Have a Healthy Halloween

Lets face it. Times have changed. What used to be the old age tradition of dressing your kids in costumes and venturing out into the dark night with bags (or pillowcases) for long walks around your city are coming to an end.

Maybe it’s fear, maybe it’s being more conscious of what we are putting into our kids system, or it could be a combination of the two.

These realities do not put a damper on this time of year, but they do allow for some creative, fun, healthy changes for your children and future generations.

As we know, change is always inevitable. Nothing stays the same. When you know better you can’t help but to do better. This new set of parents known, as Generation X and Millennia’s, are raising ourselves and our children healthier and wiser than our parents did.

And for good reason. Candy is filled with even more sugar and artificial dyes. Yellow #5, Blue #1, and Red #40 sound more like a cool dye to color shirts with, but instead it’s dyeing our insides.  Venturing into the darkness with your children is still popular for some, but many view the world a little differently than they used to.

You might be wondering – just how might one Mom or Dad get past Halloween without allowing our children to collect the Hershey, Twix, and M&M bars at costume festivals or household Halloween parties?

For starters, we always prepare the kids for what’s about to happen – the “good” and the “bad”.  For the “bad”- We let them know that when they graciously collect their goodies, they get to pick one, eat it for about a minute and after the minute is up it goes in the trash.  When we get home a few (and I do mean VERY few) go in the freezer and the rest in the trash.

Never feel bad about throwing away candy. Anything that does not serve as nutrition for my families insides has no place in our home.

Call it cruel and unusual, but my children have come to look forward to the small indulgence of unhealthy sugar. And believe it or not they don’t bother to ask about what happened to their other candy.

The “good” – we offset the artificial stuff with some healthy sweets. There is an overabundance of healthy sweet alternatives that you can swap.

As your families ideals change during Halloween, there are still many cool, healthy alternatives that can be created within your own family tradition. And yes, Halloween can be enjoyed with minimal amounts of sugar!

Keep in mind – if you decide not to buy organic or raw it’s okay. You are still making a healthy decision to stay away from the commercial “shelf life” candy choices!

Baked Pumpkin Seeds with Cinnamon and Organic Coconut Sugar

Slice open a pumpkin, take out the seeds. Let the seeds dry overnight. Place pumpkin seeds on a baking dish. Sprinkle cinnamon and organic coconut sugar on top. Place in the oven on 425* for 25 minutes. Let cool or use as a topping over Tofutti Vanilla Ice Cream. Enjoy!

Candied Apples with Organic Raw Honey dipped in nuts

Grab a Green (Tart) or Red (Sweet) Apple. Dip or drizzle Organic Raw Honey then dip into nuts. Place in the freezer for about 15 minutes and Enjoy!

Organic Raw Fruit Fondue w/ Dark Organic Chocolate

Grab your favorite fruits – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, cherries. Grab your favorite organic dark chocolate bar (most can be found at your favorite non-commercial grocery or health food store – the health benefits of dark chocolate are endless!).

Kids House Party w/ fruit infused water ice cubes

Once again grab your favorite fruits (limes, lemons and ginger go great here too!). Add cubes to fresh water (or parents, add to your favorite mixed drink). After all, they will already by amped up from those healthy candied apples and pumpkin seeds. Balance their nutritional benefits with water. Enjoy!

Homemade Pita Pizza Party

Split open a wheat pita. Smooth on the organic tomato sauce or marinara. Choose your favorite toppings such as red, green, and yellow peppers. Sprinkle with fresh mozzarella cheese – or if you are dairy free, Daiya cheese has a wide assortment of delicious dairy-free cheese to choose from. Place in the oven on 425* until brown. Enjoy!

Movie Night with Brown bag popcorn and Pink Himalayan Salt

Grab organic whole kernels and place into a brown bag. Pop in the microwave according to your settings. Sprinkle with Pink Himalayan Salt and Enjoy!

 

From my Family to yours – Have a Healthy Halloween!

PUMPKIN

 

 

 

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The Big Pay Back!

We are an enlightened people who will not just reach for the shelf! We will take back our bodies, our minds, and our planet and furthermore what we consume and use will be conscientiously thought about. We do not need you to necessarily “prepare” our food and products, we just ask that you make available to us access to non-GMO seeds and allow for organic space and living to create our own. For those who cannot grow everything, allow farmers to raise and grow their animals, fruits, and veggies organically. We will slowly start to replace your shelf products with a healthier alternative for our friends, families and ourselves. We will spread the word, create and educate those around us.

