Skinny Girl Secrets

*I am not a medical professional this is not health advice. In fact skinny isn’t even the standard. I use that term because that’s what people call me. Genetics also has a lot to do with it. My mom is skinny, so is my grandmother ect. You can do all this and still rock beautiful curves. I don’t even own a scale. These are just my food habits. So here we go! 

I was out to lunch with friends and I ordered an appetizer.

“Is that going to get you full?” My friend asked.

“No, I don’t eat to get full I eat to keep from being hungry,” I replied.

“What? I never heard that!”

“Yeah, that’s what my mom used to say.”

“See you skinny people keep these secrets to yourselves!”

So this is for you, friend. You know who you are! Here are 8 Secrets From Your Skinny friend.

(1) Drink water first. Most of the time you think you are hungry you are likely just thirsty. Try water first if after 15 min you are still feeling hungry, grab a bite to eat.

(2) Eat to stop the hunger sensation not to get full. When you eat to get full the food in your stomach expands your stomach making it harder and harder to get full. Weight gain doesn’t happen all at once it happens one pound at a time. If you only eat to satisfy the hunger sensation your stomach will only hold so much. This will keep your stomach its current size it will not shrink it.

(3) Look at the serving size. Some nights I want to eat all 4 servings of Ben and Jerry’s Almond Brittle Dairy Free Dessert, other times one serving will do. Knowing how much makes up one serving makes you less likely to make a habit of eating all the servings at once.

(4) Small Servings. Speaking of servings. It is a lot easier to put more on your plate than it is to take what is on your plate off. This goes for both life’s proverbial and physical plate. My mom used to say, “Don’t let your eyes get bigger than your stomach.” Eat small servings then if you want more get more.

(5) Don’t eat or drink out of a container. There is something about eating directly out of a vessel that makes us want to empty the vessel. Take your chips, cookies, or caramel popcorn and put it in the smallest bowl you have. Use a cup for your soda even if it is in a can. Better yet don’t drink soda.

(6) Use smaller plates. Speaking of containers, bigger is not always better. Use small cups bowls or plates. I know there is only a .25 cent difference between the biggest and smallest size and I know you say you won’t drink that much but let’s face it. You WILL want to empty that container.

(7) Don’t eat right before bed. When you eat right before you go to sleep your body spends the night digesting food instead of being completely at rest. Our food cut off for the kids is 2 hours before bed. Their tummies are almost empty by then so they aren’t hungry or digesting food through the night. That time seems to be the sweet spot for us. Amazingly enough, they don’t wake up starving. Hungry but they can usually wait for their oatmeal or pancakes to be made without complaint.

Bonus

(8) Supper on Sundays. Growing up we ate twice on Sunday’s. Once before church and once after church. We usually went back to church in the evenings so when we got out of service it was too late to eat. This habit has been so ingrained in me I still follow the tradition of two meals on Sunday. If the kids get hungry they can eat all the fruit and veggies they want.

At the end of the day the goal is to be the best you at any size! I hope these tips help you on your health journey. Be well!

My Favorite Vegan Sandwich

I love to eat! Food is delicious and comforting and there is nothing quite like a good sandwich. If you are looking for a bite with texture, depth of flavor and picture worthiness this is the hot sandwich for you.

Favorite Vegan Sandwich

Ingredients

Bun (Check the ingredients to exclude milk or eggs)

Easy Peasy (Vegan) Pesto

Baby portabello mushrooms (Enough to fit on one hand)

1/4 Zucchini sliced longways

1/4 red bell pepper sliced into strips

1 small white onion

2 tbs Vegan Butter (cut in half)

1 tbs of Olive oil

1 tsp garlic powder

Sea salt and pepper to season

To Prepare

In a hot cast iron skillet add 1 tbs vegan butter and olive oil. Sautee all the veggies until the edges are caramelized. While veggies are cooking butter the potato buns. Add garlic powder, salt, and pepper to the veggies, stir then remove veggies from heat. Place buns on the hot skillet and toast.

Assembly

  • On the bottom bun, spread Easy Peasy (Vegan) Pesto Sauce.
  • Top with your cooked veggies.
  • On the top bun spread hummus and add chopped olives (they will stick to the hummus).
  • Put the top bun on the veggies and enjoy!

It will be messy but worth EVERY bite. K loves this sandwich even though he is a carnivore. How do you like it?

Easy Peasy (Vegan) Pesto

I love the fall and all that it brings especially the food! I love pasta and chili, hearty casseroles and fried comfort foods. Since changing my diet I have had to do a lot of exploring and experimenting. Let me say I am not a vegan. I don’t eat land animals or dairy, but I do eat fish, honey and occasionally eggs. My goal is to be my healthiest, best self.

