Four Simple Steps To A Healthy Weight

Lately all my social media has been blowing up with “magic pill” sales pitches and costly ways to lose menopausal weight (or baby weight or that last 5 pounds).

“Take this pill and magically lose your middle-age belly bulge” (insert photo of hourglass, blemish free 20 year old model)

Can I just say, this is insulting ……………  I am not a teenager anymore and have enough intelligence to realize that a pill will not give me a 36-24-36 figure. (yes, I am one of those middle-aged women the diet pill companies are trying to target). It frustrates me that they’re using women’s insecurities for financial gain.

Why would I go spend $29.95 on a 30 day supply of pills to lose weight when all I have to do is change a few simple things?

Let me give you a little of my background.

When I was younger I suffered with anorexia, was hospitalized and would starve myself trying to get down to a certain weight. If there was a new diet I tried it. Low carb, no carb, grapefruit diet, South Beach diet, Paleo, and on and on.

As I grew older and more mature, I educated myself about eating healthy, staying physically fit and getting proper rest. Thankfully, as I learned how to take care of myself, I gained weight and was able to maintain good health.

Read below to find out how I have been able to keep a regular and healthy weight, without diet pills, fad diets or other costly options.

Four Simple Steps To a Healthy Weight

Eat foods in their most natural form

This means stop eating commercially processed foods like crackers, cookies, breads, candy, fast foods, prepackaged foods and condiments. They are full of non-food ingredients, preservatives, food dyes and artificial sweeteners/colors/flavors. They contain high levels of sodium, saturated fat, and high fructose corn syrup. These additives increase the flavor but destroy much of the nutritional value. Empty calories.

Eat fresh fruit. Make breakfast smoothies. Have an apple dipped in a natural peanut butter for snack. Make fruit roll-ups in a dehydrator.

Eat fresh vegetables. Add a side of steamed broccoli or cauliflower with your dinner instead of a dinner roll. Nibble on celery sticks.  Sprinkle thin sliced cucumbers with a touch of sea salt for a healthy snack.

Eat only unprocessed meat. (yep this means no more hot dogs, bacon and fatty salami). Eat chicken, beef, lamb, pork and seafood. Grill it, bake it, broil it, steam it, or use a slow-cooker.

Consume more whole grains. Instead of bleached white rice, have wild or brown rice. Use whole grain oats, amaranth or quinoa to make a honey granola or a hot cereal for breakfast.

Snack on raw nuts. They’re delicious!! Soak them overnight and blend them into a smoothie. Add raw nuts to breakfast cereal.

Season food with sea salt, pepper and fresh or dried herbs.

Eat all your foods in their most natural form. They will be easier to digest, way more nutrition, and much more pleasing on the eye. Look at those delicious colors!!

IMG_0165 IMG_1439

Drink plenty of liquids

Without enough liquid, our body cannot work to it’s fullest potential. Digestion doesn’t work properly, we get headaches and our body stays full of toxins. If we drink the recommended 8 ounces of liquid  day, our body can easily flush out all the junk and run more smoothly.

If you have difficulty drinking plain water here are a few tricks that helped me.

Make a couple cups of your favorite decaffeinated tea (I like peppermint or vanilla). Add it to a jug of fresh water and ice cubes. Put in the refrigerator and try to drink the whole pitcher in a day.

Slice fresh fruit and add to a pitcher of water. Oranges, lemon and limes will add a refreshing twist and quench your thirst.

If you’re like me and need that bubbly sensation (like from soda), drink a chilled Perrier or mineral water (the ones without sweetener).

Keep moving

Quite often we promise ourselves “Today is the day” we will start a regular exercise routine, but then life gets busy and our best intentions of exercising diminish. Or we are unable, due to physical limitation or illness, to commit to a workout schedule.

That’s alright! Don’t get discouraged – Just keep moving 🙂

Park your car at the end of the parking lot instead of the front. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk around the block first thing in the morning and end of the day. Use half of your lunch break to walk. Walk every chance you get. Five minutes here, ten minutes there…… It all adds up.

