Why You Should Eat Fat Bombs (and a Recipe!)

A few weeks ago while researching how I could add more fat into my diet, I came across this recipe for Fat Bombs.

fat-bombs-easy-and-delicious

That, my friends, is a Fat Bomb. They look like something terribly naughty. But instead, they are full of so much good nourishment! Your day just took a turn for the better. You have no idea how happy I am to share these with you!

Have you ever even heard of Fat Bombs? I sure hadn’t. But the biggest question is: why would I try to see how I could add more fat to my diet?

Well, I’ve been reading and studying more about regulating my hormones and blood sugar and keeping my adrenals functioning well – you know. Just a little light reading. Everything keeps pointing me back to “eat a lot of protein” and “eat a lot of good fats.” Hey, you don’t have to tell me twice.

Now, protein is an easy one for me. I love and crave meat most of the time. But I have been realizing that getting plenty of fat is a little bit more difficult (beyond what is naturally in the meat I’m being forced to eat). I’ve tried eating spoonfuls of coconut oil, but it’s just weird and I don’t love it.

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See here’s the funny thing: I find that I mostly use butter and coconut oil in baked goods. But I’m no longer eating many baked goods. I can stir some butter into my veggies, but that’s still not very much fat. Cream in my coffee? Sure, but I’m trying to cut back on caffeine too (prayers welcome).

I’d be mad at my hormones and blood sugar and adrenals about all of this, but my quest to find wellness for all of these led me to find out about these Fat Bombs. So ALL IS FORGIVEN.

fat-bombs-rock

Everyone else can have their sugary cakes and cookies and I don’t even care because I get to eat Fat Bombs. They are kind of a cross between a Peanut Butter Cup and a Huge Piece of Fudge. No one feels sorry for me now. Everyone is jealous. But not to worry. I am here to share the recipe so that you, too, can make Fat Bombs.

Now, first, a warning: If you are expecting these to taste super sweet like a piece of Christmas fudge or an actual peanut butter cup, you will be disappointed. But if you appreciate the need to cut back on sugar and you prepare yourself for a lightly sweetened peanut butter chocolate treat, you will bite in and be so happy that you get to eat many bites before it’s gone. Yes, you will be so, so happy.

You will offer them to your family, saying something like, “These are so amazing!!!! You won’t like them, though.

This is how things normally work with my family now. My husband is totally digging my sugarless, stevia-sweetened or otherwise very low sugar treats. Our boys are more skeptical. I’ve cut down the sugar drastically in our household, and they’ve barely noticed and are just fine with muffins, cookies, and cakes with the sugar cut down. But the stevia-only treats? They are not fans.

But as for me, I’m loving the Fat Bombs. So far I’ve only made a Chocolate Peanut Butter variety but a little Pinterest searching told me there are other kinds that I should try. Okay then. If you’re going to twist my arm.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fat BombsYum

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fat Bombs
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • ½ cup coconut oil (I use expeller pressed so the coconut flavor didn't overpower.)
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • Liquid stevia to taste (I use 1½ droppers full of NuNaturals Brand.)
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, heat and stir together coconut oil, cocoa powder, butter, and peanut butter.
  2. Once melted and mixed, remove from heat and stir in stevia.
  3. Pour into 12 muffin lined muffin tins.
  4. Freeze for 20 minutes or refrigerate for 2 hours.
  5. Store in fridge and eat as needed.

chocolate-peanut-butter-fat-bombs

Isn’t it happy irony that these also have protein in them? It’s like I’m getting a two for one on needed nutrients here.

Note: These do not taste as yummy when they are room temp. Keep them cold and eat them directly out of the fridge. Take it from me.

Fun Fat Fact: It’s hard to over-eat these. After two bites I always think that I will finish one and enjoy a second because I’m loving it so much. But by the time I finish the one, I am full and satisfied, ready to stop eating. Then I stay full for a couple of hours, which is great because I typically need to eat little bits all day long.

I love this about good fats. They satisfy. (As opposed to empty carbs or bad fats that tell your body that you need more in order to be satisfied, so we tend to over eat them.)

Why Good Fat is Good

  • It gives us energy. (So don’t eat fat if you prefer to be lethargic.)
  • It builds healthy cells.
  • It helps our bodies use Vitamins A, D, E, and K.
  • It helps us have healthy skin, as well as helps our other organs to be protected. (Skin is an organ. I always forget this, but I think it’s so cool.)

So there you go. We all need to be eating good fats. These Fat Bombs make eating good fats extremely fun and happy, and they only take a few minutes to stir together!

