Images

Vanilla Almond Milk Recipe

My children love to help me cook, bake and create in the kitchen.  So, I used this interest to my advantage this morning and had my daughter assist me in making our almond milk.

Last night, I soaked 1 cup of almonds in water.  I soaked them for about 8 hours.  While I was making breakfast and our morning smoothie, I peeled off the skins off the almonds and rinsed them thoroughly.

Soaked and Peeled Almonds

Soaked and Peeled Almonds

My daughter enthusiastically dumped 1 cup of peeled almonds into the blender that was filled with 4.5 cups of filtered water.  

Blending Almonds and 4.5 cups of Water

Blending Almonds and 4.5 cups of Water

Once the almonds and water were blended once, my daughter added 2 organic, pitted dates to the blender.  Dates are a wonderful natural sweetener!

Adding 2 Pitted Dates

Adding 2 Pitted Dates

Once the dates were added, 2 vanilla beans were split and scraped into the blender.

Splitting the Vanilla Bean

Splitting the Vanilla Bean

The almond milk was blended once more and then strained through a nut bag while squeezing out the milk. 

Pouring milk into the nut bag

Pouring milk into the nut bag

Squeezing milk out of the bag

Squeezing milk out of the bag

Once the milk was all squeezed out and pulp discarded, the milk was poured into 2 Ball jars and sealed.

(Normally we would compost the pulp, but we are moving in the near future so we have to reduce our composting.)

Sealing the jars

Sealing the jars

The finished product

The finished product

**Many people also dehydrate the leftover almond pulp to make yummy goodness like almond flour.  We don’t have a dehydrator YET (hmmm…possible Christmas gift idea!)** 

Having children help in the kitchen is a great educational opportunity (enhances math and science skills while learning the importance of nutrition).  Also, the sense of accomplishment they achieve in creating something delicious is priceless!

Enjoy!

Marci

Garlic Lemon Fish

While painting was getting done in the house and the children were still home from school last week, we drove to Houston to visit my parents.   My kids love their grandparents and it is always a grand adventure filled with tons of playing with grandma and grandpa and LOTS of yummy, decadent food (especially desserts-DOH!!!  Sugar coma for my children!)  

My dad requested that I make one of my signature dish and a favorite in our house for dinner one evening.  So, being the wonderful daughter that I am, I happily made this delicious fish recipe!

Garlic Lemon Fish

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 fish filets
  • 3-5 garlic cloves
  • About 6 lemons
  • Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt, pepper, herbs de provence, paprika
  1. Heat oven to 425
  2. Mince garlic
  3. Cut and juice lemons
  4. Melt about 1/2 stick of Butter (yep, it’s butter but that’s okay!)
  5. Saute minced garlic in olive oil until fragrant (about 30-45 secs–do this over a low to med heat).  Remove from heat
  6. Combine sauteed garlic with the melt butter, juice from lemons, 3 tbs olive oil
  7. Pat dry fish filets.  (To determine whether you should use wild caught vs farm raised fish, please visit Blue Ocean Institute)
  8. Place fish in baking dish coated with olive oil
  9. Pour lemon garlic butter over fish
  10. Season fish filets with herbs de provence, salt (I prefer Himalayan salt since sit also contains other minerals), pepper, paprika (smoked or sweet).
  11. Bake for roughly 25 minutes.  May need to bake longer if using frozen fish.

Garlic Lemon Fish

I like to cook brown rice while I am prepping and the fish is baking.  I will top the rice with the fish and some of the sauce.  I will serve alongside it a nice large leafy green salad loaded with veggies and my homemade dressing.   An excellent nutritionally complete meal!

Enjoy!

~Marci

Confidence

CONFIDENCE

That dreaded word.. The word I think we all struggle with at some point.  I know I do.  I have come a long way from being extremely self conscious as a child, teen and young adult to the person I am now: fairly confident with my body, my mind, and my personality.  But, it has taken me DECADES and I still struggle with it each day.  For instance, I had a really “off” day on Sunday.  I just wasn’t “feelin’ it” and didn’t like the cranky person I was.  So, for me, exercising is my mood lifter/stress buster/sexy maker.  After I hit the gym, my mood totally lifted and I was back to “feelin’ it”!

You’ve all heard/read the stories of those beautiful models and talented actors/actresses who said THEY BATTLED with their self-image throughout their childhood and you thought to yourself, Come on! Seriously?! Having self-confidence does not discriminate between those who are the epitome of what we strive to be and the “regular” person.

So you may ask yourself:  How do I become more confident, like who I am, and be happier with me?  I don’t have the golden ticket for you, but what I do have is what works for me during those moments of self loathing.  Maybe you can take a few tips and tricks and see how it helps you!

Find Time For Yourself:  Take some time to think about what truly makes you happy, energized, stimulates your brain, etc.  Schedule that time like you would any appointment.

Here Are Some Ideas: 

  1. Reading
  2. Gardening
  3. Cooking/Baking
  4. Writing
  5. Creating

Exercise:  The endorphins (“feel good” chemicals) released during/after exercising have been shown, study after study, to make you feel so much happier.  

Have Sex:  This is self-explanatory.  You may think how can I feel sexy when I am not feeling confident?!  Well, do things to set the stage prior to: candles, relaxing bath, aromatherapy, exercise.  Basically, anything that revs you up.  And we all know everyone feels great and more confident afterwards.  If you are not in a relationship, give yourself some self loving.

Get Outside:  Exposure to sunlight has been known to make us happier

Play With Your Pets or Kids:  Being silly and showing affection to others always makes you happier

Get Enough Sleep:  The amount varies person to person

Socialize:  Hang out with people and not just with any friends and family but those people who lift your spirit.

There is no perfect formula to improve your self-confidence and it will vary daily, but you can CHOOSE to do small activities to improve your mood and mentality.  If you do it consistently, then YOU WILL FRAME YOUR MIND TO BE MORE CONFIDENT.

WHEN YOU FEEL CONFIDENT, THIS IS HOW YOU WILL FEEL:

awesome