Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Energy Boosting Mango-Matcha Green Tea Smoothie

Energy Boosting Mango-Matcha Green Tea Smoothie



All the smoothies I drink give me lots of energy and keep me full for hours. This smoothie is even more energizing!  The key 'super energizing' ingredient is the Shaklee Energizing Match Green Tea!

Ingredients:

2 scoops Shaklee 180 Mango Smoothee Mix* (if you can find another protein mix that has a mango flavor you could sub with that or use vanilla and add in fresh or frozen mangos. Keep in mind that would change the nutrition facts.)

1 packet Shaklee Energizing Matcha Green Tea**

1 cup water

3-5 ice cubes

Directions:  Mix the tea into the water, then pour into the blender (I found it mixes best when the tea is mixed with water prior to just adding it in powder form into the blender).  Then, add the protein mix (and mango if you are using fresh or frozen) and the ice cubes.  Blend until fully blended.

Nutrition Facts: Cals. 175  Fat 3g Carbs. 18g Fiber 4g Protein 16g



Thursday, January 22, 2015

Cinnamon Chai Smoothie

Cinnamon Chai Smoothie


I Loved Shaklee’s Chai Latte Smoothee Mix, but they don’t have that flavor anymore & sometimes I really have a taste for a chai latte smoothie.  To be completely honest, I like this recipe better using the vanilla protein mix instead of the chai latte flavor mix anyways.  The brilliance of this recipe is that you can use any type of chai flavored tea.  I have made a vanilla chai, a chocolate chai and just a plain chai.  Everytime adding the cinnamon to the recipe, because cinnamon helps regulate blood sugars, which is very important for everyone!

Ingredients:  

10 oz water

1 chia tea bag

2 scoops Shaklee 180 Vanilla Smoothee Mix* or another protein mix

1 tsp cinnamon

4-5 ice cubes

Directions: Boil the water, once boiled pour over tea bag in a mug and steep for 15 minutes, then put in frig to let cool.  Combine the tea, smoothie mix, cinnamon and ice cubes in a blender and blend until smooth.

**Nutrition Facts: Cals.175  Fat 3g   Carbs. 18g   Fiber 6g   Protein 16g


**Nutrition facts may vary if you use another protein mix.

Deliciously Healthy Granola

Deliciously Healthy Granola

For those super busy mornings this granola is great with either milk (I suggest almond milk), yogurt (I suggest greek yogurt) w/ berries, or eaten by the handful!  It is lower in sugar, carbs and calories than regular granola and has a bunch of healthy fat, protein and fiber to keep you fuller longer than traditional granola.  And, most importantly this granola tastes delicious!
Ingredients:
1 cup oats
¼ cup walnuts, pecans or almonds
2 tbsp teaspoons flax seeds
2 tbsp chia seeds
⅓ cup chopped dried cherries
¼ tsp sea salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tbsp Honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line baking sheet with wax paper.  Combine oats, walnuts, flax seed, chia seed, cherries, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl combine the applesauce, honey and vanilla extract, then pour over oat mixture and stir to make sure it fully coats all the ingredients.  Spread onto the lined baking sheet, making sure to make an even layer across the baking sheet.  Bake for about 15 minutes, stir the mixture and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until it is a crisp golden brown.  Store in a glass, metal or plastic container at room temperature.  Makes about eight ¼ cup servings.
Approx. Nutrition Facts: Cals. 125   Fat 3g   Carbs. 16g  Protein 6g   Fiber 5g

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Longer Thicker Lashes (and Hair!)

Longer Thicker Lashes (and Hair!)

