Monthly Archives: January 2013

Benefits of Honey

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I’m sleep deprived and caring for a very sick baby today. He’s got a virus with many sores in his mouth (very painful) he’s finally sleeping and while I’m still wired from how much coffee I drank today, I thought I’d blog about the one thing that got us all a little sleep last night…..honey. Honey is like ACV in its antibacterial and healing qualities. Here are my favorite benefits for honey, starting with what gave my son some relief last night.

– Honey soothes burns, sores and wounds
– Honey has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal qualities that help heal
– Local honey can aid in reducing allergies
– Soothes sore throats and reduces coughs
– Honey is moisturizing and gentle on skin. Natural acne treatment
– Reduces ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders
– Natural sweetner that gives your body powerful antioxidants
– A tbls of honey will give you an energy boost
– Probiotic, promotes healthy digestion
– Regulates blood sugar and blood pressure

I know there are many more benefits to honey, but my tired brain has used up all of its energy today. There’s sure to be a follow up post with more honey benefits, but until then share the ones you know with me here!

*Honey is not safe for children under 1 year of age*

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Infinity Scarves For Sale

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Don’t want to wait to see if your name is drawn for the Infinity Scarf Giveaway? Well you are in luck, I’ve started to post my scarves for sale at my Etsy shop. They are affordable accessories that will accent any outfit. Infinity scarves can be worn a variety of ways, how will you wear yours?

Check the shop often as I’ll be adding many items over the next few weeks. If you are looking for something particular, send me a request and I’ll try my hardest to accommodate!

Happy Shopping!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/Simple2Something

Roasted Cauliflower

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I love cauliflower in any form, but this is by far my favorite way to eat it. The cauliflower gets caramelized and kind of sweet as it roasts. Very tasty side dish to accompany any meal. I usually serve it with my Parmesan Dijon Pork (see parmesan dijon pork recipe) because the cooking temperature and times match up perfectly. You prepare your cauliflower and get it baking for 15 minutes before you have to turn it. While it’s baking you have time to prepare your pork. Once your pork is prepared put it in the oven, take the cauliflower out and turn it so all sides have a chance to get caramelized and yummy and then it goes back into the oven until the pork is done.

What you need;

  • 1 head of cauliflower (washed, dried and cut into florets)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbls minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

How to make;

Mix 1/4 c olive oil, parmesan cheese, garlic & pepper together in the bottom of a big bowl, add cauliflower florets and stir to coat. Add the additional tablespoon of olive oil to make sure everything is “wet”. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes then turn all pieces and bake an additional 15 minutes. Total cooking time is 30 minutes.

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Like I said before, I like to serve this as a side with my Parmesan Dijon Pork. Whip up a quick green salad and you have a full meal. Pictured below with the Parmesan Dijon Pork.

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Parmesan Dijon Pork

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This recipe is so easy and full of flavor! Sure to be a hit with everyone in your family! I serve it with roasted cauliflower (see roasted cauliflower recipe) and a salad.

What you need;

  • 4 pork chops – I’ve used bone-in and boneless chops and a pork tenderloin cut into pieces. I buy whatever is on sale, all varieties are equally delicious.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp steak seasoning (this has salt, pepper, garlic, paprika and some brands have even more ingredients, this is easier than measuring out each ingredient)
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese

How to make;

Whisk  together oil and mustard in a dish with low sides so you can dip the pork to coat. Stir in pepper flakes and steak seasoning until incorporated. Put parmesan cheese in a separate dish with low sides. Dip each pork chop in the mustard mixture on both sides and then into the parmesan cheese on both sides. I like to bake my pork chops on a cooling rack stacked on top of a baking sheet so the heat is evenly distributed and it browns on all sides. This keeps you from have a crisp pork chop on top and soggy on the bottom. Repeat with remaining pork chops and bake at 425 for 15 minutes (the time will depend on the thickness of your pork chops I had just under one inch thick chops here and 12 minutes was long enough). Pictured below is a pork chop in each step of the coating process.

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Like I said earlier, I like to serve this with roasted cauliflower which is baked at the same temperature but for double the amount of time, so it’s perfect to prepare your cauliflower first and get it in the oven and then you have 15 minutes to prepare your pork before it goes in the oven. Then they both come out at the same time. See Roasted Cauliflower Recipe in a separate post.

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Infinity Scarf Giveaway! *Updated*

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** The winner has been contacted and the giveaway is over. Thanks to everyone who participated! My scarves are for sale at my Etsy store**

 

I’m blown away by the response to my blog in just one week! I greatly appreciate all of my followers and to help promote my blog even more I’m doing a giveaway. At nearly 1,000 views and over 350 followers in just one week of blogging, I’m motivated to increase my views and followers. Help me out by signing up to follow my blog and be entered into the drawing! Simply register your email on my blog to “follow” me. Those already signed up will be automatically entered. Once my blog hits 500 followers OR 5,000 views, I will draw a name and giveaway this scarf!