A Final Reminder


Today’s the last day the Healthy Living Bundle is being offered and I encourage you take advantage of the wonderful deal that it is. I have spent hours with these materials in an effort to help myself work toward more healing. Sure, it’s a little overwhelming. But mostly it’s empowering, especially when I take it in a little at a time. Already much of what I’m implementing for my hormone health has made a big difference in my energy levels and weird blood sugar issues. And I learned about making Fat Bombs so how thankful am I?

You know what you need more than I, but I do encourage you to look into these five of my favorites first to see if they benefit you as much as they have me. (Just these 5 resources alone will cost $309 if you wait until tomorrow to buy them separately. Get them all today, along with all the rest of the resources and $250 worth of bonuses for a mere $29.97.)

favorite-five-of-the-2016-healthy-living-bundle

All resources included are worth $2,400…today only $29.97.

The countdown is on as the sale ends at midnight tonight, September 26.

Grab these resources at 98% off while you can!

This post contains my affiliate links.

Oh how I hope you like the Fat Bombs as much as I do. Best treat ever. (So says the girl who hasn’t had a cookie for a very long time.)

The Thing That Makes Me Mad About Food

My grandma was famous for her angel food cakes. Also her coconut cream pies. And her chocolate chip cookies. She wasn’t allowed to show up to community or church potlucks without one of her signature desserts. You want to see the preacher get mad? Let Grandma come to a potluck without the angel food cake. She may as well have worn a pantsuit. Scandalous.

(Hey. There’s nothing wrong with wearing a pantsuit to church. Yeah, tell that to Grandma.)

Holiday round cake

Food during the time I was growing up was just…food. Sure, much of it was made with white flour and Crisco. Maybe my favorite song was the Oscar Mayer B-O-L-O-G-N-A song. Kool-aid was most certainly a regular part of our meals. But food wasn’t a thing like it is now. Now everywhere we turn we can find a person with severe, even life threatening, food allergies.

I am so mad and sad about this.

Food is such a great big issue now. I believe that through the past few decades we’ve destroyed what were once stable sources for food, added too many pesticides, tried too much genetic modification, gotten too used to opening boxes at dinnertime, and bought into lies that margarine and vegetable shortening are better than real butter and real lard. We were told to make bread the biggest part of our food pyramid and urged to drink skim instead of whole. Making money became more important than nourishment, so we began creating ingredients in factories (high fructose corn syrup, anyone?) as a way to cut costs.

Not only that, antibiotics have been given out like candy. Many of us have mercury fillings. The list goes on.

And now? Our guts are a great big mess.

Most of our digestive systems are so wacky, we can’t begin to digest food the way we were designed to, and it’s causing major problems for many of us. Maybe the problem for you and your family isn’t showing up in food allergies. Maybe instead it looks like ADD or other learning struggles. Maybe it looks like eczema. Maybe it looks like arthritis. Maybe it’s migraines. Maybe it’s depression. Maybe your hormones are out of whack. Maybe it’s an autoimmune disease.

Maybe so many things.

Now, before I get too mad and sad and verbal about it, I should resign myself to recognizing that yep, we live in a fallen world. Nothing will be perfect this side of heaven and that’s the truth.

But maybe I’m just sad that we can’t all go to a potluck and eat whatever yummy things we want off the potluck table.

I’ve been feeling all these feelings for years, but going grain free this summer really pushed me over to the sad and mad side of the mess we’ve made of our food. That’s the first I really had to experience depriving myself of some of the basics of life – like bread – and it suddenly made me want my grandma’s angel food cake. (This only makes sense if you can eat neither bread nor cake.)

Never before have I wanted to go back to when food was just food and we all ate and enjoyed and didn’t have to look up recipes on Pinterest that would tell us how to make a muffin without eggs, wheat, milk, bowl, spoon, air, or muffin tin.

So what do we do?

Well, being sad and mad sure hasn’t been helpful. Neither has feeling sorry for myself for not getting to eat a hot biscuit dripping with butter.

Is there anything we can even do? Does it even matter? Is this just life this side of heaven?

what-can-we-do-to-be-well-and-feel-well

Hope for Wellness and Healing

I actually think there are some things we can do to help ourselves heal. I not only think so, I’ve experienced it. Healing can happen! No, it isn’t a fast fix. How can it be when it took us several decades to get here? But there really is hope for healing. After all, we don’t want to simply feel well. We want to be well.

1. Stop feeling guilty.

There are so many things I would like to go back and do differently in how I took care of myself during my younger years. I can’t tell you the emotional strife I’ve felt over my inability to take away my kids’ ailments, particularly when our youngest was suffering from chronic eczema for 7 very long years. During that time, I felt horrendous guilt over the fact that surely his sickness was my fault because of how I’d eaten poorly and taken antibiotics when I’d been pregnant with him. (Those alone are not the reason he had a chronic condition, by the way, but it sure was easy to blame myself while I watched my child suffer.)

