Sunday, December 29, 2013

Holiday Detox Superfoods! Get Your GGGGGGs!

Groovy Detox Superfoods are especially important while and after treating ourselves to so many treats! And who doesn't want to be healthy as they move into the new year?!

Healthy Foods that Begin with G
During the holidays it's nice to have some helpers on our side as we happily indulge (no guilt please!)!

Remember the letter G, and you'll be good to go!

GRAPEFRUIT and other citrus fruits are rich vitamin C, which travels through your body removing toxins!

GARLIC activates enzymes in the liver that filter junk out of our bodies!

Lots of fresh-you garlic recipes or what about Spicy Vodka Pasta -- Healthy Version?

GREENS such as spinach and kale and broccoli are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet!

Dr Oz's Tangy Green Drink

Pine Nut Kale Salad (You Might Never Cook Kale Again!)
Lemony Kale Pasta

GREEN TEA (hot or cold!) "Green tea's detoxifying properties have links to weight reduction and fat burning, and they can fight bacteria, liver disease, high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, and inflammatory bowel disease." -- from

Check out some green tea benefits!

GINGER helps relieve inflammation caused by toxins!

Try some No-Bake Carrot Cake or some of Dr Oz's Tangy Green Drink or Tasty Tofu Stir-Fry (Hubby Approved!)

Tasty Tofu Stir-Fry Contains garlic, spinach AND ginger!
COMMENTS: What did you indulge in this holiday season?  For me it was Christmas cookies!  Holy moly, more than I have have in the last few years! Very fun, but next year, I want to do better applying my savoring techniques!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Magic Reindeer Food

Magic Reindeer Food (popcorn, toasted pecans, salt, cinnamon)

Merry Christmas!  This is magical treat is basically popcorn, cinnamon, and toasted pecans. Delightful!

Magic Reindeer Feed

1/2 c or more popcorn kernels (use air popper)
1 c pecans
2 tsp cinnamon

Break pecans into smaller pieces and top with cinnamon.  Fill cookie sheet with single layer of nut pieces.  Set oven to 425 degrees and place pan of nuts in oven right away (while oven heating) and set a 10-minute timer.

Next, pop your kernels. Remove nuts from oven. Mist popcorn with just a spray or two of water (very little so not soggy) from a spray bottle. Combine popcorn and nuts, and shake in a covered container, and enjoy!

Reindeer, elves, Santa, and other children and adults will love this simple treat!

Here is a link from Christmas Letter Tips for a Magic Reindeer Food tag that you can print.  There is a cute poem that encourages kids to feed the reindeer and head to bed!  And here is one I made :)

COMMENTS: What treat do you leave out for Santa? Cookies and milk? Carrots and apples? Popcorn and pecans? I wish you a wonderful holiday!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Challenge #4: Floss for HEART Health, and More!

Fresh-you Challenge #4 is to floss daily!  This simple healthy habit, shame on me, floats in and out of my daily routine.  Flossing is so important because there is a very possible link between oral health and HEART HEALTH, as well as with general OVERALL HEALTH.

The connections probably relate to bacteria, inflammation, and immune responses.  One study looking at these connections found that gingivitis and cavities predicted heart disease as well as cholesterol levels!

Take a look at the range of connections: endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, pregnancy and birth, Diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer's, Osteoporosis, and other conditions.

Theories and correlations have been studied and shared, although results and causes aren't definitive. Still, I am all for any habit that costs little, takes little time, and has no negative side effects.  Plus, there are these lovely benefits: healthy check-ups at the dentist, fresh breath, and a bright smile!


#3 Hydrate!
#2 Daily Exercise!
#1 Fresh Garlic!


