Holiday Cranberry Mimosa!

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Hi friends! Thanksgiving has passed and if you’re like me, you have lots of leftover cranberries. I like cranberries sauce more and more every year, and I make a very delicious and easy cranberry sauce. I came across a Food Network show about the holidays, and in it they discussed mimosas. I had a eureka moment and thought, “Wow, what if I use my delicious cranberries to make a mimosa!” Well, I have to tell you that we have enjoyed them so much that we drink them frequently (but responsibly)! ūüôā I have included the recipe for my cranberry sauce and cranberry mimosas. They are so pretty and festive, besides being really darn good. They make a nice centerpiece to your holiday table. The cranberry sauce itself is so flavorful and bright, and with no added sugar is a healthy addition to your meals. Bon appetite!

Cranberry Sauce

  • 2 -8 ounce packages cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Put all of the ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat and simmer until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens, about 15-20 minutes. serve at room temperature or cool and refrigerate. Remove the cinnamon stick before serving.

Cranberry Mimosa

  • 1 teaspoon of cranberry sauce
  • 1 glass decent quality champagne

Put the cranberry sauce into a champagne flute. Add the champagne to the glass and give it a quick stir. Serve and enjoy!

 

 

 

SHAKE Your Way to a Life without Sugar!

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Angels anxiously awaiting their shake!

Angels anxiously awaiting their shake!

Did you eat sugary desserts during the holidays? I know I ate more of those kinds of foods than I usually do. Christmas cookies are delicious, especially when homemade by a talented baker,¬†and it’s really hard to resist them, isn’t it?

But, the downside to this is that sugar is just not good for you, in fact, sugar is considered more toxic for your health than smoking! Besides the weight gain issue, the reality is that sugar is considered to be the number one culprit in causing cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other deadly diseases. See my previous blog post, “Sugar- the new cigarette?!” , for more details about the dangers of consuming sugar. The problem is that sugar isn’t just in baked goods and sweets, sugar is in ALMOST EVERY PROCESSED¬†FOOD we eat, so even though we as a nation are using less sugar from the sugar bowl, we are consuming more sugar through processed foods than ever before.

True!

True!

So what is the solution to this problem and how do we eliminate sugar from our diets? I believe the answer is to avoid as much processed food as possible by cooking almost every day, and then utilizing the leftovers on the days I don’t cook. Also, choosing organic and local¬†foods whenever possible for the freshest¬†meats, fruits, and vegetables¬†helps create food with lots of flavor so I don’t have to used processed items to enhance the taste of my dishes. Another solution is to patronize restaurants that serve local, fresh and in house made food items, which ensures that the food you’re eating when going out for dinner doesn’t contain sugar.

I recently attended a conference and heard a speaker named JJ Virgin who was talking about the dangers of consuming sugar and how prevalent sugar is in many foods we eat. I really liked her as a speaker and felt her message mirrored many things I’ve posted about in my blog. She had a recipe for a shake she called “Sugar Impact Shake” that I have used as a model for my shake recipe, with a few modifications. I’ve been making this shake and I really like it, both as a healthy meal replacement, and as a way to detox from all the sugar. The shake contains no sugar or fruit,¬†but¬†it tastes really good. Here’s the recipe!

Sugar free Protein Shake

1. Start with 1 cup of almond, coconut or cashew milk, and pour it into your blender.

1. Start with 1 cup of almond, coconut or cashew milk, and pour it into your blender.

2. Add one scoop of high quality protein supplement. Mine is from Guyer Institute and contains many vitamins and minerals in addition to the 10 grams of protein per scoop.

2. Add one scoop of high quality protein supplement. Mine is from Guyer Institute and contains many vitamins and minerals in addition to the 10 grams of protein per scoop.

3. Add one tablespoon of coconut oil.

3. Add one tablespoon of coconut oil.

4. 1-2 tablespoons of NATURAL ground flax, chia, hemp or nut butter (not peanut). I used freshly ground almond butter.

4. 1-2 tablespoons of NATURAL ground flax, chia, hemp or nut butter (not peanut). I used freshly ground almond butter.

5. Add 1 teaspoon of a good quality probiotic. This one is from Guyer Institute and contains 600 billion healthy bacteria per serving.

5. Add 1/2 teaspoon of a good quality probiotic. This one is from Guyer Institute and contains 600 billion healthy bacteria per serving.

6. Add as much ice as you'd like and blend until smooth. Then pour and drink!

6. Add as much ice as you’d like and blend until smooth. Then pour and drink!

This shake tastes so nutty¬†and fresh with the almond butter/milk, and coconut oil. I like a lot of ice so it’s super cold too because I think it’s even better that way. I don’t miss the sugar in this shake and I don’t think you will either. I drink it as a meal substitute and it’s very satisfying as such. It has only 405 CALORIES PER SHAKE TOO!! It also contains healthy fats from the almond butter and coconut oil, fiber from the almond butter, 17 grams of protein from the almond butter and protein powder, 180 mg protassium and 10% RDA for calcium from the almond milk, additional calcium, iron and vitamins from the Guyer Institute protein powder, and 600 billion friendly bacteria from the Guyer Institute Ecobiotics. Try this no sugar shake to help detoxify from all the sugar in your life, and try to avoid processed food as much as possible. Avoiding sugar and drinking this shake will help you live a life of vitality- with Valerie!

