Got A Birthday Coming Up? Think Twice Before Buying This.

I know life can get crazy.  Especially when you have kids.  Sometimes it just seems easier to pick up a box of ready made cake mix instead of making one from scratch.  You may want to think twice before buying this one.

Look familiar?  I can tell you I have bought this on more than one occasion before I went unprocessed.  Let’s look at the ingredients.

The first ingredient is enriched bleached flour (highly refined processed flour).  The next ingredients are sugar (processed sugar) and corn syrup (more processed sugar).  The next few scary ingredients are modified corn starch and corn starch (GMOs).  After that, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils (trans fats).  The next one down is propylene glycol (chemical which is also found in antifreeze and brake fluid) gross!
Further down is dicalcium phosphate.  If you click on the word, you can learn more about that.  Looking a bit further down there is natural and artificial flavors (who knows what they are).  After that there are more artificial dyes yellows 5 & 6.  You can read more about artificial dyes here.  So far the only ingredients I have seen that go in cake are flour and sugar.  The rest of the ingredients are nothing more than toxic additives.  Nasty!

Here is a recipe for a single serving cupcake that is super easy to make.  I made one of her cupcake recipes for Meadows birthday.  They did not take long at all.  If you want to save some time, maybe you could mix the dry ingredients and set them aside for when you have time to make the whole thing.  Either way, try to stay away from these store bought garbage brands.

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Guilt Free Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Donuts!

To quote my husband, “I could eat this entire plate right now.”  Yeah, these are that good!  They are guilt free because they are not loaded with a lot of fat and processed sugars. 🙂

Before we embarked on this unprocessed lifestyle, we used to get donuts from Starbucks every Saturday morning.  I think my daughter and husband have missed them the most.  So this was my way of trying to offer them a healthier option.

I think this picture says it all, doesn’t it?  She could not shovel them in her mouth fast enough.

Guilt Free Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Donuts!

For the donuts:

1 3/4 cup spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1/3 cup applesauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 egg (I used a flax egg)
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup pumpkin
1/4 non dairy milk (I used unsweetened organic soy)

For the chocolate coating:

2 cups chocolate chips
3-4 T non dairy milk (I used unsweetened soy)

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray 3 mini muffin trays.  In one bowl mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.  In another bowl mix pumpkin, maple syrup, applesauce, egg, and vanilla until smooth.  Add dry to wet and mix just until combined.  Spoon mixture into the mini muffin tins and bake for about 11 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  After the mini muffins have cooled start the chocolate coating.

Roll the donuts into the chocolate sauce until it is covered.  Then place each covered donut onto a baking sheet or plate and put in the freezer for at least 10-15 min.

Remove and enjoy!  🙂

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Thinking of Takeout? Try This Pizza!

I know that life moves fast and a lot of time you don’t have the time to whip up an elaborate dinner.  Instead of ordering a pizza, try making your own flat bread one.  It’s super easy.

When I was in high school, I worked at a pizza restaurant.  They used to let us make a small pizza to take home after our shift.  We used to get creative with the toppings.  I think I made a steak and cheese pizza once.  On slow nights we used to make fried dough.  It was fun and yummy.  Probably not too healthy though. 🙂  Now, every time I smell takeout, it reminds me of that time.

Quick Flat Bread Pizza


Whole grain flat bread

10-12 cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup mushrooms

1 bunch baby spinach

1/4 cup daiya cheese

Pesto Sauce:

1 cup fresh basil

1 cup fresh parsley

1/2 cup almonds (I use almonds because pine nuts are so expensive)

3-4 garlic cloves rough chopped

2 T nutritional yeast

1/4 cup olive oil

Grind the almonds up a bit in the food processor first.  Then add the basil, parsley, nutritional yeast and garlic.  As you process those, drizzle in the oil until everything is well mixed.

For the pizza:

Preheat oven to 350.  Take the whole grain flat bread and brush it with oil and bake it for about 7 minutes.  Pull the flat bread out and spread on the pesto sauce, add the mushrooms, spinach and tomato and cheese and bake for another 10 minutes or until the flat bread looks crispy.  Cut up and enjoy!

I usually serve mine with a salad.  It makes for a healthy and filling meal. 🙂

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Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins!

Here is yet another pumpkin recipe!  I just love muffins.  They make me feel like I am eating cake for breakfast. 🙂   Growing up in Boston, we had a Dunkin Donuts on every corner.  One of the things I loved there was the pumpkin muffins.  Then one day I looked up the nutrition facts.  They have 600 calories and 26 grams of fat.  Ouch!   These muffins do not so it’s okay to eat more than one!

Meadow and I ate one as soon as they came out of the oven.  Yum!

Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins!

2 1/2 cups spelt flour
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 light oil (I used organic canola)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 can pureed pumpkin
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger
1/3 cup chocolate chips (I used carob)

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix wet to dry and scoop into muffin tins.  Bake
for around 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Do anyone of you have a Dunkin Donuts nearby?  We only have a handful here in Texas.

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Popular Breakfast Foods Exposed

Here is a closer look at two popular processed breakfast items.  I used to purchase both of these products almost every week when I  trusted the claims on the box.  I was shocked when I started paying attention.  Here is the first brand.

