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Vitamix Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Who knew that you could do so much with the handy, dandy Vitamix? I certainly didn't think it would become a daily appliance in my household. I use my Vitamix for making 131 Blender Bread (a favorite of mine from the 131 Diet recipe collection), cashew butter, almond milk, smoothies, juices, and so much more!

On my old blog, this recipe was one of the BIGGEST hits! Since I've moved almost everything here, I wanted to post the recipe here as well!

Here are the basic ingredients:

  • 1.5 cup milk of choice
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups steamed frozen broccoli
  • 2 Tbs diced onion
  • 1.5 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
Add milk and vegetable broth to Vitamix, followed by cheese, broccoli, onion, salt and pepper.
Start on variable, turning to 10. Turn the Vitamix on HIGH.
Keep on high for 5-8 minutes or until you see steam.
Let cool slightly, enjoy!

 

I am obsessed with my vitamix!



Adapted from Vitamix

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What the Health: Fact vs. Fiction

I am not writing this to bash anyone’s opinion or tell you that one diet is better than another. I am writing this to provide you with accurate, evidence-based information so you can make the best diet decisions that actually works for you. It frustrates me to see people use the popular documentary "What the Health" as their basis for going vegetarian or vegan. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with going vegetarian or vegan, in fact, I was a vegetarian for almost 12 years!

Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, or a lover of meat and potatoes, I am going to provide you with the truth!  I'm going to explain some aspects of the video that I did agree with, and then my problems with it below.

What I DID Agree With: 

  • Eat more plants.  A plant-based diet has phenomenal impacts on overall health.  Plants are an incredible source of micronutrients, phytochemicals, and antioxidants.
  • We eat too much protein.  The average Western diet’s...
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Non Food Rewards

In a recent blog post, I shared my advice about not using food as a reward with your child, and how to enjoy treats around the experience, not the food itself. Today I'm sharing a list of some of my favorite non-food rewards that you can try to use with your kids! Use in place of candy or treats for positive behavior!

Activities!

  • Playtime in the park
  • Children’s museum’s
  • Trips to the zoo
  • Movie of choice
  • Trip to the local farm to see the animals and plants
  • Water table play
  • Set up a small swimming pool in the backyard

 Trinkets & Toys

  • Crayons + coloring books
  • Paint and canvas
  • Sticker books & special stickers 
  • Cumulative stickers (once they get __ number of stickers they get to buy something or pick out a new toy)
  • Play dough
  • Stamps* (let them pick out their favorite stamp & ink color at the craft store)
  • Water bottles or fun cups
  • Balloons- All kids love balloons
  • Bubbles*
  • Books

You can buy a lot of these things in bulk, or even from the dollar...

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What is Inflammation?

Is inflammation good? Or is it bad? Do we want inflammation? Would you believe me if I told you inflammation is supposed to be a good thing? Inflammation is actually the body’s response to stress, injury, or illness.

It helps the body heal and defend itself against harm.  Think about a cut/scrape, sprained ankle, or bee sting.  Often there may be redness and swelling associated with the injury. This extra blood the body sends there contains many helpful cells that work to fight infections and heal. After injury is healed, the body goes back to normal.  This would be an example of acute or short-term inflammation.

Inflammation becomes dangerous when it is chronic, or long-term inflammation, which can often be somewhat silent. Chronic inflammation is associated with or can lead to heart disease, leaky gut, diabetes, arthritis, cancer and a number of other diseases and conditions.

Lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise play a HUGE role in inflammation.

...

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Food is Fuel, Not a Reward

Too often food is used as a reward.  “If you go put your shoes on right now, I’ll give you a cookie.”  Since we know our kiddos love a sweet treat (and who can blame them?!), we as parents often use it to our advantage, because let’s face it, it works.

So, what’s the problem?

What ends up happening is the treat becomes a reward and gets put on a pedestal.  When in reality it should be treated as food, not a trophy.  The goal here is not to avoid treats, but give our children the foundation for a healthy relationship with food, all food, even brownies.

Below is a chart of common ways food is used as a reward and maybe what to do instead. 

  

Instead make it about the experience not about the food.  Creating traditions around food is great because it naturally becomes more about the experience than the food itself.  Birthdays are a great example.  Just think about your child’s last birthday party...

