5 Easy Kitchen Ingredient Swaps for Everyone

Want an easy way to cut out some of those ingredients that you should have ditched ages ago? Here are five things in your pantry/refrigerator that are outdated by healthy standards and can be swapped out for MUCH healthier alternatives.

1. Cow’s Milk for—>ALMOND MILK

Adults and grown children alike shouldn’t be drinking milk that comes from cows. Even if your milk is organic, cows still produce hormones that are passed through their milk in order to make their calves turn into big cows. So, basically, when humans ingest cow’s milk, they are ingesting hormones meant for facilitating the growth of a calf into a cow (EVEN IF YOUR MILK IS ORGANIC). Do you see where I’m headed here? Everything in moderation, though, guys. If you use milk to pour a splash in your tea, and that’s your thing & you’re not giving it up, fine… but if you use milk with cereal, baking, or just drinking it straight up, try switching to Almond Milk. It will taste different at first, because your taste buds aren’t used to it. This is not bad. Give it a week or so and it’ll be the new normal! Most people actually like almond milk better than cow’s milk (it isn’t as thick). It is also better for you than soy. I don’t have enough character space on this page to get into the dangers of pumping yourself full of soy. OY.

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2. Dairy Yogurt for—->Coconut Milk Yogurt

There have been a lot of studies recently about how yogurt really isn’t all that great for you. The active cultures that may have been found in it are being counteracted by the sugar content. I don’t eat any yogurt at all, including this one (because I try not to eat much sugar), but if you are a yogurt person who just has to have it, then try switching to this stuff. It does taste a little different, but you’ll get used to it. Once again, it is better to cut out dairy where you can. Save your dairy eating for those times when you just HAVE to eat a cheese pizza. Don’t waste your dairy cheats on mundane shit like yogurt! Swap it out.

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3. Soy Sauce for—> Tamari

Soy Sauce is made with soy beans and wheat…this means soy sauce has gluten in it. A better choice would be Tamari. It has a little bit lighter and richer taste than soy sauce, and it is DELICIOUS. It is naturally gluten free. This is an easy swap you can make!

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4. Regular Noodles for—> Gluten Free Noodles

There are so many types of gluten free noodles out there nowadays made from quinoa, brown rice, corn, etc. I am so used to eating them now that regular noodles taste weird to me. If you do ANY of these swaps, please include this one, especially if your kids like noodles. I urge you to educate yourself about what an overdose of gluten can do to the body, brain, and behavior, especially if you have children!

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5. Table Salt to—> Himalayan Pink Salt

This is something that literally everyone should do if you aren’t already. Table salt can easily effect blood pressure and your body in so many ways. Some people are still naysayers of the pink salt, but I have used it for years, generously (I love me some salt), and It doesn’t make me feel nearly as swollen or bloated as the other stuff. Some people claim that switching lowered their blood pressure & relieved hypertension. Hey, even if it’s not true, it can’t hurt to switch! It tastes better than the regular stuff AND it’s PINK!

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I know it seems like I’m saying, “Don’t ever eat dairy and gluten”, but the truth is, I really feel that we all need to eat bad stuff sometimes….but only when it’s worth it. My eating goal is it cut as much of the unnecessary crap out as I can when it doesn’t matter, that way I can enjoy some of the yummy, naughty stuff when it is actually worth it.

 Do yourself a favor and follow these tips! Here are a few extra ideas to reduce your intake of the bad stuff at home:

  • Instead of regular chicken or vegetable broth in the carton, always buy the LOW SODIUM one instead. Tastes the same, except it has about half the sodium content.
  • Buy gluten free cereal. I don’t really back cereal, but if you are going to buy it, there are tons of kids cereals now that are gluten free, super crunchy & taste amazing. They are made from corn and rice instead of wheat, so make sure you buy ones that are organic to avoid GMO’s.
  • Buy gluten free bread, bagels, waffles, etc…. Try many brands until you find the one you like best.
  • Swap out your refined sugar for Raw Cane Sugar
  • Swap out your coffee creamer for “So Delicious” brand coconut creamer. It comes in different flavors, too!
  • Use raw honey instead of sugar in your tea.
  • Buy organic ketchup instead of regular.


Lisa O

Insanely Simple Snacks for Kids

So, obviously these aren’t ground breaking recipes, here. I’m just sending out a reminder to moms that you can have healthy, cheap snacks ready for your kids in minutes without opening up a single processed food package. Keep a variety of fruits and vegetables handy so you can always come up with something creative last minute. Use what you have! If you have time to make some easy-mac, you have time for these!

1. Baked Sweet Potato Fries (8 months & up)

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 Slice sweet potatoes into french fry pieces. Coat with olive oil & a small amount of salt (only if your child is over a year). Spread them out on a cookