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Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumkin Seeds!!

Growing up, my favorite part about Halloween was carving the pumpkin and roasting the seeds.  I am excited to pass this tradition on too my kids.  With all the candy from trick or treating, it’s nice to have other exciting things for my kids to eat that are nutritious.  My daughter had a blast pulling all the gooey stuff from the pumpkins and even more fun separating the seeds from it. 
Pumpkin seeds have many health benefits.  When scientists started researching the oil found in pumpkin seeds, they found that the oil kept hormones from inflicting damage on the cells of the prostate, helping to reduce cancer development.   Studies also show them helping to prevent hardening of the arteries and help regulate cholesterol levels!
Studies have shown pumpkin seeds to improve bladder and urethra function, and have thought to help stop kidney stones from forming.  These small seeds also contain a significant amount of L-tryptophan, which studies have shown to be beneficial in preventing depression!    Still yet, more studies have shown pumpkin seeds to be somewhat of a “brain food” helping to treat some learning disorders.  In addition, they are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and numerous health promoting antioxidants.
In our family we always ate the whole seed.  If using it on a salad or in a soup we would take the shell off but to just snack on we ate the whole thing.  What is your personal preference, eating the whole seed or taking he shell off?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What To Do With Spaghetti Squash!

This weekend we took trip to a local farmers market.  We got monster zucchinis, which I am in the process of shredding and freezing for zucchini bread, butternut squash, which is perfect for my butternut bisque, and spaghetti squash, which I am still experimenting with.  Such wonderful vegetables for even better prices!!

I needed to think of a way to use the spaghetti squash.  I had a whole chicken in the freezer so I thawed it overnight, cut some fresh rosemary and thyme from my herb pot, stuffed it in the chicken and put it in the slow cooker on high for 5 hours.  It was falling off the bone and smelled so good!  

Next to cook the spaghetti squash.  I cut it in half, remove all the seeds, placed it upside down on a cookie sheet with enough water on to cover the bottom.  Baked it at 350 degrees for about an hour, or until you can easily pierce the outside skin.  When you take it out and flip it over, use a fork to scrape the insides out.  It looks like thin spaghetti noodles.  I seasoned it up a little at this point with a little sea salt, pepper and garlic powder.  

To assemble my plate, spaghetti squash, then chicken, topped with corn, black beans and fresh chopped tomatoes.  Very good!!  There are so many ways you can change this up to fit what your family likes and a perfect way to use leftover chicken and vegetables!   And, the kids loved it!! 

 How do you eat your spaghetti squash??

Friday, October 21, 2011

Overwhelmed Gluten Free Mommy

When we first got the news of our daughter having Celiac and needing to go Gluten free it was an immediate panic moment.  Even though I myself had gotten this news months earlier, my baby having to deal with this was another story.  Where do I start?  In that moment I had two choices…

 #1: Go to the store and buy all the Gluten Free comfort foods I could find and make my child happy with her new gluten free life.  

#2:  Take a step back and remember what is most import to me as a mom… and that is making sure my children are healthy for life. 

 I lost my mother to breast Cancer and many other relatives to lifestyle diseases and I am not about to be another page in that book.  I learned three things right away when I went gluten free.

#1:  A Gluten Free lifestyle does not mean Healthy.  

#2:  Gluten Free is a Market just like Sugar Free and it is hit HARD by media. 

#3:  Being educated in essential to protect my family.

I know you may be overwhelmed… and I know it is very easy to just start buying all that processed gluten free/allergy free food even though it is extremely expensive.  However, I want to encourage you to take this news as an opportunity to create an amazingly fun and healthy life for your family.  You now have a reason and a very powerful why that could change your life for the better.   You could be liberated by your new restrictions or you can choose to be emotionally locked up by them.  Take it one day at a time and I hope you will join me in taking a Gluten Free Journey… The Healthy Edge Way.  Three things to start applying today…

#1: Get a separate toaster for gluten free items…   Only use that toaster for Gluten Free and keep it away from your other toaster.

#2: Oatmeal must say Gluten Free or it has Gluten…  Any package that does not say “Gluten Free”, check out online before you buy it.

#3: Keep it simple for now…  Whole foods are very nutritious, easy, and I promise your family will not starve. 
Get some of my favorite Gluten free recipes at www.cupfullofrecipes.com .  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kiwi Fruits: Packed Full of Natural Goodness!!

I was at the store this week and the kiwi fruits were calling my name!  Once I had the kids down for their nap I cut one in half, got a spoon and ate it right out of the peel! WOW!  I forgot how good they are.  

