds crazy but it is the easiest way, I've been doing it for 4 years with success every time!  Once you slam it once or twice the crack sound be working its way around, now just follow it with our knife until you get all the way around and ta-dah!   Now just like the others, scoop out the seeds(this one normally has a lot too so I roast the seeds).  Rub the inside with a little oil.  This one has a lot of different options, bake inside down for a softer constancy or inside up if you want to use as a pasta substitute.  Once the baking process is done, take out and let cool.  Once cooled, get your big fork out and fork out the insides.  From here I use it in may different ways.  I use it as a pasta substitute, a simple side dish, and you can even sauté it in a little ghee with some italian seasoning to produce a dish like butter noodles.  It has so many different uses, and I love them all.  Do you have any other dishes you like to use this one in, I am interested to hear them all.

I hope this was helpful and informative.  Now you have the knowledge, get a squash and get to it.  Enjoy! 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Detox Chili

This delicious "Chili" recipe was created while I was going through an elimination diet last year.  I love chili but during the elimination diet you have to cut out a lot of possible food allergens such as beef, night shade vegetables(tomatoes), and a few other normal chili ingredients.  Well that didn't stop me from getting my chili fix! So with out further adieu here it is...

2TBSP Coconut oil
1 Red onion(diced)
1 Green bell pepper(diced)
1 Yellow bell pepper(diced)
2 Celery stalks(diced)
4 Cloves garlic(minced)
1TBSP Red pepper flakes
4(15oz) canned black beans(rinsed and drained)
4c Vegetable broth
1 Avocado(mashed)
1c Quinoa(cooked)
*1pack Chicken(diced & cooked)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Heat up your chili pot to medium and melt your coconut oil.  After dicing all your veggies throw them in your pot and sauté. While that is cooking you can make your quinoa in a separate pot, you will add this in at the end.  Also your chicken can be cooked during the sautéing process, or you can leave out the chicken to make it a vegetarian/vegan dish.  Once your veggies have been sautéing for at least 5-10 mins you can add in your 2 cups vegetable broth and 2 cans of black beans.  The other 2 cups of broth and cans of beans you will blend together in your food processor or blender.  Once they have been blended add them to the pot along with your red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste.  Once everything is well combined(10-15 mins) go ahead and add in your cooked quinoa and mashed avocado.  The last two ingredients give the chili the thicker consistency, so you may add less or more depending on your preference.

Lose 10 lbs in two days?


          Wait what?  10lbs and two days, that is not possible or healthy.  When the new year rolls around there are so many more new diet trends and so many people setting out to try them.  It is the end of January, this is where most people (if they made it this far that is) end up quitting or getting discouraged with the new "fad diet".   This cycle of new found motivation and a new "diet" always ends in heart break and self loathing.  This is not good for ones mental, physical or emotional health.  We all struggle with motivation but the heart break and self loathing should not be in our struggles on the journey to health.  Health and happiness go hand in hand so it makes no sense for heart break and self loathing to be in that path.
          I will admit I once fell into this trap of "New Year Resolutions" and the awful after effect.  This was the norm for me year after year.  I am so glad that I have finally removed my self from this cycle.  Now my rolling in of the New Year consists of good intentions I set my self that I actually follow through with and have nothing to do with "dieting".  Also now my life style has changed and dieting is no longer something I try or fail at.  I am no longer "dieting", I have a new way of life.  My "New Year Intentions" have nothing to do with weight loss or dieting and I love it.  They now consist of things like; go budgie jumping, finish reading a book, start a new book, more me time, or starting a new crochet project/finish one.  These are the things that lead us to focus more on loving our selves and life not hatred.
          I am loving the new lease on life and finding what works for me to make me the healthiest happiest I can be.  I have new found love for all different types of whole foods and loving getting creative in the kitchen with all of them.  I did this slowly it did not happen over night of course.  We must change things little by little to create a long lasting healthy habit.  I am here to tell you , you are not alone and there are people to help you in your journey.  You can start by just following the blog or my Facebook and if you want more lets get connected and join forces to bring out your healthy happy self!  Here is to a New Year filled with self love and natural health!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Time to wake up!

The alarm goes off, and its time to start your day.  Do you hit snooze up until the last minute you can to have just enough time to get out the door on time?  Well I am here to tell you that you should wake up and be awesome!  Give your self enough time when you wake up till the time you need to leave so that you have time for "me time".  Your morning routine is so important, it can give you a jump on your day so that you are ready for anything!  My morning routine looks a little something like this:  Alarm goes off, I give love to my dogs, I take my vitamins while reading and saying my affirmation cards then I head down stairs to continue the rest.  I do my back and neck stretches, do my oil pulling, drink my greens, protein shake and my fish oil then I do some meditation.  From there I usually head out for the gym or to yoga.  Now I am ready for anything!  Where as if I just give my self enough time to throw on some clothes and run out my day is usually filled with chaos and fatigue.  Now I am not saying that everyday I have time to do this, I know everyone has crazy busy lives and things come up.  I do however make it a point to have this happen at least 4-5 times a week.  We must truly give time for us.  You give so many people your time; your job, family, friends, kids, husband/wife, pets, chores and the list goes on.  We need to slow down and make sure we are giving ourselves time as well because you must be at the top of your to do list!  If you are not well taken care of then you are no good to anyone else.  Lets see if you can find some ways to wake up and prepare your self for the day so that you are ready for anything!  Leave some comments below and tell me your morning routine for being Awesome!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Granola or Just a Bunch of nuts

2c Almonds(sliced or slivers)
3c Nuts and seeds of your choice
1/3c Coconut oil
1/3c Raw honey
2tsp vanilla
1TBSP Cinnamon
1tsp Nutmeg
1c Coconut flakes(unsweetened)

On a cookie sheet dump all your nuts and place to the side.  In a small sauce pan add your coconut oil and melt on medium heat.  Add your honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the oil and bring to a boil.  Let cool for 5 mins and pour over your nuts.  Mix it up and get everything coated, then bake at 300 for 30mins.  Take out and then dump your coconut flakes on and mix around.  Then let sit to cool. Store in a zip lock bag.  Enjoy as a snack or even as cereal with some almond milk!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Pizza, Pizza, Pizza!!

I was on the hunt for the best grain free, healthy, and yummy pizza crust out there that wouldn't fall apart on me and that tasted good.  I have tried numerous ones from many different sources, and yes I found a few that were okay but just too "different" and a little to calorie heavy.  I decided it was time to experiment with my own recipes.  What do you know it only took two tries to get one I really liked that fit all my high standards; healthy, grain free, vegan friendly, detox friendly, easy to make, lower in calories and yummy!  So with out further adieu…

Thin Crust 
1c water 
1c almond meal
*1/2c tapioca flour
1/4c flax seed meal
*1 lg egg
*1Tbsp melted coconut oil
1TBSP garlic powder
1/2tsp salt
Add any spices you like

Pre heat the oven to 450.

Combine all the above ingredients in a bowl and mix together.  The batter will be runny don't fret.  On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper pour the batter on and spread to desired size and thinness making sure it doesn't have any holes.  Bake at 450 for 20 mins.  You can take out and freeze for later or add your preferred toppings and bake again until toppings are set and ready to eat(about 15-20 mins a@350).  Enjoy!

*tapioca flour can be sub for arrowroot powder, tapioca is just less expensive.
*you can sub for 1TBSP flax seed meal in 1TBSP water, premix 5 mins before making the batter.
*you can sub for any other oil you prefer such as olive oil if you don't mind it heated.