Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cream Soup Base

This recipe is an absolute staple in my life.  I use it for all of my creamy soups and the opportunities are endless.

Cream Soup Base
1 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
1 bag frozen seasoning blend, I know this is cheating, cut up onions, bell pepper, and celery if you want
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 half quart of half and half
1.5 cups broth (use chicken if making a non seafood dish, if seafood I like to use seafood base which can be found at oriental markets or you can boil shrimp heads and shells or fish bones and make your own)

Melt butter and saute the seasoning blend until all veggies are tender.  Add flour and cook for a minute or so.  Add soup, half and half, and broth.  You are now ready to get creative, here are some ideas.

Corn and Crab Soup
You will use the seafood base for this.  Add one can corn (cream or regular depending on consistency you like), 1/2-1 lb crab meat.  I confess on this...if I have to make large quantities of this soup I add a little fish, something white and flaky that I can fake people out that it is crab meat.  Broil it first and then flake it up.  I know that is terribly cheap of me but I promise no one will know.  Also add salt, pepper, red pepper, or just use Tony's seasoning.  If you like a relatively smooth soup you can use and immersion blender before adding your crab, then gently fold the crab meat in.  This soup is wonderful but if it's a special occasion and you want extra decadence add a little whipping cream at the end.

Shrimp and Corn Soup
Same as above just replace the crab w/ shrimp.  I do not precook my shrimp, just add them to the hot soup and simmer until they are done.

Southwest Chicken Corn Chowder 
Add 1 diced, cooked chicken breast, one can corn, one can green chilies, 1 large diced potato.  If you add the potato raw be sure it simmers long enough to get tender, you may want to boil it first.


Cream of Broccoli Soup
This one is ridiculously easy and may be my favorite....All you do is add one bag chopped broccoli and one bag florets.  You can add them frozen and just let it simmer until they are tender.  Serve topped with cheese, YUM!  Another amazing thing is to add crab meat to this one.

Cream of Spinach Soup
Just add a bag of frozen chopped spinach.

Cream of Asparagus
Chop fresh asparagus and add it.

Okay, I'm guessing you get the picture by now.  Do me a favor and if you come up with a great one let me know so I can add it to my meal idea list.



Spinach and Artichoke Dip

I have been meaning to take pics of my Spinach Dip for quite a while so I could blog the recipe, however I still haven't.  Since a friend requested the recipe I thought I would just go ahead and write it and hopefully pics will come later.  This is a super easy but decadent and delicious recipe.  I hope you will try it.

Spinach and Artichoke dip
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup flour
1 can evaporated milk
1 lb. pepper jack cheese, shredded or cubed
1.5 lb. frozen chopped spinach
1 can artichoke hearts
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Allow spinach to thaw.  Melt butter in saucepan, add flour and let cook 30 seconds.  Add milk and pepper jack, cook on low, stirring often, cook until all cheese is melted.  Chop artichoke hearts.  Add spinach, artichoke, and both salts.  Simmer until flavors meld, 20 minutes or so.  At this point you can serve as is or place in a baking dish top with parmesan or mozzarella and bake until cheese melts.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Back Porch Therapy

Time flies when your having fun, so much so that you forget to update your blog.  Much has transpired since my last post that I could write for hours but I won't.  Just a few of the highlights of life here in the Green family.... The hubby had surgery, it went really well, all cancer removed, all scans clear, no further treatment needed.  That is making an extremely long story short but we are more than a little excited about this and thank GOD for His blessings.

The percentage of the American population that deals with cancer at some time or another in their own life or a loved one is probably close to 100%.  Therefore most people have had the opportunity to think long and hard about mortality and the value of life.  I am no different.  I have been profoundly changed by this whole situation and I believe God has held my hand along this path of life and will continue to do so. I also think it is imperative that we share any understanding He enlightens us with, hoping others will learn without having to learn through pain.  Thus this blogpost.

My life's suffering is quite minimal in the big scheme of things, as are many Americans that consistently have food on their table, clothes on their back, and a roof over their head.  But as all things are relative I have had a tiny taste of it enough to think about those that suffer much worse.  A few weeks ago I sat with two women that I happen to love dearly on my back porch swing.  Through the course of conversation we began to discuss the unimaginable suffering they have both endured, each has lost a husband and a son within a matter of a couple of years.  One has recently remarried and is extremely happy in that relationship, go figure she is treated like a queen, deservingly so, and I asked her if she is happier now than she used to be.  She quickly but quietly said "no, I would trade these days for those in a second".  This was not an insult to her wonderful new husband but a testament to the family she had, she lost so much.  I then asked if she had realized back then that she was so happy and her response was also "no".  She and her wonderful daughter have began the slow work of putting the pieces of their lives back together but they both know that two pieces are missing and are irreplaceable.  That conversation shook me to my very core.  I want to realize in each day, each moment just how happy I am.  I want to live in the moment, sure with great hopes for the future and a profound appreciation for what my past has taught me, but totally present in the NOW of my life.
My back porch.  Where I tell all my secrets and am happy to listen to anyone else tell theirs.

I read a blogpost that inspired more of this thought that focused on the thought "this too shall pass".  How often I have used those words to encourage myself and others when going through difficult times but this post had a slightly different take on that idea.  What if while our children are young and do simple things that we love or don't love we thought those simple words, this too shall pass.  Maybe we could find a place in our memory that took a snapshot of the joys of that moment, to be stored forever!











This morning while having coffee on a dear friends back porch, which is so beautiful I am going to post a picture of it, we were having a conversation about this very topic.  She is an avid scrap booker so this story was very profound for her.  While reading a Karen Kingsbury book she stumbled upon a line that discussed the idea that what if not only scrap booked on our children's "firsts", first steps, haircut, lost tooth, etc., we also could scrap book their "lasts".  With tears stinging both of our eyes, she commented, "what if we knew it was the last time they would be snuggling in bed with us?".  That was a great example for me because my youngest is about to turn 9 and he has gone from coming to snuggle with me every morning to only doing it a couple of times a week.  Sadly there will come a day, hopefully not too soon, that he won't snuggle at all.  Those moments pass not just from losing a child but from the simple passage of time that they become adolescents, then teenagers, and eventually adults.  I don't want to miss appreciating these times.


One last thought and I will hush up with my "Hallmark" talk.  Not only do I want to focus on my children during this precious time in their lives but also my friends, which includes my husband and most of my family.  They are the relationships that, when nurtured, will help me survive when my children realize there are other women in this world that they would rather snuggle.  I love all of my friends so much!  I pray that God continues to bless with back porch conversations that keep me focused on the things in life that truly matter.

I have a prayer request also.....one of my very close friends is fighting illness.  She has had to have a kidney removed and half of her bladder plus lots of scar tissue.  She has been confined to her home for a while now and I can't imagine how hard that is.  Her children are teenagers and need her but they are amazing and helpful.  Please pray that she have a quick recovery and that her remaining kidney would begin to function at 100%.  Her name is Tina Eccles, she gave me permission to tell that.  If you would like to send her an encouraging word let me know and I will give you her email address.

