Thursday, February 17, 2011

Spinach Smoothie - Part Three

If you've been reading this blog for some time now, you already know that we love our spinach smoothies around here.  If you've tried them, you're probably already addicted too.

The kids love the taste.  I love that it's a great way to get in a lot of nutrition quite effortlessly. 

Over time, we've all discovered our favorite spinach smoothie concoctions.  I've shared Noah's favorite smoothie recipe and my spinach smoothie recipe.

Here is Caleb's.  It has both orange juice and yogurt in it which give it a nice tang.  Enjoy!

Spinach Smoothie by Caleb from A Little Spinach

1/2 cup of low fat vanilla yogurt *
1/2 cup of orange juice
1 giant handful of spinach
1 heaping tablespoon of ground flaxseed
3 - 4 ice cubes
1/3 - 1/2 of a frozen banana - optional (nice if you want it thicker)

Blend all together.  This makes one large glassful.

*  Our tip for purchasing yogurt:  When looking for yogurt, make sure that you can read and understand all of the ingredients.  Many yogurts are filled with some pretty funky stuff.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hummole - Is it Hummus or is it Guacamole?

I got this recipe quite some time ago from the co-op where I frequently shop - Valley Natural Foods in Burnsville, MN.

Being in line with my other favorites, it is:  fast, easy, delicious, healthy, and nutritious.  Hummole is packed with protein, fiber, and good fats.

You may be wondering if it tastes more like hummus or guacamole. It is much closer in taste to guacamole than hummus.  Think of it as Power Guacamole!  Added fiber and protein are a benefit to this recipe over traditional guacamole. 

Avocado and Chickpeas - the best of both worlds!

Hummole from Valley Natural Foods in Burnsville

16 oz cooked chickpeas (if using canned, don't forget to rinse beans)
1 avocado
3/4 jalapeno
1 clove garlic
juice of one lemon

Blend all in food processor until creamy.  Makes a great veggie dip.

Could it be easier?

While I do love this recipe as is, feel free to change it up a bit.  Here are a few things I have done to this recipe:  add a little sea salt, switch out the lemon juice for lime juice, add a little evoo, use a little chipotle for a smokey flavor.

Caleb says, "Dig in!"

What is Caleb eating in the bowl?  CHILI!  Be sure to check out that recipe too!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Elimination Diet completed, or is it?

I've been asked by many to give a quick update on the elimination diet I started at the end of December. 

Before I started this journey, I was excited but also wondering how much of a difference it could really make.  As one friend said, "You don't need this.  You eat healthier than most already."  Perhaps I didn't need it, but I was curious to see how I would feel cutting out some of the major offenders:  gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine (I still did tea), etc.   

Two weeks into the plan, I posted an update on how it was going up to that point.  At that point, I was still missing coffee but otherwise feeling good.  No, I wasn't feeling good.  I was feeling GREAT!

Here we are - almost a month after my last post about the elimination diet plan. 

I've been asked a lot of questions recently... here are some:
What happened to me?
Did I finish the four weeks?
Do I have food allergies?
How am I eating now?
Did I lose weight?  (not my goal, by the way)
Do you need to buy the cookbook in order to do the elimination plan?

Let's tackle these one by one.

This is probably why I haven't posted an update.  I don't feel like there's much of an update to give.  I feel so darn good without all of the junk that I just haven't added it back.  Am I allergic or sensitive to gluten or dairy?  No idea.  I haven't had any since end of December.  I figure, if I feel better without, why add it back?  Will I someday have those things again?  Sure - in moderation.  Eating some of those things makes socializing easier but I could live quite happily without.  So, technically I'm "done" with the plan since it's been more than four weeks, but I am not done in the sense that this is just my new way of life.

