Thank Your Body http://www.thankyourbody.com Eat, move, and live naturally. Fri, 26 Jun 2015 19:32:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Basics of Sitting: Part One http://www.thankyourbody.com/basics-of-sitting-1/ http://www.thankyourbody.com/basics-of-sitting-1/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2015 07:33:41 +0000 http://thankyourbody.com/?p=636 Don't sit like that! Basics of sitting for better posture and health. Part 1.

Welcome to the “Basics of Sitting” Series. Before we jump into it, first maybe we should discuss WHY we need a post that covers the basic of sitting. I mean, isn’t sitting so obvious? The truth is a lot of people are doing some major damage to their body and experiencing some unnecessary pain from sitting poorly. These next few posts will focus on that most basic-of-basic daily action of sitting.  But before we can jump into the actual “sitting” part, it’s time to take a look at the “main players” involved. What it involved in sitting Ideally, sitting requires a flexion (coming closer together in the Sagittal Plane) action at three joints:  The Hips The Knees The Ankles The knees and ankles pretty much just follow the lead of the hip.  And whether it’s conscious or not, a lot of problems come from a misunderstanding of the hip joint.  So… let’s take a look at it. I will often ask my students, as a group, to close their eyes and point to their “hips.”   These are the most common responses I get: This is probably the most typical answer, which is understandable.  When I was young I was told that these bony places just below the waist are my “hip bones.”  These are actually landmarks on the pelvis known as the Anterior Superior Iliac Spine (ASIS). This is another answer, not quite as popular as the first.  With the image of an “hour-glass” figure, it’s not too surprising that some people think the widest spot would be the location of our hips.  (After all, if you are measuring your “hips” this is where you are told to wrap that tape measure around.) This is the least common response, but I have seen it nonetheless.  Unsure what the “hip” really is, some people just point to a general area, hoping the answer lies somewhere around it. This is where an important distinction must be made.  For many, the concept of “hip” denotes an area of the body (and in certain contexts that is true).  Beyond the mass that generally gets lumped into our idea of the hip region lies the actual HIP JOINT.  (A joint is the location at which two or more bones make contact—in this instance the femur and the pelvis.) So why does this matter? If you hold the idea, whether you are aware of it or not, that your hip joint is somewhere it isn’t, you may find yourself using different parts of your body (like part of your spine) to perform the role your hips were intended to perform.   More on this later. So where is the hip then?   Take a look at the anatomy of the pelvis and upper leg.  Most people are usually surprised to see how much lower and closer to the midline the hips really are. So where does that translate to us fleshy people? Please excuse the somewhat awkwardness of this next photo: Your hip joint is a lower and closer to your mid-line. I’ll address the actual “sitting” part in the next post.  In the meantime, get to know your body a little better (specifically the hip joint) by trying the following: Observe: Whether you can sense it in your own body, or see it in someone else, notice where the movement is initiating as you walk, sit down, or climb stairs.  Do you notice a tendency to swing the leg from the outside of your leg or is there a connection from the inside?  Does movement start at that low level of the hip or is it happening a few inches higher? Explore: Move your hip joint.  Consider the roundness of the head of your femur and the concavity of the acetabulum (the place where it articulates with the pelvis).  Your hip is a true ball and socket joint which means it has a wide repertoire of movement possibilities.  Notice what it feels like to explore the actions of the leg as it moves free in the hip socket. Appreciate: The average person uses that pure femoral flexion action (aka: bending the hip) countless times in a day.  Taking the time to better sense your own movement will not only give you a better respect for what your body can do—it is also a great step toward more efficient and graceful movement. Ready to take fitness, alignment, and exercise to the next level? Listen up. As a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist I know how vital the right kind of movement is to our health–to our very DNA. My ebook, Live Pain Free, provides an overview of the same movement approach I used while working with individual clients. The 60 exercises you’ll find in my book will help you improve your mobility, reduce chronic pain, and bring joy back to your movement. Trust me, you can’t afford to live with pain, and this guide will help you rediscover your body’s natural patterns in as little as ten to fifteen minutes a day. Do your body a favor and click here to check it out.   Check out the next post where I will discuss sitting, “posture,” and our spines!    

