MOST of the time!

My diet is not perfect…I’ll have you know that we ate cheese fries and dessert late last night! This is for all of those that ask at times, “does she really eat healthy all the time?” I try to eat healthy MOST of the time. When I choose to eat unhealthy the important part is that I get back at it the next meal or day. The unwanted pounds come from times I am in a rut and continue on these bad eating cycles. I am thankful for my desire to stay fit and blessed that I can still accomplish these tasks in life! I try to eat healthy 85% of the time and continue on my exercise journey to help myself stay on track. Grab an exercise partner and head out for a run or walk to get back on track or try a new healthy recipe. These are ways to help yourself get back into a routine just like getting a new pair of running shoes for me. Don’t give up! No one has ever said, “I’m so bummed I exercised today.” After taking a month off for my health I’m trying to get back into this! I drug my husband to the gym this morning on our vacation. He was quite the trooper. I hope everyone has a happy and healthy day!

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Our kitchen is FINALLY done! Love it!

The past few months have been rough on my health with many doctors visits.  We have yet to figure out my breathing issues.  We continue to pray for clarity from our God.  We started our kitchen “project” a few months ago as well.  Here is the end result!  WE LOVE IT!  (for larger photos…click on pictures)

We put in granite! (the only time I’ve ever lived in a home with granite)  It’s so beautiful and I am so thankful that we were able to complete this project in the midst of everything else going on.  Busy lives make for tougher times getting things like this accomplished.  And I have to mention that we paid on our granite for 2 years (yes 2 years!) before installing it!  My husband and I have always believed strongly in not taking out loans for things that aren’t a necessity.  So here it is…the big reveal!

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I LOVE milk glass and wanted to display somehow in our kitchen.  I have always been at a loss for what to put on top of our cabinets if anything…well what a perfect place for milk glass!  My mom’s love for antiques rubbed off on me a little!  And, finally a place for the beautiful antique table given to me from my friend, Amber.  I found the perfect antique chairs to go with it on craigslist.

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And this BEAUTIFUL marbleized glass backsplash…love!  Thank you to my husband for letting me splurge a little on this!  I love it so much! 🙂

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I thought while we were changing out our counters and adding a backsplash, what a better time to add some shelving to display more of my loved milk glass!  I made these shelves and hung them all (by myself) believe it or not!  I’ve always wondered what we could do with this niche in our kitchen that was probably meant for a desk area.  Well, I love how this turned out so much more than having a desk there. Thank you to the previous owners for leaving out the desk when they built the house.  Also, my precious framed still life photo from my Mom and pictures of our loved Grandpa Kolter, Grandma and Grandpa Rupp, and Pop Barger are displayed for blessed memories for our family to enjoy.

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I have always loved farmhouse sinks!  The first thought was to put in a farmhouse sink but when looking at all of the cost we opted for an undercount stainless steel oversized sink instead and love it just as much!

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Thanks for touring our kitchen!  We are glad it’s done and are so happy with the end result!!

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And who said you can’t bake and still eat healthy?? Blueberry Lemon Bread!

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First of all, I have to say that I love baking and it can be a challenge to make healthy baked foods.  This bread is a great alternative for baked bread made with white flour.  My gut in general just feels better when I’m not eating gluten.  I don’t feel that I have an allergy to gluten but definitely believe that gluten challenges my gut in a negative manner.  Here is a great gluten free Blueberry Lemon Bread recipe!  I found this recipe on Pinterest and then modified it to make it gluten free, using almond flour instead of white flour.  I also used stevia in place of the sugar that the original recipe called for.   I hope that you all enjoy it as much as myself and my family did!

