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Cuppow Mason Jar Lids!

Ya’ll..I recently discovered this simple, yet oh so amazing thing called Cuppow! It is simply a lid that turns a Mason jar/canning jar into a travel mug. How cool is that??? These people are genius. I ordered my first one and I can’t wait to get it and start using it every day! Because I do not have mine yet,  I don’t have any pics of my own to share so I found these through their website to show you what it looks like..

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Now this may mean nothing to you, but it might after I share with you the dangers of drinking from plastic bottles.With the Cuppow travel lid, you don’t have to worry about this because you can turn any mason/canning glass jar into a travel mug.  They come in both the regular mouth and wide mouth sizes and all different colors. You can order one for yourself here.

On top of being an awesome product, the company itself is pretty awesome as well and worth supporting simply because of their goals and what they are committed to. They are an American company that desires to decrease their eco-footprint. In other words they abstain from using “throwaway” products such as paper coffee lids that cannot be reused and lead only to more needless waste. All of their products are sourced from BPA and phthalate free (more on this later) food-grade recycled plastic. On top of that, they do all of their business creating the product within an hour’s drive. Nothing is shipped overseas because that would go against their goal in decreasing their eco-footprint as well.

Did you know that 67 MILLION water bottles are thrown away each day?? Out of all of those, only about 10% are recycled. On top of that, you have to consider the fuel that is being used for all of these water bottles to travel to your nearest supermarket/ gas station before you even drink out of it (source).  On average, all food items in the US travel 1300 miles before it reaches the consumer. That’s a lot of fuel being used up people!!

Ok so what about BPA and phthalate you were talking about earlier?? Glad you asked.

BPA (Bisphenoal-A) is an estrogen mimicking chemical that has been shown to cause a list of serious health problems including but not limited to learning and behavioral problems, altered immune system function, early puberty in girls and fertility problems, decreased sperm count, prostate and breast cancer, diabetes and obesity. Unless your plastic bottles state that they are BPA free, you can guarantee that it is made with BPA.  This toxic chemical slowly creeps into your water and food through the plastic and in the end ends up inside of you. YIKES! It is well known that when plastic bottles are heated, BPA leaches into the water at a much faster rate than when at room temperature (source). This is of particular importance to mother’s that are using plastic baby bottles to feed their babies. At such a young age, this toxic chemical has the potential to negatively impact their delicate hormone balance, and unfortunately babies do not clear toxins from their bodies as fast as adults. This places a much larger burden on their fragile little bodies.

Ever leave your water bottle sitting in the car for a long time and come back to drink it and it smells awful and tastes awful as well?? This is caused by the chemical phthalate that is also commonly used in making plastic. It is what is often added to make PVC pliable, but unfortunately its molecules are loosely bound allowing them to easily leach out of the plastic and into your water/food. Just like BPA, it is leached into your water at a much faster rate when heated. The biggest concern with phthalates is reproductive toxicity, particularly among males. It has also been associated with early breast development in girls and endometriosis in women (source).

Now of course it is nearly impossible to avoid all plastics as it is almost everywhere from our cars to food wrappers, shampoo bottles, you name it, but switching from drinking out of plastic water bottles to glass bottles is one way that we can eliminate our exposure to these toxins as well as decrease our environmental impact. If you must drink out of plastic water bottles, at least avoid at all costs drinking them after they have been heated!

Can’t wait to get my cuppow travel lid in the mail this week!! Hope this was helpful and informative. Feel free to pass this information along to anyone you think might benefit from this as well.

 

Easy Veggie Chili

Yummm! I made this delicious Veggie Chili last night. It is super easy and great to make ahead for the week to have when you are on the go! It makes about 7-8 1 cup serving sizes, so it could last you the whole week for lunches or dinner if you are feeding one or could feed a large family for a couple of nights as well!

And let’s be honest, for those of you that live in Texas you know how Bipolar the weather can be, so we always need a good chili recipe on hand for when a cold front rolls in unexpectedly.

