Saturday, June 29, 2013

Duck Tape to the Rescue!

This is a quick one about the latest DUCK TAPE miracle!

This photo is by Travis Kincaid Photography (  Thank you Travis!

My grandpa who used Duck Tape for EVERYTHING would be so proud of my new trick! It provides protection from blisters, calluses, and other foot cuts during exercise, or anytime!

The SHORT of it:

Put some tape over any area that may become irritated and off you go!

The LONG of it:

I used to put several Band-Aids on my feet to avoid predictable CUTS during long runs wearing barefoot shoes (Vibram KSOs)  -- I'll spare you a pic! As soon as I came across the tape idea I had to try it! After a 16-mile run, I am happy to report completely unharmed feet! AMAZING!

Second successful use! After a 3-year hiatus from playing SOCCER (for good reasons, but boy have I missed it!), I finally jumping back in! I got blood blisters where I used to have CALLUSES. The next week, I applied some Duck Tape to the non-callused area, and viola, my feet were perfectly unharmed after 90 minutes of soccer!

I totally trust it will work, though I haven't tested this one. Makes me a tiny bit excited to get a BLISTER! Cut a piece of paper to cover the blister (so tape doesn't break blister) and then attach with Duck Tape. Apparently, this relieves blister pain immediately!

BONUS: you can make an agility latter with Duck Tape and save $50! Don't have enough pockets in your running shorts? Tape endurance gel packs wherever you want for a long run! Plus, 99 other ways to use duct tape from the Marine Corps Times!

BONUS BONUS: both names (duck and duct) are used, and have been for ages! Duct refers to its most common use as a sort of "tubing tape". Duck refers originally to the tape's water-resistance like on a duck's feet, and currently the brand of tape called DucK Tape (from Cleveland, OH!).

COMMENTS: What are your best duct tape uses? Do you ever use the color and patterned varieties? I once made some pretty red flowers with my daughters :) I stick to plain black for my feet, and save the interesting patterns for my kids!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Summertime Eggplant Pizza

This Eggplant Parm Pizza makes a wonderful meal, snack, or appetizer! Everybody loves it, and you can easily pack it for a family outing! Tastes great warm or cold!

Eggplant Parmesan Pizza

Prepare fresh-you Easy Eggplant Parm. Then, use prepared whole wheat pizza crust, such as Mama Mary's, Trader Joe's, or Boboli. OR make Basil Pizza Dough! (coming soon in another post)

Once you've cooked your eggplant for 45 min to an hour, remove from oven and cover pizza dough with eggplant, about 2-3 slices thick of eggplant. Use about half the pan off eggplant per pizza pie.

Follow baking instructions. OR for homemade dough, bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Basil dough recipe will make two pizzas.

Enjoy immediately hot, and leftovers cold!

The pizza dough replaces the pasta.

What a great meatless meal!

We love pizza!
Artichoke Pizza (coming soon)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Fantastic Feelings From Forgiveness

What can reduce anxiety and increase happiness and PEACE? Surprise, it's forgiveness!

Here are some benefits straight from the Mayo Clinic:

  • Healthier relationships
  • Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
  • Less anxiety, stress, and hostility
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fewer Symptoms of depression
  • Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse

Forgiveness for inner peace.

What does it mean? LET GO of a resentment, grudge, or bitterness toward someone who has hurt you. You are NOT justifying actions.

Think of a resentment as a HEAVY ROCK pressing down on your chest. Imagine how wonderful it will feel to let that rock fall away from you. Holding on to a resentment is hurting YOU more than the other person, or certainly the situation which you resent.

Forgiving helps YOU feel better, inside and out!
Forgiving frees YOUR time.
Forgiving helps YOUR heart, health, and mind.

In fact, the Mayo Clinic even has an informative article all about forgiveness, including how to reach a state of forgiveness, and more!

Other habits that can help you in similar ways include:

BONUS QUOTE: Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heal that has crushed it.  -- Mark Twain

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Want to Lose Weight? Ice Cream Cone Awesomeness!

Ice cream cones are far from a whole food, void of nutrients, and lack even a bit of fiber! So what is so great about them?

