Holiday Quinoa!

Hello Friends!

It’s a big day here in Atlanta with the SEC Championship looming this afternoon!  We would be remiss if we didn’t give a shout out to Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs!  GO DAWGS!

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So on to the quinoa!  With the holiday season in full swing it’s even more important to keep tasty and healthy snack options on hand!  One of our hands down favorites is our “Holiday Quinoa”. This quinoa keeps great in the fridge and has a great balance of protein (quinoa), fats (avocado and olive oil) along with antioxidants from the cilantro and red bell pepper.   By the way it’s Paleo, Gluten-free, Vegan and tastes AWESOME! (At least that what our friends tell us!)

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Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of cooked tri-color quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups of chopped cilantro (about one bunch)
  • 1 ½ cups of thinly sliced scallions (about 4)
  • 1 cup of finely diced red bell peppper (about ½)
  • 2 Tablespoons of red onion and cilantro infused olive oil (you can use regular olive oil instead)
  • 2 Tablespoons of fresh lime juice (Add another Tablespoon if you like it tangy!)
  • 2 avocados peeled and cubed
  • Salt to taste.

Directions:

  1. Mix the first four ingredients in a large bowl.  
  2. Add the olive oil and lime juice and stir again.
  3. Finally, add the avocados and toss gently to incorporate.  
  4. *Garnish with fresh lime and cilantro sprigs!

That’s it!  

Enjoy the game, the recipe and have a safe holiday season everyone!

Yours in health,

Donna and Daniela

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Guess Where We Have Been?

Hello Friends!

Wow!  It’s hard to believe that it has been so long since we last posted!  Well to be honest, we’ve been climbing mountains…

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Okay, so climbing Camelback Mountain was a while ago.  But we have been busy!

This has been such an incredible year and we want to share some exciting news with you!  As most of you know, Organic Housewives was started back in 2011 with the goal of “making healthy simple”.  We did this because of our passion for having a happy, healthy and vibrant you!

With that said, We have spent much of that time looking for natural, healthy and effective ways to look and feel younger.  We’ve seen a lot of great products along the way but we were still searching for a product that could turn back the proverbial clock.

With Donna’s background in wellness and supplement manufacturing along with Daniela’s experience in consulting and effective supplementation, we knew there had to be a better way to harness the benefits of anti-aging into a single, easy to take product!  

Guess what?

Mission Accomplished!

Our new company, CollagenBLU, is proud to introduce the premiere collagen supplement on the market that is helping REAL people achieve REAL results including:

  • Younger looking skin, decreased wrinkles and more suppleness
  • Thicker, fuller hair
  • Improved nail strength
  • Feeling better with less joint pain
  • Weight-loss by staving off hunger

We know…it almost sounds too good to be true! But, it is!

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We are working hard to get our message and product into the hands of people who are having challenges in these areas.  If you are having challenges with wrinkles, thinning hair, joint pain or weight issues, please click here and take a look. Let’s see how CollagenBLU can help you!

If you are not having any issues, but know of someone who complains about wrinkles, thinning hair or who simply wants to feel better with less joint pain or struggles with weight loss, please share this email and/or link with them.  We feel confident they will be thankful that you did!

Again, we are so excited about this new product! Thank you so much for helping us spread the word!  We genuinely appreciate all of your support!

Yours in health,

Donna and Daniela

 

 

 

 

Are GMOs Safe?

Hello Friends,

When Organic Housewives started back in 2011 we started providing tips on how to live a healthy lifestyle through the foods we eat and education. One of the ways we make healthy living simple is by personally vetting ALL of the products we offer to you to make sure that what you are buying for your families are truly clean and of the highest quality. Part of the process in finding “clean” products is making sure that the it is free of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Although we have touched on the topic in the past and why you should avoid them we feel we need to expound on the topic as we are at a critical moment in our Nation’s future on this subject.

In the last five years the proliferation of GMOs in our food system has risen sharply. Although awareness has increased, we still need to share the message and continue to say “No to GMOs” at our stores and markets. Voting with our dollars seems to be the only thing that affects the food manufacturers and providers to make these important changes.

