clean eating, dinner, guest post, recipe, vegetarian

Guest Post – Pretty In Pink Fitness { RECIPE! }

Hey friends!

I have a very special treat for you! Upala from Pretty In Pink Fitness is dropping by to share an amazing recipe! Her stuffed bell pepper recipe is perfect for cold winter nights! I hope you enjoy 😉

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Stuffed Bell Peppers

guest blogger recipe
I love to take unhealthy recipes of my favorite foods and create my own healthy recipe.  I love loaded baked potatoes but I don’t love the extra calories and processed ingredients.  I have created my version of a healthy baked potato just for you! Send me a message and let me know if you enjoyed the recipe!

Ingredients
4 Bell Peppers
3 large Sweet Potatoes
½ cup Guacamole
Handful of Cilantro
3 chopped Green Peppers
Salt to taste
½ cup chopped Basil Leaves
Salsa to taste

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place slit in sweet potatoes and put in microwave for 15 min
Scoop out inside of sweet potato and place in mixing bowl
Add all of the other ingredients (except bell peppers and salsa) and mix together
Cut off top part of the bell pepper and clean out the inside
Place sweet potato mixture inside the bell peppers
Place the stuffed bell peppers in the oven for about 20- 30 min
Check oven frequently to make sure it doesn’t burn
Take out of oven and add salsa on top
Enjoy!

Biography

upala
Upala is a Texas girl who loves to exercise and eat healthy on a daily basis.  She is an online fitness and nutrition coach who has helped many people with their fitness goals.  She also loves to exercise and create healthy recipes for her family. Her greatest joy is helping people realize and reach their greatest potential in their fitness journey.  You can also find her spending time with her sweet and energetic 9 month old daughter and husband of eight years.

www.instagram.com/pretty_in_pink_fitness
www.prettyinpinkfitness.wordpress.com

 

XxOo Tasha

guest post, health

Eating for your Skin

Ward Off Skin-Related Issues and Illnesses By Eating

Yes, it’s true! You can protect yourself from skin-related issues and diseases by eating, the healthy stuff of course. On your next trip to your local natural foods market or even the supermarket around the corner be sure to fill your cart with these highly beneficial items. They’re not only good for whole body wellness and health but also for your body’s protector, your skin.

tomatoe

  • Tomatoes. Besides being delicious and adding flavor to almost any meal, tomatoes protect your skin against harmful sun rays. While you still want to slather on that sunscreen, tomatoes have the ability to increase your skin’s natural defenses against UV rays. Plus, the skin benefits only further increase when you cook with tomatoes, like in tomato paste, or combine the vegetable with olive oil. Tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and olive oil, anyone?

whole grains

  • Whole grains. Eating whole grains allows the presence of acne and/or oily skin to disappear. Put that piece of white bread down, as refined carbs cause acne by making insulin levels increase, and thus, affecting the skin. So, make the switch to whole grain pasta, bread and cereal today.

citrus

  • Citrus. As you’re probably well aware, citrus fruits are high in Vitamin C. However, you might not know that Vitamin C works to fight wrinkles. This particular vitamin slows down the wrinkling process, but it must be consumed from food sources to reap this all too important benefit, rather than supplements. Besides oranges, munch on tangerines and grapefruit.

flax

Flax seeds. It’s winter and you’re suffering from dry, itchy skin – what could be worse? Besides slathering your body with lotion to rid yourself of dry skin, you can choose to eat foods that are filled with omega-3 fatty acids, like flax seeds and salmon. Another bonus? Omega-3 fatty acids fight against skin inflammation.

green tea

  • Green tea. Soothing in the winter and refreshing in the summer, green tea just hits the spot. And yes, the rumors are true; green tea protects your body from skin cancer. The antioxidants found in green tea work to kill tumor skin cells and all the while help to heal acne and relieve skin itching and swelling. Whichever way you choose to enjoy green tea, you can rest assure that it’s wholly beneficial.

So, choose to enjoy foods that not only taste good but nourish your skin and body. The above foods help protect against uncomfortable skin ailments and more serious issues, such as cancer. So, on your next trip to pick up food make sure these essential items are found in abundance within your cart.

