Fall Black Bean Soup - YUM YUM!

This is a recipe that I end up making entirely too much of and Rob typically bows out after 2-3 days of it. BUT! The option to freeze some for those busy weeks is always there. Another tip is that we sprinkle nutritional yeast on it for a cheesy flavor and...well...nutrition! 


1 small yellow onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 vegetable stock powder or fresh stock
1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 {15 oz} cans black beans {do NOT drain}
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot

*I add 1-2 green peppers, chopped

Sometimes I also add carrots if we have extra (which we always do)


Add half a can of beans, salt and cumin, and puree soup slightly in a blender {I used my Vitamx but it would fit in a Magic Bullet}, then put into the crockpot. Add the rest of the ingredients.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the arrowroot with 1 1/2 tablespoons of water. Add the lemon and the arrowroot mixture to the soup, and cook until thickened.

Put all of this into the crockpot. 8 hours low, 4 hours high. If it thickens or boils too much liquid out then mix up a little more stock and add it to it! 

Serve and enjoy!


*derived from onehundreddollarsamonth

Guest Blog by Lora Schmuecker- Sweet Potato "Hash"

Sweet Potato "Hash"

Makes 1 serving.  Each serving contains: grams of carbs macros allowed, 10 grams of fat or macro allotment and 15 grams of protein or macro allotment
    •    1 tsp olive or coconut oil
    •    Sweet potato, cooked and cubed (as much as allowed for macro allotment)
    •    Toasted whole wheat bread, crumbled
    •    1 cup chopped kale (without rind)
    •    3 egg whites
    •    Any desired additional chopped vegetables such as broccoli, leeks or red onion
    •    Large pinch of :
    •    Pizza seasoning
    •    Garlic powder
    •    Black pepper
    •    Chili powder
    •    Crushed red pepper
    •    Topping:
    •    2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
    •    1 ½ Tbsp. 0% Fage Greek yogurt
    •    Frank's Red Hot sauce (as desired)
Heat oil on med/high skillet.  Add potatoes and vegetables, cover and cook for 2 minutes.  Stir and add all seasonings, stir and cook for additional 2 minutes.  Spread evenly across skillet and pour egg whites over evenly.  Cover and try on one side for 3 minutes.  Crumble bread onto bottom of plate.  Flip contents of pan to fry on other side.  Break up into pieces and lay over bread crumbles.  Mix hot sauce, yogurt and parmesan cheese and pour over "hash".  Enjoy!
Additional Notes:
    •    Variation to add protein: add diced chicken or albacore tuna
    •    Variation to add fats: peanut butter or PB2 is amazing mixed into this as a topping

Find this awesome health coach at her FB page link here! She excels working with athletes as well! 


The best Zuppa Toscana ever!

Ever since I can remember I have loved a zesty, smooth and also hearty soup. When I visit Italian restaurants and see the soups and smell the flavorful zuppa I feel like running because I know if I eat it I will be left with the worst stomachache ever due to the dairy. 

Today, I present to you, dairy free zuppa!!!! 


1 medium onion, chopped (I had 1 small red and 1 small yellow, I make due!)

1 TBS extra virgin olive oil

6 cups vegetable bullion 

1 tube Gimme Lean ground "sausage" or 2 Italian sausage links (Big Boy Meats or New Pi has the best options)

3 small russet potatoes, chopped 

1 sweet potato, chopped 

1 TBS garlic, minced/chopped

1 cup almond milk, unsweetened

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, I added more until it was super deliciously spicy  

1/2 TBS Italian seasoning, recipe below, I also added more until I liked the flavor

2 TBS butter or Earth Balance, unsalted (add after in warm phase)

2 cups kale, I only had spinach on hand so spinach it was!

I simply sautéed the onions and sausage in a sauté pan then added everything except the butter and kale to a crockpot! I put it up to  high until it boiled then reduced to low. When it was about an hour to finished I took the lid off to allow it to thicken a little and then to warm. Add the butter and kale. 


Italian Seasoning, yield 10 TBS

2 TBS basil

2 TBS marjoram

2 TBS thyme

2 TBS oregano

2 TBS rosemary


Curried pumpkin soup

Yes, I am loving on pumpkins! We got some from an Echocollective box randomly a month ago and it's been very fruitful.  

Curried Pumpkin Soup

6 servings

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

2-3 TBS curry powder, adjust to your liking, start smaller

2 cups pureed pumpkin (find instructions to cook in this blog post here) or 1 can organic pumpkin (Farmers Market brand)

2 cups vegetable broth

1 tsp cumin powder

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

2 cups rice milk, soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk (whatever your "milk")

1 tsp dried parsley or 1 tsp dried oregano

1 TBS olive oil

1/2 TBS 

1 bay leaf


In large pan cook onion with oil. Next add garlic. Then add spices.






Add the bay leaf. Next add pumpkin & mix it well, then add stock.







Bring this to a boil for approx. 2-5 minutes and then reduce to simmer. Add in the "milk" and simmer for another 10-20 minutes. Take out bay leaf. Make sure this is thickening, do not put a lid on the pot. 


*If this is not thickening, use 1 TBS arrowroot (a healthy substitution for cornstarch) to 1/2 cup cold "milk" or water and add to the pot. This shouldn't throw off the liquid ratio because this is a thickener. 



