Yesterday on the Inspirations for Wellness Facebook page, I posted a list of ingredients for guessing. Something for fun but also for enlightenment. The game is over. No one guessed the correct answer, by the way but I'll share here. It was Welch's fruit snacks. You can see an image of the front of the package below. Of course, I have a few things to say about what you see on the front of the package versus in the ingredients list. Actually that's precisely why you are reading this as a blog post instead of a Facebook post. So I could say a little more in a more organized format. :)
This story involves the challenges in feeding kids. It also involves bean dip.
Let me be very up front. This story may mean much more to me than to you.
However, it could resonate with you if you are a parent, especially if you are a parent who tries to feed your child nutritious food. And if you are one of those parents, you know that it isn't as simple as providing nutritious food for them. That generally works quite well when they are younger - say 2 to 3 years old. Then something happens. I don't recall the exact age but my daughter, one day decided if a food was green then she shouldn't eat it. Just like that. She had been observing me eating "green" food often so her logic was, "You eat green food. I don't." I could tell a few stories around all of that....
Thankfully we have gotten past that stage - or so I thought. It came back yesterday. So here's the story about lunch....
Wow! I can't believe it has been a month since I last posted. Lots going on here that has kept me busy. I'll share more on that soon. ;)
I found this recipe on Pinterest and later modified it. I tried it as is but we found it too sweet. I'll include notes so you can make it either way - tastes for sweets can vary. One version involves agave and the other dates. I have really learned to appreciate using dates to sweeten all sorts of things. It's a whole food sweetener so you get the fiber and other nutrients which is awesome. If you are fan of Lara Bars then you are accustomed to consuming dates. You should be able to find them at your local grocery store without any issues. At my store, they are located in the produce area - on a separate kiosk with dried nuts, dried fruits, seeds, etc. Be sure to check to see if you are getting pitted or un-pitted. If you are new to using dates and/or want the quickest option - go for pitted.
I like these for a little taste of sweetness. With the nuts and oatmeal (you barely notice the oats) they are very satisfying. A well rounded little snack or treat I think. (No pun was intended (well-rounded) but I like it. ;) )
Here's the recipe:
The third flavor of my latest obsession (well - maybe obsession is a little strong ;) )
It all started with a new cookbook, "Let Them Eat Vegan" by Dreena Burton. It was a Mother's Day gift. I had perused it marking various pages. Well, when it came time to try the first recipe, I decided to start at the back - in the home made (non-dairy) ice cream section. Sort of like eating dessert first. ;)
A Strawberries & Cream (pg. 267) caught my eye. I experimented with non-dairy ice creams last summer. I made several that were ok but none that we LOVED. My daughter really wanted strawberry ice cream. This recipe looked like it might fit the bill. It's dairy free although high in fat for what I typically eat. Ice cream is a treat though, right? And these are all good fats from whole foods. Well, we made it and loved it. I was able to get great fresh organic strawberries at our local grocery store. Truly it is a fresh, fruity, creamy ice cream. But this is supposed to be about chocolate, right! I'm getting there.
Here are some fun ways to serve it up...
Frankly until this year, I was never much of a watermelon fan. I much preferred cantaloupe if I were going to eat melon. Well! That has all changed. I've eaten more watermelon in the past few weeks than I have eaten in my entire life. And not only is it the most tasty, juicy, perfect summer time treat, it's an excellent source of nutrition too! (You knew I had to say that, right? ;) )
Below I have a few pictures of ways I've been playing around with watermelon - making good food fun. It might be something you want to try especially if you have young kids or if you are preparing food for guests.
It's Summer time so Bring on the Watermelon please!!
This was a simple, fun project - a Pinterest project success. I'm sorry but I do not have the original pin to share. I just recall seeing something about using nail polish to paint keys to differentiate one from another. It's as simple as that.
This was done by a 5 year old so I do have some tidbits to share with you if you plan to make this a project for your child(ren). Most nail polish is not water soluble like so many craft items for kids. This may seem like an obvious point but with the chaos of the day, juggling more things than I should, I failed to remember that point or maybe I just didn't think about the things that could go wrong with craft project using nail polish. Now you are imagining the worse, right? :) Don't write off this project! It can be done. In my case my table and my floor could be clean using a little nail polish remover - there were little dots of nail polish everywhere. Just be sure to cover the table (work surface), maybe the floor and have your child wear a smock or old clothing that you don't mind staining. (We lost a shirt in the project but again, that was because of poor planning and lack of "imagining the worst" on my part.) And if you are an adult wanting to do this, maybe you don't have to worry about all the disaster prep. Just grab some nail polish colors and start decorating! A little creativity is good for the soul and a great stress relief.
At my house though, it was a kids craft. My daughter decorated two keys. She enjoyed the project and I have enjoyed the results. She got to use her creativity and I get to see her handiwork every time I use my key. The nail polish is holding up well. No chips at all. A Pinterest project success! :)
So what sort of luck do you have with all the cool looking Pinterest projects??
So far, some of the things I have tried that I found on Pinterest have turned out ok and some things have been a disaster. This birdfeeder project wasn't too bad - not really. As usual, things always sound pretty easy and simple - until you are actually doing them. Although in this case, I think it was my improvisation that was the biggest issue. I'm including the original pin below so you can link to the instructions there. The biggest change that I made that wasn't such a great choice was to use twigs for the perches instead of wooden spoons. I wanted to use things we already had on hand. Granted I had some wooden spoons but none that I wanted to give to the birds. I actually use my wooden spoons! Sooo.... we went looking for branches - twigs really. We found a few that looked like they would work pretty well.
My friend Shelly at Plantiful Wellness created this. You can whip it up in a jiffy then add it to all kinds of savory dishes. Easy Peasy. Tastes great! And it gets better!! This stuff is actually nutritious!! Nutritional yeast is a source of B vitamins, protein, amino acids and fiber. If you want to read more, here's a link to an article on Mind, Body Green, "5 Reasons Why I'm Obsessed with Nutritional Yeast". You can find nutritional yeast in health food stores in the bulk section or in a jar. Amazon also offers it - Red Star, which is a great brand.
The other key ingredient is walnuts, another nutritional powerhouse. I especially love them for the ever sought after Omega-3 fatty acids. Here's a link with loads of information on the benefits of Walnuts from World's Healthiest Foods, a great resource for nutritional information on food.
Here's the recipe:
Have you tried making ice cream using frozen bananas yet? As long as you keep a few frozen bananas in your freezer, you can have ice cream in a few minutes. Great for a sudden ice cream craving. ;)
You'll need a blender for this. A Vitamix is perfect but other blenders will do the job as well. Just break your banana into quarter size pieces or smaller before freezing. The smaller the pieces, the less work for your blender.
This is one of my favorites.
When the weather gets warmer, this is a drink we tend to crave. There's something about a carbonated beverage when it's really hot out that seems to quench your thirst.
I first learned how to make it when I was going through training to become a LEAN coach (a program by Dr. William Sears). It's simple - frozen juice concentrate and seltzer water, a.k.a. "fizzy water" in our house. Dr. Sears calls it "Celebration Soda". We call it "Pink Soda". The juice concentrate we started out using made a drink that was pink. We had to switch to a different concentrate so now our "Pink Soda" is technically red. Those aren't the details you really need though. ;)
Here's how I make it:
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The Parsley Princess
I'm a Mom with a passion for wellness - learning, exploring, sharing and encouraging others. And yes, my daughter helped me come up with the name. I would never seriously call myself a princess. lol