Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Cookie Dough Part II

So, this is what's trending in my house these days ... no bake cookie dough.

I know, not what you expect from a serious veggie fan but everyone needs their dose of the sweet stuff, especially good when you make it yourself and you know what's in it!  Even better when you feel like the sweet tooth is satisfied but you haven't over-indulged!

I have a rough time with those gourmet jelly beans this time of year!  It seriously brings me back to my days as a sugar junkie ... but this time I enjoyed just a few and put them away.  And I haven't gone back.  They're in my line of vision ... and I am ok with that :)  Bring on the Peeps!  I could care less about them but my family ... they would inhale them if I kept them around! 

Ok, so this recipe is super easy and will keep you happy without too much in the empty calorie department.  I swear no one in my house even thought there were garbanzo beans in these!

No-Bake Chickpea Cookie Dough

prep time:  10 mins
servings:  20

 1 cup of canned garbanzo beans/chick peas
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
2 Tablespoons agave nectar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Blend chickpeas, peanut butter, agave nectar and vanilla in a blender.  Empty into a bowl and fold in chocolate chips.  Roll into desired size.  Keep covered in refrigerator or freezer to keep fresh.

note:  if you are using natural peanut butter ... you may want to thin the dough with about a tablespoon of warm water.  It will be much drier than if you use a conventional peanut butter with added oil.  If you use a peanut butter such as Skippy Natural it will be easier to combine.

*recipe from allrecipes.com


Nutrition Facts
Servings 20.0
Amount Per Serving
Calories 88
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5 g 7 %
Saturated Fat 2 g 8 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 g 0 %
Sodium 29 mg 1 %
Potassium 24 mg 1 %
Total Carbohydrate 9 g 3 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g 4 %
Sugars 6 g
Protein 3 g 5 %
Vitamin A 0 %
Vitamin C 0 %
Calcium 0 %
Iron 7 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.                                            

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Old Grain for the New Season

 Seasonal Salad 

This is a grain most people know nothing about ... farro!  I love it because of it's health benefits (see bottom*), but also because it holds flavor well and there are so many things you can do with it.  I happened to have broccoli and pineapple in the fridge and love that combo but needed to dress it up with some flavor so I added lots of ginger, soy and sesame oil - the crushed pepper is just enough to kick it up and throw in some beans or even some almonds, pumpkin seeds and you have a well balanced carb/protein salad.  Great for athletes and moms of athletes!!

Have fun!  Let me hear back if you make some different combinations that work for you!


Pineapple Broccoli Farro Salad

  • 0.5 cup, uncooked farro
  • 1.0 cup, Vegetable Broth
  • 1.0 cup, Pineapple - Raw, all varieties
  • 1.0 cup, Broccoli - Raw
  • 0.5 cup, Garbanzo Beans (Drained and Rinsed)
  • 1.0 tbsp, fresh grated ginger 
  • 2.0 Tbsp, Tamari Premium Soy Sauce - Reduced Sodium
  • 1.0 tbsp, Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1.0 tbsp, Organic Raw Blue Agave Sweetener
  • 0.25 tsp, Crushed Red Peppers


  1. Combine 1/2 cup farro and 1 cup of vegetable broth in a sauce pan with a lid.  Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to low, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. 
  2. Remove from heat and let stand for a few minutes.  Fluff with fork.
  3. Combine ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, agave and crushed red pepper flakes in a small bowl.
  4. Add broccoli, garbanzo beans and pineapple to cooked farro.
  5. Mix dressing over the mixture.  Combine well.


*Health Notes on Farro:

Fiber Fix
A cup of faro has about 8 grams of cholesterol-lowering fiber. That's four times as much as white rice; brown rice weighs in at around 5 grams.
Chill Pill
Whole grains like farro are full of minerals, including magnesium, which may relieve tension and menstrual cramps.
Smart Carb
Farro's complex carbs break down slowly, keeping your energy level stable. The grain also has cyanogenic glucosides, a type of carb that may boost the immune system.

Have a fun filled, beautiful weekend!


Nutrition Facts
Servings 6.0
Amount Per Serving
Calories 116
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1 g 1 %
Saturated Fat 0 g 0 %

Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 g 0 %
Sodium 418 mg 17 %
Potassium 118 mg 3 %
Total Carbohydrate 28 g 9 %
Dietary Fiber 4 g 16 %
Sugars 6 g
Protein 5 g 9 %
Vitamin A 0 %
Vitamin C 62 %

Calcium 0 %
Iron 20 %

* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Monday, March 31, 2014

No Bake Cookie Dough Bites

Cookie Dough!!!

Oh yeah!  There is a guilty pleasure even writing the words ... it's hard to find anyone who doesn't know the joy of a spoon and a bowl.  Magical.

Of course if I did that now, my stomach would revolt and I'd pay for it later.  I love these easy recipes that give you a bit of the cookie dough treat along with some good ingredients (cashews and oats in this recipe)  to hold you steady instead of flying high on sugar and then crashing!  I get my fix and without the guilt and don't worry about the after thoughts of, "OMG that means I have to do a million miles on the treadmill!"

