2018 Recap

Family ChristmasIt’s almost 2019! My daughter is almost 2… so hard to believe! This year has been spent finding balance with being a mom and wife, working, caring for others and refocusing on my own health. I recently made some big changes to my diet and fitness routine and lost quite a few pounds and inches… I’ll be sharing more about that soon!

I like to do a recap each year with a list of all my posts to share with anyone who missed them.  Here it goes:

The most popular reader post this year was: What the Bible Says About Essential Oils

Recipes:

Product Reviews:

  • Greenlife Ceramic Cookware – ditch your toxic non-stick cookware!
  • Monat – loving this safe shampoo, conditioner and styling products
  • OraWellness – the best, most effective oral care that’s healed cavities!

For New/Expecting Parents:

Health Stories: Navigating health stuff can be challenging, and dealing with chronic or unknown/undiagnosed illness feels isolating.  Last year, I started sharing health stories, which I hope make you feel encouraged and less alone. I would love to continue this series next year, so please let me know if you have a story to share (anonymously or not).

Wishing you a healthy & hopeful new year!  May the Lord bless you abundantly!

*Photograph by Jessica Doffing Photography

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Mashed Turnips & Parsnips

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Today I’m sharing an easy recipe that’s perfect as a Thanksgiving side!

Craving mashed potatoes but trying to stay low-carb? I’ve got a seriously great alternative for you… mashed parsnips and turnips.  If you are like me and can’t stomach the typical replacement, cauliflower (cruciferous veggies don’t agree with me), this is another option to try.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound organic parsnips
  • 1 pound organic turnips
  • 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons grass-fed butter
  • 3 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk or heavy cream

Preparation:

  1. Peel the parsnips and turnips and roughly chop into 1-2 inch pieces (for faster boiling & easy blending).
  2. Put in a pot of water and bring to a boil.
  3. Boil for around 15 minutes or until tender (stab with a fork).
  4. Pour into a colander to drain the water and then put the veggies in a large food processor.
  5. Add the other ingredients (butter should melt quickly with the hot veggies) and blend until smooth, stopping to stir for better blending as needed.

I was shocked at how well this matches the texture of mashed potatoes. Since they are root vegetables, it has a very similar mild, starchy flavor to satisfy those cravings; it is just slightly sweeter. I hope you enjoy this super easy recipe!

Potato-Crusted Quiche

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On #mealprepmondays, I try to always make breakfast for my daughter and I for the week so it makes mornings easier.  This quiche, made with hash browns instead of pie crust, makes for a healthier version that’s still super yummy and filling.

As with ALL my recipes, this takes very little time to prepare and is really easy to make.  There is a lot of room to create in this recipe- using different meats and veggies based on what you like best or what is on sale that week.  My go-to is bacon & spinach but I’m always trying something new.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of butter (or coconut oil)
  • 2 cups organic frozen hash browns (I use half a package of the Alexia brand)
    • I’ve also used frozen sweet potato fries for this if you want to avoid white potatoes.
  • 6 large soy-free pastured eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetables
    • I typically use what is leftover from dinner the night before- asparagus, bell pepper, frozen spinach have all worked great.
  • 1/2 cup cooked breakfast meat
    • I like to mix this up depending on what’s on sale/what I’m feeling. I rotate between bacon (look for organic + sugar-free), ham and breakfast sausage.
    • TIP: If cooking bacon, make less of a mess and use of an already heated oven by oven-baking it instead of frying.
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk (or heavy whipping cream)
  • 1/2 cup grated raw cheddar cheese
  • Sea salt & pepper

Preparation:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Put the butter in your quiche dish (I use this one, but a standard pie dish would work just fine too) and place in the oven to melt.  TIP: to make it easier to put in/take out of the oven, I put my dish on top of a cookie sheet.
  3. Put frozen hash browns in dish and spread around to evenly distribute and mix in butter.  Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Put dish with hash browns into the oven until slightly browned- typically around 20 minutes.
  5. Whisk the eggs with milk and salt & pepper. Add the veggies and meat and cheese and stir.
  6. When potatoes are brown and crispy, take out of the oven and add the egg mixture.
  7. Put dish back in the oven and cook until the eggs are puffed and set- around 20 minutes.

I’d love to hear your favorite combinations of meat & veggies to put in this!  Enjoy!

 

 

Zucchini Bread (Gluten/Grain, Dairy & Refined Sugar Free)

Sharing another #mealprepmonday recipe for breakfast!  This recipe makes two loaf pans, so I’ll keep them in the fridge to last the week. Even though this bread is free of grains or refined sugar, my toddler still loves it and I think you will too.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (just cinnamon works too if that’s all you have)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil (or avocado oil)
  • 3/4 cup honey (or maple syrup)
  • 5 eggs
  • 3 cups shredded zucchini (not packed & no need to peel first) – this is typically 2 medium sized zucchini for me

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Mix the eggs.
  4. Add the eggs, oil and honey to the bowl and mix with spoon until combined.
  5. Cut the ends off the zucchini and shred using either an electric vegetable shredder, food processor or manually with a large cheese grater.
  6. Add the zucchini and mix until combined.
  7. Pour equally divided between 2 greased loaf pans.
  8. Bake for 40-45 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy!