If you are unable to walk regularly, do some sitting exercises. Ab squeezes or butt squeezes (I like to do 4 sets of 20 through out the day). Bicep curls or shoulder raises.

Love yourself

The bible says God made us in his image – Perfect in his sight. …..Short or tall, dark or light, blonde or redhead. We are all perfect, unique and beautiful.

It took me a long time to learn this, but it’s true. Imagine your child telling you he/she felt “ugly”. Heartbreaking right? God feels the same way about us. We need to look in the mirror and see our beauty, our potential, our lovely one-of-a-kind amazing-ness.

How blaaaaahhhh  our world would be if we all looked the same, a perfect world full of a bunch of perfect people. BORING!!

Our world is a rainbow of people!

When we love ourselves for the way God intended us to look, our true beauty begins to shine from the inside out. When we love ourselves, we will be more inclined to nurture and care for our bodies the way we should.

Eat healthy foods, drink plenty of liquids and keep moving, and your body will find it’s natural weight. Whatever your natural weight is, LOVE it!!

Song of Solomon 4:7   You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.

Genesis 1:31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good……

Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time………

What are some of the ways you find beauty in yourself when life gets you down?

Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please seek a doctor before making any health changes with your diet or exercise.

 

 

 

 

 

Best Garden Fresh Salsa

Every year we have an abundance of tomatoes from our garden. Big juicy red tomatoes, crisp and so full of flavor. We eat them sliced as a side, as a garnish on a grilled burger, and we always make homemade salsa. We start with a few veggies from the garden. 11089031_909130752470726_428707637_n And finish with THIS…….

Salsa1

Look at that chunky goodness! It’s amazing how just a few ingredients from the garden can become such a flavorful addition to any meal. Read below to see some delicious ways to impress your family and friends with this garden goodness. I promise, once you’ve made this recipe, you wont ever buy salsa from the grocery store again.

Best Garden Fresh Salsa

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

salsa2

Ingredients

  • 2 medium vine ripe tomatoes
  • 1  large jalapeno
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 1 packed cup cilantro
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • juice from 1 small lime

Directions

  1. Rinse all the veggies and pat dry.
  2. Chop tomatoes and onion, small to medium chunks.
  3. Deseed jalapeno and chop into pieces smaller than the tomato. This will help disperse the “hot” throughout the salsa.
  4. Mince the garlic.
  5. Chop cilantro into small pieces.
  6. Mix all the ingredients together and squeeze the lime juice into the mix (making sure not to let any seeds fall in).
  7. Add salt.
  8. Can serve immediately or let sit for an hour to let the flavors blend together.

Enjoy!!

Here are some great ideas for using this Garden Fresh Salsa.

  • Add this salsa to your tacos, nachos or quesadillas.
  • Use as a filling with some cheese and sour cream for a breakfast omelet.
  • Stir into cooked rice with some chili powder for Spanish rice.
  • Top a Sprouted Veggie Bean Burger.
  • Mix with Ranch dressing for a Salsa Ranch!!
  • Add to any of your homemade soups or my Turkey Tortilla Soup.
  • Add to the middle of a grilled cheese or veggie sandwich.
  • Mix with Velveeta for a hot cheesy salsa dip.
  • Use as a topping for a baked potato.
  • Purée and add to tomato soup for a spicy version.

If you don’t have a garden, you can still get the ingredients and make this delicious salsa for under $3.00.. Thanks for coming by. Please feel free to share this recipe.

Sprouted Veggie Bean Burger

So it’s the first week of April and the weather man says the high today is only 43F. I keep thinking that “if I were in Las Vegas or California my garden would already be sprouting out of the ground”. I realize this way of thinking is only tormenting myself, so today I have decided to make the veggie bean burgers from the sprouts I grew last week.

