Eat & Cook Clean

The Healthy Snack List

snack

Here is the list, take it to the store, buy all the stuff you like. Now its in your frig. Keep list handy and when your wanting to snack, BAM its there.

Bag up this stuff and take it to work for breakfast or lunch.

Your gonna Thank me later.

This list is from Skinny Ms.com. Her blog is really full of a lot of great fitness tips.

Eat & Cook Clean

Eating Clean Grocery List for Beginners

So I’m on a mission to do what I can for my family on eating and cooking clean. Let it be known once again I did not dive into this change 100% and probably never will totally. What I am doing is as much as I can with fresh foods, veggies and fruits. I have chosen my Organic must haves  and I am working on other areas as far as no processed or packaged food. I have to admit I had a Fast Food breakfast burrito the other day from DT and I felt so guilty but I was so starving and we were on the road, and real soon I plan on going to ” In and Out” and get me that burger I love, maybe just eat some of hubby’s french fries 🙂 So I feel like this is  the real world and sometimes we will eat crap food (and enjoy it) but in small amounts and not everyday. We will eat fast food (but not super size) and make the best choice on the menu. Live life, do what we can to eat right and make better eating choices. I found this list and I think it’s a good place to start. Not too many weird items and just real food. Try coping it to your phone and take it to the store with you and see if there are good choices you can make. Good Luck and I hope it helps. Thanks to Angie who has a great blog and made this list! image

Eat & Cook Clean

Label Reading-10 Ingredients to Avoid

Food Labels Translated: 10 Alarming Ingredients To Avoid

nutritionfacts

Grocery shopping can be an overwhelming experience in itself, especially when trying to keep the family healthy with the most natural, nutritious items in the store. While trying to make good decisions for ourselves and our family, we are burdened by the seemingly foreign language descriptions of nutritional information and ingredients. Causing us to feel confused and overwhelmed, we often throw the items in our cart without actually knowing what we’re really purchasing. Decoding ingredient lists and food labels is a science most of us are unfamiliar with. To help lessen the confusion, I’ve created a food labels translated guide, hoping to simplify the nutritional scope into more understandable measures. Here are 10 alarming ingredients you avoid as often as possible: 1. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): MSG is found in processed foods like salad dressings, low-fat yogurt, canned meats, frozen meals, potato chips, canned soups and some flavored crackers. MSG is a dangerous ingredient as it’s known as an excitotoxin, a neurotoxic chemical additive that harms nerve cells by overexciting them. Consuming MSG regularly damages and even destroys a large number of brain cells and can lead to serious health problems, including neurological disorders. Also, consistent consumption of MSG is linked to appetite stimulation and weight gain/obesity. For more information on this “silent killer”, clickhere. 2. Aspartame: One of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners, and also referred to as a man-made poison. Aspartame is also an excitotoxin, like MSG, causing headaches, dizziness, blurry vision and gastrointestinal damage. Research shows this “safe” and popular additive can destroy your immune system by consistent consumption. Some say it is like digesting an insecticide, and many researches conclude that aspartame is one of the most dangerous FDA approved substances available to consumers. Aspartame is found in NutraSweet, Equal, Canderel, Spoonful, Natrataste, AminoSweet and many others. Swap your dangerous sweeteners with the natural Stevia drops. For more information on aspartame, click here. (photo credit here)

equal

3. High Fructose Corn Syrup (AKA corn sugar, glucose/fructose syrup, fruit fructose): Mostly all HFCS is made from genetically-modified corn, and is the number one source of caloric consumption in the US diet. It has been directly linked to weight gain and the development of diabetes. If this isn’t enough to scare people away from this harmful ingredient, HFCS is also a major contributing factor to cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and insulin resistance (the causing agent of Type 2 Diabetes) and high blood pressure. HFCS is found in soda, salad dressings, breads, cereals, yogurt, soups, lunch meats, pizza sauce and condiments. Get the Skinny: On average, Americans consume 12 teaspoons of HFCS a day! 4. Agave Nectar: Another highly processed sweetener. Agave Nectar contains the highest amount of fructose among all commercial sweeteners. Fructose is mainly broken down in the liver and then converted to fat. Stay away from it! 5. Sodium Nitrite and Sodium Nitrate: Both of these chemicals are used to preserve meats. When added to meats, the nitrates are converted into nitrosamines. Nitrosamines are strongly associated with an increased risk of cancer. Get The Skinny: The World Cancer Research Fund expressed that eating 1.8 ounces of processed meat (lunch meat) every day increases your risk of cancer by 20%. Nitrates are found in cured meats, ham, bacon, corned beef and hot dogs, pate, pickled pig’s feet, canned meat, smoked salmon, dried fish and jerky. If you’re a lunch meat lover, try the Applegate Organics brand of lunch meat which contains no nitrates. For more information on the dangers of sodium nitrate, click here.

