I am making appetizers and desserts tonight for our friends and family. Since we had a whole bag of lemons that needed to be used ASAP, I decided to make some lemony delights. The first delight is a lemon rosemary bagel topped with smoked salmon and cream cheese. Since store bought bagels are loaded with fat, salt and preservatives, I decided to make a healthier version. I adapted my recipe from Elana’s Pantry Paleo Bagels and they turned out pretty dang delicious!
The second delight is lemon bars. Sweet cheeks, my 5 year old daughter, made these. She already devoured one, saying “These are delicous mom, and I even made them.” Oh, how I love her. She is already a better cook than me.
Gluten-Free Lemon Rosemary Bagels:
- 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
- 1/4 cup golden flaxmeal
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspon coconut flour
- 1/4 tsp cetic sea salt
- 5 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
- Grease a donut pan with some coconut oil and lightly cover with coconut flour
- In a food processor pulse the almond flour, flax meal, coconut flour, baking soda and salt
- Pulse in the eggs, vinegar, lemon, lemon zest and rosemary
- Use a plastic ziploc bag, cut off one corner, place the batter in the bag and pipe it into the donut pans
- Optional prinkle with some more lemon zest on top of each bagel
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the bagel comes out clean
- Let cool for 30 minutes
Sweet cheeks told me yesterday that two kids had to go home because they were sick. Friday, a girl left school with the stomach flu, and over the weekend, my stud husband came down with a cold, but luckily no one else in the family is sick…yet. It’s that time of year already?! We like to use thieves oil (rub a little on your feet) at the first sign of illness. I also make sure we drink kefir to maintain a healthy gut. I have definitely noticed that we are not sick as often now that we view food as medicine, and if we do get sick, we recover pretty darn quickly! Detoxing your body is also important during the flu season. Try a Detox Lavender Bath. This bath is so relaxing. Drink a glass of hot chamomile tea with freshly grated ginger and a splash of lemon for some added detoxification.
Other spices and food that are great for fighting off colds and flu are raw honey, ginger, elderberry, lemon, and cinnamon. I found a great elderberry syrup recipe from Real Food RN. Elderberry syrup is great for fighting off the flu. Why?
Health Benefits of Elderberry:
- High in vitamin A
- Very high in vitamin C
- High in quercitin (an antioxidant)
- Possess antiviral properties that have been shown to treat colds and flu
Health Benefits of Cinnamon
- Rich in fiber, calcium, iron and manganese
- Stabilizes blood sugar levels
- Stabilizes the hormonal system (good for women)
- Lowers levels of bad cholesterol
Health Benefits of Ginger
- Helps prevent or treat nausea
- Helps aid in digestion
- Used to treat common cold and flu-like symptoms
Health Benefits of Raw Honey (If you don’t want to order online, Kowalski’s Market sells raw honey now!)
- Antibacterial properties
- Anti-viral and anti-fungal
- Contains B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, and phosphate
- DO NOT give to infants under 1
Check out the recipe!
Fall is a great time of year. Jeans, sweatshirts, pumpkin spice lattes, apples, pumpkin carving, hay rides, leaves and I could continue! After buying a ton of apples from the apple orchard, sweet cheeks and I made some crock pot recipes and homemade vegan pumpkin bars while little dude napped. I will start with the health benefits:
Health Benefits of Apples
- Rich source of phytochemicals
- Epidemiological studies have linked the consumption of apples with reduced risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and diabetes
- Apples have been found to have very strong antioxidant activity, inhibit cancer cell proliferation, decrease lipid oxidation, and lower cholesterol
- Apples contain a variety of phytochemicals, all of which are strong antioxidants
Health Benefits of Leeks
- One cup of leeks, about one leek diced, boasts 1,484 international units of vitamin A, which is 64 percent of the daily intake for women and 49 percent for men
- High in vitamin k, which is important for regulating blood flow
- Lutein and zeaxanth found in leeks contribute to healthy eyesight
Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
- Full of calcium and potassium
- High in vitamins A and C
- Antioxidants found in these potatoes have anti-inflammatory properties
- Low glycemic food.
Apple, Leek and Sweet Potato Soup Ingredients:
- 3 apples (diced about 1 in. with peel on)
- 4 sweet potato (diced about 1 in. with peel on)
- 1 leek diced
- 1/2 onion
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- tsp pumpkin spice
- dash of nutmeg
- dash of cloves
- Fresh sage
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 5 cups of chicken broth
- Place the apples, onion, sweet potatoes garlic and spices into the crock pot and cover with the chicken broth
- Cook on high for 5 hours
- Add the fresh sage with about 5 minutes left.
