A Blog Refocus: It’s A Personal Health Journey

A snapshot of my health journey:

Shortly after my oldest son’s birth, I woke up, looked around, looked at myself, and decided that things were going to change. I wanted to keep him healthy, feel more attractive, have more confidence, figure out my digestive issues and balance my hormones. Things had to change. I needed them to change. I felt unpredictable and on edge.

I called one of my sisters who at that point had begun naturally healing some of her own physical issues, and I asked her some questions. I didn’t know then that I would totally embrace this holistic way of life in every way.

Up until that point, “healthy” to me had had a pretty basic meaning. I didn’t think much about it… until I started to notice little annoying problems with my health and I had this longing to see what true total body health would really look like. How would it make me feel? How would it propel me forward in my relationships, in my career, and even in my parenting? I hadn’t had a good relationship with food for a long time before that. And my relationship with myself? Well, it was a struggle. My marriage had threatened to end in a pile of ashes that year, but by grace, it didn’t. And as most parents find, when that first kid comes into the world, you’ll do whatever it takes to create a healthier more beautiful life for them as well, and that, no doubt, means it’s time to start taking better care of yourself!

So I started on a mission. I hit the gym, decided to start running, did a Whole30 cleanse, starting self-educating on how I could really take care of myself and prevent bigger health issues. Autoimmune diseases had started to pop up all over in my family among my close relatives… so I was on a mission to prevent any of my current ailments from getting any worse. I already knew I had a compromised gut and I knew I needed to focus on three main things: lower my stress, eat closer to the earth, and exercise.

Today…

I’m thrilled to be 45 pounds lighter than I was at my heaviest six years ago. I’ve had two children, trained for two half marathons, and my hormonal acne has disappeared. I’m totally Whole Foods Plant-based now. And this is still just the beginning of my journey to total body wellness! And I’m LOVING the journey.

I don’t believe achieving perfect health is the “end-all, be-all”. But I do believe that to effectively play my role in this world, I have to feel well. I have to feel like I can pour out of myself, spill out into others, and to do that, I want to feel my very best. I want my healthy way of life to be contagious. Infectious.

On this blog, I don’t ever want to pretend I am an expert in anything because we are all already too confused by all the information available to us, much of it even conflicting! I want to be a learner. An innovative thinker. A Discoverer. A forerunner in this health journey. The cheerleader, I suppose!

Mapping out my life goals, yes I have big huge goals this year and the next. I want my life mission to involve creating and being a support system for all of us on this health journey together, and I’ll continue working toward that, furthering my education and my passions! But today, I want to share a tiny bit of my story with you. Why do I feel the way I do about health? How did I feel previously and why have the decisions I’ve made toward better health been so life changing?

I’d like this little space on the internet I call Restoring the Day to be a bright spot in your health journey as well.

I want to be as transparent as I can be with you because personal health journeys are about finding balance, being realistic with ourselves, and taking small steps, one at a time so that we can effectively change our habits with the ultimate goal in mind – being able to feel our best so we can live our best.

Restoring the Day is about to get awesome(er) in 2017 so stay tuned. I have the privilege of working alongside over twenty wellness professionals this year and I can’t wait to learn and grow as we share value with one another and work toward enhancing the lives of ourselves and everyone around us. Yet another step in my life and health journey I cannot wait to embark on!

What does your health journey look like? Where are you at right now? Are you ready to make big changes? Or brave enough to take one small step toward success? Go for it. It’ll be the best decision you could make to benefit yourself and those around you.

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Oil Free Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats

Rice Crispy treats are delicious if they’re done right. Nobody likes a dry crumbly rice crispy bar. I’ve made my fair share of those… I’m constantly looking for ways to make treats healthier… and sometimes, let’s face it, my attempts fail miserably, as in a rice crispy treat… you need that oil, or that butter, to get them to stay soft and chewy. Or DO you?

