Sometimes Water Just Doesn’t Cut It. . .

simple rehydration

Sometimes when you are trying to rehydrate, water just doesn’t cut it so, on the home front, we have been looking into some homemade alternatives to store bought sports drinks (which contain all sorts of things you don’t want to put in your body) to help with rehydration.  I found the following recipe from Mother Nature Network.  It is called The Super Simple Electrolyte Drink , and since I’m all about simple I thought I’d give it a go.

The Super Simple Electrolyte Drink
(see the original post Here )

1/2 Cup Orange Juice (I used store bought 100% juice)
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice (I squeezed my own and let me tell you when you squeeze a few lemons you find all sorts of little cuts and scrapes on your hands you didn’t even know you had. Ouch.  And be careful you don’t get seeds in your drink)
2 Cups of filtered Water
2 TBSP of RAW Honey
1/8 TSP Unrefined Salt (I used sea salt)

I made a double batch on Friday and it was gone by late Sunday afternoon.  The babe loved it and went looking for it Sunday evening only to open the fridge and find the bottle missing.  He looked up at me with a very disappointed little face and said “Juice All Gone? Go store?” I will be making another batch this evening and we will stick with this recipe until the orange juice runs out, then we will try and share a new recipe.  Happy Hydrating! (And feel free to share your hydrating recipes)

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Snack, Snack, Snackity Snack

When you are trying to eat more “real food” and less “processed” foods you get asked frequently about snacks for the kiddo’s.  This is what kind of snacks we have in our house for adults and kiddos alike:

Fresh fruit (and frozen fruit for smoothies and popsicles)
Dehydrated Fruit (We love Brothers All Natural)
Dried Fruit
Fruit Snacks (We like Simply Balanced )
Raisins
Yogurt covered raisins/blueberries
Chocolate covered cherries
Pretzels
Annie’s bunnies or Crackers (we keep these to a minimum)
Popcorn
Trail mix of assorted varieties
Nuts or Seeds (Pumpkin and Squash Seeds are delicious)
Granola bars (we love Kind Bars)
Hummus and Pita Chips
Olives (for the babe) Yes you read that correctly OLIVES!
Cheese
Pepperoni or deli fresh lunch meat
Broccoli and an assortment of Raw Veggies
Hard Boiled Eggs
Cold Kidney Beans

When I do buy processed foods as snacks, like granola bars, I READ the ingredients, the trick is being able to identify all the ingredients.  If there are long words you don’t understand, you probably don’t want to eat whatever it is. On occasion we do break down and have chips or some type of crackers, maybe some homemade sweetness like pumpkin or banana bread or homemade cookies. For the most part we try to eat more whole foods or we make it ourselves. A challenge in itself, (especially for us full time working people) but so incredibly worth it for yourself and your family.

A Challenge from a Friend

A friend of mine recently challenged me to watch a documentary.  Our conversation went something like this:

Him: “You should check out the documentary called “Cowspiracy”

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Me: “I probably wouldn’t make it through.  I can’t watch the animal documentaries.  I don’t eat much meat as it is, but after watching a documentary on chickens I couldn’t eat chicken anything for years.  Now it’s only organic free range expensive chickens.”

Him: “There’s nothing like that in it.  You owe it to your son to watch”

I took a little pause after I saw that.  I kind of didn’t like someone telling me I owe it to my son to do something, but another part of me felt a twinge, that maybe I should watch it.  This friend wouldn’t tell me I need to watch something unless he knows it would really mean something to me.

Me: Is it on Netflix?

Him: Yes ma’am!

Me: Ok.  You know I don’t eat cow very often and we drink a lot of almond milk because we already think cow’s milk is a conspiracy?

Him: I know.  This is probably the most important topic we face as a human race.

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Wow, I thought.  What the heck is this documentary about?  I headed over to Netflix to check it out and was glad that I did.  If you haven’t watched Cowspiracy I am passing along the challenge to you to not only watch it, but to watch it and think hard about it and then challenge your friends to watch it.

There are so many things that we face as the human race and one thing we don’t talk about often enough is our food.  Where does our food come from?  What happens when we, as humans consume animals and plants, what does that do to our environment?  How have humans changed the environment by our food habits? Can our planet continue to sustain the ever growing population of humans if we continue on the same path we are currently on?  The answer to that last question is NO, WE CAN’T.  We humans need to make a change.  We need to make changes quickly and en masse if we want to continue to survive on this planet.  But first we need to educate ourselves and some of the problems that no one wants to talk about, so head over to Netflix and watch Cowspiracy.  Or head over to their website if you don’t have Netflix Then let me know what you think!