Disclaimer: The following article is an informative article about some simple swaps that my family and I have consciously chosen to remove out of our lives for a healthier lifestyle. It may not be necessarily a good choice for you and your family. However, I confidently stand by my choices and would like to offer you the opportunity to seek a better understanding of what you are consuming and using.

For many, unbeknownst to us, we wake up to a routine of: showering with Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate(soap). After we dry off, we wipe moisturizer onto our skin with Panthenol, and brush our teeth with fluorinated toothpaste.

Knowledge is power! The more that you seek to understand and pay attention to what you are using and consuming, the more power you are giving back to yourself. You do not have to take my word for it. Simply read up on it and do your research.

Let’s take a look at some simple “swaps” that my family has made that you might like to consider and research further:

Swap Iodized Salt for Pink Himalayan Salt

bigpay2Pink Himalayan Salt

Pink Himalayan is a non-processed, healthier and more nutritious alternative to salt, containing over 84 minerals and trace elements, including iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, and potassium to season your food. Many of us have come to watch our salt intake due to the offerings of high sodium table salt at restaurants. Pink Himalayan gives you a reason to season! Take your salt back!Pink Himalayan can also be used to detox your colon and heal your adrenal gland! Check out the recipe for this master cleanse here: http://7-min.com/himalayan-salt-water-flush-recipe/ 

Other seasoning swaps to try:

Garlic Salt – use garlic cloves or minced garlic

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Replace garlic salt with minced garlic or garlic cloves for a healthier alternative.

 

 

Black pepper – use peppercorn grinders

Regarding packaged seasonings –just understand this – Say Bye-Bye to seasonings containing dye, TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, OLEORESIN (true words off a seasoning label) and all those strange words that none of us truly understand. Most ingredients that will season your food can be grown or purchased from a farmers market. It may require some preparation but once you have an abundance, those seasonings can be stored in the freezer or in jars. Just like they store packaged seasonings on the shelf at the grocery store – but without the other additives. Won’t take my word for it? Next time you go to a commercial grocery store read the labels on packages and watch the scientific experiment wording labels explode!

 

Swap Cow Milk for Almond, Rice, or Soy Milk

 

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 Almond Milk

 

A childhood favorite that can’t be wrong. Right? Let’s consider some common sense facts before the criticism. Baby cows consume their mother’s cow milk. It has all the nutrients and vitamins it needs from its mother for it to grow and become a healthier cow (of course!) Same concept as with a human mother producing milk to breastfeed her children. Even at birth we are told not to feed our children cow’s milk until after age 1, however after age 2 through adulthood we should be free and clear to consume this substance. The only difference is that our bodies by age 1 has built up antibodies and are able to consume more than that of a newborn could, but are we really free and clear to consume a milk that was produced by a cow mother for her baby? There are also other additives to milk such as hormones, pus, blood… I can go on. Check out this article by Global Healing Center to get the nitty gritty on cow milk http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/dangers-of-cows-milk/

However, not to worry. There are several fantastic healthier variations of milk that give you that rich, creamy taste that you are seeking on your taste-buds. Almond Milk is my families #1 choice for a non- animal milk replacement. Almond milk is made from almonds which are mixed together with water. The result is a rich creamy milky like substance. As muchas I used to love my cow milk, this was easy to switch to. We have also tried rice milk and soy milk, but found almond to not only have the most protein, but also a great taste to use in our cereals and other favorite dishes that call for milk!

 

Swap Canned Food for Whole Food

Can food has become so popular in most households for the convenience of longevity and simplicity. But, what comes in those cans are ingredients that can be harmful to our bodies. Additives to canned vegetables, soups and meats to prolong the shelf life are digested into our systems. And we wonder why our intestines are blocked and constipated.

A nice start would be to grow or buy  fresh vegetables and fruits and either use them within a few days (yes go back again for more in a few days) or you can freeze them. Homemade soups can be prepared ahead of time such as chicken noodle, and cream of mushroom and can also be stored away in the freezer.

A little preparation ahead of time can go a long way to leading your family away from the “shelf life.”

