End of Year Clearance!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We're clearing off the shelves until we ring the new year in. Come on over and save 15% on your entire purchase! Clickety-click!

Weight Loss Report

Saturday, November 28, 2009

True confession: I did not eat a single piece of pie or dessert for Thanksgiving. I wasn't prepared with healthy alternatives, ran out of time or energy to figure out something new, and although I knew it would be ok if I decided to have a piece of pie, I decided not to. I took some free sniffs, remembered how it would taste, and decided that was good enough. :) I was feeling like a maybe a cold was wanting to come on, and didn't want to push it over the edge by eating sugar. (sugar and white flour lowers our immune systems)

I've lost 30 pounds this year, thanks to not eating sugar, eating a lot more raw foods, and getting into a regular exercise plan. At the start of each year, losing less than a pound a week doesn't sound that impressive, but being at the end of the year and being 30 pounds lighter is mighty nice! I would encourage you to go ahead and start now, taking whatever baby steps you can take to make progress. Focus on losing one pound at a time. That's all. One pound at a time. I've been able to cheer every time one pound went away and never came back. That's been so much more fun than times in the past when I held back from cheers until I lost 5 or 10 pounds or whatever. Every pound counts. That's the truth.

My exercise buddy Kim and I started out doing Leslie Sansone walk-at-home DVDs during the summer when it was too hot to enjoy a walk outside. We started with a 3 mile, and worked up to 4 mile walking workouts. As fall arrived, we started walking outside at a local cemetery, which was nice for a change. Now we're gearing up for re-joining our local fitness center, because we both feel the need to add weight-bearing exercise into our routine, plus feel like we will enjoy doing something new.

I never used to enjoy exercise. It took me a long time to find a combination that would work for me. Being honest about what I was really going to do, and what I really would not do, was a key element in helping me get going. Teaming up with my friend Kim has been extremely valuable in the day-to-day doing of exercise. When she comes to the door, there is no question about whether or not I am going to stop what I'm doing and get busy exercising! Thankfully, Kim and I have done well at being to be honest about when we want to crank it up a notch, or slow it down. That's helped a whole lot too.

Now that I'm getting stronger and seeing the results of my little-by-little, day-by-day, pound-by-pound improvements, getting my body moving is more appealing than ever. I'm seeing new options (kick boxing! pilates! running! stretching!) and thinking that it would be fun to see if I can do those too. Eventually, I plan to give them all a try. :)

Know what? I just inspired myself. I'm going to go get myself re-enrolled at the fitness center and get a workout in this afternoon. Bye!

Making Chocolate Spiders

Saturday, November 14, 2009

This year we decided to have a "healthy Halloween" party at our house, instead of going to someplace that was having lots of sugary items to eat. It was a HUGE success. My kids loved it, and so did our guests. This is the demo video I made when attempting to make healthy chocolate spiders. It didn't turn out quite as expected, but I still thought the video was worth sharing. :)

Recipe for this healthy chocolate:

1/8 cup raw coconut oil (liquid form)
1/4 cup raw coconut butter (artisana brand)
1/2 cup raw cacao powder, or you could also use cocoa powder or carob powder
1/4 cup honey, agave, or yacon
1/4 cup water or nut milk (or other milk, if you aren't trying to go all-raw)

You simply blend all of this in the food processor or blender, and then make shapes with it. :) Freeze or chill before eating.

As it turned out, we made these a little too thin, and they were really hard to peel off the parchment paper after they were frozen. Next time I would make the individual chocolates much thicker, possibly using a chocolate mold. Another idea would be to add some coconut, nuts, or dried fruit into the chocolate and pour it into a container, chill, and then cut into small squares like fudge. The taste is AMAZING! Even though they didn't keep their shape after we peeled them, we had no trouble finding takers for eating the parts. :)

Interview with my son, and Raw Caramel Dip--YUMMY!

One point I'd like to add to what we talked about in this video: I am not saying that you can't live your purpose in life if you are not perfectly healthy. I believe that God uses us no matter what. What we're referring to in the video is how difficult our lives can be if we do not take good care of ourselves, and create a situation where we are unable to do the things we are meant to do.

Here's the recipe for the awesome Caramel Dip:

1 cup pitted dates, soaked in pure water for about an hour
1/4-1/2 cup almond milk, or other milk or milk alternative of your choice
1 teaspoon raw coconut oil (in liquid form)
dash sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Drain off the water from the dates, the mix all of the ingredients in your blender, vita mix, or food processor until smooth. Start with a smaller amount of milk, and add just enough to get the consistency you want. Then use as a dip for apple slices, or even drizzle it over cereal or other treats! Store leftovers in the fridge. Very easy and yummy!

*the trickiest part of this recipe is that a single batch of it isn't that much, so it may be a small enough quantity that it isn't touched very much by the blades of your food processor. I experimented with several kitchen gadgets, and my best results came when I doubled the recipe and used my food processor. Then the quantity was enough that it was mixed well by the blades. You may have to try a couple different kitchen tools to see what works best for you. :)

Finally, a natural product to help diabetics!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

I was delighted to find out about this excellent product that has been proven to greatly help type two diabetics as well as others struggling to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Depsyl is an herbal blend that does a great job of stabilizing glucose levels, as well as reducing cravings for the foods that tends to cause blood sugar problems.

You can read all about the ingredients and the way it works here. Soon I'll have an informative video that'll show you more, that includes testimonials from people that have been helped by this product!

I expect it to be ready to ship by Nov. 15, but you can go ahead and place your order now if you like.

Here is one testimonial:

"Didn’t want to say anything until I had tested for a while but…………
………………….I LOVE DEPSYL!

As you know, I have been playing tennis 3 days a week
and working out with a trainer 3 days a week
but because of work and everything else, I still wasn’t eating properly
so I couldn’t lose any weight.

I remembered what Carol said about how Depsyl calmed her cravings.
As you know, I am a carbaholic.
So when I do get to eat it is usually pasta, pizza, sandwiches, etc.
and I love ice cream and soda.
All things guaranteed to put the pounds on.
Well, I began taking the Depsyl that you gave me.
The first couple of days I took two, twice a day
but that was too much for me
and I think lowered my sugar levels too much since thank God, I’m not diabetic.
So I cut it down to one pill twice a day.
It has now been 2 weeks
and I haven’t had pasta, pizza, sandwiches, ice cream, etc.
because I’m not craving them.
For probably 30 years I’ve eaten those items as a large part of my diet
and never thought I could give them up
without craving them or feeling horrible from a “lack of carb” headache.

I’m a believer!"

Dreamin' About Meeting

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A friend of mine recently got to meet a famous person that she has wanted to meet for a long time. My conversation with her got me thinking about who I might like to meet, if given a chance. What I quickly realized is that merely meeting someone (famous or otherwise) isn't really a goal of mine. I mean--meet some famous person, shake their hand, and they're gone. What does that do for me?! :) Nothing. I'm a relationship person. I like to get to talk with people, find out what they're into, and see what makes 'em tick. :) Meeting someone quickly wouldn't thrill me, but getting to spend some time with someone interesting would.

So...who would be on my list? Oprah would be interesting to talk to for an extended period of time. Most of the coolest people I know of are real-life people that I am already blessed to get to spend some time with. There are several internet friends that I have not gotten to meet in real life, but would love to.

And that got me thinking of YOU! I love my customers. Honestly, I do! And when I see your name come through again with an order, and I write that little note to you on your packing list, I'm actually thinking of YOU!

Some of you have gone through my class, emailed me with your feedback and questions. Some of you have joined me in the Next Steps group for class graduates, so I've gotten to know you better thanks to the chatter over there. I've even gotten to talk to some of you on the phone, which I've really enjoyed since I get to know you even better!

