Not Just Any Raw Energy Bar

Today I made a couple batches of some very special raw energy bars.  These were developed for my two youngest children with their input of ingredients!

I asked them if they wanted a smoothie for snack, but they decided they wanted other superfoods!

What parent in their right mind would say no to a healthy, packed with omega’s,  fiber rich, snack?

It was so easy, even kids could make this (with supervision using processor of course!)

Raw Z-Bar

Raw Z-Bar

Z-Bar a.k.a. Raw Energy Bar (made especially for my lil guy, Zac) 

Ingredients:
1/2 C Organic Oats (not the quick oats)
1/8 – 1/4 C Raw Almonds
1/8 C Raw Pumpkin Seeds
4 Dates
1 T (Heaping) of Almond Butter

Directions:
1. Process nuts and oats til crumbly, then put into a bowl and set aside
2. Soak dates for about 15 minutes & remove pits
3. Process dates
4. After you process the dates, add almond butter and dry ingredients and process til mixture begins to stick together. You can add a couple T of water if mixture is too dry.
5. In a small pan (6 x 9) or smaller for thicker bars, press mixture down firmly.
6. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, then cut into squares or bars & enjoy!

Raw J-Bar

Raw J-Bar

J-Bar (made for my other lil guy, Jake)

Follow Z-Bar Recipe above and add:

1/2 C of raisins

1/4 Unsweetened Coconut Flakes

*Follow Z-Bar instructions, and process *raisins with the dates and add *coconut with the other dry ingredients

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3 Tips to Balance Your Hormones

I’m excited to announce my first guest!

Thank you for your contribution Lynn!

3 Tips to Balance Your Hormones

by Lynn DeBuhr Johnson, CHC

Lynn DeBuhr Johnson, CHC

Lynn DeBuhr Johnson, CHC

“You’re so hormonal!” “What is it, that time of the month or something?” Many of us have heard people say these things to us when we act in a more emotional manner. The thing is, there is some truth to these sayings.

There are over 150 symptoms linked to hormonal imbalance. These include abdominal bloating, anxiety, acne, backaches, breast swelling and tenderness, swollen feet, depression, cramps, food cravings, fainting spells, headaches, fatigue, joint pain, insomnia, nervousness, impatience, drastic mood swings, and angry outbursts. Oh, and let’s not forget these classics – sluggishness, lethargy, delusions, indecisiveness, dizziness, constipation, hemorrhoids, skin eruptions, and migraines.

There seems to be an entire comedy industry around hormone imbalance, its symptoms, as well as its causes. But there is some truth behind the humor. Bearing children and being married seems to increase the likelihood of hormonal imbalance. It’s a major factor that inadvertently plays into many divorces.

I find it ironic that hormones often have a play in our relationships. Like communication in our relationships, communication is essential with hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers in the body that travel the bloodstream to the organs and tissues. They work slowly, thus taking more time to affect many of the body’s processes. Our endocrine glands are the special groups of cells that make hormones.

The main endocrine glands are the pituitary gland, thyroid, thymus, adrenal glands and pancreas. Just like one singular remark can create a tempest in a teapot, only a small amount of a hormone is needed to cause significant changes in our body. Again, mimicking communication within our relationships, hormonal imbalance occurs when one of these chemical messengers is no longer functioning properly. When two people are communicating, and one is more overpowering than the other, it is an unbalanced relationship. When there is over- or under-production of specific hormones, they can’t communicate properly. The primary hormone that causes these changes is estrogen.

The liver regulates hormonal balance by selectively filtering out of the blood and excreting unwanted excess hormones. One of these is estradiol, a type of estrogen which causes many of the typical problems. If not eliminated, it can build up in the body.

Another part of the hormonal imbalance problem is that there is too much estrogen in the body and not enough progesterone. Fluid retention is the result. This affects the circulation and impedes oxygen and nutrient flow to the brain and female organs.

Throughout the following ideas for treatment you might also recognize other causes that are in play in your own body. As you read through, take the time to be still and listen to what your body might be telling you needs to be done. We usually recognize what needs to be done for us. We get those “Ah ha!” moments, and know it to be the right course. The next step is to get on the path and take that trail. Here are three tips to use on your walk.

