Sweet Black Cherry Coconut Ice Cream

>> Tuesday, March 15, 2011

This is a tasty alternative to traditional ice cream. It is dairy free, egg free, gluten free, sugar free, nut free, but definitely not flavor free!

Sweet Black Cherry Coconut Ice Cream

2 cans full fat coconut milk

2 cups of frozen sweet black cherries ( no added sugar)

1/2 cup of honey or agave

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 TBS unsweetened coconut ( optional)

Blend all the ingredients together in a blender until smooth and creamy. Immediately pour into your ice cream maker. I have the Cuisinart soft serve machine and it works great. Let the ice cream mix for about 20 minutes. I ate some at this stage, I was too anxious to wait. Place the remaining ice cream in the freezer and let it set up for about 1.5 hours.

Scoop and enjoy, guilt free!

I think I might try this again but sub the vanilla extract for almond. That just came to me as I was typing. Hmmm... so many ideas so little time. I am still working on a gluten free, sugar free vegan cupcake. you will be the first to know when I have mastered the challenge successfully!


Keep on truckin'

>> Friday, March 11, 2011

I'm coming to the end of day 7 on this anti-inflammation diet and I feel amazing! I'm beginning to think so much of becoming healthier is just exchanging bad habits for good habits. I know, I know, you think I'm a genius. But really, we really are creatures of habit, aren't we? If we could just exchange our bad habits for good ones, little by little, where would we be in a year?

Obviously I am not happy about the fact that my body is out of balance , however, I am really excited that it has motivated me into healthier habits which will have a positive effect on my body.

So here are some of the trades I've been making.

  • I traded my cup of coffee with cream, for a cup of black or green tea with a small amount of raw honey. I still have a coffee here and there, but I'm actually finding it less desirable then I used to.

  • I traded toast with nutella or cereal ( actually whatever sweet thing I could get my hands on) for oatmeal with a small amount of earth balance and a little maple syrup or a bowl of fresh fruit

  • I traded snacks like chips and crackers for Lara raw food bars or celery and natural peanut butter

  • I traded pizza slices and deli sandwiches for veggie salads with chicken or fish

  • I traded heavy dinners full of wheat, dairy and fat for lighter meals with grilled chicken or fish, veggies and brown rice or legumes.

  • I traded ice cream and baked goods for homemade coconut ice cream sweetened with agave or a baked apple with Cinnamon and maple syrup. So good!

  • I've traded my late night bowl of cereal for herbal tea and maybe a few frozen blueberries.

Simple right? Not rocket science, not a crazy fad diet. Just natural whole foods.

I am looking into some raw food recipes as well. It is amazing what you can do with raw food! You should check out this blog http://therawchef.com/therawchefblog/ look at some of the recipes they will blow your mind. I am planning on trying some of these recipes I will let you know how they turn out.

One last thing, eating out. I have gone out 3 times since I have been on eating this way. It would be difficult to make a good choice at most restaurants but by doing a little homework on the front end I avoided "having" to eat something not approved. It just takes a little planning ahead.

Ken and I went out to Zinburger tonight at the Biltmore. I've grabbed a salad there before to go and loved the freshness of the ingredients. So tonight for date night I asked Ken to pick between Zinburger and True Food and Zinburger won! He is usually down for any place that serves a good burger.

We started off with some sweet potato fries. I can't have regular potatoes but I can have sweet. They were either really good, or I was starving.

I went with the same salad I had last time I was there. Ahi Tuna salad. It is served on a bed of mixed greens laced with cashews and has an Asian style dressing. Understated yet delicious.

Ken ordered a burger with bacon and thousand island. He also went for a Snickers milkshake for dessert. I cant believe I was able to bypass the shake menu, they have some seriously good sounding shakes. I would defiantly recommend Zinburger, I want to go back when I am at a phase in my health goals where I can cheat a bit and try their fried zucchini, it looks really good!

Here is to a week of success and feeling better! My chamomile is kicking in, time for bed!


Anti-Inflammatory Diet Day 1

>> Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day 1... Harder than I thought.

Last night I went to Whole Foods and picked up some yummy Organic fruits and veggies, as well as some other specialty items, to help me succeed over the next few weeks on this Anti-Inflammatory Diet.

I woke up excited to make something tasty from my approved foods list. I decided to have some fruit, since I'm not a big breakfast eater, drizzled with agave nectar and sprinkled with unsweetened organic coconut.

I am only able to have two servings of fruit per day and I am guessing this is around two servings? I have no idea! I really need to look up what a serving of fruit consists of. Regardless, it was really good. The fruit was perfect an I felt really satisfied after eating.

On this eating plan, you are not supposed to have coffee. PROBLEM. My coffee is pretty close to my heart. I told my Dr. yesterday that this was going to be a tough one. She said to ween off of it gradually and that I didn't need to eliminate it right away. I decided I would try to go with out it this morning and just drink some of the green tea I had picked up at Whole Foods. I was really excited about the tea at first because I snuck a sip right after I put the tea bag in the hot water and I really tasted the peach, it was delicious....

