Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November News and Healthy Banana "Ice Cream" !

Hello and welcome to my blog!

 I hope that you enjoy the content that I share here, it comes from my heart. What I have learned and am still learning these past few years has transformed my life in more ways than I can describe. I want that for you, for everyone! The food that we nourish our bodies with can either leave us feeling lethargic and heavy or light and energetic. It can improve and renew our health or it can cause us disease, unhappiness and pain. We truly are what we eat. It's amazing to me how simple that really is. Until you actually feel the difference in your own body, the statement does not have as much impact on you. I know that was true for me. I spent most of my life on one diet or another, but not one of them lead me to the health and happiness that I enjoy today. I feel years younger, have more energy than I know what to do with and have had barely a sniffle in almost 4 years. This is a miracle after being quite overweight and sick for so many years. I feel blessed to have discovered a lifestyle that I love and loves me back! Fresh fruits, veggies and lots of leafy greens in their natural state are the mainstay of my diet. In my blog I have shared lots of  delicious ways to enjoy these foods. My motto is simple, Nutritious, delicious! I love to keep it simple.

 I have been really busy these past few months, sharing about the benefits of green smoothies, making them for others and watching them transform lives all around me! My hubby, sisters and nieces have all added them into their days with fabulous results. An elderly woman I make smoothies for had lost her appetite and was not getting much food in. Now she is getting her nutrition in daily and loving the smoothies! One of my dear friends has recently learned that her tumor has not grown in the past year that she has been drinking her greens! Cholesterol is improving, joint pain is easing up and everyone's digestion is improving! This is just the tip of the iceberg. The benefits of something so humble and simple will never cease to amaze me. Once you start getting Mother Nature's abundance into your body, the magic begins to happen. Whether your goal is weight loss, renewed health or simply feeling better every day, start adding one into your days and see where it takes you! I promise you won't be disappointed!! 

 Soon I will have a new website up and I invite you all to stop by and say hello! For now it is a work in progress but I hope to be up and running soon. Green Smoothie Magic will tie in my blog, youtube channel and offer weekly recipes and info to help you on your own journey.
I hope to see you there! 


Bananas!!
A speckled banana is a sweet banana  :)

I recently purchased a whole case and I froze them all. 
It's so easy, just peel your bananas and store them in the freezer in a plastic Ziploc bag.
They're great to have on hand for when that craving for a little something
sweet hits.

 Love ice cream? Try this healthy alternative instead!
You can whip up a fabulous creamy 
"ice cream" by simply blending your frozen bananas.
Frozen bananas are a staple in my house :)


Sweet & Creamy Banana "Ice Cream"

Simply break up 2 (or more!) frozen bananas 
blend them up in either your
food processor or blender.
Add a touch of water if needed... 

Voila!

A crazy delicious dessert that is healthy & simple!

It's super delicious just as it is 
or you can dress it up a little with your favorite raw nuts, berries, cinnamon...
whatever you're in the mood for.

Be creative ~ have fun with it!

Smooth & Creamy Banana Delight ~ A Simple Pleasure in life :)

Enjoy :)
















Tuesday, March 12, 2013

3 Years of Healthy Happiness ~ Thriving on Glorious Greens!

Happy Anniversary to me!
  
Celebrating 3 years of  Healthy Happiness ~ Thriving on Green Goodness!

 The time has passed quickly and I'm still amazed at all the changes that have taken place during this time. I have learned so much about nourishing my body and I try to incorporate all that I've learned into my life. This is a lifelong journey and I love the path I'm on! It's been a wonderful 3 years full of growth, new experiences and whole lot of fun :)   And it all started with Green Smoothies!

At 54 I am the best me yet! I feel wonderful, better than I ever did when I was younger. Who would have ever thought?  :)
Not only am I half the size I was 3 years ago (which I am still trying to wrap my head around) but I am healthy... Really healthy! What a blessing this is. After a 20 year struggle with Lyme disease, I have been completely symptom free for 3 years now! In fact, I have not really been sick at all, not even a cold... Medication free too!  No more heavy duty doses of antibiotics, nor the prevacid which I took for years also. It simply amazes me that the food we eat truly does affect us in such profound ways. Also, I easily let go of my wine, which had become a daily habit and a very unhealthy one at that. I firmly believe all this was possibly because of the green smoothies!

