November 28, 2011

Yoga RX

I have found a few of these yoga youtube videos have really helped relieve tension, stuffy head from a cold, neck & back pains and more.  I haven't done any research into yoga as a medicine, but deep breathing and stretching always calms my mind and helps my body feel better.  Check a few of these videos out if you'd like:


Treat Colds




Allergies




Back Pain




Headaches




Neck/Shoulder Pain




Digestive Problems




Insomnia




Go here to see the videos in playlist format.

November 23, 2011

Apple Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving dinner is awesome, but the desserts are amazing!  I LOVE my mom's homemade apple pie.  But pumpkin pie is my favorite...too.  So I just found this recipe that brings the best of both together...and that makes me a happy girl.  Happy Thanksgiving!  Enjoy your families, fun and food!



Ingredients

1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 
1 tablespoon cornstarch 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided 
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided 
1/3 cup water 
2 tablespoons butter 
2 Granny Smith or Fuji apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (about 3 cups) 
1 egg 
1/3 cup granulated sugar 
3/4 cup fresh or canned pumpkin purée 
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 
3/4 cup evaporated milk 
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell (in pie pan)

Method

Preheat oven to 425°F. Put brown sugar, cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, water and butter into a medium pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Add apples and cook, tossing to coat in sugar mixture, 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove from heat and set aside. 

In a large bowl, whisk together egg, granulated sugar, pumpkin, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, cloves, ginger and milk until well combined. 

Pour apple mixture into pie shell and spoon pumpkin mixture evenly over the top. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 375°F and bake until filling is just set in the middle, about 40 minutes more. Set aside on a wire rack to let cool completely before cutting into slices.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 220 calories (80 from fat), 9g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 3g protein, 33g total carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 23g sugar), 35mg cholesterol, 350mg sodium

November 21, 2011

The Pregnancy Companion (Book)


I haven't actually read this book, but I've heard rave reviews and thought I'd pass the info along.  Being that this is my fourth pregnancy, and I didn't hear about this book until halfway through it, I wasn't sure I needed another book about it.  But I have read reviews on amazon saying that even on their fourth child it was a help.  So if you're pregnant, trying or want to be I would recommend this book over traditional "what to expect" books.

"A doctor's counsel and a girlfriend's wisdom combine to create an information-packed, inspiration-filled resource for the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs of pregnancy."





On a side note: I just heard of this blog called Hannah's Oath on one woman's journey through infertility. I think she's really wanting a gathering of women to join together with their own stories and struggles.  If that interests you check it out here.

November 18, 2011

Easy Yoga Workout

On mornings when I'm really stiff or haven't done any stretching for a few days I like to use this little Tara Stiles Yoga Playlist to get me started (23 minutes):


November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner Leftover Recipes


Turkey Lettuce Wraps

INGREDIENTS


Romaine or Bibb Lettuce
Leftover Turkey, shredded
Carrots, julienne
Leftover Cranberry Sauce
Any other leftovers you would like to add to the wraps

DIRECTIONS
Add the turkey and carrots to the center of a large piece of lettuce. Top with a spoonful of cranberry sauce.




1. Curried Turkey Salad


Mix chopped white- and dark-meat turkey with mayonnaise, a dash of curry powder, and a handful of raisins. Serve between slices of sourdough bread.

2. TBAT


Layer boneless turkey-breast pieces with bacon, avocado, and tomatoes. Wrap it all up in a whole-wheat tortilla.

3. Open-Faced Turkey Melt


Top a whole-wheat English muffin half with turkey, caramelized onions, shredded kale, and a slice of fontina cheese. Melt the cheese under the broiler before serving.

4. Reuben Redone


Serve shredded turkey between two pieces of toasted rye bread with a smattering of sauerkraut, a slice of Swiss cheese, and a bit of Dijon mustard. 



