Roasted Cauliflower Fries {Healthy Family Recipes}

As I have tried to make our meals more fully balanced, I’ve realized that we don’t eat nearly as many vegetables as I have always believed. Half of our vegetable repertoire consisted of, not vegetables but starches: potatoes and corn. Did you know these are not considered vegetables, nutritionally speaking?

I knew we had to branch out beyond our canned green beans and steamed broccoli, so I’ve been experimenting lately with our veggies. This is one method of preparing a veggie that we have absolutely fallen in love with! Roasted vegetables have better flavor and texture, both super important when you’re trying to impress a picky husband and four picky kids.

This particular recipe couldn’t be easier. Chop a bunch of cauliflower into florets (our family requires two full heads of cauliflower!) and toss it in your oil of choice (just make sure you’re choosing olive or coconut oil so it’s actually beneficial and not just added calories!), then sprinkle with just about any seasoning you could possibly think of. One of the benefits of cauliflower is that it’s mild flavor is well suited to taking on just about any flavor profile you could hope for. Having a Mexican themed meal? Sprinkle with taco seasoning (from the store or a homemade variety) and you’ll be in heaven! Last night we were simply grilling steak, so I opted for my homemade seasoned salt from this recipe. I was completely shocked when my family scarfed down the entire batch of cauliflower fries…two full heads worth! So if your family is picky with their veggies, or cauliflower in particular, give this a shot…you just might find a new love! 🙂

cauliflowerfries

Kandice

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Something Every Person Can Do… {Monday Motivation}

Have you ever sat down to watch the news, or checked into your favorite online news source, and come away just feeling icky? How often do you sit down to the newspaper and smile because of all the happy stories? Not very often. Most days our news is riddled with the bad in the world. The crime and deceit that is becoming more frequent is what creates a sensational news story. It is very rare for a happy, feel-good story to become top priority in the news.

Why is that? Is it because it doesn’t happen? The whole world’s gone to seed and there is very little good left? I am quite certain that each of us, if we tried, could prove this to be incorrect. If we set out on our daily errands with the mindset of finding the good in the world, we would all come away with some pretty fantastic examples that chivalry is, in fact, not dead.

But we can’t argue the fact that we see far more of the bad than we do the good. It is hard to want to do anything kind for someone when we’re so worried about what bad things are coming our way. We tend to keep to ourselves more when we go in public, to trust those around us less, and to try and keep our private lives as safe as possible from potential intruders.

While this is, in some ways, necessary, I believe we take it too far. Yes, it is unfortunate that we have to lock our doors, when most of us can remember that being unnecessary when we were young. Yes, we do have to teach our children to avoid strangers and to protect themselves from those who would harm them. Unfortunately, most of us take this to the extreme and it leads to impolite, unfriendly habits.

None of us can change this. Not one of us can go out with the intention of bringing back the “good ol’ days” and making our community safe and whole again. No one person can do this and, chances are, we’ll never see “those days” again. We live in a different time with a different culture.

But there is something each of us can do to make this current world a better place to be in. No one can help everyone. But everyone can help someone. Rather than avoiding eye contact in the grocery store, look someone in the eye with a smile and say “hello.” Rather than shaking your head when you see the sweet little old lady struggling with her groceries, and wondering why her family doesn’t help her more…cross the parking lot and say “Good afternoon! May I help you with those groceries?” It will only take you a few moments. That kind little old lady will most likely say yes and thank you for your generosity. Is it possible that someone would refuse your kindness? Yes, of course it is! They’ve been taught to be suspicious of things like this, remember? How sad! So if they do say no, what do you do? You just keep smiling, so “Okay, I just wanted to offer. Have a great day!” and walk away, knowing that you have done something nice for someone, whether they know it or not!

