Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Salad Box

One of the best things I do for myself each week is to prepare my salad box. Having this salad box makes healthy eating so much easier and quicker. I can throw together a huge, healthy salad in less than 3 minutes. I can use chopped veggies for a pizza topping or in a pita pocket or tortilla.

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The ingredients aren't always the same either so there can be lots of variety. This week I have shredded carrots, red cabbage, zuchinni, red and orange peppers, mushrooms, onions and celery. Other great additions are grape tomatoes, beans (chick peas or black beans), corn, cucumber, black olives, broccoli and cauliflower.

Ideally I prep the veggies for the box as soon as I get home from the grocery store but since I do not have a set time for shopping each week this doesn't always work out; especially if I've shopped at night.

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Once prepped I put the covers on all my small containers. I have heard of others who leave the covers off but I prefer to have them on. I also store my dairy free cheese in the salad box along with my sprouted tortillas.

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Then on goes the cover and the box is then stored on the bottom shelf of my fridge.

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I purchased my green salad box at either Walmart or Target... I can't remember which one anymore. Make sure to measure the fridge space before you purcahse a container or you might come home with a container that doesn't fit.

The salad box is a great tool for quick lunches and snacks too. Just open the lid and let the kids assemble their own salad or veggies to snack on. My Andrew goes for the peppers everytime!

Enjoy God's amazing healthy fast food in under 3 minutes from your salad box.

This post is linked to Tasty Tuesday.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Brocolli and Grape Salad

1301325479 This delicious broccoli and grape salad from Hallelujah Acres is one of our favorite Spring/Summer or get together salads. I usually bring this salad to Thanksgiving and Christmas and all of my non vegan family eats it and raves about it. The reason I like to bring this salad to get togethers is because it is a vegan alternative to the ever popular broccoli and cauliflower salad with bacon and cheese that my mom makes. Its nice to know that I can eat a salad like this on occasion. This is not a salad that I would make every week for my family (too many calories and fat) but I think this last summer I made it about once a month and would have small servings with my lunch or dinner throughout the week.

You can click on the link above and it will take you to the salad recipe. The dressing is 3/4 cup Veganaise, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice and 1 Tbsp. natural sweetener. I used honey but have used raw agave nectar too.


Daybook for March 19th

Outside my window... Its gray and dreary looking. The wind is blowing and I hear it whistling through my open windows. The birds outside my bedroom window are quite noisy this morning.

I am hearing... the beautiful, calming music from my blog.

I am thinking... about the message at church yesterday and the challenge given to us to lay everything before the Lord and be willing to beg God that He would use my life by whatever means necessary to bring about His glory. I thought and talked with God about this for a long time last night while I couldn't sleep.

I am thankful for... being created to be my husbands help meet. This is something that I need to remind and renew my mind to quite often.

I am wearing... workout clothes because I am heading to the treadmill soon.

From the kitchen... The fridge desperately needs to be cleaned out and I hope to tackle Spring cleaning the cupboards and cabinet doors this week. Maybe a few cupboards a day or maybe Samantha and I can work for a couple of hours and get them all done in one day.

I am going... to get dog food this afternoon because a certain someone whose chore it is to care for the dogs did not mention it to me when we were in town yesterday.

I am creating... healthy habbits of exercise and food choices into my life.

I am pondering... “When I am consumed by my problems-stressed out about my life, my family, and my job-I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God's command to always rejoice.” Francis Chan

I am looking forward to... our daughter's 18th birthday this weekend. Such a milestone. She is ready, mama not so much. It came so quickly!!

From the learning rooms... We are working on a States notebook and 12 President pages for History both of which will carry into next years school, now if only I could figure out where our President flash cards went.

One of my favorite things... a coffee date (minus the coffee) with a new friend.

I am reading... The Hole in Our Gospel but I am also reading Created to be His Help Meet. 

I am praying... for my mom. She lost one of her dearest friends last week. She keeps telling me how empty she feels. Praying that the Lord will comfort her and bring her peace.

A picture thought I'm sharing... Samantha and my nephew Tyler at one of her senior photo sessons. My sister is a photographer and Tyler is Sammi's buddy. He didn't want Sammi to have pictures, he was trying to pull her off the set so that she would come sit and cuddle with him. He loves his Boo Boo.