 

Swap Meat for Local Hormone-Free Grown Meats or Vegetarian Substitutes

At a young age, I eliminated red meat out of my diet completely. Still a work in process, I am slowly eliminating both chicken and turkey. My husband being a vegetarian makes it easy for me to swap certain dishes that call for beef or turkey by using soy or turkey meat. When the kids and I need our poultry fixings, we do our best to buy meat from kosher, amish, organic, or free range labeling local farmers. We rarely purchase deli packaged meats as they are full of sodium and that strange slimy gel that appears just doesn’t seem right. The solution: Try roasting a whole chicken or turkey for the week for sandwiches. Just all around better for the tummies!

 

Swap Fluoridated Toothpaste for Non-Fluoridated Teeth Cleaning Options

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Tom's has become a household favorite for its non-fluoridated choices.

Tom’s has become a household favorite for its non-fluoridated choices.

Pick up your favorite commercial toothpaste and read the label. More than likely it is packed with words that the average consumer won’t be able to pronounce. So why put those chemicals on your teeth to push down into your stomach? Fluoride is also NOT our friend. Fluoride not only blinds your third eye (pineal gland that is responsible for your spiritual connection to Source), but also is toxic to our overall health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, most doctors, dentists and other health establishments make no money from taking these products of the shelf. They like to push the ‘idea”that Fluoride is good for us. Not convinced? Check out this article from Dr. Axe athttps://draxe.com/avoiding-fluoride-and-how-to-detox-it-from-your-body/.

Solution: There are Fluoride free toothpastes such as Tom’s for your family. If you want to take it one step further here are some recommendation’s that my family and I have used for years.

Activated Charcoal  leaves a supreme, oxygenated clean feeling. Prolonged use also whitens the teeth. It can be super messy at times, but worth it once you learn how to do it right!

Virgin Pressed Coconut Oil  can be used as a maintenance in between teeth cleanings and dental office visits. This is often known as oil-pulling. A half a teaspoon a day swish in your mouth for as long as you can stand (15 minute minimum recommended) helps prevent tooth decay and cavities.

Peroxide  an excellent alternative to alcohol driven mouthwash. Swish peroxide mixed with water in your mouth for a bubbly fresh feeling in your mouth.

 

Swap Chemical Cleaning Products for Simple Household Products

Cleaning products are full of toxic chemicals that can get into our skin and cause long-term damage and irritation. Remember this rule of thumb: most things that we clean with should be okay to also consume(ammonia should Not be eaten, but aren’t as toxic as other chemicals). Go back to basics with household products such as Baking soda, vinegar, borax, ammonia, and lemons.

Baking Soda  good for deodorizing, and cleansing. Add some tea tree, peppermint, eucalyptus oil for afresh carpet cleaning deodorizer.

Vinegar  freshens, eliminates odors and cuts through tough stains.

Borax  can be used for cleaning clothes. It also can be used to eliminate fluoride from the body. Make a fresh detergent with Borax using this “chemical-free” recipe atwww.dwellinginhappiness.com

Ammonia  can be used for window cleaning, lifting stains and dirt. Add some fresh squeezed lemons to a squeeze bottle and you are in business!

Lemons  the strong citric acid in lemons is known for cutting through grease and eliminating odors. That’s why most cleaning products purchased on “the shelf” contain lemon scent. You can take raw lemons and wipe off counter tops, toilet seats, and clean the ring around the tub. Squeeze into any mixture above for a lemon fresh scent. Grapefruits work just as good so give those a try!

Cleaning the skin – When it is shower and bath time I highly recommend Bonner Brothers Peppermint soap. It’s one of the most natural soap/cleaners on “the shelf” that can be used to clean the body and the house. The label on this product says it all.

 

Swap Sweetener’s for Raw Organic Honey

My goodness! I could go on and on about how terrible these Aspartame chemical flavored sweeteners are out there. Honestly, there are NO healthy and chemical free sweeteners out there that come in little packets. PERIOD! Just say NO! And white raw Sugar consumption is toxic. Check out this video from sikuvideo for a brief overview of Sugars effect on the body: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yda8RtOcVFU

What do I recommend when you need to get your “sweet on?”

Raw Organic Honey  get as close to the source as possible. It may require some soul searching trying to locate a local farmer that you can purchase honey from, but it’s well worth it. We use honey to replace syrup on pancakes, sugar in oatmeal and so on.

Coconut Sugar  similar taste, but healthier alternative to brown sugar that can be used in baking and other recipes that you would normally put sugar in.

This list is short and to the point because sugar in general is just plain bad man. It is.