Eat with a delicious piece of fresh bread from New Pi!!! Breads are wonderful special treats to have with a good soup once in a while. Make sure the ingredients are excellent before you pop it into your cart when shopping. 


As you can see, it was  delicious!!! 

Oopsie! Raw Vegan Banana Cream Pie

Well! I tried my hand at a raw vegan banana cream pie.....and I even failed at my cheat! I bought a crust made from New Pioneer Coop here in Cedar Rapids to test it out, and I forgot to bake it! I know I also recently had a blog about reducing sugar, I think this is a nice way to have a sweet treat without all the processed junk. 

Despite that the pie is delicious! I can't wait until I try it with the intended pie crust. 

Prep and Total Time- 15 minutes, Serves 8, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, (Vegan)


1 heaping cup of walnuts

1 heaping cup of pitted dates (soaked for about 10 minutes in warm water and drained)


1.25 cups cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight, then drained

3.5 TBS coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup

1 medium just ripe banana (1/2 cup mashed up) **You can alter this with other fruits also, mango is great when it's in season! 

1/3 cup full fat coconut milk (scrape off the top, the cream, and set it aside to make whipped topping)

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp sea salt

2-3 TBS lemon juice

Place soaked dates in the food processor and process until small bits remain and/or forms into a ball. Remove and set aside. Process the walnuts in processor until a meal consistency is achieved. Add back in dates and a pinch of salt and mix to combine. When squeezed between two fingers, the crust should stick together and feel moldable. If too dry, add another date or two. If too wet, add a little almond or walnut meal. Press into a springform pan, or an 8x8 baking dish or round cake pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment. Press until flat, going up the sides about 1/2 inch. Place in freezer to set. 

In blender add all filling ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy, about 1-2 minutes. If it's having trouble blending, add a little more agave or water to encourage it along. It should be silky smooth when completely combined. 

Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Line the crust pan with sliced bananas. Pour filling into crust and smooth with a spoon. Tap to release any air bubbles if it is thicker, mine poured right in. Cover and freeze it to set, about 4-6 hours. 

To serve, thaw 5 minutes, top slices with coconut if you'd like or homemade coconut whipped cream, crushed peanuts or caramel sauce. It should keep for about 1 week in the freezer. 


Coconut Whip

Cream remnants of the can of coconut milk

1/2 TBS light brown sugar

1/2 TBS coconut sugar (use organic and fair trade for best quality)

1 TBS vanilla extract

Whip! And whip it good. 

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I am Pho real! Quick recipe guide for a home favorite.


10 cups rich vegetable stock
5 limes
2 tablespoons Vietnamese fish sauce, comes in a jar or bottle
2 star anise seeds (optional)
1 package vermicelli, this is a rice noodle I get at the Asian grocery in Cedar Rapids called Saigon Market on 2nd Ave near the new fire station, they are very helpful for any questions you might have
1 1/2 cup bean sprouts, make sure you look for the freshest container, dates should be posted
6 green onions
1/2 bunch cilantro, try growing some in the kitchen!
1 pound local farm raised chicken breast
1 cup basil leaves, grow these at home too
2 jalapenos
4 serrano chilies
Additional fish sauce
Sriracha or other Asian chili sauce

Bring stock to a boil in a large stock pot with the juice of 3 of the limes, fish sauce, and star anise if using. Let stock boil for 15 minutes. 

In a separate pot, bring water to a boil and cook noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles. While noodles are cooking and stock is heating, prep the condiments. Slice green onions on a long diagonal. Roughly chop cilantro. Slice chicken into as thin a slice as possible with a very sharp knife. Rinse basil, dry, and put on platter for service. Slice remaining limes and arrange next to basil on serving platter. Thinly slice chilies and arrange on serving platter. 



Place platter on table with fish sauce and chili sauce. Serve noodles into bowls. On top of noodles, divide evenly the bean sprouts, sliced green onions and cilantro. Top herbs with chicken. Remove star anise from stock. Ladle hot stock over each bowl of noodles and chicken. This should cook the chicken due to the temperature and the thin slices. If you prefer cooking before this step you can put it into it's own pot of bowling water then add to this bowl with noodles. Serve immediately. 


Allow each person to season bowl to taste with additional lime juice, basil, sliced chilies, fish sauce and chili sauce. 

Crockpot Tikka Masala, YUM!

Slow Cooker Tikka Masala

The benefits of spices and convenience of a crockpot make this recipe a winter win!