*UPDATE* Share ANY of my blog posts on Facebook and earn additional entries. No limit on how many additional entries you can earn. You earn one for following the blog via email and you can earn additionak entries by sharing ANY of my blog posts on Facebook. Once I have 500 followers or 5,000 views, a name will be drawn. If I’m feeling generous, there might even be an additional giveaway 😉
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*Scarf will be mailed via first class mail within 2 days of drawing. Winner will be contacted via email and will have 24 hours to respond with mailing address. If no response within 24 hours, another name will be drawn*

Additional Benefits Of ACV

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You could say that I’m obsessed with Apple Cider Vinegar, it’s very fascinating to me that such a simple product can have so many benefits. Here’s a follow up to my first post about ACV which focused mostly on the internal health benefits. This post will cover a more broad range of benefits.
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– Rich in ash which gives ACV its alkaline property. This aids your body in maintaining a proper pH level for a healthy alkaline state.
– Gargling ACV helps remove stains, whiten teeth and kill bacteria in your mouth and gums.
– Sipping vinegar water can help soothe tummy troubles. Its antibacterial properties can help clear up bacterial infections.
– A tsp of ACV can cure hiccups.
– Vinegar water with a little honey can help prevent nighttime leg cramps.
– An elixir with ACV can boost your immune system and ward off a cold (see homemade elixir recipe). It can also ease symptoms after you have a cold.
– Helps remove build up on hair from styling products. Leaves hair strong and shiny. Mix 1/3 cup of ACV with 4 cups of water and pour over hair after shampooing. Leave on for a few seconds and rinse with cold water.
– Acne treatment – one part ACV to three parts water. Apply solution to your face and leave it there for 10 minutes. Rinse. This can be repeated up to three times a day.

*Homemade Elixir Recipe*

This is a great immunity booster to ward off a cold and it works after you have a cold to clear up your symptoms. Research the health benefits for each ingredient. It will blow you away!

* 1 tbls organic ACV
* 1 tbls raw/local honey
* 1 tbls water
* 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
* 1/4 tsp ground ginger
* 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Dissolve spices in vinegar and water. Stir in honey. Mix well. Take 1 tbls daily for immunity booster or take 1 tbls three times a day to ease cold symptoms. I do not suggest giving this to children, for adults only! Leave in a air tight container at room temp. for 3-4 days.

Buffalo Chicken Dip – Great Low Carb Snack

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I got this recipe from the Franks Red Hot Sauce bottle. The original recipe calls for blue cheese, but I prefer ranch. Serve with celery and enjoy this low carb snack! Everyone loves this dip whether they eat low carb or not.
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What you need;
8 oz softened cream cheese
10 oz can of chicken (drained)
1/2 cup Franks Red Hot Sauce
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

How to make;
Mix all ingredients together and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

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Even though I primarily eat low carb, I still crave carb filled comfort foods and I do let myself have them occasionally. It’s been cold and rainy today, perfect for a plate of homemade Beef Stroganoff.
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What you need;
2 pounds stew meat
1 can cream of golden mushroom soup
1 can cream of mushroom with roasted garlic
1 cup diced onion
1 6-8oz jar of drained mushrooms
1/2 tsp black pepper
4oz of cream cheese
1 cup sour cream

How to make;
Mix both soups, meat, onion, mushrooms and pepper in slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours. After 6 hours, mix in cream cheese and sour cream. Stir together well until the cream cheese is incorporated. Cook for another hour on low.

I like to serve over egg noodles with fresh cracked black pepper. I’ve been out of onion before and 2 tbls of dried minced onion also works well. Try venison instead of beef, equally delicious. I suggest buying a roast and cutting it into pieces yourself. It’s usually cheaper than stew meat and I find stew meat pieces a little large for this recipe. I’ve tried fresh mushrooms, but I stir those in half way through the cooking time so they dont get soggy. Peas are also a good stir in item at the very end.

My Personal Struggle With “The Green Eyed Monster” – Jealousy

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I consider myself a “normal” person (whatever that means). I have the same emotions that everyone else has…..happy, sad, mad, etc, etc. But I had one emotion that would eat at me to my core……jealousy. I’ve never met a person who hasn’t been jealous before. You get jealous over silly things like a friend getting a new car, a family member receiving more praise, someone flirting with your spouse or even a co-worker getting a promotion. Jealousy is a natural feeling in us as humans, but how you deal with that feeling is up to you.