If you’ve never had a veggie bean burger, you’re really missing out.  Whether you’re a vegetarian or you just want to eat a burger that is super healthy, this is it!!

These burgers hold together perfectly and also freeze well.

11121811_904898249560643_1327081820_n

Sprouted Veggie Bean Burger

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup sprouted beans of your choice (this comes from sprouting 1 cup of dry beans)
  • 1 cup packed fresh spinach
  • 3/4 cup baby carrots
  • 1/4 large white onion
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour (I used Gluten free)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2  teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Olive oil

Directions

  1. After day two of sprouting, rinse the beans well. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes, Drain most the liquid (the beans should be a tiny bit moist) Let cool to room temperature.
  2. While the beans are cooling, chop spinach, carrots & onion into small pieces. I like to use my Vitamix (adding carrots first, then onion, then spinach. Pulse on level 3 until all the veggies are chopped). Pour  veggies into a bowl and add the minced garlic.
  3. Add beans to blender and pulse, scraping down the edges. Do not over pulse the beans. The beans should be blended just enough so there are little chunks for texture.
  4. Mix the blended beans with the vegetable mix.
  5. Add the egg, flour, smoked paprika, thyme and sea salt. Blend well.
  6. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray a light coating of olive oil.
  7. Measure 1/2 cup per burger, shape into a burger, and place on cookie sheet. I found the easiest way to do this is scoop with the measuring cup, plop it onto the tray and then form it. Otherwise, you will get SUPER messy! (I like to take my rings off for this part).
  8. Spray the top of each burger with a light coating of olive oil. This will create a crispy outer layer for the burger.
  9. Bake at 375F for 30 minutes. Depending on your oven, it may take a little longer. To make sure the burger is cooked all the way through, touch the center. It should feel firm with a slightly dried outer crust.
  10. Garnish with all your burger favorites.

Enjoy!!

The first step to making these delicious burgers is to sprout the beans. For step-by-step instructions and all the health benefits of sprouted beans check out this POST.

Once the beans have been sprouted, they are still crunchy so need to be boiled and then simmered until they are soft.

While the beans are cooling off, chop your onion, carrots, spinach and garlic.

Using a high power blender, pulse the beans until they are mushy and sticking together, but not so much they look like refried beans. There should still be some texture in the mix.

11132073_904898242893977_1242603868_n

Blend all the ingredients together. If mixture seems dry, add a little water so it’s moist.

11079301_904898246227310_937398421_n

Spray with olive oil and bake at 375F for 30 minutes.

Garnish with your favorite burger toppings.

I topped my burgers with the alfalfa sprouts that I grew at the same time I sprouted the beans.

11118895_904898252893976_1301415246_n

Substitutions

  • Use a can of lentils or garbanzo beans instead of the sprouted beans. Just make sure to drain all the liquid off so the burgers aren’t too runny.
  • Yellow onion, red onion or shallots in place of the white onion.
  • Zucchini works well in this burger – can replace the carrots or the spinach.
  • If you are vegan, substitute chia seeds soaked in water for the egg.
  • Garlic powder in place of the garlic cloves.
  • Regular paprika in place of the smoked. In fact, I’ve made these with Cajun spice, chili spices and even rosemary from my garden.

I hope you enjoyed this creation of mine!! Feel free to “like” this post or share it with your friends.

Thanks for stopping by.

Beat the Winter Blues Sprouting

Today I woke up feeling what my husband has dubbed a “March Meltdown”, that depressed feeling when I would normally be starting my summer garden but it’s still snowing outside. Yes folks, this is my transition in life…. Native California gal turned Canadian. I love my amazing life in Canada but my heart still craves that year-round sunshine, planting seeds and growing my own salads. It’s actually April and snow is still falling!

My morning started with a little bit of pouting followed by lot of self pity and then some complaining. As if all that negative energy would change the weather and make it warm outside!! Does anyone else out there feel my pain?