Yes, for the gluten free crowd, this is very doable!  Of course you can experiment with different grains, nut butters, fruit, chocolate bits ...

Wrap these up and put in your freezer for a quick fix or a pre-workout/post-workout snack for you or your young athletes!  Maybe even throw them in their lunches and they will become the rock stars of their lunch tables!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup chocolate chips

  • Combine cashews, oats, salt and cinnamon in a blender or food processor.  Pulse until a fine powder forms but be careful not to overprocess to cashew butter.
  • Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract to the mixture.  Pulse again until it forms a ball of dough.
  • Remove from blender/processor.  Use a butter knife to remove all of the dough.  Place into a small bowl and add the chocolate chips.  Mix chips gently to distribute.
  • Use 2 spoons to portion into whatever size dough balls you would like.  Place into a container to store in the freezer or fridge or take with you on the go. 
Have fun with your own creations!  I'd love to hear your combinations!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Frozen Coffee Protein Shake

It's that time of the day when you are hoping for a nap or someone bringing you a cuppa joe.  I love my freshly ground coffee in the morning and if the sun isn't shining at about pick up time from school, I feel really sloth-like.  However, the coffee belly is not for me in the afternoon so I came up with this super quick smoothie/snack/booster.  I love it and don't get the upset stomach and of course just 4 ounces of coffee thrown in along with some raw cacao powder, raw hemp powder and a scoop of chocolate protein powder ... you are set and ready to get those kids to their practices!

FYI ... people always ask me where they can buy the raw cacao powder and raw hemp powder.  I bought mine at the local health food store, however I now see them at grocery stores and of course you can always find it online.

Frozen Coffee Protein Shake

8 oz. unsweetened almond milk
4 oz. brewed coffee
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 Tablespoon raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon raw hemp powder
handful of ice cubes

Blend away!

note:  you can add peanut butter, almond butter, hazelnut butter, etc if you wish.  I try to keep it as simple as possible as I don't need any extra sugar at this time of the day!  Also, contact me if you're in need of a great protein powderI am a distributor of Juice Plus Complete.  It comes in both french vanilla and dutch chocolate.

Antigua ...

Got a great big dose of vitamin D and happiness last week!

Antigua flowers
 At breakfast one day last week, I found my way to the smoothie bar!  Just checking to see what they had ... melons of all kinds, bananas, coconut, raw oats, local honey, peanut butter, yogurt, milk, soy milk, skim milk.  I of course had to share my love of greens to them.  I thought they rolled their eyes when I left, but lo and behold, I went back the next day and they had it for me!  Granted it was frozen spinach as I didn't see a single fresh spinach leaf there all week, but they asked me how to make one.  So cool!  Hopefully they are spreading the green happiness to new guests this week!

ps ... I found another favorite green drink there ... frozen mojitos!  Serious mint muddling going on in these drinks!

Be Well!

Have Fun!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Pulled Chicken

For the busy mommaletes out there ... 

Here you go ... yes another slow cooker!  But it's still cold here and for some reason that makes me stay with the warm meals that cook themselves.  Sorry, that's how I roll these days.  Easy makes me happy!

Spent the weekend with my family in Virginia because that's where my daughter's tournament was ... the nicest kind of tournament is when you get to be in someone's home ... and thank you Ellen and Chris ... you are so destined to host us again next year!  So thankful!

For the picky eaters in your house ...


Shredded Chicken

2 pounds of chicken breasts
1/2 onion
salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon
1 cup chicken broth

This pulled chicken can be made ahead for a few days of meals ... read through to the bottom of the page.  Use boneless breasts or on the bone.  Feel free to make more than 2 pounds!  You can start them from the freezer ... no defrosting necessary.  Yay!

  1. Slice 1/2 onion and put into microwave safe bowl with about 1/2 cup water.
  2. Microwave for 30 seconds to release flavors.
  3. Add onion to slow cooker along with the water.
  4. Add 1 cup of chicken broth to onions and stir.
  5. Lay the chicken breasts over the onion mixture.  
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.  Turn over and season again.
  7. Squeeze lemon juice over chicken.
  8. Turn on low for 6-8 hours or high for the same time if you started with frozen chicken.
  9. Remove lid and shred chicken using two forks.
You can use pulled chicken in many ways.  If you'd like to try bbq pulled sandwiches, here is a simple sauce you can combine and cook about 30 minutes before serving on the stove and add to the slow cooker.  Use the amount you feel is best.  I like to "under-do" rather than "over-do" as you can always add more sauce.

