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Dreaming of small spaces and slight panic over said small spaces

Hello all! I have been MIA for the last few weeks due to selling our sticks and bricks home, packing it all up and heading out to Tennessee to visit family. We also purchased our new home on wheels this past weekend, but won’t get possession of it until the end of this week due to my husband’s travel schedule. We will also need to install a towing apparatus to the car to tow it behind the RV before bringing it off the lot.

I am so excited to get our RV to start getting our things organized in it. Like most RVs, it is tight on space so I know I will need to go through the boxes I had originally labeled “rv” when packing. As we walked through the RV this past Friday, I truly realized how little of space it had to store items. I know I will need to parr down my pots and pans. I already packed up my pressure cooker and slow cooker, in hopes of getting an Instapot, since it will narrow down my items as it has many functions in one pot.

I am happy that there’s a full-sized refrigerator in it and a tiny pantry area next to it. We also have a convection oven/microwave and a small oven with burners.

The children’s clothing is another concern for me to find space to keep them. There’s two small drawers under the bunk beds and then one of the bathrooms has quite a bit of cabinets, so I’m hoping to fit three little girls’ clothing in those two areas, wish me luck!

We have been staying at my parent’s place and enjoying catching up with family this past week and a half. My youngest is turning three in two days, but we celebrated her birthday this yesterday as her father had to travel this week and would miss her real birthday.

We got her a bike and she loves it. Our plan is for my husband and I to get bicycles so that we are able to bike together as a family. I know it will be slow going with a three year old, so I might wnd up getting a seat on mine for her to ride along.

In a couple weeks my husband, Brent, will be under-going surgery for his ruptured disc in hopes that he will be finally free of pain and enjoy being more active again.

We do miss the friends we made in Kentucky and the family that is still there, but we will be back up there for his surgery, so hopefully we will be able to say “hello” to some. I am sure we will make our way up that way often a we travel about.

We are all excited to start this new journey. Here is a picture of my seven year old who drew our RV today.

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Yummy ways to get your stomach bug fighting vitamin defense on

The other day I listened to a webinar from the Franklin Institute of Wellness on the stomach bug and ways to combat it along with pertinent information about it.

There are so many misconceptions about the stomach bug  and what works effectively to protect yourself from it and how to keep form getting it. One of her recommendations was vitamin A. I never really think of vitamin A much. I’m typically looking at vitamin B, D, or C frequently. Vitamin A is so important to our health though!

It helps specifically with inflammation and boosting the immune system, two key factors to fight and build defense against illnesses like the stomach bug.

It is best to get your daily intake of Vitamin A with food as it is easy to get too much by supplementing with it. I have a couple recipes below for you to try out that has some vitamin A rich nutrients, such as carrots and sweet potatoes. Ginger is great for inflammation and boosting the immune system as well, so it is incorporated into these recipes.

Here is the link to the webinar: https://franklininstituteofwellness.com/free-stomach-flu-webinar/

I believe she leaves it up for a year.

 

Gingered Carrot Soup

I modified an old recipe card I had from Williams Sonoma.

Ingredients:

1 Tbs. coconut oil

6 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

3 Tbs celery leaves, chopped

2 cups water

2 cups vegetable broth

1 Tbs tapioca flour

1/4 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

2 Tbs grated fresh ginger

In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the carrots, onion, celery, and celery leaves and sauté for 5 minutes.

Stir in the water, broth and tapioca flour. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 2o minutes.

Transfer the soup, in batches, to a blender or food processor and purée until smooth.

To serve hot, return soup to pan and stir in milk and green onions. Reheat for a moment over low heat, not letting soup boil, then stir in ginger.

To serve cold, pour into a large bowl and stir in milk, green onions and ginger. Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled thoroughly, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.

Serves 6.

 

The next recipe is Orange Creamsicle Smoothie. It is so delicious! It’s from a Clean Eating magazine. Here’s the link to the recipe though: http://www.cleaneatingmag.com/recipes/orange-creamsicle-smoothie

A couple of things I did differently; I used a whole orange in place of the orange juice and I didn’t have fresh turmeric, so I used dry powdered tuneric from my spice shelf.

 

Have fun trying these out and stay healthy!