I’ve noticed that as I’ve gotten older my lashes have also gotten thinner and shorter.  Which I’m not happy about.  I’ve taken vitamins to help get them to grow, and the vitamins have helped.  But, not to my satisfaction.  I heard about Shaklee’s ProSante Scalp Treatment that is working wonders on everyone’s hair.  And, then I heard about how women are putting it into their mascara and how it has improved the length and thickness of their lashes.  Which made me think, since I don’t wear mascara everyday and it would be hard to make sure you are getting an even amount from the mascara container.  So, I just cleaned off an old mascara wand and poured some of the Shaklee ProSante Scalp Treatment into a little bottle (from the dollar tree) and dip the wand into the treatment.  Then, tap it in the bottle to make sure I don’t get too much and waste it.  Then brush it on my lashes after I’ve wash, dried and put lotion on my face at night.  I have been doing this everyday for about 4 weeks, and have noticed a huge difference.  Just after the first week I saw a lot more new growth and now it has filled in.  Bonus: I use the ProSante Scalp Treatment on my scalp everyday too and have noticed a big difference with my hair being thicker and growing out quicker.  Here are some pictures of before and after of my lashes (I didn’t take any before pics of my hair, sorry).


The above picture is before any treatment, besides my usual vitamins. (No make up either)




The above picture is 3 weeks after using the ProSante Scalp Treatment.  You can see the lashes, especially the ones towards the left side (outside of my eye) have gotten longer and all the lashes have filled in thicker. (Again, no make up)  

This next picture is before the lash treatment.



And, this pic shows the length after 3 weeks of the lash treatment.  Look at the difference of how long the lashes fan out in the dark circles of my eyes (LOL)!  They are much longer than compared to the before pic, the lashes in that pic didn’t reach as far out to the ends of the dark circles.




Deliciously Healthy Spiced Apples

Deliciously Healthy Spiced Apples



These are much healthier than the traditional brown sugar spiced apples that are a common side item at BBQ joints or used in pie fillings.  The traditional sugar, fat and calorie loaded kind has about 3 times the sugar, 2 times the fat and double the calories or more than this healthier yet just as tasty version.

Ingredients:

3 apples (any kind) skinned, cored and sliced

1 tbsp coconut oil

¼ cup light brown sugar

¼ cup stevia in the raw or splenda

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

5 -7 dashes nutmeg

3  -5 dashes cloves

Directions:  Place apples in a medium pot and cover with water, bring to boil and cook until they are tender and you can poke with a fork easily, about 3-5 minutes after water has begun to boil.  Strain water out and add in all ingredients and gently stir to combine.  Serve warm.  You can add walnuts or pecans for protein or top them with vanilla yogurt or frozen yogurt for a healthy and tasty snack / dessert.  Makes 4 servings.

Approx. Nutrition Facts:  Cals. 93   Fat 3.5g   Carbs.16.75g   Protein 1g   Fiber 2g   Sugar 13g

Lentil Curry Stew

Lentil Curry Stew



Ingredients:

1 cups lentils, rinsed (I use a mix of different lentils)
1/2 onion, diced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 - 2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
2 tbsp curry powder
1 ½ tsp coriander
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp white sugar (can sub stevia)
1 tsp garlic powder or ½ clove minced
1 tsp ginger powder
14 oz or 16 oz can tomato puree
Directions: Place lentils in a sauce pot with enough water to cover them, bring water to a boil.  Reduce heat to Medium-low and cook lentils about 20 mins. adding water as needed to keep lentils covered.  Heat oil in large saute pan, added onion & pepper and cook until onions are caramelized and peppers are soft, about 15 mins.  Mix curry powder, coriander, cumin, chili powder, sea salt, sugar and garlic powder together in a small bowl.  Once the onion and pepper is finished cooking add the seasoning mixture to them and blend until it covers all the peppers and onions.  Add in the tomatoes and the tomato sauce, cook about 1-3 mins to warm and blend the seasonings together.  Once the lentils are finished cooking, drain and add to the pepper, onion and tomato mixture and stir together.  Remove from heat and serve warm, store extras in the frig.  Makes 4 servings.
I like to serve my with brown or wild rice and a small side salad of arugula dressed with olive oil, black pepper and a squeeze of ½ a lemon or a few drizzles of balsamic vinegar.
*Nutrition facts: Cals. 172   Fat 2.5g   Carbs. 20g   Protein 12g   Fiber 11g

*Nutrition facts do not include rice or arugula.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Gluten-Free, Vegan & Paleo Raspberry Muffins (That are actually yummy!)

Gluten-Free, Vegan & Paleo Raspberry Muffins (That are actually yummy!)