So, yeah. I think it would be really cool to get to meet you and spend some time with you! What do you think of that?

What I'm dreaming of is a Supermom retreat. It could feature healthy food-making demos and of course tasting, plenty of time for relaxation and chatting with others (so I can get to know you!), and maybe some additional healthy living encouragement from some other wonderful people that share my love for encouraging people toward healthier eating.

What do you think? Would any of you travel to central KY for a retreat? What things would you like to see happen at a gathering like this?

I'd love to hear your ideas.... :)

FREE Gifts with Purchase!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hi everybody!

I just wanted to let you know that tonite I was able to add a new selection of FREE gifts with purchase to the store. You can read all about it here. Enjoy!

When Sickness Comes to The Johns House

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

So last weekend it hit. The Crud. Saturday afternoon I started feeling junky, then two kids were sniffling and coughing, and then my husband started feeling junky too. We had been exposed to a sick friend a few days before, and her daughter had gone into the hospital with a combination of ailments, including the flu. Oh boy! Here we go! This is what we do when the Creepin Crud comes around:

1-2 Ultra Immune upon waking, plus 1-2 a couple more times during the day. (should be taken on an empty stomach, so I just pop 'em when I think of it and haven't eaten)

Healthy Lemonade: a sweet drink that doesn't work against my immune system! In fact, it boosts it because of the nice pH balance it gives.

Berry Well: 1 tablespoon mixed into the healthy lemonade several times a day. Tastes great and helps fight The Crud.

NO SUGAR, and very limited products with honey or agave. (And no white flour, either!) The more healthy food, the better. Now is not the time to start eating junk. (It sure helps to have healthy food stocked up and easy recipes to make. I went out to buy groceries the first minute I felt well enough to do it, just to be sure we'd be stocked up in case we really went down hard.)

Odorless Garlic This is a new product for me. Garlic is great for fighting off any bad germs, and not dealing with garlic breath for a week is a huge PLUS! The kids take these just like a jelly bean. No problem!

Oscillococcinum is my favorite homeopathic flu remedy. We have used it for years. I had just ordered some on Friday because we had none on hand, so of course it had not yet arrived when we started feeling bad. I was delighted to find it in the Cold/Flu section of Walmart! It is easy to take, helps reduce the severity of symptoms and duration of the flu. You can easily give it to chidren (reduce the dose, of course) as well.

For the kids they take Super Kids, vitamin C, Berry Well, and Vitamin D3. I also used a cough remedy from Herbs for Kids.

I take all of my regular vitamins, of course. (That includes Super Dad, Bee Strong, Glucosamine MSM, Mineral Blast, Aloe Vera, and Vitamin D3)

Even with good nutrition and supplementation, you cannot always avoid illness. (well, maybe some people can. But nobody living at my house is one of them...) We do the best we can with what we have, and throw everything we can at sickness when it dares sneak in the door.

For this time around, we seem to have done relatively well. My two sniffling coughers stopped coughing within a day or two, and the sniffles are greatly reduced. They never stopped running around and playing full time. My husband and I still have some aches and have taken some naps, but in general have still continued to do the laundry, get the groceries, drive kids where they need to go, cook food, do school, etc. so I think we have done pretty well too. I am still not feeling 100% yet, but I am very thankful that we did not get hit really hard this time around. I think that having a ready arsenal of both healthy habits, as well as helpful supplements/remedies makes a huge difference for us. We rarely ever need to take a child to the doctor, and that has been the case for 16 years. (so far this year none of our children has been to the doctor for anything. This is life as usual for us.) I have invested in reference books (and read them!), and a variety of high quality herbal, vitamin, and homeopathic items that have been useful to us. It is very uncommon that we have an illness here that I am not equipped to handle at home. 9 times out of 10, if we do go to the doctor, I know exactly why we're going, and it's to get help in a way that I don't have the ability to do at home.

Knowledge is power. Preparation is also power. Being ready with what you know and what you have can make getting through common illnesses a lot less miserable than it needs to be. (even if that just means you can stay at home and deal with it, instead of shelepping the kids to the doctor's office....)

Tomato Bisque Soup Recipe

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The amount of healthy that this recipe seems to be will vary, depending on your own definition of healthy. For us, this has become a favorite:

Ingredients and Steps:

Finely chop these up in your food processor:
2-4 carrots, finely diced
2 stalks of celery, finely diced
half a large onion, finely diced
1 finely diced parsnip
24 ounces of diced tomatoes

Toss all of the finely chopped items into a soup pot along with:
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh or dried parsley
1 bay leaf
1 quart chicken or veggie broth (get a kind without MSG. Imagine is a good brand.)
6-8 ounces tomato paste

While stirring, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and let simmer for an hour. (Leave the pot top on)

In a small sauce pan combine on med-high heat:
3/4 cup melted butter (that's three-quarters)
half cup whole wheat flour

Stir with a whisk and let cook for 1 minute. Then whisk it into the main soup pot.

1 pint whipping cream
salt and pepper to taste

Serve and Enjoy! Sprinkled cheese, chopped parsley, or oyster crackers are nice on top. :)

Ways that I am Dealing with Plastics and BPA

Concerns about the safety of plastics, particularly those made with BPA, are increasing. This article gives some good ideas for limiting our exposure to this dangerous chemical.

As I understand it so far, when plastics, particularly those with BPA, get hot, toxic chemicals are released into the food or beverage inside the container. Not good!

I wanted to share some of the ways that I am being more careful about limiting my family's exposure to BPA. Most of these are pretty simple and doable for the the average family (I think):

-I use glass canning jars for a lot of food storage needs. With wide mouths and regular, there are only 2 size tops to deal with. I have a cabinet with a nice assortment of quarts, pints, and half pint jars. They work great for most leftovers, and can even go into the freezer. (just be sure to leave a half inch or more of space if freezing liquids in glass jars) You can find jars at most grocery stores. They are extremely versatile and last a long, long time.

-I read that Ziploc brand storage bags are BPA-free, so I am now spending a little extra to get that brand instead of others.

-I no longer put any hot foods into any plastic bag or containers. We only use plastic for dry or cold items. (cereal or pretzels for a car ride snack, leftover applesauce if there are no jars available, etc.)

-For times when I have hot foods that need to be stored in plastic, I first use a glass 9 x 13 pan and flash freeze (or cool) the food, then transfer the frozen food to the plastic bag or container that I like to use.

-We NEVER EVER microwave any kind of plastic. This includes "paper" plates that have a plastic coating on them. And that goes double for any kind of convenience foods that are packaged in plastic, with instructions to microwave the stuff inside the packaging. If you buy stuff like that, just take the food out of the plastic, but it on a ceramic or glass plate, and microwave it as usual. (or cook it on the stove top or in the oven, if you like)

-I never did this, but I know people that do: DO NOT cook your frozen veggies inside the plastic bag. I don't care if it says that it's a "steamer" package--it's not good for you, and plenty easy to just put into a glass or ceramic bowl or casserole dish to cook.

-We never serve hot drinks in any plastic cups, or paper cups coated with plastic.

-The paper plates that I do buy are 100% paper. No plastic ingredients.

-We have some plastic "kid plates" in fun colors that I used to serve dinner to my children on sometimes. I no longer serve any kind of hot or warm food on those, or in any plastic bowls. (we have some Tupperware cereal bowls that are only allowed to be used for cold items now)

-We are looking for stainless steel water bottles for the whole family, but are having trouble finding ones that we are sure don't have any BPA parts. In the meantime, when we do use bottled water, we have made some adjustments: We no longer keep a large pack of bottled water in the car. The heat that builds up in the car is enough to make the water hot, which means the plastic container is getting hot too. And we want to avoid that. Although I realize that it is possible that any bottled water could have gotten hot before we even bought it, when we do buy it, I store it in the house, and we take our bottles out of the fridge before we go someplace. And we try not to leave the bottles sitting in the car if it is getting warm out. Now that cooler weather is here, this will not be as much of an issue for a few months.

