Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Chewy Almond Butter Cookies

Chewy Almond Butter Cookies

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Ready In: 30 Minutes
Servings: 24
"These chewy almond butter cookies are a great alternative for those with peanut allergies."
1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
1 cup natural almond butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup                                                      
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2.Beat butter, coconut oil, almond butter, brown sugar, and white sugar in a bowl until smooth. Add eggs, maple syrup and vanilla extract; beat until blended.  Combine flour, flax seed, baking soda, and salt together in another bowl. Gradually stir flour mixture in to dough until just blended.
3.Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls and place 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets or use parchment paper on baking sheets. Press and flatten balls with a fork to create a crosshatch pattern.
4.Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, 8 to 12 minutes.

**If you are not using ground flax seed, then substitute with a 1/4 cup flour.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

15 “Health Foods” That Are Really Junk Foods in Disguise

15 “Health Foods” That Are Really Junk Foods in Disguise

Unhealthy foods are the main reason the world is fatter and sicker than ever before.
Surprisingly, some of these foods are considered healthy by many people.
Here are the 15 “healthy foods” that are really junk food in disguise.
1. Processed “Low-Fat” and “Fat-Free” Foods
The “war” on saturated fat is the biggest mistake in the history of nutrition.
It was based on weak evidence, which has now been completely debunked.
When this started, processed food manufacturers jumped on the bandwagon and started removing the fat from foods.
But there’s a huge problem… food tastes horrible when the fat has been removed. That’s why they added a whole bunch of sugar to compensate.
Saturated fat is harmless, but added sugar is incredibly harmful when consumed in excess.
The words “low-fat” or “fat-free” on a packaging usually mean that it is a highly processed product that is loaded with sugar.
2. Most Commercial Salad Dressings
Vegetables are incredibly healthy.
The problem is that they often don’t taste very good on their own.
That’s why many people use dressings to add flavour to their salads, turning these bland meals into delicious treats.
But many salad dressings are actually loaded with unhealthy ingredients like sugar, vegetable oils and trans fats, along with a bunch of artificial chemicals.
Although vegetables are good for you, eating them with a dressing high in harmful ingredients will totally negate any health benefit you get from the salad.
Make sure to check the ingredients list before you use a salad dressing… or make your own using healthy ingredients.
3. Fruit Juices… Which Are Basically Just Liquid Sugar
A lot of people believe fruit juices to be healthy.
They must be… because they come from fruit, right?
But a lot of the fruit juice you find in the supermarket isn’t really fruit juice.
Sometimes there isn’t even any actual fruit in there, just chemicals that taste like fruit. What you’re drinking is basically just fruit-flavored sugar water.
That being said, even if you’re drinking 100% quality fruit juice, it is still a bad idea.
Fruit juice is like fruit, except with all the good stuff (like the fiber) taken out… the main thing left of the actual fruit is the sugar.
If you didn’t know, fruit juice actually contains a similar amount of sugar as a sugar-sweetened beverage.
4. “Heart Healthy” Whole Wheat
Most “whole wheat” products aren’t really made from whole wheat.
The grains have been pulverized into very fine flour, making them raise blood sugar just as fast as their refined counterparts.
But even true whole wheat may be a bad idea… because modern wheat is unhealthy compared to the wheat our grandparents ate.In fact, whole wheat bread can have a similar glycemic index as white bread.
Around the year 1960, scientists tampered with the genes in wheat to increase the yield. Modern wheat is less nutritious and has some properties that make it much worse for people who are intolerant to gluten.
There are also studies showing that modern wheat may cause inflammation and increased cholesterol levels, at least when compared to the older varieties.
Whereas wheat may have been a relatively healthy grain back in the day, the stuff most people are eating today is best avoided.
5. Cholesterol Lowering Phytosterols
Some studies have shown that they can lower blood cholesterol in humans .There are certain nutrients called phytosterols, which are basically like plant versions of cholesterol.
For this reason, they are often added to processed foods that are then marketed as “cholesterol lowering” and claimed to help prevent heart disease.
However, studies have shown that despite lowering cholesterol levels, phytosterols have adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and may even increase the risk of heart disease and death.
6. Margarine
Butter was demonized back in the day, due to the high saturated fat content.
Various health experts started promoting margarine instead.
Back in the day, margarine used to be high in trans fats. These days, it has less trans fats than before but is still loaded with refined vegetable oils.
Margarine is not food… it is an assembly of chemicals and refined oils that have been made to look and taste like food.
Not surprisingly, the Framingham Heart Study showed that people who replace butter with margarine are actually more likely to die from heart disease.
If you want to improve your health, eat real butter (preferably grass-fed) but avoid processed margarine and other fake foods like the plague.
Recommending trans fat laden margarine instead of natural butter may just be the worst nutrition advice in history.
7. Sports Drinks
These drinks contain electrolytes (salts) and sugar, which can be useful for athletes in many cases.Sports drinks were designed with athletes in mind.
However… most regular people don’t need any additional salts, and they certainly have no need for liquid sugar.
