Delicious Salad

So as I promised yesterday, I’m posting the salad recipe I made last night. My husband was not going to be home for dinner, which meant no cooking for me. Its so easy for me to put a salad together that it was the best choice.

The ingredients were:

  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Raw Zucchini slices
  • Raw Yellow Squash slices
  • Raw carrot slices
  • 1 cooked red beat
  • goat cheese (just a few crumbles)
  • sliced almonds
  • dried plums
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 heirloom tomato sliced
  • 1/4 sliced pear
  • light drizzle of olive oil and vinegar


Absolutely delicious!!!! I’ve never really posted my salads as recipes because its just something I toss together. But I must confess I do have knack for making some tasty salads. We don’t often eat salads for dinner since we’ve already eaten one for lunch, but today I had some leftover Ratatouille for lunch so that fresh salad was a perfect evening meal.

Side note about a great buy: We LOVE beets, so every once in a while we roast a ton of beets, wrap them in aluminum foil and put them in the fridge to use for smoothies, salads, or a side veggie. But the other day Orlando found this little treasure at Whole Foods. Vacuum sealed cooked beets. They don’t expire until May (I think because they are vacuum sealed) and the only ingredient is: beets. He bought a couple of them and they are wonderful to have in the fridge just in case you ever want beets but don’t have any pre-cooked ones in the fridge or you don’t have the time to roast them yourself.


How Raw Are You??

Just a few days ago I ran into a lady that works at my office. This lady is 46 years old and runs marathons, competes in body building competitions, eats super healthy…and needless to say….looks phenomenal. So she comes into my office to meet little Ryan and mentions to me, “You know i’ve gone 80% raw.”

I know about people who are raw vegan , but when she said she was 80% raw, I really didn’t understand what she meant, so I asked her. She told me I eat raw most of the day. Meaning salads, seeds, nuts, fruits, fats, etc. And then she explained that she hasn’t really been able to let go completely of “hot” food so in the evening she may sautee some veggies or cook a salmon.

Throughout this whole journey, I’ve read about a lot of different diets if you will. Paleo, Raw, Vegan, Raw Vegan, Vegetarian, etc. I really can’t say I subscribe fully to any of these lifestyles fully because there are things I eat that don’t fall within their plans. What I try to do is take good information from each system (from any system really) and try to apply it to my life as much as possible. But our needs vary as our ages and lifestyles vary. There are times when you need more of a particular food than another and that is always changing.

Back to RAW – so what does this really mean:  The theory is that heating food over 118 degrees Fahrenheit destroys much of the nutrients in your food. So the claim is that if you eat food in its preserved state, you will have increased energy, weightloss, better sleep, better bowel movements, less illness, and more hydration and oxygenation (anti-aging).

Every article I’ve read suggests that  it is not necessary to go 100% raw to get the benefits of this lifestyle. In fact, to go completely raw without any sort of transition might cause your body too much stress because it starts to cleanse too quickly. So it is encouraged to simply increase the amount of raw foods in your diet slowly and gradually.

After my friend explained to me her diet, I realized Orlando and I are pretty “raw” ourselves!!! It was something that happened so subtly that I didn’t even realize there was a name for it.

So our daily diet looks a little like this:


Naturally there are variations to this. For example, I incorporate hard boiled eggs a few times a week into our diet. Or maybe one day I’ll have steel cut oatmeal for breakfast or maybe the prior days hot veggies get tossed in my otherwise raw salad.

But the point is that we spend most of our day eating whole, unaltered foods that help improve our digestion and keep our weight down.

Interesting story: Orlando gained about 8 pounds in the holiday months. Orlando has a tendency to gain weight so we were not surprised since the holidays involve lots of parties, alcohol, work functions, and change of routine. But in January when our lives settled back to normal, we were talking one day and Orlando commented that although we did make a lot of exceptions during the Holidays, he really never stopped eating lots of vegetables. We started to run through our dinners and they had not changed much except the days we were not home. So why the weight gain? And it hit us like a ton of bricks. LUNCH. Lunches were Orlando’s worst enemy. Where I normally make his salad for him to take to the office, that routine was most affected because of scheduling, lack of planning, and holiday lunches. So although it did not seem like a drastic change, he went from eating raw pretty much all day until dinnertime…to eating hot food at restaurants. Nothing major, maybe a soup and a sandwich, or a grilled chicken…nothing totally unhealthy but enough to make a difference in his weight.

