Friday, January 31, 2014

Raw Vegan Protein Fit for Children

A few nights ago I put together a recipe for the children.  It made a great, healthy, protein packed treat for them before bed. Everyone loved it, hubby and I included. I have been thinking about it ever since because I used up the last of the strawberries and look forward to getting more today so we can make another blender full!! It's THAT good!

Hemp seeds were the primary ingredient supplying the protein and chia supplied the perfect balance of Omega-3's and Omega-6's. Here is some history about these amazing seeds, taken directly from this site. Check out their web site it is pretty awesome!!

Hemp Seed Benefits
The Protein-Rich Super Seed

Hemp seed comes from the hemp plant, which has been used for centuries in the paper, textile, biodegradable plastics, and construction industries.
Hemp seeds, however, have recently been rediscovered as a highly nutritious food.
They are one of the best sources of easily digestible plant protein above all nuts, seeds, and plants (aside from spirulina).
The hemp plant, Cannibis sativa L. is not the same plant as it's THC potent cousin known as marijuana.   Hemp is a food and textile crop containing high amounts of fiber and seeds. 
The popular phrase about hemp seeds is that "you can't get high on the seeds, you only get healthy."
Hemp's use as an agriculture crop dates back over 10,000 years, cultivated in China even before the soy bean. The hemp fiber was used extensively on ship sails and was a commonly used textile in colonial times.

Hemp Seed Nutrition

Super Source of Fatty Acids and Protein

Hemp protein has the highest percentage of the high quality edestin and albumin protein of any plant based source.
It contains all 20 amino acids (including the 8 essential), the good fats (EFA's) and the uncommon gamma linolenic acid. These qualities make it a highly digestible, complete protein source.
Hempseed contains 80% Omega fatty acids, including Omega-6, Omega-3 and Vitamin E. Essential fatty acids are "essential" because the body does not make them. They are an important antioxidant needed to protect the skin and build the immune system.
Hempseed is the lowest in saturated fats and promoted by many health practitioners as the perfect food for the human diet.
Essential Fatty Acids:
Omega-3 and Omega-6
  • Alpha-Linolenic Acid
  • Linoleic Acid
  • Gamma Linolenic Acid
  • Stearidonic Acid
It is stated in the book Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill, that the oil in hempseed is the best source of EFA's of any food. 

Vegan Strawberry Mylk

by Elizabeth

2 C fresh organic strawberries with the green tops

2 T raw hemp seeds

1 T chia seeds

4 Medjool dates, pitted

1/2- 1 C water

1 banana

1/2 C ice

Take a look at the health benefits of hemp. I found a very large bag of these amazing seeds at our local Costco as well as the Chia. That was a very happy day!! 

Hemp Seeds Health Benefits

  • High edestin levels contain globulin which builds immune system
  • 35% protein, 47% fat, and 12% carbohydrate
  • Hemp flour - highest fiber content of all the seeds
  • Hemp oil contains 80% essential fatty acids - the highest amount of any plant
  • 33-37% highly digestible protein (1/3 edestin and 2/3 albumins) two out of three of the most common protein types
  • Amino acid- contains all 8 essential amino acids
  • 3 times the vitamin E of flax seed
  • Free of oligosaccharides for ease of digestion
  • Contains lecithin - for healthy brain function
  • Inositol - strengthens hair follicles, breaks down fats/cholesterol, sedates nerves
  • Phytosterols - maintain hormone balance
Vitamins and Minerals:
  • ~calcium
  • ~iron
  • ~phosphorus
  • ~zinc
  • ~magnesium
  • ~copper
  • ~vit E
  • ~manganese
  • ~sulfur
"The tiny shelled seed of the amazing hemp plant has a pleasant nutty flavor, similar to sunflower seeds. The seeds are packed with nutrients -- they are an excellent source of the essential fatty acids (EFAs), delivering these EFAs in a balanced 3.75:1 ratio.  Hemp seed is a source of complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids."
-Gabriel Cousens, M.D.
"There is a Cure for Diabetes"

They must, of course, be eaten raw to maintain their nutritional value. 

Now let's look at what the people at Superfoods for Super Health say about chia seeds, the second powerhouse in my vegan mylk recipe!

Chia Seeds Nutrition,
A Wild Food from the Chia Plant

chia-seeds-nutrition-bulk-chia Chia seeds are one of our top superfood seeds, along with the hemp seed, that have only recently been rediscovered in the superfood world as a nutritious, energy packed  food source.

They are the tiny, dark brown to light brown, seeds from the chia plant. Chia is very similar in nature to the flax seed in that it is incredibly gelatinous when soaked in water.


Chia Seeds Nutrition

  • Omega fatty acids - contains ample amounts of the essential oils omega 3 and omega 6.
  • Digestive aid - produces a gel that soothes the intestinal tract, normalizes bowel movements, excellent for colon health.
  • Protein rich food - twice the protein content of most seeds and grains.
  • High in Calcium - reported to have 5 times the calcium of milk.
  • High in Boron - a trace mineral that helps move calcium into the bones.
  • Source of antioxidants and amino acids.

Why Is It Known As An Endurance Food?

Chia Seeds Soaking Benefits This gel is known to be extremely beneficial for:
  • Stabilizing blood sugar levels which make it an exceptional food for diabetics.
  • Enhancing the nutrient absorption of all foods that are eaten with it.
  • Containing beneficial long-chain triglycerides (LCT) in the right proportion to reduce cholesterol on arterial walls.
  • Slowing down the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar.
  • Nourishing skin and hair when used internally.
  • Helping with weight loss, providing feelings of fullness.
Chia seeds are gelatinous (like flax) and, when soaked, form a thick gelatin that can be blended into smoothies, shakes, and other beverages.
You can use it much like that of irish moss to make desserts thick, like our raw cheesecake and carob-coconut cream pie recipe.

Hydrates The Body!

Chia Seed Gel Another major reason chia is known as an endurance food is because it regulates glandular activity of the adrenals and thyroid while re-hydrating the body with it's hydrophilic colloidal properties. 
It absorbs between 7-12 times it's volume in water when the raw seeds are soaked.  This is the only way we recommend eating chia for its hydrating qualities and health benefits.
The body cells can perform at optimal levels when they are properly nourished by fluids, providing electrolyte balance.
The exceptional value of chia is it's ability to prolong hydration (holding onto fluid), which maintains and regulates moisture in the cells and tissues of the body more effectively.
Irish moss and seaweed also have hydrophilic colloidal properties and are an excellent combination to use with chia that also enhances the mineral content.

Chia Seed Benefits

  • Hydrates the body
  • Helps prevent diverticulitis / diverticulosis
  • Balances blood sugar levels
  • Soothes inflammations
  • Gives a feeling of fullness which helps with weight loss
  • Provides omega 3's
  • Long burning fuel source
  • Helps to nourish your skin
  • High amounts of antioxidants
  • Helps to cool the body
  • Sweeps and cleanses digestive tract

+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for learning about hemp and chia over 4 years ago when I began this amazing and wonderful lifestyle. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Meat Contributes to/Causes Cancer

1907 New York Times Article Shows that Meat Causes Cancer.
A Century Later, Many People Still Haven’t Heard the News

Newspaper655x344 1907 New York Times Article Shows that Meat Causes Cancer. <br> A Century Later, Many People Still Haven’t Heard the News
Newspaper570x299 1907 New York Times Article Shows that Meat Causes Cancer. <br> A Century Later, Many People Still Haven’t Heard the NewsIn a recent NPR debate about the risks of meat-eating, I put forward the proposition that meat causes cancer. Judging by faces in the audience, this was a new idea. While everyone understands the link between cancer and cigarettes, the link with meat has somehow escaped notice.

I cited two enormous studies—the 2009 NIH-AARP study, with half a million participants, and a 2012 Harvard study with 120,000 participants. In both studies, meat-eaters were at higher risk of a cancer death, and many more studies have shown the same thing.
How does meat cause cancer? It could be the heterocyclic amines—carcinogens that form as meat is cooked. It could also be the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or the heme iron in meat, or perhaps its lack of fiber and paucity of antioxidants. But really the situation is like tobacco. We know tobacco causes lung cancer, even though no one yet knows exactly which part of the tobacco smoke is the major culprit. And although meat-eaters clearly have higher cancer rates, it is not yet clear which part of meat does the deed.
The tragedy is this: The link between meat and cancer has been known for more than a century. On September 24, 1907, the New York Times published an article entitled “Cancer Increasing among Meat Eaters,” which described a seven-year epidemiological study showing that meat-eaters were at high cancer risk, compared with those choosing other staples. Focusing especially on immigrants who had abandoned traditional, largely planted-based, diets in favor of meatier fare in the U.S., the lead researcher said, “There cannot be the slightest question that the great increase in cancer among the foreign-born over the prevalence of that disease in their native countries is due to the increased consumption of animal foods….”
Over the past century, meat eating in America has soared, as have cancer statistics. USDA figures show that meat eating rose from 123.9 pounds of meat per person per year in 1909 to 201.5 pounds in 2004.
The good news is that many have woken up and smelled the carcinogens. They know there is plenty of protein in beans, grains, and vegetables, and that traditional Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Thai, Japanese foods—and endless other cuisines—turn these plant-based staples into delicious and nourishing meals. Meat eating has fallen about one percent every year since 2004.
If you haven’t yet kicked the habit, the New Year is the perfect time to do it. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has you covered with Kickstart programs, books, DVDs, and everything else you’ll ever need. Let’s not wait another hundred years.
Article originally published on

Now read The China Study and Whole by T. Colin Campbell, to convince yourself with the largest medical study conducted on the subject. 

