MONDAY

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Photo Cred: Ryan McGuire

Sip your coffee, take a giant deep breath, and buckle up! A new week is upon us! Is it just me, or do the weekends go by way to quickly? I am imagining you nodding along with me, because you would have to be a crazy person to not wish the weekends were longer. Honestly, is it really asking too much to just have one more day tacked on there? Who do we need to talk to about that?! 😉 Just when I finally get relaxed, I realize it’s Sunday evening and the next morning the alarm is set.. boo!

I hope you all had a wonderful, productive weekend. Ours was busy busy, but great! Lots of family time which I always love.

This weekend, we gave my Brother-In-Law his Christmas gift, of a Rib Dinner! I know that sounds like a funny Christmas gift, but it’s what he asked for! I must say, it’s quite a compliment to my cooking that each year, instead of a random item, or gift card.. he puts my cooking on his list! The past couple of years he asked for Slow Cooker Meals, which is helpful to them throughout the year.. I did about 10-15 meals for them.. got them all prepped into freezer bags so that on their busy days, dinner didn’t have to be a thought.. they could just remove from the freezer, pop into a slow cooker and be done with it. This year he surprised me! His list read “come to my house and cook a rib dinner.” Done! Without tooting my own horn tooooo much, I can tell you that the dinner was great! I love a good BBQ dinner, so this was right up my alley. I will share my menu and recipes with you in a separate post, or this could go on all day! It was a close call when we arrived to their house and I slipped on the ice, carrying the box with dinner in it, and everything flew in the air.. a classic movie slip moment.. thankfully, I had saran-wrapped everything so tightly that it survived! Phewf! I was almost in tears, thinking of walking in the door, and telling him that his Christmas gift was currently all over their front yard!

On Sunday, we went to see The National Geographic Live: Spinosaurus. The show was pretty cool, a little less exciting than I was expecting, but very informative, and interesting to say the least! Dinosaurs are so cool. #NerdAlert

So what will this week bring for me? I have a few posts to share with you, along with a few recipes so I am looking forward to doing that, as well as possibly some veerrrry exciting news! (Just waiting to get the final word so trying to not get ahead of myself!) And, I will also fill you in on what was on the menu at our BBQ dinner so you can plan on of your own!

Your week is a blank canvas! Now top up your coffee, and let the adventures begin!

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Photo Cred: Carli Jeen @ Unsplash.com

 

 

 

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Sneaky Swap Out #2: Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

This will be quick because there is literally not much to it! We all know how hard it is to get kids (and even some adults!) to eat their veggies. This idea is a fairly well-known one.. however I still get a number of people who sound surprised when I mention this one to them, and after having it happen a couple of times over the past week, I figured.. why not just get it out there?!

This one is the Creamy Mashed Potatoes – with Cauliflower! Now let’s get serious here.. who in their right mind does not love to gorge on creamy, delicious, buttery & garlicky mashed potatoes. Okay, well I suppose that there may be some who don’t like them, or can not eat them for health reasons (allergies, etc.), but for the most part, mashed potatoes are a staple. And a completely delicious one at that!

This one is so easy you guys. I don’t even use a recipe for it anymore, I just do most of it to taste. But.. for those who really enjoy following a recipe, or maybe their “to taste” skills aren’t up to par (which is totally okay!).. here you go! And remember – any of these quantities can be increased or cut down depending on how many people you are serving!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut up
  • Approx 1 TBSP of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic – smushed, minced, or just cut up into smaller pieces
  • Reduced fat cream cheese – this one truly is to taste.. I use a few tablespoons.. but it depends on how “creamy” you want them to be.
  • 1/2 TBSP butter
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (sometimes I use a full cup if I’m feeling extra cheesy)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Steamer (sauce pan, steam basket)
  • Pan (small one to cook garlic)
  • Food processor

What you’re going to do with it:

  • Get out your steamer, put in some water and let it come to a boil.Toss in that cauliflower and let it get a good steam for about 7-10 min. (depending on how big or small of pieces you cut it into.) You should be able to stab through it with a fork.
  • While you’re waiting for your cauliflower to cook, heat up a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a pan, over med heat. Add the garlic and let it cook down a few min until it’s softened. Don’t let it burn, or it will turn bitter!
  • Once the cauliflower is cooked, put about half of it in your food processor. Blend on high. Add the rest of your cauliflower slowly, blending until creamy. Then, add in your butter, garlic, parm cheese, cream cheese, salt and pepper and blend until mixed.