Ice Cream Cones are an awesome tool for PORTION CONTROL and FUN (for kids, AND adults!), with a cost of very few calories!

Chocolate Covered Katie's Cherry Garcia!

Consider single serving cheeses (Babybel and Laughing Cow) and these cookie packets (Almond Addictives)! Similar to these products, you can have a "cone" of ice cream and be done! You can actually eat the "half-cup" serving suggested on food labels without it looking like a pea in a jar.

You can also use a SMALLER DISH for meals; you need less food to fill your plate -- fool yourself into satisfaction after eating less :)  Check out this video if you could use a laugh :)

Homemade ice cream is often very healthy, so you won't even have to worry about portion control!  No matter what, you're going to have very few ingredients, and it's likely that most ingredients will be very healthy :)

Chocolate Covered Katie and Melissa of My Whole Food Life have some great recipes! Yikes!  Check out Katie's Frozen Treats! and ice cream recipes under Melissa's Dessert Recipes!

Here is a machine you can try for making ice cream from fruit the Yonanas Ice Cream Treat Maker (also available at Target)!

Try raspberry sorbet! or make it with frozen mango!

Maybe some day I will get an ice cream maker!

If you're CHOOSING an ice cream to buy, look for few ingredients, look for wholesome sounding ingredients, choose something delicious, and just eat, ENJOY a half-cup serving in (or out of) a cone, and be done!  NO GUILT, please.

COMMENTS: What is your favorite part of summer?  You don't have to pick just one thing!  I love the warm weather, relaxing pool days, the beach!, less schedule, ...can't think of anything I DON'T like about summer!  Though it's not my favorite!  Fall wins, but it is a photo finish!  ...ok I'll stop :~ Your turn!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Homemade Peanut Butter! OMG! Why Did I Wait?!

We love peanut butter in my house, and why shouldn't we? It's nutritious AND delicious! This homemade peanut butter may be responsible for a name change to our food processor; it will now be called OUR NUT BUTTER MAKER!

Nut Butters are Neat-O! (some ideas of what to do with your PB!)

Crunchy Homemade Peanut Butter

Crunchy Homemade Peanut Butter

1 pound peanuts
3 dates (optional...adds a bit of sweetness)

Puree in food processor for three minutes or so, until you have peanut butter!  That's it!

I am going to give a big thank you to Melissa of My Whole Food Life (here is a link to some awesome blueberry jam with chia!) for her comments about just how easy this is! As I shared with her, I tried making peanut butter several years ago with a Vitamix and it didn't go well. This one experience, along with lots of time, led me to feel that making peanut (or almond, or cashew, or probably any kind of nut) butter would be so much more difficult than buying.

When I finally decided to go for it, I was astounded at how quickly I had MADE my own delicious peanut butter! It's just like (even MUCH better!) the kind you get from Whole Foods or Heinen's or at a Farmer's Market (we get Sirina's Almond Butter at Crocker Park in Westlake, OH)!

On the other hand, like LARABARS, I was reassured of the value of fresh-ground nut butters at most of these takes a lot (around a pound) of nuts to fill a pint-sized container. P.S. Our container IS ALREADY just about gone!

So, I will buy NO more peanut butter from Costco! The evolution of peanut butter from Costco has been disappointing :( Over the last 5 years, Costco has gone from offering Kirkland Organic Natural Peanut Butter (basically, nuts and salt, awesome!), to a non-organic Kirkland natural variety (such a bummer not to have organic!), to Skippy Natural (omits hydrogenated oils, adds sugar!), and yesterday, there was only traditional peanut butter (made with hydrogenated oils, i.e. TRANS FAT, and probably sugar!, and WHY is it even still on the market?!). YUCK!

Other simple food tasks that took me a while to try:

a) making bread (from a bread maker, for me!), and
b) using dried beans! Lucky Seven Sweet Things about Dried Beans, and More!

Sometimes, even though I KNOW how easy doing it may be, it still takes takes motivation to try something new! I guess we really are creatures of habit :)

COMMENTS: What food habit do you do now, but it took you a while to start?


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