-Now that I know that the insides of metal cans (for basically every canned food) is likely to have BPA that will have been heated and leached into the food, I am avoiding canned foods as much as possible. I have been choosing more frozen and fresh items in order to avoid the BPA as much as possible.

-I am choosing to purchase more items that are sold in glass jars instead of plastic. (Bonus: If you don't have many glass storage jars, this is a way that you can start a collection for free! Buy your spaghetti sauce in glass jars and then wash and reuse the jars. Easy!)

Future plans for continuing to increase our level of safety in regards to BPA:

-I plan to buy glass pyrex storage containers for the items that do not fit well in a glass jar. So far what I see is that most of the flatter pyrex containers do use plastic tops, but I would consider that an improvement over some of the options I have on hand right now. (and I would still be careful about not letting hot food come into contact with the plastic lids)

-We will eventually find stainless steel (NOT aluminum) water bottles and invest in them for our whole family. Then we won't be buying so much bottled water while out and about.

-I will continue to move more and more toward fresh, unprocessed foods that do not come packaged in plastic or cans coated with BPA.

What are some ways that YOU are avoiding plastics and BPA?

Cabbage Leaves Instead of Tortillas or Buns!

Monday, October 19, 2009

I have read a lot of recipes for raw foods that include cabbage leaves in place of tortillas or buns. Back in the summer I took this quick video and these photos to show you how it worked when we tried it out! This is a fairly normal taco meal for us, just exchanging the cabbage leaves for the tortillas. They were nice and crunchy, held in the salsa better than a tortilla, and had a light enough flavor that we all enjoyed it.

Start with a cabbage leaf:

Add a little cheese (if you're a cheese eater):

Black beans:

Some raw nuts:

Add some raw salsa:

Roll it up and eat! (tasting is believing!)

Adding veggies to a regular dinner

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I wanted to share some photos of how I often "green up" and add raw foods to a regular meal. It's simple!

Start with a bed of organic baby spinach or other salad greens:

Add some raw guacamole! (if you have taken my class or own my Super Salads book you should have the recipe)

After cooking brown rice in organic vegetable broth, I added raw pecans to it:

Add it onto the greens and guac:

Added a baked tilapia fillet and some steamed broccoli:

Adding the greens really bulks up the meal and is an easy way to get some "salad" into your diet even if you don't want a traditional salad. :) You can do this!

Super Fudge

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Although I may have shared this recipe before, today I made it and thought of sharing it with you all. :)

In my food processor I combined:

1 cup raw honey
1 cup natural peanut butter
half cup cocoa powder (or carob powder, or cacao powder)
2 cups assorted raw nuts and seeds (if they can be soaked and dried in advance, all the healthier!)
half cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
half cup dried fruit (dates, raisins, etc.)

Mix it all up really well and spread into a 9x13 pan and keep in the fridge. Cut into squares to eat. Yummy!

You can serve the little squares in tiny muffin cups, or even roll into balls and then coat with coconut, ground nuts, etc. for a fun seasonal treat.

Pear Bread Recipe

Friday, October 16, 2009

Our pear tree had a decent yield this year (unlike our apple trees!) and yesterday was my day to Deal With the Fruit. I had two paper bags full of pears, several of which I am sorry to say had gotten overripe since pears hadn't made it to my top priorities yet. The solution: The nice ones were cored and tossed into the food processor, cores and yukky pears were tossed into glass jars to make vinegar! (I am going to have A LOT of vinegar this year! Did you see the demo videos I posted on how to make your own vinegar? It is super easy!)

One the food processor was full I chopped up the pears, basically making pear sauce. I added some cinnamon and nutmeg and honey to the mix, and froze some of it. The rest was slated for Pear Bread! I made two loaves yesterday (already gone) and two more are in the oven now. I love this recipe since it can be altered to be Banana Bread, Applesauce Bread, Pumpkin Cranberry Bread, or Zucchini Bread! (I'm sure there are other possibilities, too)

Here's the basic recipe:

2 cups whole wheat flour
half cup oil--coconut oil, olive oil, or whatever you have (if you use melted coconut oil, add it last)
half cup honey or agave
1.5 (one and a half) cups pear sauce or variation (see end of recipe for more ideas)
half teaspoon baking soda
half teaspoon sea salt
half teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg (vegans can omit the egg and just add an extra tablespoon of liquid)
3 tablespoons of milk or milk alternative (rice milk, nut milk, etc.)

For the pear bread I usually add about a tablespoon of cinnamon, a half teaspoon of nutmeg, and a little sprinkle of ground cloves. This combination also works well with some of the other variations.

Mix well and pour into a well-greased loaf pan. 325 degrees for 45-60 minutes, or when toothpick comes out clean.

3 bananas
1.5 cups apple sauce
1.5 cups pumpkin + 1 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen or dried)
1.5 cups shredded zucchini (or if you are like me and find it not sweet enough, split half and half with bananas or applesauce)

I find that most people really enjoy this bread, healthy eaters and junk food eaters alike. :) Give it a try! It only takes a couple minutes to throw together, makes a nice gift for a special neighbor, helper at church, etc. :)

How to Make Vinegar--Steps 1 and 2

Friday, October 09, 2009

Raw Almonds for Sale!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Almonds are a delicious and nutritious snack, but the ones we get in the grocery store have been pasteurized, so the greatest health benefit has been heated right out of them.

This fall we are trying something new. Get in our our big bulk buy of fresh, unpasteurized almonds from California! At just $6 per pound, you can get these wonderful almonds in increments of 20 pounds.

Since these almonds are fresh, they will stay nice at room temperature for 9-12 months or more. If you store them in the fridge they'll last for years, and in the freezer they'll last for a really, really, really long time. :)

These almonds are not certified organic, but the farm that they come from has not used any pesticides in at least 15 years.

The almonds are shelled and fresh!

This is a pre-order. That means that you will order and pay for your almonds now. I will be placing our large order (many hundreds or even a thousand pounds or more) around October 15-20. Once they arrive here I will be shipping them out to you.

Feel free to go in on this order with a friend if you like. Almonds are great for Christmas gifts too!

This is a one-time opportunity. These almonds are just sold once a year when the fresh harvest comes in. There is a slight possibility that I may be able to take another order in November, but for right now this is the only time I can be sure of that there will be enough supply to fill the orders.

Click here to order.

Anise Toothpaste--Yummy!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Up until the other day we'd been using the mint toothpaste. When we ran out, I decided to give the anise a try. Boy-oh-boy I loooove it! There isn't as much of the salty taste as there is with the mint, and the licorice-y flavor is not too much, not too little.....just right!

If you are looking for a safe, natural, fluoride-free toothpaste, do check out the mint and anise options from Miessence. We are very happy with them!

What to do if you get the flu

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

I am planning to write a post about my take on the swine flu, but haven't completed it yet. In the meantime, here is a very practical article that may help calm your concerns about what to do if you or your loved one gets the flu (of any type).

The short points of what I will share with you later on about the swine flu is this:

NO WAY on the vaccine. Dangerous. Not worth the risk. Do your homework. Don't just let yourself become a guinea pig on the latest vaccine fiasco. You may end up paying for it the rest of your life.

Take care of your health in a fundamental way: nutrition and prevention.