Total Time:8 hrs 15 minutes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Servings: 6 Ingredients

  • ●  5 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 inch pieces (about 3 lbs) (there are options via Iowa Valley Food Coop

  • ●  1/2 large yellow onion, finely diced

  • ●  4 garlic cloves, minced

  • ●  2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger

  • ●  1 jalapeño, stemmed, sliced in half and seeds removed

  • ●  1 (29 ounce) can tomato puree (I used my own canned stewed tomatoes and blended them)

  • ●  1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (I opted for a goats yogurt, make sure it's low sugar)

  • ●  2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • ●  2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • ●  2 tablespoons garam masala

  • ●  1 tablespoon cumin

  • ●  1/2 tablespoon paprika

  • ●  2 teaspoons salt (to taste)

  • ●  3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  • ●  3/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

  • ●  1 ­3 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • ●  2 bay leaves

  • ●  1 cup heavy cream (I opted for half coconut half almond milk)

  • ●  1/2 tablespoon cornstarch (I used arrowroot)

  • ●  long grain white rice or basmati rice, cooked

  • ●  chopped cilantro, for serving 

tikka 2.jpeg

Something that I didn't do that I would highly suggest is steaming some vegetables for a side dish and pouring some of the sauce over them and eating it with this. There is also always the option to throw the vegetables into the crockpot but I didn't want to throw off the liquid in the crockpot if the vegetables gave out excess liquid. 


In a large mixing bowl combine chopped onions, minced garlic, grated ginger, sliced jalapeño, tomato puree, plain yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, Garam Masala, cumin, paprika, salt, cinnamon, pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir until combine.

Pour half of sauce mixture into a large slow cooker then add in diced chicken followed then cover chicken with remaining sauce. Add in 2 bay leaves.

Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on low heat for 8 hours (or high for 4 hours).

In a mixing bowl, whisk together milk and arrowroot, pour mixture into slow cooker and gently stir. Allow mixture to cook 20 minutes while you prepare the rice.

Remove bay leaves and sliced jalapeño and serve warm over rice and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. 

Check out and share some of the other recipes from previous posts! Serve up some delicious meals this winter!

Apple-Banana Protein Pancakes

I love a hearty breakfast. The benefits of getting water and food in the beginning of the day are huge. In this meal we combine fruit, protein, eggs, and much more for a satisfying and delicious breakfast. The flaxseeds provide antioxidants that repair damage from free radicals.

Freeze some for a quick meal!

cakes juice.jpeg

1/4 cup instant oats

1/2 cup protein powder, try the brand I use at this link, click here

2 TBS ground flaxseed

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt, I use pink Himalayan 

1 very ripe banana

2 whole eggs, I get mine from a friend in Cedar Rapids, the money goes to children in Africa

1 cup thawed frozen apples, I order mine from Iowa Valley Food Coop

2-4 TBS almond milk, I use half coconut half almond

*nutmeg and cinnamon for sprinkling, agave for drizzle

In a medium bowl, combine oats, protein powder, ground flaxseeds (ground in coffee grinder), baking powder and salt. Whisk to mix. 

Peel banana and place into a separate bowl. Mash with a fork, then stir in eggs. Add wet mix to dry, and stir until well mixed. Let stand for 5 minutes. 

Gently fold in apples. Add milk, 1 TBS at a time, to reach pourable consistency. 

Heat a griddle or large skillet, and add cooking oil. We used coconut. Check frequently as the powder will make it seem to burn. Ours came out dark but the flavor was amazing and the burn was superficial. 

fry cakes.jpeg

Top with more fruit or spices if desired. Makes about 4 pancakes. 

Olive you!

In my house we have either a plethora of food (yes I cook constantly) or snack heaven. Rob tends to remember better than I that a big bowl of olives is delicious!

What is so deliciously amazing about olives? Read these top 10 benefits!

This is a variety we purchased at Fresh Market by selecting from multiple options. There's even garlic and red pepper in it! (Some cheese but that's not up our alley.)

This is a variety we purchased at Fresh Market by selecting from multiple options. There's even garlic and red pepper in it! (Some cheese but that's not up our alley.)

1. Cardiovascular Benefits

When free radicals oxidize cholesterol, blood vessels are damaged and fat builds up in arteries, possibly leading to a heart attack. The antioxidant nutrients in black olives impede this oxidation of cholesterol, thereby helping to prevent heart disease. Olives do contain fat, but it’s the healthy monounsaturated kind, which has been found to shrink the risk of atherosclerosis and increase good cholesterol. When diets low in monounsaturated fat are altered to increase the monounsaturated fat content (without becoming too high in total fat), research study participants typically experience a decrease in their blood cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and LDL:HDL ratio. All of these changes lower our risk of heart disease.

Recent research studies have also shown that the monounsaturated fat found in olives (and olive oil) can help to decrease blood pressure. The oleic acid found in olives–once absorbed up into the body and transported to our cells–can change signaling patterns at a cell membrane level (specifically, altering G-protein associated cascades). These changes at a cell membrane level result in decreased blood pressure.

2. Weight Loss

It appears that monounsaturated fats, the kind found in olives, when replacing saturated fats, may encourage weight loss. Olive oil consumption has been shown to breakdown fats inside fat cells, get rid of belly fat and reduce insulin insensitivity.

People who have the highest olive consumption eat fewer calories overall and are rarely overweight. Blood tests show they have higher levels of serotonin, a so-called satiety hormone that makes us feel full.

The aroma extracts from olive oil can leave us feeling fuller, cutting our calorie intake by almost 200 a day, they said.

3. Cancer Prevention

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of olives make them a natural for protection against cancer because chronic oxidative stress and chronic inflammation can be key factors in the development of cancer. If our cells get overwhelmed by oxidative stress (damage to cell structure and cell function by overly reactive oxygen-containing molecules) and chronic excessive inflammation, our risk of cell cancer is increased. By providing us with rich supplies of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, olives can help us avoid this dangerous combination of chronic oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.

