hotsparkmama

Advocare Health & Wellness Nutritional Support

Who needs a snack or a handy dandy grap’n go?

Ya’ll know I’m all about PROTEIN and I’m finding myself constantly on-the-go so I’m always in need for quick and “grabby”, plus everybody loves EASY! This list of snacks will add a punch of filling protein to your day whether you like sweet, savory or BOTH :p

*Hard-Boiled Eggs – Easy and portable! Unfortunately, this is a perfect go-to snack that’s been taken out of our diet (newest item added to the allergen list) :/

*No-Bake Peanut Butter Protein Fudge Bars – These homemade protein bars taste like fudgy brownies! Make a full batch to snack on all week long and they could not be simpler to make! At over 15 grams of protein per bar, they would make a great breakfast or post-workout snack.
1 cup natural peanut butter
3 tablespoons honey, or to taste (or not at all in our case)
1 1/2 cups chocolate protein powder
1 cup uncooked oats
2-5 tablespoons water
(optional) 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa
Mix the peanut butter and honey in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Add the rest of ingredients and mix together. Mixture should be crumbly and slightly moist.
Press (hard) into a 9×9 tray and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Cut into 12 equal bars.

*Cottage Cheese w/ Fruit – To tide you over until dinner time, grab a serving of cottage cheese and top with pineapple, peaches, or your favorite berries. Add some slivered almonds for an even more substantial snack. I ain’t gonna lie the idea of cottage cheese used to turn my stomach BUT then I added it to my Vitamix to make it a creamy, smooth treat (adding to remnants left after making fresh peanut butter, add a splash of vanilla and sprinkle of sweetener for yummy PB mousse)

*Easy Teriyaki Mealballs – These meatballs are great for a snack by themselves, or served as a main meal over brown rice but don’t forget the veggies You’re looking at 13 grams of protein!
1 lb. 93% Lean Ground Beef (Turkey)
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 tbsp. garlic powder
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce (Liquid Aminos)
3 tsp. chopped ginger root (ground ginger)
All ingredients can be adjusted according to taste, of course.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Form 8 2oz. balls (for meals) or 16 1oz. balls (for appetizers). Place in a baking dish & bake 20-30 minutes.

*Edamame w/ Sea Salt: These little green pods pack a protein punch at 8 grams/serving! Sprinkle a serving of edamame with a pinch of sea salt for a savory treat. Can’t get the kids to try these which is weird seeing as how they’ll eat snapea crisps out of a bag.

*Slim Chicken Taco – Instead of using a tortilla, fill a large leaf lettuce with a few slices of grilled chicken breast, other leafy greens, and a spoonful of salsa. Fold and eat! You’re easily looking at 12 grams protein.

*Cheesy Baked Egg Cups – I’m so going to miss these These portable egg muffins are perfect for grab-and-go snacks or breakfast as you’re walking out the door. Try them hot or cold and consume 14 grams protein EACH!
7 large eggs
1/4 cup milk (almond or rice)
3/4 cup shredded cheese
1 cup diced red onion
12 slices cooked bacon/turkey
1 TBSP Olive Oil
1/8 tsp Garlic powder
1/2 tsp Tabasco (i omit)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried parsley
Makes 12 muffins.
Saute diced onions in Olive Oil until clear and then set aside to cool.
Set oven to 350 Degrees.
Combine eggs, milk, Tabasco, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add shredded cheese and stir together.
Spoon into a 12 cup muffin tin. Place in oven on center rack and cook for about 15 minutes. When done the eggs should be just barely done on top and slightly dry. They will cook more from the carryover heat when you take them out of the oven, trust me, it’ll be like rubber.

*Tuna Salad Stacker – Top a serving of rice or almond crackers with tuna salad for a winning combination of fiber and protein.

*Strawberry-Banana Protein Smoothie – This powered-up smoothie is a great option for a post-workout snack or filling breakfast. I sent these to school for kids snack today. Your protein count will depend on your protein powder.
1 Scoop Protein Powder
1/2 cup – Milk (rice or almond)
2 ice cube
1/2 Banana fresh (about 3-4″)
5 Strawberries, frozen, unsweetened
Add the milk and banana in first, then the whey powder.
Then add the frozen strawberries and finally the ice on top.
If you want a smoothie that is a little thinner, you can add 1/4 of cold water (I usually add coconut water for added benefits)

*Caprese Salad – Used to be an awesome side to add to my fella’s lunches but sadly I’m the only one that gets to enjoy it now. Salads don’t have to be reserved for full meals! Serve yourself a scaled-down portion of to get some veggies in at snack time.
1 1/2 c Cherry Tomatoes, halved
1 c Fresh Mozzarella (or feta)
1/2 c Fresh Basil Leaves, Cut in strips
1 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
Mix all ingredients and refrigerate for 1 hour

*Kale Chips – Sometimes my guys just crave “chips” and now I can offer them some! Break off leafy parts from the stem, spread out over parchment paper atop sheet pan, drizzle w/ EVOO and sprinkle salt/pepper. Bake 250 for approx. 20-25 mins

*Apple Chips – Just today I decided I would never have a dehydrator so I decided to try making some plain apple chips in the oven and YES, I had SUCCESS!! Whoop Whoop. Slicing the apples (golden delicious) as thin as I could with a sharp knife, place individual (don’t overlap) pieces a top a parchment lined pan, bake on 200 for 3-4 hours (temps vary in oven..first batch was thin and took 3 hours, 2nd batch I was tired of slicing so they were lil’ thicker and took 4 hours) These were amazing! I don’t even like store bought apple chips but these were superb! <3

*High Protein Blueberry Muffins – These taste indulgent, but they’re full of good-for-you nutrients–plus, they’re low in sugar while carring 10 grams of protein.
1 cup milk (almond or rice)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup whole-wheat flour (I use AP GF)
1/2 cup vanilla protein
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup sweetener of choice
1 1/2 cups partially frozen blueberries
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine the milk and vinegar in a glass measuring cup, then stir and set aside.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Create a well in the middle of the bowl. Add the wet ingredients, except for the berries, and stir just until combined. Fold in the berries.
Spray a muffin tin liberally with nonstick cooking spray, or use paper liners, fill each well of the muffin tin 2/3 full.
Bake 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
and last but not least would be the breakfast we had this morning…

