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Gluten Free Cooking Class

 

So, a few weeks ago some friends and I signed up for a Gluten Free cooking class. We decided to make it a girl's night and leave the men at home!

Naturally Fit Sisters Cooking Class

We grabbed a few bottles of wine, and drove 15 minutes down the road to a nice restaurant in a tiny Texas town called Clyde! We were really excited.  As you know, I have only recently decided to start changing my eating habits! (You can read about my choice to Eat Clean Here.) So I was very excited that not only was I going to hear from someone that cooked organically in her own kitchen, but she also has a family, and her own business.  *Is this Super Woman?* I also loved that in her profile for the class it mentioned that she used to teach yoga.  Of course you know that I love Yoga, and even though I wouldn't say my deciding to Eat Clean came straight from getting more involved in Yoga, it may have had a little to do with it.  Either way, I was very interested to hear from Jaclyn Harwell from My Organic Kitchens.

Anyways, we had such a great time! Jaclyn shared her journey that led her to start eating semi-Gluten Free, which had a lot to do with her children's behavior.  In short, her son had very out of control behavior and after going to a doctor who suggested she take her 3 year old to a psychiatrist to be put on medication she had a serious change of heart.  It was such a moving story, to see a mom share about the struggles she went through, and that she actually thought she might go through with putting her 3 year old on medication.  That is when she decided to start changing her families diet.  She started with excluding sugars from their food, and it went on from there.  It was really neat to hear her point of view, and how she literally has her own observation lab in her home.  With small children, and a very aware mother, it is easy to notice how different foods affect her children and their actions.

My Organic Kitchen

We got to watch her make various foods, and try each one! Here are the items that we got to eat!

Bell Pepper "Nachos," where she used Sauerkraut as the cheese.  Honestly, I am a very picky eater, and never eat Bell Peppers, but on this night I ate every bit of the food she served.  And I really enjoyed the bell pepper nachos, of course I felt like they were more like tacos.  I have already made them at home for my husband.

We also had a Prickly Pear Lemonade.  I think that is a specialty that the restaurant Bonterra Blu serves all the time. This was the brightest colored drink I have ever seen and it had a very good taste to it!

Next we had Cauliflower Shredded Beef Wraps, I am going to get really real with yall here and admit that I have never had cauliflower in my life! But, like I said, I ate everything, and these were actually VERY Good.  I will definitely be trying this out in my home.  Plus the beef she got from the Abilene, TX local Farmer's Market, which I am excited to try out.

Lastly, was the yummy dessert! Yes you can have dessert when eating healthy, or Gluten Free in this case.  She made us Cheesecake! It was definitely delicious, and so interesting to see that she made the crust with mostly flax seeds and dates.

I would have to say that the biggest thing I took away from this class, the thing that has impacted me the most on a daily basis since then, is to use all natural honey as a sweetener.  The weekend after the class I went to our local Farmer's Market, and purchased organic honey.  I have never been big on honey, but since then I have used it in place of my artificial sweeteners that I am used to in my coffee: TASTES GREAT, and honestly with honey and my creamer, I can't taste anything different.  I have also included it in a few recipes that call for sugar.  One was a homemade fruit roll up that my sister and I made together! (I will be sharing that yummy and all organic recipe with yall soon!)

So, I am so excited to say that I have gotten to connect with Jaclyn from My Organic Kitchen since her first class and she has graciously decided to offer one of our readers the chance to WIN a Dozen Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls!!

Naturally Fit Sisters & My Organic Kitchen

All you have to do to WIN is enter in the form below! We will pick at Winner at random next Thursday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, if you are interested, and a local, you may want to check out My Organic Kitchen's next class at Bonterra Blu! This time she will be talking about going beyond Gluten Free with a cooking demo and tasting! It's well worth it believe me.  Or if you want check out the other classes they are offering in this series! I am hoping to make one or two more before the summer is over!

Also be sure to check out My Organic Kitchen's page! She sells various foods by the dozen, and they are all yummy, organic, and Gluten Free! She also sells her food at the Abilene Farmer's Market.

tru blu health series

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Weight Loss Wednesday #3

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 Big Sis here.. Well this has been a heck of a trying week... I hate weeks like that, don't you? I am determined to not make it a month like that. This month presents lots of hurdles for me with moving and all of that... but I am determined AND I know that our NFS Weight Loss Wednesday Group will help hold me accountable. So this past week, I worked out 5 of 7 days! I am really proud of that.. however, like I tell everyone- if my eating isn't completely ON BOARD... nothing changes. We had a surprise "Florida Party" on Saturday night where I caved and ate way more food than I should have and my stomach is still recovering from it. (I am writing this on Monday since I will be without internet and driving on Wednesday). Have you ever noticed that when you eat well and then have that one splurge how it makes you feel? Holy cow... makes you wonder why someone would eat like that all of the time.

