Friday, September 30, 2011

31 Day to a Happy, Healthy Family: Pantry/Cupboard/Fridge OVERHAUL!

Hello, and welcome to the first day of 31 Days to a Happy, Healthy Family!
 

I thought that I would start the series by showing you what we eat.
I opened my pantry, cupboards and fridge and clicked away.
I know that I am the nosy sort, and LOVE when fellow bloggers show me what they eat (or wear, or the beauty products they use...)

So...
ENJOY...

(Then we'll talk about the changes YOU need to make to your stockpile.)



My fridge:)




I keep my grains refrigerated for freshness...especially organic ones, because they contain NO preservatives.




The produce drawer...washed lettuce and cauliflower, ready to eat!





 Cheeses...YUM!



My favorite organic chicken.






I always keep citrus fruit separate from other produce...it will cause it to ripen and rot faster.





My favorite cupboard ♥ 





Lots of spices and seasonings are essential for cooking and baking from scratch:)





Yes, those are blue sprinkles...I do occasionally make the kiddos some less than healthy treats.
 AND that is okay...OCCASIONALLY!






 The pantry.






Behind the first row you see are more oils and vinegars...
coconut oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, organic balsamic vinegar, rice wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar and white balsamic vinegar.



Canned goods...store bought and home canned:)




 Pastas and bread crumbs (which I can't remember the last time I used...better check the expiration date;))





My wellness shelf...soy protein, flax and green tea.
And...yes,  I use 3 different kinds of peanut butter (one is in the fridge)!
One for baking, one for eating, and one unsweetened all natural for sandwiches w/ jelly to cut the sugar content of the whole sandwich.




I buy tuna in the pouch to eliminate our exposure to BPA in the cans.
Also, I prefer albacore (for omega-3's), but because of the high mercury content, it should only be consumed by women and children 1 or 2 times per month.



Snack bar stash;)





Onions (from our garden) and garlic.





Beans, lentil and rice...cheap and super healthy!

And finally our huge pile o' apples.


I usually have more fruits and veggies on hand, but I  have to go to the farm market today and get some fresh:) I ♥ farm markets:)



If you go to this, this and this post, you will understand the basics of eating better.

As a first step to a happy, healthy family...

I want you to go through your cupboards, pantry and fridge...

Eliminate anything that contains artificial coloring, flavors and sweeteners!

Eliminate anything that contains "partially hydrogenated" in the ingredients!

Eliminate everything that contains MSG or sodium nitrate or nitrite!

You have just made the first step to cleaning up your diet:)



I hope you will come back tomorrow to see how I make healthy snacks easy and convenient:)

Please feel free to grab a button from my sidebar and share the health!




Jessie

























Thursday, September 29, 2011

31 Day to a Happy, Healthy Family

I have decided to do something super fun! 
I am joining The Nester for the 31 Days Series! 
 I will blog for ALL 31 days of October on...


I am so excited!

If anyone has any suggestions for posts...or questions you want answered...Let me know!


I hope that you will follow along.




Jessie

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Attention A&E

Every morning I walk into my daughter's bedroom, gently rouse her by giving her a kiss on her soft little cheek, pull back the covers, and find this...







Or at least some version of this!

The toys are always a bit different...

But the collection is ALWAYS there!

Totally random things...

a doll house toilet...
a mini Etch-a-Sketch...
a plastic hotdog...
her Bible...
a Jibit
a glass gem she found on the floor at preschool (yum)...

I have finally come to the realization...

My daughter is a HOARDER.




Jessie

Monday, September 26, 2011

My Weight Loss Vlog

I finally finished my video blog!!!

This was one of the hardest posts that I have done.
I try not to look at pictures of myself when I was overweight.
They bring back a whole lot of insecurities for me...
And it has taken me FOREVER to see myself as something other than the girl in these pictures.

But someone recently told me I have to "own it" (thanks Kim!).

So...

Here it is...







I know it is a little rough...with the chair squeaking and blurry focus...

But I'll get better:)

Thank you for watching!


Jessie


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Saturday Supper and Dessert ♥

Saturday, my special helper and I decided to spend the afternoon in the kitchen, making an excellent meal. I LOVE spending time with this little sweetie ♥





We started off with my favorite fall cake...German Apple Cake!
It is moist and awesomely delicious:)
I know...It isn't "healthy"...But remember what I said about treats;)
It is perfectly acceptable to treat yourself, and your family a couple times per week!





Ready to bake.






Fresh out of the oven!





