Monthly Archives: July 2012

How to Eat Grapes (ever so cutely)

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Grapes are such a hit right now with little miss Sunshine. Green, red, black, it doesn’t matter. I think she got me hooked on the black grapes though. They’re terribly delicious and addicting. These pics were too cute to not share. Hope you enjoy!

P.S. Don’t forget to always buy organic grapes. They rank #7 on the Dirty Dozen and you DO NOT want to put that crap into your body 🙂

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Before and After Pics – My Weight Loss Journey (and how it all started)

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So I thought it might be important to explain to you why I became the Organic Hispanic Mama. Really it all started with the birth of my daughter. Even before she was born I knew I wanted the best for her. I was just naive to the truth of what really was best for her. I did make the wonderful choice to cloth diaper her and breastfeed her before she was born. Those were probably the BEST most chemical free decisions I made without knowing how great they really were. I shudder at the thought that I used Tide Free and Gentle on her clothes when she was first born. Luckily I had gotten a bag of Rockin’ Green for free with some diapers I purchased before and was using that on her cloth diapers. Before I get side tracked, what I wanted to say is that after my little Rae of Sunshine was born I began researching on what were the best detergents, bath soaps, cleaners, etc. I couldn’t help but want to protect her from anything and everything. The dirty floors, dirty air, dirty everything; suddenly everything was so filthy to me! In my search I begin finding information about all of the harsh chemicals that are in everything from our everyday household cleaners, to our shampoo, to toothpaste, baby lotion, diaper ointment, etc. It all got so overwhelming. It turned out that the Johnson’s “Naturals” line wasn’t even natural at all. I was fooled by their marketing gimmicks. I immediately threw out everything with chemicals, especially those products that we used directly on or around my little princess. As I’m sure all parents (especially first timers) feel, I wanted to protect my baby girl from EVERYTHING including these newly realized harsh chemicals.

I made my own all-purpose cleaner, replaced all of our awful fragrance filled soap with all natural Dr. Bronners and threw out the Tide. While I still haven’t resorted to using homemade laundry soap, we do use Green Shield Organic. All of the ingredients are disclosed and they are all safe!

Okay so I’m sure you want to know where this leads to me loosing weight. Well, when I began throwing out our chemical filled products I suddenly started dropping more weight (I had already lost all my baby weight and was maintaining my old pre-baby weight). At first I just thought it was a coincidence but then I realized the more I eliminated chemicals in our life, the more weight I lost; no work out necessary! Then the more I read into healthy clean living, the more I realized I needed to change more. All to protect my baby. I realized that everything I ate could also affect my baby since she was exclusively breastfed. I watched Food Inc. one night and was convinced. That night I went to bed feeling guilty for all the junk I had been putting into my body and in turn had been feeding my baby through my breast milk.

Starting that next morning I looked at food differently. I wanted to eat to live and no longer live to eat. I wanted to treat my body right, and raise my daughter to eat right too. I started buying organic as much as I could. It took time for me to learn, and I am still learning everyday. But all I can say is that I lost all of my weight thanks to eating real food, organic food, and food grown and raised the way God meant it to be.

One year later we have finally made the transition to eating nearly 100% organic at home, along with 100% of the dairy and meats we eat at home being local, grass fed and/or pasture raised. I feel good about myself, and I feel good about how I feed my daughter. No guilt anymore! If you have not made this transition yet I highly encourage you to start out slowly. Take your time- I promise you will see and FEEL results!

Now for the fun part- pictures! This is always my favorite part of a weight loss story so I tried to include lots, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Here I am at one of my heaviest pre-baby weights. I can’t remember the exact number from this picture but I can tell you that I peaked at 241. I gained 35lbs during pregnancy which put me at a whopping 276.

And here I am this past Sunday at my smallest ever. 182lbs!!! (Okay obviously not ever, but I can’t tell you when I ever was at this weight. I have always been overweight and at the age of 12 I was already over 200)
***By the way, check out Sunshine’s super frilly pink ensemble. She picked it all herself except for the shirt. I’m a proud mama!***

How to Bake Spaghetti Squash

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Little Sunshine LOVES spaghetti. Put a bunch of delicious foods in front of her and it won’t matter if there is pasta in sight. Lucky for me she does not discriminate and will eat whole wheat, spelt or brown rice pasta. However, since I am continually trying to up her veggie intake, I have been searching for ways to sneak those veggies in all the while letting her enjoy her food. I tried making pasta out of zucchini (post will follow in the near future) and it worked okay, I intend to try some sweet potato “pasta” as well (definitely expect a post on this one!) but for the mean time, I have discovered that spaghetti squash is our best friend. I can add chard pesto to this topped with some grated grass fed cheese, or even a little bit of my homemade roasted tomato and butternut squash spaghetti sauce sprinkled with some grass fed ground beef. If you want a super simple dish, just top this with a little bit of coconut oil, some sea salt and a sprinkle of parsley. Either way, it is so good! If spaghetti squash can fool a carb loving 17 month old I am sure it can fool many. A little note though, spaghetti squash reminds me much more of vermicelli or rice noodles rather than actual “spaghetti”.

