Green Smoothies Rock

My go-to (and to-go) breakfast is a green smoothie. It’s convenient, delicious and healthy. What’s not to love?

Think you don’t have time to throw together a smoothie? Here’s how I make it work:

Prep in advance. Using quart-size freezer bags, I add all the ingredients except for the liquid. On the label, I write the name of the smoothie and how much liquid to add. To increase the efficiency of the process, I choose one or two recipes to make in bulk at one time. Then, they all go into a drawer in the freezer.

Most of the recipes I use are from Simple Green Smoothies by Hansard and Sellner. One recipe makes two smoothies for me. Currently, my favorite is Simple Monkey on page 113.

In the morning, I pull a freezer bag out about 30 minutes before I need to leave. Sometime in that 30 minutes, I put the frozen ingredients in my Ninja blender with the liquid.

A minute or two before I leave, I start the blender, the kids cover their ears and act like the blender is louder than they are, I put on my shoes and jacket, and then the smoothie is ready to pour into a Tervis tumbler just before walking out the door.

Breakfast done.

Instant Oatmeal Packets: Healthy, Quick and Easy!

instant oatmeal packets

instant oatmeal packets

Most days, BP and I pack breakfast, snacks and lunch for little E. Sometimes, we feed him breakfast before he leaves the house, but we usually aren’t ready that early.

Either way, healthy, quick, easy breakfasts that are suitable for a one-year-old+ are absolutely necessary. My idea of a “good breakfast” isn’t sugared cereal or a Pop-Tart (not that we don’t ever indulge in those things — I just don’t want him to eat like that on a regular basis).

Several months ago, I came across these instructions for instant oatmeal packets from Once A Month Mom.

It takes me about 10 minutes to make up about two weeks’ worth of packets at at time. Hurrah! A healthy, quick, non-processed breakfast for my little guy!

Fix Your Health to Fix Health Care

fruit stall in market

Mandated and regulated health care is not the way to fix the health care system.

In our instant-gratification civilization, we’ve been led to believe that we can do whatever we want to our bodies and then turn around and use a medication or surgical procedure to fix them. This is erroneous thinking, and it’s very, very expensive for both individuals and the tax-paying population as a whole. Paying to “fix” our bodies after we’ve chosen to destroy them is not the most cost effective way of going about things.

If any real change in health care is going to happen, we need to address the root cause of health problems in the form of proactive disease prevention and nutrition education. This alone will save all of us more money than any tax-payer supported government plan.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the top leading causes of death in the United States include heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and influenza and pneumonia – many of these are preventable by following a good health and nutrition plan.

Even babies in the womb are at risk for becoming overweight (often the first step toward poor health) – and unfortunately, many mothers seem to either not be aware of those risks or choose not to care.

What used to be common sense for many of our ancestors is now considered an alternative lifestyle. Eating a diet that includes ample amounts of fruits, vegetables and nuts; getting enough sleep so that you don’t rely on caffeine and sugar to stay alert; and being physically active on a daily basis are foundations of good health.

There have been many studies done on the subject of nutrition as it correlates to health, and many people have written about it. I recently became familiar with the research of Dr. Weston A. Price, who studied primitive societies on five continents over the course of six years during the 1930s. The results of his studies were as you would expect: primitive societies maintained excellent health until the foods of modern civilization were introduced to them.

Across the country, people are starting to make good changes – schools are no longer offering soft drinks to students; a tax on soft drinks and other harmful foods is in discussion; and restaurant chains are cooking with healthier oils. But all of these things are done in vain if we do not take responsibility for our own health and the health of our families.

It is not the government’s responsibility to make us healthy (in fact, we’ve given them far too much responsibility as it stands, but that’s an entirely different subject of its own). It is not our employer’s job to make sure we live a healthy lifestyle. It is not the education system’s responsibility to keep our children healthy. A healthy lifestyle – a tried and true method to reducing health care costs – begins with choices at home.

