Natural Ant & Bug Repellent

fullsizeoutput_6ea9So this is kinda gross, but our kitchen was being invaded by ants!! 🐜🐜🐜 Anyone else have an issue with this in the summer?

I didn’t want to spray chemicals near our food 🍏🍒🥒🌮 or in the house where it could get on my son’s skin (or any of our skin really!) Poison to bugs is still poison to us, just on a smaller scale…but it all adds up over time 🙈 Most insecticides kill bugs by poking holes in their stomachs, so it make sense the same thing can happen to us. No wonder we all have so many gut health/allergy/anxiety issues!!

I cut some cotton pads into quarters, then put 1 drop each of pure lemon, peppermint and clove oils on them. After scattering them around the kitchen, we haven’t seen an ant for days!! 🎉🎉🎉 

Have you tried any natural remedies that worked even better than you expected?

Shift Your Mindset & Ditch the Diet!

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Ladies, love yourself for those small steps you’re taking every day, not just the results in the mirror!

I won’t lie, the thought of spending a week in a bathing suit with a bunch of people who are SUPER FIT on our Health Coaching Vacation in Mexico last week gave me a bit of anxiety! 😱 👙👙👙👙😱

I have stretch marks from gaining and losing so much weight over the years (thank you yo-yo dieting, thyroid issues, anxiety medication and pregnanc😜) I may not have a flat stomach, and I certainly will always have cellulite

But then I realized, you know what? I am working on living a healthier lifestyle (for the most part), investing in mine and my family’s long-term health…and THAT is what matters more than a dang swimsuit! 👊

I will never be one to completely abstain from chocolate, eat low calorie/no carb/high fat (that never works long term for me anyway 😂) or exercise like crazy. I just don’t like to feel restricted, and I know I can find a healthy balance that I’m proud of no matter what the heck I’m wearing or who I’m with 😍

None of us are perfect, but we are all pretty AMAZING! Can I get an AMEN?! 🙌 And if you’re looking for that balance in your life too, and just need some basic nutrition& mindset guidelines that work in REAL LIFE … comment below friend!

I’m starting our Intuitive Eating DITCH THE DIET group soon, you should join us 💕 No more cutting out food groups or counting calories, just learning how to SIMPLY fuel our own individual bodies best WITHOUT restrictions! I’ll send you some more info. #healthyandhappyforlife 

Easy Taco Seasoning & Salad Bar

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Taco Salads are one of our favorite Healthier Family Meals, but I used to rely HEAVILY on the prepackaged Taco Seasonings at the store…until I realized how much cheaper it was to make at home!

Literally, this costs pennies compared to the mixes AND you can control the ingredients that go into it. I keep getting requests for this recipe on Instagram, because we use it all the time to make some of the meals I share over there:   

  • Taco Meat (ground beef, chicken, turkey, venison, even black beans or toasted quinoa)
  • Seasoned Veggies
  • Fajitas
  • Mexican Rice
  • Shredded Crock Pot Chicken
  • Grilled Chicken

Just multiply this seasoning recipe by 10 and store it in a Mason Jar, then you’ll be all set for quick easy meals. Eating healthy doesn’t have to complicated or time consuming – because we’re all busy right?! 

Here’s the seasoning mix, along with a recipe for Taco Salads if that strikes your fancy! My son eats SO many more veggies this way, when I serve this as a “salad bar” and let him fill his own plate! It’s a great idea for dinner parties & picnics too 😍

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TACO SALADS & SEASONING MIX
Serves 4 (approx. 3 cups each)

INGREDIENTS:
1 lb lean ground beef, turkey, chicken or venison, browned and drained
(sub 1 can black beans or chickpeas for plant based)
6 cups Romaine lettuce/spinach/salad greens
2 cups chopped veggies (onions, tomatoes, peppers, etc.)
2 cups salsa (low sugar/sodium preferred)
24 whole grain tortilla chips
1-1/3 cup shredded cheese if you aren’t dairy free

Seasoning:
1 Tbsp chili powder
1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 tsp coconut sugar (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Brown meat in a pan over medium heat, breaking into small pieces as it cooks.
  2. While meat is browning, prepare salads.
  3. Add 3/4 cup water and seasoning ingredients to cooked meat.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Top salads with 3/4 cup meat, 1/3 cup cheese, 1/2 cup salsa and 6 crunched up tortilla chips.

What’s your family’s favorite way to eat Tacos? Salad, soft shell or hard shell?  

Sesame Chicken Lo Mein

Healthy Sesame Chicken Lo Mein

I looooove Chinese Food, but it doesn’t always love me back 😉

Making “fakeaway” at home is a great compromise when I’m craving Orange Chicken or General Tso’s. We don’t end up bloated, HANGRY and tired an hour later like we used to after getting traditional take out!

