Homemade Almond Milk

Here is yummy recipe for Almond Milk that I got from Mimi Kirk’s book; Live Raw, But you can find many recipes all over the internet.

Soak 1 cup of raw almonds in water overnight.

To make the milk, drain the almonds from the water and put them in the blender with 3 cups of fresh filtered water, two medjool dates pitted (easy to find in the produce section of the grocery store or ask for them), ½ teaspoon vanilla or seeds from a vanilla bean and mix in the blender for about 3 to 4 minutes.

Then you have to pour the mixture into a milk nut bag to strain the liquid from the pulp. You can buy a milk nut bag online at Raw Food World. Then store the almond milk in a glass jar for 3 to 5 days.

You can also add cacao nibs to the blender to make chocolate almond milk. You can also use the almond milk or the chocolate almond milk to make a banana smoothie using the milk and a frozen banana. You can warm up the chocolate almond milk for hot chocolate as well. Maybe add cinnamon. I would only warm slightly just to get the chill out…this way it’s still RAW.

Hearty Oat Cookies w/ Raspberry Jam

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The original idea for these cookies came from Lucy over at Attic24, but I altered them a wee bit using my thumb and some JAM. Yeah!

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup agave
1 tablespoon honey

Combine all ingredients and melt in the microwave or in pot on the stove on low heat and set aside. I use a double boiler for this, as not to burn the butter, agave, honey mixture.

In another bowl combine and mix the following:

1 cup rice flour
1 cup oats
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

Now combine the melted butter/agave/honey mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix well. The mixture will be quite wet and sticky. I grab a bit of cookie dough with my hands and form it into a ball and then place it on a nonstick cookie sheet. Then I insert my thumb into the center making an indentation. This is where I spoon in the raspberry jam. You can use any flavor jam you like. I made my own raspberry jam for this recipe, but that has to be made in advance, so any store bought brand would be fine. It’s up to you. Use what you love!

Then I bake the cookies in a 350 degree (preheated) oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Mine were ready after 12 minutes. They were slightly brown around the edges. Remove from oven and after a minute or so move them to a rack for cooling.

These cookies are hearty, not too sweet, and go brilliantly with a delicious cup of tea or coffee. They are gobbled up so fast in my house that I always make two batches at a time.

Enjoy!

Here’s the Juice…

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It’s been well over a year now since we (Hubby, Son, and Me) started juicing and we are still devoted to it. I will admit that there are days when I don’t want to crank up that puppy or get the veggies ready. Sometimes, I just want to drink my damn coffee and be on my way. You know how that feels right? But when I do find myself in a juicing rut of boredom, I retool the recipe and suddenly I am excited about juicing again. Excited about the potential the new ingredients hold for my health and the health of my family.

This weekend we juiced on Saturday, which we normally never do. It’s usually a Monday thru Friday thing…weekends off, but this weekend we juiced some carrots, beets, kale, apple, ginger, and a bit of lemon. This juice was made after I used the juicer to juice eight lemons for fresh lemonade. So the juice had a very lemony flavor and it was so different and refreshing. I made this same juice again this morning. Too good for words. What a fantastic way to start the day! ;) Juicing can give you so much natural energy.

Juicing is so good for you and many people are starting to juice regularly to improve their health & vitality. In addition, many people who have been diagnosed with Cancer are turning to juicing daily as a supplement to their conventional Cancer treatments. Before you start juicing it’s smart to do your research on buying the right type of juicer, as well as on what types of veggies and fruits to juice. Here is one article that lists the best juices for fighting cancer.

Whether you are healthy or sick…everyone can benefit from juicing.

P.S. As an update to my last post Weight, Weight Don’t Tell Me…..my husband has lost a total of 15 pounds from cutting out beer and all forms of gluten. He looks awesome and says that he feels lighter and healthier. I went to the doctor this week for a check up and I am down 3 pounds since March. Must have been all that P90x and INSANITY workouts. Doesn’t hurt that I am eating clean and not really drinking anymore. I miss the wine, but I think it’s better I stay away from it. ;) PEACE!

Fresh Dijon Mustard Dressing

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I use this dressing on salads and I also use it as a replacement for mayonaise. I plan to use it to make macaroni salad as well. You will need a blender for this recipe.
In a blender combine the first 5 ingredients and blend well for about 30 seconds.
  1. 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  2. 1 tablespoon of orange juice (fresh/organic is preferred) (optional)
  3. 1/4 cup organic dijon mustard
  4. 1/4 cup agave (you can use 1/4 cup honey if you prefer)
  5. Sea Salt to taste (a few pinches)
  6. 1 Cup of Olive Oil (Extra Virgin is fine too)

Most blenders have a opening at the top of the lid where you can pour ingredients in while the blender is on. Make sure the lid itself is still on snugly. I open that part of my blender and after measuring out 1 cup of olive oil I turn the blender on the slowest setting possible and drizzle the oil into the hole at the top of the blender very slowly allowing the dressing to thicken. Once all the oil is in the blender I close the hole at the top of the blender, making sure the top is on securely, and blend for another 30 seconds.