(To view the videos you may have to pull up my blog page if you are reading this in your email)


The only people that will tell you it is bogus are those addicted to animal flesh that think they can't give it up!


And if these two books don't change your mind about eating animals perhaps this one will open your eyes:

Review by Katie Gillespie of Serenity in the Storm
Now and then I read a book that I know I will remember for my lifetime and keep coming back to as a source of information and inspiration. Bleating Hearts: The Hidden World of Animal Suffering (Changemakers Books, 2013), by Mark Hawthorne, is this kind of book.
Bleating Hearts

The book is encyclopedic in its coverage of humans’ use of animals and, chapter-by-chapter, covers the ways in which animals are used for food, fashion, experimentation, hunting, sports, entertainment, sacrifice, art, work and sex. Hawthorne has brought together expert researchers and long-time animal advocates from every corner of the world, spanning cultures and continents, in this meticulously researched work. For anyone concerned with extending compassion to animals, this book is an extraordinary resource for becoming educated and conversant about countless animal advocacy issues. There is not another book that I can think of that so thoroughly documents these hidden worlds in a single volume.
I read the bulk of Bleating Hearts on a plane travelling back and forth between Seattle and Chicago. When I stepped off the plane in Seattle at the end of my trip, I felt like I was seeing the world differently. I was haunted by all of the hidden ways animals were suffering every moment of every day around the world. I was haunted, more so than ever before, by the routine, normalized use of animals in every facet of human life. Of course, the food available for purchase on the plane was largely derived from animals’ bodies and reproductive outputs – the cheese plate, the beef jerky, the deli sandwiches, and so on. The airplane seats were likely made from the skins of animals. The wool, leather, and silk clothing of my fellow passengers were the remnants of animals who had suffered.
These were readily visible traces of animal suffering with which I was already familiar. But as I stepped off the plane in Seattle, I wondered how many live ‘exotic’ animals were languishing, crammed into luggage in cargo holds as they were illegally smuggled around the world. I wondered how many orcas, seals and other marine species were being hunted and killed for food, fashion or sport or trapped for zoos and aquaria off the West Coast at that moment. I wondered how many foxes, mink, and rabbits were caught in fur trappers’ traps in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, or how many more were pacing frantically in cages on fur farms across the United States. These thoughts and hundreds more have raced through my mind since reading this book.
Bleating Hearts is not an emotionally easy read. But reading this book is a deeply empowering experience. As a long-time advocate for animals, Hawthorne understands firsthand the difficulty of facing these truths and the book is structured in such a way as to help you along on this journey of education, empowerment and action. The chapters are scattered with hopeful and inspiring quotes and anecdotes from animal advocates about the power of compassion and hope for a kinder future. He ends each chapter with a section called “What You Can Do” with current resources for taking action to make the world a kinder place for animals.
Hawthorne includes a quote from author, activist and humanitarian, John Robbins, which resonated with me as I read the book. It illustrates beautifully the necessity of seeing the (at times difficult and painful) truth with clear eyes and, rather than getting buried by it, responding by living our lives with great hope, dedication, and kindness:
“I look out into the world and I see a deep night of unthinkable cruelty and blindness. Undaunted, however, I look into the human heart and find something of love there, something that cares and shines out into the dark universe like a bright beacon. And in the shining of that light within, I feel the dreams and prayers of all beings. In the shining of that beacon I feel all of our hopes for a better future. In the shining of the human heart light there is the strength to do what must be done.” ~John Robbins in Bleating Hearts

+JMJ+ Today I am grateful that I never became "addicted" to animal products!! It was so easy for me to eliminate them from my life, almost 5 years ago, and I will never look back. I also pray that advocates for animals can unite in the fight against human cruelty too and fight for the Right to Life!! That would be beautiful!!!!! Peace.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Coconut Mango Dream Smoothie

Today's recipe for the morning green smoothie came to me as I was putting things into the blender. I was craving the combo of fresh coconut mylk and the sweetness of mango. Since I only had raw, dried coconut in the house and no young Thai coconuts, I improvised and added half of a Haas avocado to the mix to give the mylk its creaminess. I also added 2 T of fresh, blond colored flax seeds to pump up the creaminess and nutrition for the kiddos and me. The end result was spectacular! I really suggest you give this recipe a try. Enjoy!

