Spirulina is the ***!

Have you guys tried spirulina yet? HOLY MOLY…it is the shizzz! Packed with nutrients, this powerhouse powder is so good in my green smoothies…I really feel like I am doing a good thing by adding this to my daily routine.

The serving size is 1 tsp but I went with a 1/2 tsp last night since I wasn’t sure how potent it was or how I would even like it. This morning I kicked it up to 1 tsp because I am in LOOOOOVE:

Warning…it smells like the Atlantic Ocean once you open up the packet but as long as you can get past that, you will be good to go. In order to adjust the flavor, I added a little more honey to my smoothie and off I went…literally “went!”

Here is the link to where I bought it: Natural Nutra Organic Spirulina Powder from Amazon.

*I was not compensated in any way for this post…I simply blog about what I love.

Hasselbeck Sweet Potatoes

We are a sweet potato family! I am always up for trying to season and cook them different ways. My latest find is the Hasselbeck Sweet Potato! Recipe and link below:

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Ingredients

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup pecan halves, finely chopped

Directions

Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Shave a thin sliver from one side of each potato to give it a flat surface to stand on while you slice it. Make thin slices into the potato about 1/16-inch thick, stopping before you cut all the way through. (Placing a chopstick on either side of the potato while you slice it can help stop the blade before it cuts all the way through.) Put each potato on a separate sheet of foil. Shape the foil around the potatoes to wrap them, but leave the tops open and exposed. Put the potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet.

Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat, swirling occasionally, until browned and nutty, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Drizzle the butter mixture over the potatoes and pinch the foil together on top to seal the potato inside. Bake for 45 minutes, then let cool for a few moments. Remove the potatoes from the foil, put them on a serving platter and drizzle with the sauce leftover in each foil packet. Sprinkle with the pecans before serving.

The Food Network – Hasselbeck Sweet Potatoes

Enjoy All!

Garbage In, Garbage Out

Gradually over the past 2 years, I have been experiencing “digestive issues.” These occurrences most commonly included an unsettled stomach, burping, vomiting, radiating pain in the upper abdomen following around to my upper/middle back. I didn’t think too much of it since it wasn’t brought on by anything in particular. But to the defense of food, I really wasn’t tracking what I was eating either.

Last year was a very difficult year for me and the last 3 months of the year were filled with cookies, cake, candy, pies, muffins…you get the picture. As I sat at my desk shoving mounds of garbage into my body, the bouts came on more frequently. I couldn’t ignore it any longer since these episodes became debilitating at one point. I found a great GI doctor and after listening to all of my symptoms (I started writing down EVERYTHING) she determined I have developed food sensitivities along with acid reflux/GERD. Great…what a mess. I now have to say good goodbye to garlic, onions, tomato-based anything, citrus, anything cooked in vegetable oil, anything off the McD’s menu, fried foods (goodbye chicken sandwiches and french fries) sweet tea, and basically all the crap I stuffed into my body last year. There are also some other items that have triggered episodes like cinnamon graham crackers, green apples and strawberry vinaigrette dressing.

I had to make a DRASTIC change. That being said, I researched the hell out of what foods are high on the acidity scale and what could trigger an episode…I have to stop eating like a garbage can. Time to get serious and cut out all the bad in my diet.

I was in Costco about 7 weeks ago and came across an in-store demo for a Vitamix blender (I think you know where this is going). I stood in front of the demo as the rep blended whole fruit with the skin still on along with vegetables. Damn, this looks too easy I thought as he poured out samples of lime, pineapple, orange, kale, spinach, fresh ginger and water. He called it “Tinkerbell Juice”. I called it “sweet green magic”. My daughter chugged down 3 samples and I had 2. Ding, ding, ding…we have a winner. Here is a way that I can eat better, cram more good wholesome foods into my diet and hide veggies in a delicious tasting concoction without my daughter (and hubby) knowing! I loaded a Vitamix into my cart and shuffled away. I just came to Costco for milk, eggs and bananas…$327 later…

Fast forward 7 weeks and I am now 15 pounds lighter, have more energy, am more “regular” and have had only a two episodes (this was due to foods I didn’t know could be an issue but now have been added to my “damn, I cant eat this anymore list”).

Smoothies are my new addiction. So is kale…can we talk about KALE!?!? Where has this been!? Right in front of my face; I dismissed this super food like bad teenage gossip! I have been busy blending new mixes on a daily basis…sometimes two a day. I have two apps that I use as well as a few blogs/internet sites for recipes. Here is my latest tasty addiction:

  • Honey: if you can, always opt for locally produced honey. So many wellness benefits!
  • Banana: well, because it is a banana!
  • Coconut milk: Aldi has a very inexpensive brand that I love. The coconut adds a little something tropical to the overall taste!
  • Kale: a neighbor grows kale in his backyard. What a difference from the chopped bagged kind from the store. Tip: remove the stem before you blend. That is where the bitterness lives…yuck!
  • Pears: leftover fruit cup from what Eva would not eat. I drained the juice…score!

Do you smoothie for health? Can you share some recipes? If so, please comment below.

Thanks for reading…Kara

Hidden Veggie Baked Egg Puffs

Hello Everyone!

Do you have a picky eater? Is it YOU? It is the kids? It is your spouse? I do…it’s all three of us! I am pretty late to the “hidden veggie” recipe game but I remembered that Jerry Seinfeld’s wife, Jessica, had a few cookbooks called Deceptively Delicious that are packed full of recipes with hidden fruits/veggies. I recently bought two of her books and this is the first recipe I tried: Baked Egg Puffs.

So easy, so good and finally, a recipe that doesn’t end up with me drying out the eggs.

Thanks for reading…Kara