I always suggest buying organic when possible to increase the nutrient level in your foods and to also avoid nasty pesticides and herbicides that are toxic to our bodies. Corn is one that I recommend to 100% buy organic because it is high on the list of foods that are genetically modified. 100% organic labels do not permit GMO’s (genetically modified organisms). For more info on what these are and the dangers of consuming them head over and read an article on it here.

For the optional toppings, I used organic plain Greek Yogurt in replace of traditional sour cream, and green onions. I ate it for lunch today and instead of Greek Yogurt I topped it with 1/2 an avocado and it gave it a great creamy texture that I was craving plus some extra potassium and healthy fats!

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Doesn’t that look delicious?

Here is the recipe. Enjoy!

Easy Veggie Chili
Author:
Serves: 7-8
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers (or any bell pepper), cored and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ tsp. cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 15 oz. can organic kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz. can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 15 oz. cans Muir Glen organic diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen organic corn
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, peppers, garlic, cumin, cayenne, and chili powder, and season with salt and pepper. Stir together and cook until soft for about 3-4 minutes
  2. Mix in beans, diced tomatoes, and corn
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste, and season with additional spices if necessary
  4. Top with your favorite garnish: green onions, organic plain Greek yogurt, avocado, fresh cilantro

Bought at a Price + Paleo Cinnamon Rolls

Happy Friday everyone! This is such a special time of year for me. I talk a lot about healthy foods and how to nourish the body with natural and whole food ingredients on this blog and on my other social media pages, but I can’t help but talk and reflect on the one thing that truly “feed’s” me and gives me life this “Good Friday”. That is Jesus Christ, God himself in the flesh that came and died for me and for you that we might have life and have life to the full (John 10:10) . The greatest love story of all time.

He is the reason I am alive and well to this day. He is the reason I am breathing and typing this blog. He is the reason I am free love, to laugh, and rest in His embracing arms freed from the guilt and darkness that once surrounded me before I knew Him.

I believe in taking care of of my body through whole foods and exercise, but I also firmly believe God can take away my good health and even the finances to be able to purchase good quality foods at any moment despite my very best efforts to remain healthy and financially stable.  He is in control. I am not. I simply am called to take care of what He has given me and that includes my body. It can be very easy to get caught up in thinking we are in control though. At least it is for me. I catch myself at times making an idol out of food and exercise and forgetting that we are to live on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). That is what is truly satisfying. That is where true life is found.

I take for granted too often the simple blessing of health. The gift God has given me to be able to run, to lift heavy weights, to go on a bike ride with my husband, to cook a meal with him, to taste and smell all the different amazing flavors and combinations of food, to hike mountains, to rock climb, to have energy. Wow. It truly is incredible and something that can easily be taken away in a second. I am grateful. This life is a gift and it is not my own to hold on to.

I am reminded this time of year to take care of my body not because it is my own, but rather because it is not my own.

“..You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” -1 Corinthians 6:19-20

I am a child of God. He created and died and rose again for this amazing body that can do all of these amazing things. A true and miraculous gift. I desire to honor that gift in how I treat it, including what I put in it, and the way I talk to it. That might actually mean talking out loud to combat any negative thoughts that flood through in times of weakness. If you struggle with negative self talk I was once told that if you say something enough it will become a truth whether that’s negative or positive. Sounds silly, but you might need to literally say things over and over until the negative is shoved out and you actually believe the positive you are speaking to yourself.
Imagine seeing yourself as Christ sees you. He sees you as a product of His divine nature, crafted and molded perfectly by His hands in your mother’s womb. He looked upon you and said you were worth dying for. Worth it enough to send His only Son to die for you. Wouldn’t that be incredible if we actually remembered and believed this every single day?

So, this time of year for me is about reflecting and remembering these things that were planned out long before I even came to be. I am humbled. I am in awe of a God that loves me so much in spite of all my imperfections and short comings. This time of year also comes with lots of fun family memories and yummy treats. So, for those of you that are wanting a healthier version of some home baked goodies I have discovered what looks like a fabulous recipe. I have not actually tried it as I literally just found it, but I will share with you the recipe and post a picture of how it turns out later. Cinnamon Rolls anyone???

