Sunday, March 1, 2015

Real Food Experience Week 9: Drink Real Beverages

Wow!  Can you believe it is week 9 of the Real Food Experience already? I can't believe how quickly time flies.  We started the Real Food Experience with the new year.  It has been cold so it has been a good time to focus on what we are eating and work at enhancing our cooking skills. We still have terrible winter weather here, but spring can't be too far least I hope it will be here before too long.  The Real Food Experience is a systematic approach to dumping the harmful ingredients found in fast and processed food and getting back to eating real food.  Food that is closer to nature than it is to science.  Sounds like a good idea, right!?  You can join us this week and get caught up by checking out our other weekly challenges on the Real Food Experience page.  You can also join our Real Food Experience Facebook group and join the conversation going on over there.

Drink Real Beverages

Like many of our other weekly challenges, the level of difficulty this week depends on where you start from.  This week's challenge is all about drinking real beverages.  If you are used to drinking soda, energy drinks and sports drinks then this is going to be extremely difficult for you.  

When I made the change to real food, my family questioned me about everything.  Why couldn't they have this?  Why could they no longer eat that? They were willing to change up their favorite meals when I explained to them that I loved them and that I was concerned  about them eating harmful ingredients.  However, when I changed out their favorite drinks for real beverages all I heard were complaints.  "I want something that tastes good."  "This doesn't really quench my thirst like this artificially colored and sugar filled drink does."  Ummm.........too bad guys.  We are making the change.  The good news........with time and practice a new normal can be achieved and most of the complaints will go away.

The challenge this week is to drink only: Water, Milk, Coffee, and Tea. 

I bet I lost most of you there.  If you decided to stick with the challenge, remember that this is a challenge week.  I didn't say that you can't drink other beverages ever again. I said this week challenge yourself to keep it simple. Really focus on purging extra sugar, color, and artificial ingredients out of your system.  Water is really all we need to drink........especially kids.  They really don't need all of the added sugar found in drink pouches and boxes.  I bet if you stopped to calculate how much sugar you drink each day, you would be blown away.  Water is good for us in so many ways.  Let's work on this extremely important and healthy habit.  

Nutrition advice can be confusing because it seems to change so often, but one piece of advice never changes.  That is..........water is healthy.  We should be drinking plenty of water each day.  I'll be back later this week to discuss some of the health benefits of water.  It is quite amazing just how powerful simple H2O really is.'s your turn now.  Let's get to this.  One beverage at a time make the switch from unhealthy to the healthy lifestyle you want and your body craves. What do you think is going to be the most difficult about this week?  Do you have to give up soda?  Do you think you drink enough water on a regular basis? 


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Let's Get Real Friday Party # 79

Woot! Woot! Let's get this Friday started. Let's Get Real is all about Healthy Living. That's right! It's all about Real Food, fitness, health and wellness, and home life tips and tricks from Real people. That's you! Grab a cup of coffee (or other preferred beverage ). Relax into a comfy spot and take some time to get to know the great folks that link up here.

Let's Get Real Friday Party

Meet Our Hosts

Let's Get Real hosts

** If you are interested in co-hosting Let's Get Real with us, we would love to have you. Please email Christina It's super easy to host and a whole lot of fun.

A Big Welcome to our very Special Co-Host Vickie from Vickie's Kitchen and Garden !

Vickie - Vickie's Kitchen and Garden

I'm not big on rules (since this is what I do for fun), but I do have a couple of guidelines.
  1. Follow all your hosts. We follow back! Leave a comment for us on the post and we will know you are a new follower.
  2. Please don't link and run! Follow and comment on at least 3 other blogs. The more effort you put into getting to know everyone, the more you will get in return. Everyone is here to get more readers and traffic to their blogs so let's show them some love!
  3. Let people know where you party! Add our party badge or link back to the party on your blog or post.

We will be pinning our favorites!!
My Let's Get Real Featured blogger this week is:

(Drum Roll Please!)