Business is responding with positive steps forward.  The global organic food and beverages market which was estimated at $57.2 billion in 2010 is expected to reach $104.50 billion this year. In the last six months, several food and restaurant businesses have announced plans to reformulate their offerings to eliminate artificial ingredients, including GMOs.

We are a very critical point in the health of our Country on many levels. Currently there is a bill before Congress that aims to keep us in dark as consumers. The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014 (H.R. 4432) will remove any requirements for manufacturers to label foods containing GMOs.

We all have a right to know what’s in our food.

The manufacturers of GMO seeds maintain that GMO corn, soy and sugar, found in 51iHQmcCT+Lmany everyday food products are safe. So here’s our question… If they are safe, why not label them?

Did you know?

Currently, 64 countries around the world require labeling of foods containing GMOs. Most other developed countries—including 28 nations in the European Union, as well as Japan, Australia, Brazil, Russia and China—require labeling.

However here in the United States, various food companies joined together to sue the state of Vermont, the first state to pass legislation requiring labeling of GMO food.

Think about it…

If GMOs are good for you and provide so much benefit, it should be a food manufacturer and marketer’s dream to be able to say “This product contains GMOs” or “This product is made with GMOs” but that’s simply not the case.

They not only go out of the way to not label it but have spent millions of dollars in fighting against having GMOs labeled! It’s really quite simple. Genetically engineered food should be labeled, so you can decide whether you want to risk ingesting them.

So why doesn’t the United States require labeling?

That seems like common sense to us—so why do the large corporations fight against labeling the actual product they have created?

Argument #1: The cost of new labels will be great and passed along to the consumer.

An independent food labeling study has shown this is unlikely as manufacturers routinely update labels for marketing reasons.

Argument #2: We need GMO crops to “feed the world”.

Recent studies show that GMO yields are hardly keeping pace with non-GMO crops. Farmers growing GMO crops have had to rely on ramping up their use of toxic weed killers and struggle with the evolution of herbicide-resistant “superweeds.”

Although not everyone may be able to buy organic over 90% of Americans have stated over and over again that they want GMOs labeled. We should be informed and make our own choices about what we feed our families and ourselves.

As business owner’s and parent’s who are promoting healthy living, it would be irresponsible of us not to push hard on this topic that will shape our ability to keep our planet and future generations healthy.  Don’t just take our word for it. We encourage you to visit sites such as JustLabelIt.org and The Institute for For Responsible Technology to learn more about how to protect your right to know and what is being fed to your families.

So again the question, are GMOs safe?  

Technically the verdict is still out.  Although over 2,000 studies have been done, many showing that GM feed is safe and nutritionally equivalent to non-GMO feed in cattle, the long-term effects are still unknown.  There are also studies that show the opposite with organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility. Just like cigarettes, lead paint and DDT were thought to be safe and short-term studies showed them not to have effects on living organisms we have learned the long and hard way that this simply isn’t true.  Personally, we don’t think GMOs are a risk worth taking for our families and do everything we can to avoid them. Given what we know about GMOs and the Given the proliferation of GMOs in our current food supply they are almost impossible to avoid (in this Country) unless you are diligent in reading labels.

Yours in health,

Donna and Daniela

Is Paleo Good For Me?

Hello Friends!

We are so thankful to finally have some warmer weather!  This also means that outdoor activities (yes that means the pool too.:)) are coming at us fast and furious.  We have been bombarded with questions that revolve around losing weight, cutting carbs and whether going “Paleo” is a good thing.  We thought we would address the basics of “eating Paleo” and you can determine if it’s right for you!

So by this point many of you have heard of “eating Paleo”, “The Paleolithic Diet” or some version thereof. What exactly are they referencing?  Those that follow the protocol will say that during the Paleolithic period it has been shown that the diet then was primarily a wide variety of vegetables, fruit, nuts, roots and meat.  This diet was high in fats and protein, and low in grain- and sugar-derived carbohydrates.