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All natural body spray recipe: Aromatherapy at its best. http://www.thankyourbody.com/natural-body-spray-recipe/ http://www.thankyourbody.com/natural-body-spray-recipe/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 07:00:33 +0000 http://thankyourbody.com/?p=3091 This all natural body spray recipe is perfect to pamper yourself or give as a gift. Here are three recipes to get your creative juices going.

Ready for an all natural body spray recipe? I thought so. I love how simple this diy stuff is, especially as we start to head into the holiday season. Can you say homemade gifts? Oh yeah. I remember telling my older brother years ago that shopping for girls was easy. No matter what clothes they liked, music they preferred, or size shoes they wore all girls loved smelly lotions and potions. Like so many teenage girls, I loved spending my times in those “body” shops with hundreds of different scents lofting about the air. My, how things change. The truth is that now when I walk through any store’s “body” section I get really uncomfortable. The fragrances that come from every single product attack my senses and I sometimes think I’m going to pass out or throw up. (Thankfully, I haven’t done either. Although I try to avoid these stores now days.) From laundry detergent to shampoo, there is fragrance in just about every commercial product these days. Artificial fragrances are often made from petroleum or coal which degrade in the environment and cause skin irritations. Cosmetic fragrance is made with cheap synthetic chemicals which replicate the natural aroma of products which already exist in nature. Companies use them because it is cheaper than using the natural scent. Behold the power of essential oils. Unlike synthetic fragrances, essential oils are all natural. Not only do they smell nice, but they offer a powerful punch for your body as well. Consider the following facts: Essential oils are highly concentrated plant constituents that posses potent qualities. Essential oils have been widely studies and shown to really keep the body healthy. Essential oils are absorbed well by the skin – making them perfect ingredients in personal care items intended to heal, soften, and nourish. Better yet: they do not accumulate in the body over time. They do their thing and then pass on through. Because essentials oils are wholly natural, they cannot be patented. This is why you don’t see them in pharmaceutical drugs… and probably why most healthcare practitioners won’t recommend them. But essential oils have been used for thousands of years.  (Learn how to get my favorite essential oils at wholesale prices here.) More than just an all natural body spray recipe… This body spray recipe will make you smell good AND has the added benefit of some subtle aromatherapy. That’s right, you can tailor your body spray to help lift your mood, energize your brain, or relax your body. What synthetic, chemically-laden, overly-priced commercial body spray can do that!? Isn’t this do-it-yourself stuff, cool?   What’s your favorite essential oil? What is your signature smell?  

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Good Morning Wake-Up Spritzer http://www.thankyourbody.com/good-morning-wake-spritzer/ http://www.thankyourbody.com/good-morning-wake-spritzer/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 07:00:00 +0000 http://www.thankyourbody.com/?p=12148 This good morning wake up spritzer is awesome! It's a simple way to help you wake up and take on the day with more energy.