I searched the internet high and low for a recipe like this… and maybe it’s out there…  but for the life of me, I could not find it! Not a very simple one anyway. Why did I want an oil-free version? Oil is not a food I want to ingest regularly. I know, I know, we all hear that olive oil and coconut oil are good for us… and then there are avocado and grapeseed oils…. And they’ve all been praised as heart healthy foods for years. But my experience with oils has not been a positive one. They make my gut queasy and even when I use them at home, I didn’t like the way I would feel after eating them. I’ve cooked oil-free through the winter so far this year and have had fabulous success with it- I feel great. I get my healthy fats from whole food sources, no need for the isolated fat contained in cooking oils. No need whatsoever.

I know I mention “oil-free” quite a bit and occasionally add links in my posts to other posts about the health benefits of eating oil-free, especially on a plant-based diet. Here are yet more links on the topic!  Why It’s so Worth it To Go Oil-free and The Calorie Density Approach to Nutrition and Lifelong Weight Management.

That being said, having searched high and low, I came to the conclusion that I was just going to have to try and see what I could do, and make up my own!

Now, I have a deep love for peanut butter. Maybe I love it a little too much love… I know many of you are right there with me! If I can put peanut butter in any recipe, I’ll probably try it. Thus this recipe was born!

In the future, on this site, I can’t wait to upload fancier looking recipes that you can print and save… bear with me, I’m learning as I go! I’m in the process of learning about that currently! But for now, we are going to do this the old school way. Just read it, jot it down, or heck, I supposed you could just come back to this blog post when you need it! But make sure you pin it to your favorite recipe board, as well!

I realize that the photo of these beauties isn’t so… well, beautiful. You see, this plate was full of them before the party and they were neatly squared and stacked. But by the end of the night, this was all that remained and I thought to myself “I have got to upload these to the blog”! So this is that far-from-glamorous photo I took right then and there… and yes, that half-eaten piece you see there? I finished that chunk off after taking this photo.

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Truly, these are so chewy and delicious, so I hope you give them a try. Two thumbs up by all our party guests, grown-ups and kiddos alike.

Oil-Free Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats

6 cups Rice Crispy Cereal (Veganic Sprouted Brown Rice Crisps are a great option!)

1/2 Cup Natural Peanut Butter (ingredients “just peanuts”, organic is always best!)

1 10oz bag Dandies Vegan Marshmallows

Directions: on medium-low heat, melt the marshmallows and peanut butter together in a pan. Stir CONSTANTLY so that you don’t burn the mixture. This mixture will not melt together and get runny, it will start to turn into a sticky marshmallow peanut butter glob and that’s OKAY! You want that. At the first signs of it starting to look like a glob, maybe a tiny bit of melted marshmallow in the bottom pan but not much, the mixture should be WARM, but not completely hot – remove from heat. (This may seem strange, but trust me! You just need it warm enough to squish together!) Plop that globby sticky mixture on top of 6 cups of Crispy Rice and – and now for the most important part – with clean hands, squish and combine the mixture together BY HAND. A spoon will not work well for you here. Knead the mixture relatively quickly while it’s still warm, till all ingredients seem well combined and well formed and press it into an 8×8 pan. (Feel free to nibble the extra mixture off your fingers before washing it off – I did!) I let it set in the refrigerator for a couple hours before cutting and serving and that worked out splendidly.

 

These really are chewy and addicting. I hope you find time to give them a try! Note about Dandies Marshmallows, they’re NOT a whole foods source of nutrients. However, in a pinch, these do make some tasty treats and they make this recipe SO incredibly easy.

This post contains affiliate links to my partnership with Thrive Market to bring you more affordable prices on healthy foods and natural living! January’s Featured Offer:  a free jar of Thrive Market non-GMO Creamy Almond Butter + 30 day trial for only $1.95 shipping! Existing members can receive a free jar with any offer over $50. Get your free almond butter by clicking here, and hey! I haven’t tried but you could probably sub out the peanut butter in this recipe for almond butter if you’re not a peanut butter fan! Let me know if you try that, eh!?

Can you appreciate a good oil-free option like this? Have you had a chance to try them or another similar recipe? Let me know below!

 

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