Fruit Infused Water

FruitInfused Water

Forget Juice and Soda!!  Fruit infused water is way more fun, and we won’t mention how much more healthy it can be… 

I prefer to use fresh organic fruit when in season, but frozen fruit works too!  The best part is that you can use whatever fruit you like and mix it up to keep it interesting!  My son loves to help make a batch and enjoys getting creative with it.

Some of our favorites:

Cucumber–Yum Yum!!  I never knew how much I could love the taste of cucumber, but the light flavor of it in ice cold water is so refreshing!! This was a surprise to me, but now one of my absolute favorites.

Pineapple Watermelon

Citrus–Orange, Lime, Lemon.  Slice into rounds, then cut in half

Raspberry Peach (Frozen Peaches have worked best for us)

Strawberry, Cherry, and Peach

Cherry Lime

Pineapple mint, and Cucumber mint

Blueberry Sage (press and twist herbs with muddler)

Gluten Sensitivity


This is a perfect picture of what it looks and feels like to BE Gluten Free.  Take it from me!  Going Gluten Free was absolutely the best lifestyle change I have ever made, hands down!!  There are many scientific studies and growing evidence proving we are ALL sensitive to Gluten.   Here are a few examples, but this barely touches the surface of how bad Gluten has become for each and everyone of us.

Gluten is a protein found in seeds of grains such as Barley, Wheat, and Rye.  Gluten is Latin for “glue”.  It gives elasticity to dough.  According to many studies, Gluten Sensitivity, also known as Gluten Intolerance is affecting many people today. Many do not realize it because the effects of this intolerance don’t always reveal themselves in easily recognizable symptoms.  The most common set of symptoms recorded are IBS-like stomach problems, headaches, joint pain, fatigue, numbness, and depression, but there are many more symptoms that have been loosely linked to gluten intake.

Dr. Hyman calls gluten a “tsunami of chronic illness”.  He offers great insight to the dangers of gluten on his website.  He also explains why gluten is a problem for up to 20 million Americans, even though 99% of the people don’t realize they are affected.  Dr. Hyman suggests eliminating gluten from your diet for two to six weeks to find out if you are gluten sensitive.  If you loose weight and your symptoms disappear, most likely gluten is a problem for you.  To verify your finding, try adding gluten back into your diet.  If your symptoms reappear, then this verifies you are sensitive to gluten.  There is also gene testing available to show if you have the gluten intolerant gene.

Dr. AL Sears’s states that the longer gluten intolerance is left untreated, the worse the outcome can become.  Unfortunately, gluten intolerance is one of the most misdiagnosed conditions out there.  If left untreated, gluten intolerance could cause cancer, reduced blood flow to the brain, Vitamin D deficiency, and thyroid disease to name a few.  Dr. Al Sears states that our gut does not know what to do with the grain products we eat today.  He states that our “gut brain” thinks gluten is a foreign substance and that when gluten reaches the gut, it panics.  The gut reacts by sending antibodies to attack this unknown substance, which causes the immune system to become hyper alert with autoimmune components.  This can cause your body to attack its own tissue.  When the immune system attacks, it damages the villi in the small intestine that absorbs nutrients from food, so they can’t absorb the vitamins and minerals your body needs to live.

Dr. James Baum offers a scientific explanation of why so many people are gluten intolerant.  He states that gluten intolerance is a direct result of the genetic alteration in the gluten content of wheat, barley, rye, and spelt.  The nature of toxicity to gluten stems from the chemical nature of gluten in relation to the immune system of individuals with genes that recognize gluten as a foreign protein and is therefore toxic.  Patients with gluten intolerance produce a T-cell mediated autoimmune response to the ingestion of gluten related proteins.  More specifically the gliadins and glutenins found in wheat, the hordeins in barley, and the secalins found in rye.  These dietary proteins have been genetically altered through thousands of years of cultivation to be rich in praline and glutamine, which produce the gluten intolerance.  This immune response not only causes damage to the small intestine, but also stimulates many disease processes in the body.

I have been mostly gluten free for more than 7 years now; I call it eating gluten light because there are always moments it is near impossible, regardless of how hard I try!!  I cannot express enough–gluten free was a life changing experience for me.  I immediately lost weight, and felt re-energized.  Headaches and constant joint discomfort disappeared completely never to return again.  I have a flat tummy–no “Wheat Belly” here!  I’m also able to have bad days eating things I probably shouldn’t all weekend, but as long as I stay away from Gluten my belly stays flat.  Now I know everyone is different, so please do not get discouraged if you don’t notice your desired changes right-away.  Stick with it, and you will not regret it.

Through the years, friends, family, & co-workers have also tried going gluten free.  Most everyone report specific symptom improvements, and weight loss.  Just about every person has reported feeling an increase in energy right away. A tip for those of you who would like to try gluten free—be careful not to replace all the gluten items you used to eat such as cake, pie and other desserts with the corn and rice alternatives, which may contain more calories.

