Monday, February 28, 2011

Dining Out Woes: Part 3

After my posts last week lamenting the lack of organic and natural restaurants in my area, I had to update you about my solution to my pizza problem.

While no Maker's Diet restaurants have sprung up within a 10 mile radius of my home in the last week, I'm happy to report that my husband and I were able to go out on a date last night, and that my plan of having Whole Foods heat up an Amy's Pizza for me worked!

The man at the prepared foods counter was so nice about it, he must have done it before! He popped our Amy's pizza into their glorious pizza oven, with its flaming fire, and it was piping hot with in 8 minutes.

It may not have been a romantic restaurant (I'm still longing for one of those) but at least I could enjoy my whole wheat crust pizza with no repercussions! ;)

I just had to let you all know that Whole Foods was so friendly and amenable to doing this.

So, has anyone decided to open a Maker's Diet restaurant chain in the Midwest yet? ;)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Food for Thought: What Toxic Dyes Are in These Popular Foods?

Did you know toxic food dyes can be hiding in your baked goods, beverages, candies, oral medications, and even pet food?

Even with names as innocuous sounding as Brilliant Blue, Indigo Carmine, Citrus Red #2, and Sunset Yellow, these food dyes could be popping up in your food and introducing you and your kiddos to carcinogenic toxins. Check out this article from Dr. Mercola to find out more!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Toxin Free Home: Product Review of Citra Suds Laundry Detergent

The only constant in life is change...and laundry, right? Oh, and dishes! I remember when laundry wasn't that big of a deal in my life. When it was just hubby and me, a few loads a week would set everything right.

Not anymore! Between our clothes, the kid's clothes, and cloth diapers, laundry is a constant mountain waiting to be attended to. I'm always on the lookout for products that get the job done more effectively, and that make it fun!

So when Citra Solv gave me the opportunity to test their Citra Suds laundry detergent, I was thrilled! I am completely in love with their dish soaps , dishwasher gel and cleaning concentrate, so I knew I'd love their detergent too!

I was right! Not only does it have a lovely, light orange scent, but it cleans extremely well.

How do I know this conclusively? Two words: cloth diapers. They are the ultimate test! I run my cloth diapers through an entire super load just to rinse them- it is 45 minutes long, before running an additional super load and add my soap. Lately, my diapers have been still stinking when I get them out of the dryer. (Yuk!)

The only way I remedied this problem was to add a spoonful of Citra Solv's cleaning concentrate to the wash, along with my other natural detergent.

So I was curious to see if the Citra Suds would be strong enough to really clean the diapers without adding anything extra.

Voila! Clean, fresh smelling diapers AND clothes! I am totally impressed! Honestly, their other products are all so amazing that I would have been shocked if this one didn't work just as well.

Try them out for yourself! Check out their website to find a retailer near you!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What's on the Menu: Slow Cooker Spaghetti

(Photo courtesy of Fastily)

I just love spaghetti. I can't help it, I always have. Spaghetti and milk have always been my favorite combination, although I know that's anathema to a true Italian. (My Dad is half Italian so I have 25% going for me! I still like my milk with spaghetti though.)

Anyway, I love making spaghetti but don't like how long it takes standing over the stove. The best spaghetti I have tasted in my entire existence is made by my mother in law, who has absolutely perfected this dish over the last 40+ years of marriage and cooking. (Can you imagine how many meals she has cooked in her lifetime?! God bless that woman!)

My husband was the blessed recipient of amazing spaghetti growing up, so he has quite an affinity for it. I've tried to duplicate her original recipe, which I've observed her do many times when we lived in California, but I've never been able to make it quite the same. It's her magic touch, I guess.

However, I still give it my best shot on a regular basis. And now I've adapted it for my slow cooker so that I can still make this time-consuming dish, and keep hubby happy. :)

Last night our three year old helped me make dinner- we had so much fun, and I know your family will enjoy this dish too!

Buon Appetito!

Slow Cooker Spaghetti & Meatballs (Serves 6)

3 lbs organic grass fed ground beef
2 tablespoons organic butter
2 organic yellow onions, chopped
3-4 cloves organic garlic, diced
2- 2.5 teaspoons sea salt, such as Real Salt, to taste
1 large handful fresh organic basil, chopped
Several sprigs fresh organic thyme, rosemary, and oregano (My mother in law always uses them fresh, I'll admit, in the winter when my garden isn't growing, I used these dried, but I always buy fresh basil)
2 28 oz. cans organic crushed tomatoes
1 package Ezekiel sprouted spaghetti, or organic brown rice spaghetti
Your slow cooker

By midmorning (I like to do it by noon, although there's no magical time!) on the day you want to serve, shape all three pounds of ground beef into meatballs in your slow cooker. I just break off the pieces into balls and put them all in, they can layer over each other and that's fine!