How do I eat now?  I eat a lot of veggies, fruits, gluten-free whole grains, nuts, and seeds.  I also eat salmon about every three days and chicken once-a-week or every other week.  I was never a big meat person before I started this so it's not much of a change. I am also buying as little prepacked processed stuff as possible.  I have even cut way down on the "healthy" packaged items.  I'm making more homemade items like almond milk, buckwheat cereal, etc.  I am eating lunch as I type.  I'm having leftover coconut quinoa pilaf and a big smoothie with:  tons of spinach, blueberries, banana, pea protein, and ground flaxseed.

Weight:  Weight loss was not the goal for me.  When I started this plan I was at my lowest adult weight already.  A month-and-a-half later, my weight is still the same.  That's fine by me.  I'm not skin and bones by any means and I *could* lose a few pounds if I really wanted and tried hard.  I'm not in that mindset now.  I am very happy and comfortable in my own skin.  I love that at 36-years-old, I'm in the best shape of my life.  I love that I eat as much as I want (and I eat A LOT!) but since I'm just fueling my body with TONS of good foods, the weight works itself out.  I would guess that I'm being asked this because people wonder if they could lose weight on this plan.  Why wouldn't you?  If you replace garbage with good stuff, weight comes off. 

The Book:  You do not need to own the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook in order to do the elimination diet.  It's a fabulous cookbook and the elimination diet only takes up about two pages in the very back.  You also don't need to do the plan to get a lot of great recipes and ideas from the cookbook.  It's just a great cookbook.  I will say this though, if you are considering doing the elimination plan owning the cookbook will make your life a lot easier because it gives some great ideas.

For more wonderful ideas and recipes, check out this blog by the people who wrote the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and the elimination plan.

Any other questions I should answer?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My new favorite cookie! Almond Cookies

What ingredients come to your mind when you think about cookies?
I think of:  white flour, white sugar, butter, and eggs.

Obviously, eating an occasional cookie made from those ingredients isn't the end of the world, but I certainly wouldn't want to put a lot of those things in my body on a regular basis - especially the white flour and white sugar. 

I don't know about you, but I want to eat more than the occasional cookie.  That's why I love having a recipe for cookies that I can enjoy and feel good about eating.

This recipe so wonderful because it is made from natural ingredients that provide nutrients like good fats and fiber - all while fulfilling a sweet tooth.

Another bonus to this recipe?  Speed!  I swear... if you try this, you'll be amazed at how much faster you can whip up a batch of these over your standby cookie recipe.  All you really need is a food processor and a few minutes.

Once you discover how fast, easy, and delicious these are, you may find that you want to make a double batch! 

Almond Cookies from Raw Food Made Easy For 1 or 2 People by Jennifer Cornbleet

½ cup raw almonds
¼ cup raw walnuts
Dash salt
½ cup pitted Medjool dates
¼ teaspoon almond extract
¼ cup raisins or dried cherries (optional - I used dried cherries)
¼ cup ground almonds

*Sometimes in raw foods recipes, you'll see that the nuts and/or dates are soaked first.  Nothing needs to be soaked in this recipe.

Place almonds, walnuts, and salt in a food processor fitted with the S blade and process until coarsely chopped. Add the dates and almond extract and process until the mixture begins to stick together. Don’t over-process; you should still see chunks of almonds and walnuts. Add the raisins or cherries, if desired, and pulse briefly, just to mix. Remove from the food processor and place in a small mixing bowl.

Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the almond mixture into your hand and squeeze firmly until it sticks together. Roll into a 1-inch ball and flatten slightly, to make a cookie. Repeat until you have used up all the almond mixture. Roll each cookie in the ground almonds and place on a plate. Chill at least 1 hour before serving. Stored in a sealed container, Almond Cookies will keep for up to one month in the fridge or three months in the freezer.

Yield: 12 cookies, 4 servings

* The recipe may say that they keep for a month in the fridge, but let me say, "No they don't!"  You'll gobble them up long before that.

You may be asking yourself, "Does it get the kid stamp of approval?"  My answer is, "See for yourself!  In other words... YES!"

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...