Sunday, March 30, 2014

Vegan Soups and Breads

I feel like some weeks I have so much to post about and yet so little time to sit down and do it! This week we had a gloomy, rainy day which prompted my craving for soup. The boys love to make their own soup so all three of us headed to the kitchen for a school lunch break and came up with three delicious and nutritious soups. One of my favorite things about soups is that you can add so many veggies and end up with a bowlful of complete nutritional goodness without the need for a side dish - and after eating it you feel warmed and satisfied that you just filled your body with nutritionally dense food. In this case we did make a side dish - an oil-free cornbread that was surprisingly delicious. We had our leftover soup the following day and made oil-free biscuits that I made up which were very yummy too...with an added punch of healthfullness included (see recipe below!). Enjoy!

 Corn Bread (adapted from Happy Herbivore)

1 c cornmeal
1 c whole wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine salt
1 cup non-dairy milk (such as fat-free soymilk)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (I used honey because I am out of maple syrup...and honey isn't vegan but it's an ingredient I choose not to abstain from!)
2 tbsp raw sugar (optional) - I didn't use this
Preheat oven to 400F. Whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Add non-dairy milk, applesauce, maple syrup and sugar, if using, on top. Using a spatula, stir until just combined. Pour batter into a nonstick shallow 9" pie dish, or other oven-safe dish. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

Keith's Soup (since we didn't measure, here is the list of what he added)
Whole wheat rotini
Pinto beans
Homemade veggie broth
Salt, Pepper

Braedon's Soup  (since we didn't measure, here is the list of what he added)
Whole wheat rotini
Pinto beans
Red and yellow peppers
Homemade veggie broth
Salt, Pepper, Oregano, Garlic, Basil

The Soup I made was Minestrone out of the Forks Over Knives Cookbook. It was not a powerfully taste-filled soup but it had a simple tomato-rich flavor that was full of veggies and I loved it! It had celery, carrots, fire-roasted tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, green beans, potatoes, fresh herbs, broth and no added fat to.

These biscuits were a last minute thought and they actually turned out really yummy. They are not the flaky, buttery biscuits that we usually think of - rather, they are chewier in consistency and remind me more of drop biscuits.

Chewy No-oil Added Biscuits
2 cups fllour (preferably whole wheat pastry but I was out so I had to use white)
1 T baking powder
1 t salt
1/2 cup pureed cauliflower
1/2 cup almond or soy milk

Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir to combine. 
 You want your dough to stick together but not be too wet. Add a little extra flour or a little extra milk to achieve this consistency. Turn onto a floured cutting board and form into a circle about 1-1/2 inches thick. Cut biscuits out with a biscuit cutter or a glass. Place on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Thieves Essential Oil

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and this information should not be used for diagnosis or in place of professional medical care or advice.

I have been so busy with homeschooling, birthdays and preparing for oil classes that I haven't done a good job of keeping up with my blog! Always too many things to accomplish!

Today I want to talk about another one of my favorite oils - Thieves - although I probably would have to say many oils are my favorites!

Thieves is my go-to oil for cold and flu, sore throats, oral issues, immune boosting, infection...the list could go on. On the rare occasion that someone is sick in our house, I diffuse Thieves like crazy to keep everyone else from getting sick - it works so well! My oldest son had a stomach bug in January (that only lasted about 15 hours...rather than days...which I attribute to his already strong immune system, ingestion of Juice Plus and consistent use of oils :-) ). I diffused Thieves constantly, rubbed it on the whole family and NO ONE else got sick! This has happened more than once. Probably the thing that has amazed me the most is the effectiveness of Thieves in kicking sore throats. From our experience, a couple drops of Thieves in the mouth or a gargle of Thieves and water knocks out a sore throat almost immediately. It is a spicy oil so you may want to add your drops to a small amount of water. I am so used to Thieves now that I take it straight. A friend of mine mentioned that she has had issues with her gums and periodontal pockets in the past and started using Thieves to brush her teeth with and that her dental health greatly improved. Since I have frequent canker sores (due to toothpaste perhaps...haven't figured that one out for sure), somewhat receded gums and very sensitive teeth, I have started brushing with Thieves as well and I love it! It makes my teeth feel so clean and I am waiting to see the benefits when I visit the dentist for my next cleaning! I like to add a drop of peppermint oil to my toothbrush as well so I get a bit more of a typical minty flavor after brushing. This blend is not for the light-hearted though! It is SPICY!!

I could go on and on about Thieves and it's beneficial properties!

Interested in ordering here.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and cannot diagnose, cure or treat any illness or malady.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Delightful perks of homeschooling...