No-Sugar Barbeque Sauce

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Facebook is good for many things, including getting some great recipes from friends! This is one I thought you all would enjoy:

- 1 6oz can tomato paste (preferable organic)
- 1 to 1.5 cups of beef stock (I made my own but if you buy, you want it without salt and MSG. Imagine brand is usually a safe one)
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- half of an onion... Read More
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons chili powder

1. Dice your onions and garlic as fine as possible. You want your BBQ sauce a little chunky but the more fine you dice these, the better the flavor will spread through the entire sauce.
2. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan. Whether you use 1 cup or 1.5 cups of beef stock will depend on how thick you want your sauce.
3. Bring sauce to heat on stove with a low setting.
4. Cover and simmer. Stir frequently and taste regularly. The longer you simmer, the more consistent your flavor will be. I simmered for 20-30 minutes.
5. Enjoy!

A note!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hey Ma,
Thanx for the amazing smoothies
every morning.

This was the content of the note waiting for me on the kitchen counter this morning. It was from my 17 year old son. :)
A great reminder that kids DO notice and appreciate when we take the time to nurture them with delicious healthy foods!

Healthy Lemonade Recipe

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The number one most beloved recipe that I share with people is the one for Healthy Lemonade. It is super easy to make, so SO good for you! Why?

Drinking this lemonade helps prevent kidney stones, gall stones, and cleans out your liver. It is also very beneficial for your overall immune system.

Most people know they should be drinking more water, but sometimes they complain that they don't like the taste or want to have a flavored drink. Healthy Lemonade is the best of both worlds. It gives you all the benefits of drinking water, PLUS the extra benefits of the fresh lemon juice. Even HEALTHIER than just drinking water! :)

Here's how to make it:

Squeeze the juice from two fresh lemons. (I use a regular hand twist juicer that cost about $2.50, but a nice electric citrus juicer is great too)

Pour the lemon juice into a two quart pitcher. You can add in the pulp if you like it, or leave it out if you don't.

Fill the pitcher up with water. Then add approximately 3-4 droppers full of Sweet Leaf Stevia to sweeten it to taste. (some people only need two droppers, some like it sweeter. Start with less, stir, and taste to see how much you need. Stevia starts to taste bad when you get too much, so go slow!) You can use the plain Stevia Clear, or use a flavor such as Lemon Drop, Grape, Valencia Orange, or the brand new Berry flavor if you or your children would enjoy something with a fruity flavor. All of them are delicious!

Sweet Leaf Stevia is a pure herbal sweetener that has zero carbs, zero calories, and zero impact on your blood sugar, so it's safe for diabetics as well as a wonderful choice for people wanting to lose weight. Stevia is natural, NOT an artificial sweetener. Sweet Leaf is the only brand of stevia that I recommend, for many reasons. You can read more about this here.

An entire two quart pitcher of Healthy Lemonade has only 25 calories in it, thanks to the lemon juice! I get comments from customers all the time telling me how much they and their families love this healthy lemonade. Try it--it's goooood! :)

Join the fun on Facebook!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

We now have a Facebook fan page for Supermom's Health and Wellness. Come on over and join me there!

New Flavors of Sweet Leaf Stevia!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I'm so excited about the two new flavors from Sweet Leaf Stevia! Check 'em out:

Hazelnut will be popular with coffee drinkers that are looking for a healthy, zero calorie way to sweeten and flavor their favorite beverages.

People have been asking for a Berry flavored stevia for as long as I've been selling it. I'm so glad it's finally here! This is a great addition to the collection, and will be especially yummy to sweeten plain yogurt, to use as a fun new twist in the healthy lemonade recipe, and even in tea!

Both flavors are in stock now, though I expect they will probably sell out fast.

Also, Lemon Drop, Cinnamon, and 2 ounce plain liquid stevia is also all back in stock and ready to ship! :)

Back to School Sale

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Don't let the cooties get you down this school year! Stock up on Supermom's No-Lice Hair and Body Spray.

Right now you can Buy 1 Get 1 FREE!

Whether you want two bottles for your own family, want to split the cost with a friend, or share the extra bottle with your day care provider or classmate, this is a GREAT deal that we have never offered before.

Shipping is a bit more when shipping two bottles together, so the sale price is $29.99 including shipping


Would you rather purchase with a credit card? Click here to go to my store!

Back After a Hiatus

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The blog has been quiet, and the newsletter lists have too. My dear grandmother died in early July, and there was a lot of resulting grief, travel, and weariness that went along with it. I was very close to my grandmother and she has been a major part of my family and our entire extended family. A huge loss for all of us, though of course we are so glad for her pain and health problems to be gone.

I know that a lot of people do not have the option to take time to rest and recover when life gets to be tough. Thankfully, I do, and I did. I took two weeks "off" from all non-essential business, and did not allow myself to scurry around making lists of business or homeschooling plans and to-do lists. It is easy for my brain to get overloaded with many thoughts, plans, concerns, and ideas, and I knew what I needed was as much rest and focus on my home and family as possible.

I enjoy the simplicity of folding laundry, gathering veggies from the garden, and being the lifeguard by the pool while the children played. I took naps whenever I felt like it. (lucky for me my children are old enough to play with their Legos and allow their mom to snooze) I cried when I felt sad, and the kids did too. I set the table with my grandmother's tablecloths and dishes and thought of her, even though it meant that I burst into tears no less than four times during the course of preparing the meal.

Yesterday my husband and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary. We did some painting in our living room and kitchen area, which I am very excited about. Today we need to put it all back together (pictures on the walls, furniture arranged, cleaning the areas that were revealed by pulling things out from their usual locations). And after that I've got to start getting my brain in gear for the upcoming school year plans, and continuing on with business plans and needs. I have so many ideas that I would like to share with you all, but so little time to make them available. Little by little I'll be doing my best to bring them to you as it seems the time is right.

If you're in need of anything at the store, please click through here to get a 10% discount on your order. You deserve it if you read through this whole post. ;) Coupon expires Sunday, August 9, 2009.

Swine Flu Vaccine: No Thank You!

I know that many people are concerned about the swine flu right now, and with the latest hype about the new vaccine for it, it is in the news a lot. For me, there is no way that I would counter the minor risk of a flu like this one with the major lifelong health risk that would be associated with getting the vaccine. Here is an article that will explain more about the ingredients and risks associated with the swine flu vaccine. Please do your best to become informed before subjecting yourself or your family members to any vaccines.

Questions about getting off sugar and eating more raw foods

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

My friend Amy sent me this email today:

I have been reading a book about giving up sugar. I am a major addict- I know I am- driving to McD for a coke....... ridiculous! I believe that it will be possibly my ticket to lose the weight i need to lose- I could use to lose at least 35 pounds but 50 would be perfect! At any rate, I was wondering about how hard it was to quit, why you decided to, and if you use a "cook book" for your raw creations? Time consuming?
thanks for answering my many questions!

Here's what I wrote back:

Hi Amy!

Good to hear from you.

I was stuck at the same weight for a long time, despite doing several different things to try to get it down. It was like it just couldn't budge. Back in March I started thinking about getting off of sugar, which I have done before. I felt like my health needed it, and thought that it might also pay off in the weight loss dept. too.

This time what I did to quit was just stopped eating anything overtly sugary (cake, cookies, etc.) but didn't go the whole nine yards on weeding out spaghetti sauce that has sugar as an ingredient. I just took it slow. (I now weed out more of these things, but still am not completely perfect at it)

I have a lot of recipes for healthy treats that I use as a bridge to get over wanting sugary stuff. I did use honey and agave nectar (still do) but was more mindful of what I was eating, and didn't just replace every sugary thing with something made with honey. I really hadn't been eating a lot of junk, but for whatever reason weight started to come off just from changing to no sugar. I lost about a pound a week like that.

