Inspiring you to make healthy food and choices one step at a time

June 2, 2011

Healthy Blog Recipes to Try #1

There are so many good and "good for you" recipes, that it's hard to keep up with all of them.

So I decided when I came across something I'd like to make, I'd gather them up, hoping you might like to try them also.

I'm looking forward to making these!

Lentil Sloppy Joes from Loving Life
Only changes would be agave nectar or rapadurah (a less processed sugar cane) for the brown sugar

Cheesy Broccoli Stuffed Chicken Breast from Confessions of a Recovering Chocoholic
No frying, extra breading or creamy sauces, just a good hearty meal

Superfood Pancakes from 16 Balls in the Air
Wait til you see this one!

Peanut Butter Freezer Treats from Daily Bites

Grain Free Fig Bars from Mrs Ed's Research and Recipes
Always looking for more ways to eat figs!

Which ones would you like to try? 

Thank you to these blogs in hosting these recipe links:
Beauty and Bedlam

This is post is linked to:

May 30, 2011

Smoked Salmon Yogurt Dip

Would you expect to find a salmon dip recipe on a fashion blog? I didn't, but here it is.

Smoked Salmon Yogurt Dip

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
4 oz. smoked salmon (I got a BOGO)
Splash of lemon juice (very little splash)

Place in food processor and spin until the dip gets thick, pink and creamy. I ate it on Triscuits for a nice little snack. If you have time to let it sit, it just gets better, but for me, that wasn't as option. (When you gotta have, you gotta have it.)

You can also add other ingredients if you wish, but the point for this dip today was to satisfy a craving for a smoked salmon cream cheese bagel. Yes, sometimes I just want one. This had to be something quick, easy AND healthy.

Healthy Exchanges:

Exchanged cream cheese for plain Greek yogurt

Exchanged bagel for original whole grain Triscuits or my gluten free crackers

Satisfaction? Yes, in my tummy, checkbook and my "thinker", knowing I made an investment in my well being.

May 28, 2011

A Reason to Blog

Now that I've started blogging again, I really want to stay consistent and not get "blogged down" so when I read this timely article, I thought others may benefit also.

It's from Becoming Minimalist, a great blog about keeping things simple.

It made me think.

What are my reasons for blogging?

After reading his list, I decided...

I'd love to inspire others to a better life through good nutrition and other avenues of healthy choices.

Click HERE for the article.

What are your reasons for blogging?

May 25, 2011

Keeping it Simple and Keeping it Real!

Domestic Productions are abundant at our home. We have new recipes, new home projects, new exercise plans, all within the realm of our little bitty lives that we are living big in Jesus Christ and His abundant blessing.

To keep this as simple as possible, I want to post some of the productions that have been "manufactured" with my ever active hands. Some have been 15 minutes, others have been 15 days BUT I have completed all I've set my hand to do and that makes me feel good!

So I'm going to try and keep to my 15 minute goal mark to my posts and not get "blogged". (That means not getting bogged down with my blog!) I have a lot that the Lord Jesus has called me to do and I am READY to get 'er done.

Keeping it Simple and Keeping it Real!

Why is something like this a healthy venture? Because being productive, changing your environment for the better, and accomplishing a goal are key markers for a feeling of good health.

1. Have a plan. (I like written, others like mental)
2. Get started! Don't procrastinate.
3. Finish what you start.

Number one, I am great with lists and plans. Number two and three are hard for me! BUT it can be done; if I can do it, you can do it.

My first Home Project was to reupholster our dining room chairs. After many visits to JoAnn Fabrics and wrestling with the wrong size foam (another story) I finally got them done and (whew) they look fabulous. If you want to do this, watch Youtube videos and GO FOR IT!

Here's my simple and real chair project...

Obviously, my cat loves to be the center of attention...
(Just keep looking at the cat and not the chairs, please)

The fabulous fabric up close...

What's the deal with my cat in all the pictures?

My finished chairs!!

My goal and reminder to myself...It's not about perfection, it's about production.  "Redeeming the time wisely with the Lord in what He has called me to do" is the motto for today. (What He's called me to do is important. Not just what I want to do.)