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A genuine look at how I reduced my stuff to simplify my life

Over the past year, I have really been cognizant of minimizing my belongings. I have always in a part, been a minimalist at heart, but like many others, have become immersed in consumerism. They make it so easy! I read Marie Kondo’s book, The life-changing magic of tidying up: The Japenese art of decluttering and organizing(whew, for a minimalist, that’s a long title!). She has some “out there” ideas, but her book does help to methodically go through the house and to help one see the joy in the belongings we choose to hold on to. I’ve read other books on minimalism over the years, but I was feeling stuck in a way, so I wanted to see what this book was all about.

There were several sentimental items I had been holding onto. One was a shirt from my daughter, Ansley that died three days after her birth. It was a shirt given to me by the medic team that transported her to the children’s hospital. She hadn’t even worn the shirt and it really wasn’t a good memory for me at all, but I had held on to it anyway for these past five years. That was one item I let go. I realize many have special attachments and memories attached to items, but they are not that person. Think about it, what is it you do whenever you see, hold, touch that object? You conjure up a memory in your head! The memory of that person is held in your head and heart, not in that particular item. I am not saying that it is wrong or not minimalist to keep sentimental items, but I encourage you to see why you need it. I did keep several items from Ansley, but most, I gave away. My three daughters enjoy using the couple baby blankets I had from her to play dolls with and it brings me joy(with a hint of sadness) whenever I see them wrapping their baby dolls with her blankets now.

I also wanted to not have so much to have to put in storage while we traveled. The last move we did, I couldn’t believe how much stuff we had even after I had gone through so much beforehand and it was a lot! So, this time, I wanted it to be a lot less. I still feel that I could get rid of more, but I am at a difficult stage with trying to decide if its worth storing for a couple years or if it could be replaced. The frugal part of me wants to keep it, but I’m trying to be okay with living without some of these items.

The featured image above is a current picture of my kitchen space. It is a big kitchen and I love that I have plenty of counter space, but it is also nice to be able to have it cleared off. I have worked hard at getting rid of enough kitchen gadgets to get to this. When I’m in a smaller kitchen I’ll be challenged again!

One thing I’ve been working on is minimizing the amount of food I buy and store. For so long we lived over 20 minutes away(one way!)from a grocery store and I was part of a natural food co-op, so I got used to stocking up. Now I have lived for several years very close to a grocery store, but still was stuck in that mentality. It’s going to be a work in progress and I just hope that I’m not too overwhelmed with it all when I’m in a small RV trying to stock up on groceries!

My hope is to beckon more harmony into my life by simplifying the stuff I have surrounding me. I want to be able to spend more time and energy focusing on the people I love by not having to worry about keeping my house cleaned up.

What are things that you feel you just couldn’t live without? Do you feel stuck in your journey to a minimalist home?

*this post contains affiliate links that help support this blog, but costs you nothing to click on it

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RV’ing and a failed meal plan

49352847 - class a motorhome
49352847 – class a motorhome

I typically go to the grocery store on Tuesday’s as the toddler story time at the library is near the grocery. So, on Monday’s I try to make a meal plan, but I don’t usually do a very good job with it. When I get to the grocery store, I will see some organic meat on sale or an interesting vegetable will catch my eye and my meal plan will go out the door, as well as food accumulating in my freezers. It’s amazing to me to see how much I am able to fit in my freezers!

Today I looked through my pantry, my two freezers(yes, two) and tried to plan out meals with just what was in those. I will need to get a few items to make some meals from what I have on hand, but I am going to try my hardest to go through with this.

We are planning on traveling about in an RV very soon. I need to use up almost all of my frozen items. Which I have been trying to, but again, in my first paragraph, you see what happens. Also, the RV will have no second freezer and it might even be a tiny freezer if we don’t get an RV with a residential refrigerator. I am hoping to enjoy using mainly fresh produce weekly and stick to a meal plan while traveling. I do use a lot of fresh produce, but I do tend to freeze a lot for later(or I could just be honest and say that I bought too much or I was too lazy to make it all).

Tonight we had leftover meatballs with red sauce and quinoa pasta. I had broccoli sprouts with my meal. I made an interesting smoothie this morning with random frozen fruit and had a soup from my freezer for lunch. I made a cantaloupe bread from cantaloupe I had frozen from this summer. That will be breakfast for my girls for the next few days.

I took a small lamb roast out of the freezer to thaw and just put a bottled marinade I found on it to marinate overnight and I’ll pop in the slow cooker in the morning to have for dinner tomorrow. I’ll make potatoes and carrots on the side. I pulled another jar of soup out of the freeezer for my lunch tomorrow.