In May I started really ramping up how much raw food I was eating. Again, I've done that before, usually very gung-ho and then burning out because there was so much new stuff to try to get used to. By this point in my life I've done enough raw foods that I had a lot of things we like to eat that happen to be raw, but we just eat it because we like it. So this time eating more raw has actually felt easy for the first time ever.

I've purposely not made a ton of rules for myself. I stick to the no-sugar pretty hard, just because my past experience is that once I'm off of sugar, eating something with sugar tends to give me a bad headache and sometimes other unpleasant symptoms. So I just avoid that and it hasn't been a problem.

I didn't run into hardly any problems with getting off of sugar. I don't know if it is because I did it sort of gradually or what. The main trouble I have is during PMS I want chocolate so bad that it can be tough. I now have a bunch of awesome raw chocolate treats that I make, though, so as long as I am stocked up on the ingredients I need I am all set. :)

The first time I got off of sugar it was a lot harder. We also went to all whole foods at the same time, all cold turkey, and the process was more difficult. But, really, I hit a hard spot several days into the process, and just rode it out for maybe 2-4 days, and then it was done. It is amazing how once I'm off of sugar it doesn't seem hard. I can go to a church potluck and feel no pain to pass by the desserts. :) We have had 6 birthdays in our home since me stopping the sugar and it has been no problem for me to not eat cake. (even the kind that was my favorite) Breaking that cycle is really, really nice. Also, taste buds really do change, and I am finding it really interesting to see how even healthy treats will seem too sweet to me if I have not had any for a week or two.

I just got two wonderful raw recipe books by Ani Phyo. You can find both at any book seller. Her stuff is delicious, but very easy to put together. Some other raw foods books I've had are very gormet and just too time consuming. Ani's style is just what I like. Quick and easy and tastes great. She has a lot of recipes at her web site aniphyo.com (on the blog).

I also like Serene Allison's raw recipe book Rejuvenate Your Life which is available at the Above Rubies store aboverubies.org. Some of her stuff is a lot more fussy to make, but we have many favorites from it that we love.

I have shared a lot of recipes on my blog at http://supermomshealthandwellness.blogspot.com/ and that includes raw stuff, no sugar stuff, and dehydrator recipes.

What I teach people in my healthy eating classes is that baby steps is the key to long term success, and it certainly seems to be true for me.

The raw foods aren't really time consuming, so much as sometimes needing to plan ahead. For instance, today in my dehydrator I have these raw foods:

peach spice grawnola
breakfast toast
sunflower bread
some sort of raw burger

Some of these things had ingredients that needed to be soaked ahead of time. Some of it needs to be ground (flax) or whatever. Some of it is simply mix and throw it onto the dehydrator tray. This stuff was overwhelming to me back when I first started and I had to map out which days to soak or start sprouting things or dry things or whatever. It was sort of hard to get it to all come out "on time." Now that I've done it long enough it doesn't seem that hard. I just think to myself what I'd like to have this week and just start the process and then I've got it.

With everything in my dehydrator today, I'll have food for today plus leftovers for another day. Many days I don't have to make anything "fresh" except for my morning smoothie and a salad. I typically have some sort of raw bread, crackers, and treats on hand. When it is time to eat I will sometimes just have whatever everybody else is having, but often I will just ask myself, "Is there something raw I would like to eat?" and usually there is.

Another interesting thing since making these changes in eating this time around is that I need less food to feel satisfied, and if I overeat I really feel gross (and my old normal sized portions are definitely too big now). This seems to help keep things in check.

About 3 weeks ago I added in some exercise with a friend of mine. I do a 3 mile walk workout about 3 times a week. Since adding that the weight is coming off a little faster.

This is the first time that I've done anything that is bringing me weight loss that feels like the regular way I want to live, instead of like a punishing place that I cannot wait to leave. I've lost 12 pounds since March which is a little less than a pound a week, but it seems sustainable, so I am really pleased about that.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Gentle Exfoliant for Sensitive Skin

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Some exfoliants feel like you're taking sand paper to your face. This one feels heavenly!

Natural jojoba beads safely and gently remove dead, dry surface skin cells, promoting a renewed and glowing skin. Contains organic lavender to calm and soothe the senses.

A build up of dead skin cells causes a rough and dull appearance. Exfoliating the top layers of dehydrated cells promotes a youthful, glowing skin.

I love this product even though I don't really need the sensitive skin products. The jojoba beads feel wonderful!

Enjoy a sale price on this and all Miessence products from now until July 17.

Baby Bottom Mist

Sunday, July 05, 2009

I never have understood the point of diaper ointments that are gunky and difficult to spread. If your baby has a sore bottom, they sure don't want you smearing ointment all over the painful area! Finally, here is a perfect solution that makes sense and is completely safe.

A soothing and calming diaper area salve in a convenient spray. Use daily and at the first sign of redness or irritation for quick relief. Hygienic and convenient. No need to touch sore bottoms; just spray and soothe. Also beneficial for itches, rashes, nicks, scrapes and cuts, sunburn, windburn and other skin irritations. Helps to restore skin to its natural healthy softness.

All Miessence products are on sale from now until July 17.

Heading out of town

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Many of my regular subscribers will remember that back in May my grandmother was doing very poorly and I made an urgent trip to visit her. As it turned out, she enjoyed many more weeks of decent enough health to enjoy her gardening and family. She took a turn a week ago and passed on to eternity yesterday.

I have been blessed in my life to have wonderful grandparents. My Gram has been a huge part of my life and will be missed in so many ways.

Late next week I'll be traveling out of state for her funeral. Orders placed from July 10-16 will be processed on July 17 and 18.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Tis the season to use lots of sunscreen! In the past I've really struggled with the issue of using sunscreen because of the many harmful ingredients in most of them. Everybody acts like it's a no-brainer to use sunscreen to protect from future skin cancer....but what kind of protection is it to use toxic chemicals that can cause cancer? Yikes.

I was really pleased to see this list explaining about the carcinogens and toxins that are commonly used in sunscreens at the Good Guide. You can read all about it here. (Be sure to read about the dangers of Triclosan--you can barely find soap products in stores that don't have this in them. I've even seen baby products, high chairs, toys, and kitchen equipment infused with this dangerous chemical. I avoid it every chance I get.)

I am extremely happy to have a truly safe, effective, organic sun screen available in the store. We have been using it and finding that it works well. A little goes a long way, so one tube seems to be lasting us pretty well. Although it goes on white, thanks to the zinc oxide, it rubs in pretty well.

There is an entire product line of safe, organic body care products available from Miessence. We are loving everything we use from them, and see that it goes a long way. You can get safe foaming hand soap, some lovely skin care products, and lots more.

Farmer's Market

Friday, June 26, 2009

Farmer's Market

Last Saturday was the opening day of our local Farmer's Market. This small town of ours hasn't had a Farmer's Market for about four years, so I was very thrilled to see it make a comeback. There were a lot of vendors, and I did my best to buy something from almost everybody. :) A bunch of beets for a dollar, new potatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, peaches, and organic meats were widely available. (and to think that I was worried that there wouldn't be very much available at this point in the season!)

I was thrilled to hear that several of the farmers left early because they had sold out!

I think that it is a win-win-win deal to do my shopping at the Farmer's Market as much as possible:

-I help support local businesses and build relationships in my community

-the market is closer than any store that I could go to

-everything is super fresh and therefore tastes better and is healthier

-I can find out specifics about how the items are grown and whether or not they are organic, etc. (did you know that many items are grown organically but are not labeled as such because the certification process is so costly for the farmer?)

-I get to see lots of my friends there!

-a lot of the time the Farmer's have other things available that they just didn't bring. By talking to them and getting to know about their operation you can often find resources for items that you would like to buy

-very often the prices are cheaper, and the quality is better!