 

Swap Plastic Bottled Water for Glass Bottled Water

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Reuse your glass jugs by refilling with fresh water at stores such as Whole Foods.

True: It can be super hard to find pure water that naturally comes from the source. I truly don’t think there is one water company out there today that is 100% pure and not cleaned with some “type” of chemical. But again, there are always better choices!

My family and I recently switched from purchasing plastic jugs and storing our water in glass jars. Plastic bottles are not only bad for the environment (hard to decompose), but plastic also contains harmful chemicals that can interfere with the hormones in our bodies. To make this simple switch, we purchased large glass jugs of organic apple cider from Whole Foods for $3.99. Once those jars were emptied we took the jugs to Whole Foods for a $.33 jug fill up at their filtered, oxygenated water station! Not only is it some of the BEST water I have ever tasted, but you can’t beat the cost for the quantity. Recycle and Repeat!

Wondering how to take water on the go? I recently came across these cool glass bottles at www.faucetface.com

As with introducing anything new into your life, making small gradual changes work best. Are there any daily household products or foods that you or your family have “swapped” out of your lives?  I would love to hear about it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Healthy Local Eats: Munch in Solon, Ohio

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. We must make small gradual changes to our health!

One of the absolute hardest parts of healthy eating is being out on the go and you get hungry. Yeah, you can grab a protein bar, yada yada. But, even that gets old after awhile. What you want is to grab a filling sandwich, salad or soup just like everyone else – But, you want it to be a healthy, nutritious, guilt free meal. And, dare I add nice ambiance into the mix?

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Delicious Munch Menu

In walks the healthy fast food spot Munch. Munch, located in Solon, Ohio is ran by super nice husband and wife Scott and Jamie. Their menu specializes in healthy vegetarian soups, salads, wraps and sandwiches, along with high-quality meats for meat lovers. Got a bit of a sweet tooth? Special treats include freshly baked cookies, ice-cream, smoothies, parfaits, and chocolate (and or almond) milk.

 

much4Local artists artwork line the walls.

And, if things couldn’t get any better, the décor of this place is absolutely gorgeous! It’s full of artwork from local Cleveland artists, beautiful wooden tables and delightful music!

 

munch5My girls enjoying the food and sights.

The kids enjoyed off the bone turkey sandwiches, full of romaine lettuce and cheese, along with a bowl of delicious onion soup. We splurged a little bit off the healthy track and let the girls select from a wide variety of local kettle chips and chocolate almond milk.

 

munch6A vegetarian selection – Papa’s Portabella Melt

My hubby, being the vegetarian that he is, was highly pleased with his pita sandwich. The Papa’s Portabella came stuffed with marinated portobello mushrooms, red onions & herbed mayo. He added some bean sprouts for extra veggies.

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Turkey lover’s would enjoy the Moe’s Home Roasted Turkey Breast.

My teen and I also enjoyed some turkey off the bone on pita better known as Moe’s Home Roasted Turkey Breast. It was stuffed with melted cheese, tomato, lettuce, red, green and yellow bell pepper. I also selected the bean sprouts and herbed mayo. The homemade all natural pickles were also an added delight!

All in all, I would highly recommend Munch when considering my next “on the go” meal, or even for a break from the typical food places you go to. We are all guilty of “insanity” at some point in our lives. We want more for our business, but we don’t do anything new to change the outcome. We want better relationships, but we don’t do any internal soul searching within. And, we want a healthier lifestyle and body, but we don’t do  anything new to change our eating habits or exercise more.

 

munch7Healthy Drink options on tap! Gotta love it!

Thank goodness for healthy eating places such as Munch that recognize people do want “real” food and cucumber water as a selection. If you are trying to make a switch to a healthier lifestyle, here are some small things you can do NOW that can make all the difference in the world to your body.

 Simple Substitutions:

1) Eliminate the can foods – prepare fresh soups and put in freezer. That way when the kids or someone is sick, you are not reaching for a can that’s been on a shelf for months.

2) Eliminate the Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and the dancing lady with umbrella – Believe it or not, Pink Himalayan salt, black peppercorn and garlic cloves make great natural seasoning. They also hold very unique health benefits.

3) Eliminate the “fake fruits juices” – just say no to high fructose anything!