Wednesday will be leftover quinoa pasta with shrimp that is in the freezer. I’ll make a garlic butter sauce for it all and have peas on the side. I have corn tortillas and several frozen Cajun chickens. On Thursday it’ll be Cajun chicken enchiladas. Hopefully, they’ll turn out well as I’ve not made this before! Friday will be white bean chicken chili(using frozen shredded chicken), dry white beans from my pantry and I have a box of cornbread mix I need to use. Saturday will be jambalaya made with another frozen Cajun chicken and frozen andouille sausage. Sunday will be pizza since that’s what we typically have!

I hope since I’ve written this all out on the blog, that I will be held accountable to not stray from my meal plan this week!

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The Tastiest, Healthiest Horchata

Horchata. I had to look up the pronunciation. It’s actually quite a fun word to say! I’ve been wanting to make horchata for some time now. The ones I’ve seen have been more traditional ones made with rice. I wanted to try out some with the Tiger nuts I had bought. They were dried and still slightly chewy with a hard outside. They were sweet and satisfying to chew on. My nine year old daughter really loved them! I preferred them better after soaking them for a few hours. I soaked them overnight for this recipe. Tiger nuts are not really nuts. They are a tuberous root vegetable, high in resistant starch and naturally sweet.

To make Tigernut Horchata you’ll need:

8 ounces of tigernuts

4 cups filtered water

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon

Maple syrup to taste(I didn’t add any as I thought it was sweet on it’s own)

Saok the tiger nuts overnight in water. Place the drained nuts into a high-power blender with a couple cups of water. Blend until smooth. I strained the liquid through a fine mesh sieve, but I really needed a nut milk bag. Next time I make it, I’ll have one! After it is strained, mix in the rest of the water, ground cinnamon and maple syrup to taste. Pour over ice or drink as is! It will save in the refrigerator for about one week.  Continue reading The Tastiest, Healthiest Horchata

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The best blueberry smoothie to get your daily dose of resistant starch

The week is almost over! Here’s a great recipe to add in that good  resistant starch I blogged about earlier this week(Why you need more starch in your life).

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 green banana*

1/4 cup gluten-free oat bran

1 cup nut milk

1/4 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon

1 tablespoon of honey, agave, or maple syrup to taste

Blend all in a blender. May add in more or less milk to make it to the consistency you prefer.

 

*make sure it’s a green banana to get the most resistant starch

 

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Why you need more starch in your life

Many of you in the health circles have most likely heard of prebiotics by now. If you haven’t heard of them, that’s okay!

Prebiotics are food for probiotics. It comes in the form of what’s called resistant starch. Resistant starch does just what the name implies, resists digestion until it hits the large intestine where it feeds those good gut bacterias hanging out there and promoting the making of butyrate. Many balk when they hear the word “starch” and “carb.” But, the good resistant starches naturally occurring in foods are extremely healthy and will not cause weight gain. In many instances, it might even cause weight loss! Certain prebiotic foods contain specific types of fiber, consisting of inulin, oligiofructose, and trans-galactooligosaccharasides. Inulin, in particular, while stimulating healthy gastrointestinal tract, it also aids in constipation, stimulates bone health by assisting in calcium absorption, and may lower the risk of atherosclerosis by decreasing blood triglyceride levels.

Now, many processed foods contain resistant starches, but these are not the ones that are the healthy startches. RS1 is one of the good ones that is found in whole foods, seeds, legumes, and unprocessed whole grains. RS2 is another found in some starchy foods, like green bananas, plantains, and raw potatoes. There are five different types total. To keep it simple, just remember that RS1 and RS2 are the good starches.

How do you incorporate RS into your daily diet? Easy! Try eating plantain chips, adding a green banana to smoothies, and adding onions and/or garlic to your dishes. Jicama, Jerusalem artichokes, legumes, and cold potatoes are more options. Some like to use banana starch to make into gluten-free pasta or adding a couple tablespoons to a smoothie. I highly recommend to get your daily dose of RS through Whole Foods, but I know some days its easiest to use a shelf-stable item. Stay tuned for a couple tasty recipes high in resistant starch!

