Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cocoa-nut Truffles Recipe (Healthy Desse)

This is the time of year when we are inundated with sweets.  If you have food intolerance issues, as I do, or you are just trying to eat more healthily, it can be very hard to satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way.  I have compiled a number of recipes that do just that.  One of my favorites is below.

Cocoa-nut Truffles

1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil  (you need the virgin for the extra flavor)
2 tablespoons raw honey
pinch of sea salt

Melt the coconut oil over very low temp to liquefy.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  The dough will be relatively stiff.  Cover a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Scoop small balls of the mixture onto the cookie sheet.  This works best with a small handled scoop.  Makes 12 to 18 balls, depending on size.  Chill the balls in the refrigerator until firm.  Enjoy!

Store in a covered container in the refrigerator to maintain firmness.  

Please comment if you make these and let me know what you think! 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A 4th "F": Food

I am thinking of adding a fourth "F" to the title of this blog of "Food".  A little less than five years ago,  I began having daily headaches and intestinal pains.  For ten months I was unable to figure out what was wrong, even though I consulted a doctor at least once during that time period.  Finally, after crying my eyes out more than once, I again went to my doctor and she suggested eliminating wheat products and dairy to see if that made a difference.  Bingo!  I was severely intolerant to gluten products.  Since then I have discovered (mainly through elimination diets) additional intolerances to soy, corn, sunflower, dairy,  and chocolate.
When my friends and acquaintances learn about this, the most common response is "I could never give up bread!".  That would most likely have been my response as well, before starting this five year journey.  However, the Lord has shown me many blessings as a result of this "hardship".  I

Blessings from the Lord due to Food Intolerances:

1.  Food is no longer my God.    Daily, I have to depend on God to supply my needs instead of filling up the hole in my heart with chocolate, candy or other unhealthy snacks from the vending machine.  Between 2 and 4 pm I would normally take a trip to the vending machines at work and fill up on cookies, or a candy bar or chips plus a diet Coke.  :-) (You know the food calories don't count when you eat them with a diet Coke!)  Once I had discovered the majority of these intolerances, there was quite literally nothing the machines that I could safely eat.
   This snacking was not normally because I was truly hungry, because I had eaten lunch only a few hours ago.  Instead, the sugar,  caffeine,  and high carbs in these snacks served to give me a false energy boost and my low point in the day.  Since then, I have learned that God is what is truly need to fill up my body and my spirit.  The junk food took me away from my true need instead of leading me towards Him.  Because there are so few junk and snack foods I can eat, it takes more work to find something I can eat.  This gives me time to pause and reflect whether there is a true physical hunger or if it is a spiritual hunger instead.  If it is a spiritual need, as it often is, then I pray for the Holy Spirit to fill me, instead of Snackwells.  When my body does need food, I have learned to be prepared with healthy snacks around me instead of junk food.

Future posts will discuss more blessings, including what I have learned about healthy nutrition.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Organization Update-To Do Lists

I have officially completed the 30 Day Challenge by Chalene Johnson.  This is a tool I would definitely recommend if you would like to become more productive and organized.  It is especially useful if you have a "big" goal and don't know exactly how to get there.  She gives a number of tools to use that I have begun to use or refine.

Written List of Goals 
 Like many of you, I had a general idea of goals for my personal life, but I was not writing them down in a consistent manner.  Chalene suggests listing your goal and wriitng a new list every week, without referring to your old list.  This way you can tell which of them are consistent week to week.  Often you may have one "Push Goal" that, if successful, will help you accomplish your other goals.  Or your "Push Goal" may just be your most important one.  My "Push Goal" for the next 12 months, is to successfully homeschool Katte.  We will officially start in August, but I have a lot to do between now and then to get ready.

Brainstorm Tasks to Accomplish your Goals
  Tasks that I need to do in order to accomplish my goal will often go across my mind. For my homeschooling goal, one task is to register for a official accountability group, which is something mandated by state law.  this is not something I can do immediately, however, because I still need to do some investigation.  Chalene suggested that you brainstorm and make a written list of all the tasks you can think of that you will need to do to accomplish your goal.  Writing these down, frees your brain from constantly sifting through these items.  Anytime I think of another task, I review my brainstorm list and add the task to the list, if not already there.

To Do Lists
 I was already a list maker, but the 30 Day challenge has helped me further improve this productivity skill.  Chalene encourages you to include one or more tasks a day on your to do list from the tasks that need to be done to accomplish your big goal.  Referring to your written goals when making your To Do lists, encourages you to really think about what your are doing and reflect whether each particular activity is in harmony with your goals or not.  She had quite a few techniques for color coding yours tasks, and using your phone or computer to streamline your to do lists.  I have a blackberry which is tied in to both my work and home e-mails and my Outlook calendar.  I have started logging my tasks in the Outlook "tasks" section, which is also on my blackberry.  That way it goes with me.  That is much better than multiple pieces of scrap paper and has streamlined this quite a bit.

If becoming more organized is of interest to you, I definitely recommend the 30 Day Challenge.  You can find at it at the link here.  http://www.chalenejohnson.com/30daychallenge/members/     Chalene will send you a daily e-mail with a short video.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Organization how to: Differences with Your Spouse

Now you may have figured out how to organize your mail, but perhaps your husband or wife is not fully on board.  How can you deal with this situation?  First, talk about this together.  Perhaps he will be willing to be more organized, but does not know how or maybe he would be happy for you to be responsible for one aspect.

Second, develop specific areas with container for your different stuff.  Have a box for mail for each person in the family.  Set aside a basket by your spouse's favorite chair and put his reading materials there.  If possible set aside separate desks for each person, or at least separate drawers.  Then each of you can be as organized as you like within your own space.

We currently have a number of small pieces of paper on this desk by our phone.  I had Doug go through to throw away what was not needed.  Then we logged the needed phone numbers, e-mails and other information in a notebook by the phone.  Instant organization!

This may take a while, but try to work on one small area or project at a time.

To help ensure marital harmony, don't throw anything away of your spouse's without asking permission first!