making plant-based milks.

plant-based milks
In the interest of simplifying, I rarely cook with or use plant-based milks, but sometimes water or other liquid just won’t do, so it’s time to make some milk. Making plant-based milks is really not that complicated, it just takes a little time and forethought. The result is a cheaper, fresher, healthier version of what you can buy at the store, which often contains added oils, preservatives, and flavor/texture enhancers. Continue reading

how to do a basic plank.

basic plank

The basic plank is an isolation move that engages a good majority of the muscles in your body but the primary focus will be on your core muscles. Conditioning your back and abs not only helps you to look better and stand straighter, when toned and healthy, these two muscle groups make us feel good all over. Continue reading

orange chia seed muffins.

orange chia seed muffins

Being a whole-foods, plant-based cook in a fast-food, meat-based world has left me as a cook that rarely follows a recipe. This is not always a good thing. And I have three very tough (translation: “picky”) food critics around here. But I am happy to report that this new recipe for orange chia seed muffins passed the toughest of reviews with flying colors today. Continue reading

veggie fajita burgers.

veggie fajita burgers

I asked my son what he wanted for his special birthday dinner today. What was his favorite thing that I could make for him? His answer? “Hamburgers. But not veggie burgers mom. Real hamburgers.” Yes, it’s true. The boy likes meat. And it’s what everyone else eats as far as he’s concerned. And so, for his special occasion, real hamburgers it shall be. Continue reading

meal planning – a formula for success.

menu planning

Would you like me to give you a formula for… success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You’re thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all… you can be discouraged by failure / or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember that’s where you’ll find success. On the far side. ~ Thomas J. Watson (founder of IBM)

So…failure rocks…but it doesn’t feel like it. One sure fire way to fail when it comes to eating right is to go into it without a plan. Here’s a little story from my life: I was all excited to make something out of nothing for dinner and then share my stroke of genius with the world…but it was kind of…blah. And I’ll admit I was a little frustrated with my apparent lack of ingenuity. Trust me, this isn’t the first dish I’ve tried to recreate only to find that everyone wants toast after they gag down their obligatory first serving. But if Mr. Watson was right, if I keep on making mistakes, I’ll be successful in no time! Awesome. Enjoy that bowl of failure kids, we’re on our way to success! Continue reading

how to do bench dips.

bench dips

One good way to prevent your triceps from sagging is by toning them with bench dips. As with most bodyweight exercises, you get more than just one benefit out of the bench dip. You’ll also work your shoulder, chest, and core muscles. The position of your body in relation to the bench determines which muscles are worked the hardest during the exercise. Continue reading

apple cake.

apple cake

Yesterday we celebrated a birthday. As I cleaned up what seemed like the aftermath of a hurricane, I found myself full of gratitude for opportunities to celebrate. Our lives are made up of moments and many of the moments seem mundane, but the beauty of the moments added together makes a life – and life is worth celebrating. So the day after a party, I baked a cake for another special occasion: It’s Monday. We’re all here together. Life is good. Continue reading

appetites, cravings, and addictions.

appetites, cravings, addictions

As adults one of the biggest giants we face is that of our own self will. We live as servants to our appetites, our cravings, and yes, our addictions to food. Dr. Douglas Graham, author of The 80/10/10 Diet, puts it this way: “Appetite is…the socially acceptable word for craving, which in turn is the socially acceptable term for addiction.” Call it what you want, but our choices for nourishment often have very little to do with hunger and very much to do with emotion. We eat because we are happy. We eat because we are sad. We eat because we are celebrating. We eat because we are grieving. We eat because we are stressed. We should be eating to nourish and strengthen our bodies and praying to nourish and strengthen our spirit. Continue reading

how to do squats.

squats

Your upper legs and glutes are powerful fat burning machines when in prime condition. Squatting is a basic human movement, but many of us have poor habits and/or weak muscles to support the movement. The major muscles worked in the squat are your upper legs and glutes, but to perform a squat well you must also engage your core muscles to prevent lower back injuries.
Continue reading

blueberry bliss smoothie.

blueberry bliss smoothie

Sometimes breakfast calls for something fast, easy, delicious, and as always, nutritious. This blueberry bliss smoothie meets all the requirements! It only takes three simple ingredients: blueberries, bananas, and coconut water. Continue reading

blueberries.

blueberries

about blueberries.

Blueberries are a prime example of a nutrient-dense, low-calorie whole, plant-based food. They frequently land on “healthiest foods” lists due to their high antioxidant content, which prevents and slows cellular damage and supports the immune system to prevent infections. Like their cranberry cousins, blueberries can be helpful in preventing and treating urinary tract infections because of their high levels of antibacterial hippuric acid, which inhibits bacterial growth in the urinary tract, reducing chances of infection. Continue reading

understanding caloric density.

Caloric Density

One way to evaluate your food choices is to understand caloric density. A quick look at the caloric density chart above shows us the differences between low-nutrient, high-calorie foods and high-nutrient, low-calorie foods. Continue reading

8 push-up variations.

Push Ups

If you want a sculpted upper body, the good old fashioned push-up is your secret weapon. Here are 8 push-up variations that not only work muscles in your arms, chest, shoulders, and back, they also require the use of your core muscles, engaging your entire upper body. Continue reading

crockpot black bean soup.

crockpot black bean soup

My family was out of town this weekend. I missed them terribly, but I was also very busy getting A LOT done. I wanted them to come home to a good meal so we could sit around the table and swap stories, but I didn’t want to be stuck in the kitchen before or after they arrived.

Sometimes you know you are going to have a crazy busy day and making a good dinner is going to be a challenge. But thanks to the slow cooker, it’s not impossible. Continue reading