Salmon Salad

On Mondays, I meal prep. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see my #mealprepmonday stories where I share what I make for breakfast and lunch throughout the week.  This salmon salad is my go-to for lunches because it’s simple to prepare, inexpensive, healthy, filling and easy to package individually to grab each morning.

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Tuna salad was one of my favorite lunches my mom made for us growing up.  I know that not everyone finds it appetizing, but it’s a comfort food for me.  I make the same recipe now, but use canned salmon instead of tuna. Why? 1- I think it tastes better… it is not as dry as tuna and is less fishy. 2- it’s healthier. Tuna can have very high mercury content, so I try to avoid it now. Plus, salmon is truly one of the most nutritious things you can eat- it is full of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, magnesium, and calcium. It’s also full of protein, helping to keep me from craving snacks throughout the day.

This recipe should only take 15 minutes to prepare and makes enough for 3 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 6-oz cans of wild-caught salmon
  • 2 soy-free pastured organic eggs
  • 2 tablespoons mayo made with avocado oil (Primal Kitchen is my favorite brand)
  • 1 tablespoon organic sweet relish
  • dash of salt & pepper

Preparation:

  1. Hard boil the eggs.
  2. Drain the salmon and put in a bowl with mayo, relish and salt & pepper.
  3. Once eggs are boiled, peel and then use an egg slicer to dice.
  4. Add eggs to the bowl of other ingredients and mix.  Add more mayo/relish to taste, depending on dryness of salmon.

Serve on top of salad greens or on your favorite sandwich bread or crackers.

P.S. I’m able to buy most of these ingredients at Thrive Market – check out their selection of discounted healthy groceries here.  Read this blog post to see other items I purchase on their site to keep my all-organic grocery spending low.

A Recap of 2016

Wow… is it really almost 2017!?!  As I look forward to the huge life change that 2017 will bring, I wanted to take some time to reflect back on 2016.  If you’ve missed any of my blogs this year, this will be the perfect opportunity to catch up!

2016 was certainly a roller-coaster for my health.  The year started off with me still trying to figure out what was causing my random high cortisol responses and unexplained weight gain.  Then, in May, we found out we were expecting, even though doctors had told me I wasn’t supposed to be able to get pregnant. Pregnancy brought on constant nausea and exhaustion that kept me down and out for a few months, and then a gestational diabetes diagnosis rocked my world.

Here’s a recap of the blogs I wrote in 2016:

Travel

VeniceI’m a huge believer that vacations are super important for your overall health and well-being.  We all need to take a break and relax, and traveling to experience different foods and cultures is great way to relieve stress. The past couple of years, we have taken two trips to Europe that were incredible.  I got so many requests for advice, I just decided to write all about our itineraries and recommendations right here:

My Favorite Natural Products & Organic Grocery Deals

BruschettaHealthy Recipes

Pregnancy:

Essential Oils

Thieves Essential OilHighlighting the benefits of some of my favorite essential oils to both your overall wellness and to creating and keeping a natural home.

Happy New Year!!

2016-recap

Best of 2015

I can’t believe 2016 is upon us!  Reflecting over this past year, I feel so very thankful. While I had lots of new health issues come to the surface, I also experienced a lot of healing (praise God!). Leaving my job at the beginning of the year was a huge blessing as the burden of years of overwhelming stress was finally lifted. It’s allowed me to spend more time, energy and focus on my health and on making memories with friends, family, and my husband.

I want to thank you all for visiting this blog… I have loved being able to write more this year, to connect with all of you and to share my passion for health. I’m super excited for what is to come in 2016 – if you don’t want to miss any upcoming posts (which you WILL if you only follow me on Facebook), enter your email address over to the right and Follow Healthy & Hopefulhit this button to get an email whenever I publish a new post (1-4 per month).  You can also follow me on Instagram @chrissysu

I thought I would recap 2015 with a list of my most viewed blog posts from this past year, in case you missed any.

Seasonal Essential Oil Blends to Diffuse
Seasonal Essential Oil Blends to Diffuse
Antibiotics: A Second Thought
Antibiotics: A Second Thought
8 "Health Foods" You Should Stop Eating
8 “Health Foods” You Should Stop Eating

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon Essential Oil
Does "Organic" Matter?
Does “Organic” Matter?
7 Ways to Control Your Allergies Naturally
7 Ways to Control Your Allergies Naturally

 

 

 

 

 

My Favorite Natural Health and Hygiene Products
My Favorite Natural Health and Hygiene Products
Why You Need Magnesium Now
Why You Need Magnesium Now
A Review of Primal Pit Paste
A Review of Primal Pit Paste Deodorant

 

 

 

 

 

And the favorite recipes were:

Healthy Breakfast Ideas
Healthy Breakfast Ideas
Game Day Fried Chicken
Game Day Fried Chicken
Summer Salads
Summer Salads

 

 

 

 

 

Simple & Delicious Chili
Simple & Delicious Chili
Lemon Cream Pasta
Lemon Cream Pasta
Easy Egg Drop Soup
Easy Egg Drop Soup

 

 

 

 

 

What was your favorite post this year? And what topics would you like to see covered in 2016?

Happy New Year!