There have been many changes in my life recently and surely and hopefully there will be more. As I continue on my journey, I look for new and exciting ways to reset when I get stuck in a rut. One rut I was stuck in was beginning to show up in every area of my life. I was not eating the way I should.
Since returning to the workforce a little over 2 years ago. I slowly began trading my healthy clean food for quick and easy solutions. A few pounds started to find their way back to the places I had worked so hard to keep them away from. My skin started to break out again, I was tired and irritable, and I was catching colds. It was clear that I needed to reboot!
A couple of days ago I purchased another juicer. I gave my old juicer to my brother. I remember when I got my first juicer and made my own juice everyday with fresh fruits and vegetables. I felt great and I didn’t have those annoying cravings for junk. Now I am back on track and my son has jumped on the bandwagon with me. I have so much energy and I am getting back in the groove.
I have also made meal plans for the week and beyond. What a difference!
Now that I have so much more energy and a renewed spirit, I will also be writing more blog posts (another thing I had quit doing in my slump). I have so many wonderful experiences to share.
I would like all of us to find little ways to reboot. We should search for those things that make us happy and do what it takes to add them in our lives. Sometimes you need to reboot or build a tribe to help you along the way. Whatever the case my be, renew and refresh!
One of my favorite cleansing foods are chia seeds. I love the nutty flavor of them and I especially love the health benefits. Not only are they delicious, they expand up to 10 times their size and form a bulky gel that gives you that feeling of fullness. This could be very helpful to those of us who are looking for a way to feel fuller faster. Like many gelatinous foods, chia seeds bind to the bad things in your digestive tract and escorts them right out of your body. What I love most about them is how convenient they are. Here are some ways you can use them:
- Sprinkle them on anything. I do this a lot. I toss them in with a salad, add them to a smoothie, or mix them in with yogurt.
- Chia Shots. This is something I do when I am in a rush. I scoop in a teaspoon and a half of chia seeds in a small glass, add water and drink it down. I then follow with more water and continue to drink water throughout the day.
- Find a great recipe. I don’t use many recipes personally, but feel free to click the link for some ideas.
I have also found that chia seeds are a gentle laxative if you are constipated. Without being too graphic, you will have a normal, but very productive bowel movement after eating chia seeds. In other words, you will not go running to the bathroom, but when you finally do, you will very satisfied with the results.
It is said that the most important meal of the day is breakfast and for most of us the mornings are the busiest and most hectic part of the day. We have to get ready get ourselves ready for the day and us parents also have to get our children ready too. I also workout in the morning as well. Those few hours before we actually walk out into the world are packed with tons of tasks that must be completed to ensure a great day, but we must make sure that our bodies are given the proper fuel to make it through. My son and I don’t not enjoy eating food early in the morning so I have started making our own breakfast shakes that we can take with us and drink in the car on our way to start our days. The breakfast shake I make has the same “base”, but I will sometimes toss in some “additions” depending on my mood.
If you would like to try it, this is what you’ll need:
*As with all my recipes, I rarely use measurements. Mix according to your preferences
IBourgie’s Breakfast Shake
A blender (the single serve blenders work well and you can find them for around $20. If you are making shakes for the whole family, us a larger one)
A teaspoon of Coconut Oil
Cocoa powder (optional)
Ground flax seeds
Nut butter (almond, peanut, hazelnut, etc.)
Greek yogurt (vanilla or plain)
Blend all ingredients in your blender and enjoy!! Vegans may substitute the yogurt for a soy yogurt, leave it out or add a banana to provide a thicker and creamier texture. Also feel free to add a fruit of your choice. This recipe is great as it is. It is loaded with protein will keep you satisfied.
I love kale!! My best friend turned me on to it a little over a year ago and I have been eating it so many different ways. I put it in smoothies, I juice it, I eat it raw, I eat it cooked, but one of my favorite things to make are kale chips.
Kale chips are a perfect low carb, low calorie, gluten free snack. My family loves them. We eat them in lieu of popcorn and potato chips. The wonderful thing about them is that you can add whatever seasoning you want. My favorite is lemon pepper. I also love Cajun seasonings too. If you would like to make kale chip, here is what you need:
iBourgie’s Kale Chips
olive or coconut oil
seasoning of your choice
Cut washed and thoroughly dried kale to desires size. Then modestly coat the kale with the oil (This took a little trial and error. If you put on too much the kale will cook too fast and fry, then you will be left with little burned burned pieces). Next season to taste. Then lay the kale out on a cookie sheet covered with the parchment paper. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes on 300 or until the edges turn slightly brown.