- With an immersion blender, blend all the ingredients in the crock pot
- Freeze leftovers
Vegan Pumpkin Bars
- 1 cup of canned 100% pumpkin
- 1 apple
- 3 cups of oats (gluten-free oats)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- dash of salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- tsp pumpkin spice
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2-3/4 cup of homemade applesauce (dice apple, throw in a pan with a little water and bring to a boil. Add a dash of cinnamon and maple syrup. Cook until apples are extremely soft and puree with immersion blender or throw in your blender and puree)
- 1/2 cup raw cane sugar, raw honey, or maple syrup (your choice!)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 cup Vegan chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips
- Pre-heat oven to 350
- Line 8×11 baking dish with parchment paper or grease with coconut oil
- Place oats in a food processor and blend into oat flour
- In a medium bowl, combine oat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices
- In a large bowl, mix together sugar, vanilla, oil and applesauce until well combined
- Add in oat flour mixture
- Fold in chocolate chips
- Bake for 20 minutes
I adapted this recipe from Ambitious Kitchen. She has delicious recipes!
Harvard School of Public Health
Institute of Medicine
More Healthy School Lunch Ideas!
Kids can bring you so much joy, but can consume so much of your energy. My son, Little Dude, colored on the wall of our kitchen the other day, which is a first at our house. Later that day, he picked up dog poop and ran over to show me his treasure. Oh, the adventures! Someone posted this quote on Facebook at the perfect time. At least he didn’t shave our dog. On another note…Last night, Sweet cheeks requested salmon for her lunch. Hot dogs one day and salmon the next – I will take it! I find asking my kiddos what they want to eat the next day makes them excited to eat their healthy lunch.
We also enjoy smoothies in our lunch. These silicone yogurt tubes are easy to clean and fit in the Ziploc tray above, or in a lunch box. We make a variety of smoothies. One of our favorite recipes is the Rejuvenating and Revitalizing Blueberry Smoothie. Try adding spinach to the smoothie for a veggie fix or adding peanut butter or almond butter for protein. My kids don’t even know when I add the spinach, and they love when I add the peanut or almond butter Follow the recipe and pour the smoothie into the silicone tubes. Place the tubes in the freezer. Remove the next morning and put the tubes in the lunch box. The smoothie is almost completely melted by lunch time. My kids like them when they are frozen, so we use these at breakfast time as well!
1 Corinthians 6:20
My daughter started preschool this year and she loved it so much, we switched from two half days to two full days. Now, she gets to eat lunch in the cafeteria with the “big” kids. I found an awesome container, from 100 Days of Real Food, which allows me to pack healthy and fun meals. My sweet cheeks, as we call her, requested a hot dog and corn because that was the hot lunch option the other day. I used:
- Applegate’s organic hot dogs
- Buenatural’s no GMO tortilla’s
- Corn from local farm
- Organic rasberries
- Kefir smoothie
- And I added raw cashews because my daughter loves them
- Ziploc Divided Container
Benefits of Raw Cashews:
- Contain Copper, Manganese, Magnesium and Phosphorus
- Not only do cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts, approximately 75% of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids, plus about 75% of this unsaturated fatty acid content is oleic acid, the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. Studies show that oleic acid promotes good cardiovascular health, even in individuals with diabetes (1).
- Contain protein and amino acids
Another favorite food around my house is lentil! I know, we are weird right?! Season lentils correctly though, and they are delicious! Kowalski’s has precooked and seasoned lentils that are non GMO if you are short on time, which we are as moms. There are not enough hours in the day my mama friends! Pictured above is my son’s lunch for Kid’s Day Out. He is 17 months already.
- Seasoned lentil beans
- Almond butter and jelly wrap
- Kefir smoothie
- Cucumber strips (from the garden) and Holy Land hummus
- Organic Grapes
- Ziploc Divided Container
Health benefits of lentils:
- Loaded with fiber, folate, iron, protein, and other vitamins and minerals
- A half cup of lentils provides around a third of your daily fiber requirements
- Help keep blood-sugar levels even
No school tomorrow, but watch for Thursday’s school lunch post
- 100 Days of Real Food
- Harvard Medical School
My daughter likes to have hot chocolate with marshmallows when she goes to her grandma G’s house (Grandparents have permission to spoil their grandchildren a little – right?). When I read the label of the marshmallows, I was surprised to see yellow and blue dyes listed in the ingredients. G started researching how to make homemade marshmallows and developed a fabulous recipe!
Why was I so concerned about my daughter consuming these dyes? Studies show that artificial coloring may contribute to behavioral problems such as hyperactivity in children and lead to a significant reduction in IQ. Most artificial colorings are synthetic chemicals.
Blue #1 and Blue #2 are banned in Norway, Finland and France. Studies show the dyes may cause chromosomal damage and occasionally causes allergic reactions.
Red #3 (Red #40) may interfere with brain-nerve transmission. In laboratory animals, this dye causes thyroid cancer and chromosomal damage.