Even my husband likes this Healthier Sesame Chicken Lo Mein recipe, and he’s made many rounds through the Chinese buffets with me over the years. A quick shout out to the amazing Ree Drummond for inspiring this recipe! http://www.pioneerwoman.com  (PS Isn’t her line of dishes SO CUTE?) ❤

I just added a few healthier twists to make this recipe fit into my cleaner eating plan! It’s amazing how much better you can feel when you just make some tweaks to your eating – HELLO extra energy!! And as a busy mom, I can use all the energy I can get 😉

SPICY SESAME LO MEIN CHICKEN
Total Time: 40 minutes Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS:
3 large chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 cups veggies cut into uniform sized pieces (broccoli, peppers, carrots, onions, etc.)
8 oz dry whole wheat or brown rice pasta
1/2 cup Braggs Liquid Aminos or Coconut Aminos (healthier version of soy sauce)
2 Tbsp. honey
8 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. hot chili sesame oil (or sub regular sesame oil)
5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
4 whole green onions, sliced thin (not necessary but pretty ;))

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cut chicken into cubes and stir fry in 1 Tbsp. oil and pepper. Remove from pan.
  2. Cut veggies in uniform sized pieces and stir fry in 1 Tbsp. of oil. Once cooked, add chicken. Remove from heat.
  3. Cook noodles and drain.
  4. Whisk soy sauce, honey, garlic, rice vinegar, hot chili sesame oil and remaining 2Tbsp. olive oil together in a bowl. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.
  5. Pour sauce over chicken/veggie mixture. Place over noodles and sprinkle with onions.

Adapted from http://www.ThePioneerWoman.com


What’s your favorite traditional Chinese dish, are you a Lo Mein fan or are you more into Fried Rice? (I have a healthier recipe for that too if you need it!!) 

 

Transformation – Kelly O.

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This working mama of FOUR girls & pastor’s wife is such an inspiration!!!! Kelly is so humble about all the changes she’s made over the last few months, but the impact it is having on her family, as well as her ministry to her church, school and community is undeniabl💕

Like most of us, Kelly had tried several different paths to health over the years… because she realized that if she felt her best, she would have more energy to serve others  The last few months she’s made a Lifestyle Shift (no dieting!) by following a basic healthier meal plan, doing some quick 💪workouts at home and getting a little more nutrition and superfoods into her day…along with support and friendship of some other amazing Mamas in our Real Life Healthy Living Sisterhood 💃

I asked her why this Holistic Health Lifestyle combo was different than things she’s experienced before:  “Definitely the accountability has been huge!!! 😊Knowing we all share the ups/downs of our day (in judgement free way) keeps me on the straight and narrow! I’m feeling better everyday, stronger, and have more energy! Now I know what we eat plays into how we think and feel 😉 And that I can’t just keep waiting for circumstances to be PERFECT!!!

It’s learning to make the right choices with the situation your handed. 😍 This past week was super busy, so it wasn’t a week to focus on exercising and losing. More just about eating to energize my body and making my girls a priority. (👉Even though she still ended up going down a few pounds as a side effect of those choices 😉)”

Kelly is getting great results herself, BUT how cool is this: Her girls are starting to eat healthier snacks along with her and even working out with their mama! 😍

👉If Kelly’s story resonates with you, you’re welcome to join us in this mission to be our best selves, mind/body/spirit, and encourage our families while we’re at it 😍  Just fill out the “Contact” form so we can see if our Real Life Healthy Living Sisterhood would be what you need to get started on your lifestyle journey too 💕 

Healthier Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

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My grandma always made these Chocolate/Peanut Butter treats at Christmas time when I was growing up, and they are actually pretty simple to “healthify” to remove a lot of the refined sugar and carbs!

I’ve given these Healthier Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckeye Balls for Christmas gifts the past few years, and everyone ends up raving over them, even after I tell them they’re pretty healthy! I think they will be a good Valentine’s treat too, so I’m pulling out the recipe and wanted to share it with you all!

WARNING: They are addictive! Even when I try to hide them in the back of the freezer, they disappear within a week. (Mainly by my own doing! Life is all about balance right?) You really can’t get much better than chocolate and peanut butter!

HEALTHIER CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BALLS
Yield: 15 balls

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup natural smooth peanut butter (just peanuts & salt)
4 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 cup whole wheat or Gluten Free brown rice flour
¼ teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large bowl, stir peanut butter and maple syrup until it thickens up.
  2. Add salt, then stir in flour ¼ cup at a time to reach a doughy texture that isn’t too sticky to roll. (Add a bit of water if it’s too crumbly!)
  3. Shape into small balls and place onto baking sheet covered with wax or parchment paper.
  4. In a small pot, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil over low heat stirring frequently.
  5. Once melted, remove chocolate from heat and dip the balls using a fork or toothpick. Tap off excess chocolate into the pan.
  6. Put finished buckeye balls in the freezer for 15 minutes until firm.
  7. If you have any left, store in the freezer or refrigerator!

PS Did you know Quinoa is a SUPERFOOD? It’s a grain that’s packed with protein, and the flour is perfect in this recipe. Want more SUPERFOOD SWEETS &  TREATS ideas? Just comment below!