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Almond butter cookies

One of my many adventures this summer lead me all the way up to Maine.  I absolutely love New England.  When I find a farmers market at a rest stop on the Massachusetts Turnpike, I feel right at home.

During my stay, we had amazingggg cookies.  I mean AMAZING.  They were similar to peanut butter cookies, but instead, they were made with sunflower butter.  A delicious (and peanut free) spread made out of sunflower seeds.  A great alternative to peanut butter.  When I returned to New Jersey, I had to have them =]

With no sunflower butter in the house, we went directly to our old time favorite, almond butter.  Using whole wheat pastry flour gives these cookies dense texture, and the maple syrup provides a slight sweetness.  A great treat to naturally tame your cravings.

Almond Butter Cookies

Makes 18 cookies 

1/2 cup Almond butter

1/2 cup Maple Syrup

3 Tbs Canola Oil

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 cup Chopped Almonds

1/4 cup Chocolate Chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combined almond butter, maple syrup, canola oil, and the vanilla extract in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, combined the  whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet.  Mix in the chopped almonds and (optional) chocolate chips.  Let the dough sit for five minutes.

Roll tablespoons of the dough into a balls, and flatten to around 1/3 of an inch.  Place them  on a cookie sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

Link Time! 

The connection between happiness and weight loss

Tips on Eating Mindfully

With the school year approaching, it’s good to know that some school cafeteria’s are starting to cook from scratch.

And if you haven’t heard, Bill Clinton’s a vegan.

Stay Natural ♥ C

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Slow and Steady Wins the Race, step1…

This past week has me really focused on small changes.  It seems odd to think about, but that is what a health food journey (how mysterious) is all about.  Five years ago, you would never catch me juicing kale and mixing flax seeds into my plain yogurt.  Today, it is something that I don’t even think twice about.  I seem to forget that making these changes are not always easy, and can be very overwhelming.  But with determination, motivation, knowledge, education, and most importantly time, anything and everything is possible.

So on that note, I decided to start a series of posts that will guide readers through making small changes, helping them achieve a healthy life style.   Because these posts will be sporadic, after posting them on my main page, I will be linking them to my new page entitled Journey to Health.  You can find it along with my other pages below the heading.  PLEASE feel free to comment, make suggestions, and pass it along.

STEP 1

-Start cooking more meals at home, and eating out less.

-Add in one fruit and one vegetable to your diet every day.

-Put a daily limit on your soda intake.  

-Up your water intake by one glass.  

-Take a walk once a week.  Already doing that?  Increase your walks by one day.

Want to increase your knowledge?  

-Pick up the short book Chew on This by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson.  It is a short, easy to read, and packed with good information.

-Want to read something a little more mindless?  Pick up a ‘health’ magazine.    Here is a list of them.  Some libraries even carry older issues that you can borrow.

Remember, just because you didn’t brush your teeth yesterday, doesn’t mean you are not going to brush them today!

Does that make sense?  oh well.

One day, one hour, one minute at a time.

Stay Natural ♥ C

‘Beet’ Acne Naturally

After Thanksgiving of last year I mentioned that my Aunt brought the most amazinggg salad.  Ever since then, it has been my easy go to dish for every family function.

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

First, Roast the beets

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Remove the greens from the top of the beets, and scrub them clean!

Using a fork, poke holes in the beets.

Individually wrap them in foil, and place in the oven.

Cook the beets for one hour, or until they can easily be pierced by a knife.

After letting them cool, use a paring to remove the skins and slice the beets.

Creating your salad!

Start with a bed of fresh spinach, and add in dried cranberries, crumbled goat cheese, and your roasted beets.  Top it off with a balsamic vinaigrette.  

 

Links!!!

I am so glad that more and more attention is being brought the connection between diet and acne.  Just check out these articles!

Treating acne naturally

Low carb and low dairy diets are best for acne

Like always,

Stay Natural ♥ C

 

Feeling Peachy?

Since peaches are in season (here in New Jersey that is), I thought a peach protein smoothie would be a cool and refreshing start to the day!

Peach Protein Smoothie

3/4 cup milk (I prefer unsweetened almond)

1/4 cup Orange Juice

1/2-1 scoop protein powder

 *Instead of protein powder, you could use 1/2-1 cup of plain or greek yogurt!  

