Kids with Chronic Illness – Making a Pearl from the Grit of Life

I have always been very concerned about children with chronic illness and depression. Who is watching over them and caring for their emotional health? Even the most emotionally intelligent parents can’t change the way kids are treated by their peers, teachers, friends, family and neighbors.

In this episode I tell you all about the my history with depression. I’m also sharing a good friend of mine with you – Sharon Rainey is the author of Making a Pearl From the Grit of Life. She tells her story of emotional trauma, and the subsequent emotional healing, with honesty and eloquence.

Take a listen and let me know what you think in the comments below. Where do you see the causes of depression in your daily life? What are you going to do to raise a happier and more emotionally intelligent generation?

xoxo,
Robin

Together we can overcome the limitations of chronic dis-ease and enjoy our lives fully! Share the love…

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Berries and Cream Quinoa Porridge

This was not an easy recipe to create. I wanted a really tasty breakfast that kids and adults would get into and one that didn’t take a lot of time to prepare. It took a lot of experimenting, and what I ended up with was a very delicious breakfast that can be made on the weekend and reheated throughout the week.

I like it because it’s got a nice creamy, fruity taste that completely masks the “healthy” taste of the quinoa. I could eat this every day! Yumm!

xoxo,
Robin

Berries and Cream Quinoa Porridge

Berries and Cream Quinoa Porridge
Serves 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa
6 tbs honey + 10 drops stevia extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 cups berries (frozen or fresh)
1/4 cup canned coconut milk

Directions:
1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a slow cooker. Whisk to combine.
2. Spread the berries and splashes/dollops of coconut cream evenly around the pot.
3. Cook on low heat for 4 hours. Alternately, you can cook at 250 degrees F in a covered, ovenproof casserole dish.

“Quick-cooking” method:
Simmer over low heat for 45 minutes, checking and stirring often to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Enjoy! And share the love…

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Butternut Squash with Sage Soup (GF, DF, Grain-Free, Paleo)

Soup presents an interesting dilemma. Most soup requires a flavorful broth or stock base. These broths take so much time to prepare that they have become a convenience item – sold in boxes and cans at every grocery store.

The dilemma is that soups are very healthful foods, but the broth has become somewhat of a poison because they are made differently than they used to be made…

Traditionally, broths are made by simmering the bones and cartilage of an animal, such as chicken or cow, with flavorful vegetables like onion and garlic. This would create a flavorful, mineral-rich, healing broth.

Broths are no longer mineral-rich, because they do not take the time to simmer them for the long hours it requires to extract the minerals from the bones. And what flavor the convenience broths do have, comes mostly from artificial flavorings.

I will make my own broth because I’ve gotten used to the routine of it, but most of us don’t have the time. So, I recommend roasting a chicken every once in awhile (takes only 5 minutes prep and 1.5 hours of cooking time) and saving the pan drippings, which are concentrated with chicken flavor. Then, instead of using boxed broth, you can use filtered water and pan drippings.

For a vegetarian option, use 1 tablespoon of miso paste per 2 cups of water as a broth replacement.

All of that to say…here is a most delicious butternut squash soup recipe. Try out my method for avoiding the convenience broths and let me now how it goes in the comment section below! I hope you will enjoy it!

xoxo,
Robin

Butternut Squash Soup with Sage

Butternut Squash Soup with Sage
Serves 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients:
1 large butternut squash, leave whole – do not cut up
2 cups homemade chicken broth (or water, plus the pan drippings from roasting a chicken)
2 cups filtered water
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon crushed dried sage or minced fresh sage

Directions:
1. Bake the whole butternut squash on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 45 minutes to 1 hour at 375 degrees F. Let cool.
2. While the squash is baking, prepare the remaining ingredients and add them to a 4- 5 quart pot, reserving 1 cup of water for later.
3. When the squash is cool enough to handle, slice it down the center, lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Scoop out the flesh and add to the pot. Bring soup ingredients to a simmer. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. (If you do not have an immersion blender, blend the ingredients together in a counter-top blender BEFORE bringing to a simmer.) Add the remaining 1 cup of water (or less) if necessary, to thin the soup. Then simmer for 15-20 minutes to meld the flavors.
4. Serve warm or hot. Refrigerate for up to 4 days. Freeze in individual servings for easy meals when you’re busy. Defrost on the counter. Reheat over the stove.

