Fall Garden From Seed – Done!

Today I finished my fall garden, and this is the first time that I started from seed. I planted seeds in small containers (5 oz paper cups 🙂 ) about a month ago. Some grew, some did not. Between using organic seeds I got for a great deal on Amazon, re-purposed soil and crates, compost and a good bit of free burlap, I was able to complete my garden for $40. I may be spending more if my seedlings/seeds don’t make it and have to resort to buying plants, but I had to try from seed at least once. My fingernails are still dirty, I met some cool little critters, and got a lot of vitamin D. These are just the beginning of the benefits of my little garden. (The lush green leaves in my garden are my crazy, takin’ over the whole place, sweet potatoes. Those have been there for a couple of months, and I am anxious for them to be ready to harvest.)

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Step 1 – Line crate with burlap and fill 2/3 way up with organic soil

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Step 2 – Add a layer of compost

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Step 3 and 4 – Add another layer of organic soil and plant seed/seedling/plant (and water!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Finished!

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My “what is where” chart

 

 

 

 

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Ultimate Chunky Peanut Butter

ChunkyNutBotterThis is one of my go-to snacks each day. I love chunky peanut butter, but I want to get more than just peanuts into my daily diet, so I’ve been creating my own chunky nut butter. I make a large batch of this, and then I put a big dollop of it in a jelly mason jar. It is then ready for me to take (along with a spoon) for an easy snack on a busy day. You can use any variety of nuts and seeds and spices.

  • 2 cups of organic peanut butter

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Method 1:  Place all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the nuts and seeds are mixed.

Method 2: Place peanut butter into a large glass bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir. Microwave another 30 seconds and add all the remaining ingredients and stir until mixed.

Store the chunky nut butter in a air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Banana Ice Cream – 3 Ingredients

Banana Ice Cream

  • Frozen banana chunks (about 7-8 bananas)

  • 2 tablespoons liquid (water or milk)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Melted peanut butter and chocolate chips (optional)

Place the frozen bananas, liquid and vanilla in a food processor. Blend several minutes until the bananas are completely whipped and creamy. We like to serve ours in mugs with melted peanut butter drizzled over the top and a sprinkling of mini chocolate chips. This makes about 4-5 servings.

This is Joel from 4 years ago enjoying banana ice cream. It has been a long-standing “sweet” staple in our home, and it is still asked for.

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Some of our other favorite cool treats:

  1. “Slurpees”

  2. “Frostys”

  3. Mango Pineapple Smoothie

  4. Mocha Almond Smoothie

Food is Thy Medicine 

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This meal of Wild Alaskan Salmon (3 oz), sauteed mushrooms (2 cups before cooking) and broccoli (1 cup) is one I eat every Monday. Due to a certain medication that I am on to treat an on-going eye condition, I need to follow up with 5 mg of pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) 24 hours after the medicine is taken. While I do not like using medicine to treat the body, I know there comes a time when one has to use it to assist the body in healing. So rather than relying on another lab-produced pill (that was prescribed for me), I did my research and found what foods would give me the amount of B5 that I need. I chose the foods I liked from that list and adjusted the serving sizes to make sure I get what I need. In addition to the 100% of the Daily Recommended Value for B5, it also has the DRV for these vitamins:

  • More than 100% of B12

  • More than 100% of Vitamin D

  • More than 100% of Vitamin C

When you eat a diet high in plants with a small side of a nutrient-rich protein, you are building up the respiratory and nervous system, your muscles and bones, your immunity, and all other processes your body does in order to remain healthy. Go for more green and have a happy body!

 

 

 

 

Orange Vs Green

An orange has a very slight lead per gram when it comes to vitamin C versus cauliflower, BUT cauliflower wins over an orange because it also has a good deal of vitamin K and B vitamins. With that said, I have been watching my cauliflower in my garden slowly grow its big, green leaves, and finally it has a head of cauliflower peeking out. The long, dark green leaves are gorgeous, and so how could I let them go to waste? I always do a quick research before I eat anything that is atypical, and tonight my Googling confirmed my suspicions- the greens are edible! So, for dinner, I made myself sauteed cauliflower greens with fresh garlic and mushrooms in coconut oil. That dish is now completely consumed and my immune system has had a little boost!

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Sugar Consumption – Be in the Know

While the American Heart Association recommends that your daily intake of sugar be no more than 10% of your total daily calories, the World Heath Organization actually has recently stated that is should be only 5% of your daily caloric intake. The chart below is a great tool to help you understand how much 10% really is. Shoot for less though (as recommended by WHO) to avoid the negative effects of sugar such as the risk of diabetes and heart disease, weight gain, premature aging, mental fogginess, the feeding of cancer cells, and even arthritis.

The average American adult is consuming over 20 teaspoons of sugar a day, and the average American child is being given an average of 19 teaspoons of sugar each day – that’s 6x what is recommended by the AHA!

Make it a point to stick with natural sugars found in fruit and vegetables and avoid or limit all the added sugars. Your body and mind will thank you for it!

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10 Servings of Veggies and Fruits for Longevity

Eat 10 portions of fruit and veg to cut risk of early death

I LOVE this new research. 10 servings of veggies and fruits a day create an amazingly healthy and disease-fighting body. From morning to night, that is what I eat. And with a condition that keeps my white blood cell count low, I should get sick often. My family often comments on the fact that mom is “never” sick. It is indeed a rare occasion that I get a virus or bug of any kind, and I have always comment back with “That’s because of all the vegetables I eat.” So start the day with veggies and end it on a sweet note with fruit!

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Mediterranean Vinaigrette


This vinaigrette is a light and refreshing dressing for any assortment of greens, over freshly roasted vegetables, or as part of a grain-based salad. It’s quick and easy, so there is no excuse for store-bought dressings that contain preservatives and unhealthy oils like canola, soybean, corn and the like.

Mediterranean Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients into a glass jar. Screw on the lid and shake before each use. Store in the the refrigerator for 1 week.

A Key to Grocery Shopping 

READ LABELS!

Do NOT be fooled by labels that make a product sound like a healthy choice. Peter Pan’s “Simply Ground” peanut butter is anything but “simply ground”. Hydrogenated oils (aka trans fat) are one of the very top ingredients to avoid. I always read the labels of new products I’m considering buying, so I know what I’m fueling (or inhibiting) my body with.

And true, simply ground peanuts taste much better than Peter Pan’s anyways! 😊

Slow Cooker Brown Rice – Serve or Freeze!

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I shared this super simple recipe on my Whole to the Core Facebook page, and I’ve had to search for it on there several times because I always want to make sure I have the ratio of rice to water correct (even though I should remember!). It is much more difficult to find that way, so I finally decided to make it a post. I will be heading home soon and starting this. It will go into our soup for tomorrow, and I will be freezing the rest for other meals like fried rice  or to accompany chicken teriyaki.

Slow Cooker Brown Rice

  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Oil the crockpot, place the rice in, pour in water, and cook on high for 2 hours. Season/flavor for use immediately or freeze in batches for future dishes. If freezing, pour into a large, glass baking pan to allow rice to cool quickly and then portion the rice and freeze in batches.