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Healthy Eating/ How-Tos/ Nutrition/ RECIPES

How To Fill Up With Nutrition To Leave Less Room For Junk

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“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Aloha, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #myAloha and #AlohaMoment

Do you feel it?  Do you feel the New Year coming?

Our Christmas celebrations just started this evening, and let me tell you…my family can COOK!  We celebrated with my Mom’s side of the family & we partied pot-luck style.  I am sitting here feeling full and happy—and ready for the New Year.

I’m ready for the fresh start that the New Year brings–especially in the area of health.

You all know I live a pretty healthy lifestyle, but every year without fail, by the end of the year and all the holiday celebrations, I have let my MOST healthy habits slip a bit.  I still am eating pretty clean and healthy, but I feel off-balance.  I am not paying as much attention as I typically would to getting the nutrients I need and making sure my diet is balanced.  There are days when I have too many carbs, other days I wonder if I had enough protein, & getting those superfood and greens in happen some days, but some days not.

Usually I would wait until the New Year to evaluate where I am at and be more mindful of my health, but not this year!  I’m starting NOW!  This does not mean I can’t enjoy the holidays and all the great food it brings, but it does mean that I want to be purposeful about getting all the good, nutritional stuff in my body FIRST so that the not-so-good-for-me stuff does not affect me as much. If I am full of nutrition, I have less room for the junk.


Here are some of the best ways I have found to fill up with nutrition:


1. Start with a smoothie.

I know, I know. You have heard it a million times…but there is a reason why smoothies are so popular.  They are so versatile and such an easy way to get fiber, protein, superfood, greens, veggies & fruits into the body.  They are also really appealing to eat in the morning or as a snack, which are 2 times of the day that it really counts to fill yourself full of nutrition.  I am excited to share with you a new favorite product calledthat I have been using in my smoothies…keep reading!


2. Make SURE you are getting enough protein.

We eat a lot of plants in our family, and even did quite a long stint with going vegetarian as a family.  We have recently added a bit of animal protein back into our diet, as I found it pretty hard to get my kids to eat enough plant protein, but it is only a couple of times a week and I am very picky about where the meat comes from.   I have made friends with our local farmers to get that good, grass-fed, organic meat.  BUT plant protein is still my first choice, so we still eat lots of beans, quinoa, greens and use plant protein powder in our smoothies.

That new favorite product I mentioned above?  It is called and I am super excited about it. I was instantly drown to this product when I read that one of the main ingredients is plant protein from pumpkin seeds!  I am familiar with whey protein, soy protein & pea protein–but this was the first time I have heard of pumpkin seed protein in a protein shake product.  It made me excited because I know how stinkin’ healthy pumpkin seeds are for you, and I have been trying to find ways to incorporate their goodness into our diet.

I will tell you more about below.


3. Make carbs count.

If you are going to eat carbs, make sure they count by being whole grains & full of fiber.  The fiber will slow down the digestions of the carbs, which in turn keeps the blood sugar stable.  Carbs are needed for fuel and energy, but they should not make up the bulk of your meals.  If the majority of your plate is white or yellow with pasta, bread, mac n cheese, white rice; then some changes need to happen.  This is what was happening in my family when we ate vegetarian.  I found that we were unbalanced and eating too many carbs.  Some carbs are good and needed, but make them count by making sure they contain fiber.


4. Drink your fill of water before indulging in other drinks.

Lets face it. The holidays are full of calories, so a great way to cut empty calories is by being mindful of your liquids.  Holidays bring egg nog, amaretto coffee, hot cider, hot cocoa, and all kinds of fun, festive drinks.  Go ahead and indulge, but drink a nice big glass of water before you do.  The water will fill you up and you will be satisfied with sipping more slowly on all those empty calorie drinks, and you will go for refills a bit less often.


5. Eat breakfast

It’s a given.  If you eat a good balance breakfast, you will not be as hungry and over indulge the rest of the day.  You will find that your concentration will be so much better if you start out the day with good nutrition.


6. Eat plants. Vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.

Plant food is full of phytonutrients & antioxidants–all those amazing things that snuff out inflammation in our bodies and protect us from disease.  Plant food is filling, so if you are getting your share of plants, you will be full and less likely to overindulge.  That fried onion topped green bean casserole? It does not count! Watch for those recipes that add junk on top of your veggies & avoid them or take a smaller serving. If there is a raw vegetable platter and dip at those holiday parties, have some dip–but dip dainty–don’t scoop!

