Thursday, August 28, 2014

Let's Get Real Friday Party #54

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.


**This week you can enter to win next week's special co-host spot. If you are interested in co-hosting next week, please enter the rafflecopter give-away. We would love to have you join us for the week.**


Special Note: We have started a "Let's Get Real Bloggers Facebook Group". We would love to have all of you Let's Get Real bloggers join us as we help each other to grow.

Let's Get Real Linky Party
 
A Big Welcome to our very Special Co-Host Rebecca from Strength and Sunshine! Make sure you give her a big Let's Get Real welcome!
 

 
 
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 co-hosts. We follow back! Leave a comment for us on the post and we will know you are a new follower.

Christina: Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google +/Instagram
Nicole: Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google +/Instagram
Nicky:Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+
Gaye:Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+
Rebecca:Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Google+


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.

http://www.jugglingrealfoodandreallife.com
 
We will be pinning our favorites!!


My Let's Get Real Featured blogger this week is:

(Drum Roll Please!)

 
 
I love this quick and easy Mexican Pizza recipe.  My kids all love Mexican food so we eat it often.  I'm excited to have this recipe to mix things up a little bit.
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

We Finally Have A Coach Who Cares About Nutrition!

As you may know, I'm a bit of a sports mom.  My kids play baseball, softball, football, and cheer.  I pretty much have bleacher butt spring, summer, and fall.  Their nutrition is important to me all year, but it is even more important during their sports season.  How are they to perform at their best if they are weighed down with empty calories and chemical-laden foods?  You don't prepare for the Olympics by eating junk food now do you? 




Earlier this week on my Facebook page, we had a nice debate about the merits of snacks after games.  You all had a lot of good thoughts there.  There was talk of fellowship time with the team and coaches..........yep that's good stuff!  Someone said it is a good way to re-energize their little bodies.  A lot of you said that it's just a nice thing to do.  I couldn't agree more!  Unfortunately though.........candy and sweets and artificial colors aren't what I want to feed my kid. They are in training, right?

The high school where my son plays football has a new coach this year.  We all have been anxious to see how things go.  My son is a senior so he has grown used to the ways of the old coach.  As a side note........... I love our old coach as a person.  He did a great job at teaching our boys to grow up to be men.  However, this is a food blog so here is where I have to pick a bit.  The football team has a team dinner before their game every Friday.  It appears that they have been at the mercy of whoever donates their meals to determine the menu.  Sometimes it was healthy and sometimes not so much.............  Our new coach has declared that the menu every week will include chicken, pasta, and salad.  Ahhh........a coach who cares about the nutrition of his players.  I think I like this guy!!


My big football guy


OK...........want to find out why I want to kiss him now?  (Just a figure of speech Mrs. Coach......I'm a happily married woman)  In my email this afternoon is an email to the team parents asking for fruit to be donated for half-time to refuel the boys.  Fruit!  Yes, he wants fruit!!  Bananas and Oranges are the request.  I almost fell out of my chair.  Instead, I got up and jumped around in excitement.  Good thing the boss was out this afternoon!  That would have been a sight to see!  I am thrilled that someone, other than my boy's crazy real food blogging momma is encouraging him to eat real food to fuel his body for his chosen sport.  Eating bananas and oranges at half-time is going to be something cool that the football players do.  Hooray! 


My little football guy


This is the first time that a coach has ever requested fruit from me.  I've been asked for sweets plenty of times, but never fruit.  I sure hope that this trickles down to the younger athletes as well.  Can you imagine a world where all of our little athletes are snacking on fresh fruit?  Oh..........what a wonderful world that will be.  Thanks Coach for really looking out for my kid!  I can't thank you enough.

How do you think nutrition plays a roll in youth sports?  Do you have a coach that talks about sports nutrition?  Do you know of any good resources to check out for youth sports nutrition?  

Make sure you follow along my Facebook page so you can get in on great conversations like this.  

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Converting Recipes to Real Food

My real food journey has been quite a transformation in my cooking skills.  My sister still likes to tease me that I can only make grilled cheese sandwiches.  Sure, my grilled cheese is fantastic, but I can make quite a few other recipes now as well.  I still can't cook as well as my sister though.  Shh........don't tell her I gave her a compliment.  I'll never hear the end of it!  Little sisters..........what can you do with them?
 


Converting Recipes to Real Food

I spend a lot of time looking at recipes.  I look at all sorts of recipes for my family.  I don't limit my search to just real food recipes.  You may have noticed on my Facebook page, that I share lots of different recipes.  If I find a recipe I like, I know I can usually convert it to real food.  Sometimes, it takes a little experimenting to get it right, but usually one quick conversion and it comes out perfect.  