This good morning wake up spritzer is great for two reasons. First, I really like smelling nice. Second, smell is our most potent sense. It’s a sense that can bring back memories that sight, touch, and sound cannot. It’s one of the first things we notice and it can change our mental perceptions. For example: Say you’re out at one of those crazy four-minute dating places. Two potentials come up to introduce themselves, and in most ways, they’re very similar. Attractive, kind, nice voice. One smells like pine.  Delicious trees: fresh and welcoming. *sniff* Ahhh. The other smells like nothing. If anything, he smells like a day without brushing his teeth. Ew. Smell, or even the lack of, can change our perception of people. In the same way, smell can also change our perception of situations. Smell can change our outlook. Like if you’re away from home feeling detached and the smell of vanilla cookies makes you feel like a child at home. Or if you’re cooped up all day at work and you catch a whiff of freshly cut grass outside the window and it transports you to summer in the backyard, refreshing you. Or if you’re weary, tired, and aching and the bite of peppermint pokes at your mind and perks you up. Smell can change us. So, why not make it change us for the better? If you talk to me early in the day, you may get the impression that I am not a morning person. I wouldn’t entirely disagree with you if you were to assume that. In fact, I have said it myself on several occasions. But the reality of it is, I love mornings. Who doesn’t love mornings? The beautiful, fresh, and new light from the east breaking through the cool morning mist you can feel on your face… Mornings are beautiful. However, I have a very hard time loving waking up from a good sleep. In fact, I have a hard time waking up from sleep no matter how nice it was. I tried dozens of sleep-recording apps with gentle wake-up alarms, I tried very abrupt alarms, I tried both at the same time, I tried both one after the other… I reached the point where I found every alarm-producing device in the house and had them go off at the same time in the morning, to no avail. I would wake up an hour or two after my alarms, none of them going off, only remembering getting up to turn over and turn one off. I needed a change. So I made one. First I had to start with my night routine. I had to make a few additions: I did calming stretches and nighttime yoga with a lovely “Nighttime Yoga” playlist of mine on, I turned off most of my lights an hour or so before sleep, I spent that time doing grounding and calming activities (such as reading, thinking over my day, writing, talking to a friend, playing music, etc.), I opened up my curtains before bed so the sun would stream in on my face when it rose, and overall I kept trying to simply fall asleep earlier. But how to wake up and STAY up was my issue. So, I slowly started to tweak my wake up ritual by making my alarms tell me to do a certain habit I wanted to start adding to my mornings. I started with waking up and doing ten jumping jacks. Then after some time I would fill up a big bottle of water, add a drop of peppermint essential oil to it and start to drink it, sipping it throughout the day. (Only do this if you trust the essential oil brand! Therapeutic grade, please! Don’t ingest if it tells you not to!) I opened my window in the morning to allow myself to breathe in the new morning air. And, I made sure to surround myself with smells that made me feel awake, alert, and fresh. That’s where this Wale-Up Spritzer comes in. And there you have it! A refreshing wake up spritzer for a pick-me-up to inhale when you need it. I hope it has the same positive effect on you as it had on me! And of course, I hope you had fun! Looking for simple, frugal ways to live more naturally? I thought so. The internet is full of natural tutorials these days. The only problems is finding the tried-and-true recipes and keeping them all organized in one place. That’s why I created the ultimate guide to non-toxic living. My ebook, All Natural Living has 75 non-toxic recipes. You’ll find recipes for hair care, makeup, personal care products, cleaning products and more. It also walks you through the best first steps and provides insights on the must-have ingredients. Needless to say, it’s a super handy guide to have nearby. The DIY revolution can save you cash and keep your home super healthy. Since the book is only 4 bucks you really have nothing to lose. So stop wasting time and money and grab your copy right now. Click here to check it out.   Stay happy and stay healthy!  

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Homemade liquid hand soap: 2 easy, toxic-free, and frugal recipes http://www.thankyourbody.com/homemade-liquid-hand-soap-2-easy-ways/ http://www.thankyourbody.com/homemade-liquid-hand-soap-2-easy-ways/#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2015 07:00:02 +0000 http://thankyourbody.com/?p=3931 This homemade liquid hand soap is super easy to make and doesn't contain any scary or questionable ingredients. Oh yeah, and it's cheap!