Peridontal Disease and Heart Health: Brushing and Flossing May Actually Save Your Life by WebMD

Brush Your Teeth, Help Save Your Heart? by US News & World Report's Health

Oral Health: A Window to Your Overall Health by Mayo Clinic

Oral Health and Heart Health
COMMENTS: A toothpick reminds me of my step dad.  What "things" remind you of people you love?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Cool Kitchen Tips, Second Edition

  1. Slice POTATOES with an apple slicer!
  2. Easily get more LEMON JUICE from a lemon by first warming it in the microwave.
  3. For packing lunch or snack, slice an APPLE and put back together and hold that way with a rubber band!
  4. When PEANUT BUTTER jar is getting low, fill it with CELERY slices and you are ready for snack time!
  5. When HUMMUS container is low, fill it with VEGGIES for another to-go snack!
  6. Use dental FLOSS to slice cakes and soft cheeses!
  7. Re-use aluminum FOIL as a glassware scrubber!
  8. Salt and VINEGAR paste for water bottles and vases that you can't get to the bottom of to clean -- I haven't yet, and really want to try this!
  9. Put SALAD in a bowl with a paper towel on top and then cover in plastic wrap to keep crisp!
  10. Place NEWSPAPER in refrigerator to absorb odors.
  11. Remove mug stains by rubbing with a salted CITRUS peel!
  12. Remove dirt from LEAFY GREENS by soaking in a saltwater bath, then rinse well.
  13. Rub your hands with salt and VINEGAR, or rub them on stainless STEEL to rid your fingers of yucky onion smell!
  14. To remove wax or perhaps gum, cover spot with a sealed bag of ICE for 20 min.
  15. Erase crayon with BAKING SODA.
  16. Clean a cutting board with half a LEMON.
Quick and Easy Kitchen Tips and Tricks

Many tips came from as well as Real Simple Magazine's website.  Thank you!

COMMENTS: Please feel free to share your tips -- everyone has little tricks that we could all use!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gift Ideas: Groovy Gadgets I'd Love to Give a Go!

Christmas Gift Ideas for the Kitchen :)

Here are some items that I either love or would love to have! From dessert, to dinner, to bread making -- there is something for you :)

To see how cool it is, watch this Yonanas video!  Thank you Marne, for showing me this awesomeness!
Yonanas Ice Cream Maker
This ice cream maker gets great reviews for only $25t!  I don't have a traditional ice cream maker or a Yonanas, so if you do, I would love to see your recommendation in the comments :)

#3 Spiral Vegetable Slicer
More wonderful reviews and it's only 31! This slicer opens up many possibilities!
Spiral Vegetable Slicer

#4 Belgian Waffle Baker
So fun, but again I don't have one! Perhaps a Christmas present?  Again, this one gets great reviews for only $26!
Belgian Waffle Baker

This was a lovely gift from my hubby who knows what I want before I even ask!  Works beautifully! Pan and Lid (More wonderful reviews of course :) )
Lodge Panini Pan (Press Lid, sold separately)

#6 A Food Dehydrator is always on the list of things I'd like to own and try!

#7 My Breadmaker  is AMAZING!  Another fantastic gift from my man!  It looks like there are many bread makers that are much less expensive with high ratings, but I can only speak for the one I own.  It is SO easy and my bread comes out beautifully!!!

So far, and I've had this for almost a year, I just make whole wheat bread (sometimes with basil, cocoa, or cinnamon), pizza dough, and this SWEET AND SMOOTH BANANA BREAD!

I am a member of the Amazon Associates program, so if you happen to buy any of these items, or even click on the links for them, Amazon may pay me something, so you'll be supporting :)  Thank you!

COMMENTS:  Have you ever looked deep into the sea? Check out these amazing animals with their crazy shapes, and abilities to light up AND change shape, color, texture, size ... pretty much transform from one thing to another: Underwater Astonishments video from :)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Samoas Bites (Healthy Version of the Girl Scout Cookies)

These were a big hit at my nutrition class last night! Thanks ladies for being open-minded to open your mouths to so many new foods and combinations :) This is a healthy version of Samoas Girl Scout cookies so healthy that you could eat them for breakfast! I've enjoyed Samoas Girl Scouts Cookies long before I labeled myself as a person who likes coconut.  Here you go!