Black olives are a great source of vitamin E, which has the brilliant ability to neutralize free radicals in body fat. Especially when working with the stable monounsaturated fats found in olives, vitamin E can make cellular processes safer. When such processes such as mitochondrial energy production are not well protected, the free radicals produced can cause oxidation, damaging a cell’s mitochondria, and preventing the cell from producing enough energy to supply its needs. If the DNA of a cell is damaged, it may well mutate and become cancerous. Studies have shown that a diet supplemented with olive oil leads to a lower risk of colon cancer, almost as low a risk as a diet rich in fish oil.

4. Less Pain

Spanish-style green olives, Kalamata-style olives, and many different methods of olive preparation provide us with valuable amounts of many different antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients which can act as a natural Ibuprofen. Their oils contain oleocanthal, a substance with anti-inflammatory agents. Similar to classical NSAIDs, they are a type of non-selective inhibitor of cyclooxygenase (COX). 50g (more than three and a half tablespoons) of a typical virgin olive oil per day contains an amount of oleocanthal with similar anti-inflammatory effect as 1/10 of the adult ibuprofen dose.

5. Skin and Hair Health

Black olives are rich in fatty acids and antioxidants that nourish, hydrate and protect. Chief among those is vitamin E. Whether applied topically or ingested, vitamin E has been shown to protect skin from ultraviolet radiation, thus guarding against skin cancer and premature aging. You can gain a healthy, glowing complexion by washing your face in warm water, applying a few drops of olive oil to vulnerable spots, and letting it work its magic for 15 minutes before rinsing it off. In fact, you can moisturize with olive oil before any bath, and even condition your hair with it by mixing it with an egg yolk and leaving it before rinsing and washing.

6. Less Allergies

New research may help explain how olives work to provide us with anti-inflammatory benefits, especially during circumstances involving allergy. Olive extracts have now been shown to function as anti-histamines at a cellular level. By blocking special histamine receptors (called H1 receptors), unique components in olive extracts may help to lessen a cell’s histamine response. Because histamine is a molecule that can get overproduced in allergy-related conditions and can be a key player in the inflammatory process, it’s likely that the anti-inflammatory benefits we get from olives involve this anti-histamine pathway. It’s also possible that olives may have a special role to play as part of an overall anti-allergenic diet. Your circulation will improve and you’ll be able to breath easier with olive consumption. They can increase blood flow and help lessen the effects of illnesses such as asthma through its anti-inflammatory properties.

7. Digestive Tract Health

Frequent consumption of both vitamin E and the monounsaturated fats in black olives is associated with lower rates of colon cancer. These nutrients help prevent colon cancer by neutralizing free radicals. Olive oil’s protective function also has a beneficial effect on ulcers and gastritis. Olive oil activates the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones much more naturally than prescribed drugs, thereby lowering the incidence of gallstone formation. A cup of black olives also contains 17% of the daily allowance of fiber, which promotes digestive tract health by helping to move food through the system at a healthier pace. This keeps any one part of the digestive tract from having to work too hard and supports the ideal balance of chemicals and populations of microorganisms required for a healthy digestive system.

8. Good Source of Iron

Olives, especially black are very high in iron. The ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body is due to the presence of iron in the blood. If we suffer from a lack of iron, our tissues don’t get enough oxygen, and we may feel cold or weak. Iron also plays a vital role in the production of energy. It is a necessary part of a number of enzymes, including iron catalase, iron peroxidase, and the cytochrome enzymes. It also helps produce carnitine, a nonessential amino acid important for the utilization of fat. To top it all off, the proper function of the immune system is dependent on sufficient iron.

9. Eye Health

One cup of olives contains ten percent of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin A which, when converted into the retinal form, is crucial for healthy eyes. It enables the eye to better distinguish between light and dark, thereby improving night vision. Furthermore, Vitamin A is believed effective against cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma and other age-related ocular diseases.

10. Increases Blood Levels of Glutathione

Olives have shown the ability to increase blood levels of glutathione (one of the body’s premier antioxidant nutrients). Consumption of olive pulp is associated with significantly increased glutathione levels in the blood and improvement in antioxidant capacity.

*from undergroundhealth

Roast Garlic Tutorial

How to Roast Garlic 

Do you like garlic more than you love it? Roasting it might be a better option for you to help ease the strong flavor of raw garlic. 

Here are some easy how to steps on roasting garlic. Save it for making sauces and putting into recipes like spaghetti sauce, spread for sandwiches, or sweet potato mash. 

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400F. Peel off the loose skin.

Step 2: Cut off the head so the garlic is exposed at the top.

Step 3: Place a piece of tin foil underneath the garlic and drizzle about 1 tsp of olive oil on top, making sure to cover each exposed clove.

Step 4: Wrap each garlic clove in tin foil and place in a small oven-safe dish or muffin tin.

Step 5: Roast in the oven for 35-55 minutes at 400F until the cloves are golden in color.

Step 6: Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before gently squeezing the garlic out of each skin. You can also use a paring knife to cut away the skin.