One of my many favorite things about homeschooling is the ability to take field trips and family outings on beautiful days in the middle of the week! We had a day in the low 80's this week (which turned to thunderstorms and then snow overnight...crazy Missouri!) so we finished our school before lunch and were able to enjoy an absolutely gorgeous day at the zoo with Daddy, watching the animals, talking about things we'd learned in Biology and basking in the awesomeness of God's creation! It's on days like this that I feel extra thankful for the privilege to homeschool my sweet little boys!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A new mindset...

While I was folding laundry today, I decided to be extra productive and listen to a health call offered by a team of Juice Plus distributors. The calls are not really talking about Juice Plus but rather reviewing what they have termed the 5 pillars of health. I love listening to health-related info and I really loved this call! It was full of great information about changing your mindset. You can listen to the call here but I decided that even a brief outline of the key points would likely be helpful to someone. These points can be applied to any new mindset, not just health and I thought they were very insightful and explained in a reasonable and doable fashion. Hope they're helpful!

So, if you want to change your mindset about something ...

  1.  Determine and recognize your current mindset and be willing to change.
  2. Feed the mindset you want which will in turn weaken the negative mindset.
  3. Change your mindset through repetition and focus on your new positive mindset
  4. LOVE your new mindset. If you have a new mindset you are striving towards but you resent it, are angry about it, really don't want to have a new mindset, you will struggle consistently. You need to have a passion about the new mindset. Passion creates endorphins and endorphins are largely responsible for learning new things.
  5. Choose something to do daily that moves you closer to your new mindset.
  6. Don't allow yourself to believe you don't have what it takes or you are incapable of change - understand that by creating a new mindset, you are forming new neural pathways in your brain. Resistance to change isn't about you being inadequate - it's about forming new neural pathways in your brain and that's hard work!
  7. The best way to predict our future is to create it! (Abe Lincoln)
  8. So dream big!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Wowed by Lemon...

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and this information should not be used for diagnosis or in place of professional medical care or advice.

I decided to write about Lemon essential oil today because I have recently been awed once again by this oil! Yesterday I realized I was out of stain remover and I had a sweatshirt that had 3 grease spots on. I had tried getting the stains out to no avail and I was afraid the sweatshirt was a gonner. I read the other day that Lemon essential oil can help with tough stains - a claim I wasn't quite convinced of. After all, isn't it kind of contradictory to say that an oil will remove an oily stain?! I decided to try it out anyway and see if there was any truth to the claim. I wish I had taken a before and after picture but the thought never even crossed my mind (probably because I didn't really believe it would work!!). I pulled the sweatshirt out of the dryer and much to my delight and surprise, the stains were 100% gone!! I was so thrilled! Once again, essential oils have wowed me - why am I always so surprised when they do something awesome?!

Now, we do use Lemon for many things other than stains in our family! For one thing, it smells heavenly and is delightful to diffuse. One of my favorite combos to diffuse is Joy and Lemon - a perfectly fresh pairing. Lemon is included in the Everyday Oils Kit and can be used for so many things! Here are some other ways we have used Lemon:

  • Swollen or sore glands/lymph nodes
  • Canker sores (contrary to what you might think, it doesn't sting - the essential oil is not extracted from the sour, acidic fleshy part but rather from the peel)
  • Removing sticky residue from any surface (including clothing)
Here are some additional uses for Lemon that we haven't tried yet:
(from Young Living Product Guide)

  • Use 1–2 drops of lemon essential oil to remove gum, oil, grease spots, glue or adhesive, and crayon from most surfaces.
  • Combine 2–3 drops of lemon essential oil with water in a spray bottle to help cleanse and sanitize surfaces.
  • Place a drop of lemon essential oil on oily skin or blemishes to help balance oil glands and minimize oil production.
  • Soothe corns, calluses, or bunions by rubbing lemon essential oil on the affected area morning and evening.
  • Massage lemon essential oil into cellulite to help improve circulation and eliminate waste from cells.
  • Add lemon essential oil to your morning tea or breakfast shake for a refreshing pick-me-up.
  • Inhale lemon essential oil or place a few drops on a cotton ball to replenish your mind, body, and spirit.
  • Add 10–15 drops of lemon essential oil to a gallon of carpet cleaning solution to help pull out stains, brighten carpet and rugs, and leave a fresh smell in the room.
  • Add several drops of lemon essential oil to a chicken marinade for a delicious dinner.
  • Place a few drops of your favorite citrus essential oil on a cotton ball and put in the refrigerator to help eliminate odors.

To order the Everyday Oils Kit, visit here

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and cannot diagnose, cure or treat any illness or malady.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Crossfit WOD

7 Rounds:

7 Squats (demonstration here)
7 Burpees (demonstration here)

Short and sweet!