5 Reasons to Eat Kale For Breakfast

5 Reasons to Eat Kale for Breakfast

Did you say kale for breakfast?

Well, yes I did!

It’s no secret that kale has been labeled a superfood. In recent years, it has gained popularity and become the crux of many jokes surrounding healthy eating. But with any joke, there is some truth to it!

Kale is full of vitamins, minerals, and even compares to beef with its high iron content. I know!  Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. And more calcium than milk. Let that sink in for a minute.

Breakfast is often considered to be the most important meal of the day. Not only is it the first food you eat for the day and a chance to start your body off with nutrient dense foods, but it can help set the tone for the types of food you eat later on. When you eat a healthy breakfast, you are more inspired to make healthier choices through the day. I know that’s true for me.

So why should you consider kale for breakfast?

  1. Kale is high in fiber. It’s important to get your digestive system rolling in the morning. Fill your stomach with a fiber rich food and let the process begin. A strong start will help your body throughout the day. The high fiber content helps your body detox as well.
  2. Kale is high in minerals such as iron, calcium, folate, and magnesium. As I mentioned before, per calorie, this leafy green has more iron than beef and more calcium than milk. That blows my mind. It is low in calories too so you’re gaining more nutrients with less calories.
  3. Kale is high in vitamins. In just one cup of kale, you can get well over your suggested daily amounts of Vitamins K, A, and C. Vitamin K helps maintain bone strength and blood flow. Vitamin A is good for vision and skin. And Vitamin C boosts your immune system and metabolism.
  4. Kale is anti-inflammatory. High in omega-fatty acids, this leafy green is excellent in helping a variety of body functions affected by inflammation such as, arthritis, cardiovascular, and autoimmune disorders. Omega-fatty acids also help build cell membranes in the brain.
  5. Kale tastes amazing. This might be debatable. But I think it’s all in how you prepare it. I’m not necessarily suggesting you need to eat a huge kale salad for breakfast. I’m not too excited about that either. But a little side of sautéed kale is super simple and delicious.

This is only touching the surface on the benefits of kale. A little bit of kale goes a long way in regards to your health. I don’t think it can be argued that starting your day with a superfood isn’t a good idea. I can tell you, I always feel better when I’ve had my kale for breakfast.

If you’re worried about the time it would take to make a hot breakfast, kale cooks faster than scrambled eggs. And you know that’s a quick breakfast! Seriously, it doesn’t take a lot of time to make a good healthy breakfast.

A quick tip on streamlining breakfast if you are headed out the door or short on time, prepare things ahead. Cut your kale up ahead of time and store it in the fridge so you can easily cook it in the mornings. Or add it to an egg muffin (pinterest has zillions of recipes) that can be made ahead and even eaten cold.

My favorite method is to sauté kale in butter or ghee in a stainless steel pan. Then I cook up some eggs in that same pan. (No one needs extra dishes.) I add a side of roasted sweet potatoes to my kale and eggs for a complete meal! That could even be dinner some nights. Yum!

Kale for breakfast may seem strange. (I haven’t convinced my husband yet.) You may have to change your mindset as to what breakfast means. Is it time for sweet “breakfasty” foods? Or time to eat real food to fuel your day? Start your day off right with some hearty kale for breakfast.

Have you started eating kale for breakfast yet?

 


 

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20+ Real Food Fourth of July Recipes

20 Plus Real Food Fourth of July Recipes

The Fourth of July is around the corner!! I cannot believe July is almost here.

I’m ready and I’m not.

This year we need some seriously healthy options for our family Fourth of July celebration. I’m all about some good food that’s good for you too!

I haven’t completely decided on a menu yet, but here are some of the ideas I’m pulling from. I hope you can benefit from this great list too!

Fourth of July Picnic!

Main dish:

Sides:

Desserts:

 What are you cooking for this celebration?


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Real Food Camping: Hobo Packs

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Camping is THE BEST summer activity.

There is nothing like getting outdoors, away from electronics, out exploring the world around you. Whether you tent camp, car camp, or stay in an RV or rustic cabin, camping is just plain fun!

One aspect makes camping fantastic is the food. Planning your camping menu is exciting and challenging at the same time. The excitement comes from the variety of foods and change in cooking method while camping. It needs to be portable, easy to cook, and nourishing (hiking can take a lot out of you!).

The challenge can be in avoiding processed filler foods and sticking to real foods that will keep your energy up. It would be easy to throw in a bag of chips for a snack, but how will that help you succeed on your epic hike? Cut up those carrot sticks and pack the hummus!