I still sometimes feel the guilt when I see my oldest deal with environmental allergies. I feel it when I watch any of my kids struggle with lack of focus. When any of their weak spots rear their ugly heads. The guilt. It can overpower.

You guys, guilt helps nothing and only makes us sicker (more sick, whatever). Lay down any guilt you might feel over your imperfections, let God be God, and choose peace. I believe that’s one of the first steps toward both physical and emotional healing.

2. Stop being mad and sad.

Like guilt, anger and sadness over what can’t be changed helps nothing. Sure, we feel what we feel and we certainly don’t want to stuff our feelings. But taking a nice long soak in a bath of sadness certainly doesn’t find us in a place of being cleansed and whole. Choose to move forward with a positive attitude. Do all of this with prayer.

3. Drink water.

Prayer, water – they are practically on the same level of amazingness.

Just kidding, but not. Every time I’m struggling physically or emotionally my tangible go-to is to drink water. It’s amazing the help it offers, and I believe it’s because our bodies need water so much for good health. So…are ya struggling? Drink some sips of water – all day long. Breathe a prayer for healing while you drink. This simple practice can make a huge difference in our overall health.

4. Eat well.

If we don’t put nourishing foods in our bodies we can not even begin to help ourselves find healing. Don’t eat just to satisfy your hunger. Eat food that will offer your body something to work with – food filled with the nutrients you need so you can thrive. (Bologna doesn’t fit the nourishing criteria. Sorry, Oscar.)

5. Seek answers for overall healing.

I think steps 1-4 come first, because we need to focus on positive emotional health, hydrate ourselves, and give our bodies nourishment. But there’s so much more, beyond the surface, that we absolutely can do to achieve better health.

I’ve been learning so much during the past four years as I’ve been visiting my natural doctor and letting her help me detox my entire body, and as I’ve been researching all I can about wellness. Some of this detox journey hasn’t been fun. I’ve shared with you that I feel crummy sometimes as my body pulls out and flushes heavy metals and bad bacteria.

But do you know what I think? I think these temporary months of discomfort are a small price to pay (along with the kinda steep, albeit reasonable, monetary price) compared to the other more severe or life threatening health issues I might have faced down the road. I shouldn’t be amazed (seeing as God has created everything we need for wellness), but I truly am floored at the healing I’ve encountered through these years. My gut health is much, much better now. My lungs, my nervous system – everything has been showing huge strides of improvement.

So back to my feelings about food…

Well, the truth is that food is just more complicated than it used to be. This is where we are now. Thankfully, we know more than we used to about the dangers of Crisco and sugar. We know to make real food a priority instead. But beyond that, if we really want to be healthy and help our families to be healthy, we’re going to have to make some changes and get to work.

I’ve been living this for the past few years and truly, the work is worth it. I just heard this truth while listening to the Healing Your Gut summit and I love it: “We’re not trying to tell people to refrain from eating good foods. We’re trying to help people heal so that they can eat good food.”

Yes, yes, and so much yes!

We can all find healing and become healthy again so that we can all just eat. Food won’t have to be a thing. Food can just be…food.

Not that we should over-indulge in Grandma’s bread or angel food cake. This is a given.

Answers for less than the cost of one doctor’s visit

I mentioned above that we’ve invested quite a bit in my health during the past few years. (We’ve taken everyone in our family to our natural doctor for detox and healing, but I win the prize on health issues and money spent for healing. Yep, I’m the most needy family member. God bless my men for loving me through this.)

We don’t regret one bit of this investment and we’re thankful God has provided what we’ve needed so I can work toward cleansing and overall great health! But today I want to tell you about something that costs very little (much less than the cost of even one doctor visit!) and has been giving me many more answers and help during the past few weeks as I trudge through this journey toward overall wellness.

It’s the 2016 Healthy Living Bundle, and I can hear what some of you are thinking. What? Another one?

Believe me. If this one wasn’t worth telling you about, I wouldn’t. But I’ve been digging into this new set of digital courses and books during the last few weeks – both to see if it was worth sharing and even more to see what I could learn to help me as I continue to work toward healing some of my chronic ailments. (I am soooo over migraines.)

I can’t believe how much I’ve needed this.

For me, this bundle has come at a crucial time in my healing process and if I could somehow convince every single one of you to invest in this – well, I’m going to do my best to do just that. The entire package costs only $30, so the financial part is minimal, especially considering the overall value and quality of this year’s package.

Five of the resources have been particularly helpful so far – providing so much of the information I’ve been needing as I tackle some tough hormone healing and adrenal health issues. There were a few books/courses in the bunch that I didn’t find useful, so I skipped them over. But the ones that have been helpful? Oh how I needed this.

Here are my favorite five so far:

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~ The Natural Hormone Balance Guide for Women, by Wellness Mama (worth $24) ~

I’ve already read this through twice. I think it was written directly for me and my hormones. If you are a woman of any age and any season in life: read this book. Twice.

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~ The Heal Your Gut Summit, by Dr. Eric Z (worth $97) ~

After listening to this, I’d have to say I’d actually be willing to spend the whole $97 on it. It’s that good. (Of course, we all get it for the $30 package price with all the rest of the goods, but still. I almost felt bad that I didn’t pay full price for this. Almost.)

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~ Stress Solutions, by Evan Brand (worth $24) ~

I tend to add a lot more Jesus to my stress solutions than this book alluded to, but I still did learn a great amount of info on helping my body and mind reduce stress. I especially appreciated learning more about EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) which I have started using regularly (with prayer at the beginning and end).

perfect-periods_2x

~ Perfect Periods, by Bridget Danner (worth $97) ~

This one includes a super thorough questionnaire that helps each of us break down our specific hormone struggles, then gives action points (most of which are incredibly easy!) to help our hormones do what they are supposed to do. This course has been incredibly helpful, letting me know which foods are best for me at which parts of the day and in specific situations, etc. So, so helpful and good.

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~ Home Canning With Confidence, by Melissa Norris (worth $67) ~

Where has this been my whole life? I’ll share more of this excitement later this week. I can’t wait to show off my home-canned chicken broth. For real!

Go Getcha One

There’s much more where that came from (along with some extra cool bonus freebies this time!) – but seeing as this post is already over 2,000 words long (wow, Laura), I’ll let you see the rest for yourself.

Total cost for the entire package is just $29.97.

Be confident that your $30 investment is worth every penny. This is, for sure, one potluck meal we can all enjoy together. :)

learn-more-about-this-resources

P.S. Check out yours truly in the video here on the Ultimate Bundles site! I humbly ask you to be kind and ignore the terrible lighting issues I encountered while created said video. My oldest son, who is a professional videographer, wasn’t home to help. So go watch, appreciate my sassiness, but try not to hate the lighting. And please never, ever show this video to Asa.

P.P.S. This offer ends Monday, September 26.

Some of the links in this post are my affiliate links.

Veggie-n-Egg Scramble ~ A Great Last Minute Meal Idea

I think this Veggie-n-Egg Scramble might become one of my favorite and most relied upon go-to meals.

Veggie and Egg Scramble

I used to make something like this years ago, but kind of forgot about it. Weird how that happens.

A few weeks ago, I needed a quick meal before we headed out to a soccer game. I didn’t have time to cook meat, but I did have a fridge full of veggies and a few dozen eggs. I called the boys into the kitchen and started throwing vegetables and knives at them. Hold on. That didn’t come out right. I didn’t throw knives at them. (Peppers maybe, but not knives.) I’m just saying I started handing out jobs and we all worked together to make this quick and nourishing meal.

Everyone started chopping until my big electric skillet looked like this:

Veggies for veggie scramble
All the veggies are good in this Veggie-n-Egg Scramble, but I will suggest that onions are a key player. Onions give this dish such amazing flavor! Sweet peppers are a close second. Broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, and spinach come next. The beauty is that you can use whatever veggies you like and whatever you have on hand.

Saute the veggies in olive oil or butter until tender. Scramble in some eggs with salt. Toss in a little cheese for extra amazingness. So much deliciousness. Very little work. Extra wonderful nourishment.

Veggie-n-Egg Scramble ~ A Great Last Minute Meal Idea
 
Author:
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • 4 cups chopped veggies (onions, sweet peppers, zucchini, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, or any others you like in any combination)
  • 3 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • sea salt to taste
  • shredded cheese to taste
Instructions
  1. Saute vegetables in oil or butter until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, crack eggs into a bowl and whip with milk.
  3. Pour egg mixture over cooked veggies and salt as you like.
  4. Scramble the eggs with the veggies until they are cooked through.
  5. Sprinkle cheese on top to melt.
  6. Serve

I at least double this for my family of 6 big eaters. Plus we serve it with fresh fruit. Buttered toast also helps fill them up. Seriously. We really do eat and keep eating at our house.

TIP: If you happen to have leftover ham or bacon – even chicken or beef – hanging out in your fridge, those would be a wonderful addition to this dish.

This meal has become one of the easiest ways to get my family to eat a big variety of veggies in one meal. It ranks right up there with Easy Noodle Stir-Fry.

Easy Veggie and Egg Scramble

Do you ever make a meal like this at your house? What veggies would you or do you include? 

It’s meals like this that make “teaching our kids about nutrition” quite natural.

P.S. It is worth noting that this dish makes it possible to feed my family very well for about $1.00 per plate. (We won’t talk about how many plates we go through during a meal…)

Fat vs. Sugar. Which is the True Enemy?