Why homemade liquid hand soap? Well, I have a little secret. Shhhh…. Don’t tell my mom, but I secretly hate washing my hands at her house. Don’t worry, I do wash my hands… I just hate how rough her soap feels on my skin. And I feel like no matter how hard I try, I can’t get it off my hands. Nothing against my mom, it’s just that I’ve come to love my homemade liquid hand soap so much that all commercial stuff seems “icky.” But this homemade liquid hand soap? No “icky” whatsoever. It’s good. It’s gentle. Effective. Toxic-free. And doesn’t leave my hands feeling like they just got a chemical bath. Looks like another win for DIY toxic-free living. Making your own liquid hand soap is awesome. There are a lot of recipes online for handmade liquid hand soap. Some are very “hippie” oriented for those of us who love our essential oils and herbs. Others are for the frugal type who love making something for pennies. My homemade liquid hand soap is both non-toxic (aka: “hippie friendly”) and cheap. It’s also really, really easy. In fact, it’s so easy that I’m giving you TWO recipes for the price of one. (Wait. What do you mean nobody is paying me to do this!?) The first recipe is more of an actual homemade liquid hand soap “recipe.” The second one is more of a “here’s what we’ve been doing for years because it’s so easy” tip. UPDATE: I really recommend ONLY doing the second recipe here and using a foam dispenser (like this) for the easiest, best natural liquid hand soap ever. You can still try the first recipe if you want, but I promise the foaming soap will last you longer, get that lovely lather we all love, and is so easy you’ll maybe wet your pants. Maybe. Ready?       What’s that? Not easy enough for you? Well okay!   Yup. That’s it. The end. Now, I’ll admit that this lazy version isn’t nearly as thick as most commercial hand soaps. In fact, one of my friends came over and commented on my “funny soap.” But honestly, it works. And it’s easy. And my husband hates all other soaps now (and he’s the most OCD hand washer I’ve ever met). And if you trust me and try the foaming dispenser, you’ll be in love. Pinky swear. In fact, this handmade liquid hand soap is perfect for the lazy monster inside of me who sometimes gets so sick of making everything from scratch. (Shhh… don’t tell anyone that, either.) Looking for simple, frugal ways to live more naturally? I thought so. The internet is full of natural tutorials these days. The only problems is finding the tried-and-true recipes and keeping them all organized in one place. That’s why I created the ultimate guide to non-toxic living. My ebook, All Natural Living has 75 non-toxic recipes. You’ll find recipes for hair care, makeup, personal care products, cleaning products and more. It also walks you through the best first steps and provides insights on the must-have ingredients. Needless to say, it’s a super handy guide to have nearby. The DIY revolution can save you cash and keep your home super healthy. Since the book is only 4 bucks you really have nothing to lose. So stop wasting time and money and grab your copy right now. Click here to check it out.  

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Recipe: Avocado Fries with Chili Lime Mayonnaise http://www.thankyourbody.com/recipe-avocado-fries-chili-lime-mayonnaise/ http://www.thankyourbody.com/recipe-avocado-fries-chili-lime-mayonnaise/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 07:00:00 +0000 http://www.thankyourbody.com/?p=10670 Avocado fries with chili lime mayonnaise. Fried avocados? Why not! Organic avocados fried in coconut oil, served with delicious chili-lime mayo.

Avocados, in my opinion, are just about the most perfect food. I love to slice them, sprinkle just a hint of sea salt on the slices, and savor them one at a time. I love chopped avocado tossed in salad, it adds wonderful texture and picks up the flavor of your favorite salad dressing. Sliced avocado on a sandwich? Yes! Fresh guacamole with a little lime and chili? Delicious! I’ve even been known to sneak avocado into baked goods, to get the benefits of all that wonderful oleic acid and healthy vitamins (you’d be surprised how tasty baking with avocado can be!). One thing I’d never thought to try, however, is Frying avocado. One thing that being a food blogger has done for me is to encourage me to be more adventurous in the kitchen, so when I saw a recipe for avocado fries at the  A Cozy Kitchen blog I thought…Why not? A local market had organic avocados on sale for $.89 each, so I picked up quite a few (in various stages of ripeness, so that I could enjoy my favorite indulgence all week long) and got to work. I chose some ripe-but-not-soft avocados and sliced them. Ever wonder how to slice an avocado? Here’s a video tutorial (and, as a bonus, they call avocados “The passionate love-child between a vegetable and a stick of butter.” What could be more perfect?). In addition to your  perfectly-sliced avocados, you need some flour (I used a gluten free mix with flax seed), a couple of free-range eggs, and a little raw milk. You can use almond or coconut milk if you’d like! Put these ingredients in bowls for dipping, and start heating up some coconut oil in a cast iron skillet. You really only need enough coconut oil to cover 1/2 of the thickness of your avocado slices, and I like to use a smaller skillet so that I don’t have to use too much of my coconut oil. As the oil heats, dip each slice first in the  milk, then in the flour, then the egg and finally the flour again. Carefully drop the coated slices into the hot oil and fry until they start to brown, flipping them over so that both sides are lightly browned and crispy. Let the slices drain on a paper towel. I’ve cut down on using paper towels, in favor of recycled rags made from old towels, knit cotton kitchen rags, etc. However, I haven’t yet found a substitute for paper towels when draining fried foods….anybody have a suggestion? While the avocado fries are cooling, mix up some chili-lime mayo. A little grated lime zest, lime juice, chili powder and cayenne pepper to taste is all you need to your mayonnaise (here’s how to make your own mayo). Serve the fries and mayo as an appetizer, a side dish, or for a snack. Have leftovers? Fried avocados go great chopped in a salad, or as the center of a delicious sandwich with the chili lime mayo, some lettuce, and some ripe tomato slices.   Looking for more delicious real food recipes? I’ve got your back! I’ve put together 85 incredible dishes that are full of flavor, super yummy, and good for you, too. From main dishes to desserts (and everything in between) you’ll have some fun new eats that I know you’ll love. Best part? The ebook is only 2 bucks. It’s a total no-brainer, right? Right. Click here to check it out. What’s your favorite way to eat avocados?   Photography by Jennifer Leung Johnson