Samoas Bites (Healthy Version of the Girl Scout Cookies)

1-3/4 c walnuts
1 c raisins, unsweetened
1/2 c cocoa, unsweetened
1/2 c rolled oats, we use Old Fashioned
1/6 c chia seeds
1/3 c water
1/2 c coconut, shredded, unsweetened, plus extra for outer coating :)

Blend all but the coconut in a food processor for a minute, then add coconut. Process until mixture comes together as a dough. Transfer to plastic bag and form into balls. Roll in shredded coconut to add a bit of fanciness :)


As often as possible, I try to choose unprocessed, plant foods, so coconut is in the mix. Unsweetened, shredded coconut provides a unique FLAVOR and some FIBER. However, the jury is still out regarding the health benefits. While there are endless lists of all that coconut can do for you, they aren't always backed by scientific data. Due to saturated fat content, reliable sources even put coconut in the same category as animal fat. Since animal products have many other harmful components, I would definitely limit meat well before I would limit coconut. On the other hand, there is no need to try to learn to like coconut in an attempt to be healthy. If you enjoy the taste, choose UNSWEETENED, and appreciate it!

There are plenty of awesome fats that are especially HEALTHY, which include nuts, seeds (especially chia and ground flaxseeds), and avocados!  WHY EAT HEALTHY FATS!

Unfortunately, when choosing which "butter-type" fats to consume, there doesn't seem to be a magic bullet, a best option. While all are saturated, options include COCONUT butter, EARTH BALANCE BUTTERY SPREAD, and EARTH BALANCE VEGAN BUTTERY STICKS. Always use as little as possible, treat as a treat.

Here is an interesting Huffington Post article by Dr Katz, director or Yale Prevention Research Center: Is All Saturated Fat the Same? which provides a sort of "history of macronutrient trends".

Friday, November 22, 2013

1-Minute Roasted Almond and Broccoli Slaw

Ever since I tried a yummy sample at Trader Joe's, I have been wanting to try something like this. Considering almonds are one of the bests nuts you can eat and broccoli is one of the best veggies, they are a super combo!

It's more of a summery dish, but that hasn't stopped me from enjoying this broccoli slaw all day!

Roasted Almond Broccoli Salad

4 c fresh broccoli
1 c roasted almonds
1/4 c balsamic or rice wine vinegar
1/4 c raisins, unsweetened (suprisingly Dole sweetens raisins!)
1 apple

In a food processor, pulse all ingredients for just a quick minute or so, and enjoy! 


  • This salad becomes more flavorful the longer it sits.
  • This becomes an easy and complete meal, and tastes delicious, when combined with some brown rice (this combination grain is awesome!) and some garbanzo beans.
  • If you aren't craving a cold salad, this dish is tasty warm.

COMMENTS: What is your favorite way to eat broccoli?  My kids like it frozen!  I love it in this stir-fry, and this post's recipe is my new favorite way to eat raw broccoli!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Top 5 Whole Foods Market Bargains!

These organic, whole wheat 365 tortillas with just a few ingredients are great!  Watch out for hydrogenated oils in MANY brands of tortillas!  Make Sense of Bread Labels

Organic kefir for only $3.99 is less than I would expect! Check out Crazy for Kefir! for benefits.

Organic is better than conventional, but I recommend NON-DAIRY versions!!!

Nutritional yeast is a great deal in the bulk section of Whole Foods Market! For benefits and uses: Savory Cheese Substitute (Soy-Free and Dairy Free)!

Dried beans from Whole Foods win the prize for an insane variety!  There are loads!  Our favorites are still black, pinto, kidney, garbanzo, white, adzuki, and lentils.  They have gone up in price in the last few years, but are still a huge deal compared to canned!  Lucky 7 Sweet Things about Dried Beans, Plus Homemade Refried Beans, and Bean Conversions

And the MOST AMAZING DEAL OF ALL: bulk spices, virtually all ORGANIC!  For a small fraction of what you would pay at other grocery stores.  Heck, you can even compare prices to those prepackaged spices at Whole Foods Market to really see your savings!