Many blessings,
Nicole

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Happy Anniversary to Me, oh and Him too

Part of me is amazed that my sweetie and I have been married 17 years, it seems like so much less, yet I can barely remember a life without him.  These years have been anything but uneventful.  Neither of us like a lot of drama even though my teenage years seemed to be filled with it.  However, drama has found us way too often.  We both were divorced when we got together, he had been married for 4 years and divorced for 8, I had been married 3 months and separated about 3 months.  We had definitely both proven just how great we weren't at the whole marriage thing.  Bottom line is we fell in love and I mean fell hard.  You know the kind of falling that makes you feel like you cannot breath until you see that person.  I think these days being "in love" is underrated.  It doesn't matter how much you have in common, chemistry is crucial.

Throughout the years we have had seasons that we really weren't "in love" we were simply maintaining a marriage because it was the right thing to do, because contrary to popular belief it IS the right thing.  I hear so often of women that are leaving their husbands because they aren't happy, well it's not your husband's job to make you happy.  We need to choose to be happy and then we are much more enjoyable to live with.


Anyway, God definitely blessed our "broken roads" because seventeen years later I am truly in love.  Funny how if you trust God and love out of obedience that love turns into "in love".  I am so very thankful for the man I married!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Man cannot live on bread alone but.......

Just maybe man could live on this one.  Oh wait, gotta have some butter to smear on it.

Making bread is extremely therapeutic to me and my life has been completely out of sorts lately.  I love the whole process of it and should make it daily just to de-stress but that would not help my weight situation.  Stopping at one slice is nearly impossible.  This is the recipe, I hope you will try it.  It does take a little time but much of it is waiting for it to rise, therefore it is a perfect thing to do on a rainy day while hanging at home or while your crafting or something else fun.

Homemade Bread
2 cups warm, not hot, water, maybe 110 degrees or a little less
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
6 cups bread flour

Mix the water with the sugar and yeast and let it sit until it forms a foam, approximately 5 minutes,  this will assure the yeast is active.  If it doesn't foam your yeast is no good, start over with new yeast.  Add the oil and salt.  Mix in 4 cups or so of the flour and just stir until it is a shaggy dough.  From the other 2 cups of flour add a handful to your counter surface or large cutting board.  Turn the dough out and begin to knead, click here if you have never done this, using your leftover flour continue to add as needed.  If kneading is too much for you feel free to use your Kitchenaid w/ a dough hook.  I personally find kneading the therapy I'm looking for and I promise once you have done it you will find it comes very naturally the next time, like riding a bike.  You do not have to use the entire amount of flour, it's just a guideline.
My shaggy dough, trust me it will turn into a ball.


See... a ball.  This is after kneading.

After the kneading is complete place the dough in a bowl you have oiled, I rub a little oil on top of the ball also to keep the dough's surface from drying out.  Cover with a towel and allow to rise for an hour or until doubled in size.                

Before the first rising.

After.  Funny how that still amazes me.

Next you will take the dough out of the bowl and punch it down.  I know, sad you are deflating what you just waited an hour for!  Knead a couple of times, the dough should not be sticky at all so you shouldn't need more flour.  Cut the dough in half and form it into two oblong shapes that will fit into your pans, you will be using 2 loaf pans for this.  Place in the pans and I like to tent a towel over them.
My fancy tent construction.
I believe tents should be beautiful, thus my wonderful tea towel.

Let them rise for 30 minutes or until they are approximately 1 inch higher that your pan.
It rises again!

Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  I put a bowl of water in the oven with them to keep the crust from getting too hard.  Be prepared for your kitchen to smell like complete and total bread heaven!  When you take them out brush them with a little butter or oil to soften the crust, if you want.  Slice, slather with REAL butter, oh. my. gosh!!!!!!  See therapy and it only cost a couple of bucks.  Who says I don't save my man money.
This is art and love wrapped in a perfect little package!  I know I'm a food nerd and am totally okay with it.
Sorry no pics of it sliced with butter, it disappeared before I could even think of it.  Besides I wouldn't want to get butter all over the camera;)!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Indian Tacos

I have a little park near my house that I love to walk.  This morning, after being a bit frustrated that my Pandora radio was not working on my phone, I enjoyed the quiet solitude hearing only the sounds of birds and a distant lawn mower.  Often when my mind wanders, which IS often, I end up thinking about food.  Recipes, memorable meals that I have had while traveling, conversations I have had over a good meal, wow can you tell how much I love food.  I have gained a few pounds this summer and am trying to lose them which makes me think of food even more.  Not really the best diet plan.

Get to the point you say, um sorry.  On a trip we went on to South Dakota we enjoyed Indian Tacos, actually we fell in love with them.  We liked Mt. Rushmore too just not as much as the tacos.  They are really simple but sometimes the simplest things are the most enjoyable because you can truly taste each component of the dish.  Fancy talk for simple street food.  Here is the recipe, I hope you will give them a try.  The most difficult part is making the fry bread and that's not difficult just a little messy, but so completely worth it.  

Indian Tacos
Taco Filling
2 lbs ground meat, I use ground turkey thighs but beef would be great too
1 diced onion
2 packages taco seasoning
1 can Rotel, spicy or mild you choose
1 can black beans w/ liquid
1 cup water
Brown your ground meat, add onion and cook until tender.  Add all remaining ingredients and cook with the lid off until much of the liquid is evaporated.  Keep warm until ready to assemble tacos.
This is what it should look like, you don't want soupy.
Next prepare your toppings.  I keep it very simple, cheese, lettuce, tomato.  You could add salsa, sour cream, etc. but I like the simplicity. The stars of this show are the fry bread and meat filling.  I enlisted a little help with the cheese, something about fresh grated just makes me happy!
He grated the whole block without complaining or eating half of it, wow!

Indian Fry Bread aka a little heaven in the mouth.
4 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups milk
Vegetable oil for frying

Mix dry ingredients well, add milk.  Stir until it begins to form a ball, this could be done in a mixer or food processor but I do not like washing those things.  Place a hand full of flour on your counter or cutting board and begin to roll out circles pretty thin, maybe a little less than 1/4 inch.  This is an imperfect thing, I made mine too big around and had to cut the second batch in half to fit them into my pot.  Heat oil to 325ish and begin frying.  Very important key: you do not want to let them brown too much or they will be crisp, you want them to be soft.  Drain on paper towels and keep warm until all are fried and you are ready to assemble.

Spread meat filling on bread and top with desired toppings.  Fold to eat and enjoy!
You will likely have a little dough left over, my plan is to make beignets in the morning.  Simply roll them out approximately 1/4" thick and cut into rectangles, fry and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Serve with cafe au lait, yum!