By comparison, the average person’s diet today is the complete opposite. The average person’s health is a glaring example of what happens when you adhere to a faulty diet. With diet’s that are high in sugar, grains and chemicals it’s no doubt as to why disease and obesity are at an all time high.  As a society we are now suffering more chronic and debilitating diseases than ever before.

Look for the USDA Organic Logo

Look for the USDA Organic Logo to avoid many pesticides and GMO ingredients.

There is little doubt that our food choices play a major role in this development.  At Organic Housewives we cannot stress enough that that eating large amounts of refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, cereal and bread not only lead to weight gain but poor health in general.  Throw genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) into the picture along with insane amounts of artificial colorings, flavorings and preservatives into our foods and it’s no wonder why we face the challenges that we do.

One of our favorite writers and health experts is Mark Sisson.  In a recent article he stated:

  “If you want to live a better life and eat the best foods nature provided for health and fitness, then it’s time to ditch the old paradigms and climb on to the primal approach to eating better.”

What’s the proof?

Evidence shows that carbohydrate intake is the primary factor that determines your body’s fat ratio. Processed grains and sugars (particularly fructose) are the primary culprits behind our skyrocketing obesity and diabetes rates.  If you would like to see in picture form how this process works, check out a previous post on “What Makes You Fat”.

Mark Sisson again states:

“It follows logically that if you can limit carb intake to a range of which is absolutely necessary (and even up to 50 grams a day over) and make the difference up with tasty fats and protein, you can literally reprogram your genes back to the evolutionary-based factory setting you had at birth – the setting that offered you the opportunity to start life as a truly efficient fat-burning organism and to continue to do so for the rest of your life as long as you send the right signals to your genes,”

How does low-carb work?

Despite the myth, overeating and weight gain is not the result of eating too many calories but rather getting your calories from the wrong sources.  When you consume too many sugars and carbs, it’s like tipping that first domino and there is a chain of chemical reactions in your body that makes you hungry and craving sweets:

  1. Fructose is metabolized differently from glucose, with most of it being turned into fat.
  2. This rapidly leads to weight gain and abdominal obesity.
  3. High carb intake raises your insulin levels, which prevents fat from being released.
  4. Fructose further tricks your body into gaining weight by turning off your body’s appetite-control system. Fructose does not suppress ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) and doesn’t stimulate leptin (the “satiety hormone”).

No amount of exercise can compensate for this physical damage because if you eat excessive  fructose and grains—the primary ingredients NOT found in our ancestral diet—it will activate the programming which causes your body to become, and remain, fat.

How do we solve this?

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Blueberries are considered Paleo and are high in antioxidants, fiber and manganese.

Replace carbs with fat and protein.

Keep in mind that when we’re talking about harmful carbs, we’re referring to most grains and virtually all sugars, NOT vegetable carbs or lower fructose fruit carbs such as blueberries and strawberries.

Although all fruits contain fructose, the ones we want to avoid if we are trying to “trim down” are those that contain more than half of their sugar in the form of fructose, such as watermelon, apples, cherries, mango and pears. Dried fruits and fruit juices should also be limited or eliminated. However, most people can tolerate a limited number of servings of low-fructose fruits, such as blueberries, strawberries, kiwifruit and citrus fruits.

But I’m starving!

Remember that fat is far more satiating than carbs, so when you cut down on carbs and  feel ravenous, this is a sign that you have not replaced them with sufficient amounts of healthy fat. Sources of healthy fats that you’ll want to add to your diet include:

  • Oils such as avocado, coconut and olive.

    Good fats include those that are found in coconut.

    Good fats include those that are found in coconut.

  • Ground flaxseed which will also give you a vegan source of Omega 3’s!
  • Raw nuts such as almonds, pecans and walnuts
  • Organic eggs
  • Pasture finished meats
  • Wild fish
  • Naturally fatty fruits such as avocados, coconuts and olives

How do you know it’s working?

The evidence is quite clear that chronically raising your blood glucose through consumption of grains and sugars will increase your insulin resistance, which in turn will increase insulin and leptin resistance. Again to avoid this we need to lay off of the refined carbs and sugars and replace our diet with healthy fats to keep us feeling full and provide steady source of energy.

So if you are looking to trim down or just make some simple changes to eating healthier, you may want to consider the options above.

Enjoy time with your family and friends, great weather and trips to the farmer’s market!

Hugs,

Donna and Daniela

NEED A QUICK HEALTHY BREAKFAST?

Hello All!
We get asked a lot “what do you two do for breakfast?” Well to answer that depends on the day, our schedules etc.  Most of the time we will do eggs of some sort whether in an omelette or poached over a bed of greens.  However we do enjoy a protein-packed smoothie on occasion and now that summer is around the corner,they are becoming more frequent!There are many types of proteins in the marketplace.  Most of us are familiar with the big plastic containers that claim to add muscle, help you to lose weight and of course taste great.  Unfortunately most protein powders on the market are made with cheap ingredients, have chemicals and flavoring agents and are allergenic.  Even the “natural” proteins that you find at many health foods stores have high amounts of processed sugar to make the protein powders taste better.

The unsung hero of protein on the market today is a sprouted brown rice and pea protein blended with pure awesomeness! (aka nutrient-rich superfoods!)

The particular protein we recommend is Epic Protein.  Epic Protein uses a patent pending process of sprouting and fermenting the whole grain brown rice and pea protein. This unique process increases digestibility and protein content.  Plus it’s naturally sweetened with plant superfoods!  What’s in it?

  • 19 grams per serving of high quality, vegan protein from four plant sources.
  • Complete amino acid profile with a balanced ratio of BCAAs for optimal protein synthesis.
  • Creamy texture, rich real flavor and full-bodied sweetness with no ‘fake’ aftertaste.
  • 100% plant-based, organic, non-gmo, gluten free and hypoallergenic ingredients.
  • Nutrient-rich superfood blend including exotic lucuma fruit and delicious vanilla bean.
  • No “natural” flavoring, “other ingredients” or additives whatsoever.

5 Reasons we love Epic Protein

1. RAW – Their protein is not heated above 118 degrees F to avoid denaturing the nutrients and protein

2. ORGANIC  – You are getting the protein from natural, clean sources. This 41KDXluGm5Lis a plus for someone who is on a clean healthy diet. Our protein is free of chemicals, artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners

3. VEGAN – Many Vegetarians and Vegans find it difficult to get enough protein in their diets.  Epic Protein is a convenient and delicious way to incorporate more protein into their diets.

4. GLUTEN-FREE – For those people who are gluten intolerant or trying to avoid gluten in their diet Epic Protein is certified Gluten-Free.

5. NON-GMO – We all know the dangers of Genetically Modified Foods and we at Organic Housewives make sure that all of the foods or snacks we offer are NON-GMO.

The process creates a complete protein made up of 8 essential amino acids and other non-essential amino acids in a perfectly balanced amino acid profile.  It also contains the three Branched Chain Amino Acids which are essential as they are not synthesized by the body.  They must be ingested through specific foods that are rich in these amino acids or taken through supplementation.  Epic Protein delivers 19 grams of protein in one serving with zero fat and sodium. Epic Protein comes in Chocolate Maca, Vanilla Lucuma and Original.

It is very common for those interested in athletics to make the claim that a plant-based protein simply cannot assist in muscle growth or recovery in the same way as an animal derived protein (like whey).  In fact, many bodybuilders who have changed from whey to a plant based protein have noted that the muscle built from plant-based protein is more solid, very dense and much longer lasting.

So if you are looking for a quick breakfast that is portable, full of flavor and will keep you full look no further!  Below is one of our favorite smoothie recipes.  Experiment and have fun!

Berry Smoothie

1 cup of unsweetened almond or coconut milk

1 scoop of Epic Protein powder (we use two but recommend starting with one)

1/2 of a frozen banana

1 cup of fresh organic berries

1 stevia packet or 2 teaspoons of honey to taste.

Put into a blender and enjoy!

Have a great day and beat the heat with a Berry Smoothie!

Yours in health,

Donna and Daniela

Kicked Up Kale Chips and Pico de Gallo

Hello Friends!

Welcome to Super Bowl Sunday and Mac Daddy day of snacking!  Although this huge game is typically surrounded by traditional bar fare such as buffalo wings, sliders and quesadillas they will take a toll on our waistlines.  We know that snacking and socializing are a major part of this event and wanted to provide a few game day ideas that like a great play call will inspire and motivate you versus having you ask yourself “what happened?” the next morning.  These party pleasers taste great and also do a body good.  By the way the snacks listed below are naturally gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo friendly!

 Kale Benefits:

1.  Kale has antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids are known to help protect against various cancers.

2.  Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food. One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.

3.  Kale is high in Vitamin A and C.  Vitamin A is great for your vision, your skin as well as helping to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.  Vitamin C is very helpful for your immune system, your metabolism and your hydration.  Vitamin C is also helpful to maintain cartilage and joint flexibility

4.  Kale is high in calcium. Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism.

5.  Kale is a great detox food. Kale is filled with fiber and sulfur, both great for detoxification.

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Kicked up Kale Chips 

adapted from A Spicy Perspective

Ingredients

  • 2 large bunches of kale (lacinato or curly)
  • 2 heaping Tb. almond butter
  • 2 Tb. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Himalyan sea salt

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Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Wash the kale and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Pull the leaves off the center ribs in large pieces, and place to the side. Discard the ribs.
  2. In a large bowl mix the nut butter, oil, spices, and salt. Add the kale to this bowl with the mix. Use your hands to massage the kale leaves until each one is evenly coated with the mix.  Ensure that the leaves are coated as this will allow the “chips” to bake better.
  3. Lay the coated kale leaves out flat on 3-4 full sized baking sheets (work in batches if necessary.) Do not overlap the leaves if possible. Bake for 10-11 minutes until crisp, but still green. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before moving. If some kale chips are still a little flimsy or damp, remove the crisp chips and place the damp chips back in the oven for a few more minutes. Store in an air-tight container.

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Pico de Gallo

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds of fresh tomatoes – diced
  • 1 medium white onion – diced
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro – chopped
  • juice of one regular lime or two key limes
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 jalapeno – minced (you may omit or add more depending on your tastes)

Directions

  1. Rinse tomatoes and onion
  2. Dice tomatoes, onions and jalapeno.  Rough chop the cilantro
  3. Put ingredients into a bowl.  Add the salt and lime juice and mix well.

You can serve this immediately but it tastes better after it’s had a couple of hours to mingle in the refrigerator.  Serve with cucumber chips, jicama chips or organic corn chips.

Paleo Shrimp Salad

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Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups wild bay shrimp, rinsed & drained
  • 1 ½ cups diced peeled cucumber
  • 1 ½ cup finely diced celery
  • 1 cup diced roma tomatoes, seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup slivered green onions including green parts
  • 1/4 cup capers rinsed and drained
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of dried dill
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp granulated garlic
  • ½ cup of avocado mayonnaise (recipe follows)
  • 8 large endive leaves cleaned and trimmed

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Directions

  1. Add the first six ingredients to a large bowl and lightly toss to incorporate.
  2. Sprinkle the dried dill and garlic over the mixture and toss again to incorporate spices and salad mixture.
  3. Add ½ cup of avocado mayonnaise and mix ingredients together to fully incorporate.
  4. Set in refrigerator for about 30 minutes before serving.
  5. Serve in endive garnished with green onion or serve over a mixed green salad.

This recipe can be made ahead and will keep it’s texture for 1-2 days.  It will keep for a third day a cold refrigerator but may lose some of it’s “crunch”.

Avocado Mayonaise

Yields 3/4 cup

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado (medium)
  • 1/2 lemon, juice of
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

*If you like garlic, try adding a tablespoon of fresh minced garlic to the mix

Directions

  • Wash the avocado and cut it in half. Scoop out the flesh and put it into a blender or small food processor.
  • Add lemon juice, salt and mustard and blend together.
  • With blender or processor running, add olive oil slowly. You many have to stop the machine a few times to make sure ingredients are incorporated.  Puree to a smooth creamy texture.