COMMENTS: Please share your favorites when you shop at Whole Foods Market!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Lucky Seven New Costco Eats!

Kirkland Organic Natural peanut butter disappeared after the Salmonella peanut scare a few years back.  Finally it's BACK, more expensive than before, but only $3.42/lb for organic peanuts!  Thanks, Melissa, for letting me know...about the cashews too!  Nut Butters are Neat-O!

The new thing here is that these Kirkland cashews are UNSALTED!  Even if you like some salt, you can buy some of each and mix them up, for half the salt!  Eat for Energy -- Whole Grains and Nuts -- Top 6 Reasons!

Antioxidant Solutions Fresh Frozen Triple Cherry Blend is unsweetened and delicious.  These literally seem to melt in my mouth!  Lucky 7 Sipping Suggestions!

Great Valley Healthy Expectations Multigrain Rice Blends Whole Grain Fusion (whew!) is a delicious grain that can be eaten with your favorite veggies, beans, or meat, or even all alone.  When this is cooking, my whole house SMELLS fabulous!  What's SO Big about Brown Rice?!

Tasty Bite Channa Masala is another great dish that can be made in a hurry!  Note the ingredients: onions, water, chickpeas, tomatoes, sunflower oil, coriander, garlic, ginger, salt, mango powder, spices, chilies, bay leaf, turmeric. Everything you could go buy at the store and your second grader could read!  Delicious on the rice above!  If you don't use the microwave, easily warm it on the stove!  There are other brands that have healthy, yummy, quick versions of Indian dishes (but they often have dairy :(...)!

Ah, to end with some sweetness!  These Kirkland Dark Chocolate Super Fruits are fabulous!  The best part is the chocolate that they are made from!  These are a great substitute for an old favorite of my Brookside Foods which provides no information about where their chocolate comes from on its website, so considering my new knowledge of Fair Trade Chocolate, I am happy to go with a product that highlights this information on the packaging!  Details below!

"Costco Wholesale has co-created an ongoing program to develop a more ethical and sustainable cocoa supply.  Our goal is to procure cocoa beans that are traceable, of high quality, and grown in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.

What does this mean for the cocoa farmers and their families? It means they get fair prices for their high quality cocoa beans. It means they learn better skills for managing their farms through pre- and post- harvest training.

This program is bringing about improved community infrastructure, farmer livelihoods, education, and healthcare." 
COMMENTS: Do you remember the Amy Mihaljevic abduction and murder?  It happened in the town beside mine, Bay Village, and was all totally unbelievable when it was happening and since.  She was my age.  Well, James Renner was also a kid then, and a few years ago, he investigated the whole unsolved mystery. He wrote Amy: My Search for Her Killer, Secrets, Secrets and Suspects in the Unsolved Murder of Amy Mihaljevic. I'm not done reading it, but I am intrigued and am quickly making by way through it, and only wish there could be a happy ending!  Apparently, James is STILL looking...I'm going to finish the book before I read this!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Dental X-Rays?

Dental X-Rays and Brain Tumors
Have you heard about limiting exposure to radiation?  It's something we can do to protect ourselves from CANCER.  Then there are those routine dental x-rays. I am normally all for preventative health practices, but this one was always a struggle for me.  Until now!  I was happily surprised to learn that even the American Dental Association does NOT recommend ROUTINE (every 6 months or every year) x-rays.  American Dental Association updated their recommendations on dental x-rays last year (Dec 2012).  Here it is:

The ADA’s "Dental Radiograph Examinations: Recommendations for Patient Selection and Limiting Radiation Exposure" are intended to be used in conjunction with dentists’ professional judgment to determine whether and when dental X-rays are needed. Dental X-rays help dentists evaluate and diagnose oral diseases and conditions, but the ADA recommends that dentists weigh the benefits of taking dental X-rays against the possible risk of exposing patients to the radiation from X-rays, the effects of which can accumulate from multiple sources over time.
"As doctors of oral health, dentists are in the best position to make decisions on whether to prescribe dental X-rays after an oral examination and with consideration of the patient’s health history. Prescribing dental X-rays should be an individualized process," said ADA President Robert A. Faiella, D.M.D., M.M.Sc. Since 1989, the ADA has recommended the ALARA principle in relation to dental X-rays—that radiation exposure to patients is "as low as reasonably achievable."