Today let’s talk Fat vs. Sugar.


I was a little girl when I began to hear people say things like…

  • “Low fat is the way to go. We should only eat #?# fat grams per day.” (I can’t remember the exact number. I just remember faithfully counting my fat grams daily as a teen.)
  • “A bacon cheeseburger? That’s a heart attack on a plate.”
  • “Butter?! Butter is terrible for you! We only eat margarine.”
  • “No beef. Just chicken. White meat. Skinless.”

I remember vividly when my mom started following a low-fat diet. I joined her because I was a teenage girl who most certainly didn’t want to get fat by eating fat. I remember hating my fat free turkey breast on low fat bread with fat free mayonnaise. But I ate those sandwiches faithfully for lunches because I was convinced that was the “healthy” way to go.

Oh my gag-ness. I can still imagine the taste of fat free mayo and it makes me turn green. What was in that stuff?

It’s funny (not funny) to me that I actually thought I needed to sacrifice good tasting food in order to be healthy. What a sad mis-conception.

I remember snacking on baked, fat free chips (aka salted cardboard).
I didn’t even like them, but seeing as I was into eating healthy…I made the sacrifice.

That was over three decades ago. I’d like to think we are making progress toward getting away from these untruths about what is actually healthy or unhealthy about our food.

I’m grateful to see that at least the coconut oil trend has caught on. But I still frequently hear people talk about fat as if it is the enemy. I’m determined to educate people about this.

A New Generation of Fat Eaters? Maybe?

Justus, my 16-year old, doesn’t get why people get freaked out about fat. He’s been eating the “real food” way since he was 6 – so fat isn’t scary to him. He knows what it means to eat food our bodies recognize, and he definitely knows that the real food at our house tastes great (atta boy). Recently he was talking about a conversation with friends. He had been telling them about his “mom’s homemade french fries” and they were like, “What? You eat french fries? At your house? I thought you only ate healthy food!” And he was like, “Ummm. Yeahhh???”

Friends of Asa, our oldest son, watched as he salted his food liberally in the college cafeteria. We chuckled when we heard his friends’ conclusion that, “He’s probably doing that because he’s used to eating bland, healthy food at his house.” Hahahaha! Please pass the sea salt and slather on the butter and watch me eat the crispy, flavorful skin of a chicken. Real food tastes so amazing I don’t even know where to begin.

I suppose I could begin by comparing it to that Fat-Free Mayo. Gag me.

Well anyway.

So not everyone is there yet. There is still a lot of confusion as to what actually is good and healthy. Since we have believed (and taught our children) for several decades that fat is bad, I believe it will take a few more decades to undo the damage and re-educate people about whole foods and nourishment.

coconut_oil

Good Fat is Good

I’ve done extensive research on the subject of fat. I didn’t jump aboard the “fat is good” train just because I heard someone say it once or because I “read an article somewhere.” After all, I was riding the “fat is bad” train for many years, so getting on a different train was a little bit hard for me. Real butter? Are you sure I should it eat?? Beef? I don’t know. Bacon? Well now you’re pushing it. I really don’t want to get fat. I’m not sure I can eat this stuff.

So I read and I researched and I found sources and I asked questions. (Some of my favorite sources include Weston Price Foundation and Dr. Mercola. Note that this article I found in my research quotes 73 different sources. These people are thorough!)

I looked in depth into the history of food trends and the health problems that came with them. The results of my research tell a story that is almost completely upside-down compared to what I had heard about fat. (Ironically, I’d never researched the low-fat thing when I started eating a low-fat diet. I just went with what I heard and stuck with it for years. Not smart.)

The truth is that the instances of heart disease and obesity did not rise until after the low-fat trend began. Alternatively, as people started cutting the fat, many started consuming much larger quantities of sugar and refined carbohydrates.

Fast food replaced home-cooked meals. Fruits and vegetables took a back seat (or didn’t even get a seat at all). Donuts and poptarts and sugary cereal became a morning standard. White bread and chips filled the lunch boxes.

Ultimately, we forgot to give our bodies nourishment.

Occurrences of destructive health conditions soared. We blamed the fat.

jelly-beans_fyb6Xwtu

I actually thought jelly beans were healthy because they were fat free.
Avocados, though. I stayed away from those high-fat things. What???
Let us all rejoice that I actually started reading the facts and using logic. 

So fat vs. sugar?

Refined sugar doesn’t nourish. It’s fun and it’s tasty but what does it offer the body so that it will thrive? On the contrary, when we eat it, our bodies have to work very hard to find something to do with it. When it finds little to no useful nutrients, it calls in the reserves, depleting us and killing our immune system. Then often, whatever can’t be used gets tucked away in storage (aka, it turns to fat).

