The Unforgettable Kitchen

There was a time not so long ago when the kitchen was the busiest and most used room of the home. Recipe books were open, Mom was in her apron, chatter and laughter came from the kids, mixing bowls and measuring cups decorated the countertops. This daily routine wasn’t just about eating. It was a time of bonding, teaching, learning, and listening; a time to inspire the children, and an opportunity for families to spend quality time together. Some of my fondest memories growing up were of my family eating dinner together. The amazing food, the conversation, and the laughter are unforgettable.

Although this scene isn’t completely missing from homes today, it’s definitely not as prominent as it once was. So what has happened to cause this tradition to change so drastically? In my opinion, our busyness and desire for convenience are the reasons for the change. We are a generation that “prides” itself in being busy. As a result of our full schedules, we fall back on what’s quick and convenient when it comes to eating, not factoring in how it affects our health. Drive-thru and pre-packaged foods, hot lunches at school, vending machines, frozen dinners, and microwaves are the norm. It’s understandable for these things to happen occasionally—but unfortunately, this is a daily, three-meals-a-day routine for many people.

It’s time we bring life back into our kitchens and homes and embrace all that comes along with that special time spent with our families. Let’s get our kids involved in mealtime; allow them to enjoy, as well as learn from it. We need to take this time to invest in the lives of others and impart our wisdom and creativity into them. If we are cooking for one, then we should grab our aprons, turn on some music, and make it fun and much-needed “me time.”

Not only should we bring fun, conversation, and laughter back into the kitchen, but let’s also revamp our pantries and refrigerators and bring physical lifeback into our bodies. We should start using “real
food” ingredients that will nourish and sustain life within our physical bodies. First Corinthians 6:19-20 states: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (NIV). Eliminate GMO foods, dead foods, and refined foods. Incorporate living foods like whole eggs, meat and full-fat dairy from grass-fed cows, real sourdough, cultured foods (yogurt, sour cream, real butter, pickles, kvass, sauerkraut), fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds. We should enjoy preparing meals knowing that it will be a blessing to those we love.

To get you started, here are two recipes from my kitchen to yours that are simple, quick, and absolutely delicious! To receive optimum health benefits, choose high-quality ingredients including those that are organic, unrefined, local, and as close to the natural state as possible.

Mini Crunchy Taco Bowls

What You Need:

5 to 8 flour tortillas
2 cups shredded cheese
1.5 pounds grass-fed beef
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
3 leafs red or green leaf lettuce, shredded
½ cup full-fat sour cream (or full-fat plain yogurt), optional
½ cup fresh salsa, optional

What You Do:

  1. Brown and cook beef in a skillet; season if desired. Once done, remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325oF.
  3. Grease a muffin pan with coconut oil or butter.
  4. Tear the flour tortillas and overlap and press them into each muffin cup.
  5. Place one heaping tablespoon of cheese in the bottom of each cup.
  6. Place about 3+ tablespoons of the browned beef in each cup.
  7. Top with cheese.
  8. Place in oven and cook for 15 minutes. Check and continue to cook until you see the tortillas browning.
  9. Once they’re browned and the cheese is bubbly, remove from the oven.
  10. Top with remaining ingredients: sour cream, tomatoes, lettuce, fresh salsa, and more cheese!
  11. Remove from muffin cups and enjoy!

Easy Peasy Peanut Butter Drops

What You Need:

½ cup natural peanut butter
½ cup raw honey
1 cup unsweetened, finely shredded coconut
1/3cup mini dark chocolate chips {Shelly can you make this a fraction like ½-won’t format}
½ cup sucanat* for rolling the drops

*Sucanat is an unrefined sugar found at most health stores

What You Do:

  1. In a bowl, mix peanut butter and honey until thoroughly combined.
  2. Add the chocolate chips.
  3. Add the coconut in ¼ cup amounts until the consistency reaches a thick, yet semi-sticky state where you can still roll it.
  4. Place ½ cup of sucanat in a bowl.
  5. Roll mixture into balls and then roll in the sucanat.
  6. Place on wax or parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  7. Refrigerate for a couple of hours; transfer to a glass jar, and keep in the refrigerator.

Recipes are from Kari Newsom’s book, Real Kitchen. So Good! (Colorado: Living Strong Health and Wellness, 2014).

 

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The Way of Wellness

In my forty-plus years as a natural health consultant, I’ve met many women who intentionally attend to their health and well-being. A question I frequently ask them is: “Who or what influences you to take deliberate action to improve your overall wellness?” Their responses vary as much as the women themselves, but a common theme reflects their genuine motive: get back to a simple, basic, and natural lifestyle.

They have also shared some specific attributes of a wholesome woman:

  • Strength and endurance of physical, mental, and spiritual abilities
  • Aging well to maintain quality of life into longevity
  • Peaceful sleep for physical, mental, and emotional restoration
  • A sound mind for a healthy perspective and confident decision making
  • A spirit of gratitude for the blessing of beautiful health they already possess

Modern-day marketing bombards our senses with every depiction imaginable––and some not so imaginable––enticing us to accept current trends. The world’s view promotes everything from gaunt to gauche to almost gruesome, all in the name of wellness. To be inspired in this often uninspiring environment of fake food, unreasonable body image, and lifestyle illnesses takes courage.

In keeping with the theme of simple, basic, natural health advice, I find that living fully in each season makes life exciting and easier. God created a wide variety of environments that produce a vast array of plant foods to keep us well fed and healthy. I find the one-size-fits-all, manufactured and boxed foods to be boring! They lack the robust colors, fragrances, flavors, textures, and vital nutrients God’s garden foods supply to awaken our senses and keep us thriving. Let’s look at a brief summary of each season’s harvest to learn how we can reap optimal health and achieve those wholesome attributes.

SPRING

Spring foods are cleansing, detoxifying, refreshing, and naturally sweet. They stimulate the body’s gastric fluids to help break down stored fat; their high fiber content awakens the digestive and eliminative systems and gets your body ready for a more active season. Fill your plate with plenty of berries, dark leafy greens (like spinach), and early fruits (think cherries). Spring’s natural foods provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. There’s no need for a fat-flush/detox diet when you eat fresh foods in spring.

SUMMER

As the days get warmer, the body needs nutrition that helps it stay cool. Summer’s plant foods provide vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water. Choosing summer’s cooling foods may help prevent heat-related illnesses. One of the heart’s many functions is to keep our internal temperature under control. The heart gets a workout in hot climates, especially when coupled with activity. Several summer foods are packed with the carotenoid lycopene, which is the powerful antioxidant giving the red color to tomatoes, watermelons, guavas, red peppers, carrots, and other fruits and vegetables. Savor a variety of summer’s colorful garden produce including cucumbers, peppers, melons, tomatoes, summer squash, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, lettuce, spinach, and so many more.

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Do you want to settle for being great when you can be greater? Whoever, wherever, and whatever we are, we can choose to be greater. Recently, I visited the Pergamom Museum in Berlin, Germany. The reconstruction of the Processional Wall, the Ishtar Gate, and the Throne Room of Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon reside here. I […]

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