11073505_903378183045983_5047236304449712584_o

April is not supposed to look like this, but Mother Nature disagrees and all my plea’s for gardening weather have been ignored.

So here is my solution…….SPROUTING

What is sprouting?

It’s taking a handful of seeds, nuts, grains or legumes and turning them into live food. The seeds are soaked, then rinsed several times. The hull of the seed softens enough for the little sprout come out and wallaaaaaaaaaaaaah, a little sprout life is born! The great thing about sprouting is that the seeds aren’t in dirt so you get to watch life begin. And if you’re like me, growing food that’s pesticide free and super healthy brings great joy.

11092589_902172913166510_961181711_n

A mixture of broccoli, radish and alfalfa seeds

Why sprout?  (the simple, non-technical version)

For me, it’s all about watching a tiny seedling grow into nourishment for my body.  AND, its about filling that gardener’s void in my life right now. No more winter blues for me, I’m gardening Cold Climate style!!

Healthy reasons for sprouting include:

  • Sprouting increases the protein quality by reducing the starch content.
  • When the little seeds are given life, the carbohydrates within begin to synthesis. The result is a higher fiber content.
  • There is an increase in Essential Fatty Acids.
  • Sprouting provides a greater supply of Vitamins A, E, C, and B-complex, which in turn assists in digestion and the release of energy.

How to sprout seeds

There are tons of techniques, from fancy sprouting kits to a simple sprouting mason jar with cheese cloth. My preference is a low-cost tray system so rinsing can be done with ease. Amazon has them for as low as $15. I paid $22 for mine and it’s worked perfectly for 3 years now.

First, measure two tablespoons of seeds and soak them in your tray overnight. Soaking isn’t necessary but it will take longer for the seeds to sprout if you don’t.

Cover seeds with the sprouting tray lid. If you’re sprouting with a mason jar, be sure to allow air flow for the seeds or they will start to grow fuzz.

11072550_902172919833176_1834814699_n

After a night of soaking

After a night of soaking, rinse them well and cover again.

Rinse the seeds about every four hours and on the second day, little tails will have sprouted from the seeds!!!

By the end of day three, the sprouts can be eaten, but I like to give them a few more days. LOOK how many sprouts came from only two tablespoons of seeds. A one pound bag of seeds will last several months.

1891429_903368539713614_1687174902342931704_o

Day 3

11075238_904631602920641_6228759163527826025_o

Day 6

What to do with sprouted seeds

  • Garnish a juicy burger or a vegetarian sandwich.
  • Add to a garden salad
  • Add as a filling in a taco
  • Top a cracker with hummus and sprouts.
  • Add to your next green smoothie.
  • Garnish your favorite bowl of soup.

How to sprout beans

It’s basically the same technique as sprouting seeds, only shorter.

Start with a half a cup of your favorite beans.

Soak the beans over night. Rinse well in the morning and then rinse about every four hours until large enough to eat.

*A variety of beans can be sprouted: azuki, garbanzo, soy, mung and kidney to name a few.

11104286_902172963166505_1088852701_n

Blend of azuki beans, garbanzo beans, lentils, and mung beans

At the end of day two your beans will have little tails and ready for consumption.

20820_903368629713605_710579019525878185_n

End of day two

What to do with sprouted legumes

  • Sprouted garbanzo beans can be blended with tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and salt for a homemade hummus.
  • Sprouted beans and lentils can be blended with egg, bread crumbs, shredded carrots, garlic and spices for a veggie bean burger.
  • Sprouted beans can be sautéed in garlic and butter for a protein packed healthy side dish.
  • Mung beans can be grown a few days longer and used stir fry dishes.

To purchase a sprouting tray or seeds for sprouting click on the photo below. Mountain Rose Herbs has many quality organic products.

A passion for organics

*IMPORTANT: Sprouts that are not rinsed well can carry Salmonella, E. coli and other harmful bacteria. Please rinse and drain thoroughly before consumption.

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprouting