Friday, March 28, 2014

The Journey...

This space of mine has been neglected for some time now. Life got full and I stepped away. In the past 1.5 years our dreams came alive. We are now proud parents of the most beautiful, fun, & charming 10 month old, Francis Edwin (aka Frankie) & have been slow but steadily  progressing on our home renovation.
I need to come here again. I need to be able to pour my heart out in hopes that you will listen, support, & journey with me.  Maybe there is a chance that our story could help or inspire someone else too but mainly I am here to share the journey. You see for the past 6 months this proud mama & dada have been fighting for our sweet Frankie. I will share the complete story & symptoms with you in an upcoming post but for now here's the short of it. Frankie has severe food allergies/sensitivities. He also has severe eczema. Never again will I think of these things as no big deal and just a rash. It's down right  debilitating & heart wrenching to watch your child suffer & struggle each day. For those of you who know Frankie you may never know the struggle. This angel of mine is vibrant & happy  mainly considering his day to day. He is strong. He is a trooper.  Since about 4 months we have been through several dr's, specialist, holistic practitioners ect. We aren't there yet...we don't have the puzzle  completed...there is a piece missing. One thing about me, good or bad, I'm not sure...I will not stop at anything until I figure this out. I'm stubborn like that. I know too much to just except its "allergies" or "eczema". I will not put the blinders on and band aid the issue at hand. We heal from the inside out. We WILL journey & we WILL get there together. Day by day, step by step, piece by piece.

In the mean time...I've had my share of break downs & feeling defeated. To not be able to comfort the pain of your child I'm convinced is the worst feeling ever. I've had feelings of this being my fault which I know is totally irrational but also a mothers guilt. I've let many friendships go to the back burner (sorry) simply because 1. Many don't understand this journey. 2. My time is all accounted for. There are those friends that you don't have to speak a word but you just know they are there to love & support...not judge. That's exactly what I need.  I've had my nose burrried in books & articles searching high & low.  This is me...I need information.   A girlfriend of mine said God always gives these tasks to his best soldiers. I do believe that to my core. There is a reason we are being led down this path. My first line of defense is endless amounts of love & prayer.

I hear a hungry baby boy calling my back soon to share more of our journey towards healing! Goodnight!

Friday, March 30, 2012


With seasons changing and temperatures getting warmer, I find myself craving lighter food.  I love summer food! Light, crisp, clean, and healthy!  Pineapple is loaded with Bromelain, Manganese, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B1. Bromelain has many health benefits that often times get overlooked.  I remember being in a car accident years back and being told by my chiropractor to eat a lot of pineapple for its Bromelain.  I have been intrigued ever since!  Here is a little more information on Bromelain:

  Bromelain is a powerful enzyme which is extracted from pineapple cores. (Most pineapple cores are inedible, but you can find some that are soft enough to eat). Once the enzyme is collected, it's often turned into supplement tablets. Bromelain is a popular supplement for athlete's, and also for people who just want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The pineapple enzyme helps with the digestive system to break down our foods, and clean blood by removing debris and toxins from the blood stream. Bromelain enzymecontains anti-inflammatory properties that benefits our internal organs. The enzyme also speeds up recovery after external injuriesand reduces swelling. Eating pineapple fruit has also been known to reduce 'ulcerative colitis'.

An added bonus is that pineapple is really cheap right now and super delicious!  So go get your PINEAPPLE ON!  I buy a couple at a time so I can clean, chop, and freeze it to have on hand at any given time.  This recipe is a nutritional powerhouse!!!  If you are not educated on the health benefits of "health benefits of ginger."  Get ready to read for a bit because ginger is amazing at healing pretty much all things!  Lastly, this Elixir contains my most favorite spices!  Which is WHY I love it so much!  Cinnamon, Cardamom, and Cayenne...what could be bad!?

