52 Weeks to Toxin Free Homemade Wood Furniture Cleaner

cleansing power of lemon,Homemade wood furniture cleaner, DIY wood furniture cleaner

Funny thing when I was perusing Facebook the other day, I follow a page called Grow Food Not Lawns and one of the memes they posted was that we want natural ingredients in our cleaners but our foods we are okay with artificial or chemical ingredients. The meme said something to the effect of a wood furniture cleaner made with real lemons, but our foods are flavored with artificial lemon. We have become of backwards society in that we look more to convenience and ease than what is really good for us. Yes, the argument is that the items are cheap and inexpensive, but what about the overall cost to our health? Is the immediate savings really worth the long term price? With all the being said here we are for another week in our 52 Weeks to Toxin Free, where I am pleased to share the easiest and most lovely homemade wood furniture cleaner. Continue reading “52 Weeks to Toxin Free Homemade Wood Furniture Cleaner”

Greens Plus Green Superfood for Total Body Nutrition

superfoods, organic superfoods, superfood powders, greensplus

In all our busyness we often resort to fast food or less than fulfilling food options. We lack the several servings of fruits and vegetables daily in our diet. Quite frankly for most of us this deficit shows as we are missing out on all the essential nutrients and proprietary building blocks our bodies need to thrive and remain healthy. Even vitamin supplementation is not enough to provide energy, reduce inflammation and support an overall state of well-being. Continue reading “Greens Plus Green Superfood for Total Body Nutrition”

Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars – Snacks on the Go!

boy scout, cub scout, wind cave scout hike, wind cave, Mesa arizona

Some years ago I wrote about school lunch and the atrocities. Since that day I vowed I would make my children’s lunch everyday so that I knew what they were eating. Food is such an important factor in our daily lives from basic nutritional factors to the types of food we eat. I always try to make sure that my kids have a lunch that fuels their bodies and their brains right down to the snack options. Continue reading “Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars – Snacks on the Go!”

Pucker Up Lip Scrub by GlaMER

glamer lips, makeup by mer, lip scrub, organic lip balm

Tis the season for dry, chapped skin. Living in Arizona’s harsh climate I am no stranger to dry weather, heat, dry, gusty winds and overall arid climate. We are constantly applying some form of moisturizer in order to stay well hydrated with our skin. My lips are much of the same and we often neglect these beauties because we are either licking with them, kissing with them, drinking with them, so why wouldn’t they be well hydrated. Continue reading “Pucker Up Lip Scrub by GlaMER”

Cooking with Oil & Vinegar

oil & vinegar, chandler fashion square, arizona oil & vinegar, spices

Food is my passion. Cooking and food fall in line somewhere behind my love of God, my kids, my husband…you know it is somewhere behind them. So I am always trying new spices, new flavors, new ways to cook and share my love of all things food and culinary with my family. I am also never afraid to experiment with flavors and foods, my family gives tons of grace in that respect. In addition to all of these things, I love to find products that are unique, responsibly sourced and fun. Continue reading “Cooking with Oil & Vinegar”

First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers

Food is such an integral part of our lives. As a conversation piece, comfort and of course sustenance. For new moms, feeding your infant and or toddler can be worrisome, frustrating and concerning. Am I giving them enough options? Am I feeding them the right foods? Should I feed them these foods? When I had my twins I threw the traditional thoughts out the window and gave them everything. Brussels Sprouts were my favorite when they were teething, as were apples, bell peppers, the whole gamut of different fruits and vegetables. From the time they could sit up unassisted and gnaw on foods, I experimented on them. With G-man I was more concerned on being the perfect mom, giving him the “right” foods and never rocking the boat. I wish I had this book with my oldest, First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers, so I had some sort of compass and guide to tackle simple struggles like picky eating.

Picky Eaters

I’ve been interviewing experts about dealing with picky eaters for years and there are times when all that I have learned goes out the window! Do your best and when all else fails, take a deep breath and let it go. Don’t get up and make something different, let your child take ownership and decide not to eat, they won’t starve to death if they skip dinner one night. Allow them to have some of the control, it will empower them believe it or not they will (almost always) come around.

first bitesTry to:

  • Lead by example—parents have to be willing to eat and try things too
  • Offer a combination of foods your child likes along with things that may be a bit outside their comfort zone
  • Have a discussion about where food comes from
  • Get to the farmers’ marker or plant a garden
  • Make mealtime fun—eat, talk, share
  • Prepare meals together

Try not to:

  • Freak out!
  • Get noticeably frustrated
  • Fight over meals
  • Use dessert or other food as a reward
  • Insist that your child eat everything on their plate

(Photo and excerpt from FIRST BITES: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers with the permission of Perigee/Penguin. Copyright Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, 2015.)

Today I do one of the “try not to” with my kids, but they are now 7,7 and 12 so having them finish their plate usually consists of did you at least eat all of your vegetables on your plate? When I was growing up I was limited on my exposure to foods, fruits and vegetables. I wasn’t even aware of farmers markets, local farmer co-ops, or the like. At the young age of 17 I was exposed to artichokes and capers. I never looked back. My children were a fraction of my age when they were exposed and that is one of their all time favorite requests, including asparagus, roasted Brussels Sprouts, stuffed bell peppers, bok choy, spinach, mushrooms, onions and kale.

What I found with my oldest is just as Dana suggests, have your kids take ownership. I let my kids rummage through the fridge when they were toddling and we discussed the different fruits and vegetables and I let them try. I also tried. I stock my fridge to this day with an assortment of foods. Such an empowering feeling to have your children try and share and tell others about the foods they like.