This can also be used as a dressing by adding 2 Tablespoons of water in the blending portion to help thin the mayonaise.

Enjoy the healthy snacks and the game!

Your friends,

Donna and Daniela

5 Easy Tips to Healthy Partying

Hello Friends!

It’s hard to believe that another year has flown by.  We hope that 2013 was a great year for you and have a sincere desire for 2014 to be even better!  The start of a new year seems to garner the most attention on setting lofty goals for oneself and more often than not they involve some type of health goal. At Organic Housewives we want to help you achieve that goal year round. Whether it’s through providing a healthy recipe that becomes a family favorite, having a trusted resource on health products or practical advice for navigating the unhealthy traps that surround us we are here for you.  We  know the challenges of staying fit and live those challenges every day right along with you.  

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Are you guilty of too much pecan pie?

For most of us it’s losing some of the weight gain from the holidays is a top priority.  The excess weight that is packed starting with Thanksgiving and ending with a New Year’s Eve celebration is typically five pounds.  Some of us are overachievers and managed to put on more than that!  To give you a head start on 2014 we have put together some tips to manage the party scene at the holidays and throughout the year.  If you really want a clean start to 2014 you may want to try the OH Detox.

 

5 Easy Tips to Healthy Partying

1.  Eat Before You Treat

Skipping breakfast and/or lunch in order to “save your appetite” for a holiday dinner and other treats probably isn’t the best weight-Imagemaintenance tactic. Although there are a few school’s of thought on the how much of  a breakfast is really necessary, waiting until 6 PM the next day is probably too long.  More than likely it will lead to bingeing later on which is only equaled by the stampede to items with high sugar values such as cookies, chips and other easy to reach for snacks.  There is nothing wrong to saving a little room for the holiday fare but make sure that you have at least one meal prior to the party.  Try something filling but light such as Southwest omelette, protein packed smoothie or a large salad with a protein which will help tone down the urge to stuff yourself like you’re at a Las Vegas buffet.

2.  BYOA – Bring Your Own Appetizer

Rather than trying to navigate every food item at the party or acting like an overly obsessive dieter bring one healthier dish that you can count on.   A great choice would be the vegan stuffed mushrooms.  They are delicious, filling and appeal to wide range of people.  It’s much easier to attend a party when you have your safe alternative to fall back on!

3.  Avoid the Sugar
Holiday cookies, cakes, and pies are tempting and delicious but can be difficult to moderate.  If you are going to engage in sugar enjoy it in a more natural form such as berries or sliced fruit.  At least that way you are having it the way nature intended which includes fiber and nutrients over nutrient deficient processed sugar and flour.  If the magnetic pull is too strong try small tastes of the desserts you’re truly craving rather than obsessing over them all evening.

4.  Beware of the Beer (and other alcoholic drinks)
Not only does alcohol add unnecessary calories to your diet (meaning a lack of nutritive or functional value i.e. water), but getting tipsy can has another effect on us as well which is kicking our hypothalamus into overdrive.  Drinking too much champagne, eggnog, wine, and beer can make us lose our inhibitions around food and start this effect.  To avoid hooking up with one more cookie or worse, pace your libation intake.  If you are going to engage in alcohol trying alternating one adult beverage to an 8 ounce glass of water.  It will keep you hydrated and ideally feeling a little more full so you stay away from the dessert tray.

5.  Keep Your Mouth and Body Moving

While at the party keep your mouth moving.  If it’s engaged in conversation, telling jokes or sharing stories it’s not eating.  Same advice Imageapplies for moving the body.  If you are up on the dance floor moving and grooving you won’t be eating.  You will also have the added benefit of burning off some of the calories you have already consumed and bumping up your metabolism at the same time with your evening activity!

 

Have a wonderful 2014!