applegate_og_turkey_bacon-2

6. Refined Vegetable Oil (soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, canola oil and peanut oil): Refined vegetable oils are made by elaborate mechanical and chemical processes to derive the oil from the seeds. The refining process contains chemical solvents, extremely high temperatures, deodorization, and bleaching, which removes the natural vitamins and minerals from the seeds. Also, most vegetable oils are hydrogenated, meaning the mechanical process creates trans fatty acids which are known to contribute to heart disease and some cancers.  Refined Vegetable Oil is found in most processed foods such as crackers, granola bars, baked goods, and standard cooking oils and margarine. Coconut oilis a healthier alternative. I love this brand from LouAna. 7. Potassium Bromate (“enriched flour”): This ingredient is used as an additive in foods to increase the volume in some breads, rolls and flours. It has been shown to cause cancer in animals and is banned in Canada and several other countries. In some states, a cancer warning is used on the label, and the FDA has asked bakers to “voluntarily” stop using it. Enriched flour is the equivalent to putting pure starch in your system (keep in mind that when added with water, starch turns into a paste…think of how your body tries to digest that!) Your body reacts to enriched flour the same way it reacts to pure sugar, by going on sugar highs and lows. Enriched flour is found in most commercial baked goods in the US, including Wonder Bread, Sunbeam, some Home Pride products and flour. 8. Margarine: Margarine and other hydrogenated oils are packed with trans-fatty acids which is a main cause of coronary and heart disease and other chronic illnesses. While substituting butter with margarine was a health fad that plateaued fast, make the healthy swap back to butter with this pasture-raised, all natural brand: Kerry Gold.

himalayansalt

9. Table Salt: First, let’s clarify a huge misconception. Salt is not equal to Sodium. Salt is a chemical. Salt is man-made. Salt is not a natural element that digests properly or does anything nutritious for our bodies. It is true that our bodies need sodium, but sodium and salt are completely different. Most salts sold in commercial supermarkets contain over 30 synthetic chemicals. (Read more at The Health Dangers of Table Salt) Additionally, salt is bleached. Salt’s toxicity levels are so high, it drastically increases blood pressure, causes fluid retention by absorbing water and other fluids in the body (causes gout), taxes the liver and kidneys and causes obesity. Get rid of table salt and add Himalayan Salt. Himalayan Salt is the purest form of salt and is not contaminated with any toxic ingredients. This salt is actually good for your body as it provides the nutrients your body needs. 10. Low-Fat & Fat-Free Products: Another health fad that has been scrutinized is the low-fat diet. Low-fat negatively effects our bodies because producers add more sugar and preservatives to keep the full-fat taste. Plus, all fat isn’t scary! People need good fat for many reasons: it helps most organs function correctly, benefits the skin, is needed so your body can absorb the fat soluble vitamins A, S, E, and K, helps produce endorphins, etc.

This list is not meant to overwhelm or terrify you as a consumer. Once educated, it is actually easy to make these healthy swaps. Not only are they nutritious and whole, they are satisfying and delicious!
baggroceries

Make These Healthy Swaps:
  • Instead of enriched flour, try: rye flour, oat flour, almond meal, almond flour, millet flour, quinoa flour, brown rice flour, whole wheat flour, and whole grain wheat products (bread, rolls, etc.) *NOTE: Many people have a tolerance issue with wheat products caused by food allergies and sensitivities. If you experience discomfort or physical reactions to wheat, try gluten-free products instead.
Cooking Methods & Tips, Inspiring

Our new eating plan, “Clean Eating”

Last May hubby and I decided to change things up a bit. Cut out a lot of sugar, less crap food &  fast food. Lets get a little healthier and maybe lose some weight.

We started making little changes and what I realized is we were really just eating cleaner. Which is every where you look these days, so that helps to remind us daily what to do. Not to say we are totally devoted to this all the time,we still have a lot of things we shouldn’t but have cut way back. We have both lost weight and feel better. This is where we started, by taking little baby steps.

We did some of these things already, but now its more of a daily option. I have to say it is more preparing of food and probably more grocery shopping to keep everything on the fresh side, but I really don’t mind. You just have to stay focused and on top of it daily. This is a great article on just making some small adjustments. Enjoy and good luck.