Our favorite camping dinner is what we call a Hobo Pack. It’s very easy to prep ahead of time and could be frozen if needed to last a couple days in a cooler. There is a lot of flexibility in the recipe. Be creative!

Before we head out, I chop up a variety of vegetables (onions, carrots, potatoes) and mix it together with some raw ground beef in a foil pack. Add some spices and butter and close up the packs. (I usually put the packs in a plastic bag as well just in case they leak.)

When you are out at the campsite get your fire going before dinner and let it die down just a little bit. Place your Hobo Packs on the coals and let it cook! You’ll want to rotate the packs around every five minutes or so for it to cook through. Your cook time will vary depending on how much food you have in your packs. I’d say 15-20 minutes and check that the beef has no more pink.

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Hobo Packs

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion
  • 4-5 carrots
  • 2-3 small potatoes
  • (other veggies as desired)
  • 2-3 Tbsp butter per pack
  • salt and pepper
  • favorite spices

Instructions

  1. Divide meat evenly onto 2 sheets of foil.
  2. Chop vegetables and distribute on top of the ground beef.
  3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and desired spices. (I like Thyme or Savory. But any single spice or combination will work!)
  4. Add butter.
  5. Fold up foil to enclose the food. Add an extra sheet of foil around the outside if necessary.
  6. Place packs in a plastic bag for transportation or until ready to cook.
  7. When cooking over an open fire, you can use a grate if one is available or you can let the fire die down a little and place the packs on the coals.
  8. Turn the packs every five minutes until the meat is no longer pink and the veggies are at desired doneness.
http://neverlackingzeal.com/2015/04/13/real-food-camping-hobo-packs/

Super simple! You can eat straight out of the packs or divide up onto plates for the kiddos. Remember the foil is HOT so bring tongs and a hot mitt or towel to handle the packs.

Eating real food while camping CAN be done. It takes a little bit of planning and usually a little prep ahead of time. But it is well worth it. If you usually eat real food at home, you don’t want to switch it up just for convenience when camping. Everyone wants to have fun while camping so feed your body well!

What is your favorite camping food?

 

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Wellness Wednesday #12 – Chamomile

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Chamomile is one of my new favorite evening teas. It is extremely calming and helps me wind down before bed.

But this flowering herb goes beyond just providing a calming effect. There are other wonderful benefits to using chamomile!

Chamomile is native to Europe and has been used for timeless years as a home remedy for various complaints. The two most common varieties of this healing plant are Roman chamomile and German chamomile. The flowers are daisy like in appearance and offer numerous health benefits.

When taken internally chamomile can ease:

  • Sleep trouble
  • Anxiety
  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • PMS symptoms

Chamomile has strong anti-inflammatory properties which make it excellent for soothing internal issues as well as topical. You can use chamomile topically to speed healing of skin irritations, wounds, and burns. One source I read suggested setting cooled tea bags on your eyes to reduce dark circles. I could use that!

As one of the most commonly used herbal teas around the world, chamomile has a good reputation for good reason. It is an all around delicious choice for soothing and calming. I love a cup of chamomile tea in the evenings to relieve the stress from the day and prepare my body for sleep.

I don’t believe chamomile is often used in cooking, so unless you like to sprinkle flower petals on your salads, it might be better to incorporate this in your diet as a tea. Or use the dried flowers in your soaps and salves. That is one of my favorite uses as well.

Do you like chamomile tea?

Sources: 1, 2, 3

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Saving Time (and Money) in the Kitchen Part 4

Saving Time in the Kitchen Part 4

Welcome to part 4 of Saving Time in the Kitchen! If you missed the last few weeks, part 1 covered Meal Planning, part 2 covered Kitchen Inventory, and part 3 covered making a Grocery List. I hope you are finding this information helpful, or at least motivating to get organized and start saving time!

Today I want to give you some ideas the one aspect of real food cooking that takes up the most time. Food Preparation.

  • Food Prep. The time it takes to prepare fresh food from scratch and include a lot of vegetables in your diet can be overwhelming! This is probably the number one hold up for busy families. It’s hard to find the time to get real food meals on the table. And very easy to fall back on packaged processed foods. But there is hope. Make a plan to prep your food!

I go through periods when I’m really good at prepping things ahead and then other times when I just go meal to meal. I’m starting to find that I really need to make sure I stay on top of having food prepped ahead. My little guy is quickly becoming a food eating machine. A growing boy is going to need healthy snacks that are ready to go! Plus I don’t like to spend uber amounts of time in the kitchen making dinner.