I was thinking, hey! I can do this! I do not need coffee and a muffin for breakfast. I can do Tea and fruit, I've got this. Wha, wha, whaaa, not so fast. My green tea tasted bitter after it fully seeped and I was missing the warm, smooth, silky, coffee I so love to cup in my hand every morning as I slightly slurp its extra hot goodness. I caved! I know, so early in the game. I went for my Keurig and popped in a Kona coffee k cup into the machine and like magic, in under 30 seconds, coffee in hand.

I did pretty well otherwise today. I had some lentils and brown rice with veggies for lunch. Grilled Chicken and black beans for dinner. I am not going to say it was easy, its far from easy. But getting healthy is important to me and I know the warning signs my body is sending out are telling me its time for a change. Good things don't always come easy right? In fact, they hardly ever do.

1 day down 29 to go!


Where has time gone?

>> Friday, March 4, 2011

My oh my, where has time gone? I can not believe I have not blogged since November. I could make up a bunch of excuses like, "The Holiday's were so busy" , "I am working now and it takes up so much time" or "I'm a lazy bum!" Haha. Well, whatever the reasoning, I am blown away that so much time has passed. I really missed having this little place to share and create. So I am back again!

I'm still working at good 'ol Nothing Bundt Cakes, as well as making cupcakes on the side, and selling Vintage on etsy. Plus 3 people have asked me to do make up in the last 2 weeks. Not to mention the fam and my volunteering. I guess I don't need to make excuses, I am BUSY!

I took a sewing class and it was really fun, I learned to operate my machine and I completed one reversible place mat! Whoo hoo! Only 7 more to go. I feel like I can sew a few basic things now but I definitely need to make time to practice.

I have been feeling really tired and stressed lately, a little (ALOT) moody and overwhelmed. So I went to the Dr. and it turns out I have good reason. My iron is very low and my thyroid antibodies are through the roof ,not to mention a few hormonal things. So.........guess what this means? Time to lay off the frosting and coffee. As of tomorrow I am being placed on an anti-inflammation diet which consists of mostly veggies, fruit, chicken, fish , legumes and a few grains. No gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine, potatoes etc. I am nervous/excited. This along with a lot of supplements and de-stressing my life ( tips please?) should put me on the road to wellness. That my friends, makes me happy. I will be sharing with you how things are going and any clever recipes I come up with along the way.

Also I have tons of new things I need to put on my etsy store. I stumbled upon a deceased hoarders collection of antiques at a garage sale her son was holding. She probably tossed and turned a little in her grave because of the prices they were letting things go at. Hopefully I will get some new things up in the next day or so.

Couldn't resist a little rambling after realizing how long it has been. I will be back soon!


Baby its cold outside...lets drink tea!

>> Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The temperatures have really been dropping this week, which makes me soooo happy! We have spent the last two nights snuggled up with blankets in front of a cozy, crackling fire. I love cold weather. I love the things that come with it. Big comfy sweaters and cable knit scarves, cable knit anything really. I've really been wanting a cable knit throw. Like this one from Pottery Barn.
Oh yeah! Makes me want to curl up on my big, comfy couch, cover up with this beauty, and sip an extra hot cup of loose leaf peppermint tea while watching something on Food Network or reading a good book, either way.

Speaking of tea, I have a few tea related items on my Christmas wish list. A couple weeks ago I went to the Urban Tea Loft with my mom. I've been there before but in the past I ordered iced tea rather than hot. This time we ordered a pot of organic peppermint tea (noticing a trend) and it came in this really amazing pot that I've had trouble getting off my mind since this experience!

I NEED this tea pot, made by Ingenuitea. You place your loose leaf in the pot, fill with hot water and after a few minutes you place the pot over your tea cup and walla, out comes your perfectly brewed tea, minus any tea leaves! I almost bought one that night but displayed amazing self restraint, knowing that Christmas is just around the corner. But I must say the colder it gets, the more I really want to purchase this. So Santa... hint hint I really want this! Oh, and the double wall glasses they use are pretty sweet as well. They stay really hot on the inside but are not hot to the touch. Not to mention, they are very light weight, sleek and modern. Which isn't usually my style but I do like them.

I don't think this is the exact glass they use, but its close. This one is Bodum Pavina.

So Santa, hurry down the chimney, not when I have the fire going, and bring me a cozy cable knit throw and an Ingenuitea pot. Thanks!


A little secret...

>> Saturday, November 6, 2010

This may or may not be a secret, but it feels like a secret.... Ever heard of Restaurants.com?

This is a great way to try different dining establishments without breaking the bank. When you visit this website you will find a plethora of restaurants to choose from. You can search by state, city, or zip code. Once you have narrowed down your search, you choose a restaurant you would like to dine at and buy a certificate for a fraction of the price!