Can you see where some of the outside edge tore off...?
It was okay, I just placed the missing chunk right back where it came from;)
Even seasoned bakers have issues.
I should have oiled my pan better.


Now...

On to the main course!






I like to use all natural, extra lean ground beef, from grazing cattle.
Also, all natural beef broth (or organic), with NO MSG!





The smell of onions and garlic is wonderful.






After 3 hours of simmering.
If you want thicker chili, take the cover off the pot about halfway through.



And...

I seriously can NOT eat chili without Jalapeño Corn Muffins.
(I am linking the recipe...but I add 1 chopped jalapeño, and an additional egg.)





I decided to do mini-muffins, which is my new food obsession;)
I baked mine for 9 minutes at 375 degrees, and they were PERFECT!




There you have it...



A yummy supper...





And a heavenly fall dessert:)
(Here is the Caramel Frosting recipe I like. I used organic heavy cream, and added some additional cream at the end to bring my frosting to the proper consistency. Play around with it until you are satisfied.)



And...Just to prove that treating your kids a few times per week won't ruin them forever...


 

Today the little munchkin asked for a "veggie plate" as her afternoon snack...
NOT cake!!

Have a super week!


Jessie












Sunday, September 18, 2011

I'm On Twitter!

After starting my Eating Better Series, I got inspired to broaden my horizons. I LOVE, Love, love talking about nutrition, health and wellness...

So I decided to share my knowledge on a daily basis...ON TWITTER...by Tweeting What I'm Eating! I will tweet everything I eat throughout the day (even the "bad" stuff...haha!) You can find me @JessieSaxton!

I am also going to be giving weight loss and general wellness tips:) I am so excited!!!

AND...

I am working on my first video blog, in which I will personally show you the pictures of me, on my wedding day, at 185 lbs. Plus, you will get to see what I look like today!

Now...

Here are the pics of some of what I ate today. I have also given you the recipes:) Just click on the pics.



Clean Whole Wheat Bread






Vegan Split Pea Soup







Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins



I hope to hear from you all on Twitter!

Jessie

Friday, September 16, 2011

Hummus Obsessed

I have a serious hummus addiction...

It is just so darn YUMMY!






Here is my recipe for Garlic Hummus...

So you can become an addict too;)


  • 2-15 oz cans of organic garbanzo beans (I use Meijer Organics), drained with 3/4 cup of the juice reserved
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tbsps Tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • A sprinkle-1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on tastes...and tolerance;))
  • Salt to taste (hint: If you are using organic, low sodium beans, you may need more salt)
  • Paprika
  • Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Combine the first 7 ingredients, along with reserved juice, in a blender of food processor. Blend/process until smooth. Spoon into a container, sprinkle with paprika and drizzle with EVOO. Serve with fresh veggies or whole wheat pitas.



I hope you enjoy my latest food obsession:)


Jessie

Monday, September 12, 2011

Goodbye Summer....




Last week I said goodbye to summer...





Goodbye to my job on the lake...






Goodbye to this gorgeous view...






Goodbye to all the beautiful yachts...






And goodbye to my daily lunch of hummus and fresh veggies. (Kinda weird that I threw my hummus in there...but I'm a kinda weird;))







We canned this last monster pile of tomatoes...





While picking my kiddos up from their last day of daycare...I noticed that leaves are starting to change...
(I would definitely NOT recommend trying to take a picture while you are driving down the street.)





My Little Lilykins started her first day of preschool...






(She is always making faces for the camera...haha!)






I cleaned my oven the SAFE, non-toxic way...





You can judge me...it was DISGUSTING! But it looks AWESOME now: )

And as a reward for all the hard scrubbing action...





I baked up a pile of autumn goodness...pumpkin mini muffins...yum!


How did you say goodbye to summer?


Jessie

Monday, September 5, 2011

Changing Brands DID Change My Life!



If you read my blog you have probably noticed the the new, AWESOME Shaklee stuff in my sidebar. That is because I am now a Shaklee Distributor! I am so excited about this new path I am taking! Remember a few weeks ago, when I wrote about changes we have made in our lives, one of them being the way we clean? Well...that is what led me to Shaklee. I have asthma, allergies and eczema, and you are all aware of my precious Gabe's problems ( he also has horrible eczema). Every time I would clean the house, especially the bathrooms, I had to open windows, wear gloves and worry that toxic fumes would trigger an asthma attack. I was also worried about my kiddos breathing those toxins into their little lungs. Plus, have you ever read the warnings on the back of those cleaner bottles?...SCARY stuff!!! What do you suppose happens over time as we use these products? What do you think their impact is on our environment? They have to go somewhere after we wash them down the drain...