That being said, my chairs look awesome and my family is being blessed by the fruit of my hands.

What home projects do you have planned this season?

This is linked to:

April 27, 2010

Got Energy?

Do you need more energy? Like our cat, do you feel like you want to take naps during the day? Do you need a caffeine fix in the morning or afternoon just to make it through the day? Do you feel like you can't exercise because of a lack of energy? Let's look at a very short list of why there could be a deficit and go over a very basic plan to increase your energy...

1. Lack of sleep
2. Poor eating plan
3. Lack of exercise

These three are the most common reasons the average person has a lack of energy. Let's briefly look at each and explore possible remedies.

1. A lack of sleep is usually remedied by getting on a regular sleep schedule, eliminating caffeine in the afternoon and evening, and increasing your energy expenditure during the day. Here are some other common and uncommon helps from

- Following the same routine every night
- Apply hot packs to the spine and have a hot footbath before going to bed.  (ooh, that sounds good!)
- Take a ripe banana and mash it. Add roasted cumin seeds to it and mix properly. Consume this mashed mix before going to sleep. (a healthy substitute for the midnight snacker)
- Increase in the consumption of vitamin B foods such as whole grains and nuts. (Which leads to our next culprit of energy...)

2. A poor eating plan can certainly deprive your body of nutrients that supply constant energy throughout the day. We need to eat properly balanced calories. What do I mean by that? We want nutrient dense food, not empty calories. Afternoon snacks are the biggest culprit. What constitutes empty calories that perhaps we think give us energy to keep us going the rest of the day but actually zap us? 

caffeinated soft drinks (diet or not)

candy bars/pastries

granola bars with sugar/corn syrup (supposed to be healthy, right?)

energy drinks such as Monster, Red Bull (look here for adverse affects)

specialty coffee drinks/black teas (I know these are delicious, but have you actually looked at the calories and sugar levels these contain? (Look at carbs with zero fiber) Look up your favorite drink here)

regular coffee? Adrenal fatigue can be caused by too much caffeine.

little 5 hour bottles of caffeine (must we go there?)

chips, pretzels, chocolate, vending machine goodies

All of these are empty calories that will give you a short term boost that leave you holding the bag on energy for the rest of the day.

What snacks are good for afternoon?

Veggies or Fruit with a protein to balance blood sugar levels

Carrots, celery sticks, and apples along with nuts (almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, or peanut butter or almond butter) The fruit helps alleviate the sweet tooth some of us get in the PM and the crunch psychologically wakes us up.

Good energy bars (fruit-sweetened)

Yogurt Smoothie (with protein or veggie powder balancing sugar levels)

Hummus and organic chips (Archer Farms organic corn chip, Garden of Eatin)

Trail Mix (basically dried fruits and nuts, or combo of nuts, no fruit) (no MM's please)

Veggies with yogurt dip

These are just to name a few. Experiment to see what you like best. Actually, sometimes it's a matter of what you can tolerate best in the beginning of your healthy eating plan. We can be honest, right? It's hard to compare a Dark Cherry Mocha Coffee Latte with a celery stick, apple and almonds... I completely understand. But remember, it's all a matter of habit and what you get used to. Examine and Exchange those unhealthy empty calories that take your money and leave you with nothing, lack of energy most of all, feeling bad and guilty the rest of the day. Fight Back! You're worth it!

3. Lack of exercise is our third reason the average person has no energy. You're probably saying, "What do you mean? I have no energy...How am I supposed to exercise if I don't have energy to begin with??"  It's a vicious cycle, isn't it?  That's exactly what I'm saying...Begin to exercise and you will get more energy. At this point, it's mind over matter.

-Choose a time when you can consistently exercise. Morning, Afternoon, or Evening? Whatever time you choose, guard it. You don't really want to exercise late evening because that could interfere with your sleep. But if you work outside the home, exercise when you get home then fix a quick healthy dinner by using a crockpot, 15-30 minute meals, or leftovers. Planning is Key both in exercise and cooking healthy.