Enjoy! And share the love…

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3 Tweaks For Better Sleep

I am so concerned over how much stress and stimulation we allow ourselves to experience on a daily basis and I believe this stress and stimulation can wreck havoc on our sleep cycles.

Getting good sleep is one of the most important ways to improve your health. If you aren’t sleeping well, we need to work on figuring out why and what to do about it!

In this episode I discuss three tweaks you can make to create big improvements in your quality of sleep. I hope you find it helpful!

Take a listen and let me know what you think in the comments below. Are my suggestions realistic? Will they help you get better sleep? Do you have other suggestions for better sleep?

xoxo,
Robin

Together we can overcome the limitations of chronic dis-ease and enjoy our lives fully! Share the love…

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Chocolate Mousse (DF, GF, Grain-Free, Paleo)

Yep, this mousse is heavenly, as stated by a recent cooking class attendee. You’re going to be licking the spatula… I did!

And the main ingredient is avocados! Then coconut milk – cocoa powder and honey – All of the ingredients are dense with nutrients like magnesium, calcium, various antioxidants and essential fatty acids. This mousse is gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free and paleo-approved!

Please, enjoy this without guilt…

xoxo,
Robin

Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse
Serves 5-6
Prep Time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients:
1 ½ avocado
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. sea salt
½ c plus 1 tbs. honey
6 drops of stevia extract
1/3 c cocoa powder
2 egg whites
1 can coconut milk, refrigerated 5 hours to overnight

Directions:
1. Combine everything except the coconut milk and the egg whites in a large mixing bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until very smooth – about 3 minutes – scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula as you go.
2. Rinse the beaters of the hand mixer. In a clean, medium-size mixing bowl, whip the solid portion of the canned coconut milk with a hand mixer on medium-high speed for about 1 minute. Put the whipped coconut cream back into the fridge until step four. Reserve the liquid portion of the canned coconut milk for use in another recipe.
3. Rinse and dry the beaters of the hand mixer. In a clean, medium-size mixing bowl, whip the egg whites with the hand mixer on high until stiff peaks form.
4. Take the coconut cream out of the fridge and whip one more time for about 30 seconds on high (no need to clean the beaters first). Fold the whipped coconut cream into the chocolate mixture with a spatula. Next, fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.
5. Serve or refrigerate for up to 4 days. Texture is best on the first or second day.

P.S. Share with your friends…maybe they’ll make it for you next time you’re over for dinner!

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Everything Is Going To Be Okay: Stress Relief Through Imagination and Faith

Chronic health challenges can put your mind into a deep, dark place where there is not much hope. It’s easy to get stuck there. And however real it may feel, it doesn’t have to be your daily reality. Things are always better than they seem and they can always become better than they are, more quickly than we believe.

During the worst of my health challenges, I got stuck into such dark places with my mind that I had to use a lot of imagination and a lot of faith to get me into a lighter and more optimistic place.

I want to take you there with me, but you’ll have to let go of your reality for a few minutes and venture into your imagination…

Listen to the episode above and see what happens. Things may start to look up!

Together we can overcome the limitations of chronic dis-ease and enjoy our lives fully. Please share your experience below so that we can learn from our collective wisdom!

Take good care of yourself.

xoxo,
Robin

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Cashew Maple Fudge (DF, GF, Paleo)

Fudge! I loved fudge. I still do. This recipe is just like the real thing, but much easier to make and much more full of nutrients!

I just taught this recipe at the recent Take Back Your HealthTM Nourishing Desserts cooking class. Everyone was amazed by how easy and quickly this fudge came together – we were able to prepare it at the beginning of the class, let it set up in the fridge and then serve it by the end!

