Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wheat Free

UPDATE:  The link to On the evils of wheat is now working!!!

Over the weekend my husband and I read a very interesting article in Macleans magazine about wheat! Check it out for yourself - On the evils of wheat - but be warned it may change your thoughts and opinions about eating wheat. My sister-in-law has been preaching about the evils of wheat for a while now but her approach focuses on gluten as an allergen and the how hard gluten is on our digestive system, whereas this article focuses on how wheat has been hybridized throughout the decades.  It explains how the breeding process of wheat uses poisonous chemicals that we should never intake (much like cigarettes)!

When you think about it, we do as a society eat WAY too much wheat! I mean take a look at the average persons day - breakfast usually consists of some sort of wheat product (cereal, toast, muffins, donuts, pancakes), lunch - a sandwich, a hamburger, a piece of pizza and for supper lets say pasta and garlic bread, or even just a dinner roll with your supper; nevermind any snacks or desserts you might have had that day. On some days we consume an insane amount of wheat! In the article he stays that "20 per cent of all calories consumed by humans worldwide" comes from wheat. That is a staggering number - 1/5th of our daily calories comes from one food source!?! Where's the diversity? Our philosophy with everything is moderation, and that is just not moderate!

The one thing that really stood out to me in the article, however, is the way wheat is processed - not just after harvest but the actual seed and plant itself. The wheat we eat now is not the same wheat our grandparents, or parents or even we ate as a child! It has been processed and processed with chemicals that poison control will tell you to completely avoid! No wonder wheat is no good for us and contributes to all kinds of health problems. Can we really be surprised? Things need to be left in their most basic natural form!!! What is going to happen when the ancient grains begin to gain popularity and they start messing with them (if they haven't already)?!

I try to live my life free from toxins as much as possible, which of course in this day and age is getting harder and harder.  And now I find out that the wheat I eat and feed my kids is poisoned! My husband and I have been watching and limiting the amount of wheat we consume for a while now just purely to diversify our diet a little more, however, after reading that article we both decided we would try to eat 'wheat-free' for a week just to see how we feel! It's harder than we thought - wheat seems to be in everything, especially when you're in a hurry and nes to make something quick. Like a couple nights ago after spending two (plus) hours waiting to see the doctor what can I make quick for supper? Pasta! So that's what we had. But so far today -wheat free (at least for hubby and I)!  

Coming up...spelt apple pie muffins, cinnamon honey granola, rice pilaf, and turkey chili! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

One of the most delicious things in the world (to me) is a piece of toast with peanut butter topped with sliced banana!  Yummy!!  However, with the exception of my daughter who also enjoys this delicious food no one in else in my house would touch it, not even try it!  I felt like the boys in my family were missing out so I found a recipe that would incorporate these two things with the added bonus of chocolate chips (something my husband says there is never enough of)!  I found the most incredible muffin recipe (I have been using this recipe for so long that I'm not even sure where the original came from, so I can't give credit where it is due).  These muffins are a staple in our house - loved by ALL!

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 cups of flour 
1 1/2 cups of quick cooking oats
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp baking powder
2 cups of milk
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1 1/2 cups of mashed bananas
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 375C
2. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar and baking powder.
3. Whisk together milk, peanut butter, bananas, eggs, oil and extract.  
4.  Pour the wet into the dry - stir until moistened.  
5.  Filled lined muffin tins and bake for 16- 18 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Makes 24 muffins (cause you can't just have 12).  These freeze well.  

Don't expect these to be super sweet or anything like store bought muffins, which in my opinion are more like cake!  
I have substituted honey for the sugar with excellent results!  

Monday, October 31, 2011

Hot Quinoa Breakfast Cereal

If you haven't discovered the wonderful ancient grain quinoa - go get some and try it!  It is a wonderful substitute for all sorts of things and it is SO good for you.  It is a complete protein - meaning it has a complete set of essential amino acids for humans.  It is also a good source of dietary fibre, and is high in magnesium and iron.  And to top it all of it is gluten free! 