1 peach, sliced

Blend everything together.  Then add 4-5 ice cubes and blend for about 30 more seconds.

Links!

Is eating a hot dog like smoking a cigarette?  

I could use this one: Injury-Proofing your run

Are nutritious food really that expensive?  check out this breakdown: cheep health food

So many vegetables, but don’t know what to make?  Here are some Farm Stand Recipes

Stay Natural

♥ C

Something new: recipes & links

After letting days and weeks go by in between posts, I have realized that it is time to try something different with Naturally Cassie.  My new plan is to keep the majority of my posts simple and sweet, but still packed with information.  Each post will contain one or two recipes, and a couple of links to recent health related articles.  I did say majority, so don’t be surprised when you have to read a long post of me ranting about one thing or another.   Isn’t that what you are here for anyways?  So lets try this out, and tell me what you think!

The lazy days of summer have made my mornings more difficult.  No worries, because I have smoothie that will cure that!

Morning coffee protein shake:

(it’s better than a frapp-a-whatever)

equal parts of coffee and milk

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk *

3/4 cup coffee

Protein powder

1/2 -1 scoop unsweetened whey protein powder *

Sweetener

1 packet of stevia*

Ice Ice Baby

4-5 cubes

Combined and blend away!

*Feel free to replace these ingredients to similar ones that you prefer.

Link time!

Americans are cutting back on there sugar intake

Autism risk factors: 50% genetics, 50% environmental? 

Health benefits of watermelon

Stay Natural

♥ C

On the road again..

As soon as I think I’m going to get a chance to fill you in on my Cape May trip, I am on yet another adventure.  Isn’t that what the summer is for??

Before I jump back in the car, I thought I would share a couple of my road trip essentials.  Check out these links!

Lara Bars.  A great snack, or a way to tame your sweet tooth!  My favorite flavors are peanut butter cookie, and chocolate chip brownie.

Justins Almond Butter Packs.  I love these squeezable packs!  Perfect for when your on the go.  They can be added to oatmeal, fruit, or crackers for a great snack/meal.

Flax Packs.  So glad I found these!  Adding flax seeds to any meal or snack (salads, oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies), is a great way to up your fiber intake, and keep you feeling full.   Carrington Farm’s flax packs makes my fiber portable =]

Water Bottle!!  VERY IMPORTANT.  Being in the car in very dehydrating, so having my reusable water bottle with me is a must.  Dehydration can put quite a damper on your vacation.  I have been using Klean Kanteen water bottles for a few years now.  They are made of stainless steel, the caps are bpa free, and they keep my water colddd!  Also, they offer a variety of sizes and styles.

Stevia and Sugar on the raw Packets.  For some reason, road trips cause me to craveeee iced coffee!  So when we do make a quick stop, I like to be prepared with a more natural sweetener to mix in my cold drink.

Ginger.  I am lucky enough to have grown out of the motion sickness that I experienced when I was younger.  Just in case, I always take some kind of ginger candies.  (Gin Gin’s are my favorite!)  Ginger is like nature’s tums or pepto-bismol, it is perfect for an upset stomach.  (Check out this article)  Since I tend to eat a little bit differently on vacation (who doesn’t?), I will sometimes chew on one of these after a meal or snack that may lead me to feeling bloated.

Mini BlenderThis is not exactly an essential item to pack, but it can make life a little more convenient!  If I have access to a kitchen on my vacation, I will sometimes bring my mini Cuisinart blender to make a smoothie.  It’s small size is perfect for traveling!

So where am I off to now?

You’ll find out soon enough.

Stay Natural ♥ C

Back to Reality

Living in New Jersey does have its perks! I just returned from an amazing vacation down the shore. Cape May is a beautiful beach located at the very bottom of the garden state. Unlike your stereotypical Jersey Shore scene, Cape May is quiet, historical, and packed with delicious food. I really can not wait to write my next post and tell you all about it! But right now, I am kind of in a food coma =]

As I try to unpack and reorganize myself from my week away, I am also trying to catch up on my health news!  Here are a few interesting articles I have come across:

Top 10 Scariest Food Additives

Super Health Benefits from Coconut oil

How to Feed your Skin

Diet Soda leads to Weight Gain (And diabetes!)

For a sweet ending, I can not wait to make this Cherry Frozen Yogurt!

That’s it for now.  Let me get organized and we will catch up later!

Stay Natural ♥ C