*Personal Size Baked Oatmeal w/ Individual Toppings – This made enough to pack and freeze for those mornings when we’re running late and no time for cooking
2 eggs (I used 2 chia eggs)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups applesauce, unsweetened
½ cup or 1 banana, mashed
6 packets of Sweetleaf Stevia or 1½ teaspoons stevia powder or use ½ cup honey
5 cups, Old Fashioned rolled oats
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2¼ cups milk (I used rice)
Our toppings of choice were Lily’s Mini Chocolate Chips, Blueberries, Strawberries, Apples/cinnamon and Raisins/chopped almond pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix eggs, vanilla, applesauce, banana and Stevia together in a bowl.
Add in oats, flax, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and mix well with wet ingredients.
Finally pour in milk and combine.
Spray a 12 and 6 capacity muffin tin with cooking spray or use cupcake liners. Pour mixture evenly into muffin tin cups.
If using toppings add them onto the tops of muffins now. If using fresh or frozen fruit, drop it right into the batter.
Bake 30 minutes (this recipe originate at sugarfreemom.com and yes, she is the bomb!)
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Food allergies– GO AWAY already

Seriously? Has it really been two weeks since I’ve talked to you? WOW, life really takes hold of us sometimes and causes us to lose all track of time. We certainly can’t allow that to happen again! Does that sound like a familiar phone conversation w/ your best friend? I certainly hope it’s not one you’ve had w/ Jesus! Tho, I’m sad to say, it’s one I’ve had w/ The Lord before :/ How can I get so caught up w/ life’s circumstances that I just can’t find time to spend at his feet? That my friends means life is too busy and it’s time to RE-prioritize your life! If you don’t figure it out on your own, he’ll figure out a way to get your attention!

But, really, that’s not why I called you today ;)

I’ve spent the last year (or so) removing items from our home that I felt were physically harmful and/or toxic for our environment living w/ TS (Tourettes Syndrome). It started w/ replacing chemical filled cleaners, detergents, soaps, deodorants, everything I could think of that I could possibly make. This decision has been met w/ MUCH opposition from my TS child. I understand as a 14 yo boy he’s used to certain things a certain way and this really threw a hitch in his giddy! One of the hardest parts has been the fact that I throw away all his deodorants then he goes to his dads for a week and he comes back w/ more :/ I’ve yet been able to convince his dad that when your body is full of heavy metals, you do not want to add fuel to the flame by putting aluminum filled deodorant in a very sensitive/thin area of your body to soak in (insert extreme anger face).

I spent countless hours studying how to nutritionally help said child control his numerous vocal and motor tics by removing all artificial sweeteners, colors, dyes, and flavors only to find empty coke bottles in his bag after a weeks stint w/ his dad (insert even more extreme angry face).

I thought after we received results from son’s allergy tests that dad would get a clue and realize this is truly a serious matter (now, let me just interject here that “dad” is himself a hypocondriac; this is the same man who insisted I get an AIDS test when we got married because he saw “symptoms” in me that he saw on a tv show. Same man who was convinced he had cancer after watching a documentary. Same man who tried to insist his newborn have unnecessary eye surgery to correct a “crossing” which wasn’t there. Ya get the picture?). Dad tells TS son, “It’s not gonna kill ya!” Grrrrrrr~

Son has been determined allergic to beef, corn, dairy, eggs (the whites MORE than the yokes), gluten, yeast (has Candida), wheat and 2 molds! Now, I’ve already been cooking GF, DF, SF but there are times he’s allowed butter and cheese (up until the results came back it wasn’t a for sure removal) but then I could always say, “Fix yourself some eggs”, it was his “go-to” snack, breakfast, filler, just whenever he felt like it. Eggs are the perfect food right?! WRONG! Though I noticed his tics increase while eating store-bought eggs he didn’t have the same issue w/ organic eggs. I’ve been spending approx. $21 on eggs alone, every other week because he ate so many (scrambled, boiled, on salads, and deviled) and then I cook A LOT w/ eggs (muffins, pancakes, cookies, you name it). Second round of results came back w/ the allergy to EGGS….I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut! I know how to replace eggs in baking BUT there’s no replacement for scrambled eggs or an egg casserole :/

I ain’t gonna lie, I just needed to rant a minute….
Thanks for listening, call again real soon :)

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Gluten Free Bread Recipes and Foods We Should ALL Avoid

I believe the worst aspect of going GF has been taking the bread out of our menu (because quite frankly GF bread is not really bread, not in the way that you have soft, white bread for a tomato sandwich). I’ve tried more than a dozen recipes for making sandwich bread. Most of them are good as toast, IF you add honey (or something) on it but definitely not sandwiches. Wellllll….I’ve searched the world over and thought I found true love (I use to love Hee-Haw haha)…I did, I did, I did find a putty tat..oh wait…

I found an Almond bread that is to die for! (It’s baking in my oven as we speak) It’s good for toast w/ honey, peanut butter or jelly, it’s even good for a peanut butter and jelly SANDWICH (because it’s a lil’ sweet). But last night I made a Cashew Butter bread that (hold on to your britches wheat-belly free mamas) is acceptable for sandwich bread. I mean NOT JUST PB&J but turkey, ham and yes, maybe even tomatoes!

How did I make these said breads? Well, I’m glad you asked, let me tell ya ;)

Almond bread: (I can’t remember where I found this original recipe :/ or I WOULD give credit!!)
5 cups Almond flour (which I MADE)
1 heaping tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp raw honey (I use 4)
6 organic eggs
2 tsp ACV
Mix it all together and bake 300 for 40 minutes

Grain-free Sandwich Bread (Paleo and SCD)
AUTHOR: Danielle Walker – AgainstAllGrain.com
1 cup smooth raw cashew butter (which I MADE)
4 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon honey (I used 2)
2.5 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
¼ cup almond milk (which I MADE)
¼ cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. For a white colored loaf as in the photo, place a small dish of water on the bottom rack. (*Notes included w/ instructions are from Danielle)
Line the bottom of an 8.5×4.5 glass loaf pan with parchment paper, then spread a very thin coating of coconut oil on the sides of the pan.
Beat the cashew butter with the egg yolks, then add the honey, vinegar, and milk. I’ve done this with both electric hand beaters and a stand mixer and both seem to work equally as well. I would not try to make this by hand due to the stickiness of the butter.
Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until peaks form. I used an electric hand mixer, but if you want a bicep workout, you can also do it by hand.
Combine the dry ingredients in another small bowl. Sorry for all of the dishes!
Make sure your oven is completely preheated before adding the egg whites and the dry ingredients to the cashew butter mixture. You don’t want your whites to fall, and the baking soda will activate once it hits the eggs and vinegar.
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and beat until combined. This will result in more of a wet batter than a dough. Make sure to get all of the sticky butter mixture off of the bottom of the bowl so you don’t end up with clumps.
Pour the beaten egg whites into the cashew butter mixture, beating again until just combined. You don’t have to be gentle with this, but don’t over mix.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, then immediately put it into the oven.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Don’t be tempted to open the oven door anytime before 40 minutes, as this will allow the steam to escape and you will not get a properly risen loaf.
Remove from the oven, then let cool for 15-20 minutes. Use a knife to free the sides from the loaf pan, then flip it upside down and release the loaf onto a cooling rack. Cool right-side up for an hour before serving.
Wrap the loaf up tightly and store in the fridge for 1 week. I actually think the loaf gets better as the days go on.

