Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How to Make Amazing Flavored Water

While living in a healthy world, you do not have to suffer from a lack of amazing flavors. Actually, the more amazing flavor combinations you can cram into your life, the better. Given that thought, I have started making pitchers of flavored water.  

Making your own flavored water is inexpensive, easy, and quick. You throw the stuff together in five quick minutes, let it sit overnight, and then in the morning you have an amazing flavor festival! The next time you pass expensive flavored water at the store, just turn your nose up at it. It is not good for you and a waste of your money.

All you need to make your own is a pitcher, water, and fruits, vegetables, herbs, and even spices. My favorite combination is mint, basil, an orange and lots of ginger. I also like apple, sticks of cinnamon, orange and star anise. The only limits on this are your imagination, but I think kale flavored water would not be my favorite.

Simple directions

-          Make sure all your fruit, veggies and herbs are washed.

-          Slice the veggies and fruit thin.

-          Add to the pitcher with the herbs and spices.

-          Fill the rest of the way with water.

-          Place in the refrigerator overnight.

-          Enjoy the next day. 

There you go! Healthy fun!!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Eat Right with Rosemary Carrots! Recipe Included!

In the spirit of eating lighter, I have been eating more fruits and vegetables now than I have in years. It is a lot easier to eat right when you are consuming a pound or more of veggies a day and at least a pound of fruit. Some of you are thinking that does not sound like a lot, and some of you are wondering how I find room to eat anything else.
Some veggies I love eating raw and just as they are. One of my favorites is cucumber slices. Those are just epic. Cauliflower that is raw but dipped in my miso Dijon dressing makes my toes curl. Other veggies are a little better cooked. I like roasted cauliflower (have you noticed I love cauliflower?) I also love making large pots of all veggie soup. Those are great when I need something late at night that is warm, comforting, and low in calories.
Another quick and easy favorite of mine is rosemary carrots. This takes just 20 minutes to bake, and it is easy to throw in the oven when you are making other tasty foods. Best of all, this lets me use some of the metric ton of rosemary that is in my yard. I got a cute baby rosemary plant for our wedding, planted it, and now it is a monster!! I love it because it means these carrots are always easy to make.
When you need a nice side dish, or want to eat the whole thing like popcorn while you are watching a movie on Netflicks, this is a great option!!
Rosemary Carrots
Makes about 1 pound
1 pound of baby carrots
1 baking dish, either a 9 inch pie plate or 9X9 baking dish
3-4 sprigs of rosemary, 3-4 inches long
2 cups of water
1 cube of bouillon, enough to make 2 cups of broth
2 cups of vegetable broth
Combine all ingredients and roast at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.
Yes, it is that easy.
Now eat and enjoy.
P.S You can use other herbs that you really like, too! These would be great with thyme, oregano, or you name it! Have fun!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Black Bean Veggie Soup with Recipe and Gossip!

A big bowl of love!

About 7 years ago I started an amazing weight loss journey where I lost 50 pounds, and tons of my own self doubts. Was I pretty enough? Was I healthy enough? There was a bit of that, but the first time I felt confident, especially when I could buy jeans in the lowest numbers possible. In America, when you are a woman, being skinny equals winning, and I was winning.

When you least expect it in life, you hit those brick walls with your face, breaking bones and spewing blood. I had a health problem (non-diet related) I never thought that I would encounter, and boom! 10 pounds was back on. I had to buy more new jeans, and fold the ones I had bought in those precious low numbers away… temporarily. I would be back in them soon enough. I wasn’t. The first 10 pounds crept into another 10, and then three years later another deep depression was followed by another 5 pound weight gain. Maybe it was all the wine.

Now I am back to my old habits, which is really building in the fruits and vegetables. I aim for 2-3 pounds of veggies a day. Yes, you read that right. 2-3 POUNDS. I am also eating about 1.5 pounds of fruit a day, which is leaving my skin glowing. So how am I doing all of this? I thought I would start posting up some of my recipes, ideas, and ways of getting things done while building in the veggies, or saving time. Both help.

One of my favorite new recipes is this easy black bean soup that is light, easy, and goes together in no time. I even included a calorie count!!

Black Bean Veggie Soup

Makes 10 servings (1 cup each)

2 cans of black beans, 15 oz each, rinsed and drained
4 cups of water
2 cups of corn kernels
2 cubes of vegetable bouillon (each should make 1 cup)
4 medium to large roma tomatoes
2 cans of diced green chilies (4 oz each)
1 tablespoon of fresh Mexican oregano or 1 teaspoon of dried, crumbled
2 small chili peppers
2 bunches of green onions
½ bunch of cilantro, diced
½ cup of shredded Daiya cheddar cheese or other vegan cheese
Drain and rinse the black beans.
Add to a soup pot along with 4 cups of water and the vegetable bouillon cubes and corn.
Dice the roma tomatoes and add to the pot, with the diced green chilies.
Add the oregano if using dried oregano.
Heat to a boil and allow to cook until the tomatoes are starting to soften, about 5 minutes of simmering time.
Meanwhile, slice the chili peppers thinly.
Remove the roots from the green onions, slice, and add.
Mince the cilantro.
Mince the oregano if using fresh.
Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the fresh oregano, cilantro, green onions, Daiya and chili peppers.
Allow to steep for about 5 minutes, then serve.


I actually eat this 2 cups at a time, because that fills me up better. However, the information below is based on a 1 cup serving. That way, you can portion it how you like it.

1 cup is 150 calories, 7 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber.