Monday, July 29, 2013

Mommy & Me Yoga

Today seemed like a good day to try our first class as a mother-daughter duo. Why has it taken me this long!? Well for one, this class fit perfectly into our eating/napping schedule. The class was given at Boca Raton Children's Museum from 10-10:30AM. It was perfect. The moms were extremely friendly and all the kids (and little yoga mats!) were adorable. It wasn't a large class but I have a feeling that it will get bigger. Ava fit right in... They encourage children as young as 4 months to as old as 4 years old. 

Ava was so vocal during yoga. She wanted to talk to all the babies and kids! It is nice to be around adults that understand that babies will be babies and make noise - and that it is OKAY :) 

Ava was the only one wearing a bow so she figured she would just eat it. 

Amy is a great instructor! So patient and kind. She makes the class feel very casual and warm. 

The little girl being held by her mom all the way to the right was Ava's buddy. She would walk to me and A from time to time and smile, wave hi, or sit on my mat with us. 

We have definitely found something that is a great "fit" for us. I look forward to continuing Bikram yoga (aka: hot yoga) as a personal activity for "me time" as well as being able to do these kinds of yoga classes {with} Ava. 

This is not a yoga pose... Just me and A having fun after class and a nice mom capturing the moment. :) We do this a lot at home. It is her superwoman pose and she LOVES it! 

Came home and made my daily green juice! This one was spinach, ginger, lemon, mango, and sprouts

How was your morning? Hope everyone has a nice rest of their Monday!



Monday, July 15, 2013

Healthy Happenings in The McGuire Home


Recently I was asked by a few friends if I can give them an example of my grocery list and some ideas for recipes... To be honest, we cook pretty simple/basic dinners. We try to always eat whole and healthy foods. Whole meaning, not processed but in the original state it was grown. 
A usual night consists of a fish/chicken/red meat (always organic so that it was not fed GMO corn - this is what our animals are fed now most of the time if it does not say Organic - and a veggie/salad/soup/and or legumes with it. 

We are still pretty much doing an Organic, Paleo diet in our home. We cut out dairy a while back when I started to learn and had an "Aha" moment about how cow's milk is not supposed to be consumed unless you are a calf! 

An article I read if you're interested in this : Dr. Mark Hyman on 6 Reasons to Be Dairy Free

And another one: 

I understand that some people may believe otherwise, and that's ok! Everyone has to do what is best for THEIR family. For mine, we understand and have researched that dairy is not something that was always consumed by humans (it is actually very recent in human history.) When I read that humans are the only species on Earth that drink another animal's milk...a light bulb went off. Why do we think it is SO important to drink milk? Because our grandparents did? Because the food pyramid contains it? Because the dairy industry tells us so? 
Do your own thinking, research, and do what feels right to you. It isn't that you cannot take in dairy. For many, they digest it just fine - like me. I have never had a problem with dairy - that I know of. Many in this country are lactose intolerant. This is increasing. I wondered why. Many things are different with the milk today than what went in for our parents and grandparents. For one, tons of things are added to the milk. Secondly, cows (inorganic) are fed corn now ( GMO corn!) rather than what they are biologically supposed to eat - grass. They eat the GMO corn, we eat or drink from the cow = we get GMO in our system. See how that sneaks in?  All because it is faster and cheaper for the industry. I feel badly for farmers in this country. They get into trouble if they do not use these methods. That's a whole other post. So I'll continue with this one now...

Let me be clear here: I do not post this stuff to influence you and your family. I write this to record OUR journey on a healthy lifestyle. I also do it to share with friends who have showed interest (and asked me to share) in learning what we do in our home. All I encourage is for you to open your eyes, do YOUR RESEARCH, and look at what & why you eat the things you do. It is a short enough life as it is, might as well make it the best life you can  - right? 

Okay... back to our finds:

Our new Himalayan salt rock! No more table salt in our home! :) 

I wanted salt that was all natural and in the original state that it was made. No added chemicals, bleaching, etc. 
Salt is needed for us to live.... but you should have the RIGHT kind of salt in your body. Real salt. After my readings, I learned about this salt. It is pretty much the best you can get. The best chefs in the world use this. 
Himalayan salt is mined by hand still today - not dynamite.  

(below: found on Dr. Mercola's website...)
 Containing all of the 84 elements found in your body, the benefits of natural Himalayan Crystal Salt include:
  1. Regulating the water content throughout your body.
  2. Promoting a healthy pH balance in your cells, particularly your brain cells. <---A healthy pH level in our bodies is KEY!
  3. Promoting blood sugar health and helping to reduce the signs of aging.
  4. Assisting in the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in your body.
  5. Absorption of food particles through your intestinal tract.
  6. Supporting respiratory health.
  7. Promoting sinus health.
  8. Prevention of muscle cramps.
  9. Promoting bone strength.
  10. Regulating your sleep -- it naturally promotes sleep.
  11. Supporting your libido.
  12. Promoting vascular health.
  13. In conjunction with water it is actually essential for the regulation of your blood pressure."