Thank you to Peggy for hosting this meme each week. Make sure to stop by and visit with some of the other participants too. Have a lovely week.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I've been juicing off and on for over a year now and I truly believe this is the one thing that has helped me the most with my Fibromyalgia. Getting quality, organic vegetables into my body 2-3 times a day through juicing feeds my cells on a cellular level and boosts my energy through the roof! :)

I was graciously given a Champion Juicer last year by a wonderful friend and immeadiately started using it. When I first started juicing I stuck to carrots and granny smith apples but now I throw just about any vegetable in there that I have on had.

Below you'll see the pictures I took one morning last week from start to finish.

Prepping vegetables by far takes the most amount of time and even though I use organic carrots and wouldn't need to peel them, I find that my juice is a little bitter if I don't.

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This batch of juice was 5lbs carrots, 3 granny smith apples, 1 cucumber (this was not organic so I peeled it), 3 ribs of celery, left over red cabbage and spinach.

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I keep all of my juicing supplies in a kitchen drawer (minus the juicer which stays on the counter and the pitcher and strainer which is in another counter under the juicer).

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Everything on the counter and ready to begin.

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Andrew loves to help me juice. His help and muscles are always appreciated. :o)

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See the green spinach?

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Pretty purple for the cabbage.

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Here is the pulp... aren't the colors pretty? God's amazing healing foods are colorful and full of life, not bland and boring.

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Straining the juice into a pitcher as we go.

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Six yummy 8 oz jars of juice. This will last me two days if I drink three juices a day or three days if I drink two a day. It just depends on how my days are going. The juice is best consumed on an empty stomach so that it can reach cellular level and not have to go through the digestive process. If I have a busy day out of the house I usually only get two juices in each day. It is also best to wait 30 minutes after a glass of juice to eat.

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The worst part... clean up time. I do not put my juicing parts in the dishwasher I rinse them in warm water, dry them to avoid hard water stains and then put them back in my juicing drawer.

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The dishes are done...

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and my counter is clean, until next time. :0)

As I am finishing up this post it is now 8pm on Monday night. I've had a long day but still need to go down and do my juicing for the next few days. It takes me about an hour start to finish if I am doing it alone and considerably less if I have help. Tonight I will be doing it alone, kids are going to bed and hubby is working on taxes.

Today I'll be adding some zuchinni in place of the cucumber and also some broccoli to my juice. I always juice the carrots, celery and apples and everything else is dependent upon what I have on hand. I do have spinach and cabbage so I'll be doing those too.

I should mention that the juice will keep well in the fridge for 3 days but of course it is best if consumed fresh. I fill the jars up to the top and then use the plastic twist on lids for my jars. If you use the regular canning jar tops, I would recommend placing a this layer of saran wrap on the top so that it is not coming in contact with the jar lid.

Happy Juicing! If you have any questions, I'd be happy to try and answer them.

I am participating in Tasty Tuesday. Stop by to see what other tasty foods bloggers are fixing.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Daybook for March 12th

Outside my window... It's dreary and a little foggy this morning.

I am hearing... The birds outside my bedroom window and the kids waking up and beginning their day.

I am thinking... about how beautiful the weather is supposed to be this week despite today. I'm excited to be walking outside again.

I am thankful for... the dinner out with my husband last night.

I am wearing... workout clothes (that don't match) and tennis shoes. I'm off to the treadmill once I post this.

In the kitchen... juicing this morning as well as making some more avacado chocolate pudding, Andrew and Christopher really like this.

I am going... to work out, do school and then head to Sleepy Eye this afternoon.

I am creating... not alot happening on the creative front right now. Creating routines for healthy living instead.

I am pondering... the goodness of the Lord that is in the world all around me (Psalm 32:5b). Its there, amidst all the ugliness and wickedness, His goodness is there in a fresh Spring rain, in the beauty of a field of flowers, in the majesty of mountains, in the love of a husand for a wife and in the blessings of a new babe. It's there amidst a young daughter in her 30's tenderly caring for her mother who is days away from passing due to the cancer. God's goodness and mercy is all around us and I want to be a part of it.

I am looking forward to... Seeing my parents this afternoon.