So. Where are you going today? What errands are you running? Who might you see on your path to work? Stop for just a moment and think about the day ahead of you. Or, if you’re reading this in the evening, think about tomorrow. Everyone has an opportunity in their day to help another person. I want to challenge you to do it! It can be big or small, but choose at least one person to help. A smile, an offer for assistance, or even a well-timed compliment. Do something today, then comment below and let us know what you did, and how it made you feel! Take it a step further and teach your children to do the same. Teach them to offer a friendly hello to a stranger when Mom or Dad are nearby. Teach them to hold the door for someone coming behind or to offer assistance to the elderly. Make this a family challenge, and just wait and see how it changes your day!

I’m taking the challenge myself…stay tuned! 🙂

helpsomeone

Kandice

PS: If you like this concept, and would like to see it go to work more regularly and more powerfully in your life, I would highly encourage you to purchase and read the book The Go-Giver. It is a short, very quick read that will completely turn your day around and help you to become a better person. It is now on the required-reading list for my kids as well! 🙂

Best Time of Day to Workout?

As a fitness coach, one of the questions I get most frequently from my clients is, “What is the best time to do my workouts? Is it okay if I do it when…” Many people who start a new fitness routine have never really made fitness a priority, and they feel like complete beginners, newbies who are probably missing some vital steps along the way. This fear can make it really hard to stick to your new program. You get thinking “Well, if I can’t do it right, why bother?” This is where having a fitness coach can be the most useful.

So, what do you think? IS there a “best time of day” to do a workout? I’ve always had my own answers to this, but I’ve decided to do a bit of research to see if my advice was correct. I’ve narrowed it down to five times of the day that are best for completing a workout.

1. Workout when you can and will do it.

This should be a major spoiler for you. The very best time of day to complete your workout is the time of day that you are willing to do it. If I were to tell you that working out at 8 a.m. was the only time you would achieve maximum results, but you have to be to work by 7 a.m., what would you do? Yeah, that’s what I thought. You’d quit. Some people would be able to move past advice such as that, but most would take that as “I’ve failed before I even started” and never really try.

Seriously, a workout is a workout. If you put in that program and push play, or go to the gym, and you give it 100%, your body will thank you. It isn’t going to scold you for picking the wrong time of day. Look at your schedule. When are you most likely to be able to dedicate a portion of your day to a workout? Set aside the time, put it in your schedule, and just do it. Give it your all, or as Tony Horton says, “Bring it!” You can’t go wrong if you do this consistently.

Enemy of Best

2. Workout when you feel the best.

It’s really hard to “Bring It” if you’re trying to workout when you feel crummy. For some people, mornings are just no good. My husband wakes up feeling queasy and struggles to put his full effort into an early morning workout. I, on the other hand, wake up feeling hungry, and if I can just eat a quick banana I feel pretty amazing if I workout in the morning. You would think that knowledge would help me get out of bed easier. 😉

Moral of the story? You’ve got to pick a time of day that not only fits your schedule, but that fits your physiological wellness. You can’t workout at 9 p.m. if you’re half asleep and too busy yawning to catch your breath.

GainingHealth

3. Workout when your glycogen stores are full.

Okay, first question: What is glycogen? Glycogen is the main form of carbohydrate storage used by our bodies, and it is broken down to be used as energy. When your glycogen stores are low, your energy is low and you’ll really struggle to complete a workout. It is used up quickly by exercise, brain activity, and pretty much anything else you do in your day. It’s replenished mainly with carbohydrates (duh), so your glycogen stores are highest right after a meal.

Have you ever been pushing hard with a fitness routine, really watching your food intake, and just busting butt to get some good results when things seem to come to a screeching halt? You hit a wall and suddenly you’re not able to give your workout the full effort any longer and you just feel lousy? In the nutrition world, we call that “the bonk”, and it’s caused by depleted glycogen stores. This is one reason why carb-free diets are discouraged, especially if you are completing a fitness routine. Your body needs those stores to balance blood sugar levels and keep energy high.

So, while your body can sometimes story glycogen through the night and have it ready to use for a morning workout, more often than not your body is going to need some help if you plan to workout in the morning without a meal. We like to use the Results & Recovery formula to help in times like this, but this can also help you to realize that other times of day (right after dinner? during your lunch?) can be successful workout times as well.

