I just got home from a four day yoga conference. It was such a great time, I was able to laugh and learn with large group of like minded yogis. I really enjoyed learning more about the anatomy portion of yoga, how to engage the proper muscle to be able to gain the most out of the practice, hold poses longer, or more effortlessly. When the weekend was done I learned so many great things to take away from the event. Some of my favorites were the little words of inspiring wisdom that were shared by the teachers when the class was getting intense or frustrating. I feel like the words they shared could be applied in all areas of life, especially on the journey to a healthy happy body.
Splits photo credit: Fit Sugar
During an intense class we were working on poses to open the hips and deep stretches. There is a point when you just cannot stretch any further, for some of us that is bending over to touch our toes and only reaching the knees, others can reach their toes but want to reach inches beyond. The trouble comes when we compare with our neighbor and then start feeling frustrated. Our teacher saw this starting to happen, in a room full of 200 yogis at all levels, there is bound to be someone better than you. While we were holding the pose (which can get pretty uncomfortable or frustrating), the teacher started talking us through it. I will do my best to paraphrase and hopefully you get the same inspiration that I had. She said, "Be on the same team as your body!" We spend so much time fighting against it or complaining about it being too something; tall, short, big, little, or weak. We are very good at being an enemy to our own body. In any thing we are trying to progress in, if we aren't loving ourself, we will be our own stumbling block. How often do we look in the mirror and get excited about what we see reflecting back at us? Wouldn't it be awesome to look in the mirror and see your best friend that you love and respect (YOU!). Imagine if you were on the same team as your body and not fighting against it, hating the little imperfections we are so good at finding. What would that be like? If we could just appreciate who we are right now and just be grateful for all of our working parts. Starting the day with gratitude for what we have and where we are on on our journey, don't you think we will take better care of ourself? The weight loss or gain, physical or personal strength, or depth of a pose will come in time if we are taking care of and loving ourself. Too weird? I loved the thoughts that her statement brought to me, BE ON THE SAME TEAM AS YOUR BODY! It is not easy but worth making a new friend and ally in yourself.
Another great moment happened during an inversion class, headstands and handstands. We talk anatomy and how to use which muscles to properly hold the poses. After some time discussing the details and proper alignment of the poses it was time to attempt them! Wahoo! Doesn't it look awesome? That is what we were all trying to achieve, a perfect headstand. We had instructions and knew what it should look like so we all dove right in. After a few minutes of the room full of yogis either standing on their heads or those of us struggling, jumping, falling, and pushing against gravity to achieve the beautiful end pose. The teacher stopped us and started talking to be us about the journey. Yoga is so easy to compare to real life events. There are so many things that we learn about and know how it is suppose to look or be. We focus so much on the end result and push ourself so hard and end up forgetting about the journey. We can learn much if we stay in the moment, go slow, and embrace the process. There are many health benefits of standing on your head, but that is not the only thing we can gain from learning how to do one. I have fallen out MANY times to say the least, I did not walk away from it. I still go to classes and learn more and how to properly aline my body. Each time I try I gain more strength and confidence in standing on my head, sounds crazy right? How many times do we do the same thing in life or on our whole food plant based journey. I know I am not perfect at eating right all the time, does that mean I give up this lifestyle all together? NO! I get right back at it, day after day, meal after meal. I learn and I am able to enjoy the process, each time I come back I know more and am a little stronger. I have more confidence in all areas of life because I can fall and get back at it, and now I can stand on my head! Who knows what I will achieve next! :)
I hope I didn't take you too far in the land of yogis. I just wanted to share some inspiring words with you! Life is a journey, embrace where you are right now, be your own best friend and ally, and enjoy the journey!
I came across this post on Facebook (thanks Sandrine Burke) and thought I would share.
I am in the beginning stages of building a home and making sure my home is ready for an emergency is quite important to me.
