Wednesday, May 27, 2015

#WCW: What's Cookin' Wednesdays! Pulled Pork.. Summer is here!

I don’t know about you, but the kids are out of school for the summer and suddenly life is even busier than ever! Unfortunately, when folks get busy they tend to put cooking on the back burner(ha!). When we don’t plan and prepare our meals, that’s when we tend to make poor choices; grab something fast, perhaps from the drive thru window? Or throw a frozen pizza in the oven. YUCK!
Here’s a great recipe that allows you time to do all those other things on your to- do list and provides a healthy meal, or two, for you and your family! 

GET THE CROCK POT BACK OUT! I love using my crock pot all year round, especially when the weather warms up—if I don’t have to turn my oven on, it keeps my air conditioning from kicking on as much J

-2-3 lbs pork shoulder
-1 onion, sliced thin
-1 tbsp ground cumin
-1 tbsp sea salt
-1 tbsp chili powder
-1 tbsp garlic powder
-2 tsp dried oregano
-1 tsp allspice
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp black pepper
-juices of 1 lemon and 1 lime

1.       Mix together all the spices and massage it into the pork shoulder.
2.       Put the sliced onion in the bottom of your crock. Pour half of the lemon/lime juice on top of the onion. Set the pork shoulder on top.
3.       Pour the rest of the lemon/lime juice on top of the pork.
4.       Turn crock pot on low and cook 8-10 hours.
5.       Remove pork from crock and set on a large cutting board or plate. Use 2 forks and shred the meat. It should just fall apart! Mmmmmm

You can use this meat in several ways throughout the week! Put on top of a salad. Mix in some of your favorite bbq sauce and serve with your favorite veggie. OR, get some corn tortillas and make tacos-just add some shredded lettuce, tomato, and healthy avocado too! 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

#WCW What's Cookin' Wednesday; Make your own salad dressing!

This week’s post is inspired by my own desire to stop buying salad dressings! Spring and summer is when I love to make nice big salads, chocked full of different leafy greens and veggies! Throw some sliced chicken breast on top and you’ve got a healthy meal. BUT…when you slather your salad with bottled salad dressing that has high fructose corn syrup, yellow dye #5, and 14 other ingredients that you can’t pronounce…you’ve ruined that healthy salad!! 

This recipe is soooo easy to make. It’s a classic Balsamic Vinaigrette. Goes with practically any salad out there! No sugar and no artificial anything! You can even use this as a marinade for meats, or drizzle a little on top of some roasted veggies! 

Make on a Sunday and use all week long Balsamic Vinaigrette
·         3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
·         1 crushed clove of garlic (I had minced garlic in my fridge-I crushed a cloves worth and it was just fine!)
·         1 tsp dried oregano
·         2 tsp Dijon mustard
·         3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
·         Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Put all the ingredients in a jar that has a lid. Close the lid tight and shake well to combine all the ingredients. How much easier can ya get!?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

#WCW What's Cookin' Wednesday; Sleepy in Las Vegas Salmon with Mango Sauce

This week's What's Cookin' Wednesday from Delia, our OWN Wellness Coach, is a fun twist on a popular tourist spot! Enjoy! 

Inspired by my recent weekend in Vegas with my girlfriends…this week’s recipe is one that helps when you are feeling a bit sleep deprived! Sleep loss greatly affects our endocrine system. There’s an increase in a hormone called ghrelin, which tells our brain that we are hungry. Not only does it make us hungry but it induces our desire for sweet and sugary foods! This desire releases that feel good chemical called serotonin which makes us want to seek out that sugary, sweet stuff. If you have several days of sleep loss (Vegas weekend) or more (new-born baby) another hormone called leptin kicks in. Leptin messes with our sense of satiety, or that feeling of being full, satisfied.
As you can see, sleep loss really has an effect on our hormones. There are certain foods that can help with that imbalance. Nuts, eggs, blueberries, mango, green tea and fish, to name a few. Fish, such as salmon and tuna, are prime examples. They are a great source of polyunsaturated fat, as well as protein. These macronutrients leave us feeling fuller for longer, which reduce our chances of choosing sugary, overly processed foods. The good fats found in salmon help your central nervous system, which is good for our mood, memory and concentration, which we all know can decline when we are overly tired!  
Here’s a great recipe that includes Salmon and Mango! Not only does mango boost our immune system, it contains natural sugars which our body craves when tired. This helps to keep our energy up and hopefully keeps you from grabbing a handful of m&m’s.
Sleepy in Las Vegas Salmon with Mango Sauce

First, grab all of these ingredients and mix together in a small bowl
¼ cup good olive oil
2.5 tsp minced garlic
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley(if you don’t have fresh-use 1 tbsp dried)

Then take 4 salmon filets(approx. 6 ounces each)and rub your mixture on top.
Put in your oven on broil (about 4 inches from the heat element) for 6-8 minutes.