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Moisturize your Body

If you live in a colder climate, during the winter months it can be extremely harsh on your skin. I know my skin suffers during these cold months. I have a few favorite moisturizers that I stock up on for the winter months. I also make sure to drink plenty of water, eat healthy fats and oils. My threee favorite moisturizers are Jason aloe lotion, Plexus body cream, and Trader Joe’s moisturizing cream.

The Jason aloe one is nice with the aloe in it to help seal in moisture and its unscented.

The Plexus body cream has spirulina and activated charcoal in it. The activated charcoal helps work against age-advancing toxins and impurities. The spirulina aids in detoxing. It has a light feel and I will use it on my face.

The Trader Joe’s moisturizing cream is very emmolient and keeps my hands soft for quite some time. I like to use it on very dry areas of my body and my hands are one that needs the extra moisture! With all the hand washing from taking the toddler to the potty, to washing dishes, to cleaning up messes all day, my hands are in water all day long it seems.

Drinking half your body weight in water is vital, especially in the winter when the heat is blowing dry air constantly and when the skin is exposed to the harsh, cold air outside.

I try to make sure to consume good quality olive oil(don’t cook with it, only use it in salads or to drizzle some over foods!), avocados, unsalted nuts, and salmon are all great to help keep the skin healthy.

What are your favorite ways to stay moisterized in the winter?

 

 

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www.awesomelife.myplexusproducts.com for the plexus body cream

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No Guilt

I know many of you feel guilty indulging in the yummy foods and goodies that are all around us during the holidays. I’m sure like me this morning, you awoke feeling not your best. Perhaps feeling sluggish this morning. Tired from the celebrations, tired because of the not-so-healthy foods consumed, and a bit mentally exhausted too.

I am here to tell you, there’s no guilt needed. You enjoyed your day and today is a new day to start fresh.

To make sure you’re starting your morning off healthy, make up a hot smoothie. I made a hot orange, ginger, carrot smoothie from http://kitchensanctuary.com/2014/10/orange-carrot-and-ginger-hot-smoothie-week-4-of-my-hot-smoothie-saturday-series-for-october/

Like many of you, I am tired and did not create my own recipe this morning. I chose this one with oranges for two reasons. One is that while visiting my grandfather and parents in Louisiana last week, I was given a huge bag of fresh oranges, satsumas, and grapefruits. These all came from my grandfather’s back yard. They weren’t the prettiest, but they are home-grown and pesticide free! The satsuma oranges are so sweet, juicy and brightly colored! I wanted to incorporate these delicious, fresh fruits into my morning.

The second reason I chose this recipe was that it is loaded with vitamin C from the oranges and lemon. The ginger in it helps with so many things, but the gingerol that is present in fresh ginger, can help with lowering the risks of infection and we all know at this time of year, ourselves and our children tend to get sick. The carrot is full of healthy nutrients as well. Honey is great, especially if you choose local honey as it may help with seasonal allergies. Also, the hot water and lemon combination is so good for your body! It helps balance your body’s pH, flushes out your liver(hello holiday cocktails!), and stimulates your gastrointestinal tract. As you can see, this is a powerful combination of nutrient-rich foods, a great way to start your morning, every morning, but especially after indulging during a holiday.

So, enjoy your no guilt Monday and be renewed and refreshed with a tasty hot smoothie!

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Cinnamon Apple Porridge

This Monday morning I am visiting family, so I am in a hotel and unable to make my Monday morning soup. But I have a simple porridge, which is a similar consistency of soup for you. This recipe may be made in a microwave or even just boiling water poured over the top. I am using a gluten-free oat bran. It is high in fiber to keep you satiated longer. You could even add a scoop of protein powder to it, like I’ll be doing. It’s easy to portion out the ingredients before you leave for a trip or work.

You’ll need:

1/3 cup of oat bran

1 apple sauce pouch

1-2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup water

1 scoop of protein powder(optional)

1 tablespoon natural sweetener(optional)

Place all in a microwaveable container or a heat proof one if pouring boiling water over top. Microwave for 2 minutes and let it stand in microwave for 3 minutes. If you are steeping it, pour the boiling water over from a hot pot or electric tea kettle and cover. Let stand 10 minutes or until thickened. This makes too much to put in a regular sized mug, so don’t make the mistake like I did the first time! A half pint mason jar works well.

I am using these for the ingredients:

*

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*Protein powder: http://shopmyplexus.com/awesomelife/products/plexus-96.html

*I do get minor compensation for the links on my page*