A quick nut tip: Did you know that if you have a palm-full of almonds 20 minutes before a meal, that it will curb your appetite and you will in turn eat much less?  It is a great trick.  I often grab a handful while I am making dinner.


7. Take a Multi-Vitamin.

I know little pills can in no way do what plant food can do, but I do believe they are a great ‘fall-back’ or a ‘just -in- case’ you didn’t get all of the vitamins and minerals you might need through food during the day.  I am learning more and more just how important certain minerals are for digestion & brain health & energy & clear skin & shiny hair &…well…the list goes on and on!  Just one deficiency in one type of vitamin or mineral can really throw one’s health off.



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Aloha Protein Powder

A protein smoothie is a great way to accomplish a lot of the tips above, all in one swoop.

I have tried many, many types of protein powders and have even reviewed some here on the blog, and let me just say, they keep getting better and better! has for sure given protein powder a powerful improvement, and after using it for the last couple of weeks, I personally won’t have to look any further for a protein powder. It is by far my favorite. It tastes amazing.

It is a plant-based protein and uses superfood components.  It is made with organically grown and wild-harvested ingredients and is tested far beyond government regulations. It made responsibly both socially and ecologically.

The nutrients in the powder are made with whole foods, and has a complete amino acid profile, with no added chemical amino acids, vitamins or minerals.  Each serving provides 18 grams of plant-based protein!  It has no sugars & no fillers which is super important to me, especially the filler part.  I cannot stand buying a protein powder and later learning that most of my money went towards fillers!

The plant protein comes from Sacha Inchi Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds & Peas.  I like that!

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Let me just list the ingredients for the Vanilla Protein Powder and see if you are as impressed as I am:


Sacha Inchi Seed Protein, Pumpkin Seed Protein, Pea Protein, Coconut Water, Coconut Cream, Coconut Sugar, Apple Juice, Wild-Harvested Vanilla, Madagascar Cinnamon, Sunflower Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, Hawaiian Pink Salt, Monk Fruit Extract

That ingredient list makes me very happy.  Short, sweet, recognizable & quality ingredients.

The Chocolate Protein Powder ingredients are just as impressive, and uses fair-trade cacao.  The chocolate is my favorite. When I tasted the powder for the first time, what hit me what that it did not have an after-taste or a weird texture.  I am hooked.

My favorite flavor is the chocolate.  My favorite way to use it is by blending it with almond milk & adding a spoonful of peanut butter.  OH. MY. YUM.

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The Aloha website has a ton of recipe ideas if you want to get more creative with the powder.

Would you like to try it out for yourself?  Do what I did and .  The trial is 14 days with the benefits of becoming auto-enrolled into the monthly subscription –while supplies last.  You will pay a small bit for shipping, but I am telling you…it is well worth it!

You can also follow Aloha on:

Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // Instagram // Google+ //


Are you in the habit of drinking smoothies?

What time of day do you drink yours?



Treating A Gallbladder Attack Naturally

Treating A Gallbladder Attack Naturally

I spent the morning with a friend who had some awful symptoms of pain in the upper right side of her abdomen, under the ribcage area and radiating into the back. She has yet to find out if it is her gallbladder, but hearing her describe it all made me remember when my gallbladder was acting up, and my doctor wanted to take it out.

I was SO DONE with surgeries, breast cancer has made sure I’ve had my share of them, so I scoured the web for some natural alternatives to treating a gallbladder attack. Would you believe it worked?!


Natural Juice - Treating A Gall Bladder Attack

How I Treated My Gallbladder Naturally

This pic was taken right after I was told I had to have surgery. I investigated natural remedies and went straight to the health food store and went a little overboard. I have had a couple of attacks after the initial one, and have since narrowed down how I treat myself to just a few products and dietary restrictions.

Continue Reading…

Cancer Journey/ HEALTH/ Healthy Eating/ How-Tos/ RECIPES

Fighting Cancer With Nutrition

I’m slowly but surely making decisions everyday about attacking this cancer from a nutritional standpoint.  There are so many suggestions and so many things one could choose to do in this area, and it could be overwhelming.  I’VE DECIDED NOT TO LET IT BE.