Ingredients
  • 18 large button or cremini mushrooms, stems removed
  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups leftover stuffing
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil
Make It
1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Using a teaspoon or a melon baller, scoop out the center of the mushrooms.
3. Put the stuffing in a large bowl along with 1/2 cup of the cheese, the egg, and the parsley. Mix well and season with freshly ground pepper. If the mixture seems dry add 1 tablespoon water. Fill each mushroom generously with the stuffing mixture.
4. Put the mushrooms on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle them with a little olive oil, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake until the mushrooms are tender and the stuffing is golden brown on top, about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

 

Ingredients
  • tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups leftover sweet potatoes, mashed
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoon ground ginger
  • teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup hot water
Make It
1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. and oil a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugars. Mix in the beaten eggs and mashed sweet potatoes and blend until smooth.
3. In a smaller bowl, combine the flours, salt, baking soda, and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the sweet potato mixture in two steps, alternating with the hot water. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Let cool completely in pan before removing.


Ingredients
  • cups leftover mashed potatoes, chilled
  • 10 ounces canned salmon, drained
  • eggs
  • tablespoon lemon zest
  • tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 - 2 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, or more as needed
Make It
1. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, salmon, 1 egg, zest, and parsley.
2. Put the flour in a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper. In another shallow bowl, whisk the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water. Place the bread crumbs in a third shallow bowl.
3. Using wet hands, form the potato mixture into 3-inch patties or sticks. Dip the patties in the flour, shaking off any excess, dip them in the egg wash, and then roll them in the bread crumbs, pressing the crumbs on to form a crust.
4. Coat the bottom of a large skillet with oil; working in batches, fry the croquettes until golden brown on both sides, about 4 to 6 minutes total. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.


Ingredients
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 6 ounce carton plain yogurt
  • tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • egg, beaten
  • cup leftover homemade cranberry sauce
Make It
1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. and grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and zest. Add the yogurt, butter, and egg and stir until just combined.
3. Divide the cranberry sauce evenly among the muffin cups, then spoon the batter over the cranberry sauce. Bake the cakes for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Set the cakes on a rack to cool for about 5 minutes, then gently twist the cakes to release them. 



Ingredients
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • tablespoon ground ginger
  • tablespoon grated orange zest
  • eggs, separated
  • cup mashed sweet potato
  • tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
Make It
1. Heat a waffle iron according to manufacturer's instructions and coat with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, ginger, and zest.
3. In a small bowl, mix together the egg yolks, sweet potato, butter, and milk until thoroughly combined.
4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in the liquid ingredients and stir to combine. The batter should be thick but pourable.
5. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff and gently fold them into the batter until barely blended; don't worry about a few streaks of white.
6. Cook the waffles according to the directions on your waffle iron. If you don't have an indicator light, you can tell the waffles are done when they release easily from the iron and are browned and crisp on the outside. Serve immediately.



Ingredients
  • cups leftover homemade cranberry sauce
  • cups plain or flavored yogurt
  • cup granola
  • Honey (optional)
Make It
Put 1/4 cup of cranberry sauce in the bottom of each of four small dishes. Top with 1/4 cup of yogurt, and 1/4 cup of granola. Repeat the cranberry and yogurt layers. Garnish with a drizzle of honey, if desired.

November 12, 2011

Changing Seasons Stock-up!



This time of year I always seem to fight off colds.  With 5 people in our house I decided it was time to be proactive!  Here is my list of items I plan on keeping around the house all through the winter to help prevent and relieve cold and flu symptoms.


Foods/Herbs:

Ginger - keeps well and is great to ward off upset tummies.  Makes into a great tea, or soup (recipes below).  Very strong flavor so I recommend starting with just a little.  Ginger also helps support your immune system!

Garlic - fresh and in pill form, garlic helps optimize the body's immune system and is known to help reduce the amount and length of colds when taken.

Cayenne (spicy) - can help with the immune system and the heat can help clear blocked sinuses.

Cinnamon/Nutmeg - are great fall and winter flavors but they can also ease sore tummies (recipes below).