Some would tell you to never eat refined sugar. I say: be informed and use wisdom. Treats are fun. But keep ’em treats. ;)

butter

Shall we go crazy with the fat then?

Our bodies are smart. If we listen, they tell us what we need, what to eat, and when to stop. Your body doesn’t want you to eat an entire stick of butter in one sitting just because it’s good for you. But your body probably won’t mind if you eat a nice thick pat of it on your veggies knowing that it adds great nutrients and amazing flavor.

It’s important to remember that we need to eat food in balance. I don’t think we need to go overboard – keeping track of what we eat when and how much and what time and with what. When I say “eat food in balance” I mean that when we eat a variety of wholesome foods, we will naturally be eating the right blend of nutrients and getting the right amount of naturally occurring fats, sugars, proteins, vitamins, etc.

All food comes perfectly packaged with a lovely blend of nutrients. Some food is naturally fat free and high in natural sugar. (Have you met my friend the strawberry?) Some food is naturally high in fat and tastes amazing with a strawberry. (Cream, meet Strawberry. Be my BFF.)

We eat a lot of fat in our house, but it’s all balanced with many other high-nutrient foods that work together to nourish.

Fats to Avoid

There are certainly fats I stay far away from. Some fats are manufactured and our bodies cannot use them for nourishment. When considering which fats to focus on and which to avoid – remember that we’re going for nourishment, helping our bodies thrive on food that offers cells something to work with, not fight against.

This article on fats says it all much better than I can, so do go read it. In summary:

  • Hydrogenated Oils cannot be digested and utilized in our bodies.
  • Soybean oil, canola oil, and most vegetable oils aren’t great for many reasons. What most resonates with me is that they go rancid very, very quickly and can turn into trans fats when heated.
  • Margarine didn’t even make this list of fats, so I’m going to take that to mean it doesn’t count as food, the end.

Fats that Nourish

Obviously, not every person can tolerate every food or fat. But these are the fats that should be considered for nourishment. (Again, details here.)

  • Coconut Oil
  • Real Butter
  • Palm Oil
  • Olive Oil (at room temp)
  • Animal Fat from Meat, Eggs, and Dairy
  • Natural occurring fat in nuts, avocados, and seeds

Why We Need Good Fats

Fats carry vitamins and minerals to our cells. Fats give us energy. Fats help us fight depression. Fats help us concentrate. Fats satisfy and keep us from excessive hunger. Fats help us maintain a healthy weight. Who knew? Fat doesn’t make you fat.

Always Consider: What Nourishes?

To feel your best, focus on eating food that nourishes. Our bodies need food that feeds the cells with what they can absorb and utilize.

Obviously, there is so much more that goes with optimal health (exercise, hydrating, so much more). But when it comes to food choices – we must choose real food that nourishes.

Weigh In

I’d love to hear what you learned about fat while you were growing up. How has that effected the way you eat now? What is your current status in the fat vs. sugar debate?

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Are you in? Join many others who are making simple, healthy changes this month to take steps toward better health. Learn more here. (There’s a $100 prize involved!)

Ready to join? It’s free and refreshing to know we’ll be working on this as a team. Sign up here!

“We eat a lot of veggies because they’re cheap” – A Young Bride’s Perspective

Veggies are cheap? How’s that for a young bride’s perspective?

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She said it as she sat in our living room beside her fiance. Matt and I have been meeting with them once a week since November, offering mentor-ship and guidance before they tie the knot in March.

This particular visit, we were discussing finances. Were they on the same page about spending and saving? Did they have any questions about necessary line items in a budget? Did they plan to have joint accounts? How did they plan to communicate about spending? How might they handle potentially lean times? What challenges had they already encountered? What might offer the most financial peace in their marriage?

Somewhere in there, one of them brought up grocery shopping. They already cook many of their evening meals together, either at her apartment or his – so beyond paying for all the aspects of an upcoming wedding (oy!) they had definitely experienced times of figuring out money and spending and budgeting together in the area of food. Imagine our shock, then, when this young couple offhandedly said, “Whenever we find we’re spending too much money on food, we also recognize we’re eating less healthy, too. So we cut back by buying more vegetables since they’re so cheap. Then we’re saving money and eating better too!”

I guess she hadn’t heard (the myth) that it costs too much to eat healthy. That they needed to skimp on the grocery budget by avoiding the fresh produce. Instead, she’d already figured out the truth:

Vegetables are a great way to stretch the grocery budget and stay healthy too.

This young bride-to-be went on to share that she’s found it easy to buy several different kinds of veggies to make soups and stews and stir-fries for very little money. Certainly this is much cheaper than eating out! But they found that it was also cheaper than shopping most of the aisles in the grocery stores. When they stayed on the outskirts of the grocery store – mostly getting veggies, fruits, meat, and dairy – the savings really showed.