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Homemade Frozen Yogurt Pops

My girls loved these super simple homemade frozen yogurt popsicles! I made them for a few reasons:

  1. There is too much sugar, artificial sugars and mysterious ingredients in the store bought kind.
  2. Teagain is teething, bad, and she loves anything cold and frozen!
  3. It's fun!

So you could buy these little Zipsicle containers and use them for almost anything and for a million recipes! I'll share my two simple recipes:

Strawberry Chia

  • 1 cup organic full fat yogurt
  • 1.5 cup fresh strawberries
  • 2 Tbs chia seeds

Blueberry Flax

  • 1 cup organic full fat yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 Tbs ground flax seeds

Put all ingredients in a blender, I use the Vitamix, and blend til smooth.

Use a funnel to pour ingredients into Zipsicles. 

My recipe made about 5 popsicles of each flavor. 

Freeze laying flat, then once frozen put in large zip lock container. 

Enjoy!

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Common Keto Diet Mistakes

 

The ketogenic diet is a way of eating that is high in fat, moderate in protein, and very low in carbohydrates with a goal of ketosis.  Check out my Keto 101 blog post for more details on a ketogenic diet.  If you’re currently eating a keto diet or have in the past, take a look at the common mistakes people make when eating keto.  A few of these may surprise you, especially number five!

Top 6 Mistakes 

1. Not eating enough greens & veggies

Since fat is the star on a ketogenic diet, vegetables tend to get pushed aside.  Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, swiss chard, mustard and turnip greens have a lot to offer!  Yes, they do have some carbs, but very few and most of which are fiber.  They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals to help the body function at an optimal level.

They also provide an array of amino acids and electrolytes. 

2. Not getting enough electrolytes or staying hydrated!

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Coconut Chicken Tenders

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of fresh chicken tenders (not frozen)
  • 2/3 cup coconut flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 Tbs taco seasoning
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

Pat chicken tenders dry with paper towel.
Spray large baking pan with cooking spray.
Preheat oven to 350.
Get 3 shallow bowls or dishes. In one bowl, mix coconut flour, 2 TBS taco seasoning, pinch of salt.
In another bowl, stir 3 eggs together with 1 TBS taco seasoning.
In the third bowl, pour shredded coconuts.

Take your chicken tenders and first coat in coconut flour. Then dunk completely in egg mixture. Then coat completely with shredded coconut.

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, flipping over half way. Chicken will be cooked thoroughly and not pink.

We made these with sweet potato fries and everyone in the family loved them!

My 3 year old helped me in the kitchen making these! She loved pouring out the flour and coconut, and dunking the chicken in bowls! Yes, it's messy, and it takes longer, but the earlier you get...

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Miracle Noodle Pasta

  • 1 pound organic beef or ground turkey
  • 1 Tbs avocado oil
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 package miracle noodles
  • No sugar added pasta sauce

Miracle noodles are made of the Kojanc plant. This plant is very low in glycemic index, low in carbs and low in calories. It's also great source of prebiotics. Because of this, some people may experience an upset stomach, unpleasant GI effects after eating a whole bag of the miracle noodles, just a warning. 

Where do you buy miracle noodles? I buy the "angel hair" version on amazon

Also to make the noodles more appetizing, I found it was best to rinse the noodles in water, pat try with a towel, and then on a cutting board cut the noodles much smaller. (Also recommended for parents serving this to kids, to reduce the risk of choking).

 

 

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Grain Free Turkey Meatballs

These turkey meatballs are so incredibly easy. They are also grain free, toddler friendly, husband approved, and always available when you follow my instructions for batch prepping!

What I love to do is double, or triple this recipe and make a massive batch at the same time. 

Then, I cook one pan of them after they are ready. We eat those for dinner that night, and then have enough for leftovers. 

Then, I freeze the rest for quick, easy, healthy meals!

Ingredients

2 lbs lean ground turkey
2 eggs
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 Tbs garlic powder
2 Tbs italian seasonings (basil, oregano, etc)
1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

With your hands, mix all ingredients together well.
Form into meatballs.
Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake immediately, or freeze.
If you are freezing for later, wait a few hours and then place them all in a labeled zip lock bag. 
When ready to eat them, no need to thaw, just put on parchment paper and bake. 
Bake at 350 for 30-40...

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