I store my dressing in a glass jar which is kept in the refrigerator. We use about one batch a week so it’s always fresh. Sometimes I add dill or taragon to this recipe, but it’s yours to make…put the flavors you love.

I hope you enjoy making this dressing from scratch. PEACE!

My Latest Obessions

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For the past 11 days I have been doing the Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred workout. I am rather enjoying it. It’s a quick, old-school workout that kicks my butt and makes me sweat an enormous amount. I wonder if others sweat as much as I do? I have already noticed a slight difference in the way my clothes feel and in the tightness of my upper body. I just feel less jiggly. And that is a good thing. I am rather anxious to see what day 20 and ultimately what day 30 will bring. I might even post before and afters. Now that would be daring!

I have been doing a lot of crocheting lately and I am currently working on a granny square blanket which is made up of bright blue, bright green, and bright white. The finished product should look lovely draped across my white down comforter in my bedroom. I can’t wait until it is finished so I can enjoy it every day. I also can’t wait until I finish it so that I can move on to another project. I plan to make a crochet grocery tote bag…like the reusable bags all the stores sell now. I have a ton of those from my local grocery store, but I want to make one out of crochet and possibly market it at the local farmers market. If there seems to be an interest I will make a few to sell. I would surely buy one for $20 if it was cute enough. More on this after I create my first prototype.

Is anyone else having a hard time carving out enough time in their lives to do the things they love? I am constantly thinking about crocheting, cooking/baking new things, but then of course when I get home from work and after doing the everyday things that need to get done, like 30-Day Shred and various other things; I barely have anytime left for the lovey things like crocheting, cooking, baking, cuddling with my hubby, which we never seem to make time for these days, watching movies, and reading. I think about reading all the time, but I just don’t make time for it. And with all the crocheting I want to do in the near future, reading seems impossible.

I do need more time. What a shame how we spend our days doing such unloved activities while the clock ticks down backwards like a bomb waiting to explode.

Make time for those things you love to do before it’s too late. PEACE!

Update: Today is April 20th and it is day 20 of the 30-Day Shred for me. During the past two weeks I have skipped 3 days; 2 when my mother was visiting and one just yesterday as Saturday and Sunday, day 18 and day 19 respectively I did Level 3 and my back was so sore I needed a day off. So today is day 20 and I am full on doing Level 3 and Level 2 until the end. Once the 30 days is up I will continue to do the 30-Day Shred at least 5 days a week as it has given me such amazing firming results. I haven’t lost weight, but I am not considered overweight for my height and body frame. I am 5’5″ and weigh 146. I have always been a bit curvy in the rear. :) I have lost inches and my clothes fit better. The best part of all is I feel stronger and more fit. I love the straight forward exercises in the 30-Day Shred. If you do the movements with all the effort you have, you will see results. Patience & PEACE!

Thoughts about a Garden

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We are in the thinking, talking, worrying stages of planting a raised garden. We are trying to decide if we should make one ourselves, buy one of those kits, use our yard or rent a piece of land in the surrounding rural area where we live. It seems so daunting, but I am sure once we decide and get moving it won’t be so hard. Right?  We have so many questions; 

  • Can we grow enough to sustain us so we don’t have to supplement from the grocery store? I am thinking probably not and then what’s the point? Isn’t that the point of a garden…to be self-sustaining? 
  • Will we have enough over a time or will it be a bounty all at once?
  • Should we buy a freezer to store our loot for future use. Can we do that? 

I feel like we/I should take a class on gardening, but I think learning on our own might be the best way to go.

I even thought about getting together with our HOA and creating a community garden. I wonder if everyone would go for it. The benefit to creating the garden with many people would be the wealth of individual experience each homeowner could bring to the project. I would imagine that there are people in my neighborhood who have tended a garden at some point in their lives. I may just bring this up at the HOA meeting this coming weekend. ♥

Do you have a garden? If so, how did you get started? Did it go as planned? Are you happy you did it?

The Power to Change – Millions Against Monsanto

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Monsanto is the world’s biggest developer of genetically modified crops. A.K.A. the provider of the seeds that eventually become the food for millions of people all around the world. Monsanto also happens to be the same company that was responsible for Agent Orange. It’s so nice when a company that makes a substance used for herbicidal warfare also makes something that eventually turns into something we eat.