…and you’re welcome :)

**To make cashew butter, take 1 cup (or how ever much you want depending on how quickly you’ll use it) of raw (unsalted) cashews and simply grind them into butter. You know I do not kid around about such!

**To make almond flour, (the EASY way) take 1 cup of raw almonds and grind them to a fine powder like consistency (but not so long that it started to get “wet” or you’ll have almond butter! See, you learned two recipes at once). I always “sift” the flour and the big pieces can be used for “topping”, as a crust or a meat coating.

No matter what “diet” you choose to follow be it high protein – low carb, Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-free or “whatever” there are several foods we should ALL stop eating for HEALTH and/or moral reasons:

1. NON-ORGANIC STRAWBERRIES
One industry insider mentioned that strawberry farmers have to wear protective suits while applying pesticides to their crops. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not ingest something that required a Breaking Bad getup to harvest. Forking over the extra couple bucks for organic berries doesn’t sound so bad now!

2. CANNED TOMATOES
It turns out that the linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A (or BPA), a “synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes and obesity.” Yikes. Luckily, the can is the culprit in this scenario, not the tomatoes, so opting for glass containers is the best way to go. IF you happen to find said glass containers please let me know b/c I always KNEW there was “something” about those tin cans I’VE BEEN USING

3. INDUSTRIALLY PRODUCED HAMBURGERS
Considering most cattle are injected with growth hormones, stuffed with genetically modified corn, and raised in horrible conditions, it’s kind of weird that we still consider fast food burgers edible. Opting for grass-fed beef is a good idea when you’re craving cheeseburgers — there are not too many restaurants offering this option so it’s best to keep the burgers to your own grill (although, there is a Grass-Fed Burger Bar in downtown Greensboro, NC have you ever tried it?)

4. CORN
Like strawberries, corn is also a victim of the pesticide monster, but on a slightly different level. On top of being sprayed with chemicals, corn is also genetically engineered to produce its own pesticides … to kill bees. Kind of creepy, right? I’ve talked to people who used to grow corn themselves and even they said they HAVE to spray the ground where the corn grows before it grows…STILL, the corns grows up through it Unfortunately, it’s extremely difficult to avoid corn entirely, seeing as it’s a main ingredient in so many processed food products. Yet another reason why we should eat less high fructose corn syrup!

5. WHITE CHOCOLATE
We’re all well aware that cacao is, in fact, good for us. Unfortunately, white chocolate is missing that key ingredient, leaving all the bad stuff and no good excuse to defend your dessert choice with. Stick to eating the dark chocolate 86% or higher (in moderation!). Wanna hear something ironic? I used to think that white chocolate had to be “better for you” because it didn’t have color but then one day it hit me, CHOCOLATE? SHOULDN’T THAT BE BROWN/BLACK 8D

6. SPROUTS
I know right, how could something like sprouts possibly be bad for you?! Well, apparently sprouts have been the subject of so many food recalls now that they’re just not worth it anymore (unless you’re into E. coli or salmonella). An alternative to sprouts? Try shredded cabbage or carrots to get that crunchy texture on sandwiches and in salads. I honestly can’t say I’ve ever eaten a sprout so no worries there (heehee)

7. BUTTER-FLAVORED MICROWAVE POPCORN
Though I gave this up long ago, I can still remember licking the bag afterwards lol~ Just from the looks of it, you can tell that faux butter is definitely bad for you (it basically glows in the dark). One of the chemicals in that sweet, sweet yellow “butter,” diacetyl, is actually harmful to factory workers, and can lead to a disease called “popcorn lung.” The solution to this one is easy, and tastes way better: using real, melted butter. But there again, it’s CORN!

8. CHAIN RESTAURANT ICE CREAM SUNDAES
They’re huge, they’re full of corn syrup, cellulose gum, and vegetable shortening, and they’re just plain old fattening. Considering how much more fun for the kids making sundaes at home is, fast food options don’t even seem worth it. And there not! The last time I thought a McDonald’s $1 sundae was a good idea, I got sick as a dawg! McD

I ain’t gonna lie, there are so many others I could add to the list right now but I’d rather YOU tell ME, what are some foods you think we should ALL AVOID…

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AdvoCare Cleanse Results, Choosing Essential Oils and foods to start making

Day 11 RESULTS:
For this cleanse I did not lose any weight (which I’m good w/ that, I wasn’t reaching for a goal of more loss) however, I did lose 1/4″ in my bust and 1″ in my waist (I mean com’mon, who doesn’t want a smaller waist HaHa)

My goal for counting this a successful cleanse was removing toxins (check) and feeling great (check). I’ve had some ppl ask if this program is just about losing weight and the short answer is NO! IF you have weight to lose that’s an added bonus. Following the cleanse instructions properly (eating right, cutting out dairy, sugar and all things “white” with a lil’ exercise) you will lose pounds. IF you do not have weight to lose and you still follow the cleanse instructions you’ll find you have increased energy, a boost in metabolism and a new zeal for getting healthy! This cleanse will not allow you to drop to an unhealthy weight. I don’t know how “they” do it but it’s designed in a way so that your body will only lose what is healthy for YOUR BODY~

My next step is to continue w/ the AdvoCare supplements, keep eating right but increase my exercise/workout regimen. I want to be healthy, feel strong and of course look good for the hubby in my jeans. If you’re looking for a great supplemental plan to add to your healthy eating go visit http://www.chellespark.com and I’ll help you continue your journey to feeling and looking amazing!

