Easy Tips for Grilling Vegetables Perfectly!

If you are looking for healthy barbecue ideas, these tips for grilling vegetables will come in handy this summer.  With grilling season in full swing, everyone is throwing hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill.  What about grilling vegetables?  I rarely see slabs of eggplant or skewers of bell pepper on the grill at my neighborhood pool party. When you imagine a meal cooked over the grill, most people usually think of steaks, burgers and hot dogs. One way to reduce your carbon foot print this summer is to learn how to grill vegetables instead of … [Read more...]

Chia Seed Health Benefits and Simple Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

Have you ever looked a a chia seed pudding recipe and wondered why eat chia seeds at all?  What chia seed health benefits are you missing out on by not buying these itty bitty little seeds? I'm always looking for creative ways to boost my family's nutrition intake.  I make tons of smoothies where I can add in flax seed oil.  My baked goods are hiding things like chia seeds, wheat germ, and all sorts of other nutritious ingredients. I have recently been reading about chia seed health benefits.  These tiny little seeds can really pack quite a bit … [Read more...]

Natural Ingredients in Food You Really Don’t Want to Eat!

If you are a label reader like I am, you have probably come across the term natural ingredients in food that you purchase for your family.  Have you ever wondered what those natural ingredients really are?  You look at the back of the package and see the words natural ingredients and you think 'That must be healthy, right? '  You might be surprised at what the term natural ingredients really covers.  Ever hear of something called Ambergris? Ambergris  is also known as whale vomit and is considered a natural ingredient in food.   According to … [Read more...]

Reasons to Support Sustainable Palm Oil Suppliers

A couple of days ago I received an email from Change.org asking me to sign a petition to encourage the Girl Scouts of America to remove palm oil from its list of ingredients due to environmental concerns. Why?  Because none of the palm oil in them comes from sustainable palm oil suppliers.   My daughter is a Girl Scout...thus requiring me to buy and eat large quantities of said cookies but I signed the petition anyhow.  As long as my Samoas are still tasty I am all for making them more environmentally friendly!  Then, I started wondering...what … [Read more...]

Can You Identify Fake Honey? A not so sweet tale of honey impersonation

Have you heard about fake honey?  Did you know that there was a scandal not too long ago about fake honey being sold in stores?  Do you think you can identify fake honey if you saw it? My husband and I have started making mead, a honey based 'wine' that ferments for almost a year before being ready to actually drink.  When we were getting ready to start our first batch, we did a lot of research into what types of ingredients we wanted to include (you can add things like hops or fruit to create different varieties of mead). Obviously, the one … [Read more...]

Why Should I Buy Organic Meat? Well, Here’s Why!

Have you ever asked yourself ' Why should I buy organic meat?'  I would like to give you a few reasons that I hope will convince you to make the switch. Recently,  I made a trip out to my local farmer to pick up some eggs.  I love being able to watch the hens foraging and see the pigs wallowing in their favorite mud puddle.  I have been buying all of my beef, pork and eggs from local farmers for the last several years and I have been thrilled with the quality of everything I have purchased.  Is it CHEAP? No!  Is it worth every penny is spend?  … [Read more...]

Sweet Salty Trail Mix Recipe and the Power of Peanuts!

This sweet salty trail mix recipe is part of a sponsored conversation with Planters and FitFluential but all opinions are my own. When my stomach starts rumbling or I finish my workout at the gym, I always refuel with healthy snacks.  In fact, I find myself reaching for a snack every few hours throughout the day.  Rather than grabbing relatively empty carbs that don't keep me full, I try to include protein whenever possible.  Without high protein snacks, I tend to get 'hangry mom syndrome' which leaves ME cranky and my kids wondering if they … [Read more...]

Check This List of All Natural Sweeteners Before You Shop!

I am putting together this list of all natural sweeteners for people who are determined to ditch fake chemicals in their food. Back when I was younger, I was obsessed with calories and was always looking for 'light'  and 'diet' foods.  My goal was to be able to eat whatever I wanted to without taking in any calories.  Diet Coke, light yogurt, and all sorts of other foods that were loaded with artificial sweeteners made up a good portion of my diet.  I didn't worry about what sort of chemicals were being put into my overly processed food...I was … [Read more...]

Easy Pecan Pie Cookie Recipe

This pecan pie cookie recipe has been sponsored by Eggland's Best Eggs but all opinions expressed here are my own. When I was growing up in New England, I' pretty sure I never tasted a single pecan.  We were a walnut family, as were most of the people in my state.  You always put walnuts in cookies, quick breads and trail mix.  I'm sure the grocery store probably carried pecans but they never once entered my mother's kitchen.  After college, I moved to Texas.  Let me tell you something about Texans....they take their pecan's VERY seriously! … [Read more...]