This Silly Girl's Life

I love how beautiful this is.  Simple ingredients prepared with love.  That is food at its best.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Easy Real Food Recipes: Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins

I love protein in the morning!  Sometimes I'm in the mood for savory and sometimes my cravings lean more towards the sweets.  Whether it is sweet or savory, I want it to be packed with nutrients.  The whole grains and protein-packed peanut butter in this muffin makes me very happy.   
Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins

 This week the Real Food Experience is talking about protein.  You can check out the weekly Real Food Experience challenge here.  And........if you are interested in learning more about protein in vegetables, you can read the article, Yes! Protein in Vegetables.

These muffins come together very easily.  They are pretty dense in texure and very filling.  Did I mention that they are delicious?  Well........I should have because they are really delicious. 

As always, I suggest cooking with your kids.  There is plenty of stirring that they can do with this one and measuring sure is fun too. 

Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins
  • 2 1/4 cup whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ripe banana (mashed)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey (more or less to taste) 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease your muffin pan. I used butter to grease my pan.
  2. Stir together your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt).
  3. In a separate bowl mix together banana, oil, honey, peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla. I used my stand mixer.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  5. Stir in dark chocolate chips
  6. Scoop muffin mixture into greased muffin pans. I use my ice cream scoop for this.
  7. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  
Makes about 12 pretty large muffins. You could also stretch it out to 18 smaller muffins. They freeze well.......if they last that long. These hold up well in the lunch box and provide a nice treat along with soup or a smoothie. 

Do you prefer sweet or savory in the morning?  Does that change or are your tastes always the same?  Do your kids help you in the kitchen?  What do you find they have the most success in doing? 

Thanks for stopping by. I would love to connect with you on my various social media. Just follow the buttons at the top of the page to find all of the places I hang out and make sure you sign up by email so you don't miss anything. If you would like to join our Real Food Experience to help your family systematically change from fast and processed food to a real food lifestyle, check out the Real Food Experience page for more details.

You might also be interested in:

Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins
Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

Monday, February 23, 2015

Yes! Protein in Vegetables

Wait!  What??  There is protein in vegetables.  Yes. Yes, there is.  Protein is an important macronutrient and most of us are pretty obsessed with getting enough protein in our diet.  I know that I just don't feel like I can wake up in the morning unless I get just a little protein to clear the cobwebs.  We need protein to grow "big and strong".  That is to say we need protein for our muscles and bones.  

Meat and poultry contain protein, but if you are trying to buy organic meats, it can be pretty expensive.  One of the strategies I use for my family is that I look for vegetables that can supplement our protein needs, especially on "Meatless Mondays".     

List of vegetables with protein

This has become especially important in my house as my daughter has decided that she feels better when she doesn't eat as much meat.  It's pretty cool to see a kid who is so in tune with her body.  She is still growing, so there is no way that I want to take protein out of her diet completely.  Instead, we look for vegetables, legumes, and seeds to fill this need for her. 

Although this isn't a complete list of vegetables that include protein, I think it serves as an important introduction to the fact that vegetables can be a good source of protein in your diet.

Vegetables that are high in protein:

  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Corn
  • Asparagus
  • Potatoes
  • Artichoke
  • Spinach
  • Green Peas
  • Edamame
  • Butternut Squash
You don't need to be a vegetarian to include more vegetable protein in your diet.  Vegetables have less calories than meat so they are a great way to get your protein content if you are trying to maintain or lose weight.  They also pack lots of micronutrient power.  Try a couple of meals without meat and see how you feel afterwards. You might be surprised that you actually feel better...........more energetic and less belly-aches.  I've read that vegetables are easier to digest than meat.  Your body can do a lot more things if it isn't spending all day digesting your last hamburger.   

What are your favorite non-meat sources of protein?  Do you eat meatless once in a while?  Have you noticed the difference in how you feel when you eat meat and when you do not?  Tell me your stories.  I can't wait to hear from you.


Thanks for stopping by.  I would love to connect with you on my various social media.  Just follow the buttons at the top of the page to find all of the places I hang out and make sure you sign up by email so you don't miss anything.  If you would like to join our Real Food Experience to help your family systematically change from fast and processed food to a real food lifestyle, check out the Real Food Experience page for more details.