 This is another area that I have had to just release to God and know that He will lead me to what He wants for me.  I’ve had an open mind to those I trust the most, and through them I feel like He is guiding me. It is a calm, imperfect, slow process and I LOVE IT:P

I will share with you the different things I am embracing and why, some may sound quacky, but when you have Stage 3 Invasive breast cancer, quacky is allowed!

If you think about it, putting chemicals in your body that are so harsh that they eat up your blood veins, kill good cells along with cancer cells, and make you bald, is pretty quacky, too, but that is what we are doing along with nutrition.  Makes granola and green stuff sound a bit more normal, huh?

My husband walked out the door this morning saying, “Babe, get what you need to get.”  His support and trust in my decisions in this area means the world and made me feel so loved and cared for.

I’ll start with what I am doing so far, it is just the beginning but its is something.  I am NO EXPERT, whatever I am doing is just me stumbling along choosing to do what makes the most sense, all the while knowing it is PRAYER that heals, and whether that is healing here on this earth or my ultimate healing in heaven, only God knows what His perfect plan for me is.

I so desire to be a good steward of my body, and a good steward of information that God has sent my way.  Prayers in this area would be so appreciated!

Chemo has to be one of the most dehydrating things known to man. I have drank so much water in the last week, and not much is coming out, so obviously my body needs it!  TMI?
I use an Eco Vessel water bottle and it is by my side 24/7.  Literally!
I love it.  It holds 17 oz, fits in most cup holders, has a lid that allows ice in (very important to me), and is insulated, which keeps my ice from melting for hours.  I wake up at least 2-3 times a night very thirsty, so it stays filled and cold on my headboard.  There were days when I was very nauseous and it was a chore to make myself drink, but I did.  I feared getting dehydrated, I know so many who have to be hospitalized during their cancer fight because of dehydration, and that can be very serious.

2. Very little sugar.
We have had amazing desserts delivered and I have had bits of each of them and enjoyed them, but for the most part I enjoy seeing my girls and Todd delight in them.  Chemo has done a weird thing to my taste buds.  It makes everything taste sweet.  Not a very good, sweet, either.  For example, a glass of juice can taste like I’m drinking a glass of sweet cough syrup.  Yea, ick.  It has been a great way to steer me away from the sweets, but I am ready for normal taste buds again.  I am not off sugar, but I am very aware of how much sugar I eat, and when possible I use Sucanat (like on the oatmeal I am eating right now:)

3. Lots of fruit
This one has been easy for me because I am so spoiled.  My Grandma and Grandpa Earl signed me up for Harry and David’s fruit of the month club. SUPER GREAT GIFT.  Nectarines are the fruit of September and they have been DELISH!  I have also been able to afford lots of good fruit thanks to meals that have been delivered by friends and family.  It saves our grocery budget, so I buy fruit, veggies and supplements with the extra money.  Every meal we have received has had some sort of fruit (or veggie) with it, so that is pretty awesome.  I am trying to pick lots of different colors of fruits.  My freezer is full of different types of frozen berries that I use for smoothies, to put on my oatmeal, or just eat slightly thawed. I recently found the best black, seedless grapes! I’m trying to get creative so it doesn’t get boring. Just this morning a dear friend dropped off some treats along with organic bananas and carrots–nourishing foods are such a great gift to me!!  Thanks, Johanna!!

4. Veggies
This one was harder for me when my tummy was not well.  Now it easier.  I have lots of frozen veggies to use in soups.  I keep spinach on hand and use it in my fruit smoothies or pile it high with other veggies and make a salad.  I bought a butternut squash that I can’t wait to bake.  I’m lucky that I like vegetables, as I know many do not.  I have an aunt (Hi, Ellen!) that is sending a recipe for a cleansing soup that I’m sure will have lots of veggies in it.  My chopping board and I are ready, I think it would be great to have on hand for lunch.

5. Odwalla Superfood Green Drink
This was just a simple way for me to get some greens like wheat grass, barley grass, wheat spouts in when everything was crazy and I was too tired to think. It is high in Manganese and Potassium. I know there are other, better and cheaper ways of doing it, but while I was sick this was easiest.  I just drank a cup every morning.  It was one of the only juices that didn’t taste too sweet for me, and I drank it through a straw so I wouldn’t have to look at the crazy dark green color.  I have plans for getting my greens in other ways, I will share when I actually implement them.