Look familiar?  You are probably thinking the same thing I was.  Oatmeal?  High Fiber? Heart Healthy?  It has to be good for me.  It’s just oatmeal.  The only ingredient should be oats.  Now let’s look at the label.

The second ingredient on the list is maltodextrin (processed sugar).  The next ingredient after that is sugar (processed sugar).  After that, natural and artificial flavors.  Who knows what those are?  Maybe it is so bad that they don’t want you to know.  A few more ingredients down is sucralose (artificial sweetener).  A few more down is caramel color which is a carcinogen.  You can read more about that here.   Suddenly this seems less and less like oatmeal. Did I mention that Quaker Oats is owned by Pepsi?  The soda people.  Yeah, that shocked me too.  Here is a recipe for healthy oatmeal that can be made in minutes.

1/3 cup oats

1/3 cup milk/water

Cook the oats and milk in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down and cook until it is the thickness you desire.  Remove from heat and finish with a bit of pure maple syrup or fresh fruit.  The healthy version will not only taste better, but keep you full longer.

Onto another popular processed breakfast food.

This one look familiar too?  The name gives the impression that it is healthy.  It also states that it’s high in fiber, heart healthy and made from whole grains.  I can see why people can think it is a good choice.  I thought so.  So let’s look at the ingredients.

So the second ingredient down is rice.  There is no whole grain before it so it is probably highly refined white rice.  The next ingredient is sugar (processed sugar).  Further down is rice flour (processed), brown sugar syrup (processed sugar), honey (sugar), corn syrup (sugar), polydextrose (a synthetic form of glucose), artificial flavoring (chemicals) yellow 5 (artificial dye derived from petroleum), BHT (chemical).  If you want to read more about BHT click here.  I don’t know about you, but I am already disgusted.  Let’s look at the nutrition facts.

There is 14 grams of sugar in a single 1 cup serving.  Most of us eat at least 2 cups in one serving!  There is nothing smart about this cereal.  Your best bet would be to turn away from this product and others like it.

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Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Cookies

Cookies for breakfast?  Um, yes please!

These cookies are healthy and filled with protein and fiber to keep you full for quite a while.  These are great for on the go kids too.  What kid wouldn’t get excited to eat cookies for breakfast?  Meadow ate at least five when they came out of the oven.  She is a ninja when it comes to snatching cookies of the baking sheet.

Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Cookies

1 cup flour (I used Spelt)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 ripe banana smashed
1/3 cup peanut butter (If you have a peanut allergy, you can sub sunflower butter.  I have a recipe here)
2 T pure maple syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2-4 T non dairy milk (I used almond)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 baking soda

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl.  Mix the wet in another. ( If you store your peanut butter in the fridge like I do, you may have to stick it in the microwave for a minute to soften it. )
Combine wet and dry and stir just until they are well incorporated.  The dough will be very sticky.  Spoon onto a lined or greased baking sheet and bake for 12-17 minutes.  I bake a big batch of these and store some in my freezer for busy mornings.  Enjoy!

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An Example of Why Americans Are Getting Fatter

Most people if asked, are interested in improving their health.  Last year Americans spent $46 billion on diet products.  Why are we getting fatter then?  The problem is, most people trust food scientists for products that claim to be diet aids.  Take this Lean Cuisine box for example:

This box contains a deep dish pizza that only has 340 calories.  A typical pizza is loaded with fat and calories so this looks tempting to someone who is trying to lose weight.  So lets look at the label:

The first ingredient is processed flour.  The fourth ingredient is sugar.  Wait a minute, isn’t this supposed to be a healthy option?  The sixth ingredient is natural flavor.  Who the heck even knows what that means.  Soon after that is modified cornstarch, which is a chemically altered derivative of corn that is used as a thickener.  More chemicals!  These ingredients are all just in the crust!  There is more modified cornstarch in the seasoning as well.  Also in the seasoning there is maltodextrin (processed sugar), sugar (processed sugar), soy lecithin (another additive that stabilizes fat) and more natural flavor.  Natural flavor is a scary term.  Petroleum is natural, that doesn’t mean I want it in my food!  Finally, lets look at the nutrition facts:

430 mg of sodium!  That’s crazy!  That much sodium is bound to make you retain water and look bigger not help you lose weight.

This type of processed diet meal is not helping your health or weight at all.  The only thing it would do would be to cause you to eat more the minute your body burns off all that processed sugar and flour.  A better bet if you want a pizza is to buy some whole grain flat bread, full fat cheese and no sugar added tomato sauce and make your own.  An even better option is to make your own whole grain pizza crust and your own sauce.  For a dough recipe, click here.  For a sauce recipe, click here.  My husband usually makes the sauce in this family.  One day I will post his recipe.  We make a huge batch and freeze what we don’t use right away.

Even if you are too busy to make your own.  The flat bread pizza is super quick and easy.  Also, for vegans, you can use daiya cheese or just skip the cheese all together and load the pizza with veggies!

A great way to improve your health and lose weight without even trying would be to cut out all processed foods.  Trust me, my husband, Marcus, lost 20lbs without counting calories or exercise!  🙂


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