Turn the slow cooker to high. Let the meat cook on its own for at least several hours.

Add the cans of crushed tomatoes to the slow cooker, stirring gently to incorporate the sauce into the meatballs, but taking care not to break them up.

Meanwhile, in a pan, saute the onions and herbs in the butter, until the onion is very translucent but not burned, and the herbs are wilted but not burned. (I find myself cooking them a little longer than if I were going to be putting them into a traditional stovetop pot, since they won't cook as intensely in the slow cooker, you don't want too potent of onions and herbs in your sauce!)

Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.

Add the garlic, onions, and herbs to the tomato sauce/beef mixture in the slow cooker. Stir to incorporate, and leave the slow cooker on high.

Let this cook together several hours. (The longer the better) If you feel it starts to boil too much, turn the slow cooker down, but make sure the ground beef is cooked through.

Boil your pasta and serve!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dining Out Woes: Part 2

After my lovely experience this weekend eating a Whole Foods pizza that didn't go too well, I started thinking about any option we might have to eat out, and particularly pizza options- since, well, pizza is just nice to have sometimes!

When we lived in California, I used to buy Alvarado Street sprouted pizza crusts, and we would make our own homemade pizza. YUM! I haven't seen those available in this part of the country, but one pre-made organic pizza I do enjoy is made by Amy's Kitchen, one of the largest retailers of natural and organic pre-made foods, like soups, burritos, and pizza.

If you have the patience and the skill, you can make your own pizza, complete with your own dough. My Mom used to sprout her own wheat berries, dehydrate and mill them, and make her own sprouted wheat dough. Her pizza was beyond phenomenal!

I don't have the patience for all those steps these days, with two little ones running around, so my plan of action for our next date is to buy an Amy's organic whole wheat cheese & pesto pizza at Whole Foods, and ask them to heat it up for me in their pizza oven!

Why didn't I think of that last weekend?

I definitely consider this a treat of sorts- I wouldn't necessarily incorporate it into our family's menu all the time, but sometimes- you just want a nice pizza, and you don't want to (or can't) make it yourself.

Meanwhile, I'm still hoping for that Maker's Diet restaurant within 10 minutes of my house, though. ;)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dining Out Woes

I'm a difficult date. It's true, it really is. My poor husband. Sometimes I wish we could just go to Denny's or McDonald's like the rest of civilization. Or get dessert somewhere, or even coffee!

While it is definitely possible to make good choices while dining out, my sensitive system always lets me know when I eat something different than normal. (Which I basically never do.)

Where we live, there is one totally organic and legit restaurant within 30 minutes of our house. But the last time we went there, the waitress decided it was her mission that night to make our lives miserable, complete with a MAJOR junior high attitude and purple burgers. We have never gone back and don't plan to!

The food there is divine, but it is extremely expensive, and well, this waitress just permanently ruined it for us.

So last night my handsome husband and I went to Whole Foods. We feel it is the only place in the world to go, even though it is absolutely not conducive to a romantic date. We got a pint of organic ice cream (lovely) and a couple G.T.'s kombuchas. But my husband was a little bit more hungry. We walked back through the prepared foods aisle and settled on a couple slices of their cheese pizza.

I wanted to eat it and be a normal person. It tasted amazing, straight out of their flaming hot pizza oven. But alas, my stomach rejected my four inch long piece, even though it was Whole Foods pizza for crying out loud, not Domino's or Pizza Hut.


Aren't I ridiculous?!

My diet does NOT fit the middle part of this country as far as eating out is concerned. Who wants to come build a Maker's Diet restaurant 5 minutes from my house?!

I'll love you forever.

What organic restaurants are in your area? Please share your favorites and maybe we can get a list going to help each other out!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday's Food for Thought: How Does What We Feed our Kids Affect their Lives?

How do the foods we feed our children affect them? Does it actually give them a preference for good food or bad food? Check out this Dr. Mercola article to find out!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Had to Share: Great Sale on Whole Foods Organic Chickens Tomorrow!

As someone who buys 1-2 whole chickens every single week, this sale seriously appeals to me! When buying my chickens last week, the man at the meat counter told me about it, but I didn't realize it was nationwide.

Check out your local Whole Foods and stock up with this awesome deal!

(It's tomorrow only!)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Toxin Free Baby: My Favorite Nursing Tea!

While we're on the topic of awesome teas that benefit both Mom & baby, I thought I'd share with you my absolute favorite tea for keeping up a great milk supply: Traditional Medicinals Mother's Milk tea.

