maui

There is something magical about going to a place I’ve never been to and exploring. I absolutely love traveling and highly recommend everyone do it! Even if it’s a local trip, it’s great to get away, spend time with your family and create memories that you can look back on. I had such a great time on our vacation to the beautiful island of Maui, and wanted to share my trip with you here. We planned this trip a year in advance and were able to get a great deal on flights because of that! We bought our flights in July for an October trip. We got the best deal thanks to my hubbie for keeping an eye on the flights and snatching the flight up when he saw it. I am usually such a big planner, but this trip we actually didn’t plan out exactly what we were going to do until we got there and it all ended up working out great! It was also our boys first flight (age 2 & 4), which I was a little nervous about and although it is definitely a different experience flying with kids it all turned out just fine!  Below are some tips + pictures from our trip! Welcome to paradise. Continue Reading

{ 0 comments }

Just one of them days via naturalwellnest.com

Just one of them days…

We all have them as moms. We can’t think straight, we are frustrated, exhausted, tired, fed up. Your child is giving you a sassy attitude. You have a “spirited child.” Your baby is sick. Your baby is teething. You haven’t slept in days. You are having breastfeeding problems. You are having potty training problems. You feel like you are cleaning the house ALL. DAY. LONG. You can’t seem to find time to go out on those fancy dates anymore. Babysitting breaks the bank. You sometimes wish you could go back to your old life because this is NOT what you signed up for. You know. Just one of them days… Continue Reading

{ 0 comments }

Is Something Stealing Your Joy Can Materialism Be It

One of my steps of living a healthier, happier lifestyle is to STRESS LESS! So I wanted to share a bit about the topic of materialism and how it may be stealing your joy and ultimately causing you stress. I read a book a while ago called Money, Possessions, and Eternity by Randy Alcorn. I’m not going to say it was an easy read because it is very thick and small print, but the information contained is invaluable. It helps you to gain perspective and remember why you are here on this earth. In this world of consumerism and materialism it is so easy to get caught up in thinking “if I only had “fill in the blank“, then I would be happy. What are you filling your life with and are you truly happy? What do you really long for?  Of course I have my list of wants and wishes (A Bigger house without having to pay the hefty price tag plus a gardener and housekeeper to go along with it, a prius, a really cool bicycle, the list goes on lol). Heck, I even have some of my wishes all neatly organized and pinned here! lol  But are those things I absolutely NEED? Continue Reading

{ 0 comments }

7 must read books for healthy kid foodiesI absolutely love reading books to my kids! I try to read to them at least 20 minutes a day,  usually right after breakfast and before bedtime. Books have really been a powerful tool in helping my children learn about so many wonderful things; food being one of them. Below are 7 of my kids favorite reads that have helped them learn about real, healthy food in a fun way. It’s really amazing to me how my son at 3 years old knows how to make vegetable soup just from reading a book! These books are great for kids of any age. Both of my kids age 3 and 1 enjoy these books and reach for them often. Click on the picture to purchase the book. You will LOVE them!


 

And other healthy kid foodie supplies shown in the picture that we use and love:
We use this straw attachment

 

{ 0 comments }

zucchini noodles recipe via naturalwellnest.com

This is one of my absolute favorite dishes I have made all year. I just HAD to share the recipe with you! Zucchini noodles are a great alternative to regular pasta noodles for those sensitive to gluten, are grain free or simply want to add more veggies to your diet. They are fun and simple to prepare too! You can easily mix it up and use a different sauce recipe or go meatless and add extra veggies to make it vegetarian or vegan. There are countless zoodle recipes you can come up with! Yum! For this recipe I prepared each ingredient individually and then combined them all together at the end. I served this dish with a simple salad and It was perfect! ENJOY!

Ingredients

For Zucchini Noodles:
6 Small Zucchini (zoodled + sautéed with 1 clove of minced garlic)
1 Garlic Clove

For Broccolini:
1 Bunch Broccolini (sautéed with 1 clove of minced garlic)
1 Garlic Clove
sea salt to taste

For Meatballs:
1 lb Ground Turkey
3 Curly Kale Leaves (torn from stem + minced)
1/4 of an onion (chopped)
sea salt + favorite seasonings to taste (I used sea salt, turmeric, dried parsley, garlic powder and real garlic salt.

For the Sauce: Adapted from Eating Well recipe
1 small bunch fresh basil
2 ripe avocados
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350. Put your ground turkey, minced kale and chopped onion in a large bowl with your favorite seasonings and form your meatballs. Place them on a baking sheet and bake them in the oven until done.

Once those are in the oven begin sautéing your broccolini with the garlic until softened and cooked the way you like. Set aside.

Next, take your zucchini (skin on) and use your Spiralizer
to create your noodles. This is the Spiralizer that I use and it is very simple to work! Just chop off the ends, hook it on to your device and start cranking away! Set the noodles aside in a large bowl.

