Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Life just keeps going....(without the Diet Coke)

Well folks! I've made it. Day 730 (2 years) off Diet Coke. WOW!  It had so much control over me and here I sit with much more respect for anyone that decides to quit a bad habit. 

 I am SO glad I decided to take on this goal. I feel worlds better now that I am off all artificial sweeteners. ALL OF THEM! No sugar free chewing gum, No sugar free vanilla syrup at Starbucks, No sugar free creamer in my coffee, No Sweet'n'Low, No Crystal light, No flavored tainted water, No diet yogurts, No sugar free candies, No Skinny Cow ice cream, No sugar free jell-o, No sugar free puddings, OK you get the point.  They are EVERYWHERE!

If you haven't taken the time to read my one year in review, check it out:  Diet Coke Rehab. It has many reasons to give it up!

Drinking soda is such a waste of money. It's a weekly expense you don't need. Just like someone that buys cigarettes daily or weekly. We don't need soda to survive, nor do we need cigarettes. I don't even want to begin to think about how much I saved going off of Diet Coke.  Another added perk of being of the soda is that I never go inside a gas station anymore...GROSS!

I rarely watch commercials, but when I do I can't help but look at the soda marketing differently. It's almost like a soda cult. Seriously, hear me out... You can ask ANY true soda drinker if they have a preference between Coke or Pepsi or even generic soda and they will have a clear answer.  I wouldn't even bother drinking Diet Pepsi because I was loyal to Diet Coke. They get consumers hooked on their syrup and chemicals in a can and it's hard to stop. 

I'm here to tell you that you can stop and it's in your best interest to do so.  Set a goal of 30 days and make it! And at day 29 set another 30 days.  Estimate what you spent daily or weekly on soda (or juices, energy drinks, flavored water) for your family and put it in a fund.  At the end of the year do something fun!  

I have a new appreciation for water. I actually crave it now! It does a body good, ya know? Keep on drinking it and read some reasons why you should below. Make your water "super water" by brewing pure good quality green tea and add it to your water (3-4 times a day). Check out why here: Miracle Tea

  •  75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. (This likely applies to half the world's population).
  • In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.
  • Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 3%.
  •  One glass of water shuts down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of  the dieters investigated in a Univesity of Washington study.
  • Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
  • Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
  •  A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.
  • Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%,  plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less  likely to develop bladder cancer.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Probiotics {they are all not created equal}

I don't always believe all the hype around certain supplements unless I do some research on my own. Can you imagine what happens after Dr. Oz releases his new "must have" item to consume? Everyone rushes to the store. A Whole Foods clerk even told me once that it's insane the next day because everyone comes out hoping to get a quick fix. But, my question is this...Are they consistent in taking these items? Have they gotten their life "cleaned" up first? In my opinion it's a waste to pay for and take so many supplements until you have committed to make a difference in your health.

This brings me to a supplement that has changed my life for the better. The Probiotic. I've had IBS for as long as I can remember. I have had many tests ruling out anything major going on in my colon, stomach, and bowels.  I have always suffered with constipation, upset stomach, and bloating and figured it was just the way of life for me. Man, I'm glad I came to my senses (once my head was cleaned of all the highly processed food) and gave them a try.  

I went to drugstores and looked for hours for the perfect probiotic to take. WOW! It was not easy. Many of them had so many additives and I wanted one that was dairy and gluten free!  I really wanted to scream standing there in the aisle but I refrained.  

Which one is the right one??? Which one will work for me??? I left the store defeated and emailed my friend Ivy from Clean Cuisine and More and asked her which one is the best one.  At this point I didn't care how much it cost me, I wanted to try the BEST (for at least a month). She hands down suggested Dr. Ohhira's Probiotics. She's a smart gal, as it is the world's most popular premium probiotic supplement. With that said, I went online and shopped for the best price and waited patiently for them to arrive at my doorstep.  

Once they arrived the rest is history. I will forever be taking these probiotics. They ARE worth the cost. Within days I could see a huge improvement in my IBS symptoms.  I take these twice a day and can tell a big difference if I forget.  Since then, I have started both my kids on a children's probiotics and haven't heard a single complaint of stomach discomfort sense.  They both remind me to give them their vitamins and probitoics each morning. 

Check out the link below to read more about Dr. Ohhira's supplement: www.drohhiraprobiotics.com 

or watch this video:

Here's the one my kids are taking now:

The Health Benefits of Probiotics

(source: www.globalhealingcenter.com)

The following health benefits are associated 
with the intake of daily doses of probiotics
·Enhanced immune system response
·Reduces negative affects of taking many types of antibiotics
·Aids in preventing & treating colon inflammation following surgery
·Helps to prevent eczema in youth
·Increased ability to digest food
·Therapeutic for viral respiratory tract infections by enhancing the overall immune system
·Reduces lactose intolerance
·Reduces incidence of yeast infections, vaginitis and candidiasis
·Increases ability to assimilate the nutrients from food
·Alleviates many common digestive disorders such as constipation,        diarrhea and IBS
·Acts as a remedy for bad breath (halitosis)
·Increases ability to synthesize vitamin B
·Increases ability to absorb calcium

Nothing Tastes as Good as HEALTHY feels!

SO many times on my personal facebook page things come across making jokes of "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" and similar. Just like this one:

 People thinking that no food tastes better than feeling skinny feels is probably misleading everyone. I've been skinny before. I've been skinny and unhealthy. There were many foods that gave me comfort and did taste pretty damn good. My body was so {dirty} that it really didn't phase me what this crap food was doing to my body. It tastes great, it must be ok. WRONG!