Here Dr Greger has a quick and informative video reviewing research on dental x-rays and brain tumors.

So if you pretty much have healthy oral hygiene and healthy teeth, I AND the AMERICAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION, recommend you pass on x-rays at your next check up!  SAVE YOUR BRAIN, and you might even save some money! There is a time and place when a dental x-ray may be helpful, so when you need one, be sure that there is a THYROID COVER (like the usual chest cover).

COMMENTS: Do you like to go to the dentist?  We actually don't mind it all in my house!  The kids go to a pediatric dentist, Rebecca Robbins, and everything about the visit is fun, fun, fun!  When we left the house yesterday morning, my son said after I brushed his teeth, "Is Dr Robbins going to be proud?".  The office that takes care of my hubby and I, Klineman Group, is very welcoming, friendly, gentle, and respectful!  We all look forward to our visits.  It probably also helps that we are a cavity-free family :)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Chocolate Milk = White Milk + CANDY

The message is simple.

Kids love CHOCOLATE MILK.  Who doesn't?  Unfortunately, when your child chooses chocolate instead of white milk (at school lunch for example), he or she is actually choosing white milk PLUS lots of added sugar (13g)!

This sugar adds and extra 60 CALORIES or so!

That amount of sugar (13g) equals any of the following:

A TABLESPOON of sugar (12g)
13 Skittles (1g each)
Nearly half a cup of chocolate ice cream (15g) Ben and Jerry's is transitioning ALL of their products to be used by fair trade ingredients by the end of 2013
2 rolls of Smarties (6g each)
2 or 3 small Laffy Taffy bars ~ the 2 inch kind (5g each)
1 and a half or so small boxes of Nerds! (9g each)
9 Gobstoppers (14g)
1 Fruit Roll-Up (14g)
4 Hershey's Bliss Dark Chocolate squares (13g) OR Divine Dark Chocolates!
7 Dark Chocolate-Covered pretzel Crisps (13g)

Similarly, it takes up to four oranges to make one cup of orange juice.  The whole fruit (or whole candy even!) are much more satisfying!  So you can eat less, a square or two of dark chocolate, and get more satisfaction!  SAVOR YOUR SWEETS

I am not recommending your child eat a box of Nerds every day. When he or she chooses chocolate milk, that child is in fact having the extra sugar of more than a small box of Nerds!

Show and explain this to your kids!  What do they think?

It makes my kids lick their lips and know why they love chocolate milk!  Since my oldest started kindergarten, we've had a "chocolate milk on Fridays" plan.  Often she has given in to the yumminess, AND peer pressure ("My friend was having it, and wanted me to have it too!), having chocolate milk lots of other days!  Now I have another kindergartener, I am actually showing both of them that if they have chocolate milk it's like having that candy.  They know that candy is a treat, not something we always have every day.  I'm giving them a square of dark chocolate or some other piece of candy more often than I have in the past, and they are coming home telling me "I had white milk today!".  That chocolate ice cream comparison is pretty wild, eh?  I served them a scoop one afternoon last week after school!  SO much more satisfying and fun!

UPDATE: NO ONE IN MY HOUSE even drinks WHITE COW'S MILK NOW, and the kids have been drinking almond milk INSTEAD for the last few years, and my husband has been drinking almond milk instead for the past year (since Feb 2016). This message comparing white and chocolate ALMOND milk still applies. Chocolate Almond Milk is a treat!! Enjoy :)

If we are honest with our kids and teach them about how different foods may help and harm us, they can learn to make better decisions ON THEIR OWN that can last a lifetime!


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