I use to be so afraid of getting a bee sting since I have a pretty adverse reaction. My Mom carries an epi-pen since she has an even worse reaction, so I learned to fear these little bugs early on. Needless to say I would swing and bat at the bees when I would garden.
Flash forward to now many years later and in the middle of our bee crisis (thank you Monsanto) I have developed a much different relationship with these creatures. It began with sitting at my pond and watching my turtles and fish. I guess because I was in observer mode I wasn’t fearful of being stung and I watched just how many bees came to drink from our pond. Hundreds of them come at the end of the day and if can be scary if you let yourself go there. We made our pond for turtles from the pound and its very natural, murky, full of plants and logs and things turtles like. The plants make it safe for the bees to land and drink. They actually drink the water from the roots of the plants that are above the water level. They are not interested in people, they are bees and have a mission and usually it does not involve you!
At about 6:00 if you are lucky enough to be sitting at the pond you can watch the bees one and two at a time fly off in the same direction home. Within 30 minutes hundreds of bees fly home and they are all from the same hive. I totally understand the meaning of bee line, until I witnessed this I never really knew what that expression meant! These bees have become dependent on my pond and since I know that without bees we would starve to death I have changed how I garden and plant many extra bee-liscious things to keep them near by.
This year purely from my compost I have begun to grow pumpkins I think. I composted so many different kinds of squash, pumpkins and gourds that I’m now sure yet just what is growing but I tell you what the bees love these! I am fascinated and more in awe each day and have pretty much lost my fear of getting stung.
o 1 ½ pounds organic sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
o 1 small organic red onion, peeled and chopped
o 2 TBSP organic, unrefined raw coconut oil
o 1 to 1 ½ tsp organic chili pepper
o 4 gloves organic garlic, chopped fine
Heat oven to 400o. Place the prepared potatoes (or yams) and onions in a reusable plastic bag. Drizzle in the coconut oil. Shake bag to coat vegetables well. Next, spread the vegetables into a glass baking dish in one layer; sprinkle evenly with the chili powder. Cover with foil and roast for 35 minutes. Remove the foil, carefully add the chopped garlic evenly, then cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned. Serve warm.
Blessings to you and may you take a moment to enjoy the beautiful food you have placed before you! 🙂
• 1 medium beet, peeled and chopped
• ½ cup strawberries, fresh or frozen
• 1 Tbsp cacao powder
• 1 serving Vegan (you choose) Chocolate Protein Powder
• 1 cup water
Place all ingredients into the blender in the order listed and secure lid. Blend for 30-45 seconds or until desired consistency is reached. Pour into glasses and enjoy!
As a health and nutrition coach, people often ask me: What do I eat before I exercise to make sure I have enough energy to get through? What do I eat after my workout to recover? These are important questions, because what you’re eating could be sabotaging your workout results! A one-year Stanford University study of 350 men and women found that those who worked out three to five times a week for 30 – 40 minutes had NO significant weight loss! How can that be? It’s due to what, when and how people eat before and after their workouts. Filling up with the right fuel at the right times is essential to keeping your energy up, your workout performance high, and your body in fat-burning mode!
Top Tips for Fueling for Fitness
• Hydration is more important than you can imagine. Start drinking water as soon as you wake up. In the morning, you haven’t had water for six to eight hours and your cells need replenishing. Drink a full glass of water before you eat or drink anything else (coffee doesn’t count toward hydration). Plain hot water will actually penetrate the cells the fastest.
• Stay well-hydrated throughout the day. It won’t work to just start drinking water right before or during your workout. Hydration is an ongoing process. If you’re not drinking enough water, you will run out of energy – both mentally and physically.
• A daily goal is to drink half your weight in ounces of water each day. If you weigh 150 pounds, that’s 75 ounces a day – more in very hot weather or if you plan to have a rigorous workout. Hydrating regulates your body temperature, replaces water lost through sweat, and helps transport nutrients to your cells so you have energy. Did you know that most people are chronically dehydrated? Dehydration is a key reason for low energy, headaches, poor concentration, muscle cramps, and digestive issues. Take a moment to think about your day-to-day water intake; are you getting enough?
Avoid “Sports” Drinks
Contrary to popular belief (and advertising), Gatorade (or Vitamin Water or Propel or Powerade) is NOT a good hydrating choice, particularly if you want to maintain or lose weight. Why? These drinks contain high-fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners, as well as other ingredients you want to avoid such as food dyes. High-fructose corn syrup, aka sugar, can make you hungrier by increasing your body’s hunger-regulating hormone (ghrelin) and lowering the hormone that tells you when you’re full (leptin). Artificial sweeteners have been shown to increase sugar cravings, and many contain unhealthy chemicals.
Instead, if you feel you need more than water after a heavy workout or in very hot weather, turn to “nature’s water” – coconut water. Choose only those brands that are 100% pure raw coconut water, with or without natural fruit – no sugar added! You can also add Chia seeds to your water for energy! Chia Seeds are known as running food. Chia was first cultivated by the ancient Aztecs who would go on marches for days, surviving only on chia, yet being able to sustain high energy levels. Chia seeds contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, antioxidants, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and copper. When you put them in water, they plump up and get very soft.
