18 Time-Saving Tips for Cooking Real Food

I came across this blog today and it is filled with great advice to help you cook more in your kitchen! We’re all so busy that we can all put some of these tips to good use so we can eat more at home!

The Zero-Waste Chef

Unless you already do cook everything from scratch, you’ll cook more when you decide to cut down on—or eliminate—your waste. That’s because you’ll cut packaged, processed food from your diet and replace these food-like substances with home-cooked versions.

I can do without a lot of stuff in my life—piles of clothing, cosmetics, the latest gadgets. But I can’t do without food. So I cook. Recently, a couple of interviewers have said to me, “Cooking is so much work!” I didn’t know how to respond. I don’t see a way around cooking, unless you can afford to hire a personal chef. Don’t get me started on Blue Apron and the amount of trash companies like it generate. The popularity of meal kits makes me lose faith in humanity.

My Buddhist neighbor best explained the need to cook. She told me that at the monastery she used to live in, she…

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White sugar

The following blog was a great reminder to me of why I have nearly given up sugar and why I think twice before consuming it…it makes my body feel bad.  😦

Here’s some words from Cookingwithoutlimits…

It’s been 2 months since I stopped eating white sugar. For me is a miracle. I am the person who eats 1 box of chocolate every day or 2-3 pieces of a chocolate cake. Why I stopped? Because I start f…

Source: White sugar

I’m in a Promo Video!

Any of my friends and family that have known me for years know that this past year has been a huge transformation for me in my diet and lifestyle.  I have never been an athlete, have never truly taken care of my body before, and have never really committed to exercise in any way.

I made a decision to change.  I decided I wanted a different course for my family tree and that I want to give my kids the knowledge to make healthy choices that I didn’t know about.  I want to encourage them to live an active and healthy lifestyle, and let’s face it…I can’t do that from the couch!

Our children learn best by following our example, and I decided I wanted to be the best example that I could possibly give them.

Back in June 2015 I tried out Core Strong Fitness and took my very first TRX class.  If you would have told me back then that I would fall in love with the exercise, the people, and the experience each week, I would have told you that you were crazy!  No way would I ever commit to that!  Little did I know that being a part of Core Strong would take me to the next level and give me the positive relationship with fitness and exercise that I have today.  I go to class 3-4 days a week because I LOVE it!  No one makes me go but myself, and this commitment has helped me be a healthier mom for my kids.

Recently our coach and owner of Core Strong asked me to be a part of his promotional video along with a handful of others from our classes.  I never thought in a million years that I’d be part of a fitness promotional video.  I was hesitant to do it, not really knowing what to expect, but the Lord keeps leading me to places outside my comfort zone and it always works out amazingly well.

Here’s all our hard work in an amazing video…

If you are local, come try a class!  Your first one is FREE!  🙂

If you are on Facebook, be sure to keep up with our journey and “like” our Wellness Momma facebook page.

Easy Apple Cinnamon Quinoa

I am always looking for more ways to get my children to eat good and healthy food.  This recipe that a friend gave me was so easy, and yummy!  Our middle son, Owen, is currently in the Brain Balance program and along with all the therapies and work he is doing there 3 days a week, we also have exercises for home program and a nutrition plan.  This plan is pretty restrictive.  No gluten, dairy, soy, or refined sugars, and very limited corn.  He also is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, and eggs so although we can have those things and stay on program with him, he can’t.

When we first began trying new foods Owen would absolutely refuse.  He would have meltdowns, throw fits, I mean you would think we were asking him to move mountains, not take a small bite of food to try.  Sometimes when he finally would try something, he would then throw up or spit it out because it was terrible.  We have learned through his testing at Brain Balance that his “smeller” is off.  He failed the portion of the test where he is supposed to guess smells, and smelling our food is a big part of how we taste our food so it makes sense that not very many things taste good to him.  If it wasn’t the taste, it was the texture that threw him off so many times we felt like we could20160817_114859n’t win.

He is slowly making progress.  He is more open to trying new foods and taking at least 2 bites and swallowing.  We haven’t found very many new foods that he likes yet, but the fact that he isn’t throwing up when he tries them is definitely progress!

We tried this recipe with some success…

Apple Breakfast Quinoa

Begin by peeling and coring the apples, then cut them into bite size pieces.  In a medium saucepan add apples, water, and quinoa.

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Bring these to a boil, then cover and reduce heat.  Simmer for 20-25 minutes. Stir in cinnamon, then separate into 2 bowls.  You can drizzle with honey if needed.  I made a double batch so that I could have it all ready for the next day as well, so I put them in containers.  It reheats quite well!

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This was a definite hit with my littlest.  He’s 3 and can nearly eat an entire serving by himself!  My Brain Balance kid, Owen, doesn’t love it, but will eat about 5 bites and given our history, I’d say that’s a win!  My oldest who is 9 will eat about 1/2 a serving before she says she is full.

I absolutely love it!  It tastes good, but more than that, it is filling and keeps me full until it’s time to eat again, no mid-morning hunger to try and battle.