So our challenge to you this week is to take a hard look at your diet and see how RAW you are. Are you feeding your body enough raw, unprocessed, unaltered foods? If you’re not, what part of your day can you add a little raw to? Maybe a smoothie for breakfast? Just type in smoothie in the search box on our home page and pull up some of our smoothie recipes to try. Or maybe just a salad for lunch where you can sneak in some raw veggies? We will post a couple of our salads this week so you can take a look. Who knows…maybe it’ll make a difference in your life as much as it has in ours!

Boosting the Immune System Smoothie

My 2 year old woke up at 12:30am screaming on Monday morning because his head and ear hurt. He was coughing and his eyes were red and clearly he had a cold. People question me all the time as to why my kids get sick despite how “healthy” we feed them. I actually had this same question and asked my doctor about it. His response was…because they’re kids. We live in a society where we are indoors much more than outdoors. The a/c is always circulating and germs circulate as well. These kids are always touching everything and then putting everything in their mouths and combining that with not getting enough sun and being outdoors enough is a bad combination. So our kids get sick just like all other 2 and 4 year olds. But from the moment I know the cold is coming, I attack with all my remedies. And to be honest, my kids usually bounce back pretty quickly and (knock on wood) I have not had to give either of my children antibiotics in over a year.

Anyway, Monday morning I made a boost your immune system smoothie and it was delicious. I just had to share it.

  • 2 chopped carrots
  • romaine lettuce
  • 1 apple
  • frozen pineapple
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger root
  • almond milk (unsweetened) I fill to the MAX line on the nutribullet

This is where I really got creative. I have a bottle of vitamin c with bioflavanoids capsules. I opened up two of the capsules and poured in the vitamin c powder in the mixture. I also put in vitamin D drops.

It continues to fascinate me how I can do whatever I want with my food at home. This concept is one I simply did not have before. My mind was totally limited. I would have never thought that I could boost my kids’ smoothie with vitamin c because all I saw was a pill that they are too young to swallow. The old me would have thought, I have to go to whole foods and buy vitamin c drops. Crushing a pill or taking its contents out of the capsule would have never dawned on me. But it does now. My paradigm has shifted and I see possibilities I never saw before. This makes me so happy. This is the creativity my husband has always had that makes him cook such delicious food. It is finally rubbing off!!! YAY!!!!!!

A note on the almond milk: I was quite hesitant to make this smoothie with almond milk because I didn’t think the combination would taste too good. And I usually juice my carrots because I really don’t like the texture of the carrots blended in smoothies. But I always make a carrot/ginger/orange  juice and I didn’t have oranges on Monday only apples and pineapple. So I looked up some recipes and all the carrot/pineapple recipes called for almond milk. I decided to give it a chance and was pleasantly surprised. The almond milk helped a lot with the consistency of the carrots. This is great because I prefer smoothies to juicing in order to preserve the fiber from the vegetables and fruits.

The boys and I loved the smoothie and along with all our other home remedies, everyone is  feeling better. Keeping our fingers crossed that the 2 week old doesn’t get sick!!!!!



Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe… on this blog??

So, my husband’s cousin is a serious baker…which I find utterly amusing since she eats about as strictly within her diet as anyone I’ve ever met in my life. Coincidently, one of my best friends who also follows a strict eating regimen is also a serious baker. Maybe there’s something to it.

Anyway, our cousin is at our house just before our baby was born and I was mentioning to her that my girlfriend sent me an email with a recipe for “LACTATION COOKIES”

You read correctly…Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies that are supposed to help you produce more milk! Well, since i’m nursing I could use all the milk I can get and I showed this recipe to my husband. When he glanced at it, he showed me that the recipe called for flour and a lot of sugar. I wouldn’t mind eating these as a cheat but they definitely weren’t healthy.

So I tell our cousin about it and I ask her if she could make a healthy version of these cookies. She took this task quite seriously. It took her 2 weeks to show up at my house with these cookies because she made several batches trying to make them just right. But what she presented to us this last Saturday was MAGICAL!!!!! Absolutely delicious. And a healthy alternative!