About a year ago I started researching green cleaners. I bought a few, and was unimpressed:(  I did NOT feel that they were doing a good job of keeping my house clean and free of germs. The dish soap I purchased was expensive and did not seem to get my dishes very clean. I felt like I was squirting half of the bottle into each sink full of dishes. After two weeks, I ran out of the environmentally friendly soap and returned to my old stand-by. We do not have a dishwasher (I know, how primitive), so I am a freak about clean dishes. The toilet bowl cleaner I used did not get the rust out of my toilet, so that had to go. I started using a popular lavender scented all purpose spray cleaner, but the heavily scented stream that sprayed out onto my countertops nauseated me. I tried a different scent with similar results. The laundry detergent I purchased did NOT clean our clothes...this story goes on for months of spending LOTS of money and being thoroughly disappointed.



Then, one day while blog surfing, I found the answer...





Shaklee has a line of NON TOXIC, super safe, green cleaning products called GET CLEAN! The rockstar of this line is Basic H², an super concentrated, ORGANIC cleaning solution.

I placed my first order for Basic H², a 3 pack of Get Clean spray bottles, Scour Off, Hand Dish WashFresh Laundry Concentrate, Fabric Softener Concentrate and Dryer Sheets. ALL from Shaklee's Get Clean line.


I was so excited when I saw the UPS delivery man pull into my driveway 3 days later! (what a dork, huh;)) The first thing I did was carefully measure the proper concentrations of Basic H² (Shaklee's SUPER CONCENTRATED cleaner) into each spray bottle (the amount is labeled on each spray bottle!).


One for all purpose cleaning solution, one for degreasing solution and one for window cleaning solution. (Pssst...One 16oz bottle of super concentrated Basic H² makes 48 GALLONS of all purpose cleaner!)



That was the day I baked this cake...


The mess was ridiculous! Powdered sugar and sticky marshmallow fondant EV-ER-Y-WHERE! I decided that I had better use the degreaser I had mixed from Basic H². When I sprayed it, I can't describe the feeling as it hit my feet (I was spraying the sugar coated floor). It was cool and wet, almost refreshing. I have never felt anything quite like it. But, more importantly, as I wiped my floor down, my floor felt CLEAN! Cleaner than  it has in years. I can only attribute it to the fact that the Basic H² does not leave a film of toxic cleaner behind. Nor does it leave behind a strong smell. Just clean.

I used the Scour Off paste to clean crusty marshmallow gunk out of my sink...it worked like a dream! I squirted a few drops of dish washing liquid into my dish water and it cleaned the whole sink full of  frosting coated dishes! I was almost giddy at this point:)
Later that same night I did ALL of my laundry using my new laundry products! Guess what? They came clean and smelled A-MA-ZING! The Soft Fabric Concentrate has a light, gorgeous scent, and I kept sniffing the bottle (eliciting weird looks from my husband). My towels were fresh and fluffy. Our clothes were soft. I could not have been happier!! Until I put on a pair of jeans a few days later..

I usually get itchy, red bumps on my thighs from wearing denim that clings to my legs. After using the Shaklee Fresh Laundry Concentrate, my legs did NOT itch! Impressive! After a few weeks, I noticed that Gabe's eczema had improved as well:) I don't know if it was changing detergent, changing cleaning products, or BOTH!

We used all the products for a few weeks, loving them all! I decided to put in another order for more cleaning products (and a few accessories). I kept telling my friends and family how much I LOVED the Shaklee products!

Then, a few weeks ago, I realized that my summer employment was coming to an end, and my family wasn't going to be able to thrive without my income...

And I remembered the Shaklee Opportunity! I could become a distributor and share the products I am obsessed with! (Ask anyone who knows me...I talk about Shaklee all the time:)). It is a win-win situation for me. I get to talk about health and wellness as my JOB! 

And...

There are so many more awesome Shaklee products aside from the Get Clean line...

But you will have to wait for me to talk about those in another post! I don't want to overwhelm you with my excitement;) But if you have any questions on ANYTHING...Please email me:)






Sooooo....


To kick off my my new Shaklee business...


I am giving away 10 samples of Basic H to the first 10 people to email me, at optimalsaxtons@gmail.com, with their names and addresses. This way you can form your own opinion. (But I know you're gonna LOVE it!)

Please don't leave your address in my comment box! We wouldn't want anyone getting your private information. Yikes!!:-/ 


What are you waiting for? Go...email me!!:)


Jessie