I’m going to be sharing some more recipes that we are trying soon, so be sure to follow our blog and check us out on Facebook at Wellness Momma.

**To learn more about cooking with Essential Oils, or to place an order, simply email me at wellnessmommaelyse@gmail.com or use this contact form.

 

Goals are Hard

Yesterday my friend Stacey sent me a text to see if I wanted her to grab my race packet for the Labor Day 5k.  I had completely forgot about it, not to mention I can’t even remember the last time I ran.  I did some with my daughter to help her prepare for her first 5k, but it wasn’t much because she isn’t a runner and struggled to do the walking and running.  (but she really did well when it came time for the race)  So without hesitation, I was like, YES!  I’m going!  Then I sat there and thought…what am I doing?  I’m going to be SO SLOW, it’s gonna put me in a bad mood and ruin my weekend.

Well, last night I spent some time praying and eventually told myself, “Elyse, you set this goalsgoal to do this race and even if you forgot and don’t feel ready, just do it anyway!  Who cares how long it takes you.”  I do go to TRX strength training 3-4 times a week, so it’s not like I’m not exercising, I just haven’t been running.

Getting ready this morning I just kept thinking, you are just gonna run the best you can.  It’s only a 5k…you’ve got this!  I drank my NingXia Red, put on some Young Living peppermint essential oil and headed out the door.

When I got in line for the race I was the calmest I have ever been before the start of a race. I felt peace in knowing that finishing this race was my goal, not getting a certain time.

During the race I pushed myself, I found some people shortly before mile 1 that I was keeping pretty good pace with so I challenged myself to stay with them.  Another goal set right in the middle of the race…and I did it!  I pushed hard to stay close to them, and you know what?  I was within seconds of my fastest time ever for a 5k.  My timing chip didn’t catch my start time, so it was just the clock time when I looked up my race time, but that’s ok.  I know I started about 30 seconds in, so I am so happy with myself!

I set goals for myself, and I crushed them!  I have worked so hard this past year to achieve goals in my life, and today was no different.  I am about to start some new goals in my life, and following through with this race is giving me the push I need to keep going!

Do you have goals that you are going after?  What helps motivate you?

labor day 5k 2016

Positive Changes in my Son

We have been a part of the Brain Balance program for 3 months now and I wanted to be sure and update everyone on how Owen is doing.  This is the half way point, and he has already met or surpassed a portion of his goals!  It has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs.  It has been hard, it has been a lot of work, and it has changed our entire family.  Don’t get the wrong idea though, no one ever told us that this program would be easy!  No one said that this was going to be a quick fix, or that change would happen overnight.  At certain points I didn’t realize it was going to be so hard and I almost wanted to give up….but your know what?  It’s all been worth it!  All the sacrifices, all the driving, all the meltdowns, all the home program work, all the diet changes…it was all so overwhelming at first!  But every step has been worth it.

My little boy has grown, changed, and matured so much in the past 3 months! I sit here in disbelief with a tear running down my cheek as I look at him across the room problem solving and trying to figure out how to get his Lego structure stabilized.  You see 3 months ago, that would have been a meltdown…like end of the world, throw the Legos, stomp, scream, kick sort of meltdown because the Legos weren’t doing what he wanted them to.  When he was 2, that behavior didn’t seem like a big deal, but at 6 and a half he has to learn to handle these emotions.  Now he is able to stop, think about how it should go, talk it out, or just make more attempts at his structure without losing control of his emotions!  THIS IS AMAZING!

Another giant milestone for him is his diet and nutrition.  He was EXTREMELY picky, and mostly ate junk food. (looking back I realize it was mostly junk, I didn’t see that it was so much junk before)  With a lot of hard work and persistence, we have been able to stick to a healthy meal plan of real foods.  We even spent this past weekend at a church retreat where every meal contained mostly food that he couldn’t have.  He dealt with this better than I did I think, and was happy to eat his Brain Balance approved foods, and stay on track with all the progress we’ve made so far!  He is still picky, and has his struggles at times, but he has come so far in such a short amount of time, that I’m not complaining.

Then one more change that I saw recently is his smile.  You see, before if he wasn’t making a funny face when looking at the camera, he sort of had this odd smile.  We learned from Brain Balance that his eyes have trouble focusing, and I figured out that’s probably why in most of his pictures he isn’t actually looking at the camera.  Then because his frontal lobe is under-developed and that’s where most of our emotions are held, I think he struggled with knowing  how to get his face to make a real smile.  I struggled to find a picture that shows what I’m referring to because we don’t keep a lot of those and just retake a bunch of pics to get a good one, so this is as close to an illustration I can show.  The one of the left was taken last fall, the one of the right was this past weekend.  See him making eye contact?!?  🙂

Owen 2

I’m so proud of all the progress he has made his first 3 months with Brain Balance, and I can’t wait to see how far he will go in his last 3 months!

Follow this blog to keep up with our journey, and be sure to like our page on Facebook called Wellness Momma to follow along as well.

If you want to know more about Brain Balance, go here.