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Recipe: 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies http://www.thankyourbody.com/recipe-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-cookies/ http://www.thankyourbody.com/recipe-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-cookies/#comments Thu, 11 Jun 2015 07:00:00 +0000 http://www.thankyourbody.com/?p=10325 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies! As tasty as they are easy, and naturally grain and gluten free. So healthy, you won't feel bad about having seconds. You can even make them Paleo.

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies. Yes, I said 3 ingredients. Craving something sweet? This could very possibly be the easiest and healthiest peanut butter cookie recipe I’ve ever seen! The basic recipe for these delicious peanut butter cookies includes just three ingredients: Organic peanut butter, honey, and an egg. When I saw this recipe, I was a little bit skeptical. Cookies with no flour, sugar, or butter? Really? It was so simple, it had to be tried. The results were nothing short of amazing! Soft, chewy cookies that are sweet but not-too-sweet, full of protein and very satisfying as an afternoon snack. So easy to make, a child can do it with minimal help…and healthy enough that you’ll feel good about having seconds! One thing I’ve learned over the years is that all peanut butter is not created equal! Look carefully at the label before you buy it. Most peanut butter contains oil, salt, and sugar at the least…and there is even corn syrup hiding in some brands! Peanut butter doesn’t need to be anything more than organic peanuts…period. You can even grind your own peanut butter in some health food stores, it was my kids’ favorite part of shopping when they were younger. Looking for Paleo cookies? You can substitute almond butter for the peanut butter. Viola Paleo “Peanut” Butter Cookies… still just 3 ingredients. Just mix these simple ingredients together in a bowl, stirring them well. If you’d like you can add things at this point…we added a few organic raisins, but there are many ways to spice up these cookies. Organic, fair trade chocolate chips? Yum! Or, make breakfast cookies by adding some chopped nuts and organic dried fruit. Shredded coconut and dates would be another fun addition to the simple cookie base. Once you’ve got your batter combined, spoon it onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. We used about a tablespoon of batter for each cookie. The batter will be soft, but that’s OK! Even though it seems like this is way too simple and way too healthy, trust me. It’ll turn out great! Pop your cookies in the oven and bake them at 350 degrees, for about 8 minutes. When they come out of the oven they may seem a little too soft, but let them cool for a few minutes and they will be just fine. I know…you’re still wondering if you can really make (edible) cookies without flour, sugar, baking soda and butter. I don’t blame you, I was too!  Then I tried them.  Wow. You won’t miss the extra ingredients, and it’s great to be able to whip up a batch of cookies in just a few minutes. Give it a try and see for yourself! Have you ever tried a recipe that sounded too easy to be good? How did it turn out? Looking for more delicious real food recipes? I’ve got your back! I’ve put together 85 incredible dishes that are full of flavor, super yummy, and good for you, too. From main dishes to desserts (and everything in between) you’ll have some fun new eats that I know you’ll love. Best part? The ebook is only 2 bucks. It’s a total no-brainer, right? Right. Click here to check it out.    

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Recipe: Roasted Mini Peppers http://www.thankyourbody.com/recipe-roasted-mini-peppers/ http://www.thankyourbody.com/recipe-roasted-mini-peppers/#comments Wed, 10 Jun 2015 07:00:40 +0000 http://www.thankyourbody.com/?p=14548 This recipe for roasted mini peppers is so easy, you'll have plenty of savory-sweet peppers for your eggs, pasta, salsa and baked chicken in no time!

