Friday, March 30, 2012

Tips of the week for green house cleaning and body scrub.

Green tips of the week comes from DeDa Studios                

All Purpose Cleaner:  1 cup water to 1 cup vinegar.  Use in a recycled a old spray bottle.

Oven Cleaner: 1 cup baking soda, water, 2 squirts of dish soap ..... make a paste to use

Mold Remover: 2 teaspoons Tea Tree Oil to 2 cups of water.  Works great on bathroom tile.  You can find Tea Tree Oil in the vitamin section of your local store.  

Spa recipe of the week.    
Using natural ingredients on the body is better than loading it up with chemicals and preservatives.  Our skin is the largest organ of the body and it takes a lot of abuse of everyday life.  The environment, weather, our nutrition, chemical reactions all play a role in damaging and/or healing the skin.  Did you know that there are four ways toxins leave the body? (urine, stool, skin, and breathing)  This is why it is so beneficial to scrub dead skin cells off the surface.  It helps to remove the these cells and toxins on the surface.  I love the phrase "what is good in the body is great on the body too".  Why not use natural foods that cleans the body inside to clean the body outside, as well.  The smooth glowing skin is just a nice perk! 
Body Scrub
1/2 cup ground oatmeal
1/3 cup ground sunflower seeds
4 tbsp almond meal
1/2 tsp ground peppermint, spearmint, or rosemary leaves
2 tbsp mineral salt (optional but I love)
water, milk, or heavy cream

Mix dry ingredients together and store in a air tight container.  This is a great body scrub and can still be used for face.  For face use about 2 tsp of mixture and mix with enough water to form a spread about paste.  Water is used for oily skin, milk for normal skin types, and heavy cream for dry skin.  Allow paste to thicken for 1 minute and then massage onto face, neck, and body.  Rinse and follow with a moisturizer. 

Great time to scrub off any dry skin from those long winter months and clean the skin of any toxins trying to work their way out.  

Ground all dry ingredients: oatmeal, sunflower, almonds, and herbs.

In a bowl mix all ground ingredients.  Store in a contain with lid above.
When you are ready to use.  We added 3 tbsp of dry mixture to  bowl and mixed 1 tbsp of milk.  


Mixture is runny and needs to set for a 1 minute or so until a thinker paste.

Then apply to a face and work in a circle motion.  Rinse with water.  Pat dry with towel and leave.  You can use a moisturizer, but I recommend waiting to see how silky smooth your skin feels.  The milk and gentle rub of the scrub left our faces silky smooth and feeling great!  

This was a fun mother daughter day.  Mixing the ingredients and facial was less than 30 minutes and we have a dry jar for future use.  You can do this daily if needed.  Very gentle and smelled great with all three herbs.  
If giving to a friends as a gift, I recommend a pretty ribbon with instructions on card stock. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Change your idea of pizza

While I love whole wheat and whole grain breads, I like to limit my amount.  The gluten and yeast tends to slow down my digestion among other things when eaten in larger amounts.  Bread is not bad, but many people have noticed how gluten tends to cause stomach issues.  I like to use a moderate amount and look to use other creative avenues for some traditional foods.  I discovered a wonderful recipe for a Cauliflower crust Pizza and home made marinara sauce.  KID APPROVED!

Too much wheat in your diet can cause stomach issues like, candida, Leaky gut syndrome, Celiac Disease, and weight gain.  A lot of research is pointing towards many of our Wheat and grains fields are being genetically modified to be more pest resistant.  This is messing with our ability to digest these foods.  When baking or cooking it is best to use organic sources because of GMO's.  Symptoms can be gas and bloating, intestinal cramping, create wheat allergies, memory lose, unable to digest nutrients, nausea, diarrhea, and more.  I love grains and breads, but in moderation.  It's fun to take a recipe and change it up so that you don't always eat it in a single way.