For example, on any given day you can buy a $25 gift card for $10.00. The only catch is, you have to spend at least $35.00 at the restaurant and they will add 18% gratuity. (Not a big deal). So you pay $10 for a $25.00 certificate, then you spend $35.oo at the restaurant. After your server deducts $25.00 from your total bill you only end up spending $20.00 total for a $35.00 meal. This includes what you spent on the certificate. Not bad.

However! Here is the best news! I never pay that price for my certificates. Somehow, I signed myself up for email updates from Coupon Mom and she sends me codes and notifications for 80% off restaurants.com periodically. So I stock up on $25.00 certificates for only $2.00 each! Sweet right?

Last night my husband and I used one of our certificates at Picazzo's Pizza in Tempe.

We used to eat at Picazzo's a lot when our daughter was on a Gluten Free diet. They offer a GF menu and have a separate kitchen. When you are on a GF diet pizza is something you would give your left arm for, so this was a sacred place for us. Our daughter was healed of her food allergies so we no longer had a need fo GF pizza and this place kind of fell of the radar for us.Until I saw them while browsing through local restaurants.

Picazzo's has added Organic to their menu vocabulary as well as hormone free and nitrate free meats. This restaurant has always been a fresh and healthy establishment but they have taken it to the next level!
Ken and I had a $25.00 certificate. We needed to spend $35.00 to use it so we started off with some baked wings. We went with 1/2 Buffalo and 1/2 BBQ Maple. They were as good as I remembered them to be. All the wings are baked and GF. Yum! Unfortunately we missed the happy hour by 10 minutes. They have 1/2 price appetizers and organic drinks. Oh well... next tme.

Ken and I have seriously different taste buds when it comes to pizza. I typically go for a no sauce pizza with lots of veggies and pungent toppings like feta, blue cheese and any kind of olive variety. Ken is definitely a meat lover and jalapeƱos make him happy, at least at the moment. So we ordered two small pizzas. He got something meaty and I got the California. It was a thin crust no sauce pizza with Nitrate free apple wood smoked bacon (shockingly I went with meat.) It had feta or blue cheese, caramelized onions and fresh spinach. I was so excited for it to come to the table, I thought the combo sounded so great. But, NO! The bacon tasted like smoked salmon! It was the weirdest thing. I wasn't sure if it was the way it was smoked or what the problem was. Ken said it was because it was natural. He is such an organic hater, seriously. I picked off all the bacon and the rest of the pizza was good.

Our total came to approximately $39.00 including the tip. After our $25.00 certificate was applied we only spent $14.00 for a really nice dinner out!

Right now Restaurants.com has a deal through November 8Th. You can purchase $25.00 certificates for only $3.00 the code is "meal."

Go! Hurry! Check it out!


Alone With A Marshmallow

>> Monday, November 1, 2010

Today I feel like a 4 year old alone in a room with a marshmallow. I have a decision to make, do I eat the marshmallow now, or wait a few minutes to be rewarded with a second marshmallow? Are you curious what I'm talking about? Think I have potentially lost my mind?

I just had a revelation while standing in my kitchen making lunch! I started thinking about a research study I watched on the news years ago involving several 4 year old children. In the study the 4 year old kids were left alone in a room with a hidden camera and a marshmallow. They were given one marshmallow and told they could eat it now, or wait a few minutes for the adult to come back with a second marshmallow. Several kids sat and smelled,touched and stared at the sweet fluffy cloud of sugar, but did not give into the temptation. Others would just sneak a little lick or nibble but not eat it. Some kids just flat out couldn't take the temptation and ate it almost right away.

I was in my kitchen making lunch and thinking about so many goals that I have. I have goals to eat healthier, to work out more, to spend more time with the people I love, including God. But for whatever reason even though I know that the short term sacrifice of doing those things will give me "more" out of life in the long run. I often find myself going for the instant gratification of the "one marshmallow" ultimately robbing my self of two. If I could just show a little more restraint, a little more self control, what would my life look like? I am not only speaking in terms of weight loss, although thats a biggie, no pun intended. I was thinking of this in the area of our finances. What would our finances look like if we could learn to say no to some things we feel like we "need" right now? Would we have financial freedom later? Wow! Not rocket science, I know. I just didn't realize how many areas of my life I have been living in the moment. I haven't been planning for the future, not really setting goals. Its funny because when I watch this video of the kids I want to yell,"Don't do it, just wait, it will be sooner than you think!" I wonder if God ever looks at us and wants to yell,"Don't do it, just wait! Better things are coming your way if you would just hold on!"

I didn't want to lose the freshness of his moment and the feeling it provoked in me. I am going to start setting some goals and putting them out there for the world to see, so stay tuned you can cheer me on, maybe we can even cheer each other on!

Check out this reenactment of the study. These kids are so funny!