Friday, February 22, 2013

Going gluten-free? Its easier then it looks!

Remember I said this blog is all about how we are changing different parts of our life to become more thrifty and healthier? Well this might be the biggest change we have implemented so far.
We are no longer eating food that contains gluten in it. Thats right people! No gluten! Let me tell you... gluten is in EVERYTHING! Well not everything... almost everything pre-made, including sauces. This might not be a move for your family yet or ever for that matter. But I truly believe it is a great change for my family. We all feel so different!

It was tricky for the first week but is getting easier every week that passes. I glance at the products list of ingredients in the grocery stores (the very few food items now that we purchase that are pre-made).
Here is a list of common ingredients/foods that are other names for Gluten:

semolina(durum wheat)
modified wheat starch 
wheat starch 
wheat germ 
wheat bran 
whole wheat
cracked wheat 
cake flour
matzo flour
matzo meal 
malt flavouring

This change has benefited me the most as I no longer feel bloated after every meal or get diarrhea... TMI? Sorry! My future hubby (sheesh I LOVE saying that!) felt lethargic and full of gas for the first week and now has more energy then ever. 

There are sooo many gluten free options out there too now. We went to our favourite grocery stores to check out our options. There is pasta, breads, cupcakes, (not that we eat much of any of that... but just in case... and sauce mixes all GF!

Ok here are my 2 FAVOURITE Gluten Free recipes that no one would ever know are missing gluten!

Banana Bread from Nature Moms Blog
I use my Vitamix to blend almonds into almond flour. Its our cookies favourite type of banana bread now! Yay!

The second delectable food is Quinoa Brownies! I promise no one would know it has quinoa in it. I made it with our little one and didn't tell my sister, her hubby and my man until after they ate it. None of them believed us until we showed them the mess in the kitchen :) Whoops...

I didn't realize how many meals we make at home already that are gluten free. We have never ate much pasta or bread so that isn't missed much. Our grocery shopping has changed completely from going down every isle to walking around the veggie and fruit section for the longest part of our grocery time then to meats (which we are even eating less of these days).

This has made us eat at home more often and try different foods. It has also lead us to eating more sushi (which I will never complain about!)

We have been doing this for a whole month now and it is a welcomed change as it has decreased our food budget and making both of us feel healthier and not bogged down.

Happy thrifty healthy and as always crunchy living!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Vitamix intro into our Whole Foods life

We have just discovered the Vitamix. Well not just. We picked it up the end of December... If you haven't heard of it before you can go checkout there site. It is everything they promise and MORE!

Whats in here? Banana, Kale, strawberries, blueberries, apples, coconut oil, an orange and pineapple!

We purchased this about a month ago with healthy living in mind. Hoping it would help increase our green food intake and promote our whole food beliefs. We were right!

I use it every day! Most days twice! I make a smoothy in the morning before work and after work if I work into the evenings instead of eating a big meal before bed. Or if I feel like a snack in the middle of the day I will make one then too!

Before the Vitamix it was impossible to get my future hubby to eat the full amount of servings of fruit and veggies every day. Now, a piece of cake! Well... not cake, veggies! HA-HA-HA

Don't get me wrong, I love eating fruits and veggies not blended. Its very important for your teeth and gums to eat crunchy foods to strengthen the ligament around the teeth and also to help self cleanse your teeth. (Wow, just my little burst of dental info for you) But if you aren't getting enough just eating veggies and fruit that way then this is a great boost up! I also personally believe we should be eating more then what is recommended based on Canada's food guide or the US food guide. Go check out what the healthiest people are based on diet!

This one has banana, orange, strawberries, apples, carrots, kale, blueberries, pineapple and coconut oil.

This thing (Vitamix) is unbelievable! I put in apples cut in half (seeds and stem), grapes (including the vine), entire oranges and it blends it up so fine you cannot feel a single seed, texture or anything! I make my own homemade almond flour, coconut flour, peanut butter, and ice cream now!

The other morning our little cookie asked for orange juice with breakfast so I put in a whole orange, blended it for no longer then 1 min, added water, blended again for another min and voila homemade orange juice! It does not get fresher then that! Our little girl loves strawberry banana smoothies (with kale and coconut oil). Best way to sneak in known 'super foods'.

Now we have upgrated to 'green smoothies'!! Even little one likes the green smoothies now. Don't start with green smoothies right away, start your tastebuds out with fruit and a few veggies  :)

This is not only keeping more chemicals out of our foods (by not buying things in containers or pre-made) it is also much cheaper and fun/good to know for children understanding what they are eating!

Happy healthy Vitamixing!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How to make Leggings

This is one of the simplest projects I have done yet :) Yet they look great! Thanx to the amazing selection of very affordable fabric at Fabricland!

Step 1: I wrapped the fabric around my leg deciding how high I wanted them to be with seam allowance on either side.

Step 2: Sew the long edges together. I recommend surging or zigzag stitch.

Step 3: Sew the top. Fold the top over an inch or an inch and a half depending on your preference. Sew.

Step 4: Sew the bottom. Fold the top over 1/2inch and sew.

Step 5: Hand sew buttons where you like them. I put the long seam to the back so its not noticeable, put it on my leg and decided where I wanted the buttons to go. I think the double buttons look a little better :)

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Remember exercise?

Back to Healthy Living! I believe exercise is the second most importing thing to living healthy. First in my opinion, is a healthy natural diet full of whole foods.

Remember this blog is about ALL ASPECTS of going natural and becoming more healthy.

I have been working more (thankfully), which means I need to exercise and stretch more. The benefits of my job (Registered Dental Hygienist), like many occupations I sit for most of the day and sometimes need to lean over which is taxing on your body. Sitting is not the benefit, being forced to exercise and stretch daily is the benefit as it is leading me to a healthier life.

So future hubby and I are back to exercising! What does that mean? I go to yoga for the best stretches I've ever had 4-5 days a week. We are training for a half-marathon in the spring, and I have been working on toning the rest of my body with an app I have on my iPad.

I have been practicing Moksha yoga in an indoor warm environment. Some days I just go for the warmth on my muscles. I know the running, yoga, and toning sounds like a lot, but its only an hour and a half out of my day and feels so great for my back!

Happy healthy living!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

DIY Glass Cozy

We have a family of 3 and no dishwasher (well except me). Family that lives downstairs, and friends and family that come over at least 5 times a week.

When people come over the most common request is a drink. We have water at our house which looks the same in all of our same looking cups. I was washing cups every day like it was going out of style. So I came up with an idea to decrease cup use!

Everyday one person is allowed one glass. How do we keep them straight? Glass Cozies!

I picked out different fabric colours and styles that I had at home, first for my family then for friends. It is a loop of fabric with an elastic band sewn inside the fabric. I just measured the width around our glasses and added some extra fabric to give the scrunchy look.

This has solved all my dishwashing problems! I no longer have to wash 6 glasses when there were only 3 people home.

Happy homemade living!