 

8 Baby Steps to Eating Clean

Thinking about trying this whole Eating Clean thing, but not entirely ready to jump in with both feet?  Maybe you’ve realized that making a change from your current eating habits might not be a bad idea, but where do you start?! Recognizing that what you’re doing now isn’t working is a great first step! The good news is eating clean isn’t a “diet.” It’s a lifestyle and a new way of eating, and it isn’t going away anytime soon.  Follow these “Baby Steps to Eating Clean,” and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier you in no time!

1. Drink More Water: Drinking water is a vital part of eating clean, but start small if you’re not normally a water only type of person.  If you tend to drink coffee or soda, start by replacing just one of those a day with water. If you just can’t take the water only, try thesehomemade vitamin water recipes or dress up your water by clicking here.

fresh water pitcher with lemon and lime slices

2. Get Rid Of Fake Foods Gradually: Don’t try to clean out your entire pantry all at once.  Start by getting rid of just a few items at a time, and replacing them with healthier alternatives, such as replacing refined breads and pastas made from white flour with ones made from whole grains.

woman putting food away in her refrigerator

3. Trick Your Tastebuds: If you’ve been eating foods with lots of salt, sugar, and other additives for years, it can be hard to adjust to the more subtle flavors of whole foods. I found that mixing some of the old with the new worked for me in some cases. For example, to get used to eating brown rice instead of white I started by mixing the two together.  I gradually decreased the amount of white rice until eventually I adapted to eating just the brown rice.

salmon avocado salsa dinner

4. Eat More Fruits & Veggies: If you know you don’t eat enough fruits & vegetables, start adding them in gradually to your daily diet. Eat a piece of fruit with breakfast and lunch, and add a portion of vegetables to your dinner or sneak them into your smoothies.

pile of fresh sliced fruit

5. Focus On A Few Favorite Foods: If you love your meat and protein, start simple by purchasing meat that comes from grass-fed cattle or eggs from pasture-raised chickens.  If you’re a produce lover, start buying organic fruits & veggies.

healthy beef and broccoli stir fry

6. Shop The Perimeter: Most whole, natural foods are found on the outside aisles of the grocery store.  Try to avoid buying too many items from the center of the store.  That’s where you’ll encounter more processed and packaged foods.  Better yet, shop your local farmer’s market for more natural, whole food choices!

two women shopping at the farmer's market

7. Read Labels: This is a simple way to determine how “clean” a food truly is. A natural food (such as an apple) has no label, while a bag of chips has a label with a ton of ingredients that you probably can’t pronounce.  If you’re not ready to completely give up processed foods, start by studying the labels and choosing foods that contain the fewest and simplest ingredients.  Try to avoid hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors or colors, preservatives, high amounts of fat or sodium, and added sugar. Read: 10 Alarming Ingredients to Avoid!

nutrition facts label

8. Cook At Home: This is an easy way to start eating more whole foods and save money in the process.  Restaurants and fast food places rely on highly processed foods to create their meals.  When you cook your own food, you have control over the ingredients going in your dish.  People who cook tend to eat more healthfully and weigh less than those who don’t.  This doesn’t mean you have to become a master chef overnight.  Start by learning a few meals with simple ingredients. Get started by looking around Skinny Mom’s Recipe Index.

bell peppers salsa and herbs laid out on counter for cooking

Decorating

Dining in Wonderland

Hubby and I and the dog took the drive to Tucson this weekend. It’s about a 5 hour drive. Went to see Daughter Sarah Jean and her husband Ben and their son Gage. We ventured out to pick up Grandson Gage so he could come visit the Ol Grandparents and see their newly purchased first home.

It is a beautiful home that they love and have been making it their own with new paint and their personal belongings.

I feel sort of bad because I didn’t take any pictures of their great desert landscaping or the side yard with a wonderful pool for Gage to have teenager pool parties in. The record room where we rocked out to Vintage albums, or the awesome game room where you jam on the guitars or try your thumbs out on the newest video games. Oh no I skipped all that goodness and headed for my favorite room which was the dining room decorated in the ” Alice in Wonderland theme”   Sarah decorated it on her own and it was truly delightful and a great conversation piece as we dined on breakfast that Ben prepared for us. Here are the few pictures that I did get.

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It was a great weekend and always wonderful to see your children happy and doing well. Here’s to the “Adventure in Alice’s room”.

Love Love Love

Recipe

Roasted Veggie Flatbread


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Loving all the Flat-breads you can purchase in our local stores these days and they taste really good. “NAAN” bread you will also see it called in recipes and  at the stores. Stonefire is a brand that I have found at the grocery store and Costco sells a pack of mini-ones. WWW.stonefire.com Check out their website for recipes and tips.