-Choose your exercise. You can walk, swim or go to a gym but I am on a kick right now of Jillian Michael's exercise DVDs. Why? Because (1) they are effective (2) anyone can do them (remember Biggest Loser Winner?) and (3) she motivates many people in a no-nonsense, "just do it" approach without making you feel like you can't. I would recommend these for anyone. Are they easy? NO WAY! But can you work up to it? MOST CERTAINLY! She combines weights (hand weights), with cardio, and stomach exercises (abs). The 30 Day Shred DVD is inexpensive, so are the weights. No excuse, right? Wait, there's only takes 20 minutes. Yep, that's it. Am I getting any compensation for this. NO, I just want to help those who need it.

We live in busy times but you choose what you want to do with the time you have. If you eat the foods close to the original way God made them (not processed) and give your body the exercise and sleep it needs... You will live a happier, more productive and satisfying life. Is that all there is? No, obviously not, but that's a good start over what you can control.

I saw this on today and thought it appropriate.

“Successful people aren’t born that way.  They become successful by establishing the habit of doing things unsuccessful people don’t like to do.  The successful people don’t always like these things themselves; they just get on and do them.”  - author unknown

I think that sums it up...What changes will you make today?

This is linked to:
Tasty Tuesdays
Tempt My Tummy
Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays

April 20, 2010

BBQ Shredded Chicken with Coleslaw on Sweet Potato Rolls

No nutrition facts this time I just want to bask in this recipe that was a wonderful Sunday meal, or two or three, for us.

BBQ Shredded Chicken with Coleslaw on Sweet Potato Rolls

This actually is a meal that takes little preparation if you don't make your own rolls, 15 minutes would do it, but the combination of the bbq, coleslaw, and sweet potato sounded too good to pass up.

BBQ Crockpot Chicken 
(This is so simple you don't need a recipe but here's what I did.)

3 whole (6 halves) chicken breasts boneless and skinless
BBQ sauce (I used Xagave recipe here)
Teriyaki sauce (Xagave recipe to come)
Cook on high for 3-4 hours. Shred. Keep warm in juices.

Creamy Coleslaw 
(inspired by Bobby Flay's Creamy Coleslaw)

1 head cabbage (used thickest slicer on food processor blade)
2 large carrots (shredded)
3/4 c. mayonaise
1-2 tbsp. grated onion
2 tbsp. sugar or agave nectar
2 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tbsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. salt 
freshly ground pepper

Combine dressing then mix thoroughly with cabbage and carrot.
Set aside.


Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Rolls
(inspired by Floyd at

Combine to make a paste:
1 sweet potato, baked 
1 c. milk (I used 1/2 c. water and 1/2 c. yogurt)
1/2 c. white or brown sugar 
(I used Rapadurah -evaporated cane juice)

3-4 c. whole wheat flour (or use 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat)
2 tsp. instant yeast (next time I'd use 3 tsp. with whole wheat)
1-1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

Mix in 2 cups of the flour with other dry ingredients. Add to sweet potato mixture until thoroughly combined. Add 1/4 c. flour at a time until dough is tacky but workable. Knead by hand or machine 5-10 minutes.

Set dough to rise in covered bowl for 1 to 1-1/2 hours with 3 stretch and folds until doubled in size. (Click here for info on stretch and folds)

Divide in a dozen or so pieces, shape in rolls, and allow to rise until doubled, another hour or so. (Mine didn't quite double)

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes (25 for me) until they begin to brown.

Slice open rolls.
Coat with BBQ sauce.
Pile with Shredded BBQ Chicken.
Pile with Creamy Coleslaw.
Top with bun. 

Devour...or politely stuff in mouth so you get the taste of bun, bbq and coleslaw all in one. :)

The amazing thing is that I didn't think this was going to turn out at all. The chicken breasts were dry in the beginning but as it sat in the juices it turned more like shredded pork. (My family thought it was pork!) 

The buns took way longer than the directions said because I used whole wheat flour. I wrote the times in the above directions. 