You don’t have to be a rocket science to use essential oils, it’s not a bit complicated, but people sometimes try to over think things. You do wanna follow a few good practices to ensure you get the most benefit from your oils. Like only open one bottle at a time and never leave an open bottle sitting because if your luck is anything like mine you WILL manage to knock it over :/

1. Choose Your Oil Wisely
Not all oils are created equal. The oils you use should be as pure and free from extra “stuff” (all chemicals). The oils that I have chosen to use and feel confidence using in all my recipes and for replacing all OTC pharmaceuticals are DoTERRA essential oils. I chose DoTERRA for many reasons while researching other brands of oils. Whether you use the same oils I’ve chosen or not, it’s important to ensure the oils you choose to work with are safe and pure. DoTERRA essential oils have been Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade! From the soil conditions to harvesting to manufacturing and distribution, the oil properties can be compromised. Because essential oils are concentrated and powerful, you’ll want to be sure your oils are free from pesticides, chemicals, etc. When choosing which essential oils to go w/ consider where they come from and how they are extracted or produced.
Plants: The quality of essential oils can be negatively impacted by the use of pesticides and other chemicals, the variability in altitude, soil conditions and rainfall, and the difficulty of differentiating plant species and varieties.
Processing: Because of the growing popularity of essential oils and aromatherapy, there are many products on the market that may not be suitable for clinical use. They can be found nearly everywhere, from health food stores to discount stores to the Internet. These products may include pure essential oils, but sometimes they are adulterated or diluted. Such can be difficult to identify because they are listed on the label as PURE. This is why you should only purchase your essential oils from a reputable company.
Packaging and handling: Other considerations include packaging, storage, and handling. Chemical degradation can occur with exposure to heat, light, or oxygen. Essential oils from citrus products are especially prone to oxidation that can quickly alter the chemistry of those essential oils.
Storage: Essential oils should be stored in tightly closed, darkened glass containers in a cool place to ensure lasting quality. You may want to write the date on the bottle after opening it so you can keep track of your own essential oils. I go through mine so fast there’s no worry HaHaHa Though essential oils don’t “expire” oxidation can occur and will vary by oil type, but most essential oils can be safely used for 2 years or MORE after opening.
Don’t just rely on terms like “certified” or “pure” or the like. It’s not that those labels are necessarily bad, but they don’t necessarily mean anything either. Your research should go beyond reading a label, especially if you are interested in using oils for medicinal purposes.
You can purchase the oils I trust at http://www.mydoterra.com/chellespark

2. Start with Some Basic Oils

Because the world of essential oils is so vast, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when you are first starting out. I highly recommend choosing some basic oils and begin using them. This is truly the best way to learn about their potential and how they can fit into your life. If you’re looking to start on a small scale, I recommend the Introductory Kit w/ CD which includes Lemon, Lavender and Peppermint (w/ over 100 uses)! However, I personally recommend the Family Physician Kit as it includes 11 everyday oils that are the most popular. The dōTERRA IPC Introductory Packet includes a dōTERRA Opportunity brochure, Essential Skin Care product brochure, Product Guide, Essential Oil Usage Chart, Lifelong Wellness product brochure, lid label set, welcome letter, compensation and bonus information on how to jump right in with the oils in a safe and effective way. (Not to mention that the initial investment in the package will save your money and the oils will last a long time!)

3. How to Use Essential Oils

Aromatically
Aromatic uses of essential oils can heighten the senses and have positive effects for the mind and body.
Inhale the oil directly from the bottle: simply smell it! You can rub a drop or two on your hands and cup your nose or just inhale directly from the bottle.
Diffuse the oils with a diffuser which disperses the oils in a micro-fine vapor throughout the air. A diffuser does not heat the oils which can damage their therapeutic properties, so don’t be fooled into buying what you think is a diffuser from WalMart
Breathe in steamy vapors deeply by carefully pouring hot water into a glass bowl, adding in a couple drops of essential oils, and covering the bowl in a tent like fashion with a cloth or towel. I use this method w/ congestion (orgeno, lemon, peppermint)

Topical Application
DoTERRA essential oils are safe to use directly on the skin. Popular areas include behind the ears, temples, soles and tops of feet, abdomen, chest and upper back. Simply place 1 – 3 drops in the palm of your hand or directly on the desired area and massage the oil in a circular motion. Some oils will require dilution through a carrier oil in order to “spread” more evenly.

Internal Consumption
Many DoTERRA essential oils are safe to ingest as a dietary supplement or food flavoring. It’s always important to follow the recommended dosage on individual product labels and seek the protocol of how to use the oil before taking them internally. Of course, using essential oils in DIY cleaning products, beauty recipes, or personal care items is another simple way to utilize the power of essential oils. I now make deodorant, shampoo, soap, face wash, laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent and all my cleaning supplies using my essential oils.

But wait! Safety is Important!
Because I want you to get the best experience out of using your oils there’s a few recommendations before you get started:

Skin Test
It’s a good idea to skin test an essential oil before using it. Every body’s body chemistry is different which means everyone won’t respond the same way. Though I may not have any skin sensitivity to any of the oils doesn’t mean you won’t. Keep in mind there are so many options that if something doesn’t work for you there’s always another EO that’s going to offer the same properties:
Start with just one oil or blend at a time.
Apply the oil (neat or diluted) to a small area first.
When trying oils that are new to you, allow enough time (3 – 5) minutes for the body to respond before applying a second oil.
Placing oils on the bottom of your feet is most often a safe place to use essential oils topically if you experience irritation elsewhere.

Keep “Hot” Oils Away from Children
Oils such as oregano, cinnamon, thyme, eucalyptus, and lemongrass… or blends like OnGuard or DeepBlue should be stored away from children. IF these “hot” oils ever manage to get into your eyes (trust me, it happens) just add a tinch of coconut oil and it’ll take the sting right out (YES, I know for a fact hahaha).