As far as I could tell, this couple hadn’t read this information in any article or book. They’d simply learned by experience. Eat out – spend more, feel worse. Walk the aisles and throw tempting boxes and packages into the cart – spend more, feel worse. Fill the cart with vegetables and a little meat then make homemade meals – spend less, feel better.

I’d say “out of the mouths of babes” but I believe this really is more of a case of “wise beyond their years.”

Great Ways to Save on Fresh Veggies and Fruit at the Store

Gardens, farmer’s markets, and orchards aside – here are the best ways I’ve found to save oodles of money at the store on produce.

1. Comparison shop or price-match.

Last week, a pint of blueberries was marked at $3.54 at Walmart. A store within my price-matching range had them priced at $1.69/pint. Yes, please. I bought four. Twice.

2. Buy “in season.”

When it’s strawberry season, I can get them for $1.50 or less per pound. When it isn’t strawberry season, they look terrible and cost almost $6.00!

3. Consider the staples.

Carrots, onions, cucumbers, and lettuce (different varieties) are almost always low in cost – on sale or not. We keep those on hand at all times and we go through them like crazy. While not fresh – I’ve found that it’s also financially savvy to always have a supply of frozen peas and green beans on hand. I supplement these staples with produce in season and on sale – but I know that if all else fails we have carrots and green beans.

What ways have you found to be most effective to save money on vegetables and fruit? Do you find that buying fruits and vegetables actually helps you save money?

29 Fun Treat Recipes for Valentine’s Day – With NO Red Food Dye

Low Sugar Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait 1

Traditionally we think of red or pink food dye squirted into white frosting to make festive Valentine’s Day cookies and cupcakes. Want to put some fun Valentine meals and treats on the table this year – but want to keep the food real and avoid food coloring?

It is a true fact that food exists that is red without any help from outside sources. There’s also this lovely thing we like to call chocolate. It’s not red, but it certainly says, “I love you,” don’t you think?

Here are 29 great recipes for you that can be turned into Valentine’s Day goodies for your family. You might be able to tell that I am desperately hoping for fresh strawberries to be in season and on sale THIS WEEK.

29 Fun Treat Recipes for Valentine's Day with NO Red Food Dye

Red and Pink Treats (No Food Dye!)

Don’t forget obvious foods that are red – like tomatoes, sweet peppers, strawberries, grapes, cherries, raspberries, and oranges. Ha. Just seeing if you were paying attention.

Chocolate Treats

Do you have foods you traditionally make and serve on Valentine’s Day?

You Know My Family Hasn’t Always Eaten Healthy, Real Food – Right?

When people read about the way I feed my family now, many assume I’ve known about healthy eating forever and that nothing about this is difficult for me.

Not true. We have not always eaten healthy.

Several years ago (when my blog was a baby) I wrote a series sharing my family’s healthy eating journey. Ugh, was it ever a journey. It still is.

All the fears and unknowns that many of you feel when you start reading about what is healthy and what isn’t – I totally get it. I’ve been there. Sometimes I’m still there. I haven’t arrived at perfect eating and never will. I’m pretty sure it’s not even possible.

So to encourage you to take some baby steps and to reassure you that you are not alone – I’d love for you to go back and read through this series of posts: Our Healthy Eating Journey. If nothing else, you’ll enjoy reading about how I  became completely convinced that I should be eating organic food and free range everything, but like a crazy lady, I still guzzled down a Pepsi to go with my meals. (I told you. I get it.)

healthyeatingjourney

Our Healthy Eating Journey

If you’re interested, we have put together a simple eCourse to walk you through some steps to begin your Real Food Journey. You can tailor make this to fit your family’s needs. It’s called You Can Do This! Because truly, you can, do this. :)

What are some steps you’ve taken on your healthy eating journey?

What to Eat When You Need to Lose Weight. Or Gain Weight. Or Maintain Weight.

My appetite has been silly for about a month now, many thanks to the rounds of flu and whatever else that has hit our household this winter.  (Yes, I realize that it’s now spring, but until I can plant a garden…)

I’m not the only one with an abnormal appetite.  None of the boys felt like eating when they were sick, and a couple of them caught two different varieties of the crud.  All that to say – some of us are on the scrawny side right now.  It’s not a big deal.  We’ll be back to fighting weight in no time.  But while thinking about what foods we should focus on eating as we gain strength, this occurred to me:

When people ask me what foods they should be eating in order to lose weight – and when people ask me what foods they should be eating to gain weight – and when people ask me what foods they should be eating to maintain weightmy answer is the exact same.

What to Eat

How can this be?

This can be because I always recommend eating real food.  I always suggest that we focus on eating many fruits and vegetables.  That we focus on eating plenty of healthy fats like coconut oil and butter.  That we eat plenty of good proteins like eggs, meat, and nuts.  That we eat nourishing broth and a few whole grains.  That we avoid empty foods that don’t contain nutrients.