There are a few ways I’ve seen this work well. One idea is to take an afternoon or evening and prep by chopping, cooking, freezing, portioning, all the major meals for the week. This I think works best for parents working out of the home or have busy week nights with activities. It makes your week much smoother and more relaxing. This is also a good idea for having healthy snacks available. Cut up some veggies and put them in glass containers to pull out easily if you need to feed the littles real quick.

Another idea is to schedule in your food prep throughout the week. As part of your written menu plan, write in when you need to prep something ahead of time. I always need to write down when to make mayonnaise so I have it ready in the morning to make lunch for my hubby. Or if you need to soak beans overnight for taco soup the next day. Or bake bread, or make yogurt. Just schedule it in when it will work with your week.

When it comes to vegetables, I try to double up my prep. For example, if I need half an onion for a recipe on Tuesday, and part of an onion for Thursday, I’ll go ahead and chop the whole thing up while I have it and my knife and cutting board out. I can easily store the rest in the fridge and have it ready to go for the next night. Pretty simple concept but it saves some time!

The key to not becoming overwhelmed with getting your real food meals made in a timely manner is to plan ahead with the food prep. That way you are caught last minute with no homemade bread to make sandwiches for lunch. Or stuck spending an hour making dinner when it could only take thirty minutes.

You want to free up some time to spend with your family and also feed them well. There can be a good balance when you are prepared and spend a few moments planning ahead. I’ve seen a huge difference in the flow of my week when I do this. (And I’m not nearly as busy as some moms!)

To help you plan your food prep throughout the week, I have created a weekly meal plan template that includes the prep. But make sure you are subscribed to my newsletter in order to get this free printable!

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I also have something really exciting for you. You’ve read several ideas in the series this month on Saving Time in the Kitchen, and I’ve briefly covered several areas that can help you achieve that. But there is more to learn!

I am finishing up an eBook to give you the knowledge for COMPLETE success in saving time and money in the kitchen!

Make sure to come back next week to find out the details of what is in this eBook and how you can be successful in feeding your family real food without spending all your time in the kitchen. It’s gonna be big!

How has Food Prep changed your time in the kitchen?

 

View the rest of the series:

Take the next step in create an efficient kitchen here.

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Nourishing Bone Broth

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nourishing bone broth

There’s something about the cold that makes me want soup.

I haven’t always been a soup person. Especially watery soups. I could handle a creamy soup every now and then, but a chicken and vegetable soup? No, thank you.

Then I discovered homemade bone broth. My life has changed.

I was perusing the labels in the canned soup aisle one day at the store and discovered, much to my dismay, the ridiculous amount of weird ingredients that were included in chicken broth. The more I was reading labels the more I became disgusted at what was being deemed “food”. (That’s another story.)

I needed chicken broth for a recipe, but I didn’t want to feed my family those unpronounceable ingredients that were really unnecessary. So I looked up how to make bone broth. It really is quite simple.

The key to a good bone broth is starting with a whole roasted chicken. (I’m focusing on chicken broth, but you can really make bone broth with any leftover bones!) I like to make my broth in a crock pot, so a roasted chicken in a crock pot makes the most sense.

To cook the chicken, I like to rub it down with a variety of spices and then cook on high for about four hours. Simple as can be.

Once the chicken is cooked, we’ve eaten some for dinner, and I’ve removed the leftover meat, I’m left with a delicious bird carcass. (Actually, chicken bones really gross me out, so I try to not look at it, hence no pictures…)

All I need to do is return the bones to the crock pot, and add in some roughly chopped vegetables, such as carrots, onions, and celery. There is generally enough spices and salt left in the crock pot from roasting the bird that I don’t have to add any more.

I fill the crock pot with water to about an inch short of the top. Cover and let simmer on low overnight. If you wake up in the night while it’s cooking, you may get hungry!

bone broth supplies

In the morning, I strain the broth into jars. (I just use a mesh strainer, but if you want your broth clear of all debris, use cheese cloth.) Usually, if I am making a batch I will put it in smaller freezer safe canning jars so that I can save it for later. Other times, I put it in repurposed jars and use later that week in soup.

It is also possible to make two or even three batches of broth out of the same chicken! I usually only do two, since I run out of jars (gasp!). And the flavor will go down the more batches you make. My hubby prefers “first runnings” when I make a brothy soup or stew so we can savor more of the flavor.

To make more, just refill the water in the crock pot and add in a little more salt or spices if desired. Let simmer through the day. Then, strain and fill your jars. It’s that simple!