It was easy to give up beef because I was never big on beef, I feel I have already had enough chicken to last a lifetime (I can hear my husband gasp in shock and disgust at that last part) and I equate eating pork right up there with buying diamonds and new smartphones. Along with this diet change, I have learned that just about any recipe that calls for one cheese can be swapped out with nutritional yeast. So if you already make pesto from scratch, save yourself the read and swap out the cheese. For everyone else here we go.

Easy Peasy (Vegan) Pesto

1 cup pine nuts

1 1/2 cups of fresh basil

1 tbs of olive oil

Juice from 1/2 a lemon or 3 drops of Lemon Vitality oil

1 tsp Sea Salt

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

2 tbsp of water

1 clove of garlic

Throw this all in the blender and blend until you reach your desired consistency. Some like it chunky but I like it smooth because I use it on my favorite sandwich here.

Use the sea salt, yeast, and garlic to taste. I tend to add a bit more lemon juice depending on the size of the lemon. Make it and let me know what you think!

Homemade Granola Bars

Granola reminds me of early morning hikes, field trips and play dates. It is an all around healthy, easy, guilt-free comfort food. Its also extremely versatile. My kids love to help in the kitchen so this is a recipe they can do alone without much interference. It involves measuring, self awareness, and critical thinking. I ask the following questions to keep them engaged and learning.

What ingredients do you think will make you full? Why?

Which ingredients are sweet?

Why honey instead of sugar?

Which ingredient did we use they least of? The most of?

Once you start asking your students questions more questions will naturally come about as you explore what you are doing and why. Remember it doesn’t have to be a well planned lesson to be a lesson. Look for ways to teach your children as you go about your regular activities.

This is our go to recipe but feel free to sub out ingredients and please let us know your tasty combinations below.

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Homemade Granola

3 cups quick oats                                                                                                                                     1/2 cup honey (replace with Aguava to make vegan)                                                                     1 cup peanut butter                                                                                                                               3 tbs protein powder                                                                                                                             1/2 cup chopped walnuts                                                                                                                       1/2 cup sunflower seeds                                                                                                                       1/2 cup raisins                                                                                                                                         1/2 cup dried cranberries

Mix all ingredients. Pack down into a lined square pan and refrigerate for 3 hours. Cut into squares and enjoy!

** If you want granola but not in bar form you can make these into balls or cut the amount of peanut butter and honey to make it more like a crumble.

 

Homemade Vegan Yogurt

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My kids love yogurt! This year we eliminated all dairy from our diet and adopted a mostly plant based diet. My kids didn’t mind to much but they did miss yogurt. I stumbled upon a two ingredient recipe from Minimalist Baker and had to try it out. It was a hit! I didn’t even need to go shopping since we had all the ingredients in house.

I simply put a can of full fat coconut oil in a glass mason jar, broke open 4 – Life 9 probiotic supplements, mixed them in and covered the jar with cheesecloth. I let the mixture sit for 24 to 48 hours. Once it is thick like yogurt you can go ahead and place it in the fridge.  This perfectly tart yogurt also works well as a vegan sour cream. Make and easy parfait with 15 Min Jam homemade granola and fresh fruit.

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Probiotics are great for your gut health and ultimate physical well being. It encourages the growth of good flora allowing you to better break down food which reducing bloating, discomfort and may even lower your chances of colon cancer. Many doctors recommend taking probiotics after a round of antibiotics to restore any micro-organisms who may have been removed by the medication.

This easy homemade yogurt is a great way to introduce students to micro-organisms and their role in the human body. Dr. Binocs has a cute video appropriate for elementary aged kids.

Followed up with questions such as:

What kind of microorganisms are there?

What are hyphae?

Why are micro-organisms important?

Are bacteria good or bad?

Please consult your doctor or a medical professional before adding any supplement to your diet.

15 Minute Jam

 

 

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We use jam in this house for quite a few things. A classic PB&J, to top some homemade yogurt, on a slice of fresh bread or to top some vegan pancakes. Once I found out how easy it is to make I began making jam at home. We have a purple plumb tree in the backyard and lots of little hands so our jam making shenanigans began. First we started with plumbs alone, then plumbs and strawberries now we mix up whatever fruits we have in the house that are about to go bad.

This is the recipe we use to make our delicious jam.

3 cups purred fruit (the picture above is blueberry, raspberry and strawberry.)

1 cup of sugar or Stevia

3 Tbs of low or no sugar pectin

(I used orange vitality oil from Young Living to give this blend a hint or orange)

Bring puree to a boil.  Mix pectin with sugar to prevent lumps. Add sugar mixture to the fruit a few tablespoons at a time until the sugar and pectin dissolve.  Once the fruit  mixture reaches a boil that cannot be stirred down remove from heat and add to hot jars.

Meanwhile place a pot of water on the stove to sterilize the jars and lids that will hold your jam. Place glass jars in the boiling water to sterilize. Remove right before filling. The jars should still be hot when they are filled with the hot jam. Put the lids on the jars while it is still hot and leave on the counter to cool. The jam will thicken as it cools.

 

 

 

Vegan Pancakes

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We’ve been a dairy free family for some time but transitioning to a mostly plant based diet has been fun especially when one member of our family is gluten intolerant. Its easy to replace meat with bread especially when snacking so I was on the hunt for a gluten-free pancake my husband could enjoy.

This simple recipe yields 6 medium sized pancakes

1 1/4 cup of gluten free flour (I used 1 to 1 baking flour so wheat flour will work as well, do not use coconut flour)

2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1 1/4 cup water

1 tbsp olive or vegetable oil (plus an additional tablespoon for pan)

5 drops Young Living Tangerine Vitality Essential oil.  (We love the combination of citrus and cranberry. Fresh cranberries in the batter makes delicious pancakes.)

Mix all dry ingredients add wet ingredients. Stir well. Place a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Add oil. Once skillet is hot. Drop dollops onto griddle or skillet, flip when it bubbles. Cook another two minutes. This taste great with homemade 15 Min Jam. Enjoy!!

Apple Walnut Sticky Buns


Ingredients

Dough:
1/4 -ounce package yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup scalded milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter or shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

Filling:
1/2 cup melted butter, plus more for pan
3/4 cup sugar, plus more for pan
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins, walnuts, or pecans, optional

Glaze:
½ cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 Granny Smith apple chopped                                                                                                 
½ cup chopped walnuts

Directions
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.


In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In a large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes. Place in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
While the dough is rising. Place chopped apples in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add apples, butter, and cinnamon. Cook until sugar is dissolved and apples are soft. Add chopped walnuts. Stir well and place in a 9×13 baking dish.

Once dough is doubled in size, punch down dough. Roll out on a floured surface into a 15 by 9-inch rectangle. Spread melted butter all over dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts, pecans, or raisins if desired. Beginning at the 15-inch side, role up dough and pinch edge together to seal. Cut with a serrated knife into 12 to 15 slices. Place into pan cut side down.
Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan and let rise until dough is doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned.

Remove from oven and immediately flip onto a serving dish. Allow to cool a few minutes and serve while still warm.

Raw Key Lime Pie

Crust:
½ Cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup date honey
1 cup walnuts
  Filling:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4-6 hours (or overnight), then drained
 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk, well shaken
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
 3-4 large limes or 6-7 key limes (1 Tbsp zest, 1/2 cup juice)
  1/2 cup date honey (depending on preferred sweetness)
Crust Instructions
1    1.    Combine coconut and walnuts to a blender or food processor and pulse until well mixed.
2    2.    Place mixture in bowl and add date honey.
3    3.    Press mixture evenly into a pie pan and place in freezer


Filling Instructions

1.  Add all filling ingredients to a blender and blend on high (or liquefy) until creamy and         smooth. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lime zest/juice for more tart, or more agave for added sweetness.
2. Pour over frozen pie crust
3. Freeze for 2-4 hours or until firm. Remove from the freezer for 10-15 minutes to thaw before serving. Will keep covered in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.


Yummy Dessert!

I LOVE to cook. I had some peaches that were on their way to being bad and decided to make a dessert out of them. I call this Caramelized Peach Puff Pastry. 

Ingredients 
2 large peaches
Frozen ready made puff pastry
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup of coconut milk
Caramel sauce:
  • Cover the bottom of a hard bottom pot with an even layer of sugar and let it sit over medium heat. (Watch the pot refined sugar takes about 8 minutes to 15 start to brown, raw sugar takes between 5 and 10 minutes.) At this time warm the coconut milk. 
  • Once the edges start to darken stir until you the sugar is liquefied. 
  • Add the coconut milk to the sugar and stir, but the stove top on low. (If the sugar turns into a big hard ball keep stirring trust me it will go back to liquid form…eventually)

The Pastry:

  • Cover you pan with parchment paper I used a bread loaf pan. 
  • Place peaches on the pan
  • Cover with caramel
  • Top with COLD puff pastry

I had left over peaches after the first layer so I placed more preaches (no caramel) then another cold sheet of puff pastry. It cooked at 400 degrees for 20 min and it was amazing!
I didn’t serve it right away and it had quite a bit of juice from the peaches so as it sat and soaked up the juice it tasted like a dumpling from peach cobbler. Another thing that contributed to the dumpling like texture was me letting the pastry get to warm before cooking. If you worry about this just pop the pastry back in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes it should be thawed but cold. 
Please share any alterations you make if you try this recipe at home. As I perfect it I will update it here. 
Ciao!