1. Clean nutrition. Constipation is a primary reason why the liver cannot get rid of excess estradiol. Eat natural foods with sufficient bulk. Avoid processed and junk foods. If you make a smoothie with bananas, berries, cherries, and spinach, not only do you get a quick, great tasting meal, you’ll also that bulk, plus 30% of your magnesium needs, as well as vitamin A (110%), vitamin C (220%), vitamin K (360%), folate (45%), manganese (81%) and much more. A meal like this that is high in complex carbohydrates will also help you deal with stress. It is thought that they increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical which counteracts depression.

The B vitamins and magnesium help the liver excrete unwanted estrogen. Fried foods block the absorption of magnesium. So, next time, instead of having chips and dip for a snack, make yourself a quick guacamole, then throw a dash of kelp in it. Guacamole is a fantastic food in many ways. Thanks to the nutrient rich avocado, it provides a wide spectrum of amino acids, vitamin A, C, E, B6, and K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese, all of them in fairly large amounts. Adding kelp only raises the nutrient count while also providing iodine and calcium. Magnesium and vitamin D will help in calcium absorption. These foods are important to keep your blood calcium up, so that you don’t have headaches, tension, nervousness, depression, or insomnia.

2. Work it out. Regular outdoor exercise is important. Walk at least half a mile a day. This increases oxygen intake, which in turn aids in nutrient absorption and elimination of toxins. You’ll also get additional vitamin D to aid in calcium absorption. Being overweight increases overall estrogen levels because adipose tissue, which is fat, produces estrogen. Exercise will also get the estrogen circulating throughout your body, which will allow it to get rid of the excess estrogen. And let’s not forget cortisol, the fight-or-flight hormone. That will determine your energy level while you are exercising, as well as what fuel you will be using – fat, protein or carbohydrates. Increased cortisol will also help with the muscle aches you might feel, as well as helping to repair muscle tissue that you strained during a workout. Mix up your workout – yoga one day, aerobics the next.

3. Eat more of those wild, wacky weeds. Include dong quai, false unicorn root, fennel seed, squaw vine, blessed thistle, and sarsaparilla root in your diet. They help balance the hormones. The phytoestrogens in dong quai work with the body’s natural estrogen, optimizing female hormones. This action enhances sexual responsiveness, and has a tonic effect on a whole range of menstrual problems including menopause, painful menses, hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings. Dong quai’s other qualities include liver protection, pain relief, and strong antibacterial actions. Dong quai increases production of white blood cells strengthening the immune system, which may play a role in cancer prevention. You can make a decoction by boiling the Dong Quai root. False unicorn root is of the greatest value in female disorders of the reproductive organs, and is useful in impotence, as a tonic for urinary problems, for liver and kidney diseases, and especially in diseases due to poor liver functions.

Although it is bitter, you can make a tea with it, or take it as a fluid extract. These are just a few ideas to allow you to think about the different processes that are going on within your body. Our bodies are miraculous, with so many intricate things going on all at the same time. When we are functioning within a balance, you will notice how wonderful you feel. It does take some time and planning, but it’s worth it when you don’t need to take the time to stay home when you are continually sick and in pain. Take it one step at a time, and slowly incorporate these things into your daily planning. You will be happy when you are living a rich, full life.

Bio

Feeding Your Health is a health counseling firm founded by Lynn DeBuhr Johnson. A graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York, Lynn has also studied with Lou Corona and is a recognized raw food chef and instructor. Lynn combines her multiple talents to teach entertaining and informative nutrition and raw food classes and to counsel people one-on-one to achieve greater health. Through Feeding Your Health, she offers lectures, classes, hands on workshops, coaching and consultations in Minnesota, Iowa and nationwide. Lynn has written articles about healthy eating. Between Lynn’s infectious energy and enthusiasm and her killer desserts, you’ll be inspired to think about feeding your health. http://feedingyourhealth.com/

For the ♥ of Pups

I have some exciting news for you!  Thanks to a friend of mine, K. Larsen,  who has a few e-books of her own available, I am finally ready to begin putting my very first e-book together!  It’s going to have healthy pup treat recipes!  I can’t wait to share it with you!

November of 2010, we brought home a new family member.  Unfortunately, we also brought home a bad case of giardia.  After many trips to the vet,  and still no luck in controlling the explosions of diarrhea, I mentioned to the vet I wanted to feed my pup homemade rice and chicken to see if that would help.  The explosions cleared within a week!  No more medications and no more pet store food for us!

At Lil Roo’s 1 year check up, she was in excellent health and perfect weight!   We discussed Lil Roo’s diet with the vet, we got the green light to continue!  We supplement with calcium, bone meal, vitamin C, and nutritional yeast to ensure all nutrient and mineral requirements are being met.  Their diets consist of lean meats, healthy fats, lots of fresh fruit and veggies, and no gluten.