-and if your car battery dies while your kids have the doors open for awhile as you shop and talk, you can even get a free battery-jump with purchase! (ask me how I know....)

10 pounds gone!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I just had to share my excitement in hitting the 10 pound weight loss mark today, since getting off of sugar in March and increasing my raw foods since then. One could say that I am rather excited! (I also lost 5 pounds from November to March, so that makes it even funnER!)

One thing I thought to myself this morning when I weighed in was that I am so glad that I am always just thinking about losing 1 pound. Rather than being disappointed or reserving my glee, I have gotten to be very happy every time I see that one more pound has gone away.

Losing just one pound at a time is my all-time favorite perspective on weight loss. I highly recommend it! :)


The other day when my husband and I were outside we noticed our 89 year old neighbor was also out working in his garden, so we stopped by to say hello and visit with him. He gave us a little tour of what's growing, shared some of his vast gardening wisdom that he has gained from being a gardener for most of his life.

He showed us his l-o-n-g row of onions, and pulled a bunch, handing them off to us a few at a time, until my husband was holding quite a large bouquet of green-stemmed beauties. :) Tonite I washed them all and chopped them up in the food processor and put them in the freezer for later use. They smelled SO great! And it was fun to have our very first put-away-in-the-freezer produce of the season!

A Better Recipe for Root Beer

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I love root beer. In the past it has been one of my favorite cheat treats. You know--pick up a 4-pack of root beer at the grocery store to stash for rough nights after getting the kids to bed? :) Well, I've tried making a root beer substitute with fizzy water and root beer stevia, and while it was ok, it never got to feel *quite right* to me. But now I have perfected the art of a root beer, and I am a happy girl!

In one cup of club soda add 5 drops of root beer flavored liquid stevia + about 2-3 teaspoons of raw agave nectar. Stir well and adjust flavors as needed. Yum! The agave gives it that syrup-y quality that seems to make it work really well.

Now, agave nectar has about 60 calories per tablespoon, so it's not like you can go around drinking this all day without some adverse consequences eventually. But if you like to have a root beer experience every once in awhile, this can really hit the spot. :)

New Un-cook Books!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I just got two new raw food books that I am SO excited about! Both of these books are beautifully photographed and have just the type of recipes I like: pretty easy! I am learning about lots of new ingredients to try, so that is exciting too! Stay tuned for new ideas and yummies as I continue to learn more about raw foods. :)

Pay Offs: More is caught than taught

Monday, June 15, 2009

So as you know, I stopped eating sugar in March, and since then, as I've become comfortable with that I've also been ramping up the amount of raw foods I'm eating, which is naturally replacing lots of other stuff. This time around has felt easier and more natural, I think just because I'm so used to what I now know that it flows really easily all the time. There is no more angst, no more lists and flow charts of what to soak, sprout, dehydrate, and create for the week. :) I've not harped on any of the family members about their eating (not that I ever did), but this time the kids seem truly enthusiastic and embracing of eating healthier. I've had several wonderful moments with the kids where they have spontaneously showed me how much they are getting it about eating healthier, and boy has that been cool!

#1. The other day my 16 year old son thanked me for making smoothies every day and told me how much he enjoys that. He went on to share that one of his friends had told him that they she was having headaches daily and having trouble sleeping. He told me that what he told her was that the way she is eating is making her sick! He said, "I haven't had a headache in, like, 7 or 8 years or more." I asked him what he attributes that to, and he said, "They food we eat. I mean, really mom--what do we even have in this whole house that has sugar in it? Other than actual sugar in a container?" Interestingly, all I could come up with is that there is some baking chocolate somewhere in the back of the pantry. Seriously. Later on I asked my 13 year old daughter what we have in the house that has sugar in it, and she couldn't think of anything else either. Which was interesting. Because I hadn't realized we had come that far. It hasn't felt like a big effort. It was gradual, and I have been able to have enough fun treats, yummy snacks, and good meals around that they don't miss anything, and love what they are eating!

This is what I'm talking about when I say Baby Steps and taking the time to establish healthy habits that become a no-brainer for you. This makes it so. much. easier. and more successful.

#2. This morning my 6 year old crawled into bed with me to chat before we got up for the day. He was excited for me to get up and make the smoothies. Once I got up, other kids came along to express their enthusiasm and give their ingredient recommendations:

Can we have a kiwi in there?
Can we have an orange too?

As I was adding the spinach I was telling the boys, "do you realize that most kids probably don't have a single piece of green leafy stuff in an entire week? And you're so lucky, you get to have it every day, so you get to be so big and strong and healthy!"

They like that. :)

#3. We made our "rainbow smoothies" as they called them, and they were so happy to slurp it all down. :) My ten year old said that he just loves smoothies because they are a healthy energy drink. He declared, "What I'd like to do for a job when I grow up is to go to a country that thinks that soda and kool aid are the best stuff to drink, and tell them that the best thing they could drink for their health and energy is smoothies!" I guess he doesn't realize that he is already in that country.... :)

He said that once people could understand that message, fast food places "would go down the drain" and businesses like mine "would go UP the drain!" :) Don't you love that?!

#4. My 16 year old is a very cool kid. He plays electric guitar in a band with his friends. They are cool too. ;) And when his friends come over and they want something to eat he never holds back from recommending the healthy stuff we've got around here. I often here him explaining to a guest, "Yeah, my mom makes all this really healthy food and it's really awesome. You should try this, man. It's really good. I eat this every day." They usually do try the stuff, and normally they even like it and ask for more, which is one of my most favorite testing grounds. :) When his friends are here for dinner they are big on the compliments and say things like, "Wow! This is healthy?! That's *awesome*!" and "This is, like, the healthiest and best meal I've ever eaten!" which actually makes me feel a little bit sad for them, because they seem to appreciate it so much. I love to get to feed those kids. :)

Help This Family

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I just learned about Carol and her family today. A year ago, after giving birth to her second child, Carol had multiple health complications that resulted in both of her legs and one arm being amputated, in addition to losing her sight. Unimaginably difficult.

As you can probably guess, their medical bills and the continuing costs related to Carol's rehabilitation are huge. There is a fabulous silent auction set up right now that ends soon. There are tons of gorgeous items there that you can big on. Most bids start at $15-20. PLEASE go check it out, and spread the word. This is an easy way to be a blessing to others.

Papaya Creamsicle Pudding

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My husband loves papaya and bought one at the grocery store a week or so ago. It was getting ripe quickly and we didn't have time to do anything with it right away, so I peeled it and froze it in chunks for future use.

Last night I created this treat for him and he really liked it.

In the food processor:
1 ripe banana
1-2 cups of papaya chunks

Mix until smooth.
Taste and see if you feel like it needs any sweetener. If so, agave nectar would be perfect.

Very easy, and of course this could work with lots of different fruits. Mango, pineapple, oranges, and peaches would all come out with that creamsicle look that is so lovely. (and you could always make popsicles out of these as well!)

Exercise--Making It Happen

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

I'm not one to go out of my way to exercise. I'm a person that likes naps, chats, snuggling, books, movies, and too much computer time. But I know I need it. And I've been thinking about making it happen.

I was thinking that if any of my business ventures ever started producing oodles and oodles of dollars, that maybe I would hire a personal trainer to come right to my house to make me get up and do something to get fit.

In the meantime, while waiting for my bank account to swell, I thought about what I really need.

I have finally found some exercise I like to do. Leslie Sansone walk at home DVDs are fun for me. I just lack the internal motivation to get it done most of the time.

So I got an idea. What if I found an exercise buddy that would come to my house and do the Leslie walks with me??

I thought of my friend Kim. Last summer she organized some walking in our town, but I found it tough to get out of the house most evenings, plus I'm a wimp when it gets really hot. So I asked her if she wanted to come walk with me in my family room. And she said yes!