This tea is so awesome. You can take it daily as a way of
keeping up your milk supply, or you can take more of it if you're needing to increase your supply. I've had times where I drink up to 4 cups a day to increase my supply, and it works amazingly well! It tastes good too!

The Mother's Milk tea promotes healthy lactation through the use of fennel, anise and coriander. (All organic!) I enjoy it hot or cold- although sometimes it's hard to find the time to drink 4 cups of hot tea daily, so I brew all 4 cups at once in a large Pyrex container and just drink it cold throughout the day. I highly recommend it to any nursing mama!

You can buy it at any natural health food store, or online. Check out Traditional Medicinal's website for a coupon of $1.50 off a box!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Toxin Free Body: My Favorite Pregnancy Tea

When you're pregnant, you need everything possible to help you nourish your body and the little one growing inside of you. That's why I love, love, love Traditional Medicinals Pregancy Tea. It's made of time tested herbs designed to tone uterine muscles, provide nourishment, and prepare the womb for childbirth.

And seriously, who wouldn't want help preparing your womb for childbirth? When the time of labor comes, you will be glad you did!

I have had this tea with all three of my pregnancies- have had two awesome deliveries so far, and am believing for another one with baby #3! (I'll write some more later on how to have an awesome natural childbirth.)

That reminds me, I have my tea sitting on the kitchen table waiting for me. Better go drink it!

You can buy this awesome tea at almost any natural health foods store, or online.

(Note: you should not drink this tea until after the first trimester.)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day! Announcing our Vitamin Code Perfect Weight giveaway winner!

(Photo courtesy of Johntex)

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I hope you get to do something very special to celebrate with those you love the most!

I'm very excited to announce our giveaway winner for the Perfect Weight America Vitamin Code formula: entrant number four, Erin!

Erin, you have three days to email me at to claim your prize, or else another winner will be chosen!

Thank you to Garden of Life for sponsoring this giveaway, thank you to everyone who participated, and Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day: Treats for Your Sweet

(Photo courtesy of André Karwath)

I got this email from Garden of Life's Extraordinary Health newsletter, and had to pass it on- there are three scrumptious recipes for chocolate covered strawberries, truffles, and chocolate cheesecake! YUM! Enjoy these recipes with your sweet one this coming Monday!

And don't forget you still have time to enter the Vitamin Code Perfect Weight formula giveaway!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Toxin Free Body: Homemade Crackers from The Nourishing

While hunting the web looking for a recipe for homemade crackers that can be made in a dehydrator, I found this AWESOME website of a lovely woman who blogs about making all the recipes in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, written by Sally Fallon of the Weston A. Price foundation.

Check out her recipe for homemade crackers: (which can be made in a dehydrator OR an oven) and her other awesome recipes too!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

We Did It! Announcing the Vitamin Code Perfect Weight Formula Giveaway!

Congratulations everyone! We completed our series on Perfect Weight America and how you can achieve and maintain YOUR body's perfect weight in 2011!

Let's celebrate with a giveaway, sponsored by Garden of Life!

This week's giveaway is for an awesome Garden of Life product that will help you achieve- or maintain your body's perfect weight! Whether you are still in the middle of reaching your health goals for this year, or have already achieved your body's perfect weight, (or are really close!) the Vitamin Code Perfect Weight multivitamin is perfect for you!

With nutrients that support your metabolism, immune system, and your body's response to stress, it's great for men and women, those trying to lose weight, or those already happy with their weight and looking to stay healthy!

To enter, leave a comment letting me know how your health goals for this year are going so far. And of course leave your name!

Get an extra entry for becoming a fan of Garden of Life on their facebook page:!/GardenofLifeWPB

Just be sure to come back and leave a comment letting me know you did!

The giveaway is open until Friday night at 12 a.m. CST! The lucky winner will be announced on Monday's blog and will have three days to contact me, or another winner will be chosen.

May this year be the year you reach and maintain your perfect weight, everyone! Happy winning!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Announcing the Go Raw Live Web Event- Tonight!!!

Everyone, I just wanted to make sure you all know about the awesome live web event that Jordan Rubin will be doing this evening!!! Jordan will be talking about Raw Foods and will give you tools and tips you need to use raw foods to improve your health this year!

There will also be free products given away tonight, so make sure to register and get on the webinar tonight!