So those are the foods I recommend people eat when they need to lose weight.  Or gain weight.  Or maintain weight.  How about that?  When eating the right amount of the right foods, in balance, according to your body’s needs – most of us will find our healthy weight.

Now, there are other things to consider like allergies and body types and exercise and age and chronic health issues and what size shoe you wear (except not really about the shoes).  Not everyone loses or gains weight in the same way and not all of us can eat the exact same diet.  I’m not trying to write a perfect prescription for perfect weight for all.

I’m just saying that intentional nourishment is the biggest key to helping each of us find a healthy weight.  Not dieting.  Not binging.  Not depriving oneself.  Not being extreme.

So let’s all eat real food.  No matter what size you are or need to be.  Real food is tasty, satisfying, nourishing, and you can spread butter on it.  It’s a win, win, win, win.  :)

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Hey, quick reminder about this great eBook deal, which expires Monday, March 23 at midnight.

Heavenly Homemaker’s Guide to Gardening and Preserving ebook
with FREE Eat Your Fruits…and Veggies Too eBook

$5.00

Add to Cart

 

(When you put the Gardening eBook in the cart, it automatically comes with the Fruits and Veggies eBook too!)

Delicious and Healthy Ways to Use Coconut Cream – Your Ideas?

I picked up some coconut cream concentrate about 8 years ago because I heard it was really good for us.  But it was early in our healthy eating journey, so I really didn’t know what to do with it.  Coconut oil was still new to me at that time, so coconut cream concentrate?  What was I supposed to do with it???  I was actually a little bit afraid of it.  So I left it on my shelf until it expired – like really, really expired.

During the past few weeks, I’ve come across several articles sharing delicious recipes we can make with coconut cream.  I told myself that the next time I found it on sale at Tropical Traditions and it is a free shipping weekend, I’m going for it.  

That weekend is now.  I just ordered myself two 16-ounce jars of Organic Coconut Cream Concentrate for half price, and I paid $0.00 in shipping.  Next week, this will arrive at my house:

coconut cream

What do I plan to do with this coconut cream?

For starters, I’ll be putting some in my coffee as a super-healthy coffee creamer.  I also plan to spread some on my toast (like butter or peanut butter).  Then I’m going to play with some healthy treat ideas using this high-nutrient food.

If you need to eat dairy free, you’ll want to add this to your safe and healthy food options.  Even if you can eat dairy, I think you and I will still enjoy this food.  And we’ll all benefit from the high fiber content and healthy fat it provides.

If you’ve been using coconut cream concentrate for a while, I’d really love for you to share how you use it. Have any great recipes?  

If you’re able, take advantage of this great BOGO deal with free shipping at Tropical Traditions.  I’m looking forward to my order coming next week!

Order Details:

Find two jars of Organic Coconut Cream Concentrate for just $20 and add them to your cart (before midnight Sunday). If you shop through that link (which is my referral link) and you are a new customer with Tropical Traditions, they will throw a free copy of Virgin Coconut Oil Book in with your order.  Use the code 31516 for free shipping to apply.  This code is valid through Monday, March 23.

I look forward to adding this great product to our diet and hope you’ll share your ideas so we can all learn more about using it!

This post contains affiliate links.

Build a Fruit Salad Bar

Create Your Own Fruit Salad

Sometimes fruits and veggies just need to be served in an exciting way to make them more appealing.  That – and some people in my house just won’t eat bananas.  If there are bananas in the fruit salad, one of my kids will refuse the apples, strawberries, and pineapple too.  “I’ll just put the bananas on the side,” thought I, as I prepared to make a fruit salad for dinner.  But then I got the better idea to put everything “on the side” so each person could fill their bowl as they like.  Fun!

As it turns out, I got all the boys involved in prepping a fruit.  The result was a beautiful spread of choices that everyone was excited to dig into.

Build a Fruit Salad Bar

Justus (our 15 year old) built his salad and took this picture.  Beautiful!

There’s nothing complicated about this:  Simply slice or chop whatever fruit you have on hand and set it out for people to pick from as they fill their bowl.  Lay out shredded coconut, dried fruit, and nuts if you like.  Real whipped cream or cottage cheese added to the spread wouldn’t hurt my feelings.

This was a perfect side dish with our pasta and mixed greens tonight.  I’m thinking it would be fun to serve for breakfast some time soon, too!

What are your favorite fruits to add to a salad?

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Quick Note!

I made a mistake on yesterday’s Visit Omaha giveaway post.  Durham Museum IS NOT free.  my bad  It’s the Joslyn Museum that’s free.  I made the correction on the giveaway post, but wanted to make sure you got the update!