Your friends,

Donna and Daniela

Spectacular Sides For Thanksgiving

Hello Friends!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!  It’s hard to believe that it’s less than a week away.  We know it’s a spectacular time of year to be with family and friends and of course the start of indulgence season!  Although the Organic Housewives households will partake in the festivities big time what we do is pick and choose and make healthier options available at the table.   By making some simple substitutions you will be able to avoid the “holiday ten” (the ten pounds we seem to gain between November 1st and January 1st), stay more on track with your health goals but most important ENJOY the holidays.

Many of our friends think that we are total tea-totalers, steamed veggie eaters and workout fiends.  That isn’t the case.  However we do respect the difficulty in trying to reverse the weight gain and make a lot of healthy choices so that our indulgences hopefully don’t show up on our waistlines.  Since many of you will be starting your Thanksgiving shopping this weekend we thought we would put out some healthy options for side dishes that are delicious and easy to prepare.  We know better than to even touch the main attraction of the turkey. 🙂

Most of sides can be made ahead and served room temperature or warmed before serving.

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Sauteed Green Beans and Shallots

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh green beans trimmed or haricot verts
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large shallots sliced thin (will look like small rings)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • 1/4 cup of toasted or slivered almonds for garnish

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan or shallow pot steam green beans for 5-6 minutes in 1-inch of boiling water, covered. Drain beans and return pan to heat.
  2. lower heat to medium-high and add olive oil to the pan until hot.  Then add shallots  Saute shallots for 5-6 minutes until crispy.  Be careful as they go from brown to burned easily!  Add drained green beans to pan with shallots, season beans with a little salt and then lightly toss before transferring to a serving plate.
  3. Garnish green beans with toasted slivered or sliced almonds.

Cauliflower Gratin

Ingredients

  • 4  cups cauliflower florets (about one medium head of cauliflower)
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of almond meal
  • 1 Tablespoon of nutritional yeast (non-vegans can sub parmesan cheese)
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper – optional

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet or 8 by 12-inch baking pan with parchment paper or lightly oil baking sheet.
  2. Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and dry ingredients and place on pan making sure to leave a little space between florets.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes and toss florets.  Bake for 10-15 minutes more checking for desired doneness.

The key is having the florets chopped into bite-sized pieces.  The good news is cauliflower florets break apart easily so paring them down to a nice size that will fit on fork is easy to do.

Oven Roasted Balsamic Brussel Sprouts

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half through the core
  • 3 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl mix the olive oil, vinegar and minced garlic together.  Place the halved brussel sprouts in the mixture and toss lightly together until all sprouts are coated.
  3. Place the Brussels sprouts on a sheet pan, including some of the loose leaves, which get crispy when they’re roasted.  Spread the sprouts out in a single layer and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast the Brussels sprouts for 20 to 30 minutes, until they’re tender and nicely browned. Toss once during roasting.
  5. Remove from the oven and serve.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!  We are so thankful for your interest and support in making healthier choices for you and your families.  The encouragement, praise and success stories continue to motivate and inspire us to do greater things in our lives as well!

Love and hugs,

Donna and Daniela

Paleo/Vegan Cauliflower Gratin

Good morning friends!

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost time for Thanksgiving and that Christmas is now only 39 days away… Yikes!  Despite the busy time of year we wanted to make sure that we got some healthy crowd pleaser recipes out to you.  One of our favorite side dishes is our version of Cauliflower Gratin.  Of course in Organic Housewives fashion the recipe needs to be easy to prepare too.  In three easy steps you will have a rock star of side dish that will please both young and old at the table.

Although most of us think of ooey gooey cheese and sauce accompanied with traditional gratins this one is eons lighter and healthier.  By using a combination of almond meal, nutritional yeast and olive oil it makes a light “crust” on the cauliflower (the best part of the traditional gratins) and a hint of the cheesiness with the nutritional yeast.  The cauliflower florets bake up tender and the small size allows for the right ratio of tender cauliflower and crisp edges – YUM!