What is it about a roasted vegetable that makes it taste so good? Raw veggies are great, and so are sauteed. But when you roast a vegetable something really special happens! They’re savory-sweet, a tiny bit crunchy and just a touch smoky…I could eat them like candy! It occurred to me that there must be a scientific reason for that, so I took a little time and looked it up. Sure enough, I found some answers at the Care2 website, in the healthy living section. It turns out that roasting vegetables brings out their natural sweetness. The smoky flavor of slightly blackened vegetables only adds to the delightful flavor! In addition to that, according to the article roasting certain vegetables actually increases the bioavailability of their nutrients, which means that your body can more easily use them. When you cook vegetables in water, it leaches away the minerals and vitamins and they end up floating around in the water, rather than staying in the vegetable. So unless you’re up for drinking the water in which you boiled those Brussels sprouts, you’re much better off roasting them. Besides, they just taste so much better that way!   Mini peppers are a wonderful food to eat roasted, and they go so well in so many different things! Sprinkled on a salad, tossed in scrambled eggs, stirred in pasta, or served in soup, topping a burger or smothering a broiled chicken breast…they add so much flavor (and color) to so many things! You can roast a lot of them when they’re in season and freeze them for later, they freeze well and will be just as delicious and colorful a few months from now. To make the peppers, just wash some fresh organic mini peppers. Farmer’s markets are a great place to find these peppers, I have friends who schedule a few days each year to roast many pounds of fresh peppers that they buy from a local farmer at the peak of the season. It’s become a tradition, and they have beautiful roasted peppers ready in the freezer all year long. So tasty! I found an easy recipe for roasted mini peppers at the Lady Behind the Curtain blog, and before long I had a tray of peppers roasting in the oven and my whole house smelled amazing.   Just wash the peppers and cut the tops off, then split them in half. You don’t really have to do either of these things, but I figure that I’m going to be using most of my peppers in recipes (rather than eating them plain) so I’ll eventually need to cut them anyway. Toss the peppers with a little bit of olive oil, and then spread them in a single layer on a parchment lined pan. Roast them for twenty minutes at 400 degrees, then turn them over and roast the other side for another twenty minutes. So easy! They’ll be browned on both sides with slightly blackened edges, and bursting with smoky-sweet flavor. Let them cool off, and then freeze them. Or, eat a ton of them and freeze the tiny amount left over…whatever happens to happen in your kitchen. I’m not saying what happened in mine…but it’s entirely possible that fewer peppers than planned made it as far as the freezer. Next time, I’ll roast twice as many!   Looking for more delicious real food recipes? I’ve got your back! I’ve put together 85 incredible dishes that are full of flavor, super yummy, and good for you, too. From main dishes to desserts (and everything in between) you’ll have some fun new eats that I know you’ll love. Best part? The ebook is only 2 bucks. It’s a total no-brainer, right? Right. Click here to check it out. What’s your favorite way to use roasted peppers?   Photography by Jennifer Leung Johnson

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Recipe: Pear Upside-Down Cake with Honey Ginger Sauce http://www.thankyourbody.com/recipe-pear-upside-cake-honey-ginger-sauce/ http://www.thankyourbody.com/recipe-pear-upside-cake-honey-ginger-sauce/#comments Mon, 08 Jun 2015 07:00:00 +0000 http://thankyourbody.com/?p=9142 This pear upside-down cake with honey ginger sauce is soooo good and surprisingly easy to make. My kind of dessert.

When you want a dessert that shows well, tastes great and is surprisingly easy to make (shhh!), try this Pear Upside Down Cake served with warm honey-ginger sauce. Made with organic pears, applesauce and honey, this cake lends itself well to gluten and grain free adaptations! The secret to this pear upside down cake is in the honey glaze that the pears are simmered in.  You just slice your pears and simmer them in a mixture of honey, raw butter, and fresh lemon juice.  Then, arrange the cooked pears nicely in the bottom of your pan like this: And mix up your cake batter. The recipe calls for only 1 cup of flour, so it’s easy to use a gluten or grain free mixture instead of wheat flour. Just dump the batter over the pears, and pop it in the oven.  While it bakes, add butter, honey and fresh ginger to the pan the pears were simmering in and let it thicken into a sauce.  Invert the cooked cake, and serve with a generous portion of warm, tangy sauce. Easy! But pretty enough, they’ll think you slaved in the kitchen for hours.   Looking for more delicious real food recipes? I’ve got your back! I’ve put together 85 incredible dishes that are full of flavor, super yummy, and good for you, too. From main dishes to desserts (and everything in between) you’ll have some fun new eats that I know you’ll love. Best part? The ebook is only 2 bucks. It’s a total no-brainer, right? Right. Click here to check it out. What’s your favorite comforting dessert?   Photography by Jennifer Leung Johnson