 Adding green smoothies into my days started a wonderful chain of events that I was not prepared for. First, my palate changed, slowly but surely, and I completely lost my taste for junk and processed foods. What a surprise! I felt so energetic without these foods that I didn't miss them a bit! I started craving fruits and veggies and began eating them regularly. It surprised me how much I enjoyed them, because I was never a big fan of all those healthy foods. I grew up on canned veggies and the only green I was familiar with was iceberg lettuce. Suddenly I couldn't get enough of them. Fruits and veggies, along with my green smoothies, always kept me full and satisfied and I never, ever felt deprived. Along the way I let go of meat and eventually dairy because I just didn't feel well after eating them. They would just knock all the energy out of me. I eliminated foods that made me feel sluggish because I didn't want anything to get in the way of how amazing and alive I felt, and feel, to this day. It's that simple!

  For the past 3 years I've enjoyed a diet rich in whole living foods. Green smoothies, fresh green juice, fruits & salads are the mainstay of my diet. I love the way I eat now and feel this is exactly how I was meant to live! Today I feel balanced, centered and comfy in my own skin. These are things I have searched for my entire life..... I am so blessed!

                                                  Healthy & Happy ~ Life is good!
                                                                
 Here's to another year of health & joy ~  Keeping it Simple & Keeping it Green!
*~* Hugs *~*
















Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Glorious Raw Granola Bars!

  It's a rainy day here in Ct. and the temps are dropping little by little. Along with this chillier weather comes my need for heavier foods and more food altogether. In the summer I am apt to just grab a piece of fruit, cut open a watermelon or put together lots of pretty green salads. Of course, these are along with my morning green juice and daily green smoothies! During the warmer months I eat light and am happy and satisfied. But as the seasons change, so does my appetite. I like to just go with it, to follow my intuition where my body is concerned. I've learned that listening to my body will never steer me wrong, it always knows just what I need. In the past couple of years I have become so much more in tune with my body. It's a wonderful feeling compared to the way I ate most of my life. My food choices in the past were based on cravings that developed from all the sugars, both hidden and obvious, that I ate on a regular basis. Once I began adding green smoothies into my days, I lost my desire for the junk and processed foods and eliminated those unhealthy cravings once and for all... Effortlessly!

 I've always enjoyed spending time in the kitchen once the cooler weather arrives. I have more patience when I'm not feeling the need to be out playing in the sunshine.
I love food... Love creating in the kitchen... and of course I love eating  :)

Simple, Nutritious, Delicious Foods ~ One of life's Simple Pleasures!

Here's one of the recipes that I've dished up lately.

These granola bars are truly fabulous!!
I took a little of this and a little of that from several recipes I have read and came up with a winning combination

Glorious Raw Granola Bars


These granola bars do need a little planning ahead
but the steps are really easy and so worth it!

One of the ingredients are sprouted buckwheat groats
so you want to soak, sprout and dehydrate your groats ahead of time.




What exactly are buckwheat groats? I wondered the same thing and have pretty much avoided them for the past few years. Simply because I didn't know anything about them! Silly me. I've had a bag in my cabinet for awhile so I finally decided to get to know them a little better. To my surprise they are not a grain, which they do look like.They are actually a nutritious fruit seed of  the buckwheat plant. High in minerals such as magnesium and potassium, phosphorous, zinc and copper, these little guys are really quite nutritious!
                
                                            Soaking Buckwheat Groats

Fill mason jar 2 thirds of the way with the groats.  (I used Bob's Red Mill)
Fit with a sprouting lid or a piece of cheesecloth secured with a rubber band.
Fill with water and let soak for 30 minutes.
Rinse well ! 

Sit sideways on your counter in a bowl or in dish drain for about 36 hours. Rinse twice a day.
You are watching for the little tails to appear... When they do, they are alive and sprouting!!

Rinse once more extremely well and dehydrate for about 8 hours at 105 degrees and they are ready 
to use. You will have plenty of extra groats to use for whatever your heart desires! Sprinkle them on top of yogurt, frozen banana ice kreme, make a cereal with them along with your favorite fruits, nuts and seeds or top your chia pudding with them.
There are so many different ways to enjoy sprouted buckwheat groats. Be creative!! 



Ingredients

1/2 cup raw almonds 
1 cup pitted dates 
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup goji berries 
   1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3 heaping Tbsp sesame seeds
3 Tbsp hemp seeds
1 Tsp vanilla powder
2 Tsp cinnamon 
2 Tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional but yummy!)
3 tbsp water 

******************************
Directions

Pulse the almonds in a food processor until coarse

Add all other ingredients except the buckwheat groats
blend until it binds together nicely
about a minute or two

add sprouted groats and blend just enough to mix them in

Voila!

scoop out  in spoonfuls and form into bars or balls
whichever you prefer

Refrigerate and Enjoy!!