As is long term food storage. I thought these recipes would be perfect for my food storage and they are MUCH healthier than what you buy in the store (not to mention cheaper)
1/2 cup chili powder
1/4 cup onion powder
1/8 cup ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon sea salt
Put ingredients into a jar and shake.
Dry Onion Soup Mix
2/3 cup dried, minced onion
3 teaspoons parsley flakes
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Mix all ingredients in a jar, then give the jar a good shake. I’d recommend shaking the jar to mix the ingredients well before each use.
Use 4 tablespoons in a recipe in place of 1 packet of onion soup mix. Store this in a dry, cool place.
5 tablespoons dried minced onions
7 teaspoons parsley flakes
4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Mix together and store in an air tight container.
Another tip from the same post
Did you know in an Emergency a Crayon will burn for 30 minutes?
I wanted to make a "fancier" meal tonight. You might look at the picture below and question why I would call a
Veggie Burger "FANCY", but if a meal takes longer than 20 minutes or so to make, it is fancy to me. This meal
takes some extra prep time but I was pleased with the results. This is the featured recipe on Martha Stewart's
vegetarian cookbook, MEATLESS. The first time I saw the picture I knew I wanted to make it. I did make the
YOGURT dressing (usually I don't use dairy in my recipes) but I wanted to do the recipe exactly like the book.
But I didn't love the yogurt dressing (neither did Newbie Mommy when I shared this with her). So that is
definitely optional. Hope you enjoy!
Quinoa Veggie Burger
2 Portobello Mushrooms (8 ounces), stemmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 small zucchini
3 TBS Olive Oil
1 large shallot, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 ounce finely grated parmigiano-reggiano (optional)
2 cups cooked quinoa
Coarse Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 egg, lighten beaten
1 1/2 cups fresh whole-wheat bread crumbs (I used 3 pieces of bread- see details below)
Yogurt-Garlic Sauce (recipe below)
6 Whole Wheat Buns
1 cup sprouts
1/2 English cucumber, sliced thin
1. Pulse mushrooms in a food processor until finely chopped; transfer to bowl. Coarsely grate zucchini,
place on a paper towels, and squeeze to remove excess moisture. Add to mushrooms.
2. Heat 1 TBS olive oil in a large pan over medium. Add shallot and red pepper flakes ,and cook until softened,
about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and zucchini, and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and
add cheese and quinoa; season with salt and pepper. Let cool completely, then stir in egg and bread crumbs.
Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
3. Heat remaining 1 TBS oil in a large skillet over medium. Shape mixture into six 1-inch thick patties, pressing
firmly. Cook in batches until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. To serve, spread yogurt sauce onto buns
and sandwich with patties, sprouts and cucumber.
**Making Bread Crumbs
Trim off crusts from each piece of bread (preferably whole-wheat or whole-grain), and tear the bread into
large pieces. Pulse in a food processor to form coarse or fine crumbs, as desired.
3/4 cup plain greek style yogurt
2 TBS chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (I used 1 teaspoon dried parsley)
1 TBS capers, preferably salt-packed, rinsed and chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Combine yogurt, parsley, capers, and garlic in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, and
refrigerate for up to one day.
When I know I have a busy week ahead, I try to plan meals in advance or pre make a few items to make meal times easier. When I know I am leaving town, I pre-pack little baggies of veggies to take along with me. Those little veggie baggies are either get gobbled up too quickly or go bad while traveling. I have come up with a new solution for myself. I am traveled on a three day trip last month and tried making a few juices ahead of time. It worked PERFECT! I was so excited to start each day with my juice. It helped me keep on track when eating out. I wasn't starving and making poor food choices. VOILA! My perfect solution. This week I will be heading out of town again for a couple of days.
Three days of Juice:
3 bunches of kale
1 1/2 beets
12-15 large carrots
1 bunch of parsley
10 celery sticks
3/4 inch chunk of ginger
Fresh juice is always best, but juice last about three days before losing a significant amount of nutrients. I would rather have two day old juice than compromise and eat something devoid of nutrients. I am actually thinking of making this a habit. Making juice a few days ahead of time means I only get out the juicer three times a week instead of daily planning on it and then never getting to it. I am excited about this new option.