Serves:  4

-4 cups fresh or frozen pineapple cubes
-1 TBSP. minced fresh ginger
-1/4 cup coconut milk
-1 TBSP lime juice
-6 pitted dates
-1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
-1/4 tsp. cinnamon
-1/4 tsp. cardamom
-1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional, but you really should:)
-2 cups ice cubes

Puree pineapple cubes, dates, and ginger in blender or food processor until smooth.  Add the coconut milk, ice, lime juice, vanilla, and spices. Blend until smooth and serve.

ENJOY!  Eat Well & Be Happy:)

Saturday, February 25, 2012


I am at a loss for words tonight.  I think that is apparent by the original recipe name "beef jerky".  I-yi-yi!  I can't believe how easy and delicious this recipe is!  I love always having this on hand for a great snack or a quick protein source on the go.  Best of all, it miraculously turns to jerky while we sleep!  Simply genius!  I have experimented with many different spice creations from pizza to taco to mediterranean.  All wonderful but the pizza spiced jerky is my favorite.  Feel free to get creative with your seasonings.  This is just a "general" recipe but there is always much room to experiment with flavors.  Keep me posted if you love this just as much as we do!


-1 - 1.5 lbs. grass fed ground beef  (or elk, bison, venison)
-sea salt (to taste. I use a little less than 1 Tbsp.)
-cracked black pepper (to taste)
-garlic powder (to taste)
-Coconut Aminos
-salt free pizza spice (or any other spice blend.  I use about 2 Tbsp. but season to your liking.)


-Preheat oven to your lowest setting.  Mine is 170 degrees.
-Lightly rub Olive Oil on a large baking sheet with a lip.  (I believe mine is 11 by 13.)
-Mix desired spices, sea salt, pepper, & garlic powder with beef. Work it thoroughly with your hands as if you were making a meat loaf.
-Roll meat on to cookie sheet.  A rolling pin works really nice to get an even consistency.  Cover entire sheet making beef about 1/4 inch thick.
-Using a butter knife, lightly score the meat into the sizes of jerky pieces you want to end up with.  Or skip this step and cut with kitchen scissors after done baking.
-Brush top with Coconut Aminos.
-Put in oven for 8-12 hrs. or until hardened.  I prefer to flip it once at about the 7-8hr. point.  I usually put it in the oven before bed, then flip it when I wake, and return to oven for a couple more hours.
-Store in the fridge for a couple weeks. (If it lasts that long!  We usually double this recipe & do 2 sheets.)

ENJOY!  Eat Well & Be Happy!

Monday, February 13, 2012


I think I have a real problem here people!  I have these "little love drops" perfected!  Each Saturday night we treat ourselves to a  Paleo cheat (it helps us to not feel deprived and stay on track the rest of the week.)  I usually try to experiment with different recipes each time.  To be honest, it has been awhile since I have made anything other than these darn cookies.  They have me completely smitten, to say the least!  Like the best, ooey -gooey, chocolate chip cookie you have ever had!  I am waiting to get sick of them but instead I dream about them....this really is LOVE!  In honor of Valentine's Day, I thought I would help you fall in love:)



-1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
-1/2 cup almond flour
-1 tsp. baking soda
-1/4 tsp. baking powder
-1 tsp. sea salt
-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
-2 really ripe, brown bananas
-1/2 avocado (about 1/3 cup mashed)
-1 cup canned coconut milk (regular, not light)
-4 Tbsp. honey
-1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
-1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
-2 eggs
-1/3 cup shredded coconut
-3/4 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips


-Preheat oven to 375 degrees
-In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients. (coconut flour, almond flour, baking soda & powder, sea   salt, and cinnamon)
-In a large bowl, mash avocado and banana well with a fork.  Then add remaining wet ingredients.
-Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing well and working out clumps.
-On a parchment lined cookie sheet drop about 2 Tbsp. of dough per cookie.  For an ooey-gooey center leave the cookie rounded.  If and evenly baked cookie is desired, press down and flatten the tops slightly.
-Bake cookies for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.  ( I usually set my timer for 16 minutes and keep a watchful eye until they are done.)