My family used to make cinnamon rolls every single Sunday growing up. This recipe is Paleo, gluten-free, grain-free and reduced carb. This does not mean they are ok to eat all of the time. They are simply a healthier version of a special indulgence that has a much lower blood sugar impact than typical cinnamon rolls that are made with refined flours and sugar. They also are void of the gut-damaging gluten and inflammatory vegetable oils and trans fats. The recipe is from Diana Keuilian, author of Family Friendly Fat Burning Meals. So here you go! Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Paleo Cinnamon Rolls
Author:
Ingredients
  • For the Dough:
  • 2 ½ cups blanched almond flour
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 eggs at room temp
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • For the Filling
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup pecans, chopped
  • For the Glaze
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a pan with coconut oil.
  2. Combine the dry dough ingredients in a medium bowl and mix to remove any lumps. Combine the wet dough ingredients in another medium bowl and mix well. Combine the wet and dry ingredients together and mix well.
  3. Cut two rectangular pieces of parchment paper and place the dough in between them. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough evenly into a large rectangle. Remove the top piece of parchment paper.
  4. In a small bowl combine the filing ingredients. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the flattened dough, then carefully roll it up. Use a serrated knife to cut the roll into 9 pieces. Carefully place the pieces on your prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. In a small bowl combine the glaze ingredients. Drizzle over the cinnamon rolls. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spaghetti Squash with Bacon and Garlic

If you follow my holisticallyfed instagram/facebook page you might have seen me post a challenge earlier this week to try a new vegetable. If you don’t follow either of these go check them out! I post regularly on tips about healthy living, challenges, what I am eating, my workout once a week, and recipe ideas as well as notifications of when I post a new blog.

I have to admit I did not try a new vegetable this week. I had all intetions of doing so but after I made the challenge I realized I already went to the grocery store for the week and really had no desire to go back. I go once a week and stock up exactly how much we need for the whole week so that I don’t have to make a second trip. HOWEVER I still have a vegetable recipe that might be new to you! If you hadn’t already figured it out by the title of this blog it involves spaghetti squash! It is amazing. Even though it is not new to me, the recipe was. The only way I have ever used spaghetti squash is as a replacement to pasta when I want to make spaghetti. When baked, spaghetti squash comes out in prefect little noodle like strands almost identical to pasta. It is pretty remarkable.

If you never have baked spaghetti squash before there are two ways you can do it. The first requires you to have to cut open the spaghetti squash at the beginnig which can be slightly challenging because of how tough the outer layer is, but it also allows you to remove all of the seeds at the beginning. The second way allows you to just pop it in the oven with a few holes poked through the outer layer to allow any steam to escape. This way makes it much easier to cut the spaghetti squash in half since it is nice and tender once baked. However, the seeds remain in the middle which means you will have to dig them out with your hands/spit them out as you eat. I prefer the second way. It is up to you.

Spaghetti squash is an excellent choice for those looking to eliminate grains from their diet. It provides the same savory texture as pasta without any risk of gut damage. Not to mention it is an excellent source of carotenes, and vitamins C, B1, B6, niacin, folic acid, panthothenic acid, potassium, and dietary fiber. Diets that are rich in carotones are well known to be protective against cancer and developing type 2 diabetes.

I paired this delicious recipe with baked chicken and some steamed kale and broccoli. It provided the perfect starchy density I needed to replenish my muscles after a hard workout that day. My husband and I and a few other people at our gym have decided to start training for an entire year to make it as a team to CrossFit Regionals next year. The training started this week and my joints and muscles are definitely feeling it. WIth all that to say, I will be eating lots over this next year to fuel my body with the nutrients it needs to grow strong! I am excited and really looking forward to seeing the progress that we all make over this next year. Whether we make it or not I love having a goal and something to work towards.  What goals are you working towards be that spiritually, physically, mentally?? I believe it is healthy to have goals in all areas of our life. It keeps us moving foward and not just going through the motions.

Now go try this awesome recipe for yourself!!