Laurie Mitchell is a skincare professional who writes about Hydrolyze, a prominent brand on today’s market. With an eye for the most effective products in the skincare industry, Laurie has earned a reputation as the go-to resource for information about the market for many consumers. More information can be found at www.Hydrolyzeskinreview.com.

guest post, recipe, soup, vegan, vegetarian

Spicy Cabbage Soup

Here is another great guest post/recipe by Maria Rainier! Enjoy!

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Keeping Warm

I can’t speak for everywhere else in the United States, but here in my little corner of the Southeast, it has been an incredibly cold winter, already. News flash: winter just started! Here it is, only the beginning of January, and we have already had snow two or three times. In years past, we would never get snow so early and certainly not in any measurable amount. It’s cold. Hat and glove wearing cold. Red noses, rosy cheeks and chapped lips cold. Cold. Cold, cold, cold.

Can you tell I’m cold?

Weather like this calls for hot meals. I love nothing more than to whip up a slew of soups and stews on a chilly day. It is simple to freeze most of what I make on a Sunday afternoon and then leave one or two containers in the fridge for the upcoming week. My husband and I will eat just about anything, but it isn’t always easy to come up with a meal idea that is warm, healthy and full of ingredients that my picky two-year-old will readily eat. Convincing my little one to pass on the peanut butter and jelly (natural almond butter and homemade strawberry preserves, of course) and have some soup isn’t always easy, but he loves my spicy cabbage and bean soup. Since I know he loves it, I find myself making it a lot and it’s fantastic because you can be totally creative with the recipe based on your own tastes and lifestyle.

Here we go…

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Spicy Cabbage and Bean Soup

2 boxes of organic broth (chicken or vegetable)

1 jar of salsa verde

1 can (15 oz.) organic black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15 oz.) organic cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15 oz.) organic diced tomatoes

½ head of organic cabbage, shredded

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine broth, salsa verde, beans and tomatoes. Stir until heated through. Add shredded cabbage and cook until the cabbage has softened. Serve and enjoy.

Seriously. That’s it. Easy, right? You can adjust the spice of the dish by varying the amount of salsa verde. Want more beans? Go for it. Add more organic beans of whatever variety floats your boat. Adore cabbage? Add more cabbage. Just be aware that if you add more beans or cabbage, you may need to add more organic broth to balance it out and keep the appropriate soup consistency.

Stay warm!

Bio: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education and performs research surrounding online degrees. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

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As soon as Maria sent my this recipe I knew I had to make it for all of you. I followed her recipe, for the most part, and it was simple yet delicious! In my version I added chopped cilantro (almost an entire bunch of it), 2 cups of strained tomatoes (that’s all I had on hand) and I sauteed an entire red onion before I added the liquid.

GO EASY on the salsa verde! I added an entire jar of it and it is pretty spicy. I LOVE spicy food so it’s fine for me but if you have spice sensitive people in your household I would only use half.

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guest post, health, product review

Guest Post – Apple Cider Vinegar

 

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple-Cider-Vinegar

This old cure-all folk remedy reclaimed its old fame in the late 1950s, when D. C. Jarvis promoted its purported healing properties in best-seller Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health. The medical community has been abuzz ever since, and often with contending viewpoints.

First, let’s begin with the facts: apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a product of pulverized apples’ fermentation—the process of bacteria and yeast breaking down sugars. From here, the claims of ACV run wild: everything from curing warts and head lice to cancer.

apple-cider-vinegar-green-background

Although it is true that vinegar is a disinfectant, and coupled with baking soda or lemon juice and water can serve as a handy all-purpose cleaner, it may not be the cure-all that many home-remedy and holistic medicine fans are hoping for. For example, vinegar-based cleaners, while effective, are no match for bleach-based cleaners, and plain old hot water seems to work better than vinegar with jelly fish stings. Many would take the trade-off, anyway, to avoid the health and ecological damage of bleach, but the fact remains that the benefits of ACV remain contested.

apples-three-red-white-background

The traditional medical community has, however, admitted to the following medical benefits of ACV.

· Diabetes. ACV helped lower glucose levels in many studies. In a 2007 study, 11 people with type 2 diabetes took 2 tablespoons of ACV before bed and found their glucose levels lowered by 4-6% by morning.

· High cholesterol. A 2006 study done on rats showed that ACV lowered cholesterol, but effects on humans remain contested.

· Blood pressure and heart health. ACV was found to lower high blood pressure in another study on rats, and those on traditional Mediterranean diet (oil and vinegar dressing on salads five to six times a week) have lower rates of heart disease than those not on said diet. That vinegar was the cure-all remains unsure.