But patience paid off...

The next two meals with the leftovers were just as delicious. When we ran out of rolls we used toasted whole wheat bread (double fiber 6g per slice) and it was good also.

If you happen to be pressed for time, use whole wheat bread and bottled bbq sauce. Do what you can! Everyone will still enjoy it!

What is your favorite delicious healthy meal?

For more great recipes:
Crockpot Wednesday
Foodie Friday
Friday Food

April 19, 2010

Gluten Free Wheat Thin Crackers

Since we've just covered Grains in our Basics Series I thought I'd take a moment to share a recipe that is gluten free for so many of those that have gluten sensitivities or intolerance issues.  My daughter prefers gluten free food and it's probably a good idea not to bombard our system with gluten so I was extremely happy when I found these crackers that turned out crispy and delicious.

Here's a quick list of nutrient dense, superfood, gluten free grains and seeds:

brown rice
wild rice
quinoa (keen' wa)
yellow corn
oats (not processed alongside gluten grains)

The first time I made these crackers, they were too thick and were chewy not crisp. So the second time, I rolled them as thin as possible, laid them on the sheet and cooked until the edges were browned some. My daughter, along with the rest of us, devoured ate them all. The only change I would make is to double or triple the batch so they'd last longer than 10 minutes.  :)

Hopefully, from these pictures you can see how thin to roll the dough. And you can definitely see the specks of flaxseed. The crackers shrink and pull apart while they bake so you don't have to separate it, a real time saver. :)

While we try to limit our dairy, I didn't feel inclined to switch the butter for olive oil but I may try at some point. The flavor right now is pretty good and we're enjoying them as they are.

I first saw this recipe at Finding Joy in My Kitchen. So if you want the whole wheat version of Wheat Thin Crackers, be sure to check out her blog along with her other delicious healthy recipes. 

This gluten free version calls for a grinder (and so many people have them now) but if you don't, that's perfectly fine; there are great gluten free flours out there so use what you have available. I, personally, was determined to find a flour that was gluten free, freshly ground, and highly nutritious. This is what I developed...

Gluten Free Wheat Thin Crackers

Nutritious Gluten Free Flour Mix (refer to Gluten Free Muffins)

1-1/2 c. brown rice (grinds to make about 2 1/2 c. flour)

1/4 c. amaranth 
1/4 c. millet
(I put these two together and blend on high in a Blendtec. Makes about 3/4 c. flour)

1/4 c. flaxseed (I blend on med. high in Blendtec. Makes about 1/2 c.)

Total flour comes to about 3-3/4 c., enough for a triple batch. This is a gluten free flour mix that can be substituted for wheat flour. I keep the leftover in a freezer bag in the freezer.

For one batch:

Mix together
1-1/4 c. Nutritious Gluten Free Flour mix (above)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. paprika

Add rest of ingredients and stir until combined
1 tbsp. raw honey
1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp. butter 
a little less than 1/4 c. water (use only what is necessary to make dough moist but not too wet)

Now you have some choices here:
1) If you soak your grains, put in frig overnight. (Bring to room temp before using)
2) If you use fleshly ground flour you may want to let it absorb for 20-60 minutes.
3) Or use it right away; the choice is yours and depends on how much time you have. :)

When you're ready to bake, divide in two, and roll as thin as possible on parchment paper sprinkled with flour. (Otherwise, it would tear when moved) Move whole paper on cookie sheet and cut with pizza cutter into crackers. Optional: can sprinkle a little sea salt over top of crackers before cutting and press lightly.

Bake at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes until lightly browned. In my oven, 8 minutes was perfect. It depends how small or large you cut your crackers.

We like them best, thin and crispy, served with Spicy Chipotle Salmon Dip.

So in about 15 minutes, you can have your first batch of crunchy crackers to go with any healthy dip or crudites that you like. It's not hard to have healthy home cooked food in 15 minutes, sometimes it just takes a little planning and determination.

How do you like to serve your crackers?

For more delicious recipes, visit these great blogs:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays
Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays
Tasty Tuesday

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