Monday, August 8, 2011

Blessings in Disguise

Do you ever just feel like wallowing around in a big mushy pit of self pity?  Ashamed though I may be, that's me lately.  After discovering that my love has to have surgery we decided to pack up and take a trip to Key West, squeezing it in before the kids had to go to school.  We took off on a Monday and drove 17 hours in an RV, stopping at a Walmart parking lot to sleep a few hours, arriving in Key West around 8:30 Tuesday night.  After checking into our condo, unloading bags, and driving to Duvall St. to grab a bite we received a call from Mike's sister that his nephew had passed away.  We immediately left and somewhat like watching a video in reverse, drove home.  So in a matter of 48 hours we drove to Key West and back without the luxury of seeing anything.  As I was laying in the back bed of the RV, replaying the worst summer I can remember, ever so slowly a light bulb began to turn on for me.  There I was, with both of my babies beside me, blessed beyond measure.  My sister in law, whom just lost her husband a little over a year ago after spending 10 years taking care of him, he was paralyzed from falling from an 8' ladder, had lost her baby boy too.  Sure he was 45 years old and gave her plenty of grey hair but he was still her little boy.  I have mine with me, I have my husband, I even have both of my parents and all of my siblings.  I immediately regretted my selfishness and spent the time telling my boys how much I love them.  Life is so short, even if we live to be 100, in comparison to eternity it is simply a whisper.  I am so thankful for all of the blessings in my life, even the difficulties because every single time they turn out to be a blessing, though I may never figure out what the blessing is exactly.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Biopsy Results

My summer......this year has been unlike any other.  Thankfully I was able to spend a couple of weeks in Italy in the spring because our typical 2-3 weeks rambling around the US isn't going to happen.  Yes I was a little frustrated but I'm over it and thankful for friends and family that have made my summer okay anyway.

So here's the bottom line...How many posts have I written on health, cancer prevention, etc?  I didn't go and count but there have been many.  Guess what, the hubby had a biopsy, cancer is not only still there but has grown.  Actually gone from 2 spots to 4 and the 2 new ones are more aggressive.  In the next few months he will have to have surgery.  So, needless to say, we are both really disappointed.

In case you haven't read previous blogs let me give you a touch of history on the situation.  After being diagnosed with prostate cancer almost 2 years ago he chose to treat it naturally.  He was extremely diligent, doing vitamin C IV therapy, completely changing his diet, drinking fresh organic veggie juice daily, and exercising.  We really would have been okay with no growth but for the stinking thing to have grown while doing all of those things is very annoying.  Cancer makes me so angry!!!!!!!

I have vented now I can move on.  We found out about this on Tuesday and he has spent the last week eating everything he denied himself for 2 years, it's been fun.  However, as of tomorrow it's back to the healthy eating and taking care of ourselves.  He has had extreme indigestion, which he did not have a single time in 2 years.  I have gained 6 lbs over the last month. :(

If the only reason we take care of the "temple" God gave us is to get rid of disease, or stay thin, or live longer then we are missing the point.  God said take care of the "temple"/body, that should be reason enough.  In doing so at least we are doing our part to stay healthy.  If disease happens to come then our bodies will hopefully fight it, if we have to result to modern medicine then I want our bodies to be as strong as possible to heal after surgery.

Thanks to everyone that has prayed for my love to be healed.  The doctor that did the biopsy is Dr. Katz, he is a holistic urologist in NYC and amazing.  He wrote a book about healing prostate cancer naturally which is how we found him.  Anyway, his words were, "I believe this surgery will be a cure for you".  That is an answer to prayer.  If you think God only heals without the help of modern medicine I have to be rude and say you are so stinking wrong!  God can heal any way he chooses, He is GOD!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Carrot Juice

If you are a follower of this blog or if you know me personally you know all about our families challenges, I am an open book.  One of the challenges we have been dealing with for the past almost 2 years is that my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer.  It was a small, slow growing cancer and after much thought, prayer, and research he made a decision to not take the medical advice given at the time to remove the prostate or do radiation.  Instead to at least try taking a holistic approach.  I won't go into everything he has done but if you need information concerning his complete program please do not hesitate to ask, he is an open book too.  One of what he considers is key to his improved health is drinking fresh carrot/veggie juice.  For the first 6 months or so of drinking approximately a quart a day he did turn a bit orange.  After discussing this w/ our naturopath we discovered this is just a sign that the liver is being cleansed and not a sign that you should stop juicing.  She was definitely correct because he no longer is orange.  The benefits of carrot juice are very easy to find, google it and the list is long.  Chances are if you found this blog searching the internet you already know the benefits and are just looking for confirmation that it is a good thing for you to do.  We will be going in for a follow up biopsy in the next month and are praying the cancer is completely gone or at least not growing.  Regardless of what the results are Mike knows juicing will always be a part of his life.  His general health has improved so much.  For a long time he juiced for himself daily.  A few months ago he told me he was completely burned out with the task, not the drink but the chore of juicing.  Therefore I took over, I have no shame and he offered to pay me, I know that's awful of me.  I have this juicing thing down to a science.  I juice 2 days worth at a time.  There is a 48 hour window that nutritional benefit is at it's best after that enzymes are lost.  Don't waste your time with the kind bottled in the store.  This is my recipe, it tastes really good to us but if you don't like it start w/ more apples and give yourself time to develop a taste for it.

I talk to people often that tell me they have a juicer but don't use it.  Sad to say but all juicers are not the same.  I don't completely understand this but cheap juicers do not extract the juice in a way that the juice is greatly beneficial.  There are 2 home type models that are recommended for greatest benefit.  The first and considered best is the Green Star which costs around $500.  The second is The Champion, which is what we have and I paid $250 for it at Our Daily Bread, a local health food store.  We have had it 5 years and it has been used and used a lot and still in great condition.  Spend the extra money and get a good machine.

Carrot Juice (Important to use all organic ingredients)
2 lbs. organic carrots
1 large tomato
3 apples
1 stalk broccoli, or anything green we use kale sometimes but it is strong
I do not peel the carrots, just was really well.  Cut everything to a size that will fit into your juicer.  Juice, bottle, be sure there is very little to no air in the jar.  Enjoy w/ in 48 hours.



One issue many people struggle with when it comes to juicing is the pulp.  I hear ofter "what about the fiber don't we need that?"  Yes we need fiber and lots of it but the point of juicing is removing the fiber so your body completely absorbs the nutrients.  Look at the pile of veggies we juiced, you could not eat that much but juicing it you are getting all of the vitamins and minerals in a small quantity.  Get your fiber in other ways, I personally recommend beans, Mike eats them every day.  As far as the "waste" of the pulp.....a couple of options.  You can add it to a compost pile, or better yet feed it to chickens.  Mine LOVE this stuff.  They thank me on a daily basis by providing our family with all the eggs we could want.

