Assembly

 

Call me crazy, but in the winter my body just craves summer foods. Not sure if it’s the fact my condo building and work building are both boiler rooms in the winter (Was much appreciated in the polar vortex – but it’s 40 degrees outside!!) or the fact that the air outside is so dry my body is craving those fresh water filled fruits and veggies. Either way, this cute lettuce wrap absolutely hits the spot.

My Lecture on Packaged Turkey:

I am home for the Christmas week here, so rummaging through my parents fridge was…well…interesting. I was able to find some beautiful romaine, a bruised tomato (My dad loves getting bruised because he can get a discount/get them from free), and some gorgeous avocados! I tried my hardest to find some fresh chicken or turkey to shred inside, but all I could find was packaged turkey. (Shake my head) but at least my parents tried and they did get low sodium. ehhh

I am not a fan of packaged turkey for two reasons.

1) Packaged turkey can contain up to 300mg sodium *scream* and other unnecessary chemicals that includes but are not limited to:

  • Modified Corn Starch
  • Sodium Phosphates
  • Carrageenan
  • Benzonate
  • Sodium Ascorbate
  • and Sodium Nitrate

2) It just takes like rubber like a lunch-able sort of thing.

ummmmm – no thank you. But I also just couldn’t eat this lettuce wrap with just tomato and avocado. I just. Couldn’t. So – I had to go for it. I HAD TO. Leave me alone. I was hungry. And it was either I go for the processed turkey or this weird looking “home made” mac and cheese that I think my parents actually ate for dinner and saved for a left over —– and that wasn’t happening. (I would just like to add here that my parents are amazing cooks and taught me everything I know. We just, sometimes, disagree on certain ingredients. 😀 Love you Mom and Dad!!)

 

The Real Point of this Blog – The Wrap!

Packaging this wrap could not.be.easier.

1) Just rinse your romaine and rip off as many leafs as you would like a wrap for.

2) Mash your avocado in a bowl, add some lemon juice, salt, and pepper

3) Slice your tomato

4) Assemble.

Finished Product

These are filling, delicious, and really hit the spot. The only thing I don’t like? They are a little messy. Either that, or I am just a messy eater. So these are not the ideal lunch to eat at my desk at work.

 

Also, Am I the only one who doesn’t eat the ends?

The end

 

The BONGS Treatment

By ChristianaAlissa

 

Feel a flu coming on? Or perhaps you are already knee-deep in one? Take it from someone who used to be (and still sometimes am) a professional flu-getter. Remember, I am NOT a medical professional, and nothing I say here should be taken as medical advice. I am just a professional at getting sick and this combination is what works for me.

I used to have chronic sinusitis – and by that I mean I basically had a sinus infection non-stop and then every couple months or so it became extremely severe. I had my tonsils out, adenoids out, got rid of the cat, did the works, but nothing really worked until I changed all aspects of my life, and also adopted my own regimen that I call: the BONGS treatment.

B: Homemade Broth

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Ever hear mama say chicken soup will heal your cold? Well she’s right – but not the canned chicken soup you get in a store. What makes chicken soup so good for you is that it’s a home made broth, with real chicken. And forget the noodles – many noodles are made out of tons of chemicals that you really don’t need. If you really want to get better, make a home made broth FILLED with vegetables and chicken.

You can also drink your broth, add in some apple cider vinegar and honey, and heat it up for an immune boosting drink.

O: Oranges

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A big mistake other than canned chicken soup when sick, is bottled orange juice. Packaged orange juice contains tons of unnecessary sugars and artificial ingredients, that again, will not make you better, not now, not in the long run, not ever.

If you are sick, the best thing to do is freshly juice your oranges. There are several ways to do this, with a hand held juicer, or a juicing machine. I highly recommend getting a juicer, I got mine for $40.00 at Walmart and it was the best investment I ever made. Add an apple to every 2 oranges to naturally sweeten it, and nothing beats that burst of vitamin C. If you don’t have a juicer, and use a hand held juicer, just add a spoonful of sugar! (Helps fresh OJ go down 😉 )

Link to handheld orange juicers:  Click Here!