4) Eliminate the Cow’s Milk – as hard as a pill this may be to swallow our bodies were not made to consume cow milk. Cow’s milk can disrupt the digestive track and is made from mucus. Believe me, we still love our cheese, but we are slowly trying to eliminate it. Daya cheese is a delicious tasting cow free alternative. Even replacing your regular consumption with Almond or Rice milk is a great start.

5) Eliminate the plastic – plastic is not a good receptacle for water, drinks, or food to be stored in. That plastic gets into our bodies and can cause all types of problems. Do your best to limit your plastic consumption by keeping things stored in glass containers or BPA free containers. Glass containers are becoming very popular and can easily be bought online or by recycling glass jugs from the store and filling them with water.

6) Eliminate the fake sugar products: syrup’s, sweeteners, dollar store honey. Buy local honey native to your area at local farmers markets. Period, pretty much!

7) Eliminate the fast foods – limit as often as you can. Visit local eateries in your area such as Munch!

8) Stay away from commercial grocery stores – more than likely if there is a particular store chain on every corner, the less and less you are getting away from fresh, local organic food choices that are not full of all the additives that our bodies do not need.

To view the menu and for more information visit Munch at http://www.munch216.com/

 

 

 

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Kids’ Corner: Breakfast Popsicles

After school the other day, my girls ages 5 and 7 asked when we were finally going to use the popsicle molds that had been sitting in the cabinet. After a long day at work and envisioning their excitement in the morning, I gladly said “Sure, why not?”

And so, my girls and I grabbed a few fresh fruits (I snuck in a few vegetables), pulled out the blender and began our healthy creation. This idea not only was quick and fun to make, but they were healthy enough for the girls to eat in the morning for breakfast!

Imagine telling your kids to go grab a Popsicle with breakfast! You can! Here is what we used, but honestly the possibilities are endless. Most importantly the containers are recyclable. This makes the healthy Popsicle’s become a normal healthy staple in the freezer. You never really need to buy boxed popsicles again. What’s really in those “healthy” popsicles anyway?

The following recipes are clear of artificial dyes and additives. What these popsicles are full of is loads of vitamin C and healthy sugars.

 

Breakfast Popsicles (version 1)

1 banana

1 mandarin orange

Half cup of blueberries

1 small carrot

1 cup of Almond Milk

 

Throw all fruits and almond milk into blender. Blend for approximately 10 seconds or less for more fruit chunks. Pour into popsicle molds and let freeze overnight.

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(makes approx.. 4 popsicles)

 

Breakfast Popsicles (version 2)

6 chunks of watermelon

2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon

Half cup of cherries

A few kale leaves

1 cup of freshly squeezed organic raw orange juice

Throw all fruits and orange juice into blender. Blend for approximately 10 seconds or less for more fruit chunks. Pour into popsicle molds and let freeze overnight.

(makes approx.. 4 popsicles)

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Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Veggie Spaghetti

It’s dinnertime again. Your family is probably getting tired of eating the same boring spaghetti! Last night, my family and I sat down to a delicious healthy alternative. We added a powerful punch of fresh veggies, spice and vitamin C! As your family’s food choices change, so will your dinner plans. If you have vegan, vegetarian, or even meat eaters ino your home, this dish will please everyone! I also recommend for anyone attempting to make any small gradual food swaps.

 

(any items listed below may be substituted or left out depending on your vegetable)

Here is the recipe for my veggie spaghetti:

Sophia’s Vegetarian Spaghetti

1 pkg meatless meat (we purchased our from Trader Joe’s)

 

1 pkg brown rice gluten free noodles (we purchased our from Trader Joe’s)

 

1 yellow or purple onion

 

1 small yellow zucchini

 

1 small green zucchini

 

1 half of an eggplant

 

1 small banana pepper for spice

 

4 roma tomatoes

 

1 green pepper

 

1 red pepper

 

1 yellow pepper

 

2 cans organic spaghetti sauce (we purchased our from Trader Joe’s)

 

2 tablespoons organic brown sugar (optional)

 

2 cloves of garlic or minced garlic

 

Himalyan Pink Salt & peper

 

Olive Oil for sauteing

 

Begin by boiling noodles, while simultaneously sautéing cut vegetable chunks with olive oil in separate pan. After sautéing approximately 5 minutes (keep crunchy) add meatless meat (if using red or turkey meat sauté in separate pan until brown than add). Add garlic, salt, and pepper. Finally, add spaghetti sauce to meat and veggies. Let simmer a few minutes.