Gluten Free cauliflower crust pizza
2 cups, crumbled cauliflower
2 cups Non-Fat shredded mozzarella cheese                                                                       
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp oregano
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp crushed garlic
olive oil (optional but great for a crispy crust)
***This recipe was for my family of 6.  You can easily cut recipe in half for 2-4 people****

Marinara Sauce
8-10 plum tomatoes, blanched
6 roasted small yellow and red peppers
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp oregano

Marinara Sauce takes a little longer to make than the crust so you will start it about 1 hour earlier.  I made mine early that day to have ready when I made the crust.  In a medium sauce pan add all tomatoes and roasted peppers to simmer over medium low heat until moister is cooked off.   Then move tomatoes and peppers over to a food processor and pulse until all blended.  Move back over to sauce pan and add remaining ingredients.  Simmer over lowest heat for another 20 minutes.  

In food processor crumble one head of cauliflower.

This will look like a coarse meal.

In a microwave safe container (I use pampered chefs micro cooker) steam cauliflower for 5 minutes.
 You will not add any water to cauliflower when steaming since suliflower holds lots of moister.

In a large bowl place 2 cups of cauliflower, cheese, eggs, and seasoning then mix together.

On a stone, drizzle oil and smooth over surface.  Take a heaping amount of mixture to center of stone and smooth out into a 9 inch circle while 1/4 inch deep.  Drizzle and smooth out with just a tad more oil over top to brown crust, this step is optional.

Place crust in oven at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

Remove crust and place marinara sauce and topping over pizza.

Place back in oven for an additional 5 minutes, just to melt cheese.  Veggies will still be crisp and not over cooked.  If you like veggies cooked more then you will want to roast separately while crust is roasting.   Pizza on right is the kids cheese pizza.

Pizza was easy to cut and put on plates but can not be eaten like a bread crust pizza.  The kids and I enjoyed with a fork.  While the kids knew it was a new recipe they said it was delicious and asked for more. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday, to many birds in the Cactus!

Wordless Wednesday
Bird Apartment complex, 3 bird houses in one cactus!

One cactus holding 3 active bird houses

  Most top house #1
                                                       In the middle looking out right side #2

                                                                         House #3

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Can you substitute for Mayonnaise? YES!

A friend told me once that you can substitute Mayonnaise for yogurt.  I was very skeptical and just pushed the idea to the side.  Although, today my husband received a bit of a knee injury during his morning run so I wanted to  increase his protein in his meals today.  When training, if you have sore muscles or injury it sometime is caused by micro-tears in the muscle tissue and/or the tendons.  So he will rest today and tomorrow, stretch, and give his body the nutrients it needs to build and repair.

For his lunch I made a Waldorf salad, carrots, almonds, and red grapes.  I rarely eat mayonnaise and  have come to dislike the taste.  I made his sandwich as normal, but before adding the mayo I took half the chicken mixture and tried the yogurt instead.   I was shockingly surprised.  The chicken salad was creamy, tasted amazing and had a slight zing from the yogurt.  This was a wonderful find that I can substitute the high calorie and oily mayo.  Can I substitute for egg-salad or potato-salad?  Not sure but now excited to try! The bread is a new find for me as well.

I love bread.  We usually switch up our breads between whole grains and wheat.  I enjoy making my bread as well, but can never get the sandwich bread feel and lightness.  So I picked up an Organic Sprouted wheat bread at Costco.  I have read that the grains are still whole and soaked so that the grains start to sprout.  In this germination the grains contain life and growth.  Now that sounds like something I want to put into my body.  When we eat we should be looking to foods that give us life, instead of over processed foods.  We should eat from the source while they hold their life giving quality to them.  I found that these grains, sprouted, are easier on the digestion.  They have a wonderful texture and a sweet nutty taste.  Over all a wonderful new bread that the family has really enjoyed.