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Cauliflower Gratin 

  • 4  cups cauliflower florets (about one medium head of cauliflower)
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of almond meal
  • 1 Tablespoon of nutritional yeast (non-vegans can sub parmesean cheese)
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper – optional
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet or 8 by 12-inch baking pan with parchment paper or lightly oil baking sheet.
  2. Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and dry ingredients and place on pan making sure to leave a little space between florets.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes and toss florets.  Bake for 10-15 minutes more checking for desired doneness.

The key is having the florets chopped into bite-sized pieces.  The good news is cauliflower florets break apart easily so paring them down to a nice size that will fit on fork is easy to do.

Enjoy the upcoming holiday season!

Donna and Daniela

Five Easy Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

Hello Friends!

We hope you are enjoying the crisp air and change of seasons!  We love the being out in the fresh air whether it’s enjoying an invigorating walk/hike or football with the kids. It’s a good time to remind ourselves on little things we can do to keep our metabolism “bumped up.”

Although the topic of metabolism is too big to handle in one book let alone one blog, here are five tips that can be readily incorporated into your daily routine to keep you looking great or start to build that fire from within that will have you on the path to becoming a fat burning machine!

1.  Increase your muscle mass  – Weight training increases lean muscle mass, which raises the amount of calories your body uses, even when you’re at rest. When there is less fat in your body your blood moves better which equates to more energy.  Just think about how you feel after a really good workout, your blood is pumping and circulating throughout your body.  Imagine this happening consistently at a more sustained pace and you can start to see how you would feel good at all points in the day without the “crash” or fatigue most people feel.

No gym?  No problem.  Some simple weight-bearing exercises include:

  • Pushups
  • Planks
  • Leg lifts
  • Lunges

2.  Eat some protein at each meal or snack – Protein has a greater metabolic boost than fat or carbohydrates. The more complex the food (think steak vs. sugar) the more calories you burn as your body has to “work” to digest it as it travels through the digestive tract.

Quick on-the-go protein snacks include:RawWalnuts14

  • Almonds, pistachios and pumpkin seeds
  • Organic hard-boiled eggs
  • Pre-cooked marinated chicken breast
  • Raw almond butter in celery stalks

3.  Become a lympo-manic – Many of us think that we need to walk or run for the cardio aspect.  Although cardio is a benefit the movement associated with walking, running or even jumping jacks helps to stimulate our lymph system.  The lymph system helps to maintain fluid movement between the cells and the bloodstream. It has been referred to as the body’s “garbage disposal system”, in that it removes waste products and other toxins from the cells and transfers it to the bloodstream which then circulates it out of the body. A body that is “clean” runs more efficiently and maintains a higher metabolism than one that is bogged down with toxins and other waste.

Ways to get your lymph on the move:

  • Rebounding
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Running in Place
  • Walking
  • Playing sports such as tennis and basketball

4.  Wake up with water – According to researchers at Virginia Tech, people who downed water before their first meal of the day consumed an average of 75 fewer calories at breakfast than those who didn’t drink up first.

Tips on drinking more water:

  • Have a glass first thing in the morning
  • Add a wedge of lime or lemon to your water for flavor
  • Take and extra glass water with you in the car to sip on
  • Drink a glass of water when you get home from work before you start on dinner or homework
  • Have a cup of herbal tea in the evening while reading or watching the news.

5.  Hang out with Joe – Having that morning cup of coffee can provide direct benefit to

Nothing like a great cuppa joe!

Nothing like a great cuppa joe!

getting your metabolism moving in the right direction.  We all know that coffee contains caffeine but how does it help our metabolism to burn fat?
Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, which sends direct signals to the fat cells to tell them to break down fat.  This is how caffeine helps to mobilize fat from the fat tissues, making it available for use as free fatty acids in the blood. Studies show that caffeine can improve exercise performance by 11-12% and increase the metabolic rate by 3-11%,  A cup of (regular) coffee before a workout can be a good thing!

Resources:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8201901
http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/25/2/364.long
http://www.lymphnevada.com/about-lymphedema/lymph-system

Have a great day and hope you are able to incorporate one of these five easy ways to boost your metabolism.  You are worth it and deserve great health!

Yours in health,

Donna and Daniela