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4. In the morning on an empty stomach

Um, wait. Didn’t we just say that the glycogen stores are too low to do this? Yes, and no. It will vary for everyone, and some people will have more of those stores available in the morning than others. The biggest benefit of this workout time, and probably the reason many people assume it’s the ideal time to workout, is that when your stomach is empty your body puts all that energy into burning fat. Sounds pretty awesome, right? But here’s a little spoiler for you: burning glycogen is more effective at losing body fat than burning fat. Whoops.

So wait. I’m not telling you working on an empty stomach is bad. But I’m not telling you it’s good either. You’ve got to know what you’re doing and listen to your body. Many recommend a lighter workout in the morning hours to help your body cope with the lack of glycogen stores, and it can actually help kickstart your metabolism for the day. But doing very intense cardio workouts (Insanity, TurboFire) in the morning on an empty stomach can cause you to “bonk,” which completely halts all progress. So if first thing in the morning is your ideal time to workout, be sure to listen to your body, choose a lighter workout, and consider grabbing something like Results and Recovery to help boost your energy stores.

QuickFix

5. At night before you go to bed.

This tends to be a very common time of day for people to complete a workout, especially when they are doing a home workout program. After the chaos of a day of work, errands, kids, etc, you finally have a few minutes to yourself to get it done. You might have guessed already that this is not optimal. Working out before bed can interrupt your sleep, which is absolutely necessary for proper recovery during a fitness routine. Exercise also uses up a lot of the vitamins and other nutrients you consume during the day. More of those nutrients are burned while you sleep, and since most of us doing a fitness program are also on a reduced calorie intake, we run the risk of depleting our stores and causing our body to shut down the metabolic process. Not really what you’re looking for, right?

But, since we have to workout whenever we can, even if that means the evenings right before bed, consider using Results and Recovery or having a small meal after your evening workout to avoid depleting the stores of nutrients overnight.

organic by Kim Klassen

Moral of the story?

     SmallestStep

Yep, you guessed it. There is no best time of day to workout. You have to find the time that works best for you and your schedule. The important thing is to understand how your body works and what it needs so you can counteract the cons of a particular time of day and benefit from the pros.

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So tell us…what time of day do you usually get your exercise in?

 

Finding Balance in All Things

I’ve been contemplating the importance of balance a lot lately. Life is BUSY and important things get put on the back burner. I’ve been hearing and reading about balance in life. Of course there are three areas that make up balance. Physical, emotional and spiritual health all depend on one another in order for us to be healthy.

If we focus mainly on physical health, the other two areas will likely suffer and our bodies will not perform as well as they should. Does physical activity help the other areas? Yes, it does. It awakens the senses and opens up channels for us to feel and experience things in life. What happens though when a person becomes too focused on physical fitness alone? We suffer. We look only for good or bad physical attributes, not only in ourselves, but in others as well. We judge ourselves not by the kind of person we are, but by the amount of fat we have or by the presence of perfect musculature. That, to me, is not healthy.

We have a body that we need to care for in many ways. Sleep, healthy foods, uplifting messages and physical activity are all important. I hope that on your journey to good health, you don’t focus solely on the physical aspect of your transformation. What you look like on the outside, does not make up the person you are on the inside. A good balance is what makes you attractive! 20140709-002633-1593654.jpg

Adversity vs Advantage {Monday Motivation}

Good morning, and happy Monday! Are you feeling the post-holiday blah’s yet today? It can be difficult to leave the care-free vacation mode and return to the every day schedule, but luckily we have a little Monday Motivation to help you start your week off right! 🙂

Have you ever set a goal or tried to accomplish something important to you, only to feel like you’ve failed? Have you ever blamed your past for this? Do you ever say “If only I wasn’t stuck with…” or “They’ll never hire me because of…” etc? We tend to try and place the blame for our circumstances anywhere besides on ourselves. I recently finished reading Maximum Achievement by Brian Tracy, one of the most noted personal development authors today. In this book, he talked frequently about the importance of taking responsibility for everything that happens to us. Even if it truly is out of our hands (yes, we realize you could not have chosen for that man to run his car into yours), we are responsible for how we react and respond to what others do to us. Say to yourself in every situation “I am responsible, I am responsible, I am responsible” and you’ll quickly see your actions and reaction changing.