ENJOY!  Eat Well & Be Happy:)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Today I want to take a minute to share with you an email that was sent to me over the past weekend by a dear friend who committed herself to health & new beginnings.  This message touched me deeply.  Indeed, I am always here to help and hopefully inspire but it is ultimately you who has to have the want/need to be the difference in your own life.  I am proud, so proud, of this friend's strength, determination, and focus.  Thank you all for continuing to inspire me  by your beauty.  ~Steph

"I used to think I ate pretty healthy.  Boy was I ever wrong.  My diet consisted of mainly carbohydrates.  But the "healthy" carbohydrates.  So I thought I had it all figured out.  I was eating whole grains and counting calories very closely.  But guess what, that was not working for me at all.
I was constantly tired and I was suffering from knee pain and chronic migraines.  I would also find myself completely unsatisfied and constantly hungry.  I was pretty much at the end of my rope.
I reached out to an old friend for help.  And through her I have found what I've been searching for.  She introduced me to Arbonne and a paleo lifestyle.  She was always there for me and still is.  Whether it be just a simple question or something bigger.  And no matter how stupid the question, she never made me feel silly for asking it.  And I had a lot of silly questions in the beginning.
She comes from the most loving and pure place.  No judgement whatsoever.  She just has a desire to help people become the best they can be.  Always making you feel comfortable.  And I could just sense how much she wanted me to succeed.  And now how proud she is of how far I've come.
She has taught me countless things about food.  I am no longer afraid of cooking with oils or eating avocados!!  Both things I avoided in the past.  Not knowing how very healthy these things were for me.  I could go on and on about food.  But basically I will NEVER go back to counting calories.  The paleo lifestyle is not a fad diet.  It is a lifestyle that is easy and fun to follow.  Stephanie has an abundance of information when it comes to health and wellness and the paleo way of living.  I'm so glad I have her in my corner helping me.
With Stephanie's help I have lost nearly 40 pounds since March 2011.  I also know I've lost a number of inches.  Stephanie told me to take my measurements in the beginning but I never did.  I didn't want to know those numbers.  Now I really wish I would of listened to her.  I finally feel comfortable in my own skin again.  And I feel healthier than ever.  Besides the weight loss I feel strong.  Both physically and mentally.  I can handle stress so much better.  I used to really struggle with anxiety.  Stephanie taught me how the foods we eat can affect our mental health also.
Stephanie once said to me "counting calories takes all the joy out of eating." That statement finally got me to stop counting calories.  If you think about it it really does take the joy out of it.  Thanks to her I now know that I am fueling my body with good, healthy food.  All you have to do is listen to your body.  And of course eat in moderation.
Thanks to Stephanie my dieting days are over.  And for that I will be forever grateful."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I don't know about you, but I could pretty much eat Mexican inspired foods for every meal and it would never get old.  Pre-Paleo days I could gorge myself on chips and salsa like no other.  In fact, I am pretty sure if I allowed myself to do it right now, the outcome would be the same.  I choose to not even find out because I know there is serious lack of control there!
This recipe came about because I wanted to find a way to incorporate 3 of my favorite Mexican recipes into 1. I was nervous the entire time that it wouldn't turn out. If it didn't turn out I would be disappointed that I didn't stick to Ol' Faithful.  I am very pleased to say, I am ecstatic with the results!  It is one of my favorite recipes to date!  It was soooo good that I made it again the very next day.  I wanted to be sure it tasted as awesome as I remembered and that I wasn't just hungry the first time around.  I am crazy like that.  The's good, REAL GOOD!

-2 Tbsp. chili powder
-1.5 Tbsp. cumin
-1.5 Tbsp. paprika
-1 Tbsp. onion powder
-1 Tbsp. garlic powder
-2 tsp. oregano
-.5 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
-.5 tsp. chipotle powder (if you don't like smokey, this is optional)

Mix spices and store in a glass spice jar.  Great seasoning for any Mexican dish.  Also great in scrambled eggs and on sweet potato fries.