BBQ Sauce:
12 oz bbq sauce
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup basalmic dressing
2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce

Other Uses for Shredded Chicken:

There are so many uses but here is a quick go to list:
  • quesadillas
  • soups
  • tacos
  • pasta salads
  • stir fry
  • sandwiches
  • paninis 
Are your athletes getting enough protein?  If they seem to be carb loaders and you'd like to add some protein, have a plate of chicken at the ready in your fridge ... you'll be surprised how it comes in handy.  

My favorite kind of planning is to make more than we need and just reinvent it the next night.  Got my extra chicken ready for tomorrow ... so easy!

Back to the field we go ...

 Enjoy your brighter days!  3 more days to Spring!

In Wellness,

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Spring Sports in the Air ...

What a long, long season it's been ... 

way too long in my book but I hear the birds getting busy and see the sunlight  changing ... it's coming people!  Two weeks from today we have the official first day of spring!

If you're a mom of an athlete who plays a year round sport that is getting ready to get back to the fields, you may have an insane looking calendar looking you in the face right now.  For me, this week is kinda the calm before the storm.  Although it has been normally busy for the kids, it's going to get really challenging for them starting this weekend.

I'll be honest - I've been a bit on the lazy side this winter in regards to pushing the veggies at them every day.  I am ready now to get them fully loaded with more plants than they're used to as I see a difference in myself when I get lazy and don't get my plants in me!

Why am I posting about veggies and fruits?  The suggested amount for kids is 7-9 servings of veggies and fruits.  If they're endurance athletes the suggested amount is 13 servings or more!   That's a lot for most of our kids!  But here's the deal ... it is worth it for them to get these valuable phytonutrients in their bodies!  *see note at bottom

Kids who play sports demand a lot of their growing bodies.  The athletes who are playing back to back games are demanding even more of their bodies.  When the muscle cells are weakened because of excess physical demands, stress or emotional depletion, they are unable to absorb the oxygen needed to refuel and will not be able to perform the way they know they are capable of.  This oxidative damage is something that has been written about by the sports and science community for some time, but it is something that can be addressed with diet and nutrition.


So what's a parent to do with kids who are under lots of pressure to do well and feel like they are tired much of the time?

Fuel them up with some simple food that is not that hard to get ... at least those snacks between games that you might want to add to the bag of tricks they bring with them.

  • sliced oranges, clementines
  • apples 
  • bananas
  • cut up melon
  • carrot sticks, celery or any other veggie they can pick at
  • frozen grapes
  • trail mix that is limited in chocolate
  • raw almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds
  • strawberries
  • yogurt with fruit
  • string cheese and crackers
  • plain pasta with a bit of olive oil and sprinkling of cheese 
You'll notice everything on this list is easily digestible.  There is nothing fried.  Just simple, easy food that will give their bodies energy with the added phytonutrients to help refuel for the next game. 

*note:  if your children are not getting the 7-9 plus servings of fruits and vegetables everyday, let me know.  I would love to let you in on the miracle whole food supplement we have used in our house for some time and love!  Capsules or chewables offer 17 different fruits, vegetables and grains every single day. 


Here to a strong and beautiful spring!
Much gratitude,

We are so ready to say hello to spring!  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tenderloin in the Crock

This is so good.  So, so good, your family will be psyched the minute the smell the awesome aroma when they walk in the door. 

I'm not a big meat and potatoes kind a girl, but my family is, and I have to say, I think it's one of those comfort foods we love on a Monday night.  So instead of meatless Monday, I do comfort food Monday and leave the meat out on at least 1 other day each week. 

I'm also not a pork eating girl but my family loves pork chops (if I can find humanely raised organic pork), so when we were out at Fairway last week right after Hannah got her braces off,  I spotted an organic pork loin, and grabbed it as they do get tired of the same chicken and turkey and occasional beef every week.  So here is a recipe I found and you really have to try it.  You can use any kind of meat I believe, but here it is with pork.

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin 

Serves 6-8

total time:  4 hours 5 mins

  • 1 2-3 pound boneless pork tenderloin
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup basalmic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1  tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced


1.  Place the pork tenderloin in the slow cooker.  Mix together all the remaining ingredients.  Pour over the pork and set the timer.  4 hours on high or 6-8 on low.
2.  After the pork has cooked, remove from slow cooker and pull apart.
3.  Serve sauce over each serving.

Done.  Sorry no pictures as we ate it up really fast as it was time to get to the next practice.  Suggestion:  serve over mashed potatoes (I actually got a "this is really good mom" comment from both kids and rave reviews from Bry).

Check out my new bracelets ...

Love this!  You can check out her shop:


You get to design your own creations with choices of straps, plates, and of course what words you'd like to look at on your wrist.  She's only open a few days at a time during certain months so check it out as she's open next week for four days!

Have fun!


Welcome to my Blog!

Thanks for visiting my blog ... I decided to write it as there were many concerned friends and family that needed to learn about this phase of my life - leading up to surgery on February 8th. I have now had the surgery and am recovering here at home. I love all your comments! They make me smile and I am so truly inspired by them! I can not believe how much support there is out there...it matters so much to us! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!