Next, prepare your sauce by adding all ingredients except olive oil to food processor. Pour olive oil through the opening at the top and blend! Set aside.

And finally, once meatballs are done cooking you will cook your zucchini. Using the same pan you cooked your broccolini, add some olive oil to a pan, sauté some garlic until fragrant. Then add your zucchini noodles and sauté them for a few minutes. Not too long because you don’t want them to get soggy. Just enough so they are warm and cooked a tad but still have a crunch to them. Once it is cooked to your liking add it to a large bowl and mix your avocado sauce and add meatballs and broccolini. Mix until combined. Season to taste. Serve immediately.

Serves 3-4

{ 0 comments }

Orthorexia Nervosa What it is and how to avoid it via naturalwellnest

I’ve been wanting to write about this topic for a while now! So here it is! Orthorexia Nervosa. What is it and how you can avoid it.

“Orthorexia nervosa is not currently recognized as a clinical diagnosis in the DSM-5, but many people struggle with symptoms associated with this term.

Those who have an “unhealthy obsession” with otherwise healthy eating may be suffering from “orthorexia nervosa,” a term which literally means “fixation on righteous eating.” Orthorexia starts out as an innocent attempt to eat more healthfully, but orthorexics become fixated on food quality and purity. They become consumed with what and how much to eat, and how to deal with “slip-ups.” An iron-clad will is needed to maintain this rigid eating style. Every day is a chance to eat right, be “good,” rise above others in dietary prowess, and self-punish if temptation wins (usually through stricter eating, fasts and exercise). Self-esteem becomes wrapped up in the purity of orthorexics’ diet and they sometimes feel superior to others, especially in regard to food intake.

Eventually food choices become so restrictive, in both variety and calories, that health suffers – an ironic twist for a person so completely dedicated to healthy eating. Eventually, the obsession with healthy eating can crowd out other activities and interests, impair relationships, and become physically dangerous.” By Karin Kratina, PhD, RD, LD/N via National Eating Disorder

“Orthorexia is an emotionally disturbed, self-punishing relationship with food that involves a progressively shrinking universe of foods deemed acceptable. A gradual constriction of many other dimensions of life occurs so that thinking about healthy food can become the central theme of almost every moment of the day, the sword and shield against every kind of anxiety, and the primary source of self-esteem, value and meaning. This may result in social isolation, psychological disturbance and even, possibly, physical harm.” To put it another way, the search for healthy eating has become unhealthy.”  Steven Bratman, MD, MPH via Orthorexia.com

When you first begin your health journey you will go through a little bit of it, it’s only natural. You Learn about GMO’s and vow to NEVER eat out again! You turn your nose up at anything that isn’t organic. You search for only the best of the best of the best food there is on the market. Pasture raised. Raw. organic. non gmo. Unprocessed. These are some of the labels us health conscious people know all too well. It’s normal to begin to scrutinize every label and wonder what is lurking in our food. While I am a firm supporter in healthy living, supporting organic farming and eating great quality unprocessed food, I do believe it can consume many people’s lives to the point of being unhealthy.

“Do you have orthorexia? Ask yourselves these questions: Do you turn to healthy food as a primary source of happiness and meaning, even spirituality? Does your diet make you feel better than other people? Does it interfere with relationships or work, friends or family? Do you use pure foods as a sword and shield to ward off anxiety, not just about health problems but about everything that makes you insecure? Do foods help you feel in control more than really makes sense? Do you have to carry your diet to further and further extremes to provide the same kick? If you stray even minimally from your chosen diet, do you feel a compulsive need to cleanse? Has your interest in healthy food expanded past reasonable boundaries to become a kind of brain parasite, controlling your life rather than furthering your goals?” via Orthorexia.com

My approach is a holistic one, in that it is not JUST the food  you put into your body that can affect your health. SHOCKER!? WHAT!? It’s true. While I do believe we need to fuel our bodies with great quality whole food it should not consume your life to the point it is ALL you think about and it overtakes and becomes an obsession. What you are eating should not cause you stress and anxiety, which is not good for your body at all! You can learn more about the mind/body connection and your health here. Keep Calm and Eat On! I love food. I always have and always will. I love GOOD food. I also enjoy having a treat every once in a while too. I NEVER restrict myself of any food. I eat it all as long as the food doesn’t bother me. But I do have to say that I wouldn’t sit there and eat an entire box of cookies, or gallon of ice cream or bag of candy, or whatever it is. That is also not good for you. SELF CONTROL & BALANCE! That is very important. I will gladly eat a bowl of ice cream without guilt if I truly wanted it. And I will enjoy every bite of it and savor the flavors. While some of you may need to avoid eating certain foods due to health reasons or maybe you don’t feel good eating a certain food, or maybe you are sensitive or allergic to a particular food, that is a different matter. I applaud you for listening to your body and allowing food to be your medicine and sticking to it! You are a true inspiration. Keep up the great work! For the rest of us I say, Keep Calm an Eat On! Listen to your body and feed yourself real whole food. Any kind that you like. Without guilt, stress or fear.