I bought it here (below) for about $20 (the salt grinder was $6 when purchased together) 

I love this store. It is in Mizer Park in Boca Raton, FL. 
A friend of mine was nice enough to post her Himalayan salt that she purchased at Whole Foods. This may be a more convenient choice for those who don't want a salt rock like mine---"Fred Flinstone style" as my mom put it. Ha! So if you are looking for a new, healthy option for amazing salt: try this! (below)

Himalayan vs Normal table salt

Normal table salt: 
For every gram of sodium chloride that your body cannot get rid of, your body uses 23 times the amount of cell water to neutralize the salt. Eating common table salt causes excess fluid in your body tissue, which can contribute to:
  • Unsightly cellulite
  • Rheumatism, arthritis and gout
  • Kidney and gall bladder stones 
"What remains after typical salt is "chemically cleaned" is sodium chloride -- an unnatural chemical form of salt that your body recognizes as something completely foreign. This form of salt is in almost every preserved product that you eat. Therefore, when you add more salt to your already salted food, your body receives more salt than it can dispose of.

Typical table salt crystals are totally isolated from each other. In order for your body to try to metabolize table salt crystals, it must sacrifice tremendous amounts of energy.This is important as over 90% of the money that people spend on food is for processed food.
Inorganic sodium chloride can keep you from an ideal fluid balance and can overburden your elimination systems.

When your body tries to isolate the excess salt you typically expose it to, water molecules must surround the sodium chloride to break them up into sodium and chloride ions in order to help your body neutralize them. To accomplish this, water is taken from your cells in order to neutralize the unnatural sodium chloride.
This results in a less-than-ideal fluid balance in the cells."

Vegenaise!!! This stuff is great when you need Mayo. I had heard about this stuff several times and figured I would try it. Personally, I have never been big into Mayo. I wanted something that would be a healthier option for a main staple in our refrigerator. On the back it even has the Non-GMO Project label (which also means organic - vice versa)
 :) Mark likes it and we both can't taste a difference. Sold! 

 Real honey! Did you know that most of the inorganic honey you buy in the store isn't all natural honey at all?! Many have added preservatives, flavors or using genetically modified bees makes honey both unnatural and non-organic in most cases.

 Buy some real honey. I healthy and natural sweetener made from our Earth's best buddies and our food's pollinators - the bees! 

Just a new tea I like :) 

A new ice cream! I buy this brand (N0n-GMO Project seal) for my coconut milk coffee creamer. I mostly drink tea when I want something warm (or hot water with lemon) but when I crave coffee, I do SoDelicious creamer. Dairy free and they have flavors like hazelnut and french vanilla. My friend MaryAnn told me that they bought this ice cream in ice-cream sandwiches and they were awesome so we hope I like it for our sweet tooth moments. 

We did our last grocery shop at Publix which means our organic choices were very limited (but I will say, Publix is getting better because of consumer demand! Did you see that organic ice cream commercial with the little girls on the porch that they are advertising?) Anyways, I needed a new butter. A real butter. I didn't want something margarine or canola based. That has GMO corn written all over it. 
So even though we barely do dairy, a butter is kind of a staple in the refrigerator. You never know. So although it doesn't say organic, I went with the real Irish butter. I am sure Whole Foods carries more of these. My mom had given me some a while back and it tasted great! Grass-fed cows - no GMO corn fed cows here and no added ingredients. 

See? Simple ingredients.

And here we have Ginger.
 I use ginger in pretty much all my green juices I make. It adds a very crisp and FRESH taste to them.

My Kale-icious smoothie:
Some: Kale, spinach, apple, lemon, small piece of peeled ginger (about half your finger), banana, water. blend. 

Mark thought I should show you some of our salad dressings so he took this picture for me: Delish. 

I use a lot of frozen fruit for my daily smoothies. I would juice but I don't have a juicer so blending will do for now. The fresher the fruit the better for you, but frozen is a lot more affordable and easier to have on hand for longer periods of time. 

Popcorn. Mark eats popcorn (or pickles) as a snack in the evenings. I make sure to go organic here since corn is mainly GMO in the USA unless labeled organic. Again, this means it is genetically modified to grow its own insect poison as it grows  and to withstand large amounts of pesticide (RoundUp) sprayed by its creators:  a company called Monsanto. Monsanto invented RoundUp pesticide and the are the creators of GMO corn, soy, etc. - do you really want the same people who make your food to be the same ones whose specialty is bug poison? Not this girl. 

That little NON GMO Project seal makes me so happy. If something is non-GMO than that means it is organic. vice versa.
Since the US has not banned GMOs in this country or even made it mandatory to have them labeled (like every other developed country) so that consumers are informed - this "NON GMO PROJECT" is a 3rd party that comes in and verifies food products that wish to be reviewed and officially declared free of these harmful ingredients.
When will we catch up to all of the other developed countries?!!?!?

Just a day time snack for me sometimes. 

Look for that 9 at the beginning of the bar code on your produce. That means Organic. 

An organic option for our pantry staple. 

365 is the generic Whole Foods brand. Less expensive than the others with a NON GMO seal and USDA organic. 
We eat Quinoa a lot. Very good for you! 