This was her recipe:


  1. Preheat oven to 350° and make sure that one wire rack is positioned in the middle of the oven.
  2. Mix the flaxseed meal and water and let sit for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Mix coconut oil, coconut sugar, and stevia well.
  4. Add eggs and mix well.
  5. Add flaxseed mix and vanilla, mix well.
  6. Sift together flour, brewers yeast, fenugreek, baking soda, and salt (a.k.a. the dry ingredients).  Instead of sifting you can also put all the dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse for 5 to 15 seconds.  Please note that sugar is NOT a “dry ingredient.”
  7. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredient mix (i.e. the coconut oil, coconut sugar, stevia, eggs, etc.).
  8. Stir in oats and semisweet chocolate chips.  I add chips according to the individual consumer’s taste.  I like a lot of chips, but some people may not like many.  Decide ahead of time and eye-ball it.
  9. Scoop onto baking sheet.  Try to scoop even-sized cookies, so that they cook evenly.
  10. Bake for 12-13 minutes. The heat varies in different ovens (and cookie sizes may vary), so you may have to bake the cookies longer than 12 to 13 minutes. . If you have to bake longer, monitor the cookies closely, so that they do not burn.  Increase the time in one minute increments and check the cookies after each minute.
  11. Let set for a couple minutes then remove from tray.

From what I understand what is supposed to help with the lactation is the Brewer’s Yeast, Fenugreek, and Oats. I can’t say for sure my milk supply increased by eating them but I did enjoy them thoroughly. And I think it is absolutely wonderful that I could enjoy, (and offer to my guests) a sweet treat that despite containing sugar, had beneficial vitamins and nutrients as a result of its ingredients.

For example:

  • Brewer’s yeast contains folic acid, B12, Potassium, Thiamin, Niacin, and Chromium. It is known to help improve certain conditions including: Diabetes, Hypoglycemia, High Cholesterol, Eczema, Nervousness, Stress, Carpal Tunnel,  Anemia, and Constipation 
  • Fenugreek is a medicinal herb that is used for arthritis, cancer treatment, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, high cholesterol, inducing childbirth, infections, inflammation, lactation stimulation, lymphadenitis, muscle pain, promoting urination, skin ulcers and wound healing. PLEASE NOTE: because Fenugreek can cause uterine contractions, pregnant women should NOT consume Fenugreek!!!! 
  • Flaxseeds are high in Omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, and phytochemicals (antioxidants) including lignans which tend to balance female hormones among other benefits.
  • Coconut oil can boost thyroid function helping to increase metabolism, energy and endurance. It increases digestion and helps to absorb fat-soluble vitamins. It also can help to fight off yeast, fungus, and candida.

This girl is so wonderful that she actually did some research on coconut sugar. What she found was that even though coconut sugar is still sugar, it appears that it scores lower on the glycemic index than regular sugar because of its soluble fiber content. Additionally, she discovered that adding coconut oil also reduced the insulin spike that you would normally get from consuming sugar.

Naturally these are not diet cookies and if you are trying to lose weight I wouldnt suggest eating them regularly. But for those who simply want to eat whole foods instead of processed stuff, isn’t it amazing that you can have a delicious cookie which only has ingredients you can pronounce? That is the beauty of making things at home.

So do they help the nursing mother lactate? Who knows and who cares! They were delicious!!!!




The Beauty of a Support System

Hi all!

We’ve been out of the picture for a while, having our third baby. Luckily, we had a healthy, strong, 7LB 11OZ little boy. Here is a pic of when the 2 older boys came to meet their little brother.

Ryan's Birth

This time around, I decided to have a natural delivery without intervention or medication. I found a midwife that delivers at Baptist hospital, which I liked because it was very close to my home and I still had the security blanket that I was in the hospital in the event of an unforeseen emergency. In any event, it was a successful birth on my terms in almost every aspect…except one…FOOD!

I’ve read that the process of delivering a child is a process of detoxification. This process of detoxification also occurs during a woman’s menstrual cycle. I read this in a book and cannot say for sure if this is true or not. But the concept makes sense in my head. Having a baby involves a loss of blood, water, placenta, and baby and in that process, it makes sense to me that you can eliminate toxins and cleanse out your body.

