Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Food, Health, Garden....

Here's to rambling: My thoughts on all things healthy and edible.

It's no secret I like to cook (and eat) good food. But I like it to be healthy too. Shaun is SUPER into health and eating right and feeling good. We've listened to several conferences from Bethel church in redding california about health and wellness and eating right. And it's so stinkin' fascinating besides just being good for you.

In the spring I decided to plant a teeny tiny little vegetable garden. I tried starting some of my plants from seed, which I've never done before. I used baby food jars and toothpicks and made little flags from tiny pieces of paper so I would know what was what as it came up. The baby food jars weren't the best for starting things indoors as they have no drainage, but I was trying to do it using things I already had and spending as little money as possible. My cucumber plant did awesome, and so did the lettuce. But my peppers never came up, and my tomatoes came up but then died. I ended up starting my peppers from seed outside once it got warmer, and I also had several tomatoes come up around where my tomato plant had been last year that I transplanted. I planted carrots and more lettuce once it got warmer outside. I ended up buying one pepper plant, one tomato plant and one cucumber plant that were further along than mine so that I wouldn't have everything becoming ready at the same time. And the thing I'm most proud of is my little orange bell pepper plant that I started from the seeds from a pepper I picked up from the grocery store... I mean, who knew?? Aren't you supposed to buy "planting" seeds in a little packet at a hardware store? Can you seriously grow plants from seeds from actual vegetables?? Wow. This is exciting news. (I know I am a blonde, so just in case you think I was serious, that was sarcasm...) And let me just say, it is the best feeling EVER to just walk out the back door and pick something and turn it into a meal.

We have gotten several cucumbers, lots of lettuce, a bunch of tomatoes, and at least ten banana peppers so far. One of my favorite things is that you have to be a bit creative to use what you have when it's ready. Pico de gallo is perfect for using tomatoes and whatever kind of peppers. I make a new batch of this every few days and we eat it on wraps and salads and as a dip... Another favorite is my no bake bruschetta. My best friend made this for me the first time I had it. Just slice a baguette, top with olive oil, a slice of mozerella cheese, a slice of tomato and a sprinkle of garlic salt and mccormicks Italian Herb Grinder... They look fancy and taste delicious, but are super
simple to make :)

And mint. It grows like nobody's business.... I have more than I know what to do with. If I don't keep my eye on it I'm pretty sure it has a secret agenda to one day take over my entire back yard... It keeps me busy trying to find legitimate reasons to cut it back. I make mint tea pretty often, but we also found a "recipe" for mineral water. Basically, take a jar, and whatever kind of fruit or herbs you want, fill the jar with water and said fruits/herbs, and let sit in the fridge over night. We tried pineapple mint. It just gives a hint of flavor to the water and is nice and light. Shaun makes it all the time to take with him when he's landscaping. I want to try raspberry lime sometime too. It's fun to try to be creative with what you have....

Sliced cucumber and sea salt. Simple. And perfect. One of the things the seminar on wellness we listened to said was that it's important to eat a fat, a carb, and a protein each meal. The combination of the three will keep your blood sugar nice and steady and help to prevent an afternoon energy crash... They gave examples of healthy options for each category. Fat: avocado, coconut oil, butter, olive oil...  Carbs: fruits & veggies, quinoa, wraps, pasta... Protein: eggs, chicken, beef, turkey, salmon. Tonight I made one of my favorite pastas for dinner and it is perfect because it provides something from each category. It's a Bacon Basil and Avocado Pasta. I made it with egg noodles. And it is SO good... :)
Another healthy kick we are on is (dun dun dun...) Yonanas!!! If you haven't heard of it, now you have. :-P Our friends Meg and Joel introduced us to it and I bought one for Shaun for father's day. I got it from Bed Bath and Beyond. It turns frozen fruit into ice cream. Yup. Frozen fruit.... into ice cream. Bananas make it creamy, and just add in whatever other frozen fruit you want. I like it with berries... No sugar. No dairy. Just frozen fruit. And it's delicious. You can mix in chocolate chips or peanut butter if you feel you need to have something less healthy to make it count as "dessert". ;-) But it's great all by itself.
We have been listening to a lot of messages by Kris Vallotton lately. He has been preaching on us being not just spiritual beings, but on having a body and soul that shouldn't be neglected either. It feels good to take care of the body God created for me. I am definitely not a fanatic (yet) and still eat normal desserts and processed foods too. But there are so many awesome foods that are good for us too... Why not choose those when I have the choice?
Hope somewhere in my ramblings there was maybe one fun, healthy inspiration for you!


  1. Fun post! (and great pix!) We were just talking with some friends about using lemons or limes to add some tang to water - love your idea of trying out raspberry lime.
    Gardening: Chelsea is a pro at it with a big garden - hit her up if you have gardening questions. :) I recently learned that you can grow celery using the stalk base - just put it in a cup of water for a few days, and sprouts grow from it!
    One thing that made me think twice - veggies and fruits being listed under carbs. Makes sense though. I've just never thought of them like that, having been brought up on the food pyramid, where they are separated from grains. Thanks for the interesting tidbit - I'll have to explore it a bit more. :)

  2. I have heard of doing a citrus water where you do lemon lime and orange slices too... I didn't know Chelsea gardened, wish I would've gotten to talk to her about it a bit at the 4th... :) So cool about celery! never even thought of trying to grow that. And yeah the fruits and veggies as carbs was a new idea to me too!