Benefits of Garlic

1. Garlic has been found to assist babies to gain weight while they are in the womb. Next time you have a baby prepare to have garlic breath. Except if you have a history of large babies in which case maybe you want to skip the extra doses? 

2. Garlic strengthens the immune system as well as helps to fight chest infections, coughs and congestion. In the winter months garlic is a great food to boost your immune system and ward off colds and flu. An old folk remedy is to eat a clove of garlic that has been dipped in honey at the first sign of a cold. Why not try it and see if it works for you? 

3. Garlic contains high levels of iodine which makes it a very effective treatment for hyperthyroid conditions. Treatment with garlic has been shown to greatly improve this condition. 

4. Scurvy is treated by vitamin C and garlic contains good levels of vitamin C too. 

5. Popular folklore says that garlic is good for more than scaring hungry vampires away! Impotency has long been thought to benefit from doses of garlic, and treatment continues in many communities to this day. Why not try treating yourself with garlic for several months before you head off to the doctor for that Viagra prescription? 

6. Cardiovascular disease can be reduced by ingesting garlic. LDL cholesterol is no friend of garlic and the aortic plaque deposits that gather on the walls of your body’s veins can be reduced with the use of garlic too. Studies have shown the amazing benefits of taking garlic in relation to heart disease. 

7. Fungal and bacterial vaginal infections are toast when treated with garlic! When crushed or bruised, garlic releases Allicin which is a sulphuric compound that is a natural antibiotic. WWI soldiers even apparently used crushed garlic on infected wounds suffered in battle. If you decide to take garlic in tablet form be sure to use powdered capsules. The processes used to create garlic tablets destroy the Allicin that is present. 

8. Garlic is a great source of vitamin B6 which is needed for a healthy immune system and the efficient growth of new cells. Vitamin B6 can also assist with mood swings and improve your cheery disposition! 

9. Garlic can aid in the prevention of multiple types of cancer. Bladder cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer and stomach cancer have all been shown to have their tumors reduced when treated with garlic. Vitamin B6 is said to have cancer fighting abilities. 

10. Garlic regulates blood sugar as it enhances the level of insulin in the blood. This may assist in the control of diabetes. Seek medical advice if you believe the use of garlic could help your condition. 

*from natural blaze website


Fresh Tomato Spaghetti Sauce

This is such a popular recipe right now due to the excess tomatoes everyone has pouring from their gardens! Let me know how it goes and snap some photos! #honestcooking #freshtomatoes #spaghettisauce Post them up on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, don't forget to tag me!

Fresh Tomato Spaghetti Sauce

Total Time: 2 hrs 10 minutes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

  • 4 lbs fresh tomatoes, chopped & peeled

  • 2 medium onions, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (dried 1 TBS)

  • 1 TBS garlic powder

  • 1 TBS onion powder

  • 1 TBS dried parsley

  • 1 TBS dried oregano

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. To cook pasta sauce, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large iron skillet or heavy saucepan.

  2. Add onion, basil, garlic and salt.

  3. Saute until onion is tender, approximately 5 minutes.

  4. Add tomato, parsley, powders and oregano; heat to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for about 2 hours, stirring often or until sauce has thickened.

  5. Enjoy!!

Health benefits of Tomato

  • Tomatoes are one of the low-calorie vegetables; hold just 18 calories per 100 g. They are also very low in any fat contents and have zero cholesterol levels. Nonetheless, they are an excellent sources of antioxidants, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins. On account of their all-round qualities, dieticians and nutritionists often recommend them in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction diet-programs.

  • The antioxidants present in tomatoes are scientifically found to be protective of cancers, including colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic tumors. Total -ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) in this vegetable is 367 µmol TE/100 g.

  • Lycopene, a flavonoid antioxidant, is an unique phytochemical present in the tomatoes. Red varieties are especially concentrated in this antioxidant. Together with carotenoids, lycopene may help protect cells and other structures in the human body from harmful oxygen-free radicals. Studies have shown that lycopene protects the skin from ultra-violet (UV) rays and thus offers some defence against skin cancer.

  • Zea-xanthin is another flavonoid compound present abundantly in this vegetable. Zea-xanthin helps protect eyes from "age-related macular related macular disease" (ARMD) in the elderly persons by filtering harmful ultra-violet rays.
  • The vegetable contains very good levels of vitamin A, and flavonoid anti-oxidants such as α and ß-carotenes, xanthins and lutein. Altogether, these pigment compounds are found to have antioxidant properties and take part in vision, maintain healthy mucus membranes and skin, and bone health. Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in flavonoids is known to help protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

  • Additionally, they are also good source of antioxidant vitamin-C (provide 21% of recommended daily levels per 100 g); consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful free radicals.

  • Fresh tomato is very rich in potassium. 100 g contain 237 mg of potassium and just 5 mg of sodium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure caused by sodium.

  • Further, they carry average levels of vital B-complex vitamins such as folates, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin as well some essential minerals like iron, calcium, manganese and other trace elements.

Sweets for your Sweetheart

My mailbox is often full of requests for replacements or substitutions for candy! Well search no more. Here is my GO TO for sweets!