And if you want to a more “official” recipe:

Nourishing Bone Broth

Nourishing Bone Broth

Ingredients

  • Leftover chicken bones and juices from cooking
  • 2 TBSP raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 large carrots
  • 1/2 onion
  • 3-4 ribs celery
  • Any other desired vegetables

Instructions

  1. Remove all the leftover meat from your roasted chicken. Place in your crock pot with any remaining juices from cooking.
  2. Roughly cut your vegetables and add to the crock pot.
  3. Fill with water until about an inch short of the top.
  4. Cover and simmer on low for 8-12 hours, or overnight.
  5. When finished, strain broth into freezer safe jars.
  6. Let cool slightly before labeling and putting in the freezer.
  7. Or place in the fridge until you use it later that week.
http://neverlackingzeal.com/2015/01/16/nourishing-bone-broth/

I make bone broth quite frequently. I like to make sure we have a steady supply of it in the freezer.

Bone broth is nourishing due to the fact that as it simmers all day the valuable nutrients are being pulled out of the bones and mixing with the water. And not just the nutrients from the bones, but from the vegetables. You could use a similar technique to make a vegetable broth as well.

Now that we have this nourishing bone broth, I love to make soup! It’s delicious, filling, and good for our bodies. I love it so much I could drink it out of a mug.

bone broth cup

Have you tried making nourishing bone broth?

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6 Reasons to Detox

6 Reasons to Detox

Is a detox just one of those fads the “health nut” people do?

Well, yes, there has been quite a fad of detox diets, pills, and quick weight loss schemes.

But there is some truth to the idea!

Unless you’ve gone uber green, there are many products and household items that contain chemicals that leave toxic residue in our bodies. Beauty products, candles, plastic containers,  even receipt paper and mattresses can contain toxins!

And of course non-organic foods have toxins and that goes straight into our bodies. Along with processed foods and drinks as well.

That’s just the surface of the toxins we come into contact with each day. I won’t continue on the negative though… there is hope!

You can detox your body to remove some of the toxins that have built up. A detox doesn’t only help remove toxins, but it can actually improve several areas of your health.

Top reasons to detox:

  1. Balance your body systems. Our bodies are complex, yet simple. There is so much going on at the same time and even a slight fender bender can cause a huge traffic jam in the flow. But a detox will optimize your body functions. If your body isn’t having to deal with toxins clogging the traffic flow then it will be able to work much more efficiently. Digestive, cardiac, immune, respiratory, nervous, hormonal. All of the systems of your body will benefit from the removal of toxins.
  2. Mental clarity and elevated energy levels. Not only is this a result of removing toxins, but also of your body functioning correctly. When the flow of cells and hormones are moving smoothly, the brain can work better and brighter. The energy boost comes from the body not being dragged down moving and storing toxins.
  3. Reduces stress. Your body is under a lot of stress when it is working extra hard to deal with toxins. Removing the toxins frees your body to work optimally, allowing less internal stress on your systems.
  4. Weight loss. Toxins are often stored in fat and slow the metabolism. Stronger body systems and reduced stress help aid the body in removing excess fat.
  5. Removes parasites and worms. These little buggers are often overlooked. The unwelcome guests often feed on toxins that are in our bodies. Getting rid of their food source will make them pack up and leave.
  6. May prevent disease. Having overtaxed body systems, stress, too much fat, and parasites can contribute to diseases of all kinds. Eliminating as many toxins as possible will help your body work against the underlying causes of disease.

Bonus: Utilizing a real food detox and creating a less toxic lifestyle will also slow aging. We all want to be younger and more beautiful and there is quite the link between the food we eat and the glow we radiate.

There are simple ways to detox your body. Not crazy diets or pills or water fasts or anything like that. But real food ways to help your body remove the toxins it contains and resist new ones.

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The key aspects of a good detox includes making food choices that will better your health and be free of toxins. I doubt most of us can afford to go with all organic options, but we can try to make as many better choices as possible. This goes with conventional vs. grass-fed or pastured meats. And choosing little to no processed foods.

You can utilize real food ingredients such as this simple Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Elixir to help your body detox. It is an easy way to help your body remove toxins from the gut and get your digestive system on track.

It is also key to remove as many toxins from your body and household products as well. There are so many great recipes for homemade products such as shampoo and hand soap. Even making your own baby wipes!

In short, eat real food, remove toxins from your surroundings, and allow your body to work at optimal levels. That sounds pretty good to me!

Have you done a detox recently?

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