The pulp, aka chicken food.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Poncho Fever

If you happened to have read my blog around New Years you know that I learned to knit around that time. I happen to have been lucky or just crazy blessed to have found a daughter in law that is multi talented and more than willing to share her talent.  No my stepson gets no credit for finding her, haha.  Anyhoo, I knit a pretty large prayer shawl during January which was a big deal.  You would have to know how high strung I am to know what determination it took me to relax enough to learn.  I think I started over 10 times on the thing.  It is done and ended up being large enough for me to cover up with during a nap, ahhh.  Since that monumental accomplishment I have quickly knit a couple of scarves but my most recent project was a poncho.  I bought a book at our local knitting store, which is a wonderful and most helpful place, titled "The Knitting Experience, Book 1: The Knit Stitch" by Sally Melville.  It was super simple but I LOVE it!  Maybe even a good project for beginners since it was one stitch for the entire thing and you just knit two rectangles then sew them together.  I used an acrylic and cotton blend because in Louisiana wool is not usually necessary.  It is wonderfully light yet I think it will be perfect for LSU games, go Tigers!  I may actually get in the mood for tailgating this year.  Not only will I have something cute to wear I can knit while everyone else parties which isn't really my thing.  Yes I'm weird:)

 With my leftover, rather expensive yarn I also made this glove.  Yes only one, I have to decide if I will actually wear it before knitting the other, I certainly wouldn't w/ the poncho, too matchy matchy.


Disclaimer:  My 8 year old took the pics of me, sorry they are a little blurry.  


Monday, June 6, 2011

Turkey Lombardi

I have looked so forward to summer's arrival this year.  We have had a bit of a rocky year with school at least in my 8 year old's life.  So I have daydreamed of relaxed days by the pool and no agenda or schedule. Boy was I WRONG!  We have not stopped so far.   I won't bore you with our schedule but having a 14 year old that is active can keep an entire family on their toes.  One of my goals for summer was to be sure my kids ate healthy and home cooked food as often as possible.  Last week I cooked ONE meal.  Very frustrating!  This week I am determined to cook at least 3.  Blogging is hopefully going to help me.  I am aspiring to make meals that both of my kids and my very health focused hubby will eat.  Easier said than done I assure you.  So this was my one meal last week.  I will blog the meals this week as I get them done and have thumbs up from my three men.  This recipe was adored by the entire family and completely gone w/in 2 days, it makes a big pan.  One important note.....you can make almost any dish wholesome by using quality ingredients and sneak in a few veggies.  Organics are important to us but you could make it easily w/ groceries from you local grocer if they aren't an option for you.

The ingredients
Turkey Lombardi
1 lb. ground turkey thighs (you could also use ground beef)
2 zucchini, grated, they are abundant right now
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 jar pasta sauce (this is my staple, I use it in place of canned tomatoes to avoid heavy metals in our food)
1 lb. egg noodles, boiled al dente and drained, very important not to over cook b/c it's going into the oven
1 lb. mozzarella cheese, I use organic to try and justify all that fat :)


Sneaking in my veggies, by the time it simmers the kids will not notice them.

Simmering and making the kitchen smell wonderful.

Food makes this child extremely happy, one of the important reasons to teach him about quality ingredients.  I want my kids to be food snobs and think of themselves as too good to eat junky food.  We aren't quite there yet ;)

Brown ground turkey with onions and garlic.  Add grated zucchini and pasta sauce.  Allow to simmer until zucchini are cooked, 30 minutes or so, taste and season with salt and pepper, you could also add something to make it a little sweeter if you want, maybe honey.  When the sauce tastes perfect mix with noodles and one cup of the cheese.  Place in 9x13 pan and top with remaining cheese if you like cheesy, you could always use less if calories are a big deal to you.  Bake on 350 degrees 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Serve with a salad and you have a wonderful balanced meal.
The finished product!  This is so simple but you will not be dissappointed if you make it for your family.  My favorite parts are the little crispy pieces of pasta on the edges after it bakes, yum.

Monday, May 9, 2011

How do you want to be remembered?

I have discovered that there are a few things in this world that really attract some strange folks.  One being church, the other natural health, funny thing is I happen to love both.  Church I think is because, when we are truly being Christ-like, all people feel comfortable and loved which is a great thing.  Okay but the other thing, natural health, whew that is a totally different thing.  I have heard some things that left me wanting to run, really fast.  Once while receiving an essential oil therapy that was really wonderful, the practitioner proceeded to tell me about talking to dead people, ummm no.  Sorry but if you talk to dead people don't tell me because I will think you are a freak and never use your services again, sorry I know that is un-Christ-like.  

So what is that all about.....I have spent the weekend thinking about my legacy.  I heard we had a speaker at our church ladies meeting that spoke on that but I wasn't there.  Truth is this is a topic that has been heavy on my heart for years, beginning the year I lost both my mother in law and my grandmother.  I talk to my children about this occasionally but the word legacy is a little deep for them so here is my question and I will pose it to you.  How would you like to be described when you die?  I like to think of it as one word.  That lady that spoke to dead people will be remembered by me as "weird", my son Jackson is "charismatic", because he is such a little people magnet.  My son Corbin is "non conformist", because he is Corbin.  My husband Mike, "caretaker" he truly makes me feel completely cared for.....I could go on about many people that I know but I think this concept is extremely important.  The word you  you would like to be remembered as is how you should live.  I do not believe we should be remembered for what we do, although that is often the case.  If I had to choose a word for myself it would be "passionate".  I think that would be a nice way to be summed up.  Jackson told me that isn't my word, my word is "caring", okay I'll take that too, tear, nice to hear from a 14 year old.  

I know these are completely random thoughts but that's me.  Hopefully I won't be thought of as "random".  I'm curious what your word is, or what you would like it to be.  Words I "REALLY" don't want to be:
Disciplined, no risk there
Rigid
Cold Hearted
Unforgiving
Lazy
Sleazy
Tacky
Perfect, definitely no risk, lol
Deranged
Okay, I'll stop.  This will have me up late thinking of the words I don't want to be, maybe my word will be "crazy".  I hope you have a wonderful blessed week.  God is good, all the time!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Key Lime Pie and Italian Style Deviled Eggs

Happy Monday!!!  Yesterday was Easter and an amazingly blessed day that capped off an equally perfect weekend.  I have discovered that since I started blogging about health my readers aren't nearly as interested.  Soooo I will spend a little more time blogging the things we all really love......FOOD.  My 3 men and I went to my parents for an Easter feast and my offerings were few but yummy, as was the rest of the food on our buffet.  I made Key Lime Pie and Italian Style Deviled Eggs.  Neither were of stellar health profile but what the heck it's a holiday.   Both were however, ridiculously simple.