Sweetheart Bars

4 servings

1 cup quick oats

¾ cup PB, HyVee has organic crunchy that works great for this recipe

¼ cup honey, try to find local raw honey (NewBo at the Egg Basket)

½ tsp vanilla, Frontier has a great one

¾ flax seeds

¼ cup dried fruit, I use a cherry or berry 

¼-1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, I use 60% cacao 

Mix and shape into hearts then chill! These can be rolled into balls and over shaved coconut before they are chilled.

Tweet a pic of your treats to #honesttreats! 

Inflammation Connection Workshop 7/23

Join CarePro Advance Health pharmacist Lucinda Harms for an educational series about how choosing
the right supplements can affect your health. 

Your nutritional choices can affect the amount of inflammation in your body. Lucinda Harms, RPh, will discuss choices that can help decrease inflammation.

Health coach Jackie Fetter of Honest Living will present a demonstration featuring foods that fight inflammation and taste great. 


CarePro Advance Health
402 10th St. SE, Suite 100, Cedar Rapids 319.247.7200


Almond Lemon Chia Pudding - Keep on hand for snacks!

By popular request!

Vanilla Almond Chia Seed Pudding

2 cups unsweetened hemp seed milk or almond milk or coconut milk

1/2 cup chia seeds

 1/2 tsp vanilla or almond or lemon extract, I use Frontier Herbs 

1-2 TBS pure maple syrup, raw honey or agave. I get my ingredients from the Egg Basket at NewBo. 

1- Blend chia seeds into a powder in Vitamix or Magic Bullet (or other blender if need be, I’m not as familiar with other brands being able to powder seeds and herbs). Pour into bowl with lid, add in the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Do so quickly because it will firm up fast. 

2- Chill this in the fridge for at least an hour. 

3- It is good for up to 5 days. 

Enjoy!!! Try different flavor combinations like lemon extract, berries on top, cocoa powder etc!

Top 10 Chia Seed Benefits by Jackie Fetter

1- Natural treatment for type-2 diabetes by slowing down digestion

2- Adds more fiber to the diet, about 1/3 DV in 1 ounce

3- Packed with Omega-3’s

4- Stronger teeth and bones, full of calcium!

5- 30% DV of Manganese, helpful for bones and assimilating essential nutrients

6- Plenty of Phosphorus to synthesize protein for cell and tissue growth and repair

7- These little guys have TONS of protein

8- Stabilizes blood sugar

9-Regulates appetite, sleep and improves mood with it’s Tryptophan 

10- Helps your ticker by improving blood pressure in diabetics and may also increase

healthy cholesterol while lowering total, LDL, and triglyceride cholesterol. 

Pocket Guide Booklet from Essential Oils Available!

I'm putting in a bulk order for the Young Living Essential Oils guidebook! I will be able to offer it for $25 each. This tool has everything from symptoms, to oil guide to details on different uses. i LOVE my desk copy. 

Message me to reserve yours, limited supply! mail@jackie-fetter.com 

8 Causes of Cravings

Eight Causes of Cravings

The body is amazing. It knows when to go to sleep, when to wake up, and when to go to the bathroom. It maintains a temperature of 98.6 degrees, repairs itself when wounded and knows the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth. Your heart never misses a beat. Your lungs are always breathing. The body is a super-computer, and it never makes mistakes. 

Look at the foods, deficits and behaviors in your life that are the underlying causes of your cravings. Many people view cravings as weakness, but really they are important messages meant to assist you in maintaining balance. When you experience a craving, deconstruct it. Ask yourself, what does my body want and why? 

The eight primary causes of cravings are:

1. Lack of primary food. Being dissatisfied with a relationship or having an inappropriate exercise routine (too much, too little or the wrong kind), being bored, stressed, uninspired by a job, or lacking a spiritual practice may all cause emotional eating. Eating can be used as a substitute for entertainment or to fill the void of primary food. 

2. Water. Lack of water can send the message that you are thirsty and on the verge of dehydration. Dehydration can manifest as a mild hunger, so the first thing to do when you get a craving is drink a full glass of water. Excess water can also cause cravings, so be sure that your water intake is well balanced. 

3. Yin/yang imbalance. Certain foods have more yin qualities (expansive) while other foods have more yang qualities (contractive). Eating foods that are either extremely yin or extremely yang causes cravings in order to maintain balance. For example, eating a diet too rich in sugar (yin) may cause a craving for meat (yang). Eating too many raw foods (yin) may cause cravings for extremely cooked (dehydrated) foods or vise versa. 

4. Inside coming out. Often times, cravings come from foods that we have recently eaten, foods eaten by our ancestors, or foods from our childhood. A clever way to satisfy these cravings is to eat a healthier version of one’s ancestral or childhood foods.

5. Seasonal. Often the body craves foods that balance the elements of the season. In the spring, people crave detoxifying foods like leafy greens or citrus foods. In the summer, people crave cooling foods like fruit, raw foods and ice cream, and in the fall people crave grounding foods like squash, onions and nuts. During winter, many crave hot and heat-producing foods like meat, oil and fat. Cravings can also be associated with the holidays, for foods like turkey, eggnog or sweets, etc.

6. Lack of nutrients. If the body has inadequate nutrients, it will produce odd cravings. For example, inadequate mineral levels produce salt cravings, and overall inadequate nutrition produces cravings for non-nutritional forms of energy, like caffeine.