Although often considered “less bad” than sugary soft drinks, there really is no fundamental difference except that the sugar content is sometimesslightly lower.
It is important to stay hydrated, especially around workouts, but most people will be better off sticking to plain water.
8. Low-Carb Junk Foods
Low carb diets have been incredibly popular for many decades now.
In the past 12 years, study after study has confirmed that these diets are an effective way to lose weight and improve health.
However… food manufacturers have caught up on the trend and brought various low-carb “friendly” processed foods to the market.
This includes highly processed junk foods like the Atkins bars. If you take a look at the ingredients list, you see that there is NO real food in there, just chemicals and highly refined ingredients.
These products can be consumed occasionally without compromising the metabolic adaptation that comes with low-carb eating. But they don’t really nourish your body… even though they’re technically low-carb, they’re still unhealthy.
9. Agave Nectar
Given the known harmful effects of sugar, people have been looking for alternatives.
One of the more popular “natural” sweeteners is Agave nectar, also called agave syrup.
You will find this sweetener in all sorts of “health foods,” often with attractive claims on the packaging.
The problem with Agave is that it is no better than sugar. In fact, it is much, much worse…
One of the main problems with sugar is that it has excessive amounts of fructose, which can cause severe metabolic problems when consumed in excess.
Whereas sugar is about 50% fructose and High Fructose Corn Syrup about 55%, Agave contains even more… up to 70-90%.
Therefore, gram for gram, Agave is even worse than regular sugar.
See, “natural” doesn’t always equal healthy… and whether Agave should even be considered natural is debatable.
10. Vegan Junk Foods
Vegan diets are very popular these days, often due to ethical and environmental reasons.
However… many people promote vegan diets for the purpose of improving health (which is questionable).
There are many processed vegan foods on the market, often sold as convenient replacements for non-vegan foods.
Vegan bacon is one example.
But it’s important to keep in mind that these are usually highly processed, factory made products that are bad for just about anyone, including vegans.
11. Brown Rice Syrup
Brown rice syrup (also known as rice malt syrup) is a sweetener that is mistakenly assumed to be healthy.
This sweetener is made by exposing cooked rice to enzymes that break down the starch into simple sugars.
Brown rice syrup contains no refined fructose, just glucose.
The absence of refined fructose is good… but rice syrup has a glycemic index of 98, which means that the glucose in it will spike blood sugar extremely fast.
Rice syrup is also highly refined and contains almost no essential nutrients. In other words, it is “empty” calories.
Some concerns have been raised about arsenic contamination in this syrup, another reason to be extra careful with this sweetener.
There are other better sweeteners out there… including low-calorie sweeteners like stevia, erythritol and xylitol, which actually have some health benefits.
12. Processed Organic Foods
Unfortunately, the word “organic” has become just like any other marketing buzzword.
Food manufacturers have found all sorts of ways to make the same junk, except with ingredients that happen to be organic.
This includes ingredients like organic raw cane sugar, which is basically 100% identical to regular sugar. It’s still just glucose and fructose, with little to no nutrients.
In many cases, the difference between an ingredient and its organic counterpart is next to none.
Processed foods that happen to be labelled organic are not necessarily healthy. Always check the label to see what’s inside.
13. Vegetable Oils
We are often advised to eat seed- and vegetable oils.
This includes soybean oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil and numerous others.
This is based on the fact that these oils have been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels, at least in the short term.
However… it’s important to keep in mind that blood cholesterol is a risk factor, NOT a disease in itself.
Even though vegetable oils can improve a risk factor, there is no guarantee that they will help prevent actual hard end points like heart attacks or death, which is what really counts.
In fact, several controlled trials have shown that despite lowering cholesterol, these oils can increase the risk of death… from both heart disease and cancer.
So eat healthy, natural fats like butter, coconut oil and olive oil, but avoid processed vegetable oils as if your life depended on it (it does).
14. Gluten-Free Junk Foods
According to a 2013 survey, about a third of people in the U.S. are actively trying to avoid gluten.
A lot of experts think this is unnecessary… but the truth is that gluten, especially from modern wheat, can be problematic for a lot of people.
Not surprisingly, the food manufacturers have brought all sorts of gluten-free foods to the market.
The problem with these foods, is that they are usually just as bad as their gluten-containing counterparts, if not worse.
These are highly processed foods that are very low in nutrients and often made with refined starches that lead to very rapid spikes in blood sugar.
So… choose foods that are naturally gluten free, like plants and animals, NOT gluten free processed foods.
Gluten-free junk food is still junk food.
15. Most Processed Breakfast Cereals
The way some breakfast cereals are marketed is a disgrace.
Many of them, including those that are marketed towards children, have all sorts of health claims plastered on the box.
This includes misleading things like “whole grain” or “low fat.”
But… when you actually look at the ingredients list, you see that it’s almost nothing but refined grains, sugar and artificial chemicals.
A Good General Rule to Follow…
The truth is, if the packaging of a food says that it is healthy, then it probably isn’t.
The truly healthy foods are those that don’t need any health claims… whole, single ingredient foods.
Real food doesn’t even need an ingredients list, because real food IS the ingredient.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Essential Oils to Address Complaints of...

