January 31, 2014

Healthy Homemade Nut Bars

Homemade Healthy Nut Bars

I love grabbing a trio bar for a smart snack but with my husband, daughter and I all grabbing them it can get to be a crunch on the food bill. So I decided to look around for something I could make at home. There are tons of recipes online to be found and played with.
I found this recipe originally on the Reboot website and then I adapted it for our own personal preferences on taste and what we have on hand in the pantry. Here is what I did.......

1/3 cup raw sliced almonds
1/3 cup raw sesame seeds
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup dried fruit (blueberries, pineapple, apple, apricots, cranberries....it is all good!)
1/3 cup organic honey
1 TBSP almond butter
2 TBSP rice flour
1 cup of coconut flakes
pinch of sea salt


1.)    Preheat oven to 150C (300F).

2.)    Chop nuts, seeds and dried fruit and measure once chopped.

3.)    Mix together honey, almond butter, rice flour, coconut flakes and salt until well combined.

4.)    Add in chopped fruit, nuts and seeds and combine well. I used my hands to ensure it was mixed evenly.

5.)    Press firmly into a lined 8×8 inch dish with parchment paper and bake in the oven for 20 minutes then allow to cool. * I seems to always end up baking it an extra 10 minutes for a more golden brown. If I double the batch then I bake for at least 40 minutes.

6.)    Place slice into a freezer for 1 hour or more to harden the bars up (optional).

7.)    Once hard cut into bars or slice pieces with a sharp knife. These can be stored in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container.  * I take the time after cutting to wrap each serving in a bit of saran wrap before storing so that it is truly a grab and go smart snack. 

Mix nuts – any type of nut desired (or any seeds for a nut free version)Pumpkin seeds – sunflower seeds, sesame seeds
Dates – dried figs, raisins, sultanas
Honey -  maple syrup, rice malt
Almond butter – macadamia butter, brazil nut butter, cashew nut butter
Rice Flour - coconut flour

Enjoy and celebrate God's goodness!

Yummy Smoothie Recipes

Yesterday and today I asked God to help me figure what to put in my body for nourishment. Among the things He suggested, there were two smoothies that I thought I would share here because they are yummy and beneficial.

The Greens Smoothie made a full blender of yum. I kept it cold in the fridge and filled my glass three times throughout the day whenever I felt the desire for more food. God also suggested that I have my first serving with a sliced up avocado laced with lime juice.

Greens Smoothie
(makes about 3 servings)
2 cups pineapple
3 romaine
1.5 cups water
1/2 lime squeezed
2 handfuls spinach
1 banana

Shot In The Arm
(makes 2 servings or 1 sports bottle for being on the go)
This yummy concoction is a 2 step process but so worth it.
I juiced the following:
1 lime
1 cucumber
4 celery stalks
1 granny apple
1 branch basil

Then I mixed it in my blender with:
1 handful of spinach
1 avocado
1/5 banana

Enjoy and celebrate all that God has for you today!

Food is a Heart Matter For Me.....

It has been a while since I posted. Life got super fast over the holidays as it normally does. Then we had a family emergency that needed my full attention. In the midst of it all, I still worked at pursuing a healthy lifestyle....because that is what this is all about.......making healthy and conscious decisions in the midst of every day ups and downs.

I have been learning more about myself and still have much to plow through in my mind. It hasn't all been easy as introspection rarely is. But God is helping me. He is teaching me to pause and question why I do what I do and why I make the choices I make.

Food is so interesting and the things that go through my brain and emotions are even more so. I have been listening to an audio series called Freedom From Food by a christian author that happens to live in my area and has incredible insight for what speaks to my situation right now. I am learning that food is so much more than logic choices. Wouldn't it be so easy if I could simply logically make a choice and be done with it? Some people can do that but I cannot. Food for me is so emotional.

Even though I know logically that it is all about lifestyle and that numbers do not matter, I have learned that when I weigh every day, I let it dictate how my day will be. If my numbers are up then I punish myself with restrictive dieting. Or the other extreme is that if I ate good the day before and my numbers don't look like I hoped they would then I fight saying "Just screw it. I am not good at this anyway." Then if my numbers are down a couple of pounds I want to celebrate and reward myself for a job well done.

I am learning that when I am emotionally down and I say, "I feel fat", fat is not actually a feeling. It is not an emotion. It is a word of bondage, shame and punishment put on by my own self image.

I am learning that when things are out of control, I fight with wanting to make food my control substance. Whether it is being strict with myself or going off the cliff and pacing the kitchen wanting to binge.

God is teaching me to stop every time I want to put something in my mouth ask myself what am I feeling to want this food. Am I really hungry? Will it make me feel better? Does it serve a true purpose? What is the emotion that I am tying to this particular desire for food?

God is teaching me that He made tons of good food for me to have. He sanctioned food and I don't have to classify them as good food / bad food.

God is teaching me that if I eat a slice of pizza or have a bowl of ice cream, I am not then "bad" and in need of "punishment".

God is teaching me that while my husband can "eat good" and "stick to a plan", just because I am going through this does not mean that I am defective or broken. I am not a failure. Just because he doesn't understand why it is a struggle for me, does not mean that he loves me any less or looks down on me as a disappointment.

It is hard and painful at times right now. But God promises that everything is a season and that He is always here. So I try hard to embrace the now while also looking forward and embracing the hope of being beyond this all one day. To be free of food will be such a wonderful place to be in.

So that is me being transparent and open at this junction in the journey. Maybe you can relate. Know this one thing above all else.....no matter where you are in your own personal journey - you are never alone.

Because it is my solid rock and ever steady hope, I celebrate God's goodness!