From the learning rooms... It will be hard to buckle down with the warmer temps returning this week. I'm sure there will be some breaks for shooting hoops and then back to the books. Samantha is almost done with her course work for the year and is set to finish in mid April. I can't believe she will be finished and graduating!!!

One of my favorite things... a good nights sleep and not waking up with headaches! Thank you, Lord.

A picture thought I'm sharing... another oldie. I love this one. One morning I can down to find Christopher doing English with this on his head. :-)


Thank you to Peggy for hosting this meme each week. Make sure to stop by and visit with some of the other participants too. Have a lovely week.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

... with some words. :o) Pictures from our week (last week)

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My juicing buddies, Tess and Buddy. They sit on the other side of the garbage can hoping I will drop carrot peelings on the floor. Yes, my dogs are weird. From the time they were little we've given them baby carrots for their treats.

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At home Jonathan (the tall one!) always wears shorts. This day Andrew decided he wanted to be Jon's twin. :)

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Our Lenten Journey board in the school room.

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Finally enough snow to make snowmen! Mommy forgot to get the camera back out when they were done though. Christopher made a snowman, Andrew made a snow owl and Jonathan tried to make and shape a coca cola glass bottle.

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A clean bedroom for Andrew... no more stepping on matchbox cars when I tuck him in.

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One of my favorite things of the week... fellowship time after Sunday service. Scott is in the red shirt at the bottome of the screen and Christopher is in the light blue shirt across from him watching a couple of games of chess.

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There was even some entertainment this week. LOVED IT!

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More sledding Sunday afternoon. :o)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Not Tuna Pate'

Warning... this post is photo heavy. :o)

One of my favorite raw lunches is called Not Tuna Pate'. The recipe comes from a book called Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 people. I've made a few adaptions though.

You need 1/2 cup soaked raw sunflower seeds and 1/4 cup soaked raw almonds. I soaked mine overnight in some distilled water in these cute 8 oz jars with plastic lids.

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After soaking rinse well and place them in your food processor with the S blade along with 2 Tablespoons of water.

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I just got this little Ninja last week when my blender quit working. I am able to use the small canister pictured below for lots of little processing jobs.

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You may need to stop ocassionally to scrap the sides down and then continue processing.

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Once you have it processed, transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. In the picture below it kind of looks like Tuna!

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Next finely dice up 2 Tablespoons each of celery, onion and fresh parsley and add them to the bowl. The original recipe calls for 1 Tablespoon of parsley but I prefer 2 in mine.

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If you have trouble with wilting parsley, try this neat little trick. When you get home from shopping cut a little off the stems of the parsley and place the parsley in a container of water and place in the window sill. My parsley stays fresh for over a week this way. I keep the rubber band around the bunch and then snip off and wash what I need when I'm ready for it. :0)

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Next add in 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice (fresh is best).

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Next up is the muscle work. Andrew was helping me in the kitchen on the morning we assembled this.

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Ta-da! Not Tuna Pate'.

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Now while it might look like tuna, believe me it does not taste like tuna. When I was first transitioning to a more raw/vegan diet I was so excited to try this out... then I had my first bite and I thought, yuck. However... after time I've really grown to enjoy this and I love to eat it either in pita pockets with lots of lettuce, tomoatoes, pickles, a little vegenaise and salt and pepper. I also enjoy it in wraps with peppers in place of the tomatoes.

Here it is in my lunch later that day.

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Store in a small container in the fridge. This will keep for about 5 days.

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If you'd like to see a video of this recipe being prepared you can view Jennifer Cornbleet giving a demo <HERE>.

This post is linked to Tasty Tuesday.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Lenten Reading

"Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ's compassion for the world is to look out; yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good; and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now.

Saint Teresa of Avila

I grew up Catholic. I attended a Catholic school. I am VERY thankful for the upbringing that I had and while I am no longer a member of the Catholic denomination, I believe, no... I know that God has used it and worked through it to bring me to the place of relationship with my Savior that I am in today. One of my favorite seasons in the Liturgical year is Lent and Easter.

Lent is a time of sacrifice and preparation and while I don't want to get into all of that in this post, our family does still participate in the Lenten season each year. It is through this time of self sacrifice, prayer, repentance and giving that we can identify with on a small scale and teach our children about the eternal sacrifice of Jesus. The kids and I usually have special things planned during this time, such as a Lenten calendar, Scripture readings, collecting food for the poor, etc. and maybe I can share more about this in another post soon but today I wanted to share a book that I am reading during Lent.