-4 to 5 lbs organic, bone in, chicken thighs
-4 Tbsp. Mexican Spice Blend (recipe above)
-1 rounded Tbsp. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
-2 yellow onions, diced
-4 large garlic cloves, minced
-1 entire jalapeno, diced  (if nervous about heat, remove seeds.  It really isn't very hot after cooking.)
-12 oz. Frontera Tomatillo Salsa (That is my favorite Salsa Verde but use what you like)
-1 can Muir Glen Organic, No Salt Added, Fire Roasted, Tomatoes
-1/2 cup chicken bone broth

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Preheat dutch oven on med.-high with 1 rounded Tbsp. Coconut Oil and evenly distribute.
-Thoroughly rinse chicken thighs and pat dry with a paper towel.
-Pre-season thighs with sea salt and cracked pepper
-In a large Ziploc bag, toss chicken thighs in 4 Tbsp. Mexican Spice Blend until well coated.
-Transfer chicken thighs to hot dutch oven, skin side down and brown.  Do this in batches, careful not to  crowd your pan or they won't get brown and crispy. Brown about 5-7 minutes per side.
-After browning, flip chicken over, skin side up, and add all remaining ingredients.
-Put lid on dutch oven and transfer to preheated oven
-Bake for 1.5hrs.
-After baking, remove from oven and let cool just enough to touch
-Remove bones from chicken and shred.  I remove any fatty parts of skin that may be remaining but shred the  crispy parts into the mixture for added depth and flavor.
-Mix shredded chicken into everything remaining in the dutch oven for a delicious stew!

We enjoyed ours over a bed of sauteed shredded cabbage and garnished with cilantro & avocado.  This would also be excellent over sweet potatoes, on a salad, or in a romaine lettuce leaf taco.

ENJOY!  Eat Well & Be Happy!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I know we are well into January and who the heck wants to hear about Christmas, right?  Well, I am for warning you that this post is a brief recap of our Christmas.  I needed to do this post for me, so I can always remember how special it was!  I love to entertain.  Did I mention LOVE?  I love it!  Our tiny condo filled with family, conversing, and sharing great food!  It does my heart good!
We hosted Christmas day around dinner time for the Packer game.  I wanted our menu to be not so "serious"....just fun, game-day, Paleo eats.  That is exactly what we did.  Finger foods.  Let me tell you right now that if you plan to entertain in this fashion and think it will be quick and easy to prepare, think again.  It's a time consuming ordeal.  But still fun.  Unless you ask my husband, who questioned why it was necessary to make everything down to our own bbq sauce, mayo, and buns from scratch.  Bless this patient man.  I love him because he gets me, knows I don't take short cuts, grins and bares it, and just helps me til' the end with all my crazy ideas.  Let's just say I get crazy in a "Type A" sort of way when it comes to entertaining.  Does this happen to anyone else or just me?  At all cost everything MUST be perfect or I may not exist another darn day:)  I will lose sleep over it, obsess about it, and think what I should have done differently if something doesn't turn out.  I plan the menu for about 5 months prior and change it 500 times in between.  This is me.  Don't judge. (how could you not..haha)  All in all everything came together great.  We only spent about 10 hrs. preparing and the Blessed Bee ( hubs) only had to remake the Paleo buns 3 times until they were perfect.  I wish I was joking but that is the truth.  We had to play around with that concoction a lot for them to be just right.  Every single thing you see is Paleo and made from scratch.

Walnut Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Holiday Spiced Nuts
Herb Marinated Olives, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, & Raw Goat Cheese
Horseradish, Dill Deviled Eggs
The Blessed Bee's Perfect Paleo Buns
Slider toppings:  Maple Bacon, Pickles, & Balsamic Onions 
Sweet & Spicy BBQ Ribs
Stuffed Mushrooms
Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potatoes
Handsome Calvin
Calvin soaking up all the loving from Grandpa

All was Merry and Bright!
Wishing you a Happy & Healthy Year ahead!