I first discovered quinoa two years ago at Costco, where I still buy it.  At first I was just using it as a substitute for rice - however, it is SO much more than that!  It is excellent in a quinoa salad (thanks to my sister-in-law, who introduced me to that one! It became a staple in our house for an entire summer).   I'll post that recipe at a later date.

Now for the actual Hot Quinoa Breakfast Cereal Recipe.  

1 cup water 
1 cup milk (or milk substitute)
1 cup quinoa 
1 tsp cinnamon (my family loves cinnamon so I always adds a little more)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
handful of craisins or raisins
some nuts, toasted in the toaster oven
real maple syrup or sweetener of your choice

In a medium saucepan combine milk, water and quinoa.  Bring to a boil.  Add the craisins reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.  Stir in spices and cover and let stand for 5 minutes.  Spoon into serving boils - drizzle with maple syrup and top with toasted nuts.  For my kiddos I add some additional milk or yogurt to cool it down.

This is a really simple recipe that can be divided or double depending on your family size.  Although it makes excellent leftovers for another morning - just put it into saucepan add enough milk for your desired consistency and heat it up again!  

I love comments, so please leave some!  

Monday, March 14, 2011

Aromatherapy for headaches

Occasionally when the weather changes or I haven't drank enough water I get a headache which turns into a migraine.  If it is because I haven't drank enough water it's an easy solution - drink a ton of water.  However, with weather changes it's not that easy (I haven't quite figured out how to control the weather) so I either suffer through the headache or take a Tylenol.  However,  last Tuesday I was starting to get a headache, I drank a ton of water but it wasn't helping so I decided to try some aromatherapy.  I used peppermint essential oil and lavender essential oil mixed with a carrier oil (I use either sweet almond or olive) and rubbed it on my temples and back of my neck (it tingled for a couple minutes) and within 5 minutes all signs of my headache had disappeared (the ratio for the concoction is 1 part essential oil to 2 parts carrier oil).  I had a headache the next day as well so I tried the same concoction and it worked again.  To all you headache/migraine sufferers give this a try and let me know if it works for you too!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Hey, Rosetta!

Throughout University I had to write reviews for plays I saw but it has been a long bear with me as I write a short review of Hey, Rosetta!...

Hey, Rosetta!  is on a North American tour and they have been packing pubs throughout Eastern Canada, the US and now the Prairies where they were welcome by -30 temperatures and a sold out crowd at the Exchange in Regina on March 1, 2011.  The mixed crowd of 16 year olds to 40 year olds waited in anticipation as the band set up and they did not disappoint!  The whole show reminded me of a theatrical performance rather than a concert.  The band entered the stage with lights turned low, smoke filled the stage, music built up and Tim, the lead singer, picked up his guitar and then a drumstick and as the music grew he drummed out a rhythm on a cymbal.  The experience continued for the next 2 hours with beautiful, thought-provoking lyrics,  dreamy vocals and raw musical emotion! It has been a long time since I went to bed still pulsing from music that literally (as cheesy as it sounds) moved my soul!  If you ever have the chance to see Hey, Rosetta! do!  They will literally have you moving well into the following day!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Online Business?

I have started an online business!  Don't worry I am not doing data entry from home for $297 dollars a day!  There are legitimate ways of making money online and one of them is selling stuff.  I have been wanting to have an online store or sell things online for a long time however I was going to sell things I made.  Talk about time consuming!  So after doing a lot of research I have decided to open an online store but sell items that can be dropshipped.  With dropshipping I run the online store front, which includes the payment and customer service.  I will have a wholesale supplier who will ship my products from their warehouse.  This is not going to be an easy task as I am brand new to this and have a lot to learn but I am up for the challenge!  My first step, finding something to sell has proven to be very hard.   I need to find a niche meaning there aren't a million websites selling the exact same thing but there are still enough people wanting what I am selling.  I started this process by making a list of  about 30 things that I could sell online, things that I am interested in and things that I think other people are interested in I (I am avoiding clothes, shoes - don't want to do too many returns and electronics - too much competition, how do you compete with apple?).   However, after doing some market research using such things as google adwords keyword tool (I would put a link here but I am not sure how to do that (see a lot to learn), when I copy and paste the url it doesn't create a hot link) I have narrowed down my search to about 5 things, although I am not 100% confident with any of them!  What have you bought online in the last month?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Whole Wheat Oven Baked Pancake

I love breakfast! I really enjoy pancakes but I find them a little tedious when making them the traditional way on a griddle or frying pan. So on this beautiful, yet cold Saturday morning I decided to try an oven pancake. This particular oven pancake was quite different than the ones of my childhood but just as delicious! This isn't your traditional pancake not only in regards to the method of cooking but in it's texture and taste, think of it more as a pudding rather than pancake and enjoy!

Whole Wheat Oven Baked Pancake

3 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground flax seed
1/4 cup butter
1 mashed banana
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
Directions: Preheat oven to 425. Melt butter in a greased 9" pan (I used a round glass one, maybe it is 9") in the oven. Combine the sugar, cinnamon and flax. In a blender or using a mixer, whip eggs, banana, and milk. Add flour and beat until well combined. Pour batter into pan with the butter (I gave it a little stir, more like a swirl to just to sort of mix the butter in with the batter). Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mix (no mixing here this makes delicious topping). Bake for 20-25 minutes. The original recipe says to bake until puffy and golden, however because I used brown sugar so it doesn't really ever turn golden. I did a toothpick test (stink a toothpick or knife into the middle of the pancake, if it comes out clean it is done, if not continue baking) at 22 minutes.

Please try this recipe out and let me know your thoughts!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Top 10 Subjects on My Blog

This is a list of the top 10 subjects you will find on this blog (in no particular order):

1. Baking - usually with whole wheat flour and reduced sugar and any other way I can make it healthy. I love to bake and to eat it so it needs to be somewhat healthy.

2. Cooking - I love trying new things! Most of my meals are cooked from scratch and again they are healthy.

3. Chemical free cleaning - One of my philosophies in life is to prevent rather than cure! We spend too much time making our lives simpler with 300 plus cleaning products while sacrificing our health and the health of those around us. I clean my entire house without the use of chemicals - elbow grease and lots and lots of vinegar. Vinegar is the best thing!

4. Natural beauty products - More about prevention, really think about all the chemicals that are in all the beauty products we use everyday!

5. Alternative medicine - anywhere from old school formulas to aromatherapy (my newest obsession).

6. All things baby - I love babies and all things that come with them! I love all the super cool gadgets and accessories out there that make my life as a mother simpler. I love to walk so one thing I 'collect' is strollers.

7. Sewing - I love sewing although I am by no means a pro and I don't do it very often.

8. Being an entrepreneur - My husband and I are full of business ideas! We are currently working on a few. I am very protective of our business ideas as it takes a lot of work to start and maintain a successful business and I don't want to be giving away any of our ideas. With that said one business I am will to share with you is my journey of making money online. It is a new journey and hopefully a successful one.

9. Time management - I am a Home Executive (in other words a stay at home mom) and time management is not easy when dealing with 3 adorable lovely children while also trying to keep a budget, a clean house, and have time to just be me!

10. Children - I am extremely protective of my children and because this is a public blog, I probably won't be posting too many pictures of them but will share stories.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

In the beginning...

I have been wanting to start a blog for a while but for whatever reason or rather a number of reasons I just haven't. I am kind of a 'Jane of all trades, master of none'. I have a lot of passions, however, life and family tend to prevent me from mastering any sort of craft. I couldn't decide which one of my many loves I wanted to blog about - baking, cooking, the environment, babies, children, health...the list could go on. I am not the best writer, I love writing but tend to just let my brain puke on the page without editing (in university I was always getting feedback "this could have used some editing"). I have spent so much time just thinking about my blog, trying to get it right the first time, and of course nothing has happened. So taking the philosophy of Flylady (decluttering and doing everything 15 minutes at a time) I am going to try to take 15 minutes a day and blog something...anything. Some blogs will be about cooking, some about the awesome diaper bag I bought from, some about the many business ventures I am in to and so on and so on....without further ado, welcome to my blog!