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Spaghetti Squash with Bacon and Garlic
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 1 whole spaghetti squash
  • 4 pieces uncured bacon (uncured insures it is not preserved with additives or chemicals, but preserved with more natural salts and flavorings)
  • 3 cloves cruched garlic
  • salt/pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Pierce the spaghetti squash with a knife evenly all over OR cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds
  3. If piercing the spaghetti squash, simply place it on a pan and bake for 45-60 minutes or until slightly brown on the outside and nice and tender to the touch
  4. If cutting it in half, make sure to place the spaghetti squash face down and bake the same amount of time
  5. When about 10-15 minutes is left for squash to bake, start cooking the bacon on medium heat in a medium sized saucepan
  6. Once cooked, set aside and let cool then crumble into pieces
  7. Sautee garlic in saucepan on medium-low heat until golden but not burnt (approx 1-2 minutes)
  8. Once spaghetti squash is done, remove from oven and let cool. Spoon out squash noodles into a medium sized bowl and combine bacon and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  9. Enjoy!!

 

 

 


Much Needed R&R

Lately it seems like my husband and I have been so stinking busy. Sometimes life just piles up and it is hard to find time to rest and pull away and rejuvenate. I have come to realize and truly understand how beneficial and necessary rest and relaxation is to overall health. I am one of those people that automatically feels the negative effects of less than 7 hours of sleep a night. My body hates me the next day and I simply do not have energy to do all of the things I want to do. Add to a lack of sleep any type of stress and my throat will start to hurt and I can tell if I don’t stop, slow down, and relax I will get sick. This is why I was exhausted and sick all throughout college.

I never want to relive that constant exhaustion again.

Thankfully, my husband and I have such flexible jobs that we were able to pull away Wednesday night through Thursday afternoon to Dallas for a little get-away. It was much needed. My husband has been working like a dog on the annual fundraising banquet for Young Life the past couple of months and it was held this past Monday night. It was a huge success and we are so grateful and humbled by all who showed up and gave to continue the ministry here in Paris, but the aftermath left us both drained and needing some “us” time. I woke up at 5 am Monday morning like usual to train my clients at the gym and did not stop going until about 12:30 that night. It was a LONG day to say the least.

Neither of us have anything on the schedule Thursday mornings so we got away Wednesday night after I trained around 5 pm and headed to Dallas. I didn’t have to be back until 4 pm Thursday to train so we booked us a hotel, slept in, and enjoyed a nice afternoon just the two of us away from the business of everyday life. It was wonderful. Just what the doctor ordered.

I know everyone is busy and has completely different schedules, but finding time to pull-away whether that’s once a week, once a month, or a small window within each day,can do wonders for your health and well being. This will look different for everyone and you might need to actually plan it to make sure you do it. It’s sad that we have to actually plan down time, but reality is if we don’t, “business” takes over. There are not only psychological benefits to getting adequate sleep and rest, but physical benefits as well especially if you are trying to lose weight.

These are a few of the things that go on in your body when you consistently get less than 5-6 hours of sleep a night.

  • Insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance decreases leading to obesity and diabetes risk
  • Cortisol levels increase which stimulates glucose release (sugar), glucose stimulates insulin release and insulin stimulates fat storage (aka. increase in body fat!!)
  • Thyroid hormones are reduced which are responsible for metabolism
  • Leptin levels decrease which is the hormone that is responsible for feelings of fullness and ghrelin levels increase which is the hormone that is responsible for feelings of hunger. This can lead to food cravings or overeating

Crazy huh? Not to mention, sleep deprivation will naturally leave you feeling more tired with less energy to workout and lowers your body’s ability to handle stress well. Stress also raises cortisol levels and leads to a long list of other negative health effects. So, all in all, we need our rest and relaxation to not only feel good, but to maintain a healthy weight and body fat percentage. If you have been struggling to lose weight or decrease body fat this might be an area of your health you can improve in to help you reach your goals. Sleep is definitely not overrated. If I only knew this as a child when I was forced to take naps. I would have appreciated them so much more.

I found this quote on pinterest I thought some of you might be able to relate to. It’s kind of funny, but not really at all at the same time. I know there are days I definitely feel like this. What a miserable way to live!! We were made for so much more than that. We were made to feel alive not just think about wanting to sleep! Don’t underestimate your sleep people.

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Ya’ll take care and have a wonderful weekend wherever that may be!!

 

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