*** I just want to say that I am not really a "recipe" kind of gal. When I make something I really enjoy it's usually based on things that I've read that appeal to me. When a creative moment hits, I am rarely using measuring cups and never paying enough attention to exactly how I made what I did. Then of course if I love it, I want to share it here! I do my very best to recreate the recipe a second time before I post it here with measurements. The second batch, made as posted here, came out great, so I think you'll enjoy them! But the size of dates can vary, so if you feel it needs a few more to hold it all together once it's mixed, go for it! Or if it feels a little too moist, just blend a few more of your favorite dry ingredient in!  Have fun with it  :)

*~* Enjoy *~*

Let me know if you make them and how you liked them ~ I love feedback!!

Simple ~ Nutritious ~ Delicious
My kind of food!









Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Coconut Almond Yogurt! (Non Dairy)

It's the end of August and my favorite month just flew right by! I haven't spent much time on the computer this month. Instead of writing about life, I was just so busy living it!

How could I forget how much fun it is to go barefoot in the yard and run under the hose? 
Today I was watering my garden and the hose burst! My first thought was, oh geez, I'm getting all wet. Whahhhhh....  :)
But then I threw off my sandals and immediately felt free, like a little kid. My toes in the grass, warm water from the hose soaking my clothes, sun on my face, and I was loving it!
Playing in the backyard! 
One of the simple pleasures of summer!

This month I had the honor and delight of sharing my story alongside Dave the Raw Food Trucker   at a couple of our local raw/vegan restaurants. I was nervous about speaking, yet it always seems that what's meant to come out of my mouth, does. I get so excited about sharing the healing power of green smoothies that after a few minutes I forgot my fears. It's amazing the confidence it builds for me to step out of my comfort zone, put myself aside and just talk about what I am passionate about!

Even more exciting was speaking on my own recently!
I was invited by a friend to speak with her church group up in Waterbury. It was my first time flying solo and it couldn't have been a more rewarding experience. There was a good crowd, about 30 people. Everyone was lovely and very receptive. There was a terrific raw pot luck before hand, what a nice spread! After I spoke, which was great fun, we had a Q & A session and then a smoothie demo. I can't thank my friend Nan enough for having such faith in me, organizing such a wonderful even and introducing me to the nicest people ever. She gave me the opportunity to spread my wings and see for myself just what I am capable of. It was a great experience and such an amazing night!

The feedback I received from people looking to renew their own healthy happiness was fabulous!
 It's a wonderful feeling to know that I may have inspired even one person to incorporate more fruits & veggies into their days and begin their own personal, healthy journeys. I think it's important to stress that "going 100% raw"  does not have to be anyone's goal. What's most important is eliminating the processed junk foods and replacing them with fresh fruits & veggies. That's a great place to start and what better way than to add a green smoothie into your day!

Onto my next favorite subject ~ food!

One food that I had been missing lately is yogurt. It was a favorite of mine back when I was still eating dairy and I knew that I had to find a way to get it back into my life! 
And that I did!!

Here's a wonderful recipe that I now enjoy daily. It only requires 3 ingredients plus a spoonful of probiotic powder. It takes minutes to prepare and is so beneficial to  your tummy health as well as being just plain yummy!!

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*


Coconut Almond Yogurt

2 cups raw almonds 
(soak overnight & rinse first)

meat of 2 or 3 coconuts 

2 1/2 cups of coconut water

1 tsp of a good probiotic

1 tsp vanilla powder or extract 
(optional but delicious!)

Simple ~ Nutritious ~ Delicious

Here's a little video I made while whipping up a batch.
I hope it's helpful!


Most people will use the coconut meat from opening and removing the meat from inside the coconut. I found that because I enjoy this yogurt regularly, that it was easier for me to purchase my coconut meat flash frozen in bulk at exotic superfoods!
In the picture above I drizzled a little honey on the yogurt and added fresh raspberries.
Here I blended the yogurt with strawberries. 
The yogurt will have a bit of a bite because it is fermented, but the taste has really grown on me!
 It's nice blended or topped with fruit but it is really very yummy just as it is!
*~* Enjoy *~*

Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer's Simple Pleasures


  This is my favorite time of year for so many reasons. I come alive in the warmth & sunshine.
 I thrive on it. Everything is so simple in the summer. I love throwing on a tee shirt and shorts, a pair of flip flops and I'm ready to go. It makes me so happy to finally open all the windows and let the sea breeze in. I love to listen to the birds sing, watch the butterflies and eat a simple salad out on the patio. Our yard is full of wildflowers and their heavy scents are intoxicating! Every morning and evening during the summer months I spend time in my garden, it's a quiet time that helps me feel balanced and peaceful.