Don’t stress too much about using the “wrong” oil. Reactions or burning sensations to the oils are most often an indication of fast blood flow to that area. Oils don’t burn the skin the way a chemical can. If an oil doesn’t work for you, there are always other oils to try until you find what’s the best fit for your body. Essential oils metabolize in the body quickly. They do their goodness and then move on. You want to be safe, sure, but unless you’re doing something ridiculous you should be just fine. Good news is, you can reapply as often as you like/need because you can’t overdose on essential oils <3

If you're ready to get started on your essential oils journey please visit http://www.mydoterra.com/chellespark and join as a Wellness Advocate to start earning points which accumulate to spend on FREE product! (YES, signing up under me will allow me to work towards earning a commission…but I haven't figured out how all that works just yet because I joined simply to help my own family). If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact me chellemills@ymail.com

Five Foods to Stop Buying and Start Making
1. Coffee:
I know coffee can be a sensitive topic for some, but buying fancy Starbucks coffees on a regular basis is expensive (leaving less money for good, nourishing food.) Plus, buying a fancy drink at a coffee shop often means you’re consuming fake ingredients. I’m sure we’ve all heard about the nasty ingredients in their Pumpkin Spice Latte. (IF not, look up Food Babe Investigates)
Making your own fancy coffees at home is so simple!! You don’t even need a fancy machine. With a simple immersion blender you can make lattes at home. Or just making your own special creamer for a fancy coffee w/o one
2. Soups and Broth:
I’m guilty here, I use the organic box/carton broth but making my own is definitely a top priority now that it’s getting cooler and I’ll want more soups!
Most store-bought soups and even organic broths are made with preservatives and other questionable ingredients. The good news? Homemade soups and broth are easy to make at home. Make a large pot of soup in your crock-pot on the weekends to freeze and enjoy for lunches and even a busy dinner night. A simple thermos will help keep soups warm for lunchtime.
3. Oatmeal:
Store-bought flavored oatmeal packets may be marketed as healthy, but they contain lotsa fake ingredients, including artificial flavorings. Making homemade oatmeal is simple!! Using Bob’s Red Mill Organic Rolled Oats only takes a few minutes longer and you can add anything you want for different flavors. My kids favorite is sweetened w/ honey & cinnamon then top w/ strawberries of mini chocolate chips (GF/DF/SF of course)
4. Bakery Foods:
Store-bought baked goods sit on the shelf without going bad and always taste the same. How do you think this goal is achieved? They add preservatives to baked goods to make them more appealing, along with a ton of processed sugar. Homemade baked goods are freezer-friendly which means you can make them in advance and enjoy for later. AND there’s no need to add all that refined sugar for “taste.”
5. Freezer Meals:
Freezer meals are meant to make life easier, but have you read the ingredients? Yuck!! The sodium alone will kill’ya! You can make life easier by preparing meals at home and freezing! Yep, if Pillsbury can do it, so can YOU! Simply cook the meals and freeze for later. When it’s time to enjoy, heat in the oven and serve. OR, spend an hour on the weekend prepping ingredients for several meals, put together in a freezer back and THEN cook fresh when you’re ready.

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Day 10 AdvoCare Cleanse (following THM)

Got up this morning for the usual floor routine but after the 25 crunches I got to thinking about the fact that I was going to be painting today and decided to save up for that (mostly knowing how sore I’ll be for my once/week class tomorrow). Once again, I can’t tell you what I did this morning besides pack one lunch and prepare breakfast after my devotions because I did NOT get my own bag packed which made for a “not so great, going out w/ a bang on the 10th day” end of my cleanse. :/

Now, when you wake up tomorrow (after you potty) be sure to re-weigh and re-measure yourself and TELL ME HOW YOU DID! If you’re interested in furthering your health care journey through supplements as well as better food choices, please visit chellespark.com for ordering (or contact me and I’ll walk you through it) ;) I ain’t gonna lie, sometimes the website causes more questions than gives answers heehee. Now, CHEERS to Day 10~

Day 10:
Spark + fiber + probiotic + (3) Catalyst. 32 oz water

Breakfast: Tomato-Basil Quiche. 16 oz water (THM/S)
Snack: Chick-Fila Chicken Egg Bagel (w/o the bagel…hey it was FREE I could afford to throw it away). 24 oz water (THM/S)
Lunch: Chipotle Chicken Bowl (chicken, brown rice, black beans, VERY VERY LITTLE cheese and a heavy dose of lettuce). 20 oz water (THM/E) So YuM-O :P
Snack: (3) No-Bake Cookie Balls from last night. 8 oz water (THM/S)
Dinner: Baked Balsamic Salmon, Baked Beans & Cabbage Salad. 22 oz water (THM/S)

Tomato-Basil Quiche: Preheat oven 375. Whisk 8 eggs, 2 minced cloves garlic, 2 Tbsp fresh chopped chives, 1/4 c fresh chopped basil leaves, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp black pepper. Stir in 2 c chopped spinach. Pour into greased baking dish and top w/ 8 slices cooked nitrate free bacon and 12 cherry tomatoes (halved). Bake 30-35 minutes. (Recipe from 21 Day Sugar Detox)

Baked Balsamic Salmon: Wild caught salmon drizzled with balsamic vinegar and organic salt free seasoning. 375 – 25 mins
Baked Beans: Brown ground turkey w/ chopped onion. Drain grease and add SF brown sugar while still warm. Pour in a baking dish w/ pintos (OR pork’n beans) mixed w/ approx 1/4 c ketchup (OR homemade BBQ sauce). 375 – 20 mins
Cabbage Salad: In large mixing bowl combine 1 c finely sliced red cabbage, 1/2 c shredded carrots, & 1/2 c shredded broccoli stems (recipe called for 1/2 finely diced mango). Top mixture w/ juice of a lime, s/p to taste and 2 Tbsp EVOO, toss to coat (recipe called for 2 Tbsp macadamia nut oil AND 2 Tbsp nuts) (Recipe from Practical Paleo)

Things to remember after your cleanse if you’re looking at continuing a Gluten Free and/or Paleo specific diet… (following lists are found at Against All Grain)

EAT: FISH; low in mercury and wild caught. VEGETABLES; including root veggies. NUTS AND SEEDS. GRASS-FED; beef, bison, lamb, and pork (unless otherwise avoided). POULTRY; chicken, duck, turkey and eggs. HEALTHY FATS; Avocado oil, coconut oil, ghee, grass-fed butter and EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

AVOID: GRAINS: barley, wheat, rice, corn, rye, cereals, quinoa, breads, oats, pastas (that’s a Paleo list, GF is the same except we do have oats and quinoa…quinoa is not technically a grain but people’s bodies tend to process it the same way). LEGUMES: beans, peanuts, lentils (that’a a Paleo list not GF). WHITE POTATOES. REFINED SUGAR (a LOT of GF stuff is full of sugar but we avoid refined sugars). DAIRY (GF dairy is ok; learn to read labels). SOY. REFINED HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OILS. PROCESSED FOODS.