I have found organic spaghetti squash year round at both Whole Foods and our local Central Market. This week though, we got lucky because they were available at the farmer’s market for only $1.50/lb! Rae of Sunshine picked this pretty baby out herself and it cost us around $3.

Now for the How-To:

Preheat oven to 400°
Stab the squash with a knife a few times in different spots to avoid cracking
Place in a baking dish
Let cook for about an hour (will vary depending on the size of your squash)
Remove from oven and let it cool for a bit
Cut in half


Remove seeds
Begin scraping up and down with a fork; before your eyes you will see your “spaghetti” forming
The more you pull with the fork and separate the more noodle-like it will be
There you have it! Enjoy like you would any other pasta

Here is how we had it for lunch today:

How to Tolerate Beets (Oh and guess what?! You get a picture with this one as promised!)

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Okay so truth is, I never had tasted beets until just a few months ago, but I LOVE them. So I do not have to just tolerate them. My family on the other hand, as I’m sure you might have gathered, really have no care for them. My sister once told me she could tell I was making beets because it smelled like dirt “just how they taste” she claimed. Well this method of cooking them changed her mind. And the recipe/combination following even had my mom convinced they weren’t so bad after all. So whether you are a beet lover or a beet hater, I encourage you to try it.

Cooking the beets:

start a pot of boiling water
take desired amount of beets and cut off the beet greens just above the top of the beet (in other words be sure not to cut into the beet or it will leak juice during the cooking process). Save those beet greens for another recipe (use like chard or other leafy greens) or a smoothie, yum! Leave the “tail” on the beet.
put beets into boiling water and boil until a fork can easily puncture (this may take 15-30 minutes or so depending on size of the beet)
remove from boiling water (carefully!) and run under cold water to easily peel the beet
slice beet and sprinkle with a little bit of sea salt, pepper, and some grass fed butter if you’re feeling extra special
Enjoy just like this, or use them in the following salad

Arugula, Beet and Pear Salad

1 large handful of arugula
1 medium size beet from the “recipe” above
1 small pear (Anjou or Bartlett), sliced
small handful of chopped walnuts
few bits of fresh mozzarella made from grass fed cows milk (optional)
drizzle of balsamic vinagarette

Combine all ingredients on a plate or bowl and have yourself one DELICIOUS and nutritious salad

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Sweet Lordy! Sweet Potato Pancakes.

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Today we had Sweet Potato Pancakes for breakfast! Rae of Sunshine loved them dipped in some Grade B Maple Syrup (yay!) and the Dada said sweet potatoes taste like crap. (If only he knew those same crappy sweet potatoes were hidden in his oh so loved homemade mac & cheese!) Before this morning, I had no idea sweet potato pancakes even existed. These are often the steps I take before making a meal:

1: look in fridge
2: ask “hmmm is there a recipe that uses these ingredients”
3: google a recipe
It is always fun to try something new! Usually I am successful in finding a recipe for those ingredients in question, and in a rare instance when I can’t find one I will often try to incorporate multiple recipes. That is what happened this morning. I googled “sweet potato pancakes” and then thought, why don’t I use oats ground into a flour instead of whole wheat flour, so then I googled “oat flour pancakes”. After searching through countless recipes, I combined a couple of ideas and subbed for things I just didn’t have stocked in the kitchen. And FINALLY, here is what I came up with. DELISH! (I promise there will be pictures next time!!)

Sweet Potato & Oat Pancakes

Ingredients*:
1 cup rolled oats
1 medium sweet potato
1 tablespoon unrefined virgin coconut oil
1/3 cup local pasture raised milk (adding a little extra if batter is too thick)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (make sure it’s aluminum free)
2 pasture raised eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
splash of vanilla

Directions:
set sweet potato (skin on) in a pot of boiling water for about 10-15 minutes (or use prebaked sweet potato from dinner the night before)
process oats in a food processor or blender (I use my Ninja master prep blender) until an oaty flour has formed (does not have to be fine and powdery)
peel sweet potato and add to oats in processor, blend until nicely incorporated
throw in the rest of ingredients and pulse a few times until fully blended
oil cast iron skillet (or any other pan) with a little bit of coconut oil, pour batter, wait for a few bubbles to form, then flip, give it a minute, then remove from skillet

Optional:
Enjoy with a pat of butter from pasture raised cows, a little bit of grade B maple syrup, and a handful of blueberries on the side

Oh did you notice there is no added sugar in these pancakes?! I hope you enjoy these as much as little Sunshine and I did!

*Please use all organic ingredients when possible!

Hello!

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Welcome to my blog where you can join me on my journey of feeding a picky toddler, trying to convince a fruit and veggie hating despising husband to eat healthy, and trying to reach my weight loss goal. I am constantly trying out new recipes, and altering them as I see fit (or altering just because I don’t have the right ingredients on hand!) Here I will share the recipes that worked and comments from my little Rae of Sunshine and the Organic Hispanic Dada.