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Gluten Free Brownies Made with Banana Flour http://www.thankyourbody.com/gluten-free-brownies-made-banana-flour/ http://www.thankyourbody.com/gluten-free-brownies-made-banana-flour/#comments Wed, 03 Jun 2015 07:00:00 +0000 http://www.thankyourbody.com/?p=15089 These gluten free brownies are made with banana flour and super delicious!

Gluten free brownies made with banana flour. Yes, banana flour. That’s right–today I’m introducing you to one of my favorite new foods: Banana flour. I actually stumbled upon banana flour several months ago. I was intrigued, so I bought a container for me and one for my amazing recipe contributor, Erica. After all, Erica is the queen of gluten free desserts and I knew she’d appreciate trying something new. Let me tell you: we both LOVE banana flour. Why Banana Flour? Banana flour doesn’t taste like bananas. In fact, it’s made from green bananas through a very simple process. The unripe green bananas are gathered, peeled, sliced, dehydrated, and then ground up. That’s my kind of food! For the many people looking for gluten free alternatives–including gluten free desserts (my favorite part of any meal, right?)–banana flour offers a versatile substitution. Benefits of Banana Flour Banana flour is high in potassium WEDO banana flour is full of natural vitamins and minerals There are no added preservatives, chemicals, or dyes WEDO banana flour also contains RS2, an important resistant starch that is found in few foods. Resistant starch, unlike normal staches, is not digested in the small intestine which results in numerous health benefits. How to Use Banana Flour Since it mimics wheat flour quite a bit, it’s actually pretty easy to transition to banana flour. It’s much lighter than many other nut flours. It can be used by itself or combined with other flours. Banana flour has a high starch content which means you can use less flour overall. The rule of thumb is to use 25% LESS banana flour than suggested flour. Below I have some super yummy gluten free brownies made with banana flour–because, who doesn’t love brownies? Especially gluten free brownies? You may also like this gluten free angel food cake made with banana flour. But first, a little background to WEDO Gluten Free Banana Flour As I mentioned, I came across Banana flour several months back and fell in love. My recipe contributor, Erica was also in love. The company, WEDO Gluten Free, actually happens to be local to us. After her first experience with banana flour, Erica mentioned the idea of interviewing the company for the blog. I loved the idea, but of course, life got in the way nothing really came of it. A few weeks later I was on the phone with my good friend, Becky, who was in New York. We were discussing our book project, Take Back Monday (available now). As we were going over our list of interviewees for the book, she told me that she just confirmed an interview with David Wintzer. I asked her what his story was and she said, “He is the co-founder of WEDO Gluten Free Banana Flour.” Small world, right? After hearing David’s story about brining banana flour to the United States, I was even more impressed. His perserverance and passion are truly remarkable. I am so excited to share his amazing product with you (and the recipe for the awesome gluten-free brownies below). I’m also REALLY excited to share David’s STORY and how WEDO banana flour came to be. Here’s a little excerpt from the book with a link to read the chapter in its entirety: David Wintzer’s Story from Take Back Monday “My guess is that 80 percent of people would have quit by now,” says David Wintzer of his venture, the first and only banana-flour company in the United States. After hearing his story, one might put the estimate closer to 99 percent. The long road to success hasn’t been for lack of vision or genuine intentions. Indeed, WEDO Gluten Free is committed first and foremost to the health of its customers and making a difference in the world by giving back. Rather, the arduous journey was inevitable because the founders are pioneers in the food industry, forging a new path every step of the way. In 2008, David traveled to Kenya as part of a humanitarian mission to provide microloans for entrepreneurs. While there, he worked with a group of women—WEDO, or Women Entrepreneurs Development Organization—who produced banana flour using a simple and streamlined process. Green bananas were peeled, sliced, dried, and milled into a smooth, fine flour. No additives, no preservatives—just a wholesome and versatile product for everyday cooking. After returning home, David explored the market viability of bringing banana flour to the United States. The demand for gluten-free products and Paleo alternatives was on the rise, and banana flour was the perfect replacement for its wheat-based counterpart. Impressed as he was by the product’s unique attributes, David was also motivated by his interactions abroad. “There was such a sincerity and kindness in the way our hosts welcomed us,” he recalls. “There was a beautiful exchange of mutual admiration and gratitude that sparked a change in me. It made me want to pursue a path of connectedness and it helped me truly see the world as a whole.” With this perspective, David was driven to promote well-being at home and provide economic opportunities abroad. He teamed up with his long-time friend Todd Francis to create WEDO Gluten Free. Having integrated banana flour into their own diets with positive results, the pair was guided by a belief in the product and their own ability to start a business while doing good in the world. Click here to read the full chapter for free at Take Back Monday.   Now it’s time to grab some banana flour and make theses gluten free brownies today!   Don’t forget to check out Take Back Monday for even more inspiring stories!