I have been using essential oils since before they were popular.  My mom is real hip to the latest stuff and back in the 70s, I had a box of essential oils, maybe it was a hippy thing, even though I was just a child and not a true hippy at all.  My mom was a Young Living consultant and I still have a couple of oils from them.  My family spent an awesome day at the Lavender Days in Utah, but that's for another post.  And from Melaleuca, my favorite bottle of tea tree oil.  And I even have some dōTERRA oils.  I am an essential oil user, not a seller. 

I want to share a list of complaints of ailments and which oils to use to help combat the issue.  Here goes:

ComplaintEssential Oils
StressLavender, lemon, bergamot, peppermint, vetiver, pine, and ylang ylang
InsomniaLavender,6 chamomile, jasmine, benzoin, neroli, rose, sandalwood, sweet marjoram, and ylang ylang; lemon can wake you up7
AnxietyLavender, bergamot, rose, clary sage, lemon, Roman chamomile, orange, sandalwood, rose-scented geranium, and pine8
Depressed moodPeppermint, chamomile, lavender, and jasmine9
PainLavender, chamomile, clary sage, juniper, eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint, lavender, and green apple (especially for migraines)
Nausea and vomitingMint, ginger, lemon, orange, ginger, dill, fennel, chamomile, clary sage, and lavender
Memory and attentionSage, peppermint,10 andcinnamon
Low energyBlack pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, angelica, jasmine, tea tree, rosemary, sage, and citrus
I may update this post when I find more cool stuff.

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Few Perfectly Timed Photographs

I have a few "perfectly timed photos" and wanted to share them in one blog post.  

The rare two-headed steer.

Bubble pop in the face.

More to follow...

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Super Deluxe Homemade Bubble Recipe

Super Deluxe Homemade Bubble Recipe

1 quart (4 cups) warm water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon glycerin
1/2 cup Dawn dish-washing liquid 

*Original Dawn is recommended. Dawn is said to be the best for this homemade bubble soap recipe.

How to make bubbles: Combine the sugar and the warm water. Stir until the sugar is fully dissolved. Gently stir all ingredients together and store in a airtight container.  Let rest before using, like overnight, or at least try for that. Avoid creating suds by mixing too vigorously, just give it a swirl if it has settled. These bubbles have staying power! I've heard that given the right conditions you might lose sight of your bubbles before they pop!

How to make extra large bubble wand:  Two plastic chop sticks with string tied between, a top and bottom string.  Pour you homemade bubble soap into a large enough container, like a cookie sheet with sides, or a 9x13 pan, and get the whole chop-stick and string wand fully immersed in the soap.  Lift up and practice making extra large bubbles!

I ordered vegetable glycerin online.

Click vitacostrewards.com/RYGcXRM and get 

$10 off your first order!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Coach Sign Up Instructions

Signing up as a coach is a little bit confusing so I'm giving you detailed steps on how to go through the process.

Step 1: Click Here! This will take you to the coach sign up page.

Step 2: Click that button that says "Become a Coach"

Step 3: Fill out your information. Make sure under Coach Referral it says my name.  If not you can search by Coach ID. Mine is 230059.  Sign the bottom and click next.

Step 4: Choose your Challenge Pack! If you don't wish to buy a Challenge Pack you can scroll all the way to the bottom where there is an option to sign up without a pack. You'll be able to choose Shakeology or whatever other product you want on the next page if this is what you choose to do.

Step 5: Fill out your billing info! After that you just have to complete your order and enrollment.  Welcome to my team!

Lisa B. Ellison