REGARDLESS, THE POINT IS that because I believed that I was going through a process of elimination, I wanted good whole foods to replenish my system. Post-delivery the nurse asked me if I wanted juice and crackers. The juice they offered was generic, with high fructose corn syrup…and really not what I wanted as the first thing to introduce to my body after this process. So I asked if I could order a bowl of fruit. They gave me a menu and as I glanced through it, I realized that there were barely any healthy options. They did have fruit but mostly fruit cups – that have added sugar. So I opted for a bowl of strawberries and water.

And then I realized that my illusions of “replenishing” my body with good stuff was not looking too good during my hospital stay. BUT SOMETHING MAGICAL HAPPENED! I voiced my desire to have good food and all of a sudden, my support system fell into place.

  • My 21 year old niece had made a Sweet potato/carrot soup at home and had her lunch packed with her. She had the nurses heat up the soup for me and gave me her lunch.
  • My cousin makes smoothies at home all the time. She has a huge yard with tons of different fruit trees. She called me and asked me if she could bring me anything. I asked for a smoothie. She brought me a smoothie with spinach, celery, lettuce, papaya, mango, apples. WOW! Delicious and exactly what I needed. Not only did she make me one the evening I gave birth but the following morning also.
  • My father asked me if he could pick anything up for me and I asked him to bring me a bottle of vitamin c with bioflavanoids and 4-5 lemons. Random right! Well, right before I delivered I felt a slight cold coming on and my boys had stuffy noses. I didn’t want to risk getting the baby sick and I sure didn’t want to be sick with a newborn. So I called my doctor and he suggested those things as well as warm soups with lots of garlic. Needless to say my father came to the rescue and I drank lots of water with lemon and drank my vitamin c.
  • My husband wanted sushi for dinner the first night we were at the hospital and ordered me a roll of sushi…but also ordered me a bowl of miso soup with a lot of added garlic!
  • One of my girlfriend’s brought me some pistaccio/nut snacks and a banana.
  • And my husband’s grandmother made me chicken and beans for lunch the second day I was at the hospital.

I was only in the hospital for a little more than 24 hours. I came in Tuesday morning and was home by Wednesday afternoon. But needless to say during my stay I never had to eat hospital food and my troops came in to my aid.

This was so very meaningful to me. We are not islands and we really can’t do much without support of a community around us. It is important to ask for things you need so that people know truly how to help you. And it is a blessing when you have people who are willing to cater to you in a time of need. The support I received was not only good for my body but good for my soul.

During my first week at home my other cousin brought me chocolate chip cookies (which are my weakness!) and one of my very best friends brought me the most delicious home-made banana-chocolate chip muffins. I ate 4 of them for breakfast that morning!!!!!! I really had never tasted muffins so delicious before…They were truly worth the cheat!

Balance is important and it is nice to treat yourself to something you love. But it is also important to give your body what it needs not only what it wants. Because of the loving family I have (and I consider my friends my family also) I got to have what I wanted and what I needed, and I am so grateful to have such a wonderful support system in my life. And this is not even mentioning everything other than food that my friends have brought to show support and love. It is amazing and beautiful.

So keep it in mind folks…if a loved one is in a hospital post-delivery or surgery…maybe you can keep the community support rolling and make sure they have what they need. Until hospitals and restaurants start offering real healthy alternatives, all we have is each other.

A smoothie morning



So this morning I made a delicious smoothie.

Green chard (leafy green)
1/2 avocado
1/2 banana

I made this smoothie this morning and although it was delicious and nutritious… It really wasn’t the reason I’m blogging about it. It was watching my kids enjoy it that really made me want to share. I have posted before that we are big on talking to our kids about food and ingredients and making them a part of what we eat. Well I think today was a great example of how they experience food. I don’t think I ever really talked about food until I was 32 years old. I just ate what I was given or what I wanted. But I never experienced food the way my boys are experiencing it. And I think it’s made a difference in their openness to trying new things and hopefully it always will. I hope you enjoy this little clip of them this morning As much as I enjoyed filming it! Please disregard the stickers on my little ones hair or the smoothie stains all over his cheek. I was capturing a moment!