Key Lime Pie
Graham Cracker Crust, I made one but you can buy it, really great in mini pie crust
Whipped Cream, please splurge on making homemade for this, makes such a difference
3 cups condensed milk, can't type this w/o a smirk, this stuff should be illegal but glad it's not!
3/4 cup key lime juice, honestly I just used bottled lime juice and can't tell the difference just find a good brand. Whole Foods carries a really good organic one, like that matters w/ all the condensed milk.
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon lime zest
Mix condensed milk, lime juice, sour cream, and zest.  Pour into pie crust and bake on 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes depending on the size, 5 for mini pies, 8 for whole.  Refrigerate until completely cooled.  Top with whipped cream and garnish w/ slices of key limes.


Italian Style Deviled Eggs
I did not measure a thing on this one so you will have to taste as you go.
Boiled Eggs, peeled and cut in half placing yolks in a separate bowl
Mayonnaise
Pesto
Prosciutto, finely shaved, you will need very little it is so stinking expensive but incomparable.
Olive Oil
Mix the yolks with mayo and pesto until you get a consistency and taste that you like.  Fill the egg whites with the mixture.  Heat a little olive oil in a small pan and add pieces of prosciutto.  It will crisp extremely quickly so be prepared.  Top eggs with fried prosciutto pieces.


After a day of eating goodies like this I recommend being ever so thankful for a healthy body and spending the next few days filling yourself with a little less indulgent food.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ph Balancing

Last week I spoke at the library on "Taking Responsibility for your Health".  I mentioned I would blog the details but the bottom line was summed up in all of my previous blogs.  I try to keep things pretty simple when giving health advice and will continue to do so.  My thought is this...if we are over thinking and stressing over taking care of ourselves then we are not taking care of ourselves.  Stress is HORRIBLE on our bodies.  Preaching to myself this morning.  Today I thought I would talk a little about pH balancing which is a really great way to be sure you are staying healthy.  Many of the things I will say come directly from a brochure titled "pH Balancing Simplified" which is published by Nature's Sunshine.

"Maintaining the proper balance in the body's pH can positively affect all major body systems, especially the digestive, intestinal, circulatory, respiratory and immune systems.  This balance protects the oxygen affinity of hemoglobin in the blood.  A pH-balanced environment maintains proper metabolic function and allows the body to function optimally."  In slightly simpler terms....if our pH is balanced general health is better.  Numerous illnesses are thought to be a result of an overly acidic pH, including arthritis, cancer, and gout just to name a few.

So now on to what you can do.  First get some pH test strips* and begin monitoring your pH on a daily basis.  When you have charted this for a few days you will know which direction to begin work.  Keep in mind you can also be too alkaline, the key is balancing.  The #1 most important thing you can do for balancing is find ways to deal with your stress.  I know stress will come but it's how we process it that matters, find a de-stressor that works for you.  Today mine is blogging, haha.  After that begin working on your diet.  If you are acid eat alkalizing foods, I have a chart that I can get to you if you need help with that.  If you are trying to maintain your already balanced pH you should eat 80% alkaline food and 20% acid.

If you have a serious issue one way or the other, meaning your pH is higher than 7.0 or lower than 6.5 then you may want to consider taking supplements to be more aggressive in getting you balanced.  Chlorophyll*, Ultimate Greenzone*, and Nature's Sea Calcium* are a few of the products that can help.

I have decided that for a limited time I will be doing first consults for free.  I know our economy is scary and many people do not have extra money to spend on luxuries.  Hopefully by doing this you will make an appointment and begin to see your health as more of a necessity.  Please don't wait until you get a serious diagnosis before you start taking your health seriously.  During that appointment we can talk about specific foods, exercises, and supplements that may be helpful to you.

Blessings,
Nicole

*These are Nature's Sunshine products.  You may be able to get the test strips at a drug store but I'm not positive.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Depressing Week, Don't Worry it got Better!

Oh my I have seriously not been motivated to write on anything health related, well anything at all to be honest.  The last week of my life has pretty much been totally crappy!  I know that is so rude but it's what I think so why not be honest.  After returning home from Italy I think I fell into a bit of depression.  That, combined with jet lag, led to me being sick all day Wednesday which just so happened to be my birthday, arghhh.  So I'm sure many of you are thinking...."isn't this chic supposed to be a natural health consultant???".  My answer is yes, but I am first and foremost extremely human.  My struggles in life are very real and focusing on natural health helps me overcome them but I still face them regularly.  After writing last weeks blog I just have not felt inspired in any way.  That is odd for me because this time of year typically has me giddy with inspiration.  The good news is, I think I have turned the corner and seen light.  I feel the darkness of depression leaving.  So what herb did I take for this?  Oh I have them but the truth is I haven't even felt like opening a bottle!  My cure was.....I opened my eyes to the fact that I was being completely self absorbed.  I also spent the evening last night with a few of my girlfriends that always help me get perspective.  Sometimes the best medicine really is laughter, which we always do.  But also talking to them about how I have been feeling and hearing them completely relate, let me know that I'm in very good company.  Raising children, being wives, and trying to navigate life without completely losing who we are is not an easy task.  In Italy I felt totally relaxed and had 110% of my husbands attention.  Returning to the rat race of my Americanized life has taken a toll.  My plan for continued improvement.....I am scheduling friend time much more often, and that is a supplement we can all afford.

One last thought....I shared with my hubby last night what I have been going through, which in reality for me was a spirit of discontentment.  I have battled this for many years.  His response was "at least you are acknowledging it and choosing to not let it overtake you".  I just want to say that I am so thankful for a man that loves God and his family so much and truly has the best responses.  He made me feel proud instead of embarrassed that I deal with this, when my own mind is telling me I should be past it.  We all need someone who exemplifies Jesus in our lives.  If I imagine sitting on my back porch swing talking to Jesus, I think He would say exactly what Mike did.

Monday, April 4, 2011

My Italian Experience

Buongiorno came way too early this morning!  After 2 weeks of complete relaxation I woke this morning in my own bed, which is much more comfy than those Italian ones, but felt homesick for Italy.  I have pondered what I should write in this blog because many of you have expressed interest in hearing about our trip.  I decided to leave out the day to day details of where we went and what we did and instead tell you about how it "felt".  Life in a completely and totally different culture that, in all truth, doesn't think America has it figured out.  I say that because the only two other places I have been outside of the US, which were Mexico and Russia, does think that, or at least that was my impression.

I have dreamed for many years of going to Italy so this literally was a dream come true for me.  Did it live up to my expectations?  Completely exceeded them.  At one point I felt like every sense I have was completely overloaded.  