Coconut Mango Dream Smoothie

by Elizabeth @

5 ripe bananas

1 C filtered water

2 T blonde flax seeds, freshly ground only

1/2 of a small Haas avocado

3 C frozen mango

1/3 C raw, dried coconut

1 small piece of fresh vanilla bean

3 C baby Spring Mix greens

Blend all of the ingredients in a high speed blender until creamy, dreamy, smooth!! Enjoy the goodness.

+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for sitting on the sun drenched steps with my son helping him with his Saxon math correction. I have the best time relearning math all over again from a child's perspective when I "teach" my children. He does his lessons all on his own actually, but I do all of the correction/grading and in our house we "teach for mastery". So that means, they correct all missed problems until they get the correct answer. Works every time--we have some math wizards in this house because of that; and also due to the fact that the math program we use is one of the best! I am so grateful for that!! Considering I am brain dead when it comes to math :(

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Christmas Surprise for the Children

Getting this post done took me forever--getting back into the swing of things with our homeschooling after Christmas was quite the feat!! I have been busy like crazy writing lesson plans, putting away all of the decorations, and cleaning the house. Plus I decided to do some attic cleaning/organizing/donating projects. I actually made my donations for 2014 on January 2nd!! I got so into the attic project that I ended up with a car load of things to donate. It feels good to already have that done for the entire new year!
I wanted to share what we did this year for Christmas.  Hubby and I decided to do something totally different for Christmas. Last minute we decided to forgo the gifts and instead plan a spur of the moment trip to Disney. We kept it a secret from all 5 children, amazingly enough, and pulled off our plan. We never dreamed we could get a reservation last minute at our first choice resort, but we did.

We spent two nights in a cabin at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort.

The boys had a great time playing outside on the deck and lawn of the cabin.

It is hard to believe that all 7 of us fit quite comfortably in this small cabin. It had a family room, tiny kitchen, eating area that sat all 7 of us, a bedroom and one bath. In the family room area there was a Murphy Bed and a small couch. Hubby and I were on the Murphy bed and our youngest child slept on the small couch next to us. The rest of the family slept in the bedroom which had one double bed and a bunk bed. The only real problem was having just one bathroom, but all-in-all it was almost perfect!! It was really nice having a Christmas with no gifts. I thought the little ones might freak out at the thought but once we explained that the surprise trip to Disney was their gift, they were ok with it. But our 7 year old did say, "Mom, this was really great but next year let's just do the gifts under the tree, okay?" Too funny!!!

 Kitchen table and family room

 Fully stocked mini kitchen

Hall leading to the bedroom where 4 of the 5 children slept. 

One bathroom shared by 7 people--interesting!

Bedroom had one double bed and a bunkbed.

 I packed the travel blender so we could start our mornings as usual, with a green smoothie.

Christmas Eve was spent at Magic Kingdom. We had never seen Magic Kingdom at Christmas time so it was a real treat for us all. We spent the entire day at the resort and had a blast. The weather was beautiful during the day but turned quite cold at night. We didn't bring our jackets to the park so hubby bought the children some sweatshirts and blankets so we could stay to see all of the evening festivities.

Small World Ride

Castle by Day

 Our teens who don't like getting their picture taken off guard.

We got some photo opportunities of the little ones while waiting in line for one of the rides.

Behind us people were getting their pictures taken with Pooh and Tigger--we got the boys picture with them while waiting in line for the Pooh ride.

 We got a sneak peak at Pooh and Tigger.

Eeyore's House Taken Over by the Boys

They light up the castle and it periodically changes color! Amazingly beautiful!!

Castle by Night

I think I'm missing a color, but you get the point. Then they projected images on the castle from random Disney movies, shows and various patterns. We got to see the night time parade and also the fireworks. 

And here is the gianormous, lit up Christmas tree at the entrance.

 Christmas Day we went to Mass, then took the boat back to the campground and enjoyed a special lunch buffet at the campground's restaurant.

 Then we spent the day with my brother and his family hanging out at their camp site and riding around on the golf carts.
We drove around looking at all of the decorations that the campers put up, it is quite impressive!

 My brother's family had dinner reservations at The Contemporary and we had reservations at Planet Hollywood.  

Wonderful memories were created and everyone had a great time. I am really glad we decided to take this last minute Christmas trip.

+JMJ+ Today I am grateful my husband's clever idea.

Banana Cream Pie Smoothie Lately I've been blessed with fresh, green, Florida coconuts from my neighbor's trees. We enjoy drinking...