Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Snacking Box

I have talked about the success of our "snacking table" several times on this blog. This is my lazy version. We haven't had time to put fresh fruits, veggies, and other snacks out so I have a created a quick, easy "snacking box" for the kids. If they are hungry between meals, they go here or they can always eat any fruit we have on the counter as well.

This week: organic brown rice cakes, Lara bars, sprouted almonds, dried seaweed snacks, raisins, banana leathers, and snap pea chips. It gets the job done and keeps tummies full while I'm running around!

Pasta Primavera Salad Surprise (Or Something Like That!)

This is another winner from our Fit for Life recipe book. Really delicious, and fairly easy. The most time-consuming part of this recipe is chopping up all the individual ingredients to make them "pretty."


1/2 to 1 lb of whole wheat penne pasta
1 firm avocado, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
4-5 celery stalks, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cucumber, diced
2-3 Tb Olive Oil
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced or 1 Tb dried
1 small red onion, diced
4-6 cups of tender lettuce (red leaf, butter or bibb), shredded
2-3 cups of fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
ground sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Cook Pasta. While cooking, place diced and minced veggies in a large salad bowl. Add the olive oil and seasonings and allow to marinate.
Drain pasta and toss in 1 Tb of olive oil. Add shredded greens to marinating veggies in the bowl, and then add pasta and toss well. Adjust seasonings and serve.

I have to say that every recipe from the Fit for Life books has been amazing. Really filling, yet light and energizing. I have been trying to follow the principles of this book for about 6 weeks and have found surprisingly that my weight has plateaued. Although I feel really good most of the day, I am very hungry in the mornings with the "fruit only" rule until noon. This last week I decided to have my fruit and green smoothie first, but then allow myself a small breakfast around 10am. That has alleviated my hunger, boosted my energy, and I have dropped a couple of pounds since adding a few more calories to my mornings! It goes to show you that every person's body is different. It is fun and interesting to read and study different nutritional approaches, but in the end it is usually a mix, a tailor-made plan, that works for the individual. For me I need to eat a little before noon, but I still feel much better when I follow the remainder of the food combining principles throughout the day. It doesn't always happen, but I notice a difference in energy when I do. :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fruit Kabobs

I have been reading the classic nutrition book, "Fit for Life." I absolutely LOVE all the recipes in this book. They are mostly vegetarian and are all properly combined to aid in digestion and eliminate a lot of the stomach issues people experience frequently (bloating, gas, heartburn, etc.). Really fascinating information.

The basic tenets of this book state that there are 3 distinct cycles our bodies go through every 24 hours. From Noon to 8pm is the Appropriation Cycle where we take in nourishment (Eat), from 8pm to 4am is the Assimilation Cycle where our bodies absorb and use the nourishment, and lastly from 4am to 12pm is the Elimination Cycle where our bodies cleanse and detoxify themselves (this final cycle is extremely important in preventing illnesses, acute and chronic, and also ridding ourselves of unwanted fat).

Although all 3 phases are extremely important and build upon each other, I have been trying to implement this 3rd cycle more often in our home. In order to aid your body in proper elimination, the authors suggests you eat nothing but fruit or fresh, fruit juices before noon. I have added greens to this list as well because they practically digest themselves, and we drink large green smoothies every morning any way. We don't usually make it until noon, but my goal is to at least have the children (and myself) drink our smoothies and eat some fruit before they eat anything else. It actually has really simplified our mornings. The kids were a little bored after the first couple of weeks, so we decided to take all the fruit we had in the house and make fruit kabobs.

They each made them themselves. I personally would rather just sit down and eat fruit instead of cutting up every piece and putting it on a stick so I can just take it off the stick and then eat it! But, that's just me. They were very proud of their creations and stopped whining about the fruit rule for the day! You can do this with any fruit you have on hand. :)

Mexican Rice Bowls

This is a Fit For Life recipe, and has quickly become one of our favorite, quick, "go-to" recipes when want something fast, filling, and very easy!


4 cups of cooked brown rice
4-5 cups of chopped romaine lettuce
fresh salsa
sliced olives
shredded cheese (optional)
alfalfa sprouts
lemon juice

(You can also add your favorite steamed veggies, fresh corn or cilantro).

To assemble, just layer the ingredients you choose beginning with a generous helping of rice and romaine and dinner is served! We like to leave all the ingredients out, so that everyone can make it just how they like it.

Serves 6

Apple, Strawberry Cobbler

We made this raw pie for a friend of ours the other day, and it was really, really yummy (we made one for us too!). I rarely bake desserts because the raw desserts are so fabulous, and are so good for you! You don't feel heavy and sick like you do after eating a big slice of baked apple pie with ice cream. It's a win-win situation! The only thing that would have made it better is if I could have gotten strawberries from my favorite farm (James went there, but they were sold out!). But, it was good nonetheless.

This recipe is from the "I Am Grateful" raw recipe collection:


For the crust and topping:
4 1/2 cups of raw pecans (do not soak)
3 Tbs of finely chopped, well-packed dates
2 Tbs cinnamon
1 Tb vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt

For the filling:
5 cups sliced pink lady apples (or other very sweet variety)
3 cups sliced strawberries
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tb vanilla
pinch of sea salt

To make the crust:
Process the 3 cups of pecans with the cinnamon, vanilla, and sea salt for 1 minute in your food processor fitted withe the "S" blade. Then place in a bowl and add remaining 1 1/2 cups of pecans ( I would get the pecan pieces vs. whole pecans so it sticks together better). Press the crust into your pie pan setting aside 1 1/2 cups of this crust mixture for the topping.

To make the filling:
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Evenly distribute the filling on top of the crust. Then crumble the remaining crust on the top.