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Showing posts from February, 2012

Chloe's Kitchen - 125 Easy Vegan Recipes - Review

It seems like ages since I saw Chloe Coscarelli win Cupcake Wars with her vegan cupcakes. I was a vegan at the time and I was amazed!

Then I had the chance to review her new book: Chloe's Kitchen - 125 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Making the Food You Love the Vegan Way.

I really thought it was going to be loaded with sweets - butter, egg, and milk free treats. Not really healthy eating, you know.  But I was wrong. This cookbook rocked!

It was loaded with fantastic appetizers, lunch & dinner recipes, and a few treats. There's even recipes for healthy marinara sauce, ketchup, soy sauce, bbq sauce... The hands-down best parts of the book were the meal recipes - filled with healthy whole foods. And the pictures were to die for!

There were so many great meal ideas that would appeal to everyone - even meat eaters. And if you're not a vegan, you could easily change any of the recipes that call for non-dairy milks for dairy or the various oils for butter.

I plan on making almo…

How to make Hemp Milk - a tasty dairy alternative??

Always on the search for healthy post-workout protein alternatives, I came across a recipe for Hemp milk. Before we go any further, yes hemp seeds come from the same plant that makes "other" hemp products, but no the seeds do not contain any mind altering properties.

They are just a nutty omega-3, GLA, and protein rich food that happens to taste pretty good. I like to toss them into my yogurt, oatmeal, or muesli.

But even though I eat yogurt, I'm not a huge fan of dairy overall and I rarely consume it- for all sorts of ethical and health reasons. It's messy - let's not go there.

Guess what most protein shakes are made of? Dairy - well, dehydrated/oxidized whey..... *sighs.* It's not that I'm opposed to the occasional protein shake made from whey (as long it's free of sugar, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, you get the idea.)

Still, I have been actively searching for a natural protein rich (easily digestible) whole foods alternative. I experimente…

How to dry Catnip in the Microwave

Dry your own catnip in seconds!

It's easy to harvest and make your own - free, healthy, and fast! A step-by-step guide to take your kitty from bored to bliss.

Last year, I grew catnip for our kitten and she turned her nose up at it. Really? She'll go bananas for the expensive organic catnip at the store, but won't touch real, fresh organic catnip?

Then my daughter picked the catnip and let it dry out. She secretly fed it to our cat and eventually shared the results. So...she only likes it dried, huh? It turns out, most cats prefer dried to fresh.

Catnip is an herb that grows well in almost all climates or soils. We have it growing in zone 4 and it always comes back each winter. It's easy to dry by leaving it in the sun or by dehydrating in a dehydrator. But there is a faster, more efficient way.

You can dry herbs (including catnip) in the microwave.


How to dry Catnip in the Microwave

Gather your catnip and a paper towel.

Pick a few strands of catnip (or whatever herb you…

Are You Left Eyed or Right Eyed?

Are You Left Eyed or Right Eyed?
Whether they were being held in storage or a Brooklyn cellar, the rackets, balls, and wheels of summer are about to be brought back out into the light of day. 


Parents beware - even if you yourself aren't planning on playing a little catch, you'll inevitably be walking around flying objects through the several dozen weeks of spring and summer. Whether Frisbee or softball, bogies are an inevitable part of the warm weather suburban landscape


Before heading out into such hazardous conditions, it's worth taking into account that one of your eyes is the more dominant of the other. That way in the event that a poorly thrown ball heads your way, or heaven forbid you go outside and participate in a game of catch with your kid, you'll be able to react quicker depending on the direction the ball is coming from relative to your line of sight.


But how do you know which eye is your dominant eye? Easy:
-Make a ring with your thumb and index finger of eith…

Life After Death - What happens when you don't die....

What happens when you realize you just might be taking your last breath, but somehow you survive? Like anyone, I've had near misses with cars or falls that make you wonder what might have happened if you had only been one second earlier or just two steps to the left. But I've also had 3 instances in my life when I was pretty sure it was all over. And then I survived. Living after I thought I could have died, changed my life dramatically.

In a lot of ways it's really weird. Everything you see from that point on is something you would have missed. You feel like you're living on borrowed time and your whole perspective changes.

Has it ever happened to you? I'd love to hear your stories. Here's what happened to me.