Voila! Enjoy!!.. Hey I said it was delicious, not completely healthy!

DONT MISS IT! – My Feature!

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CLICK to read my interview with Stefanie of Tea Time Talks!

Easy Tomato #MEAT Sauce

This is one of those easy sauces that you can easily whip up for a weekday dinner, or a Sunday afternoon project that you can do in bulk, and freeze for when you need it later! It’s a Tomato Meat Sauce. It’s easy. It’s simple. And it’s pretty darn good!

Tomato Meat Sauce:

Olive oil or butter to cover bottom of your pan/pot
1 lb Ground meat (beef, elk, bison – if using elk or bison, you can cut it half and half with beef)
Handful or two Mushrooms – diced
1-2 Onions (1 Big guy or 2 littler ones) – Diced
3 Garlic cloves (or more or less depending on your love for garlic!) – Minced
Herbs – thyme|oregano|basil|italian seasoning (Season to your personal preference, I usually add about 1-2TBSP of each)
3 Grilled tomatoes (or roasted if no bbq)
One Large Can of Seasoned Stewed Tomatoes with the juice
One Small can of tomato past

Meat sauce. Enough said.

Toss some oil or butter in your pan, medium to high heat, and add your ground meat. Once it’s pretty much browned up, add your onions, mushrooms, and garlic and let it cook down until translucent. Add in the herbs, grilled tomatoes, and stewed tomatoes. Let simmer on low-medium for about 15 min stirring throughout. Once it starts all coming together, add in your tomato paste until the sauce reaches the thickness you are looking for. Let it simmer on low heat, about an hour, so it can cook through, stirring occassionally.

The longer it simmers the more intense and delicious your flavors will become. I try to let mine simmer for at least an hour, or longer..but of course there have been nights I have just whipped this up and tossed it on just as soon as it was done!

#MEAT : CRUSTED SIRLOIN TIP ROAST 

  
I created a new dry rub for our sirloin tip roast tonight and wooooo-ie! It has turned out to be quite a gem! I am now entering a food coma, but once I come back to reality I will let you all in on how to make it in your own kitchen! Happy Long Weekend & Happy Love Day everyone! ❤️❤️

Post Holiday Body Cleanout!

Let’s face it. You probably spent the last two months pigging out, stressing out, drinking your faces off, eating crap, and staying up late.. And yes, it was probably worth every second. I know, I know.. the holidays are like a free for all.. Not a care in the world… Eat! Eat! You hear time and time again! Calories don’t count during the holidays..right?!.. Dinner after dinner.. Brunches..lunches..Chips and dip..Veggie trays and then the dainties..oh don’t even get me started on these little bites of heaven!..Tables and tables full of dainties.. And it’s all fun and games..until January 2 hits, and reality comes slapping you in the face when you have to return to work, and this of course means wearing actual clothing.. getting out of your sweat pants, and going out into the real world.. Until, wait.. what is happening?! Suddenly those pants that fit you perfectly just one short month ago..now, they are feeling a tad snug! Did they shrink in the dryer?! (That’s always my first thought! 😉 ) Nope.. you just ate your face off and now your body is paying the price. So.. because lots of people are in the same boat, I thought I would share my tips for detoxing, and replenishing your body post the holiday season! I apologize now if this get’s lengthy..

WATER
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!! I know you hear this one all the time, and you’re angry that this is the first tip I give you. WAH! WAH!! It’s the truth. I will say it over and over again. Drink WATER. Not coffee, not water mixed with some sort of flavory dyed sugar powder, not a fountain drink/soda/pop, not a “well it came in a glass container, so it’s probably good for me” drink.. (and yes, someone once said that to me!). WATER. H20. W-A-T-E-R. Pure and simple. If you’re body is not staying hydrated, you are not functioning to your fullest potential. Get in the habit of drinking water. And drink it a lot.  When you wake up. While you’re working. Shopping. Riding in the car. Waiting for the bus. While you’re watching TV. Even when you don’t feel thirsty! Not only will drinking water help to flush away toxins, it will also aid your digestive system. Lots of times when you find yourself mindlessly snacking, or eating but not feeling satisfied, it’s because your body is thirsty for water and not food. Next time you feel like you want a snack, drink a full glass of water first. Do you wonder why your head is pounding? Sometimes (I know not all, but some) headaches are caused from the amount of toxins you have built up in your body that need to be flushed away! Next time you feel like you’re getting a headache, drink a glass of water or two before you pop a couple pills!

