Friday, October 31, 2014

Top 4 Party Tips and PB&J Poppers (Revised)!

Party Tips for a Happy Halloween!

You will surely be encountering lots of sweets and parties this weekend, which will be fun! Enjoy the good company and smiling (or scary) faces :) As for sweets and treats, here are some helpful tips (ACCHEW!: Away CHeck CHoose Eat Water!):

  • EAT up your healthy stuff (some chili, hummus, popcorn, Triscuits, guacamole, an apple, some toasted pecans, etc.) before you encounter all the goodies! It is so much EASIER TO RESIST with a full belly than a growly one.

  • CHECK OUT everything that's there, and CHOOSE what really looks like the thing (or things) that you want to enjoy the most! Don't eat anything until you've SEEN the whole spread. Check out Savor Your Sweets!

  • Always have a glass of WATER IN HAND at the party. Sometimes people just keep eating and drinking because it's there. If you have your water to drink, that can be the thing that you keep putting to your mouth. Check out Hydrate!

  • Finally, MOVE AWAY from all the food. There are plenty of other spots to socialize. Maybe you could snuggle up by a fire!

Try PB&J Poppers for your sweet tooth! One of my FAVORITES!! You can eat them BEFORE the party and/or bring them to SHARE!


1 c walnuts
1/4 c peanuts
3/4 c raisins (be sure no sugar is listed in ingredients)

Blend everything in food processor until everything starts sticking together, then form into desired shapes! I almost always do balls, but you could use holiday cutters for a spooky treat!

*The original and this revised recipe are equally delicious, and the revised is even healthier with walnuts (healthiest nut!) and no cherries (since they are usually sweetened)!

Plus, check out these darling little pumpkins that someone made at school :)

(Here is a link to this image)

COMMENTS: Do you like to dress up? What was your favorite Halloween costume ever? My favorite was a simple one that I made for my daughter. She was a flower in a flower pot. It was fun to put it together :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Drug Mart Saves Me the Runaround :)

Do you shop at Discount Drug Mart? There are many locations along the Great Lakes!

Recently, Drug Mart added an organic section with great prices! My favorite bargain buy is the organic dried beans :) They carry several varieties, and for comparable prices with Whole Foods. See Top 5 Whole Foods Market Bargains. Plus, you don't have to spend time scooping in the bulk section.

Try some yummy Super-Easy Chili with your dried beans!

As for the tea, it's a very good price compared to other organic teas I've ever bought or seen in the store. The CHAI tea shown is delightfully flavorful and satisfying :)

COMMENTS: I love a good buy! Do you have any to share?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I'm not a vegetarian. PLUS, Super-Easy Chili Recipe :)

UPDATE: my family used to occasionally enjoy EGGS (danger of eggs), among other animal-foods, as a treat. However, we ate those things because they tasted good, NOT for any nutritional benefits.

I AM VEGAN, and my family is ALMOST kids are "allowed" to eat whatever they want (well, that's hardly the case...but they are "allowed" to have meat or cheese if they want, though they freely choose not to because I educate them about all the reasons to eat healthy). My husband and kids eat desserts and ice cream which probably contain animal foods, but these are occasional treats. Anyway...

Check out 5 Big Reasons to Make Your Meat Portions Small! and Plant-Based Diets are Powerful!

Super-Easy Vegetarian Chili

1 red onion, chopped
1-2 bell peppers, chopped (or 1 lb frozen)
5 c tomatoes, crushed
1 lb frozen corn
2-4 cans (3-6 c) kidney beans, rinsed and drained (any type of beans work great!)
Consider using DRIED BEANS
Chili powder*, to taste, add generously because of large food volume

Saute onion and peppers in water. Next, combine all ingredients (except avocado) and bring to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes up to several hours...the longer it cooks, the richer the flavor!

Instapot instructions: After sauteing onions and peppers (extra tasty, but not necessary), add all ingredients to Instapot, and set to MANUAL for 6 min!

Top with avocado slices (if you're used to sour cream, try plain, dairy-free yogurt, and see if anyone even notices!).

*OR 1 Tbsp each of cumin, garlic, and oregano, and 1 tsp cayenne pepper (as little as a dash of cayenne if you don't like spicy).

COMMENTS: What would you like to see on the blog? More recipes? More informative posts? More about running or other fitness or lifestyle tips and tricks? I would love to hear from you! Thanks for reading ;)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

4-Ingredient Banana Breakfast Cookies

These nut-free delights are so simple to make, and you'll never again have to throw away an overripe banana!

Nut-Free Banana Breakfast Cookies

6 small bananas (or 4-5 large bananas)
2 c rolled oats
3/4 c ground flaxseed
2 Tbsp cinnamon
Optional: semi-sweet chocolate chips (cookies in this pic were a treat for a family weekend away to the Chicago Marathon!...though only a few were left by the time we drove off!)

Mash bananas and combine all ingredients. Scoop onto baking sheet and cook at 350 degree for about 20 minutes, until cookies are golden.

These are great for a snack any time of day, and certainly fitting for breakfast! Here is a crunchy peanut butter version :)

Watch Flaxseed and Breast Cancer to learn about why these breakfast cookies, specifically the ground flaxseed they contain, may REDUCE tumor growth in patients with breast cancer AS WELL AS currently used breast cancer drugs.

Ground flaxseed is a nutritionally-awesome and effective baking substitution for EGGS! Why substitute eggs? Unfortunately, they do us more harm than good. While there are lots of reasons for this, let's just take a look at Dr Michael Greger's article: Why the Egg-Cancer Link? ( For more on Greger see This Dude is Awesome!)

Enjoy, and have a great week, everybody!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

3-Ingredient Pecan Pie Bites!

I have now made these Snickerdoodle Laraballs (or No-Bake Cinnamon Pecan Pie Bites) several times in the last week or so. I just can't get enough, which is ok since they are super-healthy! I hope you LOVE them too!


2/3 c PECANS*
1/2 c DATES (10 pieces)

I usually TRIPLE this recipe!

Blend everything in your food processor for a few minutes, until the dough begins to fall away from the outside walls. Form dough into balls (or bars or whatever shape you like) and viola! I always put my dough into a large plastic bag and form balls from the outside of the bag (I don't like food hands!).

*Toasting is a great addition! Toast pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet at about 400 for about 8 min. Watch closely, let them darken, taste for doneness, they should sizzle when you bite!

This mixture is super tasty with cereal and almond milk for breakfast! It's like the Apple Cinnamon Cheerios I ate as a kid, or just like when I added cinnamon sugar to cereal, another childhood memory. Only this mixture is so much healthier, adding vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytochemicals, and best of all, yumminess!

As with all Laraballs (lots of yummy flavors at bottom of this link), there is no gluten, dairy, sugar, butter, or oil, so they are truly a guilt-free pleasure. I don't think anyone should ever feel GUILT about food, and, most of the time, I enjoy practicing what I preach about this :).

After I made them, I remembered a delicious recipe I had made and loved from Melissa's My Whole Food Life, No-Bake Snickerdoodles. Her recipe is also very tasty!

COMMENTS: What healthy options do you make that remind you of something you ate when you were a kid? And who else likes (or ever liked) Apple Cinnamon Cheerios? Happy Lunar Eclipse! Did anybody see it? My family tried, but I guess it was too cloudy :(


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