· Cancer. Some studies show that vinegar can kill cancer cells or at least slow their growth, but studies are inconclusive.

· Weight loss. Vinegar has been a staple of those seeking weight loss for millennia. White vinegar helps people feel fuller longer.

flytrap-vinegar1

Still, the traditional medical community appears ready to admit to nothing quite yet. All tests are in preliminary stages and were usually conducted on animals rather than people. Those studying holistic or more non-traditional medicine purport the following benefits of ACV (and much more).

· Bad breath. Involves a tablespoon of ACV in a cup of water and gargling.

· Acne. ACV, diluted with water or tea, is used as a toner and disinfectant.

· Yeast infection. Soak in a bath with several cups of ACV.

· Constipation and diarrhea. ACV allegedly has a high pectin concentration that protects the irritated lining of the colon. Drink a glass of water with 2 tablespoons of ACV 3 times daily while symptoms persist.

Even non-traditionalists admit to some unfortunate side-effects of ingesting ACV, however. Dental enamel can deteriorate with excessive use of pure ACV (i.e. not diluting it with water or otherwise) since ACV is highly acidic. Long-term use can also lower potassium levels and bone density, a real problem for those with osteoporosis or those who are prone to it.

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No matter the use, individuals with serious diseases like diabetes must consult their physicians before using ACV or any home remedy, as ACV may counteract prescribed medicines or do more harm than good in rare cases. After all, ACV is not a cure-all. It does, however, warrant more attention from the medical community as well as everyday health-conscious individuals.

Bio: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education, where recently she’s been researching different social work degrees and blogging about student life. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

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cookie, guest post, recipe, vegan

Vegan Snickerdoodles – by VeganYumYum

Snickerdoodles

I love snickerdoodles. I love cinnamon and sugar. I love cookies.
A match made in heaven, if you ask me. Sweet, crunchy with a little hint of spice. Perfect with coffee.

I found this recipe and post from VeganYumYum’s blog. She explains in detail how to make the perfect batch of snickerdoodles.
(all photos and recipe are provided by VeganYumYum)

Snickerdoodles

One thing you should know, that I just found out today. The temperature of the cookie dough as it goes in the oven determines the shape and overall look of the cookies. If you want cookies that are pillowy and show a lot of cracks and texture, the dough needs to be pretty cold as it goes into the oven. If you like thinner, more even-looking cookies, let the dough warm up a little before baking.

If the dough is cold, the cookies don’t have much time to warm up and flatten out before the outside of the cookie bakes and prevents further expansion. If it’s already a little warm, the cookies will expand and spread (and flatten) in the first few minutes of cooking. The pictures above are cookies baked when the dough was cold. The photo to the left was made with warmer-dough.

These cookies are a snap if you make them in a stand-mixer, but only take slightly more elbow grease if you’re doing them by hand. And they ship beautifully.

Snickerdoodles
Makes about 18 Cookies

1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Earth Balance
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Prepared Ener-g Egg-Replacer Egg
1 1/2 Cups Flour
1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
1/4 tsp Baking Soda

Cinnamon Sugar, for rolling

Cream sugar, Earth Balance, and vanilla extract together. Prepare the Ener-G Egg by following the package instructions (1 1/2 tsp powder whisked with 2 Tbs hot water until foamy), and add it to the Earth Balance and sugar mixture. Whip (or whisk) it all up until it’s light a fluffy, like so:

Creaming Earth Balance and Sugar

Whisk the dry ingredients together. Add 2/3 of the dry ingredients to the whipped mixture and whip until combined. Add in the remaining flour and mix by hand. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375º F.

When the dough is chilled, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using a #40 ice cream scoop, make balls of dough (each ball will be made with 2 Tbs of dough, if you don’t have a #40 scoop). Roll each ball in cinnamon sugar.

Making Snickerdoodles

Now time to squish them! Using a fork (or whatever you want), squish the dough out into cookie shapes.

Making Snickerdoodles

Bake at 375º F for 10 minutes for chewy cookies, 12 minutes for crunchy. Remove from oven and let sit for 30 seconds. They’ll be very soft when they come out of the oven, but that’s just fine! Gently remove cookies from the baking sheet and let cool for a few minutes on a wire rack before serving.