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Recipe: Homemade Fruit Slushies http://www.thankyourbody.com/recipe-homemade-fruit-slushies/ http://www.thankyourbody.com/recipe-homemade-fruit-slushies/#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2015 07:00:00 +0000 http://www.thankyourbody.com/?p=12041 Make homemade fruit slushies with organic fresh fruit! Recipes for Mango Berry, Watermelon Mint, and Blueberry Lime. Simple, healthy, and so refreshing!

In the mood for something cool and refreshing? Homemade fruit slushies are a great way to cool down on a hot afternoon. When you make them at home, you can be certain that your fruit slush will be full of wholesome, organic fruit and sweetened (if you choose to) with something healthy instead of high fructose corn syrup or aspartame. The abundance of fresh, sun-ripe fruit this time of year makes it easy to think up great combinations like Watermelon Mint, Mango Berry, and Blueberry Lime.   There are many ways you can make a slushie at home, and you don’t have to have anything fancy to do it. On the other hand, there are some really fun and inexpensive gadgets out there that make the process easy enough for a four year old to make their own slushie (think afternoon boredom-buster on a hot day). I was given a slush and shake maker for my birthday this year, and I love it because it doesn’t take up much space in my cup\board or freezer, and I can take it outside on the deck while it freezes because it doesn’t need to be plugged in to work. You just pop the liner in the freezer, and take it out when you’re craving something sweet and cold. Minutes away from a healthy, refreshing treat any time of day!   If you’re using a blender, you can get pretty much the same results. You’ll have to add some ice, however, which does water your fruit down a bit. Or, you can just use frozen fruit and avoid the ice problem! To get your slushie started, just wash, stem, and pit your fruit. Puree the fruit with a bit of liquid and some sweetener if you’d like. I like honey as a sweetener, if you’re using fruit that needs it. Blend the fruit until it’s nearly liquid, and then pour it into your slushie maker (or, add ice and blend again until it’s thickened).  To make a slushie with the slush and shake maker, just pour the liquid into the frozen core and then wait a bit as the fruit starts to freeze around the edges. Use the plastic spoon that comes with the slush maker to scrape the sides as they freeze, continuing to scrape and stir until your slushie is thick and frozen.   Want some ideas for fruit combinations? Try Watermelon Mint, watermelon pureed with a sprig or two of fresh mint. Or Mango Berry, using mango nectar and fresh or frozen strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Blueberry lime is basically limeade made with fresh lime juice, water and honey, and pureed with some fresh or frozen blueberries. These ideas will get you started, but the possibilities are endless! What about carrot and apple juice, or blending whole kiwi fruit with lime, Greek yougurt and honey? Green smoothies are great when turned into an ice-cold frozen slushie. I love the simplicity of fruit slushies, and the fact that they’re such a fun and healthy snack.     Looking for more delicious real food recipes? I’ve got your back! I’ve put together 85 incredible dishes that are full of flavor, super yummy, and good for you, too. From main dishes to desserts (and everything in between) you’ll have some fun new eats that I know you’ll love. Best part? The ebook is only 2 bucks. It’s a total no-brainer, right? Right. Click here to check it out. What fruit slushie combination sounds good to you?   Photography by Jennifer Leung Johnson

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