6. Barlean’s Total Omega 3.6.9 Swirl
This product has fascinated me.  It was another super easy way to know I am getting my Omegas without having to think too much.  It was on sale at my health food store and the Orange Creme Swirl flavor sounded good.  It is made with Organic Flax Oil and Pure Borage Oil. There is no crazy taste, it is delish.  I take 1 Tbls a day.  It is very digestible, which was great for my sensitive stomach.  The lady that recommended it for me has no gall bladder and she said this product is the only one she can find that she is able to digest well.

7. Protein
All of the great meals we have been getting have made this one easy. I love chicken and one of my most favorite meals that was delivered was simple grilled chicken with an INCREDIBLE smoky bbq sauce.  I am working on getting more protein from non- meat sources, like lentils, beans and nuts.  In fact, today it is lentils and rice for lunch…yum!:)
 There were days when all I could get down was a protein bar, they came in handy, but are high in sugar, so not my favorite method of getting protein.
Eggs, cheese and yogurt are all high in protein.  I am a bit confused with what to do with these as my cancer type is estrogen fed and depending on what you believe, there are concerns with eggs and milk products and estrogen.  I won’t get into that because there are many different opinions out there, and I don’t want my comment section to become a debate 🙂 but it is something that I am processing…

8.  Fiber
This is pretty easy when I am eating all the fruits and vegetables that I should be.  We had some incredible flax seed rolls delivered with a meal that I am sure had a good amount of fiber in them.  I love dipping hearty breads in my soups.  I have been eating lots of oatmeal and nuts that have fiber, too.

9. Vitamins and Supplements
The only thing I have been doing so far is a multi-vitamin and 2,000 i.u of Vitamin D.  I am waiting to hear back from a blood test taken to check my Vit. D levels, I am a strong believer that Vitamin D is CRUCIAL to my healing.

I have a great plan for all my vitamins and supplements in the very near future.  I am going with the Shaklee brand, and will become a representative for them so I can get them at a good cost, and offer them to any of my blog readers if they are interested.  It was a process I was embracing before my cancer diagnosis, so it feels natural to continue on in that process. Here are the products from Shaklee that I have decided to take so far:

~Shaklee Vitalizer + Iron

 There are a few others I would love, but we will see how the budget is doing and maybe add slowly.  I will go into more detail with these products and why I am taking them sometime soon.

I  will continue to let you know what I am adding and what I feel is working for me.  I know this stuff is not for everyone, but it is through others sharing their journey that I have found some answers, so I will share mine.

***If you are a meal provider for our family in the future, I don’t want you an ANY way to feel like it has to be organic and crazy healthy.  My breakfast, lunch and snacks are extremely healthy and I know now more than ever that LIVING and enjoying gifts is so very important, so know that I will enjoy yours. This post makes it sound like I am an”all organic, won’t- eat- anything- that- is -not- good -for me” person. Not true.  I am taking a balanced approach, so please do not feel pressure to bring an out- of- this- world, healthy meal.  We are so very thankful for whatever you provide, even if it is pizza or takeout (another one of my most favorite meals that was provided was a Chinese takeout feast!:))

Today’s food:
BreakfastOatmeal with Sucanat, cinnamon & a handful of frozen rasberries; yogurt
LunchSalmon burger from my health food store +lentil rice salad
DinnerChili, Spinach salad, and bread from the bread makerSnacks-Homemade apple pie from a friend, smoothies, fruits/veggies, crackers, etc. 

HEALTH/ Healthy Eating/ How-Tos

What Will Kill Our Children

This post is linked to 30-Minute Blog Challenge @ Steady Mom.

It is estimated that one out of every three children in the United States is obese.  It is an epidemic.

This video is one of the absolute best I have seen in making this real.  Please, please watch even just a few minutes.  Jamie Oliver is now on my list of favorite people.  I love his message, I love his delivery (he is funny!) and I hope as many people as possible can view this video.  Please share this with those you love.  Share it on facebook, email it, tweet it-get the word out and save our children!