Spring Gardening Tips: Preparing Your Garden for Planting

I realize that it's barely March, but here in Georgia spring comes early.  I already see dandelions popping up and my crocuses have been blooming for weeks.  I have been searching the web for some spring gardening tips to ensure that I have at least a little bit of success with this season's plantings.  I am a GREAT planter but not always such a good grower so I need all the help I can get.  I spent an hour or two outside last week preparing my garden beds for a new crop and thought I would share a few of my spring gardening tips with you.  I … [Read more...]

“Where Does Meat Come From?”: How to Answer Your Child’s Questions

When I tell people that my kids have been to a slaughter house they look at me like I'm insane.  (It was empty except for a couple deer carcasses in the refrigerator and spotlessly clean....) However, from the time my children were incredibly young, I answered their ' where does meat come from ?' questions quite honestly.  They have been coming with me to the farm for meat pickups since they were young and know that the animals we see there will eventually end up on our plates.  You might think that's harsh but too many children today are … [Read more...]

How to Make Natural Green Food Coloring

Saint Patrick's Day is coming up quickly and making natural green food coloring will let you skip the artificial colors in some of your festive desserts.  While I could care less about the color of my cookie frosting, it seems somehow wrong of me to deny my children green frosted cupcakes and cookies during our celebrations of all things Irish.  I decided to try playing around with ways to make natural green food coloring so my kids can enjoy their green desserts.  Of course, the first thing I do is head to the internet to do some research.  I … [Read more...]

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas Snack Recipe with Rosemary and Garlic

This spicy roasted chickpeas snack recipe is my new solution to snack time guilt.  No more ‘hangry’ mom who is irritable because she is trying to avoid snacking.  No more gazing longingly at my husband while he inhales food during our pre-bedtime TV session.  Nope.  Now, I am going to happily make this roasted chickpeas snack recipe several times a week to I can snack without guilt. Chickpeas (otherwise known as garbanzo beans) are loaded with flavor.  But, who wants to sit around eating beans out of a can, right?  Beans are loaded with protein … [Read more...]

Clean Eating Meal Planning Tips for Busy Moms

So, you have vowed to eat healthier this year, right? Maybe you want to lose weight or just start feeling better?  Well, these clean eating meal planning tips are just what you need. Getting healthy doesn't require the counting of calories.  You don't need fad diets, juice cleanses or special food you can only buy online. I am a huge fan of a food guru named Michael Pollan.  If you aren't familiar with him, his entire philosophy on food intake can be summarized in one phrase.  "Eat real food.  Mostly plants.  Not too much."  These clean eating … [Read more...]

10 Amazing Health Benefits of Eating Walnuts!

I have spent a lot of time this week making Christmas cookies.  As a result, I have spent a lot of time eating Christmas cooking INGREDIENTS.  As I stood in my kitchen with a handful of walnuts in my hand, I started wondering about the health benefits of eating walnuts.  You hear so much lately about increasing the amount of 'good fat' in your diet and nuts are loaded with them.  When I started searching the internet for health benefits of walnuts, I was amazed at how good for you these little things are!  I can almost justify eating a … [Read more...]

Cookie Baking Tips for Beginners: For Perfect Cookies Every Time!

When I was young, I was lucky enough to have a mom who loved to bake.  I remember when I was about 6 or 7, I would go to school with my homemade lunch and kids would pay me a quarter just for me to give them homemade cookies from my mom.  I had a nice little side business going there for a while!  I truly love making cookies from scratch and am trying to instill that love of baking in my own kids.  But, I know there are a lot of people who were not raised with Betty Crocker for a mom.  If you don't learn from a mom, where to you learn to make … [Read more...]

Beat Holiday Weight Gain with These Simple Tips

Oh, how I miss my twenties and thirties.  Those were the days when I could eat Christmas cookies and not put on a single pound.  I didn't have to worry about how to beat holiday weight gain because my metabolism worked off all those extra calories without me lifting a finger to lose weight.  Now that I am in my forties, however, holiday weight gain is a real concern.  I am pretty sure I put on weight just SMELLING the dang eggnog and homemade caramel.  I will need to work hard this year to avoid those extra pounds around the middle called 'too … [Read more...]

5 Reasons You Need a High Protein Breakfast (And a Peanut Butter & Banana Protein Smoothie Recipe!)

This post about why you need a high protein breakfast has been sponsored. I am participating in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Orgain. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. #PoweredByOrgain Mornings are busy for most of us and whipping up a high protein breakfast isn't always on the to do list.  Finding sneakers is on the to do list.  Feeding the dog and making sure the kids have their homework packed are also on the to do list.  But, sitting down to a nice, … [Read more...]

Chicken and Ranch Taco Cups Make Easy Game Day Appetizers #NaturallyFresh

This post is part of the blogger program by Naturally Fresh and The Motherhood, who compensated me for my time and the development of this recipe. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are my own, and I hope you enjoy them. Unless you have been hiding under a rock the last few weeks, you are well aware of what big event is happening this weekend.  Whether or not you are a football fan doesn't really matter.  Between the commercials, the parties and the food, just about everyone will probably be watching the Superbowl in a few days!  … [Read more...]