Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Blueberry Chia Overnight Oats (No Added Sugar!)

Have I told you how lazy I am?  OK, maybe not lazy...  I prefer "resourceful"!  As much as I often find cooking fun, I don't like to spend all my time in the kitchen.

Enter Overnight Oats.  You make one portion and eat it for three mornings.  No cooking either!  

And for my friends who are gluten-free, dairy-free, and free of added sugar--you're in luck!  This recipe checks all the boxes!  Plus it's very filling, has lots of fiber, and has a nice burst of sweetness due to the blueberries!

So here we go!!!


 Blueberry Chia Overnight oats


Ingredients for 3 Servings:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Gluten Free Rolled Oats (I use One Degree Organic Sprouted Gluten Free Oats for good digestibility)
  • 3 T Chia Seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (or more if you like it spicy!)
  • 1 1/2 C Nut Milk (make your own or use one with minimal additives!)
  • Fresh or Frozen, thawed blueberries
Directions:
  • Take out three clean jars/containers with lids. 
  • Add 1/2 C Oats, 1 T Chia Seeds, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 C nut milk to each jar.
  • Stir the contents of each jar to combine the ingredients, close the lids, and shake shake shake!  (Perfect time to blast your favorite song and dance around the kitchen!)  
  • Take a peek at the bottom of each jar to be sure the chia seeds are not clumpy--if clumpy, give a good stir!
  • Then, with lids on, stick your jars in the fridge overnight.  (Hence the term, "Overnight Oats".)
  • The next morning, take a jar out, take the lid off, add a smidge more nut milk if you like a creamier consistency, top with blueberries and eat!  But wait!  Can you eat them warm?  YUP!  I always heat mine up with a little extra "milk" and then plop some frozen blueberries in there (they pretty much thaw by the time I sit down to eat!).  SO good!


So there you go!  Blueberry Chia Overnight Oats!  Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, No-Added-Sugar, easy to make and super yummy.  

Enjoy!


 

Monday, April 12, 2021

Crunchy Rainbow Veggie Bowl with Warm Coconut Rice


CRUNCHY RAINBOW VEGGIE BOWL 

With

WARM COCONUT RICE



Oh, Rainbow Veggie Bowl!  How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways...

  1. You're easy to make.  
  2. You're pretty.  
  3. You have lots of different textures and colors.  
  4. You're healthy.  
  5. You're filling.
  6. You're delicious.  
  7. And your flavor combos are endless!


Are you ready to give this Crunchy Rainbow Veggie Bowl a try?  You can use ANY veggie combo you like and any dressing you like (though my favorite is the Spicy Asian "Peanut" Sauce created by Megan Gilmore--it goes great with the coconut rice and cilantro!)


This makes a big portion of rice, so be sure to chop LOTS of veggies...that way you can reheat the rice and throw in some veggies for quickie lunches throughout the week!


COCONUT RICE INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups jasmine or basmati rice 

  • 15 oz canned coconut milk (no additives)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 

  • 3/4 tsp salt 

  • 1 cup water 


CRUNCHY VEGGIES (Choose ones you like...Here are some suggestions!)
  • Red cabbage, sliced or diced

  • Red or gold beets, scrubbed and finely chopped or grated 

  • Cucumber, diced

  • Radish, diced

  • Snap peas, diced

  • Carrots, diced

  • Celery, diced

  • Red Bell Peppers, diced

  • Bean sprouts


TOPPINGS (OPTIONAL)
  • Chopped nuts
  • Seeds (Pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, etc.)
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Chopped cilantro or mint
  • Hemp Hearts
  • Spicy Asian "Peanut" Sauce from the Detoxinista! (Which you can also make soy free and added-sugar free by skipping the honey and using coconut aminos in place of the tamari.)
  • Protein (Hard-boiled eggs, cooked chicken breast, beans, lentils, cooked shrimp, etc.)

