My 3 Favorite Smoothies

As mentioned last week, I love smoothies!  I tend to be very creative with my smoothie process and just incorporate anything that sounds good, at the moment.  But, if you are just beginning the smoothie adventure, I am sure your would appreciate a few recipes.  So, this week, I actually measured my ingredients and wrote down my three favorite smoothie concoctions.  I hope they bring your tummy much joy! Continue reading “My 3 Favorite Smoothies”

Dense: A View From the Big Island

The Weekly Photo Challenge: Dense

A View From the Big Island

When I read the word “Dense” for this week’s photo challenge, I knew the exact series of images I wanted to incorporate.   There is nothing like a magical hike, through the forests of The Big Island of Hawaii, to truly experience the word “Dense”.  Enjoy the Journey…

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Ferns & Palms
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A Tree of Lace
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Horizontal Growth
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Dense Blooms
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Reaching Roots
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Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!
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A Multitude of Foliage

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…

Roda

Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

 

I love chocolate!  I love to bake!  This sweet combination can equal trouble when it comes to my focus of eating healthy!  But, we all need to allow ourselves a little treat, here and there.  I have made some “healthy” updates to these yummy brownies.  I have also left the original ingredients, just in case your would prefer to incorporate those instead!   Enjoy! Continue reading “Chocolate Zucchini Brownies”

Hard Boiling Farm Fresh Eggs

As I have mentioned in previous entries, I am addicted to chickens and ducks! I am even more addicted to their fresh eggs.  Oh, that yummy, golden yolk!  Keep in mind, when purchasing eggs from the market, there is a good chance they are already one month old…at least! (Yikes!) Commercial egg farmers have 30 days to sell their eggs.  The longer the eggs sit, the more the membrane beneath the shell separates from the shell, making peeling easier.  This is a positive when making hard boiled eggs.  But, once you have experienced the taste of a delicious farm fresh egg, you will never go back!  Trust me! So, the question is…  Can you hard boil a fresh egg and peel it easily?  The answer…YES! Continue reading “Hard Boiling Farm Fresh Eggs”

Weekly Kindness Challenge!

I can’t think of a better way to kick off this week than with a kindness challenge. Who wouldn’t be up for sprinkling a little JOY here and there! For me, it is the little things in life that mean the most.  There is nothing more heart warming than discovering an unexpected card or a letter in the mailbox!  I am filled with joy when I send a friend a special gift, knowing how much they will appreciate it. Rise by lifting others… Continue reading “Weekly Kindness Challenge!”

Be Still…

We have so much to learn from the lotus flower…

This flowering plant grows from the bottom of steams and murky ponds.  When ready, it rises above the water and blooms, sharing its beauty for all the world to see.  When darkness blankets the Earth, the Lotus closes its petals and descends back into the depths of the water, only to resurface the next day.  This blooming miracle is fully grounded in the muddy earth, yet reaches for the heavens, daily. 

How amazing is it that this stunning flower resides in such muddy waters, yet remains unsoiled…

Regardless of your life’s struggles, remember the lesson of the Lotus flower.

Live in Full Bloom! 

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…

Roda

Help From a Hoop House

When the month of March arrives, I start to bubble up inside. Spring! Granted, here in Michigan, the month of March can equal snow, rain, hail and/or 60° weather. One never knows what to expect! Needless to say, this month of awakening always makes me feel like I have survived another winter and am able to relish, once again, in the beauty of spring.

Continue reading “Help From a Hoop House”

Breakfast in a Cup – Part 2

As I was creating my morning smoothie, (chocolate-banana-strawberry, w/cacao power) I realized it might be helpful to share a bit more information about some of the ingredients I incorporate into my everyday “Breakfast in a Cup”.   Warning…if you have children, do not share the details of these ingredients with them.  In fact, lie to them!  When my kids ask me if there are any “sticks, twigs or dirt” (aka, health food) in the smoothie, I respond with only the basic ingredients-fruit & milk.  Now keep in mind, I am not encouraging you to lie to your children on a daily basis…just in the beginning.  Once you have them hooked on this outstanding breakfast choice, you can slowly begin to tell them about all of the nutritious ingredients you have been hiding in their smoothies!  By the way, I recommend sharing this truth at about age 20!

As you become hooked on hiding as many healthy foods in your smoothies as possible, you will probably become filled with excitement and want to tell your spouse and/or friends about these amazing ingredients…DON’T!    Keep in mind, your ultimate goal is for your family to be as healthy as possible, right?!  And, we all know that change can be difficult the older we become.  Take this process slowly…one healthy step at a time!