Ingredients:

½ cup applesauce, unsweetened

½ cup coconut oil, melted

4 tbsp agave in the raw or honey

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 cup coconut flour or almond flour*

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp baking soda

¾ cup raspberry jam, unsweetened (or any flavor you want)**

¼ - ½ cup sliced almonds

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the applesauce, coconut oil, agave & vanilla extract in a medium size bowl.  Then, add in the flour, salt & baking soda.  Stir to fully combine.  Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners and fill the liners about ½ way, you will use most of the batter.  Place spoonfuls of the raspberry jam on each muffin.  Then, scoop the remaining batter evenly over each muffin and stir with a knife to swirl the jam with the batter.  Sprinkle with almonds.  Bake for 25-28 minutes.  Makes 12 muffins.

Nutrition Facts: Cals. 112   Fat 6.75g   Carbs. 17.75g   Fiber 5.5g   Protein 4g

*If you use Almond flour the fat and protein will go up per muffin.  Along, with the calories a little bit.

**if you use a different kind of fruit jam or one that is sweetened then the carbs and calories may go up, while the fiber goes down a little.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Vitamin D - Super Important in the Midwest during the Winter Months!

Vitamin D - Super Important in the Midwest during the Winter Months!

The reason Vitamin D is so important is because it aids our bodies in absorbing calcium and phosphorus.  Our bodies need both minerals in order to have strong healthy bones.  It is also an important device our bodies use to assist in cell to cell interchange in the entire body and plays a role in supporting the immune system.  
Vitamin D is a unique vitamin because our bodies can produce it when it is exposed to sunlight.  Anyone who has lived in the midwest knows how little sunlight we get during the cold months.  And, even if we get a sunny day, since the sun is so far away it is not as potent as it is during warmer months.  For many of us, even during the warmer months we find ourselves low in Vitamin D because of the use of sunscreen to protect against skin cancer and premature aging.  Being deficient in Vitamin D has many negatives.  Why do we need Vitamin D besides the previous reasons?  As long as our bodies have an adequate amount there are numerous health benefits.  Here is a list of just seven:
  1. Helps keep the brain functioning properly (especially during later years in life).
  2. Is a key role player in maintaining a healthy body weight.
  3. Reduces the occurrence and severity of asthma symptoms.
  4. Lowers the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
  5. Significantly lowers the risk of getting cancer.
  6. Reduces the likelihood of having a heart attack.
  7. It is the bodies main protector against radiation.  With all the cell phones and devices out there that cause little bits of radiation, I’d like as much protection from it as possible.
So, what do we do if we live in an area of the country that doesn’t have loads of sunlight year round or if we bathe ourselves in sunblock?  Take high quality Vitamin D everyday.  How much is needed?  According to the Vitamin Council adults need 5,000 IU (children and infants 1,000 IU).  On the other hand, the Endocrine Society suggests only 1,500-2,000 IU a day for adults (400-1,000 IU for children and infants).  While the Food and Nutrition Board states only 600 IU for adults, but the elderly need 800 IU (infants 400 IU and children 600 IU).  With the varying amounts suggested it is not easy to decipher how much to take.  But rest assured that they all agree that 10,000 IU daily is the limit, and strongly suggest not going over that amount.  As you can see the answer is not clear as to how much to take.  I’m not a Dr, I just like doing a lot of research on health and nutrition.  I’d suggest if you feel you may be deficient in Vitamin D, it would be a good idea to get a blood test from your Dr to see how much you should be taking.  If you are one of those people that would rather run 10 miles then go to the Dr. I’d have to say again that it’s not good being deficient in Vitamin D either.  So, take steps to maintain a healthy amount of Vitamin D for your health and well being this winter.

As always make sure if you are going to use a supplement, please make sure it is truly what you are paying for.  I only trust Shaklee because I know what is in the bottle, no fillers or sugary additives.  Plus, the dosage is accurate, unlike most other brands.  I’d hate for you to waste your money on a toxic pill that is not going to benefit you because the dosage is not accurate.  If you don’t know which brand to trust, do your research.  If you don’t have time to research, you can always check out Shaklee here: http://jberinger.myshaklee.com/us/en/

Almond Joy Smoothie

Almond Joy Smoothie



1 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 scoops Shaklee 180 Vanilla Smoothee Mix* or Shaklee Vitalizing Protein Vanilla Smoothie Mix**

1 tbsp Cocoa powder

2 tbsp sliced almonds

2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes

1 tsp coconut extract

4-5 ice cubes

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Makes 1 serving.