 

Holiday overeating/overdrinking? Healthy remedies for indigestion!

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Cooking at my sister's house over the weekend!

Cooking at my sister’s house over the weekend!

Whew, what a busy long holiday weekend! I had the kids come back from college, I hosted and cooked Thanksgiving on Thursday, and then went to my sister’s for a big family celebration over the weekend! I ate a lot of food and, by the time I returned home, ended up with a case of indigestion. I used my favorite remedies and feel better now, but then I thought, “Wait! I need to share these remedies with my wonderful readers!”¬†So that’s what I’m going to do today. Especially with two more big “stomach ache” holidays coming up, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, I thought it particularly timely to help you avoid stomach discomfort in a healthy way! These remedies are particularly¬†helpful when we occasionally over imbibe in food and drink. So without further ado, here are my top 5 healthy stomachache remedies.

My favorite stomach remedy!

My favorite stomach remedy!

1. Nux Vomica- This is a homeopathic remedy made from the seeds of the strychnos tree and it’s mainly used for nausea, indigestion, and hangovers. It works really well for all of those digestive issues. Use as recommended on the package instructions and DON’T TAKE MORE THAN THE RECOMMENDED DOSAGE AS IT CAN BE TOXIC IF TAKEN AT EXTREMELY HIGH LEVELS. Nux Vomica can be purchased at any health food store. It’s my favorite stomach remedy and has saved my life a number of times! They are tiny pellets that are held under the tongue until dissolved, and they have no flavor which is very helpful when your stomach is upset.

My number 2 stomach remedy!

My number 2 stomach remedy!

2. Sunmark Anti-nausea liquid- The active ingredients in my second favorite stomach remedy are glucose, fructose and phosphoric acid, and it’s effective for “nausea due to stomach upset from flu, food or drink indiscretions”, according to the label and I agree with their assessment of that. You just take one to two tablespoons and don’t drink any liquids before or after because it could dilute the effectiveness of the medicine. It has a pleasant cherry flavor, which goes down well when you’re stomach hurts. I love this anti-nausea liquid and I find it very successful at eliminating my symptoms. This product can be purchased at health food stores.

Works on adults too- teehee! :)

Works on adults too- teehee! ūüôā

3. Little Remedies Gripe Water- Don’t be fooled by the label, it’s not just for children but works on people of any age. One day I had a really bad case of indigestion and the only place we had time to stop at was a CVS because we were in a hurry to go somewhere, and there was no health food store near. So I ran in and looked at the stomach remedies and tried to find something that wasn’t full of chemicals, which was very difficult to be honest. I picked up this one on the advice of my significant other (who is a doctor). ¬†I was doubtful since it’s for babies,¬†but it REALLY WORKED WELL! It’s used for colicky babies, but it worked for my tummy too. It works by breaking down the bubbles that cause gas naturally. I have to admit I take a few swigs of it right out of the bottle instead of measuring when I need it so I’d say taking a tablespoon or two would be about right. It’s great!

Love me some peppermint capsules!

Love me some peppermint capsules!

4. Peppermint Capsules- This is one I particularly love and here’s why. These are pure peppermint capsules from Guyer Institute, however you can purchase other brands from health food stores. The EC stands for enteric coated, which is advisable because it helps keep the peppermint oil from being released in the stomach which could cause heartburn and indigestion. Instead it goes to the digestive system where it is released and helps relieve symptoms of gas, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, colds, and flu. This remedy works very well and as a pleasant side benefit it makes your bowel movements smell like peppermint. In other words you will have minty smelling doo doo! That’s definitely not a bad thing! Another way I like to use it is to break a capsule open, squeeze it into my water, and drink my peppermint water. It tastes really great and soothes my stomach too. Now don’t take it this way if you have reflux or esophagus issues because it could upset those conditions. A super healthy remedy!

Ginger gum!

Ginger gum!

5. Sea-Band Anti-Nausea Ginger Gum- Ginger is a long time remedy for gastrointestinal upset- I remember my Mama giving me ginger ale when I was a child with a flu bug. This ginger gum (can be purchased at health food¬†stores)¬†is a healthy way to deliver ginger in a more effective way than drinking an entire can of pop. It definitely has a strong ginger taste, so if you like ginger you’ll love this gum. I’m not a real fan of ginger so I only chew it for a few minutes before spitting it out, but it really helps calm the stomach in a natural way!

So these are some healthy remedies for overeating and overdrinking, which is very typical for this time of year. As always, please consult your physician before utilizing any of these products, especially if you are having severe symptoms for an extended period of time. Make sure to eat and drink safely, and use good judgment always! However, for the inevitable times when you aren’t feeling good, these natural products will definitely help. Using these tummy remedies will help you live a life of vitality- like Valerie!