***Remember, just because Publix makes "Greenwise" brand stuff - that does NOT mean it is organic. The USDA label and NON GMO PROJECT label are the things you need to look for to know if you are really getting an organic product. Some Greenwise brand foods are organic and some are not. Non of their meats are organic but are the better option. (I'm guessing it is because they are fed GMO cornmeal for example and not grass-fed)***

Unfortunately, (long story) Ava was only breast-fed for her 1st month. This is what she drinks now and transitioned wonderfully. On the back, it states that they do not use Genetically engineered ingredients unlike many inorganic formulas. I was devastated when I found out her previous formula did use GMOs. Shame on this country for allowing that. 

I wish I would have known about these sooner! I started giving Ava these probiotics about 3 months ago. If we decide to have another baby, this will be given from day 1. These are live healthy bacteria to keep our gut flora healthy. Our gut is our second brain. I read VERY interesting articles that made to realize what I had been looking for in answers to the higher rates of Autism, ADHD, cancers, etc.
 Article Found here: Click On This
 I encourage parents and future parents to read and make your decisions after your own additional research on how beneficial it is to keep you and your children's gut flora healthy (especially being exposed to all that is in our environment (food and surroundings) now compared to decades ago.  This bottle goes a long way. I use 1/4 tsp in her bottle every day. It is about $12 at Whole Foods. Keep refrigerated. 

I like to use our glass Pyrex food storage containers when I can so that our food isn't touching plastic while it is being saved. (As well as glass jars for Ava's "solid" foods and glass bottles - bottle brand is BornFree found at Buy Buy Baby)


A grocery cart usual. 

CHIA SEEDS! Wonderful for you! I put these in my smoothies. They can be added to oatmeal, for example, as well. 

Another grocery cart usual. I ALWAYS have KALE! The benefits go on and on. Look it up and see if you'd like to try :) A main ingredient in my daily smoothies. 

For corn chips and corn taco shell options: we use BLUE corn. Organic blue corn tastes the same and has the same price as yellow corn but has more antioxidants. Why not have more bang for your buck! The nice lady at Whole Foods taught me that.

Okay, that's it for now. I need to go to bed. For the couple of you that have recently asked me: I will work on a "sample grocery list" and recipes of what a typical dinner of ours looks like for ideas :) 

Oh, I almost forgot: we only cook our food with either olive oil or coconut oil. That's it.

 No canola/vegetable oils - those are full of bad things including GMO corn... Yes, coconut oil is a little more expensive but a little goes a long way. I think I bought this jar a month ago at Whole Foods (buy one get 1 free!) and I've used a quarter of it. 

Now go out and make a healthier choice for yourself! ;) 
We have fun learning ways for our family to do so and we hope you do too. 


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Our 1st McGuire Family Vacation

We did it! 4 flights with Ava and no crying! (my kid is a rockstar...)
Back to my post...
We just came back from our first ever: Family Vacation! 
We flew out to Oregon and stayed with Mark's dad and step mom. We also drove up to Washington and stayed at the Crescent Bar house. Here are some photos from the vacation... Enjoy! 

Ava being silly on the plane. 

Look who was on our plane! Erik Spoelstra!!!

Mom & Dad McGuire picked us up in the motor home! They don't mess around with a warm welcoming... Wine, cheese, and kiwi for us after two long flights. I wanted to give them a HUGE KISS when I saw all of this. ha

The McGuire Home in West Linn, OR

Father & Son

The next morning we went to church and then were off to Crescent Bar in Washington for the vacation home! Road Trip!

Ava did great in the 5 hour drive to Crescent Bar...
(which gave Mark hope for drives up to Tallahassee, FL with Ava to watch FSU play this Fall) 

The views on this drive were incredible! One second you're looking at volcanoes and lush mountains in Oregon and the next you're looking at deep cliffs and desert looking landscape in Washington. 

We made it! The next 2 nights were spend on the Columbia River. The Crescent Bar house is on amazing property and in the best spot on the island. Look at our view!!! 
Not bad, huh?

I went to the pool with Mama McGuire and Ava while the Mark and his father played golf. Ava literally fell asleep on Sue while she walked her around the pool. It was a cute sight. 

Ava and her favorite buddy. 

Ava turned 8 months while we were at Crescent Bar!
Our baby is getting so big. 

Always HAPPY!

Cuddling inside. Letting her go au natural 

After the two days, we headed back to Oregon. I couldn't get enough of their terrace. I LOVED sitting out here every chance that I could. From here, you could see tall green trees, mountains, and a sunset for as far as the eye could see. Mom McG would put jazz music on the outside speakers for us while trying to convince us to move here ;) haha She is sneaky, that one! 

At the end of our stay, we all drove to Portland, OR and had some VooDoo Doughnuts! World famous! 

Yes, that's a Maple Bacon Doughnut....So bad for you, but so amazing. 

Mom McG and I picked these up at the West Linn Farmer's Market. 

Hydrangeas on the side of their home. I was obsessed. 

A centerpiece for dinner that night. :) 

We had a lot of fun in the basement with the pool table, rock band, darts, etc. Family fun time :)

We had the best time with Mom and Dad McG.
 We cannot wait to return to Oregon!
We loved it there.