Monday was our first night walking. The joke was on us--

I had a Leslie DVD here from Netflix (been sitting here for a week without me touching it) that I thought would have the 1 and 2 mile walks on it. Nope. Just a 3 mile walk! (and Kim had already walked about 5 miles that day!!)

I had never done a 3 mile walk with Leslie, and don't think I've even done a 3 mile walk on a treadmill, and certainly not in real life. (are you kidding me?!) I wasn't so sure I could do it, but figured if ever I could, it would be with my buddy Kim by my side.

As it turned out, we did just fine with the 3 mile walk, and even got to chat some as we did so. Having someone to talk to sure does help me forget my aching muscles! ;)

I am excited that I have an exercise buddy, and that I have learned that I am strong enough to do a 3 mile walk workout. :) I get to do 2 more 3 mile walks this week, before I go to a music festival with my teenagers and our youth group and who knows how many miles I will walk while there. (probably more than 3 per day!)

Father's Day is Coming Soon!

Monday, June 08, 2009

I have had a fun weekend, which included me going with my older kids and some of our church youth group to a work day to earn tickets to the Ichthus Christian music festival which is later this week. A few weeks ago I alertly volunteered to be the girl's chaperone Thursday-Friday since nobody else was available for those days, so then got roped into an 8-4 day of manual labor, plus water fights with teenage boys (Which I am proud to say I eventually WON!). Now I will be home for 3 days this week, and then will be sleeping in a tent with 30,000 teenagers on Thursday night, and listening to music for two days. Call it re-living my youth, I guess. :)

(I have been looking forward to doing things like this with my kids for years and years....I love stuff it!)

This morning I finally added the Father's Day special that I have been thinking up. My husband, Super Dad, inspired the collection because he looooves these products and uses them (or eats them) all the time. Dads need to be strong and healthy, too! Don't they? (What would we do without them?)

Sweet Bread/Crackers in the Dehydrator!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

The other day I really wanted some peanut butter on bread. But we didn't have any of our yummy Great Harvest bread, and I didn't want to eat the store bread that we had. I then got the idea to make a sweet version of the savory bread I made the other day when I also made crackers. That night I started soaking buckwheat so that I could get the project underway. Here's what I did:

Soak 2-3 cups of buckwheat for several hours or overnight.
Drain in a colander and rinse well. Then leave in the colander to sprout. (rinse morning and evening, keep colander covered lightly with a towel)
After about 2 days the buckwheat has sprouted and has little tails. Now you can use it!

In the food processor:
2 apples
2 bananas
about 3/4 cup agave nectar or honey
about a tablespoon of cinnamon
a teaspoon of vanilla
and all of the sprouted, damp buckwheat
about a half cup of flax seeds (you can grind them up in a coffee grinder, or leave whole)

Mix it all up well. If it does not seem to stick together well enough, you might want to add another banana. Taste a bit and see if it needs more agave or cinnamon. Adjust according to your preferences.

Spread onto teflex sheets for your dehydrator. Mine filled two 12"x12" trays to a nice thickness.

Dehydrate for several hours and then see it is is firm enough to cut with a pizza cutter. You don't want to put a lot of pressure on it. Just score the lines where you want your slices to be. (I do 16 slices on the 12"x12" tray--1 cut down the center, then into quarters, then turn and do the same on the other side to make bread slice-sized squares.)

When the top is dry enough, flip onto a mesh screen to finish drying. Will probably take around 24 hours to fully dry. Store in the fridge. Great for peanut butter, all-fruit jams, and other sweet treats!

As it turned out, I was gone for most of the second day when these were in the dehydrator, so they turned out crispier than I planned for them to. The good news is that this was a delicious development! This yummy stuff tastes like a cinnamon graham cracker. My boys and hubby loved it (me too) and I enjoyed it very much with some natural peanut butter on it tonite. Mmmmm mmmm good! My husband is so enthusiastic about how good it is that he mentioned being willing to eat the entire batch on his own in one sitting. I asked him not to. :)

I really love how these turned out and will definitely make it again. If I want it to be bread-i-er then I will spread it thicker next time. For now, the graham cracker-i-ness of it really appeals, and it help up great to the peanut butter spreading, which was the whole point in the first place. :)

Cranberry Coconut Cookies

Friday, June 05, 2009

I just sampled my newest raw food creation, fresh and warm from the dehydrator, and it is goooood! :)

Cranberry Coconut Cookies

Soak 2 cups of oat groats in water for several hours or overnight, then drain and rinse.

In food processor chop up at least 1 cup of fresh or frozen unsweetened cranberries. Then set aside.

In food processor combine the oat groats plus:
unsweetened shredded coconut
agave nectar (start with 3 tablespoons and then adjust as seems right to you)
cinnamon (start with 1 tablespoon and adjust as you like)
a teaspoon of vanilla
a banana

In a bowl combine the chopped cranberries with the oat groat mixture. Then drop by spoonfuls onto your dehydrator trays. (depending on how runny your batter is, you may want to start these out on teflex sheets and transfer to mesh later on)

Dehydrate at 100 degrees or less for 12-15 hours or until they are cookie-ish and easy to hold and eat. If you started your cookies out on the teflex sheets, at some point in the middle of the process move them to mesh screens so that both sides dry nicely.

Obviously, there are plenty of possible variations for this. Blueberries or other berries instead of the cranberries. You could play with the spices. You could use honey instead of the agave nectar. You could add nuts. And of course more or less of any of the ingredients I listed here can be used. Basically, as long as you can lump it together on the dehydrator trays, it'll work. I find that without the banana it has a hard time holding together.

If you want pink cookies, just throw the cranberries in with the oat groats and everything else in the food processor. They turn out very cute that way too!

Another possibility for this is to make it into granola. Just spread the cookie dough out on teflex sheets and dehydrate just like that. Use a spatula to break it up every now and then as it dries. At the end when it is totally dry, run it through the food processor a bit to break up the big chunks. Store in the fridge in a ziploc bag or glass jar.

Dehydrator Snack Crackers Recipe

Thursday, June 04, 2009

I've had several people ask me about the things I make in my dehydrator, so today I'm sharing a recipe with you.

The thing about a lot of my raw crackers and treats is that it requires a little foresight. At first I found this really difficult because it was tricky to get the timing right. I mean, newbies aren't so good at planning 3 days in advance for some chip-type-things, you know?

Happily, by now I've gotten a good idea of what I like and what needs to happen, so I can keep things going without too much angst.

The first ingredient needed in this recipe is sprouted buckwheat. For that I take raw buckwheat hulls and soak them for most of a day. (in a bowl with lots of extra water) Then I drain them, rinse them well, and let them live in a couple of colanders for 2 days. I rinse them in the morning and at night, and keep them covered with a towel through the day. (try to spread the buckwheat out thinly in the colander, not all lumped up and deep in the middle) I put a plate under the colander to catch the drips.

Since sprouted buckwheat is a pretty common item in a lot of my raw recipes, I do this pretty regularly even if I don't know what I'm going to do with it. By the time the sprouts have grown for two days, I have usually gotten it figured out. If not, the drained sprouts can go into a ziploc bag in the fridge for several days, or they can be dehydrated and used for one of our favorite cookie bar treats: Buckwheatie Bars. (I'll tell you about those some other time)

For this recipe you need:

5 cups of sprouted buckwheat

3 cups of fresh veggies (I used 3 tomatoes this time, but you can use zucchini or anything else you've got around)

2 cups of soaked sunflower seeds (cover the seeds in water for a day, then drain. yet another thinking ahead step, but it's easy. If I'm not using them right away I freeze them.) You could use pine nuts or other nuts/seeds if they are more convenient for you.

