Reflections on Health

2018 #day58 ~ as good a time as any to share my recent Reflections on my health journey.

Health isn’t promised to us so why do I take it for granted?

Why do I choose what brings Ill-health and disease?

Yes I “can” eat whatever I want. But why do I want to? It’s not like I can say I don’t know better.

Every day I wake up with choices to be made. Every day I move in the direction of greater health and wellness or I decline, no standing still.

Food is fuel and the type of fuel I put in the tank is up to me, no one else.

NOTHING tastes as great as health FEELS, this I have learned personally. It’s not a sacrifice to say no to sugar laden foods, it’s not even about being deprived. So what if you ARE deprived? Would you rather be sick ? ? ? and satisfied with eating all you crave or Healthy and deprived of sugar, dairy, toxins, chemicals?

Its not about the challenges experienced trying to eat out, it’s not about explaining to friends who don’t understand, its not about dealing with cravings, it’s not about having to wait 10 hours for flax crackers to be ready, it’s not about taking snacks with you everywhere you go, it’s not about going cross-eyed reading labels, it’s not about disliking to exercise….

The plain and simple truth is, its saying YES! to health, mental clarity, rejuvenating sleep, vitality, joy, laughter, being ALIVE, full of passion and living a vibrant life. If that matters enough to you, then you’ll do WHATEVER it takes, without question.

I am choosing to celebrate saying yes to my health, with every choice I make, with every bite of food I put in my mouth, with every way I move my body, with how I show myself love and grace. I will focus on what I’m doing right, not the challenges or difficulties; they are only there because I let them be, because I focus on them.

Curry Sweet Potato Pasta

Sharing this most amazing sweet potato pasta recipe, courtesy of Cara Brotman here. This is a go to recipe when you need a change up from fresh green leafy salads and are craving something rich, savory, super filling that is packed full of flavor. It is one of my raw favorites!

Recipe:

  • 2 sweet potatoes, spiralized
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped raw nuts (almonds & hazelnuts are great)
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions (spring onions work well too!)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup mint

Curry Almond Sauce

  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 6 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce / Liquid Aminos / Tamari
  • 1 Tbsp finely minced ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, or to taste

Start with the Curry Almond Sauce, adding all of ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Add remaining ingredients, sweet potatoes – mint, stir well and Enjoy!

*due to the coconut oil, if not eaten right away the sauce will harden in the fridge. Just take it out and let it sit on the counter a bit to warm up before eating. I like to make it the same day and leave it out on the counter until dinner to allow the flavors to marinate and so the noodles are able to be twirled on my fork, like spaghetti. lol

Kerwin used the angel hair blade on the spiralizer to make the pasta in the photo and it turned out fabulous! More noodle for the sauce to cling to. ??

I haven’t tried this with the pomegranate seeds yet but I’m sure it’s wonderful!

Raw Unroasted Almonds

Top Secret Reveal!

Here is my tried and perfected recipe for making The Best Unroasted Almonds. It’s all in the details.

~Start with RAW Almonds ?

~Soak them overnight in fresh water. The nuts will absorb a lot of water and expand so put plenty of extra to keep the nuts covered.

~Drain and rinse them in the morning. *If you are pressed for time, just put new fresh water covering the nuts, place them in the fridge and you can get to them later. With daily rinsing and fresh water the nuts will keep in the fridge for 5 days so you can always have a batch soaked and ready to go for various recipes.

~Place rinsed nuts on a dehydrator tray, spread out so they are in a single layer. Dehydrate for 1 hour at 105°.

~Dump dried nuts into a big bowl

~Drizzle Olive Oil (cold pressed) and mix. You only want to “lightly” coat the nuts so the seasonings will stick, too much oil and they’ll never get the ‘pop’ or light crunch you’re looking for. So start slow, mix, and add more oil as needed.

~Add Seasonings. Below is my all time favorite mix but this is customizable to your taste buds of course.

Pink Salt – FINE Ground

Garlic Powder

Chipotle Powder

Cayenne

First 3 are pretty equal amounts, the cayenne I use about 1/4 the amount, just to give a tiny kick. Don’t worry about the quantity of salt, Himalayan Pink Salt is good for you. ?? The nuts honestly won’t taste the same without enough salt, it brings out the flavor of the other spices and once you bite in the flavors all blend with the nuts to create a mouth watering savor burst of flavor.

*One thing to note is Be Generous! Put on way more seasonings than you think you’ll need. Taste the nuts and keep adding until the balance is there and it’s bit too strong. Some will fall off as it’s dehydrating and the flavors will soften. Bland nuts are just no fun, trust me. Also, you want to taste the spices, not the oil. Add more spices if you taste mostly oil. Or add more nuts to thin out the amount of oil.

~Put back on the dehydrator trays and “roast” at 110° until the cows come home. Seriously, just leave it going for 2-3 days, periodically testing them. When you like the pop and crunch pull them out, let them cool and store them in the pantry. They won’t last long enough to get old LOL. Way to yummy.