The following facts were taken from  the Organic Consumers website and are just a very small example of the enormous stronghold Monsanto has on the safety and welfare of our food system. In this story greed and power trump the safety and health of all humans.

A Monsanto official told the New York Times that the corporation should not have to take responsibility for the safety of its food products. 

“Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food,” said Phil Angell, Monsanto’s director of corporate communications.“Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA’s job.” 

It would be nice to think the FDA can be trusted with these matters, but think again. Monsanto has succeeded in insuring that the government regulatory agencies let Monsanto do as it wishes. 

The following is an example of the revolving door activity as it relates to Monsanto, the FDA, and our government: 

  • Clarence Thomas: Remember him? Well prior to being the Supreme Court Judge who put GW Bush in office, Clarence Thomas was Monsanto’s lawyer.
  • Anne Veneman: Anne was the former US Secretary of Agriculture. How convenient for Monsanto, because she was also on the Board of Directors of Monsanto’s Calgene Corporation.
  • Donald Rumsfeld: Good Ole Donny! Former Secretary of Defense was also on the Board of Directors of Monsanto’s Searle Pharmaceuticals.
  • Tommy Thompson: Former US Secretary of Health. Thompson received $50K in donations from Monsanto during his winning campaign for Wisconsin governor.
  • John Ashcroft: The two congressmen receiving the most donations from Monsanto during the 2000 election were Larry Combest, Former Chairman of the House Agricultural Committee and Missouri Senate candidate John Ashcroft (later named Attorney General) Source: Dairy Education Board  

More Monsanto government ties here.

When talking to family and friends about our food choices, I am made aware of the natural trust that people have in the FDA’s approval of food products and ingredients. After all, the FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation. 

We have been conditioned to believe that we should trust the FDA. But most of us do not realize the revolving door connection between the FDA, the corporations, and our law makers and how those connections undermine the notion that the FDA’s responsibility is to protect the public health by assuring safety, efficacy, and security of drugs and our nation’s food supply.

When it all boils down, it’s about profits and power and not about the ultimate safety and security of the human race. But we do have the power to change this. Please join OCA’s Campaign to Mobilize One Million Consumers to End Monsanto’s Global Corporate Terrorism.

Sources: FDA, Organic Consumer Association

Desperately Seeking a Challenge

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Since, writing the post, What do I want to be when I grow up? I have done a lot of thinking about how I would be open to almost anything as long as it allows me to grow professionally and personally. I am looking for the next challenge in life; something that will require hard work and dedication; but will develop into something both professionally and personally rewarding.

I want to help people. I want to make a difference. I want what I do to be rewarding.  I know there is something out there for me, I only wish I could find it. Or perhaps, it will find me.

5K Part 3 – A Means to an End

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This Saturday I will run in my third 5K. Yeah, yeah…no big deal – right. NOT!! Big dealio to me. After my last 5K over the summer I pretty much stop running…well, not right away but soon thereafter…and then the holidays came and went and they took my waistline, my ass got bigger, and my favorite Lucky Brand jeans stopped fitting. That was it! I could take no more. I knew I had the power to change my situation and I was going to do just that.

This is when I decided I would start training for another 5K. Beginning the second week of January I started The Couch-to-5K Running Plan found on Cool Running.c0m. This was just what I needed to get back in the swing of things. Since I only needed to devote 20 to 30 minutes 3 times a week, I knew this was a plan I could stick to. The plan duration is 9 weeks, but since I wasn’t a true beginner to running, I skipped ahead and started at week 5. The plan kept me interested, motivated, and helped me get up to speed in a short time frame. I ran my last “training” run tonight and did really well and feel confident that I CAN finish the 5K in a decent time, (less than 33:26) and without either wetting my pants or puking along the trail. See you at the finish line! ♣

What do I want to be when I grow up?

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Recently, I have done a lot of soul-searching about my life, what I am doing, what I am not doing, where I am going, if I should be going anywhere or just be happy where I am and I haven’t come up with any clear answers. I have asked myself over and over; what do you want to be doing? What makes you happy?

And I am freaked out by the simple fact that I can’t answer those questions. What the hell is wrong with me? I know that I shouldn’t just be happy where I am; if the result is that I am not happy where I am. Right? But what then? Where do I go from here? I am a wife and a mother and I love those roles, but since I have to work I need that area to be fulfilling as well.

I am going to be 40 this year and if I have to work for at least another 20 years, I need to figure out what I want to do with the next 20 years of my life? Right? Sadly, I don’t know where to begin to figure that out. But here are the things I do know:
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