Kiwi fruits are a wonderful source of Vitamin C, (actually more than oranges), Vitamin A and Vitamin E!  They also contain as much potassium as Bananas and have high fiber content.   Who knew that those little brown fuzzy things could be packed with so much natural goodness!

An interesting fact that I did not know is studies have shown Kiwi fruits to have benefits to the respiratory tract, especially in children.  These studies showed a decrease in wheezing and coughing (asthma) in children who were fed 5-7 portions a week of citrus and kiwifruits.  

Rich in antioxidants and enzymes, and sweet tasting, kiwi fruits make a wonderful snack with many health benefits!

Try making a smoothie with Kiwi fruit, strawberries and a banana.  Quick, healthy and DELICIOUS!  What do you like to do with Kiwi fruits?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Throw Your Vitamins Away! You MAY DIE!

Did you hear the breaking  news that multi-vitamins may shorten your life? I literally stopped everything I was doing to listen to this report on the news...I was SICK to my stomach. The main reason is the fact that SO MANY people listening to the news are SO QUICK to believe the media's opinion when it comes to our health and our family's health. THIS IS DANGEROUS!  It's time to start asking questions about the information we are being fed and STOP buying into the idea that everything the media says is truth. Much of this data below is taken from the Alliance for Natural Healing, USA.

The truth behind this "VITAMIN/DEATH" study, published by the AMA's (American Medical Association) Archives of Internal Medicine is that the test was conducted with 39,000 women whose average age was 62. The researchers ASKED the women to fill out THREE SELF-REPORTED SURVEYS in 1986, 1997 and 2004.  In this survey they reported what supplements they took, what foods they ate and answered a few questions about their health. That's it people! So, the survey could have literally been what they took THAT DAY as well as what they ATE that day...

Let's just stop there. Are you telling me that this data that is being broadcasted all over the news is based on a 3 self-reported surveys over the course of 19 years and is only addressing what a person ate and what supplements they took? Talk about unreliable and absolutely unscientific.

The researchers then looked at how many women died by 2008. They reported a number of deaths were somewhat higher for women who took copper, a little bit lower for women who took calcium, but about average for most women. Again, they made these conclusions about their death based on what 3 self-reported surveys said about supplements and food. What the ??? In the study, all of the relative risks were so low as to be statistically insignificant and none was backed up by any medical investigation of biological plausibility study. No analysis was done on what combinations of vitamins and minerals were actually consumed, the quality of the supplements and ALL of the other compounding risk factors that go on over 19 years of your life.

Multivitamin can mean many different things and over 19 years, imagine how much change had occurred in the nutritional supplement world. There is a BIG difference between high quality pharmaceutical grade supplements and low quality. There is also the question of synthetic versus natural...not necessarily that synthetic is BAD or natural is GOOD, but is the form of the vitamin/mineral able to be absorbed and utilized by the body? How much of each nutrient were taken? Were they really taken consistently or at all? Diets fluctuate tremendously over 19 years and none of this is able to be captured in 3 surveys over the course of 19 years.

I am a HUGE supporter of taking high quality supplements to counteract stress, pollution and the deficiencies found in our food supply. I have personally FELT the difference between a high quality product and a product that ends up in my bowel movements. This study is dangerous, because it is being used by the media and MAINSTREAM medical establishment to bring scrutiny to the nutritional supplement industry. 

My hope for you is that you are more about being proactive in your health than reactive. There are literally THOUSANDS of studies on the benefits of vitamins and minerals in a person's lifestyle and their are companies out there that are based on SOLID scientific research who are committed to supporting people in living the healthiest life possible. I attribute MUCH of my health to how our eat and the quality supplements I put into my body.  The decision I made to choose the products I take was based asking the right questions and not selling my health to the lowest bidder or what is "Doctors Recommended".  I suggest that you do the same in your health...our health is too precious to depend on the opinions and heresy of others.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Picky Morning Eater!

This morning, and most mornings, my little girl came down the stairs saying mommy I want cereal.  Every morning I try to get her to have something besides cereal!  My son will eat about whatever I give him, whether it is eggs, oatmeal, a banana or just toast with a little jelly on it.  But not my daughter!  Cereal and waffles are about the only thing she wants.  

I have been reading many different blogs lately and I am getting some very good ideas for my picky little eater!  My favorite is making a buffet and letting the kids pick what they want.  So this morning I gave this a whirl and it worked AWESOME!!  She always loves helping me in the kitchen so I told her what her options were and we made her own oatmeal recipe!  Why did I not think of this earlier!  It is such a simple idea! I am more of a take charge, make it and expect that they will eat it.  Giving her the power to make it how she wanted saved the fighting over just getting her to try it!  

           Ryleigh's Oatmeal

           Little bit of Honey

Does anyone else use this trick on their picky eater??

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