Seth defined that moment and humbled me as a parent when at his Boy Scout den meeting he explained the various foods on his plate as part of a nutrition project. Mind you, my little gem is barely six at the time and he explained grilled chicken or salmon as his protein, quinoa or brown rice as his grain, broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, asparagus and green beans (because he clarified those are his favorite) as his veggie, strawberries as his fruit and Gouda was his choice of cheese (dairy) but he also likes almond milk. His dessert, of course, was my gluten free, dairy free, caramel apple cake. Of course, a meal would be incomplete without dessert!

When his den leader and The Chad shared this with me I felt so proud. I felt like we crested a hump. A pressure was relieved regarding the work I put into my kids to ensure they are eating the right foods and are educated about proper nutrition.

However I know I am truly blessed because my children do not lack a food allergy. Many children these days have or develop food allergies which can make meals tricky and tough to navigate, First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers helps provide helpful tips and insightful information on how to ensure we as parents are maximizing our children’s diets. The book release and copy could not have come at a better time as a friend from church was experiencing her own frustrations and concerns as a new mom. Her post on Facebook immediately prompted me to provide her with my copy of the book, to give her the tools I wish I had when I was a new mom, the tools I just figured out with having twins. If you are facing some of these struggles: food allergies, picky eaters, maximizing a vegetarian/vegan diet, or food transitions First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers should be in your arsenal of tools in the kitchen and your home. First Bites was released on February 3rd and is available nationwide and on Amazon, get your copy today and take the frustration out of navigating meals and foods for your child with amazing meal options and friendly recipes sure to transform even the pickiest of eaters.

Kickstart your Colon with Coconut Cleanse

Coconut colon cleanse review from Island Vibrance and TheFiveFish.com

The “holidays” are officially over. Valentines marks the close of all the crappy eating, unhealthy food choices and overall gluttony in our lives. For those who didn’t make a New Year’s resolution you are considering your health about this time. You are looking for a way to kickstart your body into the healthy mode; feeling sluggish, fatigued, and just a general overall feeling of meh. Continue reading “Kickstart your Colon with Coconut Cleanse”

Veggie Recipes for Meat Lovers

portbello mushroom, thefivefish.com/category/recipes, thefivefish.comAre you looking to incorporate more veggies into your diet with a new year? Here is a great starter recipe for you meat lovers that are on the fence about changing up your diet with more veggies. Vegetables do not have to be boring, tasteless, and dirt like. My husband had this same vision of vegetables, he was an anti-veg type of guy due to the horrific experience he had as a child. Sharing the terror of how his mother would cook vegetables to the point where they could be transformed to baby puree. Gross. Lifeless. Tasteless. Uninspiring. Damaging.

Overcooking vegetables results in the overall loss of nutrition content and pointless to eat other than pure aesthetics to your plate.

New Years goals and resolutions are a great way to get started taking control of your health and diet. Our waistlines are controlled by 80% of what we put into them and 20% what we do to them (proper sleep, exercise, stress, etc). My family was the family that had basic vegetables in the house: green beans, broccoli, carrots, corn. Super exciting. One day I made the radical decision to cut the crap. In that same breath of a decision I also decided to join a CSA which is a food coop with local farmers. By joining the CSA we began to transform the way we ate and how we ate food. Eating seasonal foods, foods that we had never tried before, vegetables that looked and sounded less than tempting to eat.

As we began to transform the way we ate, we wanted to know if we could still accomplish a “meat” type vegetable. A former employee of mine was a vegetarian and reformed meat eater. His diet helped to evolve my own foods and my family. One of our favorite dishes contains no meat products at all and is the most easy and flavorful meals I enjoy making.

Portabello Burger

portabello mushroom, Thefivefish.com/recipesOne of the most delectable fungi I have had the pleasure to cook with. Meaty and universal to pretty much anything you want to cook. Mild in flavor and truly a hearty addition to any dish. Portabello mushrooms can be purchased pre-packaged (which are more expensive) or you can purchase them loose and by the pound which run about $3.99 per pound.

I have grilled, sauteed, and eaten these babies raw, they are magnificent. Not as much as they are when made into a burger. Here is how you can have an all veggie burger without sacrificing taste or texture (serves 2):

1 zucchini, sliced length wise into 1/4 inch sticks
1 Portabello Mushroom, sliced length wise into thin slices, not too thin
1/4 red onion sliced
1 red bell pepper (you can add any other bell pepper but the red tastes best)
1 TBSP coconut oil
1/4 avocado, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
Favorite bread item – This dish is EXCELLENT on ciabatta, we have had on Dave’s Killer Organic and English muffins. Also amazing on a salad.

portabello burger, thefivefish.com/recipesWarm the pan over a medium heat and allow coconut oil to melt, toss in the onions and mushrooms first as they will soak up most of your oil. Cook for 2 minutes before adding in remaining veggies. Toss in pan to equally cook and coat. I like to use a lid to hold in the moisture and create a great browning and crunch to the zucchini. Be careful not to overcook, this is a saute type dish, cook the mushrooms and onions enough to be soft without being mushy.

While the vegetable medley is still warm serve atop your bread of choice with sliced avocado and cheese if you so desire. Provolone is excellent as is Swiss or a smoked gouda.

If you are feeling exceptionally edgy with your vegetables add in some thinly sliced eggplant for a truly mind blowing meaty flavor and taste to your vegetable medley burger. Eggplant is a savory, delicate veggie with a robust amount of meat.

Embrace your inner vegetarian. Even though you are a meat lover does not mean you cannot have a love affair with veggies. Vegetables do not have to be dull, lifeless and boring. Moreover veggies are not all about salads. You can create amazing smoothies, sides and full meals with the right veggies. Find some great meal ideas in our recipe section and spice up your meal ideas this year.