Here are 4 of the big conversions I make:

1. Sweeteners:  I use honey and maple syrup as my sweeteners because I don't want to use processed white sugar.  I've also found that I am better able to spot processed foods when I see sugar as an ingredient.  If my recipe calls for sugar, I substitute honey or maple syrup.  It really is simple and always comes out delicious.  I wrote a post about substituting natural sweeteners when baking that you can check out.  There are a few things that I will use regular sugar for, but overall I have been very pleased with this easy substitution.  I don't even keep sugar in my house.  When you switch to eating real food, you will find there actually is a whole new world of sweeteners available to use and none of them are sold in the sugar aisle of your store.  Dates and ripe bananas are some of my favorites.  Other fruits purees and applesauce work well too.

Side note.........I have also experimented with reducing overall sugar consumption.  I have found that when a recipe calls for a cup of sugar that about 1/4 cup of honey or maple syrup will be sweet enough for my family.

Converting Sugar to Natural Sweeteners.


2.  Flour:  I substitute whole wheat flour for regular white flour.  I read a lot about using half whole wheat and half white.  I suppose you can do that, but I've been very pleased with how the whole wheat recipes turn out.  I substitute equal parts whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour for white flour in my recipes.  Sometimes they need a little more liquid, but I think my liquid honey and maple syrup sweeteners take care of that in my baking.  If you think you need a little more moisture due to the "thirsty" nature of whole grains, add an additional tablespoon of liquid per cup of flour. 

3.  Fats:  There are lots of recipes that call for vegetable or canola oil.  I use olive oil which is known for all of its positive healthy properties.  This is the oil I use when making salad dressing and cooking over medium to low heat.  It will start smoking and break down at higher heat.  When baking or cooking at high heat, I switch over to coconut oil.  It can better handle the heat. And......don't forget about butter........ditch the margarine and enjoy butter.  Nothing tastes better and butter is real food!

4.  Condiments:  This is the tough one.  I'll be honest, I still allow ketchup in moderation in my house.  I have found the best ketchup my kids will eat and I stick with that.  I try to use mayo in moderation as well.  I will substitute plain yogurt or Greek yogurt in recipes.  I make my own salad dressings.  I have found that they are far more delicious than any of the bottled items.  Enchilada sauce, pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce.  I like to make my own, but with some searching I am finding some ready-made that meet my real food rules........No artificial ingredients, added sugars, or colors.  Make sure to check labels often.  I have fallen in love with certain brands and then noticed that they switch up their recipes.  Not all of the time, but it doesn't hurt to keep checking. I would like to make everything, but time doesn't always allow that.  Label reading has helped me to keep things real. 

These 4 switches are an excellent way for you to start converting your favorite recipes to real food recipes.  You don't have to limit yourself in any way.  Just find a recipe you like and start making the change to real food.  

Have you made the switch to real food yet?  Do you prefer real food recipes or do you convert conventional recipes to real food?  Some recipes are difficult to convert.  Have you found one that is especially difficult?

    
Don't Miss The Next Juggling Real Food and Real Life Newsletter!



You still haven't signed up for the newsletter?..........Why not! It just takes a second. You can subscribe by entering your email address to the right of this page. I have lots of great recipes and fun coming this fall that you will only find in the newsletter. Please also follow Juggling on our various social media. You can easily find me there if you have questions. Twitter is a great place to chat. Follow me @jugglngrealfood and introduce yourself. The Juggling Pinterest Boards are crammed with lots of great information and recipes. Check them out!    

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Let's Get Real Friday Party #53

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.


**This week you can enter to win next week's special co-host spot. If you are interested in co-hosting next week, please enter the rafflecopter give-away. We would love to have you join us for the week.**

Special Note: We have started a "Let's Get Real Bloggers Facebook Group". We would love to have all of you Let's Get Real bloggers join us as we help each other to grow.



Let's Get Real
 
A Big Welcome to our very Special Co-Host Sarah from Purple Patch DIY! Make sure you give her a big Let's Get Real welcome!
 


Sarah Purple Patch DIY
 
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 co-hosts. We follow back! Leave a comment for us on the post and we will know you are a new follower.

Christina: Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google +/Instagram
Nicole: Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google +/Instagram
Nicky:Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+
Gaye:Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+
Sarah:Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Google+


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.
 
 
http://www.jugglingrealfoodandreallife.com
 
 
We will be pinning our favorites!!


My Let's Get Real Featured blogger this week is:

(Drum Roll Please!)



 
 
How could I not pick this dish?  Just look at it!  Beautiful blueberries make ordinary chicken extra special.  This is a simple recipe that is sure to impress your guests.
 
 
 
 
 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway