Happy Monday – December 5th

dec5aGood morning everyone! Wow didn’t last week really fly by? I mean time goes faster or so it seems as we get older but last week was a blink! I hope you’re all doing well. Well it’s officially December and we are rocking around trying to get ourselves ready for the holidays. Last week I pulled out all of our lights and Leao checked them to make sure that no bulbs needed to be replaced.  Then this weekend we hung them up and we also winterized our deck. We got the boys to help but let me tell you my boys are not interested in cleaning or putting things away. So it’s kind of like pulling teeth from time to time. But in the end we got it done so it was worth it.dec5fI’m really glad that we winterized the deck this weekend because we woke up to the white stuff out there this morning. It’s just a coating right now but it’s just reminds me of what’s to come. As much as I complain about snow I secretly love days when it snows and we know it’s gonna be a snow day and I can sit in my craft room and just look out the window down the street at all the pretty snow as it falls down. Knowing that I don’t have to actually go anywhere always makes snow so much more acceptable. But the days that I have to shovel, run errands, do drop off and pick up, and shovel again, those are the days snow and I simply aren’t friends!

dec5b We had fun this weekend at my in-laws and watching our quarterback make history to become the all-time quarterback wins with his 201st win yesterday. That was a good way to end the weekend ok and maybe a little piece of pie that I ate helped too (don’t hate).dec5d

Last week, I decorated the inside of our home with Christmas decorations and was feeling the red and gold this year so there’s an abundance of it in my house right now. Love it or hate it that’s how I’m rolling with it this year.  I usually decorate when the boys are at home but I decided last week to wait until they went to school and spent much of the day putting tings away amnd putting out the new decor. I even made them some chocolate cupcakes so that the house smelled good when they came home. It was really fun to see their reaction when they came into the house and saw all the decorations and the smells of chocolate in the air. I know I always remembered that with my mom. I loved coming home from school to her baking and the house filled with decorations she would put up for the holidays. It made it feel so special.  I hope that these things will stick with them throughout their lifetime like it has mine.dec5e I also finished a book that I was reading that took me forever to read so I should be putting a book review up this week for it. So be on the lookout. I already started another book this weekend that is just a pleasure to read and  it’s a real quick fast read so it’s just what I needed right after that heavy book I read for the past few weeks.

We stopped by to see our town’s annual tree lighting and I took this picture of the boys capturing the moment for themselves. This year we were smart and showed up close to the time rather than freeze like we did last year.

I hope you’re all doing well and wish for you a blessed week!

Belinda

Wellness Wednesday: Let’s talk Coconut flour

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While wandering the cookbook aisle at my local library about two months ago, I came across this amazing little cookbook, The Healthy Coconut Flour Cookbook by Erica Herwien. I loved all the photos on the cover and then I read that it contained more than 100 grain-free, gluten-free, paleo-friendly recipes for every occasion. So I had to check it out. I brought it home and couldn’t believe how many recipes I wanted to try. After renewing the book twice I decided to buy my own copy.

I never really intentionally cooked with coconut flour before so I looked forward to exploring with it in my kitchen.

First let me share a few health benefits and why it might be something you might want to incorporate into your recipes:

It’s naturally high in fiber ans low in carbohydrates (let’s face it, we need that especially with all the yummy temptations over the holidays every little bit helps.)

It’s better for our blood sugar because the fiber content in coconut flour is low in digestible carbohydrates so it doesn’t have the same effect on our blood sugar compared to other carbohydrates such as wheat grains and rice.

Typically when we eat carbohydrates they are broken down into glucose that can cause a rapid rise in blood sugar, which forces our body to work hard to respond to it. This quick rise causes stress on the body and over time, high blood sugar levels can lead to or complicate some of our big health concerns such as diabetes, heart disease,  weight gain and our overall health. But with coconut flour you don’t get that sugar spike and the high fiber makes you feel full and cleans out the residue before leaving the body.

So using it as an alternative to traditional all purpose flour is a great thing. It also is a great alternative for that small percent of people that have gluten intolerance.

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So today I tried making the Chocolate Banana Bread recipe from the cookbook. It is gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free and paleo-friendly. I am lactose intolerant so the fact that the book includes ways to remove the dairy makes me happy.

I couldn’t find my smaller loaf pan so it came out more of a long wide shape. I also tried a new dark chocolate brand which I used the food processor to shred it.  Well I had three tasters including myself. Leao, who is working from home, said he liked it but wanted more banana flavor. Apollo and I loved it. I liked the moist inside with a slight crisp to the edges. It pairs well with my Honeybush tea from Numi. It’s perfect for the drab rainy day we are experiencing today.

I will try to write posts as I try some of the other recipes in this book. I hope they are all just as yummy as this one. I also noticed that I didn’t feel sleepy after eating it. So I didn’t get the normal sugar spike like many desserts and breads tend to do to me.

If you do use coconut flour let me know what you think.

Have a blessed day!

Belinda

 

Happy Monday…Nope, I missed it!!