Most of you know my whole story as far as food goes, I love it, but also that I am a natural health consultant that eats pretty healthy.  Well I decided before I left I wasn't missing anything on this trip, who knows if I will ever go back.  Believe it or not my health obsessed hubby did the same.  We ate the best food we have ever had in our lives.  True Italian food is so much simpler than our American interpretation.  The focus is on ingredients.  One of my favorite dishes was bruschetta with olive oil.  Literally nothing but grilled bread rubbed with fresh garlic and drizzled with the best olive oil I have ever tasted.  We ate all, except one meal, in restaurants and were never rushed out.  How many times during lunch do we go into restaurants here and they rush our food out with the hope of filling that table again during that hour.  Not in Italy.  Every meal lasted an hour and a half or more.  We ordered pasta, which is just a starter for most Italians, they would bring that before ever taking our main course order.  Everyone there treats food as the life force that it is and savors every meal.  This was right up our alley.  I used to wish that I simply ate to live, they strive for the exact opposite, LIVE TO EAT!  Americans try to downplay food and are more obese than any country.  I truly did not see a single morbidly obese person.  The only slightly overweight people were older women and they showed no evidence of remotely caring about the condition of their aging bodies, hmmm.  This was our diet for 2 weeks......Breakfast was cappuccino and a croissant, often chocolate filled.  Lunch was pasta or pizza, most days another main course, and wine.  Gelato between lunch and dinner.  Dinner was a repeat of lunch.  Neither of us gained a single pound!  Oh and about the wine.......I know this is a big controversy here.  But Italy is all about the wine.  Vineyards are everywhere.  Most people make their own.  It is very inexpensive.  Kids drink it at special occasions.  We did not see a drunk person there.  Maybe it's the whole demonization of it here that causes the abuse of it.  Just a thought.  If you are judging me for enjoying it.....sorry, I'm pretty sure if Jesus turned water into wine he isn't opposed.

As much as I thought I would not like being somewhere that I can't understand the language it really added to the whole experience.  The only TV we were able to understand was CNN, which was wonderful because we watched very little.  By the time we arrived in Rome, which was the last 3 days of our trip, I really preferred being surrounded by Italian speaking people.

The beauty of the place is really hard to describe.  It's unlike anything I have ever seen.  Look up pictures and assume they aren't even close to the true beauty.

I really don't know if every American that visits Italy feels the same way we did.  Yet for us it was total retreat.  The stress of home was gone the minute we got on our plane.  I can only hope we get the opportunity to go back, but it won't be soon enough.







Monday, March 7, 2011

7 Steps to "Abundance" for Health

Oh how these last few weeks have been flying by.  I guess in a way that is good because tomorrow I leave for Cancun for 5 days then I will be home for a few days until leaving for Italy for 2 weeks.  So exciting!  The Cancun trip is with Nature's Sunshine and I should be learning lots of information I can share with you.

Last week I mentioned a seven step plan to living in "abundance" as far as health is concerned, which I also think can translate into other areas of your life.  Here they are.....

1.  Prayer - I personally am a follower of Christ and my prayers are to Him.  I believe with all my heart that He is the true source of healing no matter what methodology we use, naturopathic, allopathic, or integrative.  The scripture says "every good and perfect gift comes from above", so I think it is crucial to live a prayerful life.  If you are not a believer in Christ I still believe there is great benefit from prayer, so go for it.  Just be open to what God has for you, He very well may lead you to His son.

2.  Peaceful living - This is connected to prayer but requires more effort from you.  This is focused relaxation.  Which can include many things......reading, massage, journaling, knitting, etc.  Things that make you feel relaxed.  Most importantly however this is living in peace with others, including husbands, wives, children, in laws, okay this list could go on but you know where I'm going.  Just choose peace.  Remember sometimes it's better to be at peace than to be "right".  Most things are not worth the argument.

3.  Water - I know there are a thousand studies out there that you have read, you KNOW the importance of water.  We need to drink good quality water.....filtered tap water has actually been found to be better than bottled.  We really need to stop filling landfills with water bottles anyway.  The goal for water intake should be 1/2 of your body weight in ounces, or at the absolute minimum 8 glasses a day.  One problem we have is the consumption of other drinks that actually dehydrate.....coffee, soft drinks, alcohol, then we do not counter balance with water.  Many of us live in a very dehydrated state and this simple change could increase your health tremendously.

4.  Fresh air/ Sunshine - Sunshine is the #1 source of Vitamin D!!!  It actually does not provide it but activates our bodies own mechanism for producing it.  I love that, our bodies really are a miracle in themselves.  Our generation spends so much time inside and we have the list of ailments to prove it.  Just sitting outside, breathing fresh air and letting the sun shine on our face is wonderful for us.  The list of ailments that are attributed to a D deficiency is quite long but ranges from depression to cancer.  It's worth your time.  Maybe on a lunch break you can find time to do this.  If at all possible spend 20 minutes a day without sunscreen or glasses, just close your eyes and face the sun.  The activator is actually in your eyelids!

5.  Exercise - Since we live in a society that is so focused on what we look like many of us look at exercise as our route to fitting into those jeans that are 2 sizes too small now.  It is crucial to overcome that because if that is your only driving force you will make unhealthy choices to accomplish your goal.  I have had too many conversations with people that are more than willing to take a diet pill, laxative, or anything else if it promises weight loss.  I have been that person so I completely relate but know it is not in any way living in abundance.  If during your prayer time you would focus on simply becoming the healthy, whole person that God created you to be then He will help you make exercise a time that is devoted to your health.  Killing yourself with a workout for the sake of the bikini is wrong and indicates a self worth issue.  Please refer to my Self Worth blog post.  I hope that doesn't offend you but I wish someone had said that to me a few years ago and maybe I would have opened my eyes sooner.  Exercise has benefits that I could use 10 blogs to describe, most of you know them already.  For those of you who don't this is for you.  Start simply and slowly.  An important key to health is moving lymphatic fluid, which does not have a pump for flow, it is dependent on our movement.  I personally like to walk and try to walk an hour most days, I have tried so many different things and find that walking helps me mentally, spiritually, and physically.  The key is finding an exercise that does that for you.  I have a sister who runs, and runs, and runs.  She is amazing and I would love to be like her.  However, I am not and running for me brings dread at this point in my life.  Maybe one day I will run but for now I am doing the thing that brings healing to me.  If you are sedentary and do not exercise just apply this simple thought to get started.....move your body everyday.  Don't focus on the amount of time or effort now, simply move.  As you feel better you will increase, but be patient with yourself.  God is full of grace and sometimes we need to extend some to ourselves!

6.  Food/Supplements - Since there are so many "diets" out there I am not going into specifics on that topic.  I will simply say this.....it is crucial that you begin to eat the way God intended humans to eat.  Processed food does NOT fit into that picture.  If you do one thing to change your diet simply remove processed food.  What's processed?  If it can sit on a shelf for 2 weeks without decay throw it away.  Honey is the only food that doesn't decay.  I highly recommend the book "Food Rules" by Michael Pollen that simply helps you understand what food is versus what non food is.  Preservatives are not food.  Now on to supplementation which I prefer to be in the form of herbs because they are derived from plants, aka food.  If you are the person that gets online and sees this supplement is good for ____ so I am taking it and you have a cabinet filled with supplements I want to challenge you.  Medicine treats symptoms and often supplements do the same thing.  Although I would rather use an herb to treat a symptom wouldn't it be better to get to the root of the problem and make the change there.  The vast majority of symptoms are a result of weakness in the body, that's what has to change.  If I continually have urinary infections and I take antibiotics, or use natural remedies and never do anything to improve the obvious weakness in my urinary system then I may one day end up with a more serious urinary problem.  I hope that makes sense to you.  We all need to find the weakest link in our bodies, then nourish that system with foods and supplements that are known to help those areas become stronger.  For instance the glandular system thrives on iodine.  So since there is thyroid disease in my family and I have had some symptoms that point in that direction I am not going to sit around worrying about my thyroid but I am going to eat iodine rich food such as seaweed and take an iodine supplement in the natural form of dulse which is derived from sea vegetables, simply to nourish a system that could otherwise cause me problems without extra nutrients.