KEY WORDS TO LOOK FOR: grass-fed, organic, pasture-raised, wild-caught, natural, local, sustainable, hormone-free, pesticide-free and GMO-free.

WORDS TO AVOID: agave nectar, cane sugar or juice, carrageenan, corn (syrup, starch, dextrose, dextrin), xanthan & guar gum (**side bar** I use a lot of recipes that call for these and omitting them has never hindered a thing), hydrogenated oils, monosodium glutamate (MSG), potato starch, sucrose, galactose & maltose

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Day 9 AdvoCare Cleanse (following THM)

So yesterday I woke up feeling like I might be getting a bladder infection. Due to the fact that I had those painful, sudden urges to pee (& even then it just trickled) so often I opted to skip church (which I NEVER do). What did I do? I put 2 drops of Oregano on each of my feet and On Guard across where the pain was on my abdomen. I did this 3 times during the day. Today I wake up to a James Brown song shouting in my head “Get on up (YELL) get on up”. I cannot make this stuff up y’all. Where does that come from? I KNOW my subconscious is NOT thinking about James Brown! LoL~ BUT, I have NO painful, sudden urges to pee…i just need to regular pee ;)

This morning found me in the floor by the bed (YES, this was on purpose haha), 10 easy push-ups (which means it’s time to increase my count), 25 crunches, butt-lifts (Idk that’s what it’s really called but laying on my back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor and push my butt up off the floor), and bicycles (I kid you not, my abs were seriously still store from Wednesday’s class UNTIL THIS MORNING). After school drop off I did a mile + 1/3 walk.

Day 9: Spark + fiber + 16 oz water + Probiotic pack + (3) Catalyst. Followed by another 16 oz water.

Breakfast: Sweet Cinnamon Quinoa w/ fresh cranberries. (THM/E) 16 oz water. Then I had a GGMS :)
Snack: Wasa cracker w/ cucumber slices (on-the-go). 32 oz water. (THM/E)
Lunch: Green salad w/ grilled chicken and small apple. 12 oz water. (THM/E)
Snack: (5) Nut Clusters (while making dinner). 16 oz water. (THM/S)
Dinner: Baked Chicken, Cream Spinach and Mashed Cauliflower. 32 oz water. (THM/S)
Dessert: No Bake Cookies.

Sweet Cinnamon Quinoa: Cooked quinoa, add sweetener of choice w/ cinnamon and unswt almond milk. Stir. Top w/ cranberries (or raisins). This had a pretty good taste if you can get past the texture (lil’ Princess looked at it right away and said, “I know I’m not gonna like that”). (Original THM recipe) **Tip, whenever I fix quinoa, I always make extra to put in a baggie and freeze in individual serving size for a quick lunch add-on :)

GGMS: Have I shared this w/ y’all before? I can’t remember! This is THM’s Good Girl Moonshine and even my kids are hooked on it (it took me a while to get the taste acceptable for me but now it’s perfected). 2 c water, 1.5 Tbsp ACV, 1/2 tsp ginger, juice from small lemon, 5-6 strawberries, and sweetener (3 pks Truvia)

Baked Chicken: 350 – 45 mins w/ liberal spices (I drizzled EVOO & balsamic vinegar, sprinkled onion/garlic powders and topped w/ rosemary).
Cream Spinach: Saute chopped garlic in tsp coconut oil, add spinach and “heavy cream” (I used DF cashew cream..soak 1 cup cashews for 1 hour, put in blender w/ 1 cup fresh water and blend away)
Mashed Cauliflower: Fix just like mashed potatoes. Steam cauliflower, add to blender and mix til smooth. Add desired seasonings (I use salt, garlic pepper and sometimes parsley)

No Bake Cookies: Mix all ingredients. 1/3 c almond butter, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/3 soft coconut oil, 2 Tbsp raw honey, 1/2 c unswt shredded coconut, 1/2 almond slivers (I used raw, recipe calls for salted/roasted), 1/2 c GF pretzels (I used extra almonds), 1/4 c mini chocolate chips (I use Lilly’s allergen free chips). Roll into balls and place in freezer until firm. Store in airtight container in fridge or freezer.

After your cleanse is over, don’t go back to eating at McDonalds and buying processed garbage from the grocery store shelves. Adding AdvoCare supplements into your daily routine will help you to fill in the nutritional gaps but it won’t do ALL the work, you still have be smart and make wiser choices than you did before starting. You’ve still got plenty of time to keep working on HOW to eat for weight loss and maintenance before the holidays hit (WOW, can you believe I just said that? We’ve got Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas happening over the next three months). I’m gonna share some secrets and tips to help you stay healthy not only over the holiday season but year round. Tips to ensure that you lose-weight, feel great and have the best holiday season yet. Don’t wait until the new year to start those resolutions!!

#1 Drink half your body weight in water ounces daily. This will keep you hydrated, detoxify, and reduce the desire to eat when your body is actually thirsty. I’m always telling my teen son “grab a bottle of water first!”

#2 Increase your fiber. Aim for 50 grams/day. This can be done by increasing fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes to balance your blood sugar & increase bowel movements. Looks through older posts for a list of fiber choices.

#3 Know what foods tend to cause you temptation. And get them out of your house!

#4 Have a fruit and vegetable smoothie for breakfast loaded with healthy protein to keep you fuller longer. My favorite is a Green Detox Smoothie (I believe I got the recipe from sugarfreemom.com). Hefty handful of spinach (and I like to add the 7 Superfood Salad Mix), juice from a lemon, cored green apple, 1/2-1 c unswt almond milk, ice and blend blend).

#5 Eat every 2.5-3 hours and carry snacks with you. This will keep your metabolism burning and increase your chances of making better choices…not to mention keep you away from the drive-thru or food court.

#6 Stop going through the kitchen to grab a snack before bed. Your body needs to detox at night, not digest your food.

#7 No cheating! Cheat meals lead to cheat days. A healthy lifestyle is just that. Look at your healthy decisions as a healthy lifestyle as opposed to a diet that can be broken. Choose a “plan” that you can live w/ it, don’t get sucked into a “low-carb, low-fat diet”, you need healthy fats AND carbs in your body. Don’t get stuck in a rut w/ the same things all the time. Venture out into some variety. Look up old posts for recipe ideas. But hey, don’t beat yourself up for having a “treat” every now and then, just don’t make it a daily habit!