There's a completely different pace to life when the hot weather arrives. It's a nod from the Universe to take things slow and easy, keep thing simple and go outdoors to enjoy Mother Nature. To me, that's the beauty of summer! And in the evenings, there is something so magical about hot summer nights, when the air is thick with sounds of crickets. Everything comes alive with joy that the days are long and lazy. I'm sitting in the yard as I write this at dusk. I'm surrounded with the twinkling of lightning bugs, the sky is deep pink and the crickets are just beginning to sing. Pretty soon the cicadas will be joining in.

Ah, the Simple Pleasures in life ~ I am in heaven!

 A large variety of fruits and veggies are abundant this time of year in Ct, it's a long time coming and I am in my glory surrounded by all of my favorite foods! At our house there is no longer a set dinner time or rarely a planned meal anymore, which I love. Since both my husband and I now enjoy a diet rich in fruits,veggies & greens (Yay!), it just depends on what we are feeling like each night. Summer foods make this so easy. Some nights we make salad, loading it up with lots of mixed greens, sprouts, sunflower seeds & veggies. I like to add fruit to my salad; strawberries, diced apples or pears or slices of oranges. Last night we cut a watermelon in half, grabbed 2 spoons and voila, dinner! I love to create "supper smoothies", which are heavier on the summer fruits, yet still include a mellow green like romaine. Chia cereal full of berries, cinnamon and almonds is still a favorite of mine and takes just a few minutes to prepare. Having my kitchen stocked with a wide variety of beautiful greens, fruits and veggies is key to keeping dinnertime simple and satisfying. Simple is the name of the game in the summer and that's why I love this glorious time of year so much!

Here are some of my favorite simple pleasures in life ~ I am so blessed... Life is good!

My awesome family!




Best Friends!



Flowers in my yard!





Fresh Fruit!





Wild Raspberries!


My organic garden ~ I love growing my own!

 Swiss Chard ~ Beans ~ Peppers ~ Cucumbers
Arugula ~ Spinach ~ Kale ~ Tomatoes



Vibrant Fresh Foods!

Raspberry Walnut Salad!
I've been thrilled with my arugula that's growing in both my garden & my neighbor's.
 I add a big handful to the lettuce or spinach that I usually make my salads with.
 I love how the sweetness in fruit and bitter arugula compliment each other!



Strawberry Spinach Tomato Salad
with Sprouts! 


Cabbage Pear Salad with Pear Dressing!


dressing
I prefer a light dressing that I mix up just before serving my salad

My favorite lately is a little hemp or pumpkin seed oil
mixed with some cinnamon pear vinegar ~ amazing!

Mango Romaine Supper Smoothie
Great for anytime ~ night or day!




2 cups frozen mango
1 banana
1 head romaine lettuce
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 to 3 cups coconut water 
( depending on how thick you like it)




Mango Orange Fennel Smoothie





1 cup chopped fennel
3 Swiss chard leaves
1 peeled orange
1/2 banana
1 cup diced mango ( fresh or frozen)
2 1/2 cups coconut water




Dessert!
Chocolate Brownie Bites



Chocolate Brownie Bites


  1. 1 1/2 cup walnuts

    1/2 cup raw cacao powder 

    1/3 cup dried, unsweetened coconut 

    1 1/2 tsp cinnamon 

    1 tsp vanilla powder 

    2 1/4 cups pitted, chopped dates 

  1.  Blend everything except the dates until finely ground in food processor


    Slowly add dates until well blended. 

    Scoop a spoonful out at a time
    roll into little balls

    Refrigerate for a half hour

    Enjoy!!


    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


    Sunshine is my quest  ~ Winston Churchill






















    Saturday, June 2, 2012

    Sharing the Green Smoothie Magic!

    The green smoothie magic is spreading!  
     I see it all around me   :)

     Slowly but surely the word is getting out that there is something truly special about green smoothies. Drinking a green smoothie is like drinking liquid sunshine.You can feel the green goodness filling you up with a nourishment your body craves, creating an almost euphoric feeling of over all well being. This feeling radiates from you once you begin a daily routine of sipping your greens. You glow from the inside out, your skin radiates health and your eyes become brighter. Energy levels you never knew possible become the norm and life seems happier and more peaceful. You will begin to experience a confidence that only comes from knowing that you are taking good care of your body, something many of us struggle with at one time or another in our lives. This confidence leads to making healthier food choices, causing you to think twice before eating something that will diminish that great feeling!
    All this from simply drinking green smoothies?  Yes, Absolutely!  I have been sharing my green smoothies with friends for quite awhile now and seeing these things happening for them gives me such joy! I knew I was on to something when I began to experience all these things, but watching all my friends reaping these same benefits really validates the magic of greens....