Are you new to a plant-based diet and want to know the ESSENTIALS?
Do you want some ideas on what types of foods should be in your pantry?
Are you looking for a SUPER FAST meal you can have on hand that your family will love?
After finding out that you eat plants...do people ask you "Where do you get your Protein?"
If you answered YES to any of these questions, you might want to check out our FREE DOWNLOADS page.
There are 4 downloads available right now and more are coming.
The download we are highlighting this month is our Whole Food Mommies SUPER BEAN BURRITOS.
This FREE download will provide you with the recipe,
all of the steps required, and even a grocery list.
Whole Food Mommies Super Bean Burritos is the PERFECT meal to have on hand. They FREEZE so well and kids not only love making them but they LOVE eating them. These are great for lunch, an after school snack, or a quick needed dinner. The possibilities for these burritos are endless. Download the free PDF today and enjoy making these super yummy burritos!
I am not sure if I should say remedy or allergy and cold relief. I rarely come down with anything, but this has been my year to catch a bug or two. I am currently fighting was feels like a head cold, but could very well be allergies. I have not yet suffered allergy symptoms that I know of. This is uncharted territory for me. I have spent the evening researching and testing a few methods. Here are my two favorites so far and a few other common suggestions.
The first thing I always reach for when anyone in my home is coming down with something is my essential oils book. (SO HANDY!) If you have been afraid to jump on that train, I highly recommend grabbing a ticket and getting on board. It is a wonderful way to take healing into your own hands. There is so much information out there and it's pretty hard to mess up! (key for me!) My book recommends eucalyptus oil to help open the nasal passages and clear sinuses. It is very easy to use and also has antibacterial properties. Boil a small pot of water and add a few drops. I am placing a bowl of steaming water and oil mixture next to my bed while I sleep.
The next item I chose for tonight help soothe. TEA! I love a warm cup of herbal tea. I like to keep it simple and just use straight herbs, no mixtures. Chamomile tea is soothing and healing. You can also use the tea bags once they have cooled to place on your eyes to help with itchy watery eyes. I haven't tried that personally, but have heard good things.
Let's not forget FLUIDS, drinking enough water and getting enough sleep. I am hoping that I can take it easy for a day or two and kick this out of my system.
There are several other natural remedies that I often hear good things about; eating spicy foods to clear sinuses, the ever impressive neti pot (still haven't attempted this one), steam always seems to help, and if it is allergies getting you down, try finding local honey.
I hope none of you are suffering the unfortunate symptoms along with me, but if you are. Give a natural remedy a try before heading to the medicine cabinet.
Do you know where your fish came from?
Target, Giant Eagle, Meijer and H-E-B have just agreed not to sell genetically engineered fish in their stores! These retail giants join over 55 other food retailers that made similar commitments earlier this year, including Trader Joe’s, Aldi, Whole Foods, Marsh and Hy-Vee.
Center for Food Safety, Friends of the Earth and a coalition of thirty consumer, food safety, fishing, environmental, sustainable agriculture, parent, public health and animal welfare organizations, have launched a national campaign for GE-Free Seafood. We’ve reached out to the nation’s top grocery stores, seafood companies, and seafood restaurants asking them to commit not to sell genetically engineered fish should it come to market.
Since the FDA has stated that it will likely not require GE fish to be labeled, consumers will have no way of avoiding the fish at the market unless companies make clear to consumers where they stand on the issue.
Sign the petition to urge Supermarkets, Seafood companies and restaurants to take a position not to purchase, sell, or serve GE salmon:
I have been in the mood for some creamy tomato soup, but because tomatoes are yet in season I opted for using roasted red peppers. I found a recipe and I had most of the ingredients except for the basil. I made it anyways and it tasted ok...my kids didn't love it. But then I had the perfect idea. To flavor it I added some cilantro lime quinoa, sliced up some avocado and together- this soup became amazing! We ate it so quick, I didn't even take a picture! No worries, we will for sure make this again and snap the pic before it's gone. Hope you enjoy!