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Cowspiracy
Filmmakers: Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn
Executive Producer: Leonardo DiCaprio
http://www.cowspiracy.com/

A Love Hate Realtionship

I have a love-hate relationship with my kitchen.

I love the kitchen because that is where we make delicious and healthy meals. The kitchen is where I work to keep my family and pets healthy, that is where we bake yummy treats as a family, that is where I get to play kitchen witch when the urge arises.

I hate the kitchen because it is the one room I have to clean on a daily basis, multiple times a day.

The kitchen is the busiest room in the house most days.  The room where most of the work gets done.  Yet the past few weeks I’ve found myself dreading stepping foot in it. I’ve been apprehensive with my menu planning and making meals.  I’ve been just kind of been avoiding it at all costs.  I’ve needed a break from it, so I took one.

Last night, I decided I needed to get over my off again relationship with the kitchen and get back on track, so I went all out and made a large meal and it felt good.   Really good.  The cleaning not so much, but I guess it’s all a compromise and I can live with that.

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Things We Need to Teach our Children – Good Eating Habits

Good Eating Habits

I am always slightly appalled when I see people feeding small children McDonalds. We really should do better for our children.  I have a child that has survived more than two years now, never having tasted a McDonald’s anything.  I won’t lie and say my child has never eaten any sort of fast food.  There have been several occasions where he has eaten chicken strips or tenders from ChickFila or Sonic, but these events are few and far between.  I want my child to grow up liking to eat healthy foods and so I try my hardest to provide him with healthy food and to show him that I eat healthy in hopes that he will follow suit.

One thing about being a parent is that we try to model behaviors that we want our children to have.  When you want your children to eat healthy that means you end up eating healthier too! Our children learn about food mostly from us, so we need to take advantage of this and TEACH them about food.  Show them that you eat healthy food and they will follow suit!

To aid in teaching our children to eat healthier, we need to teach our children where their food comes from. Food doesn’t just magically appear in stores or in restaurants and children should be aware of this.   We need to teach them about where the plants and animals they eat come from.  If you have a green thumb or if you’ve always wanted to try. . . planting an edible garden, an herb garden or just a few tomato plants in a pot is an excellent way to teach them about where their food comes from.  If you children pick out and grow their own vegetables they are usually more willing to try new ones as they helped in the creation of them.  (Also, buying a bag full of ladybugs and releasing them into your garden is incredible fun.)  If you’re not so great at keeping plants alive or you can’t imagine adding one more daily activity to your already hectic schedule try driving your kids to the local farmers market, or to the actual farm once a month.  There are lots of farms where you can pick certain fruits and vegetables straight from the source during certain seasons.

After your kids know where their food comes from they need to learn how to prepare their food to eat.  We should teach our children to cook and eat whole foods and explain to them the difference between fresh meals and processed ones! If you don’t think you’re a good cook, it’s never too late to learn!  I learned how to really cook a few years shy of turning 30 and now I actually enjoy cooking (it’s the cleaning part I figured out I don’t like).   Start with simple recipes.  I have found that the best meals are always made from simple ingredients and a short list of ingredients at that.  There are so many great recipes out there.  Just pick a few and get started!  Baking  is another great way to get kids involved.  Baking with kids is always fun.  My little’s favorite thing to do in the kitchen is “mix, mix, mix, mix” and it is a great way to get really young kids involved in the kitchen!

If we teach our children about food from a young age and involve them in preparing and cooking their own food we are setting them up for a healthier way of life for the long haul.  We all want what’s best for our children, so help set them up for success and give them the food education they deserve.  You never know, you may just learn something in the process.

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Three Ingredient Chicken Taco’s

Everyone loves an easy meal.  One of my favorite’s is 3 ingredient chicken taco’s in the crock pot.  It’s easy, doesn’t require much in the amount of prep time, delicious and you can have enough for 2 simple dinners.

3 Ingredient Chicken Taco’s
4 chicken breasts
1/2 a jar of your favorite salsa (at least a cup)
1 package of taco seasoning (or 1 batch of homemade taco seasoning)

Cook on low for 8 hours (or all day while you’re gone at work).  By the time it’s done cooking, the chicken is so tender it shreds as you mix it up.  Heat up some rice and beans, and add your favorite toppings for yummy chicken taco’s.

Night Two, I made quesadilla’s with the leftover chicken and black beans.  I food processed the leftover black beans to make refried black beans, shredded cheese and added leftover chicken to tortilla’s, heated them in a skillet and had a second simple, delicious and easy meal in just a few minutes.

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