1 cup of flax meal (raw flax seeds ground up in a coffee grinder)

2 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. chili powder

2 tablespoons cumin

2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar

juice of 2 limes

2 pinches cayenne pepper

3/4 tsp. garlic powder

2 tablespoons olive oil

half cup pumpkin seeds (it's good to soak these ahead of time too)

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

The nice thing about this recipe is that it's not going to fly or fail based on exact measurements or if you have every single thing. You can really "cook from the hip" with this one, adding or deleting items to your liking.

You just whiz all of this up on your food processor (probably in batches since it's more than most food processors can handle), then mix it all up in a big bowl.

Spread it thinly onto teflex sheets on dehydrator trays. I do it thick enough to not have bare spaces. It thins out some once it's dehydrated too.

This recipe fills over 3 of my dehydrator trays. (they are each 1 foot square)

Once I get the batter spread onto the trays I take my pizza cutter and cut through it to score it. I go straight across for the first series of cuts, then diagonal for the second. That makes the chips turn out diamond-shaped which seems right for the flavorful flair that these chips have. :)

Dehydrate for several hours until it holds together well enough to flip it onto a dehydrator tray without the teflex sheet. (The teflex sheets keep liquid on the tray, but what you really want is for the majority of the drying time to be on the mesh dehydrator trays) It takes about 24 hours of drying for these to be done.

I save them in a large Tupperware container and this batch lasts us a few weeks, so it's worth it to me to bother to make it.

Other than the planning ahead, these are really easy to make. It probably took me 20 minutes to throw this together today, and now I'll be set with snack chips for the rest of the month, at least.

You can use these chips for dipping, although sometimes mine come out a little too thin to sustain much weight. I normally eat them instead of popcorn or some other salty or crunchy snack, plus I take them in the car if I know I'm going to be hungry and won't want to eat something junky instead.

This recipe comes from my favorite raw food recipe book by Serene Allison. it is called Rejuvenate Your Life and you can purchase the book from the resources at Above Rubies. We have many successful favorite healthy foods in our family thanks to her recipes, and things I have adapted from them.

A variation on this recipe is Garlic Naan bread. Basically I use this same recipe, except throw in some extra garlic, and spread it a little thicker on the teflex sheets. Then I use my pizza cutter to cut this into squares, approximately the size of a smallish slice of bread. Do the same thing with the drying process--let it get crisp on the one side, then flip over and let the other side get done. I sometimes have a piece or two of this garlic naan bread with raw guacamole spread on it. You can also slice up some cucumbers, tomatoes, or other veggies to add to the top. Very yummy, and surprisingly filling!

**A tip on flipping: The simplest way to flip foods from the teflex sheet to the regular mesh is to just place the mesh screen and tray on top of the food that is on the teflex sheet. Just hold them together like a big book, and turn it over. Now the crispy side is resting on the mesh tray. Lift the top tray off, and gently peel the teflex sheet away from the food. Done! :)

There you go! Let me know if you try it!

Raw Yummy-ness with my Kids!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

How fun!

Today I had the spontaneous and fun experience of creating a new recipe with my kids!

Since working on eating more raw foods lately, what I've learned over the years seems to have gelled in my brain in a way that has helped it be much easier and more natural for me. I've created new recipes every couple of days, and now I see that my kids have even gotten a flair for raw recipe creation.

It all started with the gRAWnola that I made. I needed to chop it up in the food processor to break up the chunks a bit. Kids started coming by to sample the new cereal, and each of them was enthusiastic about the taste. My 10 year old said that he thought it would be a great lunch if I would mix it up in the food processor with a banana and an apple. We whipped that up and --oooh!-- Wow! It smelled so good! He was delighted. His 9 and 6 year old brothers gladly lined up with their bowls to get some too.

Next came by 16 year old who opted for the granola with a banana, some homemade plain yogurt, and some raw agave nectar. He loved it!

The ten year old came back around for another variation. It included gRAWnola, 1 kiwi, and 1 banana. Another yummy success. :)

I will admit that I had planned kind of a junky lunch for them today, but as it turned out, this was what they ate and they enjoyed it thoroughly. We found that this was very filling, so none of them was able to finish their entire bowl of goodness. No worries! We popped the leftovers into the dehydrator on teflex sheets, so it'll all just be more granola tomorrow. :)

gRAWnola Recipe!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

For years I've made granola in the oven, but I've been curious about raw versions of granola as well. After seeing some crazy high prices for raw granola in the health food store, I decided to experiment with making it myself. The other day I made a mistake when trying to make some raw cookies, and ended up developing a gRAWnola recipe instead! :) Here is how it goes:

Soaked 3 cups of steel cut oat groats overnight, along with some raw pumpkin seeds, raw sunflower seeds, and some flax seeds. (Just throw it all in a bowl and cover it with water. It'll expand, so be sure to have a big enough bowl and plenty of water.)

In the morning drain off the water. In the food processor throw in a banana or two, a couple cored apples, some cinnamon and nutmeg, some agave nectar or raw honey, and the oats and nuts. Process it all until smooth. Spread onto teflex sheets in the dehydrator. Dehydrate at 105 degrees or less for the whole day. (once you get to 110 degrees or so you are cooking the food and destroying the enzymes, so it's best to go for the lower temp and keep the good stuff in your food)

Throughout the day check on the progress. Use a spatula to break up the granola, flip it to expose the damp sides, etc. At the end of the day it will probably be dry enough to call it done. I then toss it back into the food processor to chunk it up better. I store it in the fridge in a ziploc bag.

Obviously, you could add more/less/different nuts, fruits, coconut, spices, etc. depending on what you're looking for. Very versatile, easy, and can be fairly inexpensive.

Getting Off Sugar Q&A

Monday, June 01, 2009

Hi Erica,

What process did you follow for getting off sugar? And do you allow yourself to have some type of sugar (sucanat) or substitute (stevia)? Or do you just use fruits to satisfy the sweet tooth. I would really like to get away from sugar, but could use some ideas for how to do it.



Hi Kathy,

Thanks for writing! What I did for getting off of sugar was to exclude all obvious sugar from my diet (cookies, candy, etc.), plus tried to avoid sugar even as a trace ingredient in other foods, though at times that is not workable for me. (usually if I do not plan ahead and am out someplace) I did (and do) use stevia, honey, and agave nectar for sweeteners, in addition to fruit. As time has gone on I use fewer of these and find that my taste buds have changed to the point where I need and want less sweet stuff most of the time.

An interesting experience happened to me yesterday. I have been eating Jocalat bars (fruit and nuts, mostly raw) as a treat since getting off sugar. I allow myself one per day if I really want a treat. However, I ran out several weeks ago, so have only had fruit, smoothies, and my healthy ice cream type stuff for treats for probably 2 weeks or so. Yesterday I was able to purchase some Jocalat bars and decided to have one on the way home. I was surprised to discover that my favorite flavor seemed almost *too sweet* to me, and the entire bar felt like it would be too much to eat in one sitting. That had never happened to me before! It was really interesting to see how much my taste buds had adjusted to not having sweet treats like that every day.

This was probably my third time in 10 years to get off of sugar, and this time felt easier than ever before. I didn't really have withdrawal symptoms, which may be because I was a little more gradual on the trace ingredient sugar than I have been in the past. Now that I have been eating no sugar for 2.5 months, it feels fairly effortless. (this has been the case in the past as well) I do not feel deprived, and it does not bother me to not have any cake at a birthday party or desserts at a pot luck.

In addition to not eating sugar I have been avoiding white flour as much as possible, and have been increasing the amount of raw fruits, veggies, and nuts that I'm eating. I have lost about a pound a week since getting off sugar, and that is very encouraging as well.

I hope this helps!