#8 If you have a hard time saying NO, stick to the 3-bite rule. If you want to be polite and try a calorie-laden food that a co-worker brought to work, eat 3 small polite bites and then throw the rest away.

#9 Fill up on the healthy stuff first. Load your plate with fruits, vegetables, high-quality protein, high-quality fats (like avocado, coconut and olive oil), beans and legumes. After you finish that, if you want to have dessert, have a couple of bites. This way you get to indulge but you’re full of good food first. IF I go to a buffet, I completely fill my plate w/ SALAD/protein and I’m generally too full for a second trip ;) BUT, if there’s a favorite dessert available I’ll get a very small portion (and then I tend to have a headache afterwards SO BE SURE IT’S WORTH IT).

#10 Bring your own food to the family potluck or church function. This way you’ll know for sure that something there will be suitable for you to eat. This is especially true if you have food allergies or choose not to eat gluten, dairy or sugar. I promise, if you tell other people it’s GF DF SF they will not want it so there’s plenty for you HaHa (but then they see how much you enjoy it and they always come over w/ fork in hand to check it out)

#11 Eat before you go to a function w/ food. This way if the food is super unhealthy, or the meal is very delayed, you don’t cave into temptation to eat the entire bread basket.

#12 Get plenty of sleep each night (7 to 9 hours). I will admit that I fail terribly in this area. 6 hours is my limit, not that I WANT just 4-6 hours, my body just likes to be up and on the go lol~

#13 Reward yourself with non-food rewards. Get a massage. Take a bubble bath w/ your favorite book. Keep a (more expensive) item on your wish list and once reaching your goals splurge on that!

#14 Practice gratitude. Write down 3 things every day you are grateful for. See how many days you can go w/o duplicating. I know this was a big FaceBook “game” a couple weeks ago (I completed the challenge of posting 3 things I’m grateful for 7 days in a row).

#15 Schedule in time for what you love. Put running, walking, baths, massages, facials, etc in your schedule. And then follow through!

#16 Schedule your workouts and stick to it.

#17 Keep a food journal. Those that keep a food journal are much more likely to lose weight. I find that having to tell you what I’m eating everyday helps to keep me on track! Having it on paper will allow you to see which foods cause bloating, pain, weight gains/losses and helps you to better tweek your diet.

#18 Allow a best-friend to call you out and hold you accountable for your food and drink choices when you go out.

#19 Slowly replace items you buy w/ healthier choices. Instead of cow’s milk, reach for almond milk. Instead of white potatoes, cook sweet potatoes. You get the idea. Don’t try to do it all at once to avoid getting overwhelmed. Some adjustments will take time!

#20 Plan your cheats. When you go out, know that you will have a couple of foods you don’t normally eat. That’s okay. Don’t over do it and don’t be hard on yourself. Guilt is no good.

#21 Separate your emotions from food. When you’re upset at the kids (or your mate), don’t turn to the bag of Oreos. If you find that eating helps, grab an apple, add a tsp of peanut butter and sit on the back porch to enjoy it alone, or walk the dog ;)

#22 Try, try, try to RELAX and ENJOY yourself. Remember God’s blessings on your life as you look around at your family (“count your many blessings, name them one by one”)

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Day 8 AdvoCare Cleanse (following THM)

It’s day 8, you know what that means right?! We’re back on the fiber drink! But hello, there’s only 2 more days left on the cleanse <can I getta whoop whoop) AND no more of those big ole horse pills to choke down (am I the only one that has trouble w/ those?)

I get recipes from all over the place and some I make up as I go along :) Rest assured that everything I pass along to you IS GLUTEN FREE! That's a #1 requirement in our household. For these 10 days during the cleanse they are ALL DAIRY FREE! That's a #2 requirement because of my son's restriction (but we don't always adhere to that when he's away at his dad's). #3 is NO REFINED OR ADDED SUGARS! I can 't always say everything is sugar free because we use honey, maple syrup and fruit in a lot of things but these are natural sugars so we don’t really count those haha. If I can afford it, I get organic but I don’t always list it as such. When I say eggs in something those are ALWAYS ALWAYS organic (son can’t handle others). I do not use white flour, wheat flour or anything “enriched”. When I use cheese or yogurt it’s typically a dairy free version. We have vegan protein powder but if son is gone, I use my regular whey protein (tastes much better). I use a lot of vegan recipes (b/c of the no dairy) and a lot of paleo, I alter recipes as best I can to fit out needs (OH MY GOODNESS, do you remember those Peanut Butter Reese Cup cupcakes I converted? Lil’ princess has asked for those several times they’re just not a priority :/ ) IF we have “bread”, it’s homemade with almond flour (sometimes coconut) and I make our milks and nut butters. I just felt I needed to clarify that when I say MILK you’re aware of what kind (however, when NOT on the cleasne, YOU use your own milk of choice)

Day 8:
Spark w/ (mixed with) fiber + Probiotic + (3) Catalyst. 32 oz water.
Breakfast: Savory Protein Muffins and bowl of mixed fruit. 16 oz water. (THM/E)
Snack: Protein bar (b/c it is Sunday after all so I’m sneaking between services). (THM/E depending on your bar). 8 oz water.
Lunch: Left-over soup (OR mixed greens salad w/ veggies & some protein). 16 oz water. (THM/FP)
Snack: Nut Mix and mixed berries. 16 oz water. (THM/S)
Dinner: Sloppy Joes w/ Mock Cornbread. 16 oz water. (THM/S)

Savory Protein Muffins: We’re making this an E meal by using eggs whites and turkey bacon! Grease muffins tray (or use liners) and fill the hole w/ veggies (peppers, onions) and cooked/diced meat. Whisk 8-10 egg whites and season well (whatever you like, I use onion & garlic powders, s/p). Pour egg mix into each muffin hole. Bake 350 – 20-25 mins. These are great to make ahead and rewarm. (THM original recipe). On non-DF days you can add reduced fat cheese if like.