I first became familiar with coconut oil when I decided to stop chemically relaxing my hair. It was one product that I found common with all of the other women who had decided to stop chemically relaxing their hair. I decided to give it a try. Now I can’t live without it.
I first began using coconut oil as a conditioner for my hair. I was a bit reluctant to do so because I have very oily skin and I was afraid that adding extra oil would lead to breakouts, but I did it anyway. I was very pleased with the results and I my skin did not break out. Then I used it on my skin as lotion. I absolute loved the way it was absorbed into my skin leaving it soft and glowing without a greasy, waxy residue that some store bought lotions leave. Then I started adding it to my smoothies. The coconut oil gave my smoothies such a smooth and creamy texture that I had been previously using dairy products to achieve. It is also great to cook with. I sometimes use it in my quinoa and kale recipe and tomato soup recipe instead of olive oil.
Here are some most of the ways I use coconut oil:
- As a hair conditioner. I coat the ends of my hair (about 1/3 of the way down) with coconut oil prior to shampooing to protect against frayed ends.
- As a cooking oil. Coconut oil holds up well against heat making it great to cook with.
- As a substitute for cream. Coconut has a mild creamy taste that is a great alternative to dairy creams.
- As a body oil. Coconut oil really absorbs into your skin and doesn’t leave a greasy residue. You can even add some essential oils to customize the scent.
When purchasing coconut oil, look for extra virgin organic coconut oil. Remember this will be going in and on your body. You want it to be pure and free of anything harmful.
If you have any other uses for coconut oil feel free to share them in the comments section.
I am always trying to find ways to make use of everything I have. Leftovers are never thrown out. I came up with a great use for spaghetti sauce when you aren’t quite in the mood spaghetti, but you could not resist the sale your local grocery store had on marinara sauce.
I used my extra sauce to make a delicious tomato soup that all my family loves. The wonderful thing is it is pennies per serving and easy to make in a pinch, and spaghetti sauce already has many of the spices and herbs added. I prefer a chunky soup so I add a few extras. Feel free to leave them out for a thinner smoother soup. As I have mentioned in other recipes, I only use measurements when it is critical to the success of the meal. Use much or as little as you need to accommodate your needs and tastes. Here is what you’ll need:
iBourgie’s Creamy Chunky Tomato Soup
Spaghetti sauce (I prefer Newman’s Own Marinara for its all natural ingredients)
Bell Peppers (diced)
Heavy Cream (optional)
Olive Oil or Coconut oil
Drizzle olive oil on the onions and bell peppers and saute until the onions are caramelized and set aside. Then warm spaghetti sauce on medium heat until the desired temperature. Now you may stir in the heavy cream. Finally add bell peppers, diced tomatoes, and onions.
This soup goes great with a salad, grilled cheese sandwich, or solo. For a little added protein and texture you can throw in a little quinoa. Also, if you are vegan you will ditch the heavy cream. The coconut oil gives a nice creamy flavor without the use of dairy.
I love to cook, but I don’t always have a lot of time. I also love to introduce my child to healthy options that he will also enjoy eating. My best friend turned me on to a food that I had not been very familiar with, but now I eat it almost everyday–Kale. Her exact exact words were “Kale is King. Kale is King”. She actually said it twice so I felt I should at least try it. She was absolute right. Kale has so many good things in it. It is super high in Vitamin K which is necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions, including normal blood clotting, antioxidant activity, and bone health. Kale is also has a high concentration of vitamins A and C.
Another food that I have fallen in love with is quinoa. Quinoa is a great alternative to pasta or rice. It high in protein and fiber and is a desirable addition to a vegetarian or vegan diet. It is also a great filler for soups, stews, and chili when you want to add more protein, without adding lots more calories and animal fats. You can cook a large batch of quinoa and store it in the fridge and use it as needed, but I don’t recommend longer than 2-3 days. It cooks fairly quickly so it can be prepared at a moments notice.
I have a simple recipe that combines both of these two foods that I love and has become one of my 7-year-old son’s favorites.
iBourgie’s Quinoa and Kale
(I only use exact measurements when it is absolutely crucial to the success of the meal. In this case it isn’t. Use your own taste and judgment when planning this meal. Tailor it to you needs.)
What you will need:
Pesto optional (you may make your own or use store bought. I prefer Classico)
Olive oil (about a teaspoon)
Water (about 1/4 cup)
Cook quinoa according to directions and set aside. In a large bowl add the olive oil and toss in kale for an even coating. Lightly saute kale on medium heat with the water until it turns bright green. Then stir desired amount of pesto to the quinoa. Next you may add the kale to the quinoa or eat separately. My son and I prefer to mix the two.
This is a great post-workout meal and it also tastes good warm or cold.