N: Nasal Rinses

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I usually do a nasal rinse several times a week, but like I said, I am prone to sinus infections. If you feel a stuffiness coming on, then a nasal rinse can certainly help you. However, if you are so stuffed up to the point you literally cannot breath – then don’t do a sinus rinse as these rinses should not hurt you when you do them they should feel good and allow loose green gunk to escape. I find that when I’m sick my nasal rinses do best after I have slept with a breath-rite strip, and taken a hot steamy shower which I cover my face with a hot wash cloth during. If I do not do those two things before I try to rinse, the rinse just never seems to go well.

Remember when you rinse to use distilled water and warm it up a bit before hand if you can, just to make the water luke warm. Do research before doing a nasal rinse, and see the best ways and methods, and negative side effects before doing them.

Click Here for My Favorite Nasal Rinse!

G: Ginger Tea

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I used to hate tea. When I was younger and would get sick, my mom would offer me tea, and I would actually get mad at her that she would suggest such a thing. But the truth is, nothing is better for you. The best tea when you’re sick or when you are getting sick is whole, fresh made, ginger tea. Ginger is an all natural anti-inflammatory and if you add it with a couple spoons of honey, you’re going to feel instantly better.

Another great addition or tea, is take an old pasta jar, or mason jar, slice up a bunch of lemons, and mince a bunch of cloves of garlic. Layer in the jar your lemon (no seeds by the way!) and garlic and then fill the jar with honey. Let the jar sit in your fridge over night, and throughout the week. Every morning take your boiling water and add a spoonful or pour a little bit of your lemon/garlic/honey mixture into the cup. It will cool off your boiling water enough to drink it, and adds the tremendous benefits of lemon and garlic, both natural detoxifiers.

My next G is Gargling. Gargling salt water or cayenne pepper mixed with water honestly does heal sore throats. You have to do it with warm water, and do a cup of it every hour. Doing it aggressively through the day is the only way it has ever helped me (and yes, this is a last resort for me too)

My Blog on Ginger Tea Benefits <<Click Here for my Blog on How to Make/Benefits of Ginger Tea

S: Steamers

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A couple years ago I invested in a Revlon Face Steamer. I got it from Amazon for about $20.00 and again, was an amazing investment. It has two attachments to steam either your whole face, or just your nasal area. You simply plug it into the wall, fill the little bowl with water and steam. It steams for about 20 minutes and is great while watching TV. Nothing loosens me up better, and this is a great exercise before a nasal rinse.

Humidifiers are also NECESSARY to keeping your nasal passages healthy. I have a humidifier that I use every single night in the winter.

Another great tool is an essential oil diffuser. You can use this in combination with your humidifier at night, and adding in some tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil will help your nasal passages clear and detox while staying lubricated and moist.

Some people recommend steam rooms at health clubs when you’re sick, and I have to say, I stay away from them. Air born illnesses such as flus thrive in water particles, and if your immune system is already compromised, going into a steam room which is a confined space with other people breathing heavily into the steam, in my opinion, can only worsen you, or get someone else sick. A better alternative is a steamer, or if you don’t have one, closing your bathroom door, putting a towel under the crack, and running a hot shower and holding a hot wash cloth over your face. (Be careful when you open the door if you live in a small apartment, because the steam CAN set off your fire alarm – learned that the hard way!)

 

Well that’s it those are the 5 exercises I do in the winter when I’m not sick to prevent getting sick, and especially kick up a knotch when I feel the onset of a cold or flu coming on.

Do you have any cold fighting remedies?? If you do I want to know about them!! Leave a comment below!

So I woke up this morning and realized I was pretty much flat out of food (probably the most common yuppie problem like – ever).

I was CRAVING a morning juice drink – so I rummaged through and was able to find 1 semi old apple, and 2 stalks of celery. Done.

I wasn’t completely sure how this would turn out considering I almost always will add cucumber/lemon to juices I use celery in – but I gave it a try (I mean, I was desperate!)

To my surprise this drink was actually extremely delicious. Just one large sweet apple, and two smaller stalks of celery – absolutely hit the spot!

Thought I’d share this emergency drink success with you – just in case you decide to forgo your typical juice drink in fear of failure – don’t! As long as there was that sweetness off-setting the celery I think I was clear.

Now I’m ready to start my day!!

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I hope you trust me enough by now to know I wouldnt post things on here unless they have seriously impacted my life for the better.