7.  70/30 - This is probably my favorite part.  If I am a healthy person  and I do all of the above steps right 70% of the time then 30% I can slack.  I happen to be extremely imperfect and this 30% allows me to be without feeling like a failure.  If you have a serious health issue then that percentage needs adjusting.  My husband is probably 90/10 or better.  If weight loss is a big issue for you then make an adjustment, if you are losing a large amount of weight then it will work but if it's that last 10 pounds the 30% will keep you from it.  I basically had to decide that I would rather the 10 pounds stay than give up my 30%.  Maybe one day that will change but not before I go to Italy.

I pray this is beneficial to you.  As always if you would like to make an appointment for a consultation I would be happy to help you develop a program specifically for you.  The key to #6 is determining what your weakest link is.  I have numerous tools for doing that.

The product feature this week is Silver Shield.  This is a product I cannot do without.  Until we are perfect, which will be when we get to heaven, the truth of the matter is we will always need something to treat "symptoms".  Whether it is a cut, a sore throat, earache, etc., this product is amazing for all of these.  It is a liquid that can be used as a nasal spray, eye drop, ear drop, topically on cuts, rashes, taken orally for literally any infection or things that would be treated with antibiotics.  If I were stranded on a deserted island this is the one product I would want with me.  Here is a fact sheet on it and I have to say after much research about the way it is made and the concentration of it....Nature's Sunshine's is truly the best on the market.

http://www.naturessunshine.com/content/us/sku/factsheet/4274.

Please keep me in your prayers for safe travels.  If you need products while I am gone this week my husband, Mike, will be taking care of my business.  His number is 610-6474.

Blessings,
Nicole

Monday, February 28, 2011

Cancer Recovery and Prevention

Cancer.....that word strikes fear, anger, anxiety, and a list of other emotions in the hearts of almost everyone, myself included.  I would venture to say that there is not a person alive that has not been affected in some way by cancer.  One of my goals and passions for my business, "Abundance", is to help us all overcome some of those emotions by looking at it differently.

A year and a half ago my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer.  It was very small and not considered aggressive but it didn't change the feelings that were nearly overwhelming at the time.  Doctors in Baton Rouge and at MD Anderson recommended surgery or radiation.  Well to make a long story short he, and I repeat he, this was a decision that no one could make for him, decided to do neither.  Does that mean I think everyone should choose that route.  NO, NO, NO!!!!  There is not a person on earth that knows exactly what they would do when faced with making a decision about cancer treatment.  I do think, very strongly as a matter of fact, that the patient should make the decision and it is always a decision.  Please do not be intimidated by doctors and let them convince you that they know what's best for you.  The key to that is to educate yourself before you face such news.  We had been involved with a naturopath for a few years before his diagnosis, if we had not been then what the doctor's had recommended would have been what was done, as quickly as possible.

With all of that said I want to talk about, not treatment, but recovery and prevention.  One thing my hubby and I talked about during his decision making process was this....if a person develops cancer,  and chooses surgery, radiation, chemo, or any other treatment that is focused on the symptom called cancer, and after that treatment there is no lifestyle change, more than likely eventually cancer will return often with a vengeance.  I'm sure many of you know someone that survived cancer then 5 or 10 years later there was cancer somewhere else and there is a very good chance it took a person you love's life.  So bottom line....he knew lifestyle changes were inevitable if he wanted to live to be an old man, why not make the changes before doing conventional treatment, then if there was tumor growth consider surgery.

So what does this mean to you?  For one thing keep in mind we all have cancer cells in our body at some point in time, the issue is whether your body is doing what it was designed to do, fight it off.  If you know someone that is a survivor please, please, please encourage change.  I have decided that I will not charge consulting fees to cancer survivors so make an appointment and let me help.  If you are interested in prevention, congratulations on taking responsibility for your health.  I have a 7 point plan that I am convinced will help you with that endeavor.  I will blog the specifics next week and if you want it sooner send me an email and I will email it to you.  If you would like to sit down and do a consultation based on your personal diet, lifestyle, and needs I would love to see you.

Product focus this week is Ultimate Greenzone.  This product comes in a powder or capsule.  I use it every day in my smoothie or it can be mixed with juice or water.  I happen to like the taste but I realize my taste buds are conditioned to pretty weird stuff.  This is major nutrition, full of spirulina, chai seeds, and so many other super foods.  It would be a wonderful start to a preventative lifestyle.  I am attaching an info sheet on it.  Give me a call if you have any questions.  Oh and I have samples of it if you would like one let me know.

http://www.naturessunshine.com/content/us/sku/factsheet/1103.pdf

Blessings!
Nicole
225-202-1882

Monday, February 21, 2011

Welcome to "ABUNDANCE"

abundance:  fullness to overflowing

Years ago when I first visited the naturopath that has become a mentor and teacher to me I thought to myself, I would love to do this.  As I pondered that over the years I knew the name of my business would be "Abundance".  That word has come to mean so much to me.  I use it to define my life or at least what I want my life to be.  In John 10:10 Jesus says he came that we may live abundantly so I think it is very important that we strive for that, keeping in mind that abundance is not defined by anything we have, but by the fullness that HE has for us.

With that said......I think a very important key to abundance is health.  Health that we trust God for and health that we take responsibility for.  This may sound a little harsh but I will say it anyway, if someone smokes and gets lung cancer they are very upset but also resigned to the fact that perhaps the choice to smoke led to that outcome.  Why then do others choose to eat processed, chemical laden, trans fat filled food and way too much of it and then act like God has done them a disservice when they discover disease is in their body.  Our health in many cases is our responsibility.  Not to say that I eat perfect, I strive to eat really well 70% of the time, giving myself the freedom to just have fun the rest of the time.  However, my husband, who is fighting a health issue eats perfect 99% of the time.  That's taking responsibility!

If you are new to the idea of natural health, welcome.  I have had so much fun learning all about this and I hope you do too.  First let me give a little idea of my definition of natural health.....It is two fold.  
1.  Using food and herbs to treat symptoms of illness and disease.  This of course is done in balance and is NOT the same as ignoring that you are sick!!!!  If anything it is much more work that getting a prescription but well worth it in the long run.  
2.  This is most important....Treating the whole body, NOT symptoms.  I would love for you to get this concept but think of it this way, most illness is found in one of your ten body systems or the result of yeast or parasites.  Instead of treating symptoms if we nourish the body system that is affected then the amazing creation that God made will then have the ability to heal itself. 