***Nutrition Facts: Cals. 300   Fat 10.5g   Carbs. 33g   Protein 26g   Fiber 10g



***Nutrition facts may vary if you use a different ingredients.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Homemade Bird Brick

Homemade Bird Brick


Ingredients:
1 cup peanut butter (crunchy is best)
1 ½  cups oatmeal (raw uncooked oats)
2 cups bird seed
½ cup water


Directions: In a large bowl combine peanut butter, oatmeal and water.  Microwave for 3-5 minutes.  The mixture will be very thick.  Add in the bird seed and stir to fully combine.  Pour ½  into a pie pan, or a medium square or round glass dish & press it down.  Add the remaining ½ and press it down to form a solid mold.  Put in the refrigerator to cool.  Once it has hardened it is ready to be remove from the pan or dish.  Wrap and tie a string around it and then tie it from a branch.  You can place it on something outside like a deck railing, but then you run the chance of other creatures getting it.  This recipe makes a very large brick, so if you want a medium or small brick just cut the recipe in half.  This also is much cheaper than buying a bird brick from the store, just get super cheap peanut butter, the cheapest oats you can find and the 2.5 lb bird seed bag I found was only about $4 at walmart.

Fizzy Epsom Salt Bath Bombs or Foot Soaks

Fizzy Epsom Salt Bath Bombs or Foot Soaks


You will need:

1/8 cup water

2 cups epsom salts

5-7 drops of essential oil (I used eucalyptus and lavender with tea tree)

Silicone ice cube tray or candy mold tray

Bowl, spoon & as small a spoon as you have or the handle of a utensil.


Directions: Stir ingredients in a bowl using the larger spoon until fully combined.  Scoop up a spoonful of the mixture the spoon used to stir and drop into the silicone mold.  Pack tightly with either your your fingers or the small spoon pushing down, then add another scoop and pack it down.  Continue adding a spoonful and packing it down until you've filled each mold in the tray to the top.  rinse the small spoon or your fingers to wet them and press the top to really pack it down tight.  Let it sit overnight to a few days.  Turn the mold upside down and gently push on the silicone in to remove each cube from the tray.  Keep in a jar or container.  


Toss a few in some warm water and enjoy!!!

Healthier Baked Apple-Cream Cheese Empanadas

Healthier Baked Apple-Cream Cheese Empanadas


Ingredients:

2 packages crescent rolls

2 medium apples, cored, peeled, and cubed

1 tbsp butter, softened (or coconut oil, softened)

4 oz cream cheese (I used light)

¼ cup sugar (or stevia in the raw if you want to lower the calories, sugar & carbs)

¼ cup light brown sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cloves

½ cup light brown sugar

2 tbsp cinnamon

Directions:  Put the apples in a pot with enough water to cover them.  Bring water to a boil and cook until the apples are tender, but not too soft, about 3-5 minutes.  Once they are tender strain them from the water and return to the pot.  Add butter, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 tbsp cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves.  Stir to blend, then set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the cream cheese with the sugar and fluff with a fork until fully combined.  Take a crescent roll triangle and lay it flat spreading it out a little.  Put a spoonful of the cream cheese mixture in the center, then top that with a spoon full of apples.  Then take another crescent roll triangle spreading it out first, and then lay it over the other triangle with the mixtures.  Press the edges together to seal it.  Continue that process until all the crescent rolls have been used.  Next, combine the ½ cup brown sugar with the 2 tbsp cinnamon.  Lay each empanada on the cinnamon sugar mixture brushing off excess then lay on a cookie sheet sprayed with either olive oil or coconut oil.  Repeat dipping the empanadas in the mixture.  Then sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture on the empanadas.  Bake for 20 minutes or until they are golden brown.  Makes 8 empanadas.  Serve warm.  They are really yummy with vanilla ice cream and caramel topping.