Roasted Red Pepper Soup WITH Cilantro Lime Quinoa
1 TBS Olive Oil
1 Onion (I used a sweet onion)
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
4 Red Bell Peppers, roasted and quartered
(Check out this awesome website that I followed to roast my red peppers- click HERE)
3 cups vegetable Stock (or use water and veggie soup base, Better Than Bouillon works great!)
Cilantro Lime Quinoa (recipe found here)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and saute until onion is tender (5 minutes). Add roasted peppers and stock. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Allow the soup to cool slightly and begin to puree the soup using a blender or food processor. Blend all of the soup until smooth.
Top the soup with Cilantro Lime Quinoa and Diced Avocados.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial weekend. I hope you had a chance to reflect on life and feel grateful for the loved ones lost and the ones still close by. I had the chance to spend the holiday weekend camping out in our back yard with the kiddos and spending quality really reflecting on the joy they bring me. Sometimes I am strange, well all the time really, but only sometimes do I own up to that fact. As my four daughters were falling asleep in the tent, it was still light enough for me to see their sweet peaceful faces. I sat in a yogi meditation pose to just relax and try to be present. After a moment, I heard a little giggle and opened my eyes to see four sets of eyes peering at me through squinted eyes wondering what in the world I might be doing... I stayed focused, with a little grin, and reminded them to close their eyes and sleep (it was late). Before I closed my eyes again, I stared at each one of my children and really focused on them and what I love about them. I am not going to lie and say this is my nightly routine, I am not good at sitting still and being present, it's a never ending work in progress for me! As I took this time to really be aware, I was overcome with emotion and gratitude for the gift that each child is to me. What a gift we have to be here on the earth in a family, surrounded by people who love us and we love back. I often forget to remember that! I am so happy that I had the extra day this weekend to take the time to reflect on life and really live in the moment. If you haven't taken the time to recognize the people around you, I highly recommend taking 5-10 minutes and just thinking of each of them, reflecting on the gift they are to you. This memorial weekend is dedicated to help us pause and remember those who came before and provided us with the great life we now live, I would also add that those around you who make life beautiful.
That moment this weekend helped me see my family differently, it helped me to be a little more patient, a little more loving, a little more open. I often rush though everyday tasks, keeping a tight schedule, running errands, and shuttling kids from place to place. I would love to say that because of those 5 minutes I took last night that I am a changed mommy, but I know that would not be true. What I can say, however, is that I will take more of those moments, reflecting on what matters most. Enjoying my family, my life. My hope is that you will do the same.
In honor of this Memorial Day weekend I made fruit kabobs to take to a bbq party. Super simple and perfect for any summer party!
I will spare you the recipe and hope that the pic makes it obvious, the only thing that is not obvious it the fresh squeezed lemon juice over the kabobs to keep the bananas from turning brown.
Happy Summer! (soon)
This recipe came from Dr. Barnards new book, "Power Foods For The Brain".
I'll admit that my kids weren't big fans, but I loved them! These really aren't very sweet so you could easily add 1/4-1/2 of sweetener to make them a little more appealing to the little ones.
Super Raspberry Protein Brownies
Beans add fiber, calcium and protein, making these brownies a nutritious indulgence!
2 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed & drained
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup all-fruit or low-sugar raspberry jam
1 tablespoon vanilla
¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 -1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
350 degree oven. Grease pan.
Combine beans, dates, jam, vanilla in food processor and process until smooth. Add flour, cocoa powder, salt and process again.
Spoon into pan, smooth top w/spatula. Bake 35 minutes or until the top looks set. Remove from oven, cool completely, cut into 16 squares. (these take a little time to set up) Will keep in fridge up to 1 week.
Go check out cooking classes by The Cancer Project.
Maintenance Mommy teaches the ones in Utah!