DIRECTIONS:

SAVORY COCONUT RICE COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

Put all of the Coconut Rice ingredients in a saucepan and stir to combine. Bring rice mixture to a boil over high heat, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 15 mins or until the liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat and allow rice to cool slightly in the covered pot for another 15 minutes or so.


ARRANGING YOUR RICE BOWL

Put 1/4-1/2 cup warm rice in your bowl. Next, add the RAW diced/sliced crunchy veggies of choice. Top with a drizzle of your favorite dressing (I like the Spicy Asian "Peanut" Sauce above!) and any toppings from the list above! Enjoy!




Thursday, February 4, 2021

What's Your Favorite Yoga Posture?

Calling all you fabulous Yogis!

I've got a question for you! What's your favorite yoga posture and WHY?

Me? I've got five faves:

1. Salamba Setu Bandha Sarvangasana--Supported Bridge Pose is the bomb! It is one of those great postures that lengthens the low back (great for when my low back feels all "stuck"), adds space to the hip flexors and front thighs (to combat the shortening of muscles I get from sitting all the time), and opens the heart center (Helloooo energy boost!). Plus, yogis say it's great for the thyroid!



2. Viparita Karani--Legs Up The Wall is awesome because it relaxes my low back muscles, drains fluid from my feet/lower legs, grounds me, and sets me up for deep sleep. I also like to combine it with a neck stretch by rolling a towel and putting it under the curve of my neck (very good for getting rid of neck tension and helping with tightness in the jaw). Plus there are a bunch of variations!






3. Supta Matsyendrasana--Though a deep Reclining Twist (Reclined Lord of the Fishes) doesn't ALWAYS feel delicious for me personally, I CAN always feel a big ol' stretch in my superficial muscles, my deep muscles, and even in my guts! LOL! I know that sounds weird--but I've had a lot of pelvic surgeries and I feel like this posture really helps with loosening adhesions. Plus, for me, it helps keep digestion and elimination running smoothly because those deep twists are great for massaging your organs/intestines. Oh! And I LOVE how it stretches the outer hip and glute--THAT part IS always yummy!



4. Salamba Supta Baddha Konasana--Reclining Bound Angle Pose is delish! Always! Great for opening up the heart center and front of the shoulders, great for stretching the abdominals, great for relaxing the upper back, great for opening the hips, great for digestive issues! Just awesome all over!



5. Supta Kapotasana (AKA Supta Eka Pada Utkatasana)--Reclining Pigeon is just fabulous for times when I've worked out too hard! Great for the hip muscles and the glutes! Plus, it does wonders when my low back feels tight (and protects the spine at the same time!)




So those are mine! What are yours?

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

The Fruit and Veggie Challenge is Complete...Now Comes Vacation Mode!

Well, it's the 23rd! The last full day of the Fruit and Veggie Challenge!

How did you do? Did you fill your plate with veggies and crowd out the sweets, lattes, fried food, alcohol, and other junk?

I did! Now, don't get me wrong...I wasn't perfect. Nor did I expect to be. But I DID accomplish what I set out to do...to eat healthier than I normally would have during the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. 'Cuz THAT is a HARRRRD time frame for me to stay healthy. But I did it. And I'm happy I did.

I ditched the junk that had been making me feel so crappy from Early November (Birthday time!) to Thanksgiving.

What were the results?

I lost a couple pounds. My joints stopped aching. My sugar and carb cravings went away. My digestion/elimination returned to normal. I exercised consistently (cuz when I eat better, I tend to exercise more!). I got a little stronger from the increased exercise. I drank more water and herbal tea. I slept deeply. I woke up with energy. I reduced my snacking. I feel like I nourished my body WAY more than I typically would have this time of year...

The list goes on.

So now today is the last day and it's time for the Holidays and "Vacation Mode". This is where most people (myself included!) fall off the healthy wagon and never get back on.

Why? Because they get swept up in "Vacation Mode" and mindlessly eat everything that's put in front of them and then feel bad about it. They feel like they failed. They feel like they were on a diet, and now they're off and now it's ruined. So why bother?