Untitled The book is called The Hole in Our Gospel and although I am not very far yet, I can tell you that it has stopped me in my tracks more than once and has gotten me to really step back and look at my extravagant life and to realize how truly blessed I am. But it really goes beyond being thankful, doesn't it?

This book has been on my list of books to read/purchase but a few weeks ago I found it at a favorite thrift store for 50 cents and just in time to read during Lent.

Here are few quotes from the introduction of the book ...

"What does God expect of us? That is what this book is about. It's a simple question, really. But is the answer so simple? What is the Christian faith about? Going to church every Sunday, saying grace before meals and avoiding the most serious sins-- or does God expect more?

I am a Christian-- perhaps you are too. But what does that mean exactly? To even be Christians, we must first believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That in itself is no small idea. If it is true, it changes everything, because if Christ is God, then all that He said and did is deeply significant to how we live our lives. So we believe. But God expects more."

And a little further in the introduction....

" ... but He (Jesus) also spoke at length about God's expectations, our values, and how we are to live in the world. So how are we to live? What kind of relationship are we to have with a holy God? What is God asking for, really, from you and me? Much more than church attendance. More than prayer too. More than belief and even more than self-denial. God asks us for everything."

The author, Rich Stearns came face to face with these questions in a mud hut in Rakai, Uganda. This is a true story of a corporate CEO who set aside worldly success for something far more significant, and discovered the full power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to change his own life. Sounds like a perfect Lenten read to me. Check it out.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Theresa's Big Bowl

Good morning! You've probably heard that Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? I am not a very good breakfast eater, but I'm working on it. Most overweight people do not eat breakfast and then come 4pm and through the evening your body goes wacky and you start eating everything in sight; Packing on a bunch of calories with no nutritional value. Can we say Red Barron Special Deluxe pizza and Cool Ranch Doritos? Mmm.... no wait, yuck! O.kay no, I'm not there yet, I still like them... I'll just avoid them for now until I can have them in moderation. ;)

This morning I thought I would share one of my favorite power packed breakfasts with you. I got the recipe from the Engine 2 Diet dvd and I love it, although I had to cut down the portion sizes considerably because it was too many calories and I couldn't eat it all. The 1/8 cup amounts are kind of fussy but to keep this breakfast just around 300 calories and still get the variety the recipe called for, I adjusted accordingly.

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Ingredients w/ their calorie break down:

  • 1/8 cup Kashi Go Lean Crunch (25 calories)
  • 8 squaresKashi Wheat squares (50 calories)
  • 1/8 cup Grape Nuts (50 calories)
  • 1/8 cup Old Fashioned Oats - 1/8 cup (40 calories)
  • 1 tsp. Ground Flax (10 calories)
  • 1/2 of a banana cut into small pieces (45 calories)
  • 1/8 cup of raisins (65 calories)
  • 1/2 cup of Silk Pure Almond milk, unsweetened (18 calories

Total calories for this breakfast 303 calories, fiber is 8.5 grams and protein is a little over 7 grams. See, it is a power packed breakfast!

If you are not concerned about caloric intake or ususally allot yourself more breakfast calories, then by all means adjust the amounts, add a little more ground flax or might I suggest adding more fresh fruit. You could do sliced strawberries, mango, kiwi and blueberries. This is one breakfast that will fuel your system for the day and wont have you crashing a couple of hours later.

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Using the Almond milk keeps this a vegan breakfast and truly I don't think you will miss the regular taste of milk in this cereal, plus how can you beat the calories in this. Dairy skim milk has 90 calories for a 1 cup serving. Almond milk has 35 calories. I found that 1 entire cup was a little too much milk for this breakfast and I didn't want unnecessary calories so I kept it to 1/2 a cup only.

Because assembling this breakfast can be a little fussy, I usually like to save time and pre-package 3 -4 of these breakfast ahead of time. I add all of the ingredients, minus the raisins, banana and milk, into the Ziplock snack size bags and store them in the cupboard. Then in the morning I just grab a bowl, empty the bag, dice up my bananna, raisins and milk and my healthy breakfast is ready in less than 3 minutes. :)

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