Facts about Sprouted Wheat bread
  • provides more protein
  • the germination increases the absorption of vitamins and capture proteins and carbohydrates in enhanced states
  • during germination the grain contains its densest nutrient value of A, B and C
  • germination releases iron, potassium and calcium; and increases protein levels
  • sprouted enzymes break down gluten and other difficult-to-digest wheat components, aiding digestion and those sensitive to gluten. 
Read more on Sprouted Grain Breads. 
Benefits of Sprouted Bread
Food for Life

Waldorf-salad Sandwich (with yogurt) recipe
  • 4 ounces chopped chicken  
  •  10 red grapes
  • 5 sliced baby carrots
  • 4 green onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp vanilla yogurt
with yogurt, creamy delicious
with mayo
 The Waldorf-salad with yogurt added calcium and probiotics to aid digestion.  The mayo added high calories, oil, and fat.  I also felt the taste of mayo abrasive to the yogurts smoother flavor.  Hands down the yogurt was a better flavor and choice, I am sold!  Yogurt does a great job replacing mayo with chicken, we will see about eggs. 

Kids Corner
My kids were a little skeptical about the texture of the bread.  They could feel the seeds and grains in the bread.  So we tried with peanut butter and talked about why this bread was better.  I told them about the grains in the bread containing life and energy and was providing them with the energy to think and play.  We talked about how it was different and to continue to give it a try.  The second time around still was strange to them, but said that it was not as bad.  Kids really appreciate and understand when you can talk on their level.  Even my children can be stubborn and picky.  Just try to stay patient while introducing it and they will come around.  The kids also preferred the yogurt mixture to mayo taste!

Monday, March 26, 2012

What was it like to run a Quarter Marathon?

Race day was yesterday, Sunday March 25th, and it was an amazing event.  Over 2000 people showed up to run with runners from all 50 states represented.  

I am a new runner and still learning a lot about the sport and training.  I think of myself as an athletic person, enjoying sports and fitness from middle school through high school.  Although, after having children and being a stay at home mom, fitness was put on the back burner behind laundry, meals, diapers, and cleaning.
Once I became aware that all foods are not good for you, I changed our daily meals.  I have become passionate about eating right and exercising, trying many form of exercise.  I have discovered that I am a person that likes to be active.  I enjoy aerobic, dance, P90X, yoga, walking, swimming, hiking, kayaking, and running.  I need to be challenged and do best when I give myself goals.  I realized a while back that if I think of exercise as only a way to lose weight then I am more likely to get burned out and look negative to the scale and daily workouts.  Once I enjoyed the activity for the fun and feel of being active I found lacing up my shoes and gear a positive experience and looked forward to it.  I realize that exercise is a way of life and relaxing to the body and mind. That is why I now enjoy running.  I enjoy the beautiful landscape around me, the clean air through my lungs, and the nature I see all around me (minus the coyotes).  I still enjoy other workouts but when the weather is nice I'll be out running. 

Before race with friends, all very excited!
The training is not always fun but necessary for what I love most, the race!   Tons of thoughts and feeling race through my mind waiting for the start.  Waking up early, usually before dawn, to get ready and stretch.  Feeling the excitement and nerves leading into the start,  looking and wondering who is just starting with their first race or running for 50+ years.  Is everyone there having the same thoughts to do our best and to keep moving? Are they looking to know the feel of crossing over that finish line just like I am?  I am sure other people have their own reasons for running, these are just my own.  

I had three goals for today.
  • To finish.                                                                                    
  • To never stop running, no walking here.
  • And to finish with an average under 11 minutes miles.
View of those behind us.
I am thrilled that I completed all three of my goals.  My time was 1:10:46  with and average of 10:49 miles pace.  The first 2.5 miles were difficult with a steady uphill climb the entire time.  This was not something I really trained for, I usually ran rolling short hills.   I decided to find a group of ladies that were at the same pace as myself and stay with them.  They were a lot of fun as they had on rainbow tool skirts and bright hair ribbons.  They probably have no idea they helped me so much, but with them I was able pace myself without having to think about it too hard.  I was able to stay on pace and thought happy thoughts enjoying the view of the sun coming up and my music.  Before I knew it we went our separate ways.  I made the turn at the 10K marker while they continued on for the half marathon.  The way back I was by myself, but this is where I found a surge of energy knowing I was half way though.  I felt great, breathing even, and increased my speed a little more.  Before I knew it I was at the finish line and so excited!  I saw my husband and kids waving their arms and yelling my name.  The feeling of crossing over that finish line was like no other.  I knew I had completed 6.55 miles and I did it with 2, 000 people all trying our best!  