    Sharing the green smoothie magic ~ one person at a time!!

     My friend Angelo! He's 87 years young and began blending up his own smoothies just 3 weeks ago. He wanted to lose a little weight and knew that I had great success with them. Already he is sleeping much better, has more energy and is slowly coming back to life after recently losing his sweetheart of many years. He is overjoyed at how great he is feeling after a mere 3 weeks. Yesterday he shyly confided in me that his pants had fallen down around his ankles! I thought it was time for him to step on the scale and see just how much weight he had actually lost. Angelo had tears in his eyes when I looked up at him after checking the scale to tell him that he had dropped 12 pounds! Chia seed cereal has been another addition to Angelo's daily routine. Not long after he began drinking the green drinks he began to lose his taste for his heavier lunches and asked what he could substitute. He now enjoys a daily lunch of chia cereal, munches on fruit throughout the day and nightly salads have become the norm.
    Angelo is one very happy man and I couldn't be more thrilled for him!


     Patrick is one of my many friends that are enjoying green smoothies at Fedex where I work. Every morning I make up several jars of smoothies and let me tell you ~ we are one bunch of healthy happy people! We had a group of employees that used to work at our station come to visit with us last week. The green smoothie glow was so obvious to these friends that hadn't seen us in so long. Our healthy glow and vibrant energy is just so evident, everyone wanted to know our secret!

    What a great testimony to the magic of green smoothies!


    Here's a picture a friend sent me while wheeling out in the middle of the woods. 
    There's her green smoothie sitting on the tire!  How cool is that?  Have smoothies ~ will travel.



    I've shared this next picture before but it really excites me to be spreading the smoothie love with everyone! I feel such a sense of gratitude from knowing that I am making a little bit of difference in my little corner of the world. 
    We all play our part, no matter how large or small. 
    Hearing everyone's stories of  the healthy happiness they've discovered by adding green smoothies into their days is absolutely one of life's

    Simple Pleasures!



    My Green Smoothie Magic

    2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves
    or 4 leaves of kale
    1/2 " piece fresh ginger
    1 large cucumber
    2 stalks of celery
    1 large apple
    1/2 pear
    (1 banana if you prefer it sweeter)
    approx 2 cups water

    Yields one blender pitcher full

    Blend & Enjoy!!


















    Sunday, April 29, 2012

    A little fun in the kitchen!

    I looked around my kitchen a few days ago and smiled...
    The items that sit on my counters and fill my cabinets nowadays are such a far cry from what took up counter space just two years ago! 

     I thought it would be fun to share some of the things I now incorporate into my healthier life that were quite unfamiliar to me just a few years ago. 



    Here's a chocolate bark recipe that I made recently!
    It's very simple, don't let the directions fool you.... This is an example of my having a kitchen that is stocked so differently these days. I saw a recipe similar to this and thought it looked great to take to a gathering I was attending. I was happy to find that I had all the ingredients already, even though I don't make many dessert recipes. I've learned over the past couple years how important it is to me to have a wide variety of dried ingredients on hand as well as all the fruits and veggies that fell my fridge. This way when the mood strikes or I want to prepare something yummy for friends, I can easily whip something up!

    Amazing Chocolate Bark!


    If you don't have all the dry ingredients ~ be creative!!

    chocolate ingredients

     2 cups cacao paste

    1/2 cup coconut oil

    1/2 cup good quality maple syrup


    Dry Ingredients

     1 tbsp maca powder

     1 tbsp mesquite powder

      dash cinnamon

      2 droppers full vanilla creme sweet leaf stevia

     1 tsp vanilla bean powder

     1/2 tsp himalayan sea salt  (optional)   I did not care for it.......


    Additions

    a handful of each  (more to taste!)

    goji berries

    raisins

    walnut pieces

    dried coconut flakes

    cut up pieces of dried mango

    whatever else sounds good!


    Directions


    Fill a large pot 1/4 of the way up with water  

    place the 3 chocolate ingredients in glass measuring cup

    heat water on low and sit measuring cup in the water to melt ingredients

    layer bottom of any glass dish with a little of the "additions"


    pour 1/2 the chocolate over it and repeat

    top with dried coconut 

     freeze for 15 minutes or longer

    Enjoy!!




    raw chocolate bark!



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