Last month I had an incredible opportunity to attend Coach Summit, an annual convention of Beachbody Coaches in Las Vegas. What an incredible experience! We not only were able to enjoy a ton of great training from top coaches in the business, but we were treated with two keynote speakers who completely owned that audience of almost 10,000 coaches. The first keynote speaker was Darren Hardy, another well-known personal development author (if you have not heard of The Compound Effect…get it. Now!) as well as the editor of Success Magazine. Many of the concepts he shared with us were already known to me, having read his book, but he still managed to blow my mind with some of the concepts he shared…enough to cause me to take a full page of notes, scribbling in the margins and all. 😉

One of the concepts he talked about really made me stop and think. I keep coming back to this idea over and over, because I know how many people use their past as an excuse. Some event that has occurred in the past is holding them back and tripping them up like it’s a tangible tripwire in their path to success.

Mr Hardy spoke of our need to take responsibility for our lives as well. When it comes to past trials, he said this:

AdversityAdvantage

 

Your trials, the adversity in your past, is NOT a tripwire. It is your advantage! Your trials become your muscles, your knowledge and ability to handle anything that’s thrown your way. So you ate your way to 100 pounds overweight after your divorce? Well so what, this time you are STRONGER and you will succeed at losing that weight, you will succeed at being happy, and you will succeed at avoiding the same mistake in the future! So you tried a business before, and it was an epic fail? So what? You’re smarter now, more experienced, and your new MUSCLES will help you to take the right steps toward a more successful venture this time than the last. Your adversity is your advantage, your trials become your muscles.

Wow. Mind blown? Anyone? Or is it just me? I absolutely loved this concept and think about it frequently. So tell me…anyone else feel like they can do anything now? Get out there, flex your muscles, use your advantages, and do something amazing!

Happy Independence Day!

We’re taking this weekend off to celebrate with our families, but we couldn’t miss the opportunity to acknowledge a holiday that has rapidly gone from a celebration of our independence to a weekend of BBQ worship. 😉 Since so few of us know the history of Independence Day, we thought it would be fun to share a few points of interest:

Our Declaration of Independence

  • Independence Day became an official holiday in 1941, but has been celebrated unofficially since the day in 1776 when our newly formed Congress signed the Declaration of Independence.
  • The number of people estimated to be living in the newly formed nation on July 4, 1776 is 2.5 million. In 2014 we have more than 317 million people in the United States.
  • Many people did not know that the majority of the Declaration was drafted by Thomas Jefferson. It was believed for many years to have been a collaborative effort, rather than the work on a single man.
  • The Declaration is not only a statement of independence from our mother country, but a list of grievances against the King to justify the decision.
  • Today, the original Declaration of Independence resides in the National Archives in Washington, D.C

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The Flag of the United States of America

  • The original flag of the United States of America is widely believed to have been made by Besty Ross, a Philadelphia seamstress.
  • The official stance on the origination of the flag is that it is unknown who designed and created the first flag.
  • On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act: “Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”
  • The flag continued to evolve as the nation grew, until it reached it’s current design of 50 stars and 13 stripes.
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Betsy Ross flag

13star

First Official United States Flag

50star

Current United States Flag

  •  Charles Thompson, Secretary of the Continental Congress, reporting to Congress on the Seal, stated:

    “The colors of the pales (the vertical stripes) are those used in the flag of the United States of America; White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valour, and Blue, the color of the Chief (the broad band above the stripes) signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice.”