Wifey gives me more excuses than the kids do about why she does not like smoothies.  In fact, just for fun,  I have created a list of her top 10 excuses…

Wifey’s Top 10 Excuses for not Liking Smoothies

  1. She does not like the consistency.  (She loves milk shakes and malts!)
  2. She is not a fan of almond milk. (She eats almonds for a snack every day!)
  3. She does not like bananas.  (Last time I checked, there were other fruit options!)
  4. She is afraid of too much fiber.  (Really…?)
  5. She is afraid the chia seeds will stick in her teeth. (She owns a toothbrush.)
  6. She believes that anything green belongs only in salad.(Salad for breakfast??)
  7. She refers to spirulina as duck food. (It is 3.5 billions years old! It has to be amazing!)
  8. She prefers “chocolate” in the form of PB M&Ms. (M&Ms are not guiltless chocolate!)
  9. She refuses to eat something with “germ” in the name. (Wheat germ is not a germ!)
  10. She calls hemp “mushy green mash” that is used for making rope. (I have no words)

I think it is time to clear up a few misconceptions about these superfoods…

For some of the more difficult to find products, I have included links to Amazon.com.  I order many of these products through Amazon, for the prices are much cheaper than my local market.

Chia Seeds: The word chia is derived from the Mayan language, meaning “strength”.  These powerful seeds were used by Aztec warriors to increase energy and stamina.  Chia seeds have a mild, nutty flavor.  They can be used in smoothies, pudding, sprinkled on salads and added to baked goods.  Most importantly, they are loaded with Omega -3 fatty acids!

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Flaxseeds: The Latin translation for the word flax means “most useful”.  Since ancient times, flax has been used for intestinal problems. These wonderful seeds are packed with Omega – 3 fatty acids, while also providing fiber and protein.

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Wheat Germ: Wheat germ has a nutty flavor and is the heart of the wheat berry.  It is a great source of daily fiber and folic acid.  Wheat Germ is also packed with numerous vitamins and minerals. It is known to boost the immune system and has anti-aging properties.  Wheat germ can positively affect muscle development, stamina and healing.  Add this healthy goodness to your smoothies, baked goods or as a breading for chicken and fish.

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Hemp Protein Powder: Hemp seeds are a wonderful plant-based protein supplement.  Hemp contains 21 essential amino acids and is a powerful source of fiber.  This protein powder is perfect for smoothies, as well as baked goods.

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Spirulina: Spirulina is a single celled organism that is classified as a blue-green algae. It is over 3.5 billion years old and known to be one of the most complete food sources on Earth. It has antioxidants that will strengthen your immune system and over all heath and wellness.  Spirulina is known to detoxify and help balance PH levels, while providing fatty acids, vitamins and minerals to the body.  Holding over 60% protein, this superfood is the most digestible source of veggie protein. This can be tricky to find.  I order organic spirulina from Amazon.com.  Here is the link, if you are having trouble finding this in your local market: Organic Spirulina Powder – Vegan Protein, USDA Certified

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Matcha: Matcha is powdered green tea.  When you consume matcha, you ingest the entire leaf and receive 100% of its nutrients.  Matcha has 137x more antioxidants than brewed green tea.  Matcha is know for improving skin health, burning calories, detoxifying the body, enhancing mood/focus, preventing disease and lowering cholesterol/ blood sugar.  Once again, if you are having difficulty locating organic matcha, here is the Amazon.com link for Enzo’s Organic Matcha:  Matcha Green Tea Powder 4oz – Organic Vegan Milky Taste USDA Certified

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Cacao Powder: I like to think of Cacao powder as chocolate without the guilt!  Cacao powder is unprocessed and does not contain added sugar, thus retaining its key nutrients.   If you love chocolate, this powder is perfect for smoothies, shakes, coffee and baked goods.  Yum!!  I love this brand and have not been able to find it where I shop.  Thank goodness for Amazon.com!  Viva Naturals –  Certified Organic Cacao Powder, 1 LB  It also comes in “nibs”, which are a great replacement for chocolate chips in baking!   Viva Naturals – Organic Raw Cacao Nibs, 1 lb Bag

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Now you see exactly why these superfoods are worth a little fibbing to your family!  Keep in mind, there are many wonderful brands for these products.  The ones pictured above just happen to be my favorites!

Watch for my 3 favorite smoothie recipes in next Friday’s blog entry!

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…

Roda

A Gallery of Green

Weekly Photo Challenge

It IS Easy Being Green!

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Big Island Foliage

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Garden Tomatillos

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Let’s Camouflage!

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Bloom Where You Are Planted!

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Love Life

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Rebirth

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Spring Miracles

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All Beautiful Things Take Time

Enjoy this lovely Spring day and everything it has to offer!

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…

Roda

Breakfast in a Cup!

Breakfast has always been difficult for me. Getting up in the morning and chewing food just never worked. But, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It jump-starts the metabolism and prevents those afternoon energy dips that make me want to curl up with my favorite green blanket and hibernate. Eating breakfast not only protects my family members from potential crankiness, but protects myself from the notorious afternoon salty/sweet attack. For all of these reasons, I was determined to find a breakfast source that I could easily stomach, within the first hour of waking up. About 5 years ago, I discovered the perfect answer to my lifelong dilemma… The Smoothie! Continue reading “Breakfast in a Cup!”