The best way to live holistically, no that is not a new age term, it means:  treating the whole body not illness, is to focus on being whole, spiritually, physically, and mentally.  I will attempt to help you with that through this blog.  If I post something you really like instead of shouting "amen", please share the post.  I will blog hopefully on Mondays about health, including a product feature.  During other times of the week I will blog for fun or on something that inspires me.  Please follow my blog if you are interested, just open a free google account and then you can follow.

Product Feature:
This month the brand I sell, Nature's Sunshine is offering a special on a "Get Healthy Pack".  If you have been saying "I need to get healthy so bad" but keep putting it off this is the perfect thing for you.  It is Clean Start, a two week cleanse, Super Trio, a months supply of Super Omega 3{which is fish oil}, Super Supplemental{a multi vitamin}, and Super Orac {antioxidant, helping to combat free radicals, aka cancer causers} all in convenient cellophane packs that you take twice a day.  Also a bottle of Probiotic Eleven which is a fantastic probiotic, which replaces good bacteria that is easily lost.  These are great products to promote general health.  Regular cost is $175, this month it is $115 and I can have it shipped directly to you then you can call or email with any questions or concerns you have.

I pray that this week you will focus on abundance, not my business, but what Jesus was talking about.  That you will find it in the smallest things.  Some of the places I discover it are....rocking my baby, okay sure he's 8 but he still lets me sometimes, the bright green clover that is filling my front yard, the birds scurrying around building the nests they will soon fill with eggs.  Springtime is the perfect time to start focusing on God's abundance, I pray you will find new growth in your own life as you notice all of the new growth in nature over the next month or two.

Blessings, 
Nicole



Thursday, February 17, 2011

Overcoming the Flu Naturally

I very big part of me would like to rant right now.... about what?  The flu vaccination joke.  But I won't.  Instead I would like to give some tips on treating the flu naturally, since so many people are getting it, vaccinated or not.

#1 - Take care of yourself.  Of coarse you should always do this but during flu season you should be extra diligent in this area.  Staying hydrated, limiting bad foods, getting exercise, lots of prayer, little alcohol and other dehydrating beverages.

#2 - Tune in to your body.  The minute you start feeling a little bad immediately begin to work.  Don't wait until you are miserable.

#3 - Focus on food.  If you are sick I know you want comfort food but now is the time to fill your body with nutrients.  To be honest you would be better off not eating and simply juicing than eating food that your body has to put major focus on digesting.  Homemade veggie soup would be great, or even chicken noodle.

#4 - Baths, baths, and more baths.  Remember if you are running fever your body is fighting to overcome this.  I'm not talking about if you have a temp of 104 degrees, but if you start running a low grade and you really start working on your health you are likely to overcome before you get to that high of fever.  I recommend a bath with lots of Epsom salt, baking soda, and apple cider vinegar.  Add some eucalyptus essential oil to it.  Then sit, for as long as you can possibly stand it.  Try to do this a couple of times a day.

#5 - Supplements.  Of coarse I sell supplements but whether you get them from me or elsewhere it doesn't matter except for the fact that if you are going to bother taking them they may as well be high quality and actually work.  I recommend Zinc Cold and Flu, Silver Shield, Probiotics, and Elderberry D3fense.  If you are not getting in enough nutrients through your food you need Ultimate Greenzone also.

#6 - Water.  Drink at least a half gallon a day.  This is crucial.

#7 - Rest.  From the minute your intuition tells you your a little ran down.  Take the hint, rest.  I know we live in a super fast paced world but that doesn't mean we have to keep up.  Let this be a time that you focus on your health, well being, and what God created you for.  Sickness is opposite of ABUNDANCE!  That's what my goal for you is.

If you are simply trying to prevent and would like a supplement for that I recommend the Elderberry D3fense.  Fantastic product I like to call a "flu shot in a bottle".

I pray this helps you.  If you do not live in my area but are interested in ordering the supplements recommended please give me a call.

Blessings,
Nicole
225-202-1882

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Orange Glazed Salmon

Yesterday was Valentine's day and I must say I am pretty blessed.  To start the day my cousin, whom I don't see too often, came for a visit, always wonderful.  Then a friend came to pick up a little Silver Shield from my business, another wonderful visit.  Then I made a mad dash to come up with gifts for all the loves of my life.  The hubby got a wheatgrass juicer, smile, pretty excited myself about that one.  Now I need to get everything ordered to start growing it.  The boys just got little things that they loved.  My sweetie got me a pair of Ugg boots, wow, that was definitely something I would never have splurged on myself so a big thank you and wet kiss to him.  So my day was pretty wonderful.

Since I haven't posted any recipes lately I thought I would share my Valentine's meal with you.  It was pretty delish and so simple that I didn't even plan ahead, totally made from on hand ingredients.  Oh I included a salad that was served first but it was nothing special just a basic Caesar, their favorite.

Here was the menu..... Orange Glazed Salmon
                                           Roasted Garlic Polenta
                                           Sauteed Spinach


Orange Glazed Salmon
Salmon {I am particular here, only wild caught but I'm sure farmed will taste as good but don't be fooled it  is not as good for you!}
Salt
Garlic Salt
Orange Marmalade
Sometimes less really is more and that's the case here.  Just lightly sprinkle fish with salt and garlic salt.  Place under the broiler for approximately 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and brush with a little orange marmalade.  Place back under broiler until it is done, depending on the size of your fish probably 3 minutes or so.  Mine were around 6 oz.

Roasted Garlic Polenta
1 cup polenta AKA yellow corn grits
3 cups water
Salt to taste
1 T. roasted garlic {this is a cheater item, the hubby bought some in a jar a week ago and I'm trying to use it up, I was thankful my cook time would have gone to MUCH longer without it}
1 cup whole milk
2 T. butter
Bring water to a boil and add approximately 1 teaspoon of salt.  Add polenta/grits and garlic, stir well.  When it begins to thicken add milk and butter.  Let it simmer 15 minutes or until grits are tender and they are pretty thick.  Turn heat off, they will thicken more as they cool a bit.

Sauteed Spinach
This is the perfect way to use up a lot of spinach.
1 t. butter {just a hint:  anytime I say butter I am using a product called Organic Earth Balance, so feel free to use a substitute but never, never, never margarine, YUCK!}
1 clove garlic
1 lb. baby spinach
Salt to taste
Saute garlic in butter, add spinach and a little salt.  Saute until spinach is wilted.  This doesn't make very much so if you are feeding more than 2 or 3 double it at least.

This meal was created in less than 30 minutes and really was wonderful.  The hubby and 13 year old loved it.