Norway and Sweden banned Yellow #6 and Yellow Tartrazine because in laboratory animals, this dye increased the number of kidney and adrenal gland tumors in the animals. In addition, the dye may contain benzidine, which is a cancer causing substance. This dye causes hives in some people. Other possible symptoms include vomiting, nasal congestion and indigestion.
Tip: Throw out anything that contains food coloring/dyes!
Here is a full list of dyes.
Dr. Mark Hyman wrote an excellent article on the body mind connection.The most important factor that determines our level of health is our attitude! Our social networks, community, and spiritual beliefs play into the attitude. As my grandpa, Dr. Emilio Giuliani, always says, “It’s mind over matter.”
Here are some facts from Dr. Hyman’s article:
- 95 percent of all illness is caused or worsened by stress. Low socioeconomic status is associated with poorer health outcomes and higher risk of death from all causes. This is not because of poor health habits, but because of feelings of powerlessness and loss of control. Internalized racism and stress are associated with high amounts of belly fat.
- Stress hormones damage the hippocampus — the memory center in the brain — causing memory loss and dementia.
- In a study of people who volunteered to have cold viruses injected into their noses, only people with a high level of perceived stress got colds. Women with metastatic breast cancer survived twice as long if they were part of a support group.
- Belonging to a group — a religious group, a bowling club, a quilting group — reduces risk of death from all causes and increases longevity, despite health habits.
- In a study of doctors, those who scored high on hostility questionnaires had a higher risk of heart attacks than those who smoked, were overweight, had high blood pressure, or didn’t exercise.
So how do we make our mind and spirit healthy? I know my joy and strength come from a personal relationship with God. But whatever your beliefs, here are some tips that will strengthen your mind and spirit and reduce your stress.
- Develop and maintain nurturing relationships: By nurturing, I mean have a couple really close friends who can encourage you. If you feel drained after hanging out with someone every time, then you may need to reevaluate that relationship.
- Exercise: Rids your body of stress chemicals, boosts your energy, helps you maintain a healthy weight, improves your mood, promotes better sleep, and energizes your sex live (Ladies, regular exercise leads to enhanced arousal. And men, it helps prevent erectile dysfunction, so get that workout on!)
- Learn something new: Learning new skills protects you from certain types of dementia
- Eat right: Rid your body of toxins by avoiding refined sugars, alcohol, and preservatives.
- Meditate/Pray: Releases stress. There are endless benefits, so click here for an article on the health benefits of meditation
- Relax: Practicing deep breathing, having a massage, or taking a hot bath are excellent ways to relax
- Address your stress: Understand what causes you stress and be able to recognize when your body is under stress
- Take your supplements: vitamin D helps prevent colds, magnesium relaxes you, and vitamin C and the B-complex vitamins help balance your stress response
Don’t be scared by the name, Brussels sprouts. I know a lot of people are unsure how to cook with this vegetable. However, there is a delicious and simple way to cook Brussels sprouts – roast them. Roasting veggies brings out the natural flavors. This recipe is so easy and quick! You can even buy a container of already cut squash and brussels sprouts to avoid chopping.
NO PREP TIME
My two-year-old even eats this dish!
1 bag or container of fresh already cut brussels sprouts
1 bag or container of fresh cut squash
Dash of salt
1. Preheat oven to 425 F
2. Place brussels sprouts and squash on a baking tray. Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables and mix with hands. Sprinkle with salt
3. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes
- Contain protein and fiber
- Zero cholesterol
- Excellent source of vitamin C
- Contain vitamins A and E
- Contain Glucobrassicin and omega-3 fatty acids to prevent inflammation
- Contain vitamin K which promotes healthy bones
- Full of vitamin A
- Contains folate which is very important during pregnancy because folate helps prevent birth defects
- Contains vitamin C and magnesium
- Contains fiber to help eliminate waste and keep your colon healthy and free of cancer
The holidays are approaching, and I like many others am so excited for all the family festivities! I love Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am always looking for healthy appetizer and food ideas for the holiday season. My mother and I came up with this fabulous idea! This is a healthy drink or appetizer option for adults and kids.
Vanilla Chai Protein Shot Ingredients:
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 cup milk (almond milk)
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Strawberry Chocolate Protein Ingredients:
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 cup of strawberries
Dash of cardamom, ground cloves and nutmeg
1 cup milk (almond milk)
1. Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth
2. Poor a shot in each glass
3. Add a strawberry, a chocolate stick, or a dash of cinnamon for decoration
Lou Lou ingredients has a new look thanks to Allison Gahlon firstname.lastname@example.org! I highly recommend her for any graphic design project. I wanted a logo that shouted healthy, nutritious, knowledgeable, inspiring, insightful and energetic, and she designed just that!
A website will be coming soon along with videos Please comment below or send me an email with any specific topics you want included on my site.