Nut Mix: Heat over 350. In food chopper or processor, chop or pulse 1/4 c raisins until reduced to paste. Place in a small bowl and add 1/2 c coconut milk and 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil. Mix. Add 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp almond extract and stir. Set this aside. In large bowl combine 2 c raw sunflower seeds, 2 c raw pumpkin seeds, 1 c raw chopped pecans, 1 c raw sliced almonds and 2 c unswt coconut flakes. Stir in the raisin mix. Spread on baking sheet and bake 15 mins, stirring once or until lightly browned. Remove and let cool. (recipe from Wheat Belly cookbook)

Sloppy Joes: 1 Tbsp EVOO in deep skillet and saute 1 small diced organic onion, add 1 large organic diced orange bell pepper and saute additional minute. Add 1-1 1/2 ground turkey, 3 Tbsp raw honey, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp granulated garlic, 1 tsp granulated onion, 1 tsp italian seasoning and stir. After browning meat but not cooked through, reduce heat and add 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar and 1 Tbsp Worcestershire, stir to combine. Add 15 oz organic tomato sauce and 2 Tbsp organic tomato paste. THis you can make ahead and freeze. Serve with…
Mock Cornbread: Mix 1 1/2 c almond flour, 1/2 c coconut flour, 1/2 c (df) plain yogurt, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 large eggs, 1/4 c melted coconut oil and 1/4 c water. Bake 350 – 20-25 minutes (this is a lil’ crumbly but oh so good as a bread for sloppy joe) :P

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Day 7 AdvoCare Cleanse (following THM)

Hello trim, hot, spark, healthy, mamas :) How’s YOUR cleanse working out for ya? Call me crazy but I <3 the way we eat now! There ARE restrictions but learning how to make adjustments to fit our needs, we DON’T FEEL RESTRICTED! We still have breads, sweets, cheese…I mean com’mon what more could you ask for (well, except for plenty of mulah). Today marks ONE whole WEEK on the AdvoCare 10 Day Herbal Cleanse. That means you haven’t seen the scales in a week (RIGHT?!), you’re past the possible side effects (headaches, sugar withdrawls, no more exhaustion), you’ve got plenty of energy, no cravings, I’m even willing to go so far as to say that your clothes feel better on you (am I right or what?). I hope you’re getting a lot of yummy eats you’ve never had before. Maybe you’re starting to realize you don’t need a box mac’n cheese and loaf of bread to make the kids/hubby happy, maybe you’re learning how to make life long adjustments to help your family reach optimal health (woohoo). I hate to break it to ya though, there are STILL a few side effects yet to come….like droopy drawers, big rings and, this one will make you shudder…dare I say it?…an excuse…TO SHOP!!!!!!

Why in the world do I have a Bob Marley song in my head today?? Woke up with…free lil’ birds by my doorstep, singing sweet songs, a melody pure and true, this is my message to you-u-u-u (ok, so maybe that’s not the REAL words but if you know what song I’m referring to PLEASE TELL ME YOU KNOW IT, cause it’s driving me nuts) lol~

Day 7:
Spark + Probiotics + (3) Catalyst. 12 oz water.
Breakfast: Light Baked Custard (THM/FP). 16 oz water.
Snack: Rice cake w/ tsp natural peanut butter and 4 circle/slices of banana. (THM/S) 16 oz water.
Lunch: Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Tuscana Soup w/ chicken. (THM/FP) 16 oz water.
Snack: Maple Pumpkin Pot de Creme. (THM/S) 16 oz water.
**Second (1/2) scoop Spark w/ (3) Catalyst to keep me going late
Dinner: Chick-Fila Market Fresh Salad w/ Grilled Chicken (THM/E) 16 oz water. +4 OmegaPlex
*Herbal Cleanse pill pack at bedtime~

Light Baked Custard: Place 1 c egg whites (7 eggs) in a blender, add 2 c unsweetened almond milk, 2 tsp vanilla, 7 tsp truvia, blend all together and pour into lightly greased dish (or 4 ramekins). Bake 350 – 1 hour (this is a THM original recipe)

Rice cakes w/ PB: If you’re GF be sure to look at all ingredients. The rice cakes I have are literally RICE cakes but a lot of them are made w/ wheat and some of them are sweetened. Making natural peanut butter is as easy as pouring the nuts into your high powered blender and turning it on. YES, it’s that easy ;)

My copycat version of Olive Garden Zuppa Tuscana Soup: Using chicken stock and water as your base, boil w/ cooked chicken, diced onions and crushed garlic, add plenty of salt and pepper. After hot enough I add “cashew cream” to give the soup a creamy texture and then throw in a hearty handful of spinach. Once spinach is wilty a lil’ ENJOY!!

Maple Pumpking Pot de Creme:
1 cup raw cream (i use cashew cream)
3/4 cup raw whole milk (I use rice milk…or whatever other milk on hand)
3/4 cup maple syrup (organic and Grade B)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
7 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Whisk together cream, milk, maple syrup and pumpkin in a saucepan and bring to a bare simmer over moderate heat. Whisk together yolks, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl. Add a tablespoon of the warm milk mixture to the egg yolks to temper them. Keep adding hot milk to the egg yolks one spoonful at a time until you have added about half a cup. Then add the egg yolks to the warm milk in the pan in a steady stream, whisking constantly so the eggs do not scramble. Pour amongst 10 2-3oz custard cups or one larger baking dish.
Place the custard cups on a baking dish and fill it half way up the sides of the custard dishes with water. Bake until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean – about 30-40 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool. Chill the custard until cold at least 2 hours and maximum 2 days ahead of serving. We usually eat it warm as soon as cool enough ;) This makes 10 servings so BE CAREFUL b/c you could easily eat it ALL (from homemademommy.net)

I had planned a cooked meal for this evening because I TOTALLY forgot that for my son’s birthday last May, I purchased us (he & I) tickets to the Tim Hawkins show. Which means a quick bite to eat on the go ;) Have y’all heard of him? A christian comedian that will make your sides hurt laughing…hey that sounds like a great ab workout! Look him up on youtube (yoga pants is a really good one and the chick fila song) LOL~

I know a LOT of people who will just have fruit (alone) for breakfast, I in fact used to be one of them. Fruits, such as berries or some frozen mango or peach smoothies are still great choices…WITH some added protein powder. However, never have fruit only! You must include protein if your going to get control of your weight and health! Fruit alone as a meal prevents stable blood sugar. Fructose causes your body’s glycogen storage to think it’s full a lot sooner than glucose from whole grains, beans or starch. Therefore, any excess fructose will turn to fat! Not just fat fat but adipose tissue, the kind that stores in your belly that you can’t seem to EVER get rid of. I’ve heard it said, “Fruits never made anyone fat!” I ain’t gonna lie, too much of a good thing….

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