There are so many different dietary theories out there it can become consuming going through each one trying to figure out “THE RIGHT WAY” to eat. This usually causes people to yo-yo diet and become super extreme and create a poor relationship with food. What you really need to do is figure out what food is right FOR YOU, which is where a whole foods elimination diet for a small period of time can come in handy. Stop looking at what the latest trends are. Go back to the basics, listen to your body and enjoy the REAL food that God created for us, enjoy a treat on occasion and have a healthy relationship with food.

Now, if you have health issues or a weight loss goal in mind then you do need to be more conscious of the foods that enter your body, but not super commando style to where it may turn into an issue (aka orthorexia nervosa, or even another eating disorder). Your goal should be to create a healthy lifestyle that you can stick with for life. Not just do a crazy diet to fit into your bikini for the Summer and then balloon back up during the Winter. Not just say you are going to cut out ALL “unhealthy” foods for LIFE and then binge on a box of donuts one day because you are craving them. What should you do instead? Simply begin incorporating real, whole food that YOUR body feels good eating and begin crowding out the processed junk and ease your way into a healthier lifestyle. Eat a treat if you feel like it, just not every day. And be gentle on yourself.

Now does this mean to go out right now and eat an entire box of cookies just because I said to enjoy a treat?! That’s not what I am saying at all. lol But you should not be afraid to eat a few cookies every once in a while (as long as you feel ok eating them) and want some. Just don’t eat them ALL THE TIME! And don’t feel guilty for eating them either. And PLEASE don’t call it a “cheat day.” While I am not advocating you eat cookies everyday, I want you to have such a good relationship with food, that you treat you body well most of the time and feel ok if you want to splurge sometimes. Make it a lifestyle. Not a “diet.” Maybe it’s not cookies you are craving. Maybe it’s french fries, ice cream, candy, or some other thing many people view as “unhealthy.” Whatever it is, the story behind it is the same. Have some if you’d like, just don’t eat it ALL THE TIME! And again if your body cannot handle these treats or you really would rather not eat them then by all means you should not eat them!

While some people may view me as a health nut and I may still bring my own kids healthy snacks places and pack lunches it does not mean I will NEVER give them non organic food or treats. There is a balance and that is what I want to teach my kids. A healthy lifestyle. Not a “diet” and I definitely don’t want them to get an eating disorder. There is a time for celebratory food and there is a time for good real food. Finding that balance is key. And teaching it to our children is even more important then ever. I am a huge advocate of teaching others to make healthy choices, to eat real food and keep the treats for special occasions. But Orthorexia Nervosa? It’s not something you want to have.

“So let’s keep a sense of proportion: If you prefer to eat mostly organic, preservative- chemical- and antiobiotic-free foods (as I do!) and think that many overly processed foods are not foods at all (as I do!) it still doesn’t mean you have to follow those principles 100% of the time. That’s just perfectionism, obsession, orthorexia.

Trying to be perfect will make you crazy, in diet as elsewhere in life.

Lighten up a little. Be gentler with yourself. Food, no matter how pure, cannot fill the space in your soul that longs for love and spiritual experience. If you are trying to use it for this purpose, you may have gone astray on your journey. “   –Steven Bratman MD  (He wrote a great post about it and I couldn’t have said it better myself). Learn More about Orthorexia Nervosa HERE on his website.

How about you? Have you experienced this in your life?

 

 

{ 2 comments }

You know when you listen to a song and you just want listen to it over and over because it just touches you in some way. Well this is what this song does for me. I want to introduce you all to this awesome young woman named Talisa Macias. She is a talented singer whose main goal is to communicate the love of Jesus through song and worship. Her voice is beautiful and we are so proud to call her family.  I wanted to share her voice with you all today because it will touch your heart and awaken your soul. You can hear her love and spirituality spoken through her words and I love that she is using her talent to help to inspire others.

Talisa actually entered this original song in a contest to be considered for a slot as a contest semifinalist!  Semifinalists selected by 89.7 KSGN are put to an online public vote from May 22 – June 4. Fans can vote up to once per day via Facebook. The top 3 vote-getters will be named finalists and may have their music featured on the 89.7 KSGN morning show.

The Grand Prize winner will be chosen by 89.7 KSGN to perform 1 song to open the Spirit West Coast Christian music festival on Friday, June 12, 2015.

Please help spread the word and vote for  her so se can get that chance to perform.  You can vote HERE on the KSGN website. She is currently in the lead so lets help her stay there!

This has already been such a great experience for her and I am of course excited for her to get the opportunity to be chosen to shine on this stage. No matter what happens we are so proud of Talisa and her shining example.

To connect with Talisa Macias:

Twitter

Instagram

Sound Cloud

{ 0 comments }

DISCLAIMER/ SUBMISSIONS