*I like glass canning jars to store them. Ziplock bags makes the nuts not look as appealing and I swear they don’t hold the crunch the same way. ?‍♀️ They are good though to use for carrying nuts with you for on the go snacking.

I was excited to find them on sale at Sprouts this week in the bulk section. So I made a big batch! Not sure if I’m going to show them to Kerwin or not. Haha ?

After many soggy, chewy, bland batches of nuts I am excited to have found a recipe that WORKS!! I want you to skip past my failures ? so feel free to ask questions! I hope you give these nuts a go and share how they turn out for you!

Mostly Raw Carrot Cake Muffins

Muffin Base

  • 1 cup walnuts (not soaked)
  • 1 cup Medjool dates
  • 2 cups grated carrots, squeezed tightly through a nut milk bag to remove as much excess moisture as possible.
  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • Dash nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp pink salt (or more to taste)
  • 3/4 cup raisins

Icing

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked 1+ hours
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (you could use agave instead or probably honey too)
  • Few shakes of pink salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Water (reserve)

Instructions

Base

  • Blend the dates and walnuts in a food processor till they are crumbly, but holding together.
  • Add carrots and spices. (I pulsed the carrorts innmy food processor to save manually grating baby carrots. Lol) Process till the mix has taken the form of a smooth “dough.” It will take a minute or two.
  • Add raisins and pulse or stir in to combine.

Icing

  • Drain and rinse cashews, put in a food processor with maple syrup, salt and lemon. Process until the mixture is well combined. With the motor running, add just enough water as the motor is running to get the consistency you want. Keep checking. Tasting helps too. ?
  • Push the carrot cake dough into six muffin tins or ramekins, gently drop a heaping Tablespoon of icing to each and put in freezer for about two hours so they’ll set enough to be removed from the muffin tin while holding their shape.
  • Serve and enjoy!
  • These can be made a day ahead of time and stored in the fridge.

Tip – if you stretch the base to make 7 muffins you can set one aside to be sure of having a “leftover” while still having an even number to put out for guests. ?

This is me doing that very thing and having a muffin for breakfast the next day. Lol. It filled me up for hours!

If you can’t beat ‘em…

It was the day after our second wedding anniversary and I was ruing the day we decided to get married 2/2/2000.

16 years ago on February 3rd, 2016 was the first ever Super Bowl held the first Sunday in February, instead of the last weekend in January as per the entire history of the NFL.

I grew up a Hockey NHL fan, not an NFL, NBA or MLB fan. Detroit Red Wings, ahhhhh, now that is a sport of skill, and made up of a league and team of players that have integrity, a work ethic and code of conduct in the media.

My husband, while ALSO a Wings fan ??? was a huge 49er and Steve Young fan and even had a 2nd team, the Cleveland Browns. That was okay as there were in different divisions. ? When his teams weren’t on there was always another game to watch. Or draft to focus on or sports commentators to listen to or early season or Pro Bowl or….seemed like the list was never ending. It’s a year long love affair.

Me, I wanted no part of the beer drinking crowd, hanging out in bars or the “friendly” competition between friends. I didn’t even drink beer, tasted gross then and that hasn’t changed.

That was the case the first 2 years of our marriage. What did change was I became a Patriots fan. ? Yup.

What changed? They moved the Super Bowl to our anniversary weekend. ?‍♀️ Would I ever have another anniversary without the Super Bowl interfering? How many anniversaries would actually be ON the Super Bowl tainting “Our Day”? ? Oh, what to do?

Seriously though, it was a decision made for the good of my marriage. I could either let football alienate us, creating schedule conflicts, spending too much time apart with our own friends and always being annoyed with the all time football took him away from me….or….I could join him, learn to enjoy the sport and make our time together fun.

So then came the need to pick a team, I couldn’t just blindly follow my husbands team(s), it had to be a real pick. A fan doesn’t support their team by default. LOL.

I picked the Patriots because of Bill Belichick, his I don’t care attitude, his football smarts, how he always did it his way, that he had players working both sides, offense and defense and when the Patriots were introduced at Super Bowl XXXVI and came onto the field as a complete unit, a TEAM, that sealed the deal for me.

Now 16 years later here they are in another Super Bowl on my anniversary weekend and I spent the day shopping for healthy snacks, making homemade hummus and getting set for a viewing party at home for the 2 of us. It’s romantic believe it or not and fun too. I’m excited for kickoff!

And while I’m still a die hard Red Wings ? fan, I’ve loved all of the memories created over 16 years of football shared with my husband. I wouldn’t trade a minute of it. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Hanging out in bars, with a beer drinking crowd is fun. Bars do serve more than beer. Lol. And the special Football ? Drink and Food menus have always been a hit. ?

The choices you make for the right reasons ?? ? don’t have to make you miserable. Choose your mindset and perspective. Choose Joie and you will always be a winner.

GoPats!!