 I use to harbor my jealousy; if I was jealous of something then I would ignore it and not give it any of my attention. I would keep my thoughts bottled up inside. I wish I could say that I quickly learned dealing with jealousy this way only ate me up inside, but I can’t because it took me a long time to realize this. It took me so long because I didn’t know how to deal with it. No one ever tells you how to deal with your jealous thoughts. I was jealous of many things as a child, being young and naive, but it continued into my adult life. I was never able to let go of that jealous feeling I would get and free myself of my unwanted misery. I’ve always been happy with my life; I had a wonderful childhood, loving parents, as an adult I have a wonderful husband, a loving family, great friends and more than I could ever need. I’d often ask myself WHY are you jealous? I finally discovered that I didn’t in fact actually want whatever I found myself jealous over, it was the fact that people were doing and getting what they wanted and I necessarily wasn’t. In that moment, I decided that being jealous wasn’t my problem; my problem was not going after or doing what I wanted. I started thinking of things I enjoyed doing, rewarding things that would fill my void that created my jealousy. I started crafting, making homemade gifts and things for my home. I started challenging myself to doing things I had never done before. I “let go” of the jealous thoughts in my head and filled them with ideas and aspirations. I didn’t want anyone else’s life, or car, or job, or whatever it was I was finding myself jealous over. I wanted their drive to achieve what they/I wanted. If only I had realized that much sooner…..but it’s never too late to change, right?

The point of this post is to help people understand that jealousy is a natural feeling, but how you are interpreting your jealousy is often misunderstood. I wish I had read something like this years ago to open my eyes and relieve me of my misery a long time ago, but sometimes it takes something happening in your life to “wake you up” so to speak, and now that I’m awake, I’m happier than ever! Next time the “Green Eyed Monster” rears it’s ugly head, ask yourself, am I jealous over the actual item or am I jealous about how they achieved that item? If it’s jealousy with your spouse, talk to them about it. Are you jealous because you aren’t getting enough attention?  Figuring out the root of your jealousy can change your life. Honesty is the best policy (not to be cliché), but when you are honest you never have to remember what you’ve said because the truth in your head is the truth that you speak. I now live with an open mind and an open heart. I’m honest and much happier living this way. I can congratulate someone on their success without a jealous thought in my head because I’m happy with my own success and I want others to succeed. I can praise others without feeling jealous because I now praise myself. I can celebrate an exciting moment with a friend because I truly want them to be happy, to have the happiness that I’ve found in myself. Jealousy can blind you, remove you from reality and make you do things that you will regret. Become in control of your life, set your own destiny and fly!

My advice is to live your life the way it makes you happy. At the end of the day, those seated at your dinner table with you are the people who matter the most. If you are happy with yourself, with them, with your life, with your family, then you are living the right way. Celebrate your own success, congratulate yourself and live your life for you. Life is too short to live it any other way!

Steps to overcome jealousy;

Admitting that you are jealous
Thinking about why you are feeling jealous
Reminding yourself about the good things in your life. Remember “The grass ain’t always greener on the other side, it’s green where you water it”. “Water” the area’s that need “watering”.
Focusing on positive things that make you happy and are rewarding to you
Reaching out to someone to talk about your feelings of jealousy. Don’t keep it bottled up inside

20 Minute Workout You Can Do ANYWHERE!

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Yes, it’s true, you can do this workout ANYWHERE….well anywhere you feel comfortable doing it.  All you need is an open area where you can crank out some moves. No exercise equipment needed. My husband told me this is called “circuit training”, I call it “all I have time for” or my “mom workout”. I know I can always find 20 minutes in my day to do these moves, and I always feel much better after I do. Customize this to what area’s you want to target. I want to target my thighs, butt and abs and I came up with this combo by researching different exercises online. I’m not posting any pictures, just the names of the moves. If you don’t know what they are, I suggest looking them up online. Want more upper body moves then incorporate those in…..shorten the workout on days you are pressed for time and extend it on days where you have more time, add it to your cardio workout. Make it work for YOU! I’ve lost over an inch in each thigh and 4 inches in my waist that I can attribute to these exercises and my low carb lifestyle.

Here’s my routine;

I do the full set of exercises in the same order 3 times and it takes approx 20 minutes. Turn on some music, something up-beat. Do some stretches to loosen up and hit the floor!

  • 25 jumping jacks (get that heart pumping)
  • 15 push ups (this engages your abs and helps tone your arms, chest and back)
  • Pointed Toe Lifts – 20 per leg (Butt, inner & outer thighs)
  • Combined roll up & leg drop – 10 (lie on your back with arms above your head flat against the ground, legs straight against the ground, roll up with your arms pointed straight and lift your legs with toes pointed simultaneously. Meet your hands to your legs and roll back down flat, repeat 9 more times – targets lower abs)
  • I don’t have a name for this move so I’m giving you a link….I do all phases listed, 20 per leg. http://www.t-tapp.com/articles/legs/index.html
  • 10 lunges OR 10 squats (these are killer for your butt and thighs, I go back and forth – lunges one day and squats the next)

Repeat all moves 2 more times.

After you finish, stretch it out again and I always finish with a “Hip Flexor” stretch that aligns your spine and will help eliminate that lower belly “pooch”.