  • A book published by the House of Representatives in 1977 explains further:

“The star is a symbol of the heavens and the divine goal to which man has aspired from time immemorial; the stripe is symbolic of the rays of light emanating from the sun.”

  • Have you ever noticed the flag patches on military uniforms are placed backwards? Here’s why:

The regulation states that when authorized for application to the proper uniform the American flag patch is to be worn, right or left shoulder, so that “the star field faces forward, or to the flag’s own right. When worn in this manner, the flag is facing to the observer’s right, and gives the effect of the flag flying in the breeze as the wearer moves forward. The appropriate replica for the right shoulder sleeve is identified as the ‘reverse side flag’.” (Army Regulation 670-1)

Flag Etiquette

The following information on proper flag etiquette is taken from The Flag Code, posted at http://www.usflag.org:

  • The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
  • The flag should not be used as a drapery, or for covering a speakers desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
  • The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard
  • The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
  • The flag should never have placed on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind.
  • The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
  • When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.
  • When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.

Have you ever had the opportunity to observe or participate in the retirement of a flag? It is an incredibly powerful ceremony that will make your heart swell with pride and love for our nation. If you have not had this opportunity, I would highly encourage you to attend one soon. Contact your local Boy Scouts of America office to find out if any ceremonies are scheduled to take place in your area.

Independence Day is an opportunity for us to express our love for our nation, our appreciation for our forefathers who poured their hearts and souls into freeing our nation from tyranny, and to show our respect and appreciation to those men and women who serve today to protect our freedoms. Remember to show respect for the flag and thank a veteran or active duty serviceman or servicewoman at every available opportunity. Teach your children about the flag, and about our country’s humble beginnings. Teach them to have respect for our history as they no doubt hold our future in their tiny hands!

Enjoy your celebrations this weekend!

Happy Independence Day!

 wtr7259

Roasted Cabbage Steaks and Homemade Seasoned Salt {Healthy Family Recipes}

Can you believe it? I’m NOT posting an ice cream recipe! *GASP* I decided it was high time I buckled down and worked on some good recipes to put toward healthy meals.

Do you find it hard to get a variety of vegetables into your menu? I swear it’s my biggest struggle. A can of green beans or some steamed broccoli is great, but it gets old really fast when you’re having it several times a week! I grew up with the idea that a meal wasn’t a meal without a vegetable, so we have always included one with every meal. But finding  the variety to make it something we actually want to eat is a different story!

Cabbage is one of those vegetables I grew up hating, but have slowly come to enjoy as an adult. I have made it my mission to try and raise my kids to like as many of the vegetables I hated as a kid as I possibly can, so if there’s something I know they’ll probably hate, I look for ways to make it more enjoyable.

If you spend any time on social media at all, you’ve probably already seen the idea of the cabbage “steaks.” I decided to give it a try, but I also wanted to try a recipe out of my P90X3 Nutrition Guide. There is a huge list of DIY herb spices and blends in the guide that I’ve been wanting to test, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Oh man, can I just tell you how delicious this seasoned salt is?? It’s fabulous! Tastes dang near identical to the stuff you buy in the store, but the ingredients are all recognizable! I changed the original recipe a bit, omitting the crushed red pepper as I’m feeding a houseful of gringos. 😉 I also replaced the sea salt from the original recipe with pink Himalyan salt. Have you heard of it? Let me tell you, this is incredible stuff! It basically has the opposite effect of regular salt. Rather than causing you to retain water, it acts as a diuretic and helps cleanse your system. AWESOME! No more guilt over my obsessive use of salt!

Anyway, the cabbage steaks turned out amazing and my family actually liked it! The kids raved over it, so I know I’ve got a winner. I think I may have overcooked it just a tad, so be sure to watch it the last five minutes or so. If you can cut it with a fork it’s definitely done.

Give it a shot and see what your family thinks! If you would like to learn more about the benefits of pink Himalayan salt, let us know in the comments and we’ll share the info in a future post!

CabbageSteaks