In our Weight Loss Wednesday Group we have a July Challenge going on. Each day there is a challenge that each of us do and check in with... I am excited to see where this takes us.. especially for me, since we will be driving or in hotels most of it! But I am determined! I am so proud when I see peoples success stories... but sometimes, deep down, it hurts too.. because I have SO far to go. I keep thinking how happy I was with myself last July/August and my body.. and I can't wait to get back there.. I want to be there again... I want to be talking about fitness all the time..... I don't want to be insecure with myself anymore! Pregnancy really changes a person. I wish I could be one of those that bounces right back after pregnancy, but it isn't me... but that is okay, because I probably appreciate it a lot more than I would- because I have to work so hard.

Today you don't get a picture of my scale nor do you get an update on my weight.. because well, with all the chaos of separating what we needed to take with us and what the movers needed to take, I forgot to grab my scale.. SO you will just have to wait. Which is fine with me, as I am sure it isn't pretty. I am having to tell myself.. just keep moving.... I can't go anywhere but down from here (literally, lol) if I try! If you have ever struggled with self image or weight you know how hard it is when you get down on yourself. To you- Just keep keeping on... I will too!

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For me, Little Sis, this week, well mostly the weekend wasn't the best for me either.  We are moving as well, and last Wednesday we started staying at a friend's house, and packed up the rest of our necessities, including our bed, and kitchen.  Although we were staying at our friend's house where we had food and a full kitchen, the houses were miles a part, and we had to finish packing and cleaning our house by Sunday.  So we would just grab food from a restaurant! At first we made pretty good choices, like Jason's Deli, where I just got soup, but other nights we didn't make the best choices.  I did keep working out though, and I am so happy to see the scales go down.

I have realized though with my latest healthy eating decisions, that changes don't happen just from working out.  I ran two half marathons this year, and even running that much, I gained weight because my eating habits never changed.  And even though I struggled with eating some while moving, My healthy choices outweighed my unhealthy ones, and I worked out consistently and that showed results!

If you have been working out and have seen NO results, start changing your eating habits!! I'm sure you will see changes!

 

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Also, I just wanted to extend one more invitation to join us in our July Focus Group!

OUR GOAL:

We want each person to be able to set personal goals, and work together with this community to accomplish those Summer Goals!! We want to create an environment where people can share their struggles or accomplishments! Where they can be encouraged on hard days, or be the encourager for others when they need to be! We want you to set a goal, and ACHIEVE it this summer!

So how can you join in!?!

Here’s how it works!

-You sign up with us

-You join our facebook support/challenge group! In the group you will have access to recipes, workouts, coaching, and encouragement from other members in the group!

-You choose to do either a buy a Cleanse or Shake for the challenge, or you can do both products.  See HERE for details

-Take Before & After photos, weight and measurements

-Each participant gets a FREE Bondi Band for finishing the challenge!

-1 Lucky WINNER from EACH Focus Group will WIN a BodyFX Sample pack plus some Naturally Fit Sisters products! (we will do a random drawing at the end of those that participated)

Now What!?!?

Just email or facebook us and let us know you are interested in joining the CHALLENGE!!

It’s up to you!

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See How Far We Have Come: 

WLW #1

WLW #2

Healthy Choice Desserts

Last week I posted about our new adventures in Eating Clean! I am really excited to see where this takes me and my husband.  I have already felt changes in myself, and am excited to see and feel more!

When I first started thinking about making these changes, I realized I needed to find an alternative to snacks, or desserts.  I love cold desserts/snacks.  I love getting fro-yo, or Icee's, and I enjoy an occasional snack! Especially at night! So I had to think of something better for me than the norm.  I thought about making fun frozen treats, and the next day I saw a cook book just for that at Sam's! I bought it for $5.99....well worth it for me! Not only is this a great treat for me now, but it will be wonderful to have all of these fun recipes when I have kids.  Then I picked up these two packs of popsicle trays at Wal-Mart for $1.50 each!

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The first popsicle I decided to try out was the Strawberry-Lemon Pop!

For this here's what you needed:

1-Cup of strawberries

1-Tablespoon of lemon

1-cup of milk

1/2-cup of yogurt (plain, but I used strawberry because that's what we had)

1-teaspoon of sugar

*At the time I made this I used Splenda, but I learned last week that it is better to use HONEY to sweeten things.  So that is what I used on the ones I made this week! & I have also been using that on my coffee too! :-)

**I also added my unflavored protein powder to add an extra punch of goodness in there!

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Then you just stick it all in your blender until it is pureed.

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Next you pour them evenly into the little trays! This recipe made a tray and a half of these!

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Then I froze them overnight, and enjoyed them the next day!!

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I'm telling you, you should definitely try these out! They are easy and fun, and can be all natural! I used all fresh, organic fruits, and organic milk & yogurt! So I feel great about eating these no matter what time of day it is! They could even double as a smoothie in the morning, with the protein and fruit, it's like a small smoothie on a stick!

Plus the kids will LOVE IT!

