Wait…What about your blog?

Yeah, the title kind of sums it up. I stink at updating. Trust me, I am totally still keeping up my nutrition pursuits. I’ve just become a little distracted with other outlets of expression, namely my youtube channel. And I’m pregnant with baby #2. I’ll probably do a video post on my pregnancy, but until then, here is my latest video. It was my daughter’s first birthday party and I made Dr. Fuhrman’s fudgy black bean brownies. Not everyone liked them. A few of my plant-eater friends enjoyed them (women mostly), Matt tolerated them, and I loved them! Apparently Lacey did too, and that’s all that matters. I see a lot of REALLY cute pinterest-worthy birthday party pics all over social media of mommies celebrating their little one’s first birthday with a processed sugary dessert, bidding their baby to make a big mess for a gorgeous picture. And I’m here to say that I have absolutely no problem with that. Not one. I don’t know what it’s like having multiple children in the home who “expect” normal cake and ice cream for a birthday celebration. And I’m not promising that my children will never have a processed sugary dessert for their birthday ever in their lives. But since every day is a clean slate, and Lacey doesn’t really have an opinion about what she has for her birthday cake, and I didn’t have a huge budget for a cake boss to design a themed cake, I thought I’d keep it simple and healthy. Sure, some of my siblings and friends whose taste buds are dominated by SAD (standard american diet) foods didn’t like the dessert too much. Correction: they didn’t like the brownies. They were totally fine with the yonanas ice cream that I didn’t get on film. But my feelings weren’t hurt. They will never be over honesty about my cooking, especially since everybody gave it a fair shot. I don’t expect someone who isn’t used to eating this way to love everything they try for the first time. I’m just grateful that my taste buds are changing and that I can enjoy a dessert and have seconds and thirds without worrying about what it’s gonna do to me. It’s a priceless benefit that I don’t want to give up.

Here is the recipe for the black bean brownies.

Now on Youtube!

How-diddly-doodle-doo? 😉 I’m Ned-Flanderizing this because I’m so excited about our new VLOG on YOUTUBE!! For those of you who are interested in being weirded out entertained by our tips, recipes, and motivational cinema, please subscribe to the Youtube channel “Packard Family Health.” We would love to see y’all there!!

Romaine! The Better Burger…

OK, so I know this might seem weird at first. My dad, who is really good at finding great on-the-go healthy methods, has introduced a simple, yet profound snacking technique to me that I would not have guessed to be this brilliant. One of my brothers does this, and he loves it!

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If you rinse a head of lettuce thoroughly first, you don’t even have to chop it up to enjoy a great snack/meal! It’s tasty, healthy, and convenient. Be prepared for some strange looks around work/school/wherever you eat in public if you do choose to follow this particular grab-and-go method, but give it some time. Before you know it, you’ll most likely have gotten through to your friends who just may have needed that extra inspirational boost to get them back on the health wagon. They’ll probably be leaving the house with a head of romaine soon. 😉 Be a trend setter! Or at least give it a try…

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Just keep the leaves intact and bon appétit!

Stir Fry!

The thing I love most about stir-fry is how creative you can be! Here’s what I used: yellow onions green onions garlic broccoli carrots celery jalapeño pepper mushrooms bean sprouts bok choy …and I sauteed some chicken that was marinated … Continue reading

Green and Lean

They say that the more colorful your plate is, the healthier it is. Excepting skittles and M&Ms (as my clever J.D. husband never fails to remind me) I have found this to be very consistent.

Here are some of my favorite green staples that I always have in my fridge:

I usually steam the broccoli and green beans in my electric steamer that my dad so eloquently depicted for you all.

In addition to maintaining a hefty supply of raw kale for my salads, I love to bake kale chips. They taste kind of like potato chips, and would probably be a great way to introduce this health-packed vegetable to children.

I encourage everyone to eat more GREEN FOODS.

Tools for Success – Steamer (Food Quality)

While a microwave oven can heat up foods quite fast, it does so at a cost. The food heats up unevenly and sometimes dries up or even explodes. I usually have to cover my food with a plastic dome or a paper towel to shield the microwave from exploding beans or other foods. Sometimes my microwave looks like a battlefield by the time I finish preparing my meal. And when I eat the food, it is often dry in places, almost crunchy, and barely warm in other places. This is particularly true when I try to heat up beans or rice.

With my steamer, however, I have noticed that my foods heat up evenly and retain their moisture. This is especially helpful when preparing beans, rice, or the more delicate asparagus, green beans, or broccoli. Additionally, I don’t have to worry about burning my foods in the steamer; it just does not happen, although I guess I could over steam something, but even that has not happened yet for me. Sometimes when I am busy, I just set the steamer for an overkill 20 minutes and let it go until I can come back. If I make it back before the 20 minutes is completed, great. If not, still great. The electric steamer has a “keep warm” mode that kicks in after the cooking time has finished. It keeps the foods warm by periodically releasing a puff of steam onto the food to keep it nice and hot but not overdone.

I was initially afraid to steam multiple courses simultaneously with the same steam. I thought that the steam would mix flavors, but they don’t seem to do that, at least not that I have noticed. I have seen posts on the internet stating likewise with their steaming.

I must admit that a steamer would not be my choice if I were trying to brown some meat, cook some bacon, or otherwise caramelize my food. For that task, a microwave would not fare that well either (though I have cooked bacon in the microwave.) I would use a pan on the stove for that and then reheat the leftover food with the steamer. But with my current vegan lifestyle, I only rarely need to caramelize my food. I say rarely, as opposed to never, because recently I made an amazing pot of vegan chili in which I caramelized my onions and peppers slightly prior to combining them with the tomatoes, beans and spices. I will have to share my recipe for that on another post.  🙂