And just a side note – the fudge batter is delicious eaten off a spoon…

xoxo,
Robin

Cashew Maple Fudge

Cashew Maple Fudge
Makes 25 1-inch pieces
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Time to Set: 1.5 hours

Ingredients:
½ tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. sea salt
¼ c maple syrup
¼ c honey
½ c coconut oil
1 ¾ c nut butter
optional:
4 tbs. cocoa powder
coconut flakes or cacao nibs (for garnish on top)

Directions:
1. If the coconut oil is solid, warm the jar of oil in a pot of water over the stove, or over the warming zone on the stove – do not boil! Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl until well combined.
3. Line an 8”x8” glass baking dish with parchment paper. Pour the fudge mixture into the baking dish. Optional: sprinkle coconut flakes or cacao nibs on top of the fudge for garnish. Refrigerate until set – about 1-2 hours and up to 12 hours.
4. Lift the fudge out of the dish by pulling up on the edges of the parchment paper and set onto a cutting board. Cut the fudge into squares. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

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Getting Unstuck

Nothing is more frustrating than feeling stuck – stuck in an emotional funk – stuck in a bad relationship – stuck in a health crisis – stuck in a draining career – and on and on.

Nothing is going to get you out of that funk but change. Change in the way we look at the situation that we’re in, change in the way we think about our desires and change in the way we take responsibility for our daily actions.

It can be a good thing to feel stuck – those times help you to see more clearly where you are and where you would rather be. {tweet it!} In this episode I talk about tools I’ve used in the past to get things moving again – in the right direction.

Together we can overcome the limitations of chronic dis-ease and enjoy our lives fully. Please share your experience below so that we can learn from our collective wisdom!

As always, thank you for reading and listening.

xoxo,
Robin

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Cream of Buckwheat with Maple Syrup (GF, DF)

When I was in middle school and my brother and sister were in high school, my dad would wake up with us every morning and make an amazing breakfast. Sometimes we would just have cereal, but often he would make pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, and our favorite: Cream of Wheat with maple syrup and Lender’s Bagels, buttered and toasted. The more lumps in the Cream of Wheat, the better. It’s a good memory.

I was so happy to find Cream of Buckwheat in the store a few years ago. It is a gluten-free version of Cream of Wheat. I don’t eat this very often because it takes more time than a smoothie, but it’s worth the effort when I need a comfort breakfast!

I hope you’ll enjoy my take on Cream of Wheat…

And to all the dads and moms out there, I recommend a hearty, low-sugar and balanced (in carbohydrate, protein and fat) breakfast to get your kids through the day and keep them in a good mood. We need to teach them and show them what a good breakfast is. They will carry this wisdom into their adulthood and pass it on to their kids. They do appreciate you and they are grateful for your efforts, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.

xoxo,
Robin

Cream of Buckwheat

Cream of Buckwheat with Maple Syrup
Serves 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes

Ingredients:
1/4 cup Cream of Buckwheat
1 1/4 cup milk or water (almond or coconut milk are good options)
pinch of sea salt
Optional, for serving:
1 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
chopped almonds or other nut, soaked 8 hours or more
1/2 tbsp coconut oil

optional:
1 tsp. vanilla extract, for flavor
nut milk or cream for serving

Directions:
1. Bring the first 3 ingredients to a simmer over medium heat. This is when you would add the optional vanilla extract. Continue simmering and stirring frequently until the Cream of Buckwheat is cooked thoroughly (about 10-12 minutes).
2. Serve with maple syrup, chopped nuts, coconut oil and milk/cream. Enjoy!
3. Keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat over the stove with a little water or milk.

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How to Choose the Right Doctor

After my episode on How to Manage Your Health Care, I got the request to do an episode on how to choose the right doctor for yourself and your family.

For people who are chronically ill and who have to go to see their doctors on a regular basis, it’s important to have a good relationship with those doctors.

Your relationship, trust and ability to communicate with your health care providers can have huge ramifications on your health.

Ultimately, your health is determined by one person alone, and that’s you. But the quality of the team you put together can help you achieve the health goals you’ve always desired. Check out the TBYH Radio episode above, and let me know what you think. Do you like your doctors? Do you have any tips on choosing the right doctor? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Together we can overcome the limitations of chronic dis-ease and enjoy our lives fully.

As always, thank you for reading and listening.

xoxo,
Robin

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