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Thanks VeganYumYum! If you haven’t checked her blog out, or bought her books, please do so! She is an amazing vegan cook and great resource for all of your vegan questions!

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awareness, clean eating, guest post, health

Guest Post – Dioxin Facts

Is Dioxin Hiding in Your Family’s Diet?

Dioxin is a highly toxic chemical which you and your family are likely exposed to every day without you even knowing it. Children, in particular, are susceptible to the risks of dioxin due to their smaller size and need for protein and fats to facilitate their growth. What are some sources of contamination and what can we do to protect out children from this threat?

Where it is found.

1) Meat.

meat

The number one food category for the human consumption of dioxin is meats. This makes sense due to the fact that it is easily absorbed by fatty tissue. It is estimated that 42% (as of 2001) of the dioxins in our diets come from meats, whether beef, pork, poultry, or lamb. Where possible, cut meat out of your diet in order to avoid this exposure. Other tips are to purchase leaner cuts of meat and trim as much fat as possible before cooking. Also, naturally leaner meats such as poultry will contain less dioxin than fattier meats like beef. Finally, avoid fast food restaurants who add fat to their meats in order to improve the flavor.

2) Dairy.

cheeseandmilk

Butter, mild, and cheese are other high sources of dioxin in our diets, accounting for an estimated 17% (as of 2001). Choosing lower fat milk, butter, and cheese will help in this regard, as well. Also, using margarine made with vegetable oil rather than dairy will help as well.

3) Fruits and Vegetables.

organic-produce

Believe it or not, fruits and vegetables can contribute to our dioxin intake as well. This is because dioxin is an ingredient in various herbicides (IDPH) as well as pesticides. Choosing organic and locally grown produce will help to make sure you are getting pesticide-free fruits and vegetables and help to keep your family safe.

4) Other food sources.

Oily-fish-with-omega-3-006

These include things such as fish, eggs, and fats and oils. In all these sources contribute little to our total dioxin exposure, but they are potential sources and the best way to mitigate the potential harm from them is to monitor consumption.

Dioxin and infants.

infant

It is estimated that a nursing infant ingests up to 77 times the daily level proposed by the EPA to be safe. This affects both infants who are breast-fed as well as those who are given formula, so it is especially urgent for the sake of our children that something be done to curb the production of dioxin and for the EPA to finish assessments it has begun into the long-term impact of dioxin to our health and to the health of our children. For mothers who are nursing, following some of the above guidelines to decrease your own dioxin exposure will help to lessen the threat to our precious children.

Much has been done over the past 30 years to protect our families from this threat — from research to rules and legislation — but much work still needs to be done to fully understand the threat of dioxin to our health and to reduce its impact on our food supply. Being knowledgeable is the first step to making good choices which will protect our families from this toxic threat.

To learn more about Dioxin and Food Contamination, you may want to check out:

The Environmental Working Group

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD)

Environmental Justice Activists This site is maintained by Action PA which is a grassroots organization for environmental justice.

Isabella York became interested in all aspects of a healthy lifestyle including efforts to reduce exposure to environmental toxins through a desire to be the best mother for her son. She is working to spread the information to others who may be unaware about the potential harm in the everyday foods they are consuming. She is a full time mother and also works for Balsam Hill, a purveyor of artificial Christmas trees.

dessert, guest post, raw, vegan

Weekend Treats

The blog-o-sphere is a powerful community. Strangers all seem to come together, share stories, laugh, cry and find comfort and support. I am truly thankful for the friendships and relationships that have come into my life because of blogging.

And because of this I want to do my part in sharing these amazing posts, recipes and connections. We all need our time to shine and all of us work very hard on our blog and our voice. Let us all be heard!

Today I wanted to feature amazing (vegan and cruelty free) desserts and sweets. These are in no particular order and I do not have a “favorite”. Please show these amazing bloggers some love and make your favorite recipe today. Enjoy your weekend!

ohsheglowsscone

Savory Pumpkin Scones in a Pumpkin Glaze by Oh She Glows

pbcup

Averie’s (Raw if You Want) 3-Ingredient, 10-Minute Vegan Peanut Butter Cups – by Love Veggies & Yoga

peardessert

Pear, chocolate, hazelnut and cinnamon crumble – by cotto e crudo

peaches n cream Peaches & Cream – by Girl on Raw

chocochipcookies

Low fat chocolate chip cookies (Hydrogentated-free) – by My Vegan Cookbook

Vegan Courgette Bread

Vegan Zucchini Bread – by The Messy Vegetarian Cook

raspberry pie

Raspberry Pie – by Manifest Vegan

Do you have an amazing recipe that you would like me to feature? Let me know! =)