Many times during the run negative thoughts tried to worm there way in, wanting me to just walk for a few minutes.  This is where having my goals helped me so much.  Just by saying "no no walking" I was able to push on and stay on pace.  I believe running is 80% mental and my mind will tell me to stop before my body will.

Healthy eating plays a huge part in your fitness and you have to eat dense calorie quality meals and snacks.  I needed to have plenty of energy on hand waiting to be burned for the race.  We had a homemade sauce and organic spaghetti noodles, side salad, steamed squash medley, and bread. 

Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe                                                
1 yellow onion, diced small
1 zucchini, diced small
1 yellow squash, diced small
1 red and yellow pepper, diced small
8 blanched tomatoes. crushed
5 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
salt pepper
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley

In sauce pan add olive and all remaining ingredients.  Simmer over medium heat for 30-40 minutes.   Pour over whole grain pasta noodles and enjoy!

The hair must be done!
Family excited before race!
 At 4am my husband and I started our day.  We had cut fruit the night before, and made egg and English muffins for the kids to eat at the race.  We also,  laid out clothes the night before to make sure the kids where in pants and sweatshirts for the early morning tempts and t-shirts for when the sun came up.  While I got ready my amazing husband started on the egg sandwiches.  We then went to wake the kids, they were so excited they jumped right up and got ready.  What a wonderful family of support and encouragement I have.  My breakfast was 8 ounces of Power C by Naked Juice and a cup of coffee.  There was no way I could eat anything big before the run.  That is why my night before meal was so important.  By 5 am we dressed, brushed hair and teeth, and left house by 5am.  We arrived to the race site by 6:15. After stretching we meet up with friends racing too, and got in the huge pack of runners.
2000+ runners.

After race I walked through the line to cool down and grab my banana, apple, bagel, and MEDAL!  Yep, I got to rock a medal for my hard work and training.  The day before when I picked up my running bib I received my tech shirt.  Over all I had a blast and looking forward to training for my next race, a half marathon!  Training starts.......Wednesday after a little rest and yoga.

Tech shirt

Are you a runner?
Starting out or seasoned runner?
What races are you in this year?
What is your favorite meal night before?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tomorrow is Race day!

Well tomorrow is Race Day!  Arizona Distance Classic.  I am drinking plenty of water now to get ready for a warm day tomorrow.  I woke up with all the excitement and doubts of "Am I ready".  Well, I have 3 goals!
  • To finish.
  • To never stop running, no walking here.
  • And to finish with an average under 11 minutes miles.
I will be listening to a mixture of music, but the main album will be Jamie Grace!   What an amazing singer.  My favorite song is "Hold Me".

I hope you enjoy her Video and Check out here CD. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Part of a healthy lifestyle is having a healthy Spirit. (***GIVEAWAY BELOW***)

Part of a healthy lifestyle is having a healthy Spirit.  Cleaning out the garbage in our lives helps to increase a positive outlook on events around us.  One of the reasons I love Lent so much is that daily meditations cleans the spirit and soul.  Research has shown how stress makes us age faster, slows down digestion, and compromises the immune system.  Lent is like being in a desert and turning around to see the miracle of colorful flowers growing all around you.  Taking a few minutes everyday to breath and focus on the positive messages that enrich our lives can be beneficial to the body, mind, and spirit.