 As I reflect often on my many blessings in life, I am grateful I fully committed to the EAT CLEAN journey for myself (and my family).  As I get older I have a better appreciation for health and life and I want to be apart of my children's lives for a long time. I want to still be healthy in 10 or 20 years from now. I want to be able to do all the things I want to do with my grandchildren. I want to have no limitations. I will strive for this with all that I have in me.  I will teach my children that you can eat foods that taste great and are good for you at the same time. I am teaching my children the purpose of food.

Diets do not make you healthy. Diets will not last forever. Diets are fads. Diets usually come to an end at some point and the weight usually comes back on. Focus on getting healthy and clean and you will be shocked at the inches that fall off! 

From time to time I will try something I used to eat and be disgusted at how NASTY it tastes. How could I have eaten this all. the. time? It doesn't even taste like food.  Or I will eat out at my once favorite old restaurant and spend hours afterwards in pain, discomfort, and barely any energy to keep my eyes open from fatique.  Crap food drags us down. Period.

 I am here to tell you with 100% certainty ....

Don't believe me? Well then, PROVE ME WRONG. If you haven't gotten to your idea BMI weight and done so in a clean and healthy way, there is STILL time. Only YOU are to blame for the way you feel and only YOU are to blame for the way your children eat when they live at home.

Check out my PRINCIPLES tab at the right side of my blog for ways to get started on the {eat clean} journey. I tell people all the time that I have reversed the hands of time.  I have gained YEARS on my life and feel younger today than I did 3 years go.  

Get out there...make a difference in YOUR life. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

{clean} zucchini, tomato, and basil orzo salad

One thing I love about summertime is a cold summer salad. I have plenty of zucchinis, tomatoes, and basil in my garden so it was only a matter of time before I came up with this simple recipe.

{clean} zucchini, tomato, and basil orzo salad

  • 1 cup orzo pasta (cooked)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
  • 1 medium zucchini (coursely grated)
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil (chopped)
  • juice of a lemon
  • 2-3 garlic cloves (crushed/minced)
  • 1-2 Tbps Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1) Take EVOO and garlic and microwave for less than a minute (until you start to smell the garlic)
2) In a bowl add the EVOO mixture and everything else and stir.
3) Chill for atleast a hour to incorporate the flavors.

NOTE: You would want to double this recipe for a cookout or party. Feel free to add your favorite cheese to the dish as well!  I limit my cheese intake for things that HAVE to have cheese (and yes, in my life, there are those cases) 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

{clean} zucchini bread

I don't think I have EVER made zucchini bread.  I guess maybe because I was didn't have zucchini to use up from my garden, until now! I cleaned up a sugar loaded zucchini bread recipe and came up with this delicious {clean} recipe. 

Since I took out so much of the sugar of a traditional recipe my family can enjoy it for breakfast or snack without the guilt (or sugar crash)! My whole family loves this recipe! Score!!!...another way to get my kids to eat their vegetables. My 7 year old daughter even helped with the recipe. After the first batch she suggested I add more cinnamon and I did! We love cinnamon. It turned out fantastic!

{clean}zucchini bread


  • 3 1/4 cups whole white wheat flour (I use Bronze Chief most times) 
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar (try coconut sugar!)
  • 1/4 tsp organic stevia powder
  • 1/2 cup Barlean's Organic Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 cup {all natural} unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 eggs (organic is best)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 1/2 cups finely grated zucchini
  • 1 tsp juice of a lemon
  • 1tsp {all natural} vanilla extract
1) Combine all dry ingredients into bowl and stir.
2) Add all other ingredients and mix with hand mixer
3) Spray 2 loaf pans with olive oil and divide mixture into pans equally.
4) Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until testing comes out clean.

NOTE: When using the Barlean's Coconut Oil I heat it in the microwave for a few seconds to turn it into a liquid. Then I usually add it last to the mix, making sure it gets evenly distributed in the mixture.  

You could add more cane sugar or stevia if you want it sweeter. It all depends on what type of bread you want and how often you want to eat it.

Next up I will try this recipe with egg whites only, as I don't think my stomach tolerates yolks of eggs very well. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

{zucchini} pizza bites

It's my first year to grow zucchini in my garden. First year, success! Well, except the fact I didn't realize how MASSIVE the plant size becomes. Next year I will plant in a better location. It's time to focus on ways to use this free produce! First up....{zucchini} pizza bites.

These were BEYOND simple to make and Oh So delicious and nutritious. Give them a try for yourself.  Especially if you are wanting pizza and not the gluten that comes with most crust.

This makes a great option for Meatless Mondays!

 When the heavenly smell of pizza filled the house, my 4 year old asked to try one. Then two. Then THREE. Then, MORE MORE MORE! I didn't even wait to feed them to him for dinner because I was so shocked and supportive he was eating a vegetable!

Call the vegetable people and let them know this great news! Quick! Let's celebrate...Pizza Bites for everyone!

{zucchini} pizza bites

  • One or two zucchini (slice in 1/4inch thick circles)
  • Organic Pizza Sauce (Or you can use Mama's Pizza Sauce)
  • Freshly grated Mozzarella Cheese (I do NOT used bagged cheese, they are loaded with preservatives)
1) Set the oven to Broil (high)
2) Spray sliced zucchini rounds with Olive Oil on both sides and place on oven pan (If you have a slotted grill pan that would work even better).
3) Broil on high for 2-3 minutes on first side
4) Turn them and repeat for another 2-3 minutes
5) Remove from oven and top with sauce and cheese.
6) Put back in oven and broil an additional 2-3 minutes (keeping close eye as to not to burn the cheese)
7) Let cool for a few minutes. Enjoy!

NOTE: Chop tiny bites of any fresh veggies or olives you love and add them as well. You could add fresh mozzarella and Pecorino Romano cheese like I do for my pizza.