I was 17 and decided to drive home from college to visit my family. It was dark and rainy, but I pressed on. Suddenly, the rain came down so hard that I couldn't see anything. Anything! I was tired and wanted to get home so I made a stupid decision.…

Eat Smart Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale Review & Giveaway

Over the years, I have told countless women to stop worrying about the number on the scale. And none of them listen, not even myself. But I am revamping those efforts and I am now armed with a very powerful tool to help us get a grip on the raging thought that you have to be thin to be healthy.

This tool is the Eat Smart Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale.
I recently had the opportunity to review the Eat Smart Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale and I absolutely love it!  And it's not just because of the sleek, thin design. Really, it looks pretty cool.

I checked it's accuracy and precision over multiple "weigh-ins" and by comparing it to 2 different scales in my home. No...I'm not weight obsessed. We just happen to own another body-fat scale and a Wii Fit (aka scale.)

The weight measurements were dead-on every time, and the other calculations were consistent over multiple uses. Other calculations? The GetFit scale measures body fat percentage, muscle m…

Orcon Earth Worm Castings - Review

If I could, I would grow my own worms.... Since I live in the North and my husband is not a fan of wiggly worms in the house, (sniff) it's just not an option. But every organic gardener knows how good earthworm castings are for your soil.

I spent the first few winter months reading about the benefits of earth worms and their castings, and have been patiently waiting for spring (well, sort of patiently.) Castings are really a great way to naturally enrich your soil.

So I was thrilled when I had the chance to get my hands on Orcon's 100% Earth Worm Castings. My family was horrified!

My children assumed there were worms inside the container. Once I explained what it really was, they were dumbfounded. They even refused to help me feed our plants.

But I gathered them together and we opened the jar. Here's what they look like:

"Mom, that looks like dirt. You just got a bucket of dirt." is what my daughter said. Um...yeah. I tried to explain to them that every inch of …

Keeping up with the MapMyFitness Quaker Challenge

A few weeks ago, I committed to joining the MapMyFitness Quaker Challenge. My goal was to add at least one active (mostly outdoor) activity with my children each day.
I wanted to add this goal for two reasons. First, my kids and I really need to get outside more. Second, I really needed to add more activity to my day. I do head to the gym almost every day, but the rest of my day is pretty benign. Washing dishes, playing barbies, waiting at swimming lessons, and my other mom duties aren't especially active.

And so the challenge began. I failed on the first day. I had planned for us to walk to the park and swing. It was a terribly cold day and I made every excuse why we would go "later." Soon it was dark outside and the day was over.
Re-reading my initial pledge to be more active reminded me of why this is so important and I hit the next few days with a renewed vigor.
We walked through the forest, crushing ice and following tracks the next day. I was freezing and annoyed …

Clorox Clean-Up Ultimate Mess Party Recipe Contest!

One of my kids' favorite activities is to create. I'll just leave it as a blanket statement. They create robots, pictures, forts, "people," buildings, songs, stories, recipes, and messes...  Here are just a few of their creations:




Not a day goes by that I'm not cleaning up one of their creations. As you can tell, a lot of their creations come from "trash." I'm not always a fan of the non-stop creativity (I know that sounds horrible!) but I do appreciate their enthusiasm for fun and exciting new recipes in the kitchen.
Goop, glue, and recyclables are not my style. Yummy treats are more like it, and luckily they love to create (and eat) in the kitchen. 
My daughter does most of the food creating. She's created a bunch of recipes for lime-ade and lemonade. She also loves to make her two specialties: apple/berry crisp and whipped cream surprise. She came up with Whipped cream surprise on her own, and she makes it all on her own. The surprise is usua…

How to Increase your Strength to do Pull ups or Chin ups

Less than 1% of all females can do a complete pull-up. This is your chance to be above average! The reason why women are unable to do pull-ups has to do with their lack of upper body strength in relation to their body size. Most women actually have fairly strong legs and carry a lot of muscle (and fat) in their lower halves.

Maybe your'e thinking, "if most women can NOT do a pull-up, then I'm in the majority, why bother?" Here's why you should bother:

Increasing your upper body strength improves your posture, your stamina, and protects against fractures from osteoporosis. It makes you a better fighter (and better able to defend yourself and your children). It will make you a faster runner and make daily living easier. So you have to carry 40 lb bags of water softener salt? No biggeee - grab one in each hand and carry them out of the store.

Need to lift an 80 pound child and carry them up to bed. What-Evs. Need to restrain your out of control teenager - better get…