I have been making all their food and treats since!  No more smelly gas, no more diarrhea!

Many people have commented on how soft and shiny her fur is!

♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥

Lil Roo & Auhmi

Lil Roo & Auhmi

Auhmi joined us this year since Lil Roo was really, really, wanting a playmate.  She is a year younger than Roo.  Together they not only inspire me to create things in the kitchen for them, they drive me crazy while I’m doing it!  (Like right now, I’ve got sweet potato chewies dehydrating in the oven and they can’t stop running back and forth to the kitchen!)

Sweet Potato Chewies

Sweet Potato Chewies

Be sure to check out my friend’s books, especially if you enjoy reading!

Click here: K. Larsen, Author

~ Stay tuned ~

Trick your kids into eating healthier!

So have you ever had difficulty getting your kids to eat things that are healthy?  I have 4 children, each of them unique.  Some would eat some things and others would eat, or at least be willing to try, other things.  My oldest two were big on veggie platters.  Ten years later, my younger two, are big on the ‘try something new’ which is usually fruit!  Then I deal with the “you always make us eat healthy” and the “dad doesn’t do…”

Of course, nutritionist mom comes back with; “You still need at least 5 servings of fruit and veggies a day.”

On days like today, when school gets out and they are wanting a snack mom makes ICE-CREAM!  What kid doesn’t like ice-cream?!

So easy, healthy, and tasty! (I am not a fan of ice cream, but I did try this and LIKED it!)

The kids loved it, well, really they said “it’s okay” when I asked how they liked it but it was gone pretty quick!

Mission accomplished, mom’s strawberry ice-cream = 2 fruit servings AND coconut milk has less sugar, less carbs, and more calcium that regular milk!

Raw Strawberry Ice Cream

Raw Strawberry Ice Cream

Raw Strawberry Ice-Cream Recipe

2 Ingredients!  It doesn’t get any easier than that!

Equal parts frozen strawberries and coconut milk!

Put in blender, blend!

(May need to add a little more coconut milk as it thickens in blender)

Variations:

Fruit

ANY frozen fruit can be used, such as, cherries, blueberries, mango, papaya, pineapple.  You can freeze chunks of ripe banana for 24 hours and use with 1T cocoa powder for chocolate ice cream or add 1T almond or nut butter!  Yum!

Milk

You can also use almond milk.

Day 9 – Drink YOUR Antioxidants!

Here is the smoothie I made for day 9 of my RAW journey!

Blueberries, Avocado, & Cherries!

Both blueberries and cherries are rich with antioxidants to help protect your body at a cellular level!  Avocado has lots of healthy fats, great for lowering cholesterol and heart health!  Both cherries and avocados off some anti-inflammatory benefits!

How much I used:

Handful of blueberries

1/2 of an Avocado

About a cup of cherries

And enough water to almost reach the top of the fruit.

Blend & enjoy with a friend, enough for two!

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Day 8 – Banana vs. Avocado

I had never tried using avocado in my smoothies before.   I was concerned about flavor and texture.  It seems as though it would make a good “base” for a smoothie because of its smooth texture. I usually use banana when wanting a creamy, not too thin, smoothie.

Comparing the two for nutrients:  Bananas have a higher carb content, where avocado have a higher (good) fat content.  Bananas are known for their potassium content and avocados contain almost the same amount!  Avocados also have some anti-inflammatory components, whereas bananas do not and are mucus forming.  Protein quality in avocados is also higher in avocados.

I recently started getting mine shipped fresh from California!  From Avocado Diva!  Here is the link if you are interested, they also have an avocado of the month club!

Link: Avocado Diva Site

So here it is! Yesterdays RAW Smoothie-licious!

1/2 Raw avocado

1 Banana

2 Kiwi

And enough water to reach top of fruit

Blend, and viola! Breakfast for two!

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Gluten-Free Vegetarian Lasagna Recipe

Gluten-Free Vegetarian Lasagna

Stay tuned for details! Baking now!

Viola! Recipe Below photo!

veg las done

Recipe for GF Vegetarian Lasagna (with cheese) by Lise R.