To fully appreciate this scrub, you have to fully appreciate the ingredients. Do yourself a favor and just take a couple minutes before doing this to google the skin benefits of the following scrub ingredients:
– Honey
– Pure Sugar
– Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
– Lemon Juice (substitute=lime juice)

Making this scrub is simple. Combine all ingredients in a bowl! Just a squeeze/splash of lime or lemon, splash of vinegar, couple squeezes of honey, and some spoonfulls of sugar!

Make sure to open your pores by placing a warm washcloth on your face for several seconds first. Then dip your hands in the scrub and scrub on your face. This will feel amazingly fresh on your face! Finish it off by rinsing with warm water and then turn your faucet to cold water and hold the cold wash cloth on your face to finish it up.

Caution: Causes smooth flawless skin.

What’s the word? The word is FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FOR IOWA!

In honor of this weekend being the kick off to a fantastic Iowa football season, I thought I’d do the world a favor and teach you how to make your own ketchup. At least something can be healthy at your tailgate, right??

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Making your own ketchup could not be easier. You will need the following ingredients:

  • Onion Powder
  • Water
  • Tomato Paste
  • Vinegar (any kind)
  • Clove (Optional)
  • Salt and Pepper

Step 1) Depending on how much you are making, mix anywhere from a splash of water/onion powder to a cup or two of water with a couple tablespoons of onion powder. Add enough onion powder that the water looks merky and is not clear anymore.

Step 2) In a pot, pour in your onion water mixture, cover, and bring to a strong simmer for about 4-6 minutes.

Step 3) In a bowl, put in anywhere from a spoonful, to a whole can of tomato paste (depending on how much you are making) Again, measurements are not extremely important here, because it depends on your own personal taste/use of this

Step 4) Pour in a little bit of onion powder water at a time. Do not pour it all in at once, as you just want to splash in a little at a time until you reach the consistency of ketchup you are comfortable with.

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Step 5) Put in a couple splashes of vinegar (Doesn’t matter what kind – any vinegar you have on hand will work). I just like to use a splash of it, if you are making a lot of ketchup use a couple splashes. Taste this as you go and add more/less as you see fit

Step 6) Season with Salt, Pepper, and a clove seasoning if you choose. (I’ve used it without cloves several times and it’s turned out fine!)

And you’re done! You can store this in an air tight container in your fridge for several days. I usually eat mine fresh with some freshly sliced jicama fruit that I top with a little bit of lime and cayenne pepper.

 

For more on jicama fruit: Click Here

 

 

 

 

This meal is straight from the Great Depression, and is typically made with hot dogs, potatoes, onion, and tomato.

Given that I don’t eat hot dogs, I have made this with ground lamb or ground turkey instead and it’s been delicious! However, given that you may have a ton of left over turkey (and let’s be honest, you can only have so many Turkey and Gravy meals before you pop) This is a great alternative to use some left overs! I like this meal as more of a stew, so I add tomato sauce to this, but to make it more traditional keep the liquid to a low.

 

Preparation

Step 1) Peel and chop your onion and garlic

Step 2) Peel and cube your potatoes

Step 3) Dice some tomatoes, or grab a can of organic no sodium (I used fresh canned tomatoes from the garden, and I think I went to heaven for a second)

 

Cooking

1. Sautee your onions and garlic in some olive oil until the onions look clear

2. Add your potatoes, (I also add some green onion, or small bits of spinach/kale – optional)

3. Sautee your potatoes with the onions for about 2 minutes. Add in your canned tomatoes, or chopped tomatoes.

4. Season the dish (pop in a bay leaf if you want) and cover the pan. Turn to medium low and let it cook for 15 – 20 minutes, adding in your turkey in the last 7 or so minutes. (Note: you can add in the turkey last because it’s already cooked – if you are using fresh ground turkey or lamb you must brown first and add in ingredients to the meat, not the meat to the ingredients).

I also love adding in some fresh thyme or basil or any other fresh herb you have on hand – but this is optional.

You know this dish is done because your potatoes will be tender and your stomach will be rumbling at how good it smells!

Remove the bay leaf if you added it, and serve up!! (Tip: Topping with a very small amount of graded parmesan cheese adds that little wonderfulness).

Does anyone else have some great turkey left over ideas??? We have over half a turkey over here!