7. Hormonal. When women experience menstruation, pregnancy or menopause, fluctuating testosterone and estrogen levels may cause unique cravings.

8. De-evolution. When things are going extremely well, sometimes a self-sabotage syndrome happens. We crave foods that throw us off, thus creating more cravings to balance ourselves. This often happens from low blood sugar and may result in strong mood swings.

In my health coaching program we track cravings and incorporate ways to soothe them and ways to avoid giving in! 

Click here to schedule a free assessment! 

Kissable Lips - Dehydration or Lack of Lip Balm?

How soft are your lips? This is the time of year things feel dry but wet but soggy and chapped. Why on earth?? Water? Lip balm? What's the answer?

Dehydration. If your lips are dry enough to become chapped then it's time to increase your water intake. The way to calculate how much you should have a day depends on how active you are, size, height, weight etc. Essentially....if your lips are drying out...you're not getting enough water. Mayo Clinic advises that men should have 3 liters a day and women should have 2.2 liters a day. This is a larger amount than the popular "8 glasses a day" rule, which is only 1.9 liters. A simple trick for getting enough water can be to calculate the ounces or liters of your water bottle. Then it's as easy as putting rubber bands on your water bottle and sliding one down each time you drink a bottle worth. Each day just slide the rubber bands back up to start again. Other options are taking a big old jug with enough room for all of your water and drinking the whole thing down by the end of the day. Share your other tips and tricks in the comments!

A good old lip balm can help avoid a case of cracked kissers. However this is not the solution after your lips are chapped. Sometimes the environment or a dry home can influence the condition of your lips and skin, but increasing your fluids can surely give you a better chance to stay soft. Not all balms are created equally, a great local choice is Ecolips. I had the pleasure of touring the facility here in our very own Cherry Building in NewBo. Some people opt for Burts Bees or other brands that vow to use natural ingredients. The last thing I want to do is put chemicals in my poor painful pouter. 

There are, of course, other possibilities like disease, playing instruments that use the lips, allergies or ailments.  

If you just seem to have no other symptoms try increasing water. Your lips will thank you! Muah! 

Healthy protein list!

Protein can come from a number of sources....but so can things like high cholesterol and excess weight. Where can you get the protein but not the negative side effects? 

In this short blog post I have simply listed the comparison of 100 grams of a wide variety of items. It is very easy and less expensive to get protein from natural and unprocessed sources! 


Natural Sources

Eggs (1 medium or 100g)                 13 grams

Fish (cod fillets 100g or 3.5 ounces)         21 grams

Chicken, roasted (100g or 3.5 ounces)        25 grams

Turkey, roasted (100g)                    29 grams

Peanuts (100g)                        26 grams

Quinoa (100g)                        14 grams

Amaranth (100 grams)                    14 grams

Tofu (100g)                            8 grams 

Chia Seeds (100g)                    17 grams

Hemp Seeds (100g)                    36 grams

Flax Seeds (100g)                    18 grams

Almonds (100g)                        21 grams

Oatmeal (100g)                        2.4 grams

Lentils (100g)                        9 grams

Black Beans (100g)                    22 grams

Kidney Beans (100g)                    9 grams

Chickpeas (100g)                    19 grams

Pinto Beans (100g)                    21 grams

Lima Beans (100g)                    8 grams

Tempeh (100g)                        19 grams

Soybeans (100g)                        36 grams

The controversial Seitan (100g)                    75 grams

Processed sources

Sausages (100g or 3.5 ounces)                12 grams

Hamburger (100 g)                        17 grams

Luncheon Meat (100g or 3.5 ounces)                    13 grams (average)

Ham (100g or 3.5 ounces)                     21 grams

Where to get Tyrosine and Iodine? Essential to a healthy thyroid!

*I have included links on the major parts of this blog post to ease learning about your body and health!

As I am continuing into 2014 I do need to eat diligently to keep a healthy thyroid, which is fueled by the adrenal glands. Today I'm focusing on tyrosine and iodine as it seems I may be low. I had very enlightening visit with Dr. Gray at Integrative Health and Hormone Clinic to get a clear picture of my labs that state these 2 things being low are affecting my thyroid and adrenals. How do they relate? Why are they low? How can a person eat to fuel their thyroid and adrenals? How can a person LIVE in 2014 and keep a healthy thyroid and adrenals? Let's check it out! 

What does tyrosine have to do with the thyroid and adrenals? The article by Naturalendocrinesolutions.com says it best when it says, “What’s important to understand is that in most cases, the malfunctioning thyroid gland isn’t the actual cause of the problem. Other areas of the body are usually responsible for the thyroid condition, and while different areas of the body can be affected, in many cases it’s the weakened adrenal glands that lead to the development of the thyroid condition. The reason this is important to understand is because when the adrenal glands are causing the thyroid gland to malfunction, if a healthcare professional aims their treatment directly at the thyroid gland and ignores the adrenals, there is absolutely no chance of restoring the patient’s health back to normal.” Know your labs and where the symptoms originate. I go into more information about where my case comes from later.