While that’s cooking, make your sauce!
1 medium mango, peeled and cut into chunks
2  tbsp lemon juice
2  tbsp honey
2  fresh basil leaves (1/2 tsp dried)
1  tbsp fresh parsley(1/2 tsp dried)
1  tbsp water
1  tbsp Dijon mustard

In a blender or food processor, combine all sauce ingredients.
Combine until smooth.
When ready to serve your salmon spoon the sauce over each piece.
Serve with brown or black rice, quinoa and some roasted asparagus for an extra healthy meal!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

#WCW What's Cookin' Wednesday; Good Ol' Fashioned Fun!

This week's #WCW is a note from our OWN Wellness Coach Delia Rice. This week is National Screen Free Week and she's come up with a few suggestions to help your family enjoy a few moments of real life time together... free from the electronic devices! 

Did you Know that this week is National Screen Free Week?! May 4-10. The campaign was created 21 years ago to help families see the vital importance of finding alternatives to screen time—opportunities to explore their own ideas and creations, enjoy each other, and take pleasure in the world around them. Turn off that TV, I-Pad, fancy phone, and get to know one another!

This is something that my family and I celebrate EVERY week! That’s right, we have one television in the house. It is turned on about twice a month for family movie night and maybe once a week for a work out video. We save $ by not having cable and it allows for us to focus on much much more.

Here are some statistics that boggle my mind:

·         The average American preschooler logs 32 hours of “screen” time a week!
·         The more time preschool children spend with screens, the less time they spend engaged in cre­ative play – the foundation of learning.
·         Screen time for children under 3 is linked to irregular sleep patterns and delayed language.
·         Including multitasking, children ages 8-18 spend an average of 4 ½ hours per day watching television, 1 ½ hours using computers, and more than an hour playing video games.
·         Adolescents who watch 3 or more hours of television daily are at high risk for poor homework completion, negative attitudes toward school, poor grades, and long-term aca­demic struggles.
·         Children with a television in their bedroom are more likely to be overweight and have poor sleep habits.
·         When children read from “electronic” books, they spend more time pushing buttons than reading the story, which results in poorer character identification, less story comprehension, and less parent-child interactions than reading from a REAL book.
·         38.5 minutes. The amount of time parents spend in meaningful conversation with their children per week!
·         The more time children and adults spend with screens, the more materialistic they are. Screen media is riddled with
adver­tising and marketing, kids and adults immersed in screens are bombarded with the false message that the things they buy will make them happy. There is a growing body of evidence that the opposite is true. The pressure to spend and consume actually makes people less happy.
·         Children, on average, see 25,000 commercials each year, a figure that does not include product place­ment.

And that’s just to name a few! To learn more you can go to
So now you ask, “Delia…what are we supposed to do? We can’t live without our electronic devices!” I know, I know…this is the world we live in, I am just asking you to give it a try! Consider the striking number of hours that kids and adults are spending attached to a screen, combined with the current obesity epidemic- no matter how convenient, educational, or time-filling screens are, there needs to be a limit. I am not asking everyone to be an extremist (I’ve been called that a few times), but setting boundaries will help. Start by being more aware of how much time you and your children do sit in front of a “screen.” Limit the # of hours, take the TV’s out of the bedrooms! Have a no electronics at the dinner table rule. Heck, start eating dinner at the table together! Allow no devices during homework time, except if needed for the homework. Start to treat TV and I Pad use as a privilege to be earned-not a right. Be aware of what your children are watching-monitor programs for material that isn’t appropriate. For older children, be there to help explain a confusing situation/difficult topics.

So here’s my recipe for the week:

Go on a picnic/Make a cake from scratch/Have a pot luck dinner with friends/Learn to knit/Plant a garden/Put on your favorite radio station and have a dance party in your living room/Paint a picture/Write an old-fashioned letter to someone/Play cards/Play charades/Meet a friend for a cup of coffee and talk/Refinish a piece of furniture/Walk the dog/Do yard work/Go camping/Watch a sunset/Learn to play a musical instrument/Go to a museum/Ride a bike/Learn yoga/Go bowling/Build a fort in the living room/Go to the library/Play hide & seek/Fly a kite/Have a slumber party/Create a masterpiece with sidewalk chalk/Put on a play/Have a scavenger hunt/jump on a trampoline/cook a meal together/Play a board game/Go roller-skating/Ride horses/Run through the sprinkler/Clean out your closet/Research your family history/Do an at home spa treatment/Lay on your back and look at the clouds/Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while

“When I power down and dream big…I can touch the sky.”