I made this one the other night and it was yummy, healthy, and fell into our lean,clean cooking category that I have been working on around our house (my hubby has lost 20 lbs). YAY for him!!! I’m still working on that abundance of zucchini I have.

Ingredients: Makes 2 Naan Bread Pizza’s

1 package of Stonefire Baked Naan -(holds 2 Naan flat-breads)

1 package 8 oz. sliced crimini mushrooms

2 carrots thinly sliced

1 large zucchini ( cut into bite size pieces)

1 red bell pepper(chopped into bite size pieces)

1 TBSP. Italian Seasoning

1/4 cup olive oil

Boursin Cheese Spread (your favorite flavor) I used garlic & herb

Herb flavored Goat Cheese

Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

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Place all veggies into a large bowl and pour olive oil and the Italian seasoning on top and stir to coat well. Pour all veggies onto a foil or parchment lined cookie sheet. Place in oven set on Broil about 4-5″ from heating element, broil for about 6 minutes, pull out and stir and toss veggies. Place back into broiler for another 8 minutes approximately.Until they are cooked but still have life in them. They will be cooking some more when placed on Naan bread.

While veggies cool a bit, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Place your Naan breads onto a cookie sheet, spread a layer of Boursin Cheese onto the flat-bread,then scatter your veggies onto the flat-bread, ( I had some veggies left over so will use those for lunch tomorrow ) I then pinched off pieces of the Goat Cheese (about 1 oz. per flat-bread) and scattered over the veggies followed by a layer of Mozzarella cheese. I drizzled some olive oil on top and baked for about 7-8 minutes. I drizzled a little more Olive oil when they came out of the oven.

I ate ALL of mine 🙂 As you can see you can top with ANYTHING, the sky’s the limit and if you go to their website they have some really great recipes. This is just what I did with mine today. Hope you enjoy as much as we did.

Recipe

Zucchini & Parmesan Bites

Its Zucchini season and there is abundance of it everywhere. Love it and this is what I did with mine this week. Easy, yummy and a healthy way to eat them.

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Ingredients:

3 medium sized Zucchini

Garlic powder, salt and pepper

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions for your bites:

1. Preheat your oven to 425 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil and spray with your favorite cooking spray.

2. Wash and dry zucchini and cut into 1/4″ rounds ( next time I am going to cut them a little thicker and see what happens). Sprinkle zucchini with the garlic, salt and pepper. Spread a thin (or thick) layer of the Parmesan cheese on top of each zucchini. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese turns golden and bubbly. Serve while hot. Enjoy

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Slice your Zucchini approximately 1/4″ thick rounds and line them on a parchment covered cookie sheet sprayed with your favorite cooking spray. Don’t be anal about how they are on the pan just put them there.

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Sprinkle them with garlic salt and pepper, or garlic powder, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top of the rounds

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Bake them in the center of your oven at 425 for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese turns bubbly and brown.

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Party Ideas

Five really fun summer cocktail hacks

summer drinks

I was sent this really cool little video that has some fun summer tips to keep adults and kids cooler and smiling thru this summer season. Hope you enjoy.

http://www.food.com/video/5-cool-summer-cocktail-hacks-44?nl=FCW_062315_sidebarCTA&bid=4612322&c32=7779ef00c62a215b0b7a3b2920b23c2319aa7a76

Herbs, Inspiring

The Daily Special

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “You, the Sandwich.”

I’m a foodie,love ALMOST everything,just some more than others. If a restaurant were to name something after me it would be “The Daily Special”, everyday would be something different from what ever is fresh in the kitchen. For example today I look around my kitchen and found this

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Avocados,tomatoes,crab,pesto,mozzarella cheese and fresh basil, just need some nice sourdough and they would have “The Daily Special” Meme the Panini. Tomorrow would be what ever is fresh and ready to move out of the kitchen. Ciao!

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/you-the-sandwich/”>You, the Sandwich</a>

Decorating, Girly Stuff

Gorgeous and her new collar

Meet our rescue dog Gorgeous


We got her last December and she moved right into our home and hearts. She is a terrier mix and loves every human being and critter on this planet.

With such a great name she deserved a collar to match. I purchased this collar at Walmart for around $5.00, dug through my craft closet of a jar I have of misc. flowers, mostly from Hobby Lobby and some that I made from an old sheet,anyway they are all fabric so can be gently washed.

I hot glued them to the collar and sprayed with Scotch Guard brand spray to protect them a little longer from dirt. She barked and pawed at me while I made it because she was so excited.


  

  

Miss Gorgeous knows now how even more Gorgeous she is,if I could have only captured the moment on Kodak when I put the collar on her and told her how pretty she was 😊

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