Local Honey - soothes irritated throats, helps calm coughs (not to be given to children under 1 year of age), and if it's from a local farm can naturally help build an immunity to some allergies.  Dark, thick buckwheat honey may be the best, and is also rich in antioxidants!

Garlic, Ginger, Basil, Oregano and Cilantro - help fight bacteria and are great to add to soups and chilis!

Lemon - helps cut through mucus when added to warm water and drank.  Also has antibacterial properties!

Elderberry - supports and can reduce duration of the flu.  Look for elderberry concentrate or products like Sambucol.

Flaxseed - naturally hydrates your body from within, it's high in fiber so take with lots of water and it will help to cleanse your body as well.  Click for more info.

Immune Boosting Foods Strawberries, Blueberries, Guava, Cantaloupe, Papaya, Pink Grapefruit, Tomato, Broccoli, Sweet Potato...


Vitamins:

Vitamin C - Chewable for the kids, or Emergen-C packets mix into drinks (they make adult and kids packets).  There are also organic vitamin C-pops that kids love!  This really helps boost the immune system.

Echinacea

Multi-Vitamins - Children over 2 (talk to your doctor) and adults alike benefit from a multi-vitamin that helps balance out all your nutrition needs, on top of a balanced, healthy diet!

Omega-3

Probiotics

Vitamin D - If you don't have a supplement, wrap up and go outside in the sunshine for some fresh air!


Recipes:

Better Than Chicken Soup - recipe on the 2nd to last page, but this pdf is FULL of good info and ideas!

Hot Lemonade - Warm water, squirt of lemon and 1/2-1 tsp honey (only if over one year old).  Helps opens airways and breathing as well as soothes sore throat.

Ginger - Steep chopped, fresh ginger (1 tsp kids; 1 Tbsp adults) in 8oz hot water.  Steep 10-15, strain and drink.  (Good for upset tummies)

Nutmeg - Add ground nutmeg (1/4 tsp kids; 1/2 tsp adults) to 8oz hot water, steep 10 minutes and drink.  (Good for upset tummies)

Cinnamon - Add cinnamon (1/16-1/8 tsp for kids; 1/4 tsp adults) to hot water. Steep 5 minutes and drink. (Good for upset tummies)

Rosemary - crush leave from 3-4 sprigs, place in toe of nylons or muslin bag - throw into a warm bath and soak for 20 minutes.  Relaxes muscles and clears phlegm.

Thyme - pour 3 cups of boiling water over 2 Tbsp crushed fresh leaves in a medium bowl.  Place face 10-12 inches above water, close eyes and breathe deeply (keeping head covered with a towel to hold in the vapors).  Unplugs clogged sinuses and benefits from thymol's antibacterial properties found in thyme.

Sage - mix 2 tsp crushed fresh sage in 8 oz hot water, steep 20 minutes, strain and stir in 1/2 tsp sea salt.  Gargle for 30 seconds, repeat to ease sore throat and benefit from sage's anti-inflamatory properties!


Ideas:
  • Cool-mist humidifiers; purifiers if possible
  • Check your home's weather proof/efficiency (i.e., thermal curtains, old socks with dried grains/rice along windows and doors, cover water heaters 10+ years old in thermal blankets).  Check out this possible option.
  • Wet-Sock Treatment: At bedtime run a pair of cotton socks under cold water and squeeze out the extra drips.  Put them on you or your child, covered by a pair of warm, dry wool socks.  By morning the socks will be warm, your head congestion eased (because your blood is flowing to your feet to get them warm and relieves the pressure in your head) and if there's a fever it may be broken too.  
  • Nasal Spray + Blue Bulb - helps relieve congested noses in children who don't know how to "blow."
  • Grow your own cold remedies: thyme, peppermint, sage, rosemary and other herbs can be grown even during the cold months in a windowsill!
  • Prevent sickness from spreading by dumping your toys in a bathtub filled with vinegar and water.
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