Suggestions for making small changes now:

  • Reduce consumption of soft drinks and other sugary beverages.
  • Eliminate fast food.
  • Pack your lunch – and I’m not talking about sodium-laden, pre-packaged frozen meals from the grocery store.
  • Plan healthy meals and snacks in advance, then grocery shop accordingly to avoid last-minute take-out.
  • Increase your physical activity – take a short walk, clean, play a game.

Here are some recommendations for additional reading/viewing about health and nutrition:

Shakin’ it Up

After our “day jobs,” BP and I spend a lot of time with our Mona Vie team shakin’ up the berries, and we love it! We’ve been blessed with the company and the product, and we’ve seen our friends and family blessed with it, as well, in a variety of ways – physically, financially and even spiritually (I’ll address those things in another post).

At the start of this year, the company introduced some really exciting new products and promotions. Here’s a quick overview of my favorite announcements …

(M)Mun was introduced. I finally got to taste it this week, and it is delicious. I liked the other products, but this one, by far, tastes the best. (M)Mun still has 19 fruits in it, just like the others, but it also has a product called Wellmune(R), which promotes proper immune function. All kinds of time and money has gone into researching this stuff, and there are all kinds of patents on it. All in all, it’s a great addition to the product line.

Later this year, Mona Vie is introducing EMV Lite. It’ll still provide an all-natural source of sustained energy, but it’ll have less calories. And, it tastes good!

For those who are interested in making some cash – and having fun doing it – Mona Vie is running a Global Bronze to Emerald Promotion. Long story short – the company is making it easier to make more money. Superb idea.

And, for new distributors, enrollment is free with a first order of 200 PV and auto-ship set up. (This may not make sense now, but it will when you enroll.)

If you’re interested in trying some, check out our Web site!

And, if you’re interested, check out my previous post on how I got involved with Mona Vie.

O, Little Town of Bluffton

Last weekend, I tagged along to cute little Bluffton, Ohio, with a good friend, LK. She was headed to The Food Store there, and since we share an interest in health and nutrition, I thought it would be a fun afternoon.

It was definitely worth the trip (not that I doubted it – LK is one of the most fun people I know). We started at The Food Store, which is located downtown at 103 S. Main St. It had all kinds of goodies – organic products, hard-to-find flours, bulk ingredients and other fun food things. She filled up a basket with some snacks for her small son and some other items; I left with some chai tea, both original and peppermint flavor. The employee who was working that day was helpful and friendly.

After stashing our goods in LK’s vehicle, we decided to take a walk through the small downtown and check out some of the local businesses.

We stopped in Forever In Stitches, which presented us with a beautiful display of fabric bolts and finished quilts upon entering. I’m sure this little shop is frequently visited by avid quilters. It was gorgeous. The fabrics were gorgeous. Just stepping foot in the door made us want to go home, get out our sewing machines and start stitching! It really was a visual delight, and an inspiration to me to get out the two quilt tops I’d set aside before BP and I started remodeling a couple of years ago. And on top of it all, the employees there were friendly, helpful and chatty.

It was a cold afternoon, and we were cold, so our final stop in the little town of Bluffton was Common Grounds Coffee House. LK ordered a salad and a small hot apple cider, topped with whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel. I also ordered the hot apple cider, medium, no extras. Both of us were satisfied with our choices and we chose a table for two alongside a back wall. The atmosphere was warm and inviting, and there were several seating options available depending upon your desired level of privacy.

During our walk downtown, we also passed the local courthouse, which was decorated for its annual Blaze of Lights, a village-wide folk art Christmas display. Though we were there too early in the day to see the lights, the display draws many, many people from surrounding towns each year.

And last but not least, we also passed the Shannon Theatre, a staple in Bluffton for as long as I can remember. The small, one-screen theatre calls itself “Your Best Value in Family Entertainment!” It’s a great place to take a date or your family for an affordable evening out, complete with movie theatre popcorn!

Next time you feel like getting out of town, give Bluffton some love!