I am so excited to bring you some of my favorite Lent and Easter activity and prayer books.  In an earlier post I mentioned that Lent is a time of prayer and sacrifice to bring us closer to God and His passion.  One of my greatest struggles is making sure I make a family daily prayer and reflection during Lent.  We try to use the Magnificat during the first few weeks of Lent, this is a book of daily Mass readings.  We enjoyed this and did our best at making our own daily Acts of Christianity.  Although when I received these booklets from All God's Children Bookstore, I found a treasure!  They made it easier to talk with our children on their level and gave us great ideas for activities for each day!  I have four books that I reviewed and used to see which would be best for my family.  I loved them all, they each have something special that sets them apart.

Add caption
"40 Ways for 40 Days" is a family guide that I think is great for younger ages.  Each day has scripture reading and a activity or thought of the day.  Here I am showing a picture of Candling making and how we are the light of the world.  The second picture just below shows a fun activity of making a glory poster showing that God's glory shine forth in our lives.  This booklet I found great for simple daily activities to do with my kids ages 4-10.  Each scripture verse was easy to think throughout the day.


"Welcome Risen Jesus" was my absolute favorite!  In the introduction the book simply states that we celebrate that Jesus has risen.  Before we can celebrate, we have some preparation time to understand his death.  Lent is the time to help us clear out the things that get in the way and separate us from God.  Even children need to clean out this garbage.  Simple things as not sharing, giving forgiveness, acts of charity, and more.  This book focused on the three pillars of lent, fasting, prayer, and almsgiving, for all ages.  Each Sunday starts with the gospel reading and gives you a thought for the day, an act of Christianity, a fast to do for that day, and a prayer. 
For the Fourth Sunday of Lent the Act was "to send a card or make a gift for someone who is sick".
The fast was "to not complain about yourself today.  Accept who you are and the way you are."
The prayer was "I don't understand why things are the way they are, Jesus.  There is so much pain in the world, and I struggle.  Help me to see that you have a plan to bring good from even the worst situation".

I felt this gave me words of wisdom for the 40 days on their level and understanding.  The acts were simple things to do, and I loved that they gave me ideas for this, because I will admit I was running out of these ideas.  The kids loved to have a certain act to accomplish throughout the day whether at school, home, or sports.

"Living Lent at Home" is a great devotional book for all ages as well.  This booklet included daily reflections, activities, and simple prayers.  We all have busy days where we feel we just need to get out the door to school and work.  How much better would that day be by giving a little time to God to give up are thoughts and concerns?  Looking for his guidance in the day.  Each Sunday started with a Gospel reading and deep devotional.  Then each following day through the week delved a little more into that reading.  I also really enjoyed this book because I felt it gave me great direction to speak to the older kids on their level with great activities. 

"Every day of Lent and Easter" is a workbook of coloring pages, puzzles, story's, word games, secret messages, a calender and more.  This book has a activity for everyday.  There was no daily devotional, just great fun activities to enjoy.  I felt this a great companion to any of the booklets above.  My kids had a blast doing the secret messages, coloring puzzles, and wanted to do more than just one at a time. 

My 2nd grader broke the code in one activity and was excited about the message that Jesus loves her just the way she is.   This booklet is fun for all ages! 

Another great bonus is that the booklets can be used every year.  You can enjoy the last few weeks leading up to Easter and keep the books to do again next year.

BUY IT:  You can order these awesome books at All God's Children in Prescott, Az.
Call Mike and Terry Johnsen at (928)717-1554.

"Welcome Risen Jesus" - $1.99
"40 Ways for 40 Days" - $1.95
"Every day of Lent and Easter" - $3.99
"Living Lent at Home" - $6.99

What a great price for a great assortment of books that you can use every Lent and Easter.  Call and get your books to enjoy the rest of Lent and Easter. 

WIN IT:  One (1) Lucky reader will win two (2) of the featured books above "40 Ways for 40 Days" and the activity book "Every Day of Lent and Easter".  This giveaway will be open until 3/29/12. 

Enter to win in the rafflecopter form below!