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guest post

Making fruit fun! Guest Post by Debra Adams

Kids in the Kitchen — Making Fun Fruit with Super Sauce
Tasha the Clean Eating Mama has already set her child off on the good nutrition path, but not all of us had the foresight (or the know-how) to do that. If you came late to the healthy food game, as I did, you’re probably finding it nearly impossible to convince your children to give up those sugary snacks and processed foods in favor of healthier choices.
One of the easiest ways I’ve found to get kids to eat right is to get them involved in both choosing and preparing food. Since I’m a by-the-seat-of-my-pants cook, anything that happens in the kitchen has to be quick and easy. That’s also the best kind of recipe for kids to tackle, too.
Here’s a fun and versatile dessert or snack that is actually quite popular around my house.

Fun Fruit with Super Sauce

·         Fruit of your choice, cut into bite-sized pieces

Of course, the healthiest fruits are the ones you grow in your own yard or that come from local farmers. (At our house we grow apples, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries. ) If you prefer mangoes, bananas, and pineapple, then by all means, use those. The choice is entirely up to you and your kitchen assistant.

·         Super Sauce

1 cup soy yogurt
1 Tbsp agave nectar
Mix the yogurt and nectar to make a pourable sauce.
Here’s the part that makes this recipe fun – you can layer the fruit and sauce in a parfait glass, you can dip the fruit into the sauce, you can skewer the fruit and drizzle sauce over it, or you can toss the fruit into the air, catch it in your mouth, and use the sauce as a chaser.
If yogurt isn’t your thing, substitute your favorite nut butter and adjust the agave nectar to get the consistency you want.
The most important part of this recipe is the child. Let him, her, or them make the choices and prepare the fruit and sauce. Let them add other ingredients if they want to do that. Let them rename it. Having control over what they eat tends to make young people pay closer attention to the very lessons about nutrition that you’ve been trying to teach.
Oh, and if you don’t have children in your house, it’s perfectly okay to make Fun Fruit with Super Sauce for yourself. I do.
Deborah Adams is a freelance writer. She is currently a resident writer for Online Schools, which researches areas of higher learning, how to pick an online school, and education. In her spare time,she enjoys gardening and yoga.
guest post, recipe, side dish, vegan

Guest Post – Rosemary polenta from TheGraciousPantry.com

Hey all! Tiffany from The Gracious Pantry contacted me a few days ago asking if she could write a guest post and to create a recipe for my readers. I am a huge fan of her blog so of course I was honored to have her be a guest on The Clean Eating Mama. Enjoy!

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I would first like to say thank you to Tasha for allowing me to be a part of this fabulous blog! I’m honored, and I hope that you will all enjoy the recipe I’m about to share.

This recipe has been handed down on the Italian side of my family for generations! It’s an old-world polenta recipe that still calls for the use of an asbestos pad for cooking! (Ya, it’s THAT old!)

But it’s been my experience that the older a recipe is, the better the finished dish tastes! And the nice thing is, I only had to make a few adjustments to "clean it up".

I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as my family has for more than 5 generations.

clean-eating-rosemary-polenta-450-c

Clean Eating Rosemary Polenta
(Makes approximately 4 servings)

 Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup course cornmeal (polenta)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary chopped

Directions Note: This recipe requires a lot of stirring.

Step 1 – Put 2 cups of water into a large pot.

Step 2 – Add the cornmeal and stir for approximately 2 minutes without heat.

Step 3 – Add in the remaining 2 cups of water, sea salt, olive oil and fresh rosemary and bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.

Step 4 – When polenta begins to boil, reduce heat to medium and continue stirring. (Be careful; boiling polenta will jump up and burn you. Reduce heat enough to keep it from doing that).

Step 5 – When polenta is thick, reduce heat to the lowest setting possible, cover partially with a lid and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir frequently.

Step 6 – Serve polenta, but allow to cool before eating. It’s wonderful served with a little pat of vegan butter substitute. Enjoy!

Tiffany McCauley publishes the blog TheGraciousPantry.com, a web site for Clean Eating Recipes.

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Thank you so much, Tiffany!

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