1 Red Pepper (diced)

1 Orange Pepper (diced)

1 Small Onion (diced)

3 Cloves Garlic (crushed/sliced)

Pinch of Basil

2 Roma Tomatoes (sliced)

2 T. Olive oil

1 pkg GF Lasagna Noodles (Brown Rice)

1/2 Can beans (I used kidney, but you can use what you like)

Handful fresh spinach

16 oz. Cottage Cheese

8 oz. Shredded Cheese (I chose parmesan but any kind will work)

1 16-20 oz. jar of sauce (I chose 4 cheese, but you could use marinara, or your fave!)

Sautee onion, peppers, garlic and basil in olive oil until soft.

Cook noodle in boiling water for 2 minutes, remove from heat and let sit for 14 more minutes.

Layer the following:

Little sauce, noodle, 1/2 of the cottage cheese, beans, and sautéed veggies

Next layer: Noodle, little sauce (1/3), 1/2 cottage cheese, spinach, tomato

Top: Noodle, Sauce, Shredded Cheese, and another pinch of basil if you like 🙂

Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes!

If you try it, let me know how you like it!!!!

What the he77 is “raw” anyway?

Have you ever tried eating raw?

A few years ago I was about 90%  and loved it!  I actually lost about 50 pounds and my complexion!  How cool is that?!*~

What is raw?  Raw is basically eating unprocessed, uncooked or “live” food.  Food can be dehydrated at 105 degrees or less.  A higher temperature than that would kill the enzymes and the food would no longer be considered “live.  One does not need to go 100% raw to benefit form a raw diet.

So, what do we eat? RAW veggies, fruit, sprouted grains, nuts, and seeds…we can keep it simple of get creative with different foods.  I, personally, chose to go about 90% so that I can still have some of the things I have trouble staying away from and it kept me from falling off the train for a while.  My downfall is eating with others and having to cook for others that eat differently.  I cook, then I smell, and eventually I fall into the trap ~ and I taste it!  That’s where I fall…Yup, I fell!

So, Choo~Choo, I’m chugging my way back…every day I’m going to TRY to incorporate more raw into it.  I felt so good, so alive, eating live, clean food!  My body would crave raw!

I will start posting some of my trials and errors.  I’m making this public to hold myself accountable!  If you see me slipping feel free to give me a swift kick! And please do share your fave’s!

So, the photo I’m about to add to this post is yesterday’s breakfast.

Banana, blueberries, cherries, and yup, romaine!

Today’s breakfast, that I did not take a photo of was apple, mango, and cherries.  I had salad with dinner tonight as well.

(Yesterday’s breakfast! Didn’t want to have to edit the photo)

Busting at the seams!

Holy soaps! Did I mention in my last post how much I LOVE my new soap molds?  Love, love, love, love, love!  (In case I didn’t)  I HAVE to share my pic of my fresh cut Rosemary~Lavender~with a hint of Lemon!  I still need to design a label for this bar!  But soaps done! YES!

 

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“Loaf” before cutting

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Look at the size of these bars! My label say 4 oz but these babies weighed in at 4.9! Of course with curing it will lose a little but should still end up around 4.5!

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Love, love, love!

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You can always check out what else I’ve made on Facebook!

Link: Homemade Natural Soaps Facebook

Stop by and check it out!

Whoo hoo! Santa Came Early!

Whoo hoo!  I was so excited to come home yesterday and see the Fed-Ex package on my doorstep!  (Santa’s reindeer work for Fed-Ex you know…) Inside this package was my NEW custom made soap molds!  I got 2 – 18 bar molds and a third mold with slots cut in it to slip my cutter into to make straighter bars!  I must have been good this year!  I had been using homemade wooden molds, they work wonderfully, but the cutting par was a bit challenging.  Someone had told me to use guitar string, I’ve been making soap for a couple of years now and I JUST figured out the guitar string is inserted into a block and the soap should slip through it to be cut.  Too much work for me!  I’d still find a way to mess it up!  I’ve been using a dry wall knife. Now, since I’ve been soooooo good, I’ve got the mold with slots AND a brand-spanking new SOAP cutter!

I was anxious to use my mold today.  I didn’t have any particular soap in mind to make.  I created my first blended batch.  Rosemary~Lavender with a hint of Lemon essential oils and lavender petals sprinkled on top of the loaf.  My house smells awesome!  I can not wait until tomorrow to pop that baby out of the mold and cut my bars!  Now I plan to get creative!  Here it is!

You will have to check out my facebook page, I will post photos of the soaps after cutting! I totally make these available for purchase!

Here is the link: Homemade Natural Soaps (visit often and share!)

 Please, please, please let me know what you think!  Leave me a comment!