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Hey you! How are you? Well I might have to start a Happy Tuesday posts since I keep missing Monday!

 

First let me just tell you right now that I am drinking a new tea today and it is from a company called Tea Guys. The flavor that I’m drinking is called peppermint chocolate vanilla. It is a rooibos tea blend and it’s delicious. I tend to drink a lot of caffeinated tea because I drink chai and green tea. I don’t like artificial flavors so I often avoid the caffeine free. I tend to be a bit of a tea snob and have been known to ask for hot water in restaurants so I can use the tea I bring with me. But during the cleanse I picked up and found a bunch of really nice caffeine free teas. So as I write this post I keep sniffing and sipping on this yummy tea. If you see it try it. the aroma alone will knock your socks off.nov28aI’ve been busy with little projects here and there and trying to wrap up some things so I didn’t get to sit down yesterday to write. But let’s celebrate the New England Patriot’s winning the game yesterday. It was a real nail biter all the way down to the last minute I pretty much paced the floor and yelled at the TV for the last 30 minutes of the game.nov28fThanksgiving was wonderful and we spent it with my in-laws. My mother-in-law is one of the most amazing cooks that I know in both taste and presentation. As you know I had just come off of my cleanse so I was able to enjoy the meal fully. Even though I did indulge in a few glasses of wine and some pie I still approached it very mindfully and think that this time around a lot of my habits that I took from the cleanse will stick.nov28c Of course we stayed over my in-laws for several days and played games and talked each night. Some of the games that we like to play is Skipbo which is a card game and we also like to play a dice game called Greed. Apollo introduced us all to Bananagrams. Which is a fantastic word game with letter tiles similar to Scrabble. I love Scrabble and word games in general so this was great. We also brought some DVDs and watch the classic Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. But the most important thing is that we were all together and I don’t take this time for granted.nov28dWe also played Old Maid and guess who was the Old Maid?  Me!!!! Why do I always lose that game?

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Hope you have a blessed week!

Belinda

Wellness Wednesday – Cleansing for Good Health

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Hello Everyone! I hope you are all taking care of yourselves. Last week, Many of us were thrown for a loop when the dust finally settled from the election and stress levels were high. It’s important that we all take care of ourselves regardless. I thought I might start a weekly series that features some of the many things I have learned with regard to greater wellness. My hope is that my journey might invite you in big or small ways to embrace some new changes to your nutritional habits and well being.

I am currently in the final week of the 21-day Clean Gut Cleanse. For those who are new to my blog, back in May of 2015 I embarked on my first cleanse. I was actually one of those people that wrinkled up her nose when I read or heard about a cleanse. I would say,”All I need to do is eat in moderation and all will be fine” and then I would drop the subject. For a year, prior to that first cleanse, I had already incorporated daily smoothies in my routine. I think that was what really opened me up to the possibilities of a cleanse and prepared me for the opportunity.

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One day, I was on my Overdrive app on my Kindle and I came across the audio book called Clean Gut by Dr. Junger called and I checked it out and while I worked in my garden, cleaned in the house, and folded laundry, I listened to his story and gradually began to open to his philosophies. I made the decision that I wanted to try a cleanse to see what effects it would have on my life and I went for it. You can read about the basics and the start of that journey here.

So since that time, I decided that I would do this cleanse every 6 months.  This will be my fourth time.  I like to do it this time of year right before the holidays and our cold winter when I tend to dive into comfort foods. Then the next time will be in May before summer hits and I have to trade my oh so comfy sweaters for shorts and bathing suits.  Although the primary reason that I do this cleanse is to allow my body to have time to truly care for itself and to identify what are my trigger foods, I do always lose weight because I can’t eat the offenders I love like dark chocolate, chai, chips, and alcohol among other things.

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This time around, I had a bumpy start due to traveling the weekend before the cleanse began and not shopping ahead of time for week one.  But week two went great. The food as you can see is quite yummy.

Whether you ever decide to do a cleanse for 7-days or 21 days like I do, please take time to look at what you put into your body. Because our bodies are constantly bombarded with all the external toxins in the air, lotion and perfume we put on our skin and the food we ingest into our bodies. The magic that our bodies perform to keep us well can only last for so long and then things start to go bad in your body and illness begins. So even incorporating a clean recipe into your weekly rotation and taking more precautions will lead to a healthier life.

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Once I complete the program and go through the re-introduction program, I find I am more mindful of what enters my body. That is not to say that I won’t have my Chai or other items, but that I will slow down and listen more to my body. That I will question the ingredients in my food. That I will take time to incorporate more variety in my choice of vegetables that I eat more regularly.

Dr. Junger also has another cleanse called, The 21-day Clean Cleanse and I have done that one as well. But due to my reaction to some of the restrictions, I prefer the Clean Gut Cleanse. He also has a fantastic cookbook Clean Eats that helps with finding clean recipes that meet both cleanse requirements.

You can also search Pinterest for great Clean snack and meal ideas so don’t hesitate to see what you’re missing.

Have a blessed day my friend!

Belinda

 

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