See this link to register and for more info:

(And check back tomorrow for more details on a giveaway in celebration of finishing our Perfect Weight America series!)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Perfect Weight America: Component 9: Take Weight off the World

Well, we're wrapping up our Perfect Weight America series! We've looked at many ways you can achieve your perfect weight, and this week we'll be announcing another exciting giveaway to help you do just that! Today let's look at the final component of the program:

Take Weight off the World

In Perfect Weight America, Jordan Rubin gives a list of a dozen ideas for a "greener" home- the idea behind taking weight off the world. The great part is that when we all do a little, it can add up to a lot! Check out this list to see how many you can do:

(Taken from page 203 of Perfect Weight America by Jordan Rubin)

  • Change your incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent. Fluorescent light bulbs burn twelve times as long as regular light bulbs and consume 50 to 80 percent less energy.
  • Bring your own shopping bags or reusable canvas bags to the health food store or grocery store. Plastic bags, made from toxic polyethylene, are not biodegradable and litter the landscape whenever the wind kicks in.
  • Use rechargeable batteries. Did you know that you're not supposed to throw your old batteries in the trash? Batteries contain a high concentration of metals that seep into the ground when the casing erodes. Used batteries are considered "e-waste" just like old computers and TV sets.
  • Recycle your newspapers, junk mail, and plastic bottles.
  • Watch the thermostat.
  • Clean out the bathroom cabinet, full of toxic personal care products containing parabens, phthalates, and other synthetic chemicals.
  • Unplug cell phone chargers when not in use. Electrical devices continue to draw electricity when plugged in.
  • Think green in the laundry room. Conventional fabric softeners and static cling products use formaldehyde to make cloths softer. You can substitute a half-cup of vinegar to your wash or drip your favorite essential oil on a cloth and dry with your clothes.
  • check your cookware. Nonstick pans are coated with perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, which has shown up in trace amounts in blood samples taken from people across the country. The CDC estimates that PFOA is in the blood of 95 percent of Americans, and the EPA has labeled PFOA as a likely carcinogen in humans. (Causes cancer) Environmentally acceptable cookware is stainless steel, ceramic coated, or stoneware.
  • Choose paper products from recycled ingredients.
  • Use air filters.
  • Start your own compost pile.
I hope this gives you some great ideas on how to get started taking "weight off the world." Check back tomorrow for details about an exciting giveaway!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

What Do You Do?

Hey Everyone!

Yesterday, in the midst of an extremely busy few days, my husband and I passed by a McDonald's on the way home from WalMart. Next to it was a Starbucks, and a Taco Bell. I have to admit that I was envious of all the diners who could pull in and leave with a "meal" ready in less than 5 minutes!

When I am exhausted and life is busy with the little ones, I become so weary of getting food on the table. We ended up with dinner from Whole Foods last night, but I totally understand why anyone would choose fast food in moments like these!

Planning ahead helps a lot, but sometimes, life just gets too busy. Whole Foods prepared food bar is our fallback in moments like these, but we're hoping for some closer, healthy organic restaurants and "fast food."

When we lived in California there were places like this springing up all over the place- are there any near you?

What do you do to stay healthy when times get crazy?

Have a great (and relaxing) weekend everyone!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Perfect Weight America: Component 8: Think For Your Perfect Weight

We're almost done! Today we will discuss one of the most important elements of the whole Perfect Weight America program: thinking for your perfect weight.

Most of us underestimate just how powerful our thoughts are. The Bible says, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he." Our thoughts are indicative of our beliefs, which we are living out every day, whether unconsciously or consciously.

When it comes to weight loss, nothing can be more important than what we think. I love an example from Dani Johnson, one of my favorite businesswomen and success coaches. She says that she was an athlete all her life, but her father told her she was fat, so she believed him.

In a rough point in her life, she actually did become 50 pounds overweight. Finally, she got fed up and decided she was going to stop believing she was fat, just because her Dad had always told her that she was.

She says, "I decided to start walking like I was a Barbie, even if I had something following me!" Once she stopped believing she was fat, and agreed with the truth that she was healthy, and attractive, she lost that weight that was hanging on to her, and never regained it.

In fact, she is now in her early 40's, a mother of 5 and grandmother of 3, and is truly one of the most attractive women I have ever seen. She is in fabulous shape and very healthy, and she's not killing herself to do it.

What beliefs do you have about your self image? Have people told you your whole life that you were overweight, or did your parents or peers criticize you whenever you gained a few pounds? If so, it's likely you are believing a few lies about your body image.

I would encourage you to ask God what the truth is about how He sees you, because the truth will set you free! Once you can come into agreement with what he says about you, I bet you your weight issue, which is now a mountain in your life, will come tumbling down, just like it did for Dani.

Check out chapter 11 of Perfect Weight America for more on this important issue! I encourage you to start believing the truth about yourself today, even if it seems you are "calling things that are not as though they were." ;)