Thinking about going wheat/gluten free?  Here is a great site offering a nice list of gluten free food options:

List of Gluten Free Foods


***Disclaimer: All writing here reflects my personal opinions and does not carry a medical or licensed recommendation of advice or care. Always consult your personal physician in matters related to health or dietary advice

Easy Creamy White Sauce

Cream Cheese and Parmesan White Sauce

8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 Cup Organic Butter
1-1/2 Cup Organic Milk
1 Cup of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1 clove of Organic Garlic, minced

Directions: Melt cream cheese and butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Stir in milk, Parmesan cheese, and Garlic mixing until smooth. Serve on top of veggies, baked turkey filets, fish, pasta, or meatballs.  This is your go to White Sauce!!

Gluten Free made quick, easy, and Kid friendly

Here are 3 recipes the whole family will love!!

Easy Stuffed Peppers
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil or Grape seed Oil
2-3 Organic Carrots, grated and finely chopped
6 Cloves of Organic Garlic, minced
1 pound of Ground Turkey or Lean Ground Beef
1 Cup of Organic Tomato Sauce
1 Cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
4 Peppers, any Color, top cut off and seeded
1 Cup of Shredded cheese (we use mozzarella and cheddar)
Freshly grated parsley for garnish

Directions: Cook ground turkey, set aside. Preheat oven to 350. In medium pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add Garlic and Carrots, stir for about 3 min. Stir in prepared Turkey, Tomato sauce, and Parmesan cheese until thoroughly mixed together. Divide the mixture into your prepared peppers on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 min, and then top each pepper with shredded cheese. Bake for another 5 min. Garnish with Parsley and Serve warm. SERVE with Pasta or Biscuits.

Creamy One Pot Pasta
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. Butter
Dash of salt
4 Cups Organic Chicken or Vegetable Broth
8 Ounces Gluten Free Spaghetti
1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¾ cup heavy cream
1 ½ Tbsp. freshly chopped Organic Parsley leaves

Directions: In a medium pan, heat Olive Oil over medium heat. Add Garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add butter, and stir constantly until melted. Add dash of salt and broth. Bring to a boil then add the pasta and cook according to the directions or until tender. Stir in cheese, cream, and parsley until mixed thoroughly. Serve Immediately.

Gluten Free Bisquick Biscuits
4 Cups of Gluten Free Bisquick mix
1 Cup of Sour Cream
1 Cup of 7-Up
½ Cup of melted Butter

Directions: In a large bowl, mix Bisquick, Sour Cream, and &7-up. The dough will be VERY soft. Knead and fold dough on a surface sprinkled with GF flour.  Pat it out, and  cut using a round cookie or biscuit cutter.Melt butter in bottom of a 9×13 Pan. Pace biscuits on top of melted butter. BAKE at 425 for 15 minutes.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Once I started the road to gluten-free, it was important to find those veggies that helped make me feel more full during the day.  The Potato was and still is one of my daily favorites.  I could eat a baked potato with cottage cheese for lunch and feel just as satisfied as if I had just eaten a pizza.

Potatoes are filling, moderate in calories, and no fat.  This daily dose of carbohydrate was a big help to ensure my continued success in eating healthy.  A Potato is full of vitamin C, and Potassium.  It’s a good source of vitamin B6, and contains antioxidants.  The majority of carbohydrates in a potato are complex carbohydrates, which is the body’s main energy source.

The best thing about potatoes is how versatile they can be in your diet.  Try topping a baked potato with home-made chili, salsa, veggies, sour cream, cream cheese, or even yogurt and shredded cheese.  There are also many side dishes you can make using potatoes. Here’s my recipe for Garlic Mash:

Garlic Mashed Potatoes


1 ½ Pound unpeeled potatoes, 1-inch cubes

5 garlic cloves, peeled

½ cup sour cream

2 Tablespoons Milk

2 Tablespoons Fresh snipped Parsley

½ teaspoon Salt


Place the potatoes in a saucepan. Add garlic and enough water to cover potatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat.

Cook 8-10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain potatoes and garlic; return to saucepan.

Mash potatoes and garlic using potato masher.  Stir in remaining ingredients; mix well.


Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin Bars

Usually a fall favorite in my home, but craving these now…


4 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of oil
15 oz can of pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups of sifted Pamelas Baking and Pancake Mix
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

8 oz package of cream cheese
½ cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1-teaspoon vanilla extract

(NOTE:  If not using Pamela’s, use the same amount of an all-purpose baking flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of baking soda.)


Preheat oven to 350

Combine eggs, sugar, oil, pumpkin, and vanilla.  Mix at medium speed until fluffy.  Combine the Baking mix and cinnamon.  Add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low-speed until thoroughly combined and batter is smooth.   Spread the batter into a greased 13×10 in baking pan.

Bake for about 30 minutes.  Let cool completely before frosting.

To make the icing:

Mix the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl until smooth.
Add Sugar and mix at low speed until combined.  Stir in vanilla.