What to Eat Pre-Workout
As a general rule, you want to eat about half the calories you expect to burn during your upcoming workout. Eat 1 ½ to 2 hours pre-workout, and your meal should consist of:
• 60% GOOD carbs (about 40 grams) • 30% CLEAN, LEAN protein (10-15 grams) • 10% HEALTHY fat (less than 10 grams)
• Note that the percentages may vary based on the level and length of your workout.
Good carbs fuel muscles and enable peak performance. They also keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable during your workout.
Clean lean protein prevents the breakdown of muscle for fuel, and gives your muscles a head start on recovery after exercising.
Healthy fats help balance blood sugar and ensure that fat-soluble vitamins are delivered to your cells so your body can use them. Healthy fats also keep your joints lubricated and they slow digestion, allowing for sustained energy and longer workouts.
For Morning Exercisers, here are some examples of a pre-workout breakfast:
• Oatmeal (with no added sugar) topped with walnuts, berries and half a banana
• A protein shake (see recipe below)
• Food For Life Bread (toasted) with pure almond butter and one sliced fruit (banana, apple, strawberries, etc.)
For Afternoon or Evening Exercisers, here are some examples of a pre-workout lunch:
• Steamed vegetables with quinoa
• Brown rice with lean protein and vegetables
• Soup and salad
A balanced meal one to two hours before your workout might be all you need. But some people need a small snack about 30-45 minutes before a workout for an ENERGY BOOST. **Snack examples** include: a banana, a Smoothie (see recipe); a Larabar or Power Bites (see recipe) or other all-natural bar. **You want clean, fast-digesting carbohydrates,** little protein, very little fat, so the fuel is available during your workout. And all meals and snacks should be accompanied by water.
• If you work out first thing in the morning, you will want to have your snack before your workout and your breakfast meal after.
• The larger the meal/snack, or the more fat and protein it contains, the longer you will need to properly digest before exercising. If you consume too much food, or food high in fat, your muscles will focus on digesting that food instead of on your workout. That can cause stomach upset, muscle cramping and deplete your energy.
What to Eat POST-Workout
After your workout is a time for your muscles to rebuild, repair and recover. You should refuel within 15-30 minutes of your workout, and your post-workout snack should have more protein than carbs if you are strength training, and more carbs than protein for cardio exercise.
In the same way that I don’t recommend Gatorade’s ingredients, I steer clear of protein drinks such as Muscle Milk, Boost or Detour. Read the label and you’ll find sugar, additives and chemicals – not what you want to put in your healthy body! Instead, have a post-workout smoothie with plant protein. If you take the time to prepare for your workout – beginning with water in the morning and eating consciously throughout the day – you’ll find that you have the energy to exercise better and longer, and that helps you reach your goals!
Recipes will be posted shortly, there are some good ones up already for smoothies…
Most always inflammation begins in the gut!
- Inflammation controls our lives. From the first bump on the head to chronic digestive stress inflammation is a leading indicator something is afoot.
- Inflammation is an essential part of the immune system, chronic inflammation is not. Chronic inflammation harms the body instead of healing it, as it simultaneously destroys and heals tissues that cause the immune system to overexert itself.
- It has become increasingly obvious that chronic inflammation is the main cause of many chronic illnesses. Heart disease, obesity, ADD/ADHD, dental issues, thyroid issues, migraines, diabetes, many cancers, and Alzheimer’s disease, are a few off the top of my head.
- Inflammation is recognized as redness, heat, swelling and pain. It is a natural healing response to bring nourishment and immunity to an injury or infection. When the inflammation continues and refuses to go away, it causes illness.
- Some of the things that contribute to inflammation include: stress, lack of exercise, dietary choices, genetics, exposure to toxic secondhand tobacco smoke, prescription drugs like steroids, OTC drugs like NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs!) and heavy metals.
- Learning how to adjust dietary choices is one of the best ways to deal with chronic inflammation. Not only is this a safe choice, food is something your body recognizes and eating the right organic, soothing, cooling, anti-inflammatory foods heals and cleanses you from the inside out.
- If you are living with chronic inflammation, digestive discomfort, bloating, arthritis and have low energy, fear not!! There is so much you can do to turn your life around and get your balance back.
- FIRST TIP IS TO STOP EATING SUGAR in all forms!!!
The Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie!
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
1 inch of fresh ginger, grated
1 inch of fresh turmeric, grated
Handful of baby spinach
Handful of watercress (or rocket/arugula)
1 small soft avocado
Big handful of flat-leaf parsley and/ or coriander
1 cup coconut water (or filtered water)
Big pinch of cayenne
Pinch of unprocessed sea salt
- Grate the roots into the blender and add the avocado and coconut water
- Blend this to form a base
- Next add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth
As with all days pay attention to what you are putting in your mouth….. this greatly impacts your health, your life and your mood!
Be well my friends and I am here to empower you on your journey of great self love!!