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RECIPE: 

Yields – 1 loaf
Ingredients
1 Cup – Quick oats
1/2 Cup – Oats {blend in food processor to make flour}
1 Cup – Almond Flour
1 1/2 Tsp – Baking powder
1/2 Tsp – Baking soda
1/4 Tsp – Salt
1 1/2 Cup – Plain Greek yogurt
1/4 Cup – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 – Eggs
3/4 Cup – Stevia
1 Cup – Blueberries
3 Tsp – Flax seed meal
1 Tablespoon – Oats for topping (optional)

Fold in Lemon Zest to taste and 2TB of Lemon Juice from fresh lemon

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DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray the bread pan with olive oil spray
In a bowl, mix together the oats, oat flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, stevia and salt.
Add about 2 tablespoons of this mixture to the blueberries. This is to ensure that the berries don’t sink to the bottom of the bread
In the stand mixer bowl, add plain greek yogurt, oil and eggs.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture in 3 batches and mix until everything is well incorporated.
Gently fold in the blueberries and lemon zest
Pour batter into the prepared bread pan and sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of oats on top
Bake for 55-60 minutes or until the inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool for 15 minutes.

TIPS:

Since this bread contains fresh blueberries I recommend refrigeration. Just heat the slice for about 10 seconds in the microwave and enjoy!

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Gardening…Organic and Healthy!

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Gardening is a great way to get exercise and reap from the benefits of the healthy foods that it produces!  It’s so invigorating for me to work in the garden in the fresh air of the outdoors.  My daughter took a gardening class at school and was so excited to plant our plants and seeds.  Today we worked in our little “Arizona garden.”  When we renovated our backyard I knew that I wanted a little garden that was contained for the ease of taking care of it.  We took retaining wall bricks and built them up and then filled them in with organic gardening soil (which we purchased at home depot.)  We ran irrigation through it which makes it super easy to take care of!  I love that this is something for our kids to do that is simple and easy to teach healthy eating!  Today Brylie, Hallie, and I made these veggie “markers” with paint sticks and a little chalk board paint.  It was such a fun project to do with the girls and they loved it!  As you can see in the photos, we had to cover the strawberries because the birds like them too.  I’ve always thought that it would be fun to have an indoor mini herb garden in little pots too (a great idea for those of you that can’t plant outdoors yet.)  I know for all my friends and family in those cold states that it’s not feasible to plant a garden outside yet.  This is wishing for warmer weather to come your way!  Happy Gardening!

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Chicken Tortilla Soup – a Great Way to use that Shredded Chicken!

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I received a great recipe for chicken tortilla soup from my sweet friend, Tonya.  As this is not her exact recipe, she is the one that inspired me to make this delicious soup!  I’m so thankful for this recipe because it is so quick and easy and my kids love it!  My daughter was just begging me the other evening to “please make chicken tortilla soup.”  I know I hadn’t done the preparation that I needed to do for the original recipe so I just used my stove top pot and cooked up a quick batch.  The original recipe calls for chicken breasts to cook all day in the crockpot in chicken broth and rotel tomatoes.  I hadn’t set my crockpot that morning so I just used the shredded chicken that I just posted about here: https://natkolter.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/healthy-shredded-crockpot-chicken/.  This dinner literally took me about 15 minutes to prepare.  I do have to say that my son referred to Tonya’s chicken fajitas meal as the “best fajitas EVER”…and her soup is just as good.  🙂

RECIPE: 

  • 1-2 cans of chicken broth (I use one can of low sodium chicken broth or stock and then add water for consistency).
  • 1 can of rotel tomatoes
  • 2 cans of fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 TB of Chili powder (or for less spicy…use less)
  • 1/2 TB of Red pepper seasoning
  • 1/2 bag of frozen corn (or as much as desired)
  • 1 can of rinsed and strained black beans (low sodium)
  • 1 ziploc bag full of shredded freezer chicken (as instructed in last post)
  • water if needed for consistency

TOPPINGS SUGGESTIONS: (this is my kids favorite part-to add toppings)

  • Light Sour Cream
  • Chives
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Cheese
  • Avacado (my personal favorite as you can see in the photo above)

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ENJOY YOUR HEALTHY AND DELICIOUS DINNER!

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