How will any of this help with shedding those sugar pounds?.. Well without water, the body is not able to metabolize fat. What does that mean in plain English? You retain water, and you gain weight. And how do we rid ourselves of fluid retention? By drinking water, people! Do you see where I am going with this?! It’s all linked back to drinking lots of QUALITY water. I once read that if they could sell water as a prescription, and an aid for healing, they would. And you know what, I believe it!

SLEEP

I bet now that the holidays are over you are exhausted. It was go-go-go and now you feel like you ran into a brick wall! People need permission to sleep these days. So here is yours; Go to bed. Stay in there for 8 hours. And don’t leave it until 8 hours is over. Your body needs sleep. Regeneration and healing of the body happens while you sleep! And don’t even start with the, I can run off 4-6 hours of sleep! I don’t need 8.. No. You mean you are surviving off 4 hours of sleep a night. I promise if you actually let your body “catch up” and you make sure you are well rested, you will enjoy your life so much more. And with all that water you are drinking now 😉 nothing will be able to stop you!

EXERCISE
And not just for the first week of the new year! Even if it’s only 30 minutes a day, even if it’s only 15 min a day!.. MOVE. YOUR. BODY. Stop being lazy little bums and take the stairs, carry your groceries, dance around your house naked if you want! If you want to get all that crap building up inside of you out, you gotta get moving! Sweating is good. Plain. And. Simple. Besides, exercise does wonders for stress levels & your mental health. After the stress of shopping during the holiday season, every one needs a little TLC in that department! Create a little workout for you and your friends, and motivate each other!  Having a workout buddy always helps!

DON’T CHA PUT IT IN YOUR MOUTH.. NU, UH!
Duh! Besides all those sugary holiday snacks, and goodies?! Anything that starts with Fast, Fried, or Processed. IS OUT! Don’t eat it. Just don’t. It’s not rocket science here people! If it’s in a box, or a can.. it’s out. If you want to detox your body of toxins, you will benefit from cutting out salt, sugar, flour, and anything white.
I know you are dying for a list of foods that I would tell you to try to avoid besides the basic “Fast, Fried, and Processed” so.. here goes;
Butter, cakes, chocolate, chow mein noodles, corned beef, cream, yellow cheese, whole milk, toaster pastries, lard, ice cream, poultry skin, muffin mix, chips, mayonnaise, deli meat, packaged potatoes, smoked meats, imitation dairy products, cookies, crab, packaged food in general, most things that come out of the aisles section of the grocery store, bacon, whipped cream, bologna, sugary cereal, cocoa, caffeine, cream cheese, duck, goose, gravy, hot dogs and hamburgers, margarine, spare ribs .. okay seriously this list could go on forever, and I am going to assume you get the idea. When in doubt, think of the saying “The whiter the bread, the sooner you’re dead!”

LET’S AIM FOR THIS INSTEAD!
You’re ideal diet will be natural, seasonal, rotational, balanced, moderate, and well-combined. It’s a good idea to start your day with some water with the juice of half a lemon mixed in, or some ginger! Fresh fruits and vegetables (frozen is your next best choice) are at the top of the list. Alongside would be nuts and seeds, whole grains, light proteins, and lots of greens! Smoothies, soups, and juices are a great way to pack a lot of nutrients into one drink, and they are good if you will be on the go! Always try to keep a small Ziploc with some seeds and almonds in your car if you are the kind of person who spends their day working from their car! “Because I was busy” is not an excuse for not having proper nutrition.

  • Here are some Food Combining guidelines as per “Staying Healthy with Nutrition” – Elson M. Haas, MD with Buck Levin, PhD, RD
                 1. Fruits are eaten by themselves or with other fruits.
                 2. Proteins and starches are not eaten together.
                 3. Combine protein and vegetables or starches and vegetables.
                 4. Do not eat more than one protein per meal.

Over the next few weeks I will be posting recipes that you can try at home that will be easy, low sodium, and low sugar and will help you get back to feeling like you again!

 

 

Coming Soon: Post Holiday Body Cleanout!

If you are feeling full, tired, and sluggish from the holidays, this one is for you! Now that the holidays have come to an end, and we are all getting back to real life, you may feel bad about over indulging and (if you’re anything like me..) may have put on a couple of pounds! Well, we will be helping you detox all the sugary treats, and holiday dinners! Stay tuned for some recipes and tips to help you feel better and start your new year off right!

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