But it's not all or nothing. You're not "on" a diet or "off" a diet...you're just living! Vacations and Holidays happen! They are part of a good, balanced, happy life! And they should be enjoyed! No need for guilt!
Plus, there's a secret to enjoying your vacation time AND not going totally off the rails.

The secret is....making Choices.

Is it that easy? Yup!

I'm going to sit down today and choose what my "Vacation Mode" will look like...

  • Will I choose to eat everything in sight, guilt free, no strings attached, knowing that I'm "back to healthy" after January 1st?
  • Will I choose to eat everything I want, but in small portions so I don't hurt my belly and get my joint pain back?
  • Will I choose to keep it to one "junkie thing" each day, every other day, or on the weekends only?
  • Will I choose to eat only "special junk food" like homemade cookies or special pastries rather than noshing on "plain old junk food" like chips or pretzels that are junkie but that have no "wow" factor?
  • Will I make healthier versions of junk food so I can still enjoy indulgences without goofing up my health?

I haven't really decided yet. But I will.

It doesn't matter which thing I decide...it's just important that I take the time to be mindful and decide.

Why?

I want to be in charge of my choices. I don't want to get swept up in the environment or the people around me and just randomly eat a bunch of unhealthy foods/drinks until I feel miserable and find myself feeling guilty about it. (How many times have I said to myself, "Gah! Why did I eat all that? I didn't even like it and now I feel super crappy!")

I want to mindfully and purposefully enjoy every morsel of my junkie foods and special drinks! LOL! I never want to feel bad about what I eat, and if I mindfully choose it....I won't!

So...if you did the Fruit and Veggie Challenge (and even if you didn't!), decide how you're going to handle your holidays! Whatever you choose to do, enjoy your Holiday Indulgences guilt-free and savor every delicious morsel!

Sending hugs!

Happy Holidays!

--Dorothy

PS
Me in past "Vacation Modes"...look at all the smiles! LOL!


Christmas Margaritas...one for me and one for...
Oh, who am I kidding?
They're both for ME!
LOL!


Yummy Holiday Lemon Drop made by my friend (and former bartender), Nick!


BBQ Birthday Dinner! My FAVE!



Tuesday, December 22, 2020

"What do you want for Christmas, Little Girl?"

So remember when you were little and you sat on Santa's lap, told him you'd been good all year, and then excitedly blurted out what you wanted for Christmas?

What a great opportunity that was! You were able to dig deep into that little kid brain of yours and come up with that ONE thing that would truly make your heart sing! Wahoooo!

The catch was, there you were, hoping against hope, that you could rely on this random bearded guy in a funky red suit to make your dearest dream come true.

Fast forward to today. Here you are, and 2020 is coming to an end (thank goodness!). Have you thought about what you want for 2021? Did you dig deep and come up with that ONE thing that would make your heart sing?

For most of us, as we get older (and wiser) it's no longer a toy or a game that we want for ourselves...usually it's something bigger, something more meaningful.

We want health.

We want vitality.

We want energy, confidence, happiness, joy, connection, and purpose.

But even now, 30, 40, 50+ years later, there's still a catch! We now live with the awareness that we really can't rely on that random bearded guy in the funky red suit. Or anyone else for that matter. We know it's time to be all adult-y and rely on ourselves to make our dearest dreams come true. It's up to US to "do the things" and make it happen. (Whatever we decide the "IT" to be!)

So as 2020 comes to a close, dig deep. What do YOU want for yourself in 2021? And more importantly, what are you going to DO to get there?


"Only YOU can change your life. No one else can do it for you." -Anonymous




Monday, December 14, 2020

I Tried It! Roasted Squash Salad with Goat Cheese

Ever had a salad that was so yummy that it tasted like dessert?  I did!

I ate one today!

I made it based on this recipe from Farm Fresh to You (Full Circle).  It was amazeballs!  Not kidding.  I had two servings.  Yeah, two.  And I don't even really like raw spinach!

