Friday, December 28, 2012

My favorite smoothies, fresh juices and the tools to boot!


For the smoothies, I use my Super 5200 Vitamix. This blender is one of the best investments my family has made. 

'Metabolism boosting' smoothie:
Plain coconut water (or filtered water)
1 mango cut into chunks
1 pear cut into chunks 
The juice of one lime
pinch of cayenne pepper

'Add some green' smoothie:
plain coconut water 
1/2 mango
2 bunches of kale 
1 small pear 
the juice of 1/2 lime 
a sprinkle of cayenne pepper
and a handful of ice cubes

'Sweetened green' smoothie: 
plain coconut water
2 leaves of kale
frozen bananas 
a scoop of vanilla Juice Plus+ Complete (like this)

'Super strength' smoothie:
Coconut milk 
1 scoop of chocolate Juice Plus+ Complete (like this)
milk thistle (helps detox the liver) (like this)


For juicing, I use my Breville juicer. I love it! Easy to juice, disassemble, and clean. 

'Clear skin' juice. 
romaine lettuce
kale or spinach
1-2 apples or pears
1 lemon
1 sweet potato
1 beet
1 carrot
(You can replace the sweet potato with a papaya (if on hand, or in season).)

Ingredients for Clear Skin Juice

Clear Skin Juice

'Tropical Sunshine' juice:
2 large carrots
2 pineapple cores
2 medium oranges (skin removed)
2 pears
1 apple

You can make this into a celebration 'soda' by adding the juice to sparkling water. 

'Antioxidant boost' juice:
1 large carrot
1 granny smith apple 
1 white nectarine
the inner core (fibrous part) of a pineapple
3 leaves of kale
1/2 lemon
(The lemon helps to clean out the juicer and push out any remaining juice from the kale plus it's great for digestion and an added detox!) 

Antioxidant Boost Juice

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Choose, eat, and live well! =)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Need a quick, fun, and free of yucky ingredients - dish for an event this holiday season? 

Try these chocolate dipped pretzels. Use your own toppings but always aim for no high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, or artificial sweeteners and dyes. 

Ingredients that I used:

Pretzels (free of hydrogenated oils); Harvest Road brand (see more information below)
Chocolate, semi-sweet & melted (I bought 70% from Trader Joe's)
Coconut oil, cold-pressed & organic (added to the chocolate and to the shredded coconut)
Sugar (preferably organic & naturally dyed - I use Maggie's Naturals)
Shredded coconut (unsweetened)
Sprinkles (free of artificial dyes); Edward & Son's brand
Almonds, slivered & crushed

I found Harvest Road's Trussetts at Big Lots in my town. They carry some international foods and if you can believe it, Certified Organic foods, too! I wanted to make chocolate dipped pretzels for a night out with the girls. I later learned the event was cancelled but had already told my son what our plans were. You know how kids are - they have a memory like an elephant (so they say!). 

Ingredients in the Trussetts: Enriched wheat flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), salt, malt, vital wheat gluten, sodium biocarbonate, and yeast.  110 calories, 260 mg sodium, and 23 carbs per 10pcs. 

Combine melted chocolate of your choice with a little coconut oil (this helps it harden). 

Combine sugar of your liking with an all-natural food dye.

With the unsweetened shredded coconut, I added a tad of coconut oil to this as well. It helps adhere to the wet chocolate and it stays put as the chocolate hardens. 

Sprinkles! What kid doesn't like or want them!? I recommend Edward & Son's. You can find them at almost all health-food stores or online. 

Follow me on Facebook and learn more about Dr. Sears Traffic Light Eating among other topics on nutrition and wellness. These pretzels are considered a red-light food (special occasion, not eaten very often). The last time we made these was in April 2012. The chocolate used earlier this year is almost free of artificial junk. It had vanillin, an artificial flavor. If this is the only ingredient in your 'treat' that is artificial, especially if you may be used to much worse, consider this okay. After awhile, you'll graduate up to melting a chocolate bar of your choice, void of all yucky stuff, and dipping the pretzels in! Buon Appetito! 