How does iodine tie in to this? I wondered the same thing! Isn’t iodine something to do with salt? What does that mean for my thyroid and adrenals? Well a LOT actually! Iodine-Resource.com advises, “The thyroid gland, which uses iodine, is considered the master gland for metabolism.” And “There are many factors which work against us in our quest for foods high in iodine: nutritional depletion of the soil, crop land naturally deficient around the mid-west and the Great Lake region of the U.S.; and, chemical additives to our food including bromate, bromide and halogens which displace iodine in our system. The high prevalence of sugar, refined carbohydrates and rancid vegetable oils prevent the absorption of iodine in the body. We have all invariably ingested these toxins into our systems - knowingly or unknowingly in one way or another.” This is just another reason to know your grower and eat local foods from credible sources. Being winter we are all low on local produce but we can learn to make foods from what is available.

How did my adrenals take a dive? Personally, I had the sudden passing of my dad, Gordon, due to suicide in May of 2013. I also took ownership of a catering business, Katering Kitchen, and opened Honest Living by Jackie Fetter in May 2013. It was a wild month! Any stressful event, either big or small, can create a hazard on a body's nervous system. As Adrenalfatigue.org explains it, "Adrenal fatigue occurs when adrenal gland function becomes less than optimal—usually as a result of stress. It can affect anyone who undergoes frequent, persistent or severe mental, emotional or physical stress. Adrenal function can also be an important factor in health issues ranging from allergies to obesity." My low iodine I believe is from no longer consuming table salt but rather pink Himalayan salt and filtered water (removes radioactive iodine which in turn removes all iodine). I chose the pink salt at home due to it is unprocessed and table salt is stripped of minerals and additives to prevent clumping and caking. So many foods have been fortified to contain things they don't naturally poses...but that comes with a price, highly processed "foods" and not natural to work in the human body! I prefer to eat things as they are grown; whole foods, natural and unaltered. I do eat snacks and a cookie from time to time but I try to make sure it is made with quality ingredients. Sometimes I do eat something unnatural, I am not perfect nor do I claim to be. 

What can I do about my iodine, thyroid and adrenal glands? Your FORK! I purchase my produce from local farmers at the outdoor section of NewBo City Market, Downtown Cedar Rapids Market, Hiawatha Market and Iowa Valley Food Coop! To find one that fits your schedule check here. Robert and I have not been available to garden due to the time demands of our jobs but hope to soon once we have more land. What I have come to know is that nutritional content is not the same across the board, it depends on the soil in which the produce has grown. Each meal you eat decides whether you will be healthy or ill, choose wisely! Your STRESS! The way a person, rather their body, reacts to stress will dictate how their body uses things like their adrenals. A person can train their body to react differently than their initial knee jerk reaction. Relax, meditate, go to yoga or take a walk! Learn what your body feels like in a relaxed state and try to keep your mind at a calm level when you are approached with something stressful. Do some sort of regular exercise, running, swimming, dancing, bicycling, anything! I go to J&S Total Fit and will even be giving some nutritional talks starting April 5th! If you need additional help always feel free to reach out to a friend, spiritual guidance or a mental health professional, I use Kalleen at KRP Therapy to process through the loss of my dad.  Your DOWNTIME! Try a new hobby; get your creative juices flowing. Join a new group to make friends! Meetup.com is very helpful; my group is Cedar Rapids Meet and Eat.  Your SUPPLEMENTS - Make sure you get them from a credible source! IHHC, Institute for Health and Hormone Clinic, offers some very great quality brands. I have some in my Essentials page also and hopefully some soon from Frontier! 

How to add IODINE – asparagus, bananas, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, egg yolks, garlic, lettuce, lima beans, miso, mushrooms, onions, peas, potatoes, rhubarb, sea vegetables, sesame seeds, spinach, soybeans, strawberries, spinach, summer squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes, turnip greens. There is also a salt alternative noted on Iodine-Resource.com called Season's Sea Seasonings, Organic Dulse Granules. “This dried seaweed can be used as a condiment. It provides a rich source of iron, potassium, iodine, Vitamin B-6, Riboflavin, and fiber.” It is said that an adult needs 150 mcg per day. There are also liquid drops (Zeolite) or iodine oral pills. An appointment with Dr Gray would be beneficial before beginning any additional vitamin or mineral regimen. I also may be able to sell dulse through my Frontier Coop membership. I am reviewing this now. Dulse granules contain 57 mcg per serving size of 1/4 tsp, and leaf flakes contain the same.   

How to increase TYROSINE – almonds, avocados, bananas, kidney beans, legumes, lima beans, mustard greens, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, soy products, sesame seeds, tofu. Livestrong.com states, “When you consume protein foods, amino acids released from protein enter your bloodstream. The amino acids that make it to the brain can determine your moods and behavior. When tyrosine crosses the barrier from the bloodstream to the brain, it increases production of dopamine and other energy-inducing neurotransmitters, the Franklin Institute explains.” Because I choose an 80/20 plant based diet, something like a flexitarian, I look for plant based foods. 

Hopefully this post helps someone and they can benefit from what I'm learning! Follow my posts, like my Facebook page and don't be shy to send me a question or comment! THANK YOU!

*I have a free massage offer on my Facebook page for those that can share or comment on posts!