I used to love posting on Facebook when I began my business it was pretty cool to watch my likes grow…..now 2 years later I feel frozen before I post. What’s that about? I mean what happened to the carefree, happy postings that were not meant to do anything other than post info about what I thought was interesting, funny or a must read for anyone out there. I realized I have become judgmental about my own beliefs and started questioning myself more and more.
Some may think that is a good thing, I however feel that this really shook me from my happy place and tossed me in a heap of the sticky unknowing. I have been sitting in this place now for quite some time and once you get here, it is hard to pull yourself back to where you were. In fact, I’m not sure if I will ever be back in my cushy little blissful social media life because now there is this new facet, one that has been tainted by people I don’t even know and that is part of who I am now.
Which direction do I take? I’ve never had to ask myself this, I’ve been a happily driven entrepreneurial spirit since I was in college . What do I do to get my “me” back?
I think what started my gradual slippage was the constant need to keep up with the social media bandwagon. Christ, it’s constant! Then trying to keep up with the format changes on Facebook, WordPress, Instagram, my website…. and link them together and post things daily because there is tooooo much pressure from your colleagues when you see all their stuff…..aaahhhhhh, IT’S TOO MUCH!!!
I just became frozen and I gradually started slipping and loosing my interest.
Of course there are also those jerks out there who say they are your friend (but really who has 400+ “friends”) who just want to argue their point to the death knowing that they make you look like an ass if you counter their post. I know this seems trivial, and years ago I would never think this could affect me this way, but it got me and has kept me quietly wondering if anyone else knows what this feels like.
There is an addiction to checking in with these social websites, and before you realize it you have become hooked and are an internet junkie. You can spend all day at your computer and pretty much not do a dam thing but waste your life trying to create an image of what you would like others to think you are. I used to think our kids are so screwed up because they never had a moment to focus on their life without all of their friends knowing what they were doing. I’m right about that and did not notice that my life too has been greatly affected by this world of social media posting, reading, and keeping up with it all.
I feel relieved that while I was awake in the wee hours of the dark morning I was able to decipher the monkey chatter in my head; you know that voice that keeps you awake after you wake up to pee. While the world was quiet my brain was fully active with great ideas, direction and energy and a message to myself that I still have it and in order to go get it I must let go of the time freezing comparisson that has grown from getting way too connected.
I love my blog, it is where I come to share my thoughts, recipes and the part of me that did not get lost on the social media self judgment witch hunt! I feel peaceful reeling myself back in and am thankful for those crystal clear thoughts that I paid attention to last night, I feel unstuck and ready to roll. I’m going to feed my chickens, clean my bunny pens and check back into my life!
As with all days eat, heal, be true to your inner voice and live your life like no one is watching!
* 1 cup of raw almond flour
* 1/2 cup of organic, fresh peanut butter (or almond butter)
* 1 cup pitted Medjool dates (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes)
* 1 1/4 teaspoons of vanilla extract
* ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
* 1 handful of cacao nibs (optional)
▪ Sea salt to garnish
• Combine almonds, nut butter, dates, cinnamon and vanilla in a food
processor and blend until a dough-like texture is achieved (a couple
of minutes). Add more nut butter if necessary to make the dough
• Optional: Add cacao nibs and process on pulse for 15-20 seconds to break them up a little but still leave some whole.
• Form into small balls and use a fork to press down and create a
• Sprinkle with sea salt
• Store in refrigerator (better the next day!)
8 – 12 servings
1 large butternut squash
1 small sweet potato
1 small onion
½ head of cauliflower, chopped
8 cups of vegetable stock
1 Tbsp Olive oil
Sea salt – a pinch/ or to taste
Cinnamon – a pinch/ or to taste
Maple syrup – a “swirl” / or to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
2. Peel butternut squash and sweet potato. Cut into 2” slices. (Deseed squash)
3. Place in baking dish with olive oil, salt, and cinnamon.
4. Roast in oven for about 20-25 minutes, turn slices over and continue cooking for about 20 more minutes until soft. (Also a great dish as is)
OR EASY VERSION: Pierce whole sweet potato and butternut squash with fork, so the steam will escape, and bake about 45 minutes or until tender. Scoop out contents, deseed squash and set aside.
5. Sauté onions, cauliflower and sea salt in oil on medium heat until soft.
6. Add chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil.
7. Add cooked butternut squash and sweet potato.
8. Cook at medium heat for 10 minutes, lower heat and continue to simmer for 10 more minutes.
9. Puree soup with an immersion (hand-held stick) blender.
10. Add sea salt, and cinnamon to taste
11. Swirl maple syrup into puree
12. Mix again briefly with an immersion blender.
13. Serve and Enjoy!
14. For fancy serving, top with a swirl of maple syrup and sprinkle of cinnamon into each bowl.
Italian food is the first thing I turn to as my comfort food of choice. One thing that I missed the most when making the gluten free lifestyle change was Italian food! It is my mission to be able to introduce you to healthy substitutions that will help you stay on this new found pathway to a healthier you. This recipe is a fun way to try new things and realize how delicious spaghetti squash is and how having such a versatile substitution for gluten-laced pasta can change your outlook!
- Gluten-free Eggplant Lasagna (with meat) (gardenforestfield.com)