Choose, eat, and live well! =)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Oatmeal Banana Muffins

2.5 cups of rolled organic oats
1 cup organic vanilla low-fat yogurt 
2 eggs, free range, omega 3 enriched
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 ripe bananas
Coconut oil for coating the muffin pans (added benefit) or you can use foil liners

In the original recipe, C&E called for 3/4 cup of sugar and 1 cup of plain greek yogurt. Since I had on hand, organic low-fat vanilla yogurt, I decreased the amount of sugar from 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup because the yogurt has added sugar. 

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a food processor or a high speed machine like Vitamix until oats are smooth. Tip: Add a cup of oats at a time for even blending. 

2. Coat your pans with organic, cold pressed coconut oil or use foil liners (I read that these are preferred over the paper liners on her blog). Divide batter among cupcake pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Check them at the 15 minute mark by inserting a toothpick in the center. When it comes out clean, they're done. You don't want to over-bake them. My muffins baked at 15 minutes exact.  

They have a corn bread texture and kind of taste like banana bread but without the use of flour! C&E recommends you eat them when they're warm. Thanks C&E for this recipe!

* This is one of the kitchen appliances I recommend because they are a blender and food processor all-in-one! They can do unlimited things. When buying a new Vitamix from the manufacturer direct, a 7-year warranty accompanies your purchase. I personally use the 5200 Super and I have owned mine for 2.5 years. It comes with a 64 oz container for all cold related foods and a 32 oz container for dry grains.  Learn more about this model and the others here

***06-00 8064 *** 

Choose, eat, and live well! =)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Savory Winter #Squash #Recipe

Sometimes you just have to go with your gut and choose a recipe based on flavors you like. The other day I did just that with ... Savory Winter Squash!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut squash in half and remove seeds. It is a true science to cut into Fall/Winter Squash!! 

"Oil Blend" Ingredients:

4 tbs coconut oil, melted
1 tsp of minced garlic or 2 garlic cloves chopped
1 tsp of rosemary (or more)
1/2 tsp of sea salt
1/2 onion 

Mix ingredients above and let the flavors meld in the baking dish you plan on using. When oven is ready, place squash in the baking dish skin side down. Baste the squash with the oil blend. No cover needed. Baste the squash with the oil blend every 20 minutes while it's baking. Your squash is done when a fork can push through the thickest part of the squash with ease. (Note: You can leave the skin on. If it's baked enough, the skin will peel off with little to no effort or you can eat it.) It took about 50 minutes to bake. 

I enjoyed this one as a stand-alone dish. I frequently eat veggies by themselves. I believe they make an excellent meal choice!  

Nutritional benefits of winter squash as per WHFoods

I do receive a small commission from if you purchase anything through their site using one of the links above (read my full advertising disclosure here). 

Thank you very much for your generosity in helping to offset the costs of website upkeep, so that I can keep sharing wellness resources with my community and beyond.

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Download my free eGuide when you subscribe to my monthly newsletters for free.

Choose, eat, and live well! =)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Baked Apple Rings

Baked Apple Rings

This recipe has been moved to my new blog. See the recipe at Conveying Awareness.

Choose, eat, and live well! =)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Healthier Version of Oatmeal - Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup [raw] honey (or pure maple syrup)
1/2 cup oil 
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp real vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 egg
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (or granola)
1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour (or 1/3 cup of almond meal and 2/3 cup of flour)
1 cup raisins (omitted)

Special additions:
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (omitted)

1/2 cup of Enjoy Life chips

Heat oven to 375. Combine all the ingredients except the oats, flour, raisins (or any of the special additions) and mix thoroughly. Stir in the oats, flour and your special additions of choice (I used the chocolate chips). Drop the batter by teaspoonfuls on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown. (I set the timer at 11 minutes but by the 3rd dozen, I had decreased the time to 8.)

Recipe found in the "The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood" book by Dr. Bill Sears.

Choose, eat, and live well! =)