This is a great snack/treat for kids! Way better than store bought popsicles that are dripping with fake stuff and sugar!! :-)

My nephew loved them and had like 3 this weekend!

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#theSuellsEatClean

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Clean Eating

You may know that I, Little Sis have had 3 High School Asian boys living with me for the past two years.  In short my husband and I did a host parenting program.  We decided after two great years that it is now time for us to stop doing that and enjoy us together, and start working on our own family!!

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Anyways, what's this got to do with Clean Eating!?!? LOL Well when you have 5 people in your house, you buy food that stays under your budget.  We didn't buy horrible food, but we shopped at Sam's, and knew exactly what we got each time.  Not a lot of thought going into it.  I mean I would meal plan but that was just to help with the budget.  (meal planning on a budget post here) I didn't think much about how we were eating health-wise as a family. I mean I would try to buy veggies, and fruit, but usually bagged, steam-able veggies or something.

Anyways, now that it is just my husband and I, I  have decided to start taking control of what we are eating and make changes! I am not doing this to be a part of some Gluten Free or Paleo fad that is going around.  I have read some about Clean Eating, and will continue reading more, but I understand the importance of eating more natural food, and less processed food.  But believe me, this is no easy task! I was raised on processed food, I love McDonald's, so this will be a challenge, but one I am ready for and excited to take!

One of the best things I read before starting this journey into Clean Eating is to think of it on an 80-20 scale.  80% Clean eating, 20% not.  And I don't think okay I'll buy this and then splurge for my 20%.  No the 20% is to help me, I am not doing this to punish myself, but because I want to.  So the 20% really does help! I mean I am not going to clear out my cabinets and waste food that we already have.  But from now on I am striving to buy more "Clean" foods, so that's the 80%.  I'll explain more below with my first Clean Meal!

But first, a few things I did to start my Clean Eating.  Find a local Farmer's Market.  I swear my city is WAY behind on health initiatives! But they still have a small Farmer's Market.  So I went.  I didn't need a ton because I had already gotten some fresh veggies from my Dad's garden, but I did get these two things.

Or maybe this is your chance to start your own garden! If you have the time and resources that could be fun! Just enough to feed your family!

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Anyways, I bought fresh Kale & Cucumbers.  Here's what I use them for:

Cucumbers-I literally slice up and dip in ranch.  (Guess I need to look into buying organic ranch :-) But I eat it for lunch, dinner, snack.  I am not a HUGE Veggie eater so I take what I can get.  I will eat baby carrots with this too!

Kale-You wash it.  Thoroughly dry it.  Then lay it on a baking sheet, sprinkle Olive Oil on it and salt, and bake it at 350 degrees for 10 minutes and you get crunchy Kale chips.  The first time I had them I wasn't in love, but I tried again and am liking them.  The only bad thing is that Kale is a taste that stays in your mouth for a while :-)

NEXT:  I went shopping at our local Natural Grocer's store.  This is newer to my town, but most town's have something similar.

Here's what I got!

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So here I am talking about EATING CLEAN, but maybe you don't even know what that means....

Yeah neither did my husband....In the middle of Natural Grocers my husband said...."What does ORGANIC even mean...!?!?!"

By definition, Organic foods are, "foods that are produced using methods of organic farming – that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Organic foods are also not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives."

Basically Clean Eating is eating food in it's most basic form, not processed or full or synthetics or chemicals.

So fresh food is one of the best things to have, or cage free products.

So now....for my first ever Clean Meal.

Here is where I explain more about the 80-20 part.  I'm telling you, have this in the back of your mind and you won't set yourself up for failure.  If you have the mindset of going 100% Clean, then when all your friends go to eat, you are depressively declining because of your choice to be healthy.  NO, go eat with your friends! It's a choice, not PUNISHMENT! (just don't go out to eat every night) hahaha Make good choices! This blog post was amazing at describing this.  Her point of view was based on her young daughters and not wanting to put a misconception of food into their minds that could later lead to eating disorders. It's a very interesting read!

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Our first official "Clean Meal." I used the All Recipes, Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup.

Anyways, I made the Kale chips I mentioned above, but used my Wal-Mart bought olive oil.  I made guacamole with organic avocados & the Organic Blue Corn Chips that I bought.   In the soup, (which tastes way better than it looks here), I used mostly fresh stuff, but the enchilada sauce I had bought a while back so I used it, and it wasn't organic.  Things like that.  If I already have it, I'm going to use it.  And I still felt GREAT about myself because I had set the 80-20 expectation up for myself, so I was okay that it wasn't all PERFECTLY CLEAN/ORGANIC FOOD!

Anyways, I will continue to update you on how things are going.  A few things I have planned for the coming weeks it to share with you about fresh fruit frozen treats I have made, and about a Gluten Free Cooking Class that I went to!

Here's to CLEAN EATING!! #theSuellsEatClean  (had to make my own hashtag) :)

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**Also don't forget to check to see if you won our Latitude Gear RX shirts!?!? Winners are up now!**