I deviated from the recipe just a bit....
  • I used roasted sweet potato chunks instead of roasted squash ('cuz I didn't have any on hand and I didn't have time to run to the store!)
  • Our salad had toasted and salted almond slivers instead of walnuts 'cuz hubby is not a fan of walnuts
  • I only added half the maple syrup ('cuz I'm trying to not each too much sugar)
An added benefit of this salad?  It's super pretty!  This is the pic from the Farm Fresh to You website... 


Go ahead.  Give it a try and see what YOU think!

You can find the full recipe here:  https://www.farmfreshtoyou.com/recipes/241/roasted-squash-salad-with-goat-cheese

Have fun!

Dorothy

Soooo Good Instant Pot Beef Stew

I  LOVE beef stew!  Especially on cold, gray winter days!  

It's warm.  It's nourishing.  It's easy to make.  Plus, I can get an easy lunch the next day 'cuz there are always a little leftovers to reheat!  A total win!

And this recipe is Sooooo good!  (If I do say so myself! LOL!)  

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs beef chuck roast (grass-fed and organic if able!) cut into 1.5-2 inch cubes
  • Kosher Salt
  • 1 T ghee or avocado oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 lb mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and quartered
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 T tomato paste
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and diced (or smashed!)
  • 1.5-2 Cups beef bone broth (you could also use chicken bone broth!)
  • 2 T Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 T Worcestershire Sauce (optional)
  • 1-2 T Coconut aminos (or gluten free tamari if you're ok with soy)
  • 1 tsp Fish Sauce (I use Red Boat)
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3-4 large carrots, peeled and then chopped into large chunks

  • 1T Cassava Flour (optional...for thickening)


Directions:
  1. In a big ol' bowl, toss cubed beef with a little Kosher salt.  Let it sit.
  2. Press "Saute" on your Instant Pot and when the metal insert is hot, add the avocado oil or ghee. Wait for the fat to melt and then add onions, mushrooms, celery and a sprinkle of salt.  Saute until veggies are soft about 4-5 mins.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
  4. Add in salted beef cubes, bone broth, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce (optional), coconut aminos, fish sauce, thyme, bay leaf, ground black pepper, and chopped carrots.  Give a good stir and then press the "Keep Warm/Cancel" button on your Instant Pot.
  5. Put the lid on and lock it and be sure your steam valve is closed.  Cook for 35 mins on high pressure. (The "Stew/Meat" button will typically do this for you, so you can just press that if you like!)
  6. When the cooking time is finished your Instant Pot will automatically go into "Keep Warm" mode.  Let the pressure release naturally in this mode for 15-20 mins.  When you're ready to eat, carefully move the steam valve to "Vent" and let the last bits of steam out.
  7. Remove the Instant Pot top, fish out your bay leaf and thyme sprigs and eat the stew as is OR if you like thicker stew, take out a bit of the liquid put it in a small bowl, add your cassava flour and make a slurry, add the slurry back in and give the whole thing a good stir.  (See tips below if you like thick stew, but don't want to use flour.)
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.



Tips and Tricks:
  • For making a thicker stew sans flour of any kind, add peeled and chopped chunks of potatoes and extra carrots to your recipe.  When stew is done, take out some potatoes and carrots and mash or blend them into a paste and then stir them back in to make a thicker broth.  
  • If you like peas in your stew, after stew is cooked and the Instant Pot cover is removed, press the saute button, add your peas and cook until they're done!  (Just know, the extra cooking time may make your carrots mushy!)  
    • Alternate method so your carrots don't get mushy?  Cook your peas separately via microwave or stovetop and add them in after your stew is completely done!  More dishes to wash, but less mushy carrots!  :)
  • You can also add other hearty veggies to your stew--parsnip, potatoes, cut string beans, celeriac, turnip, etc. during the regular cooking process.  
  • For a little boost of greens, you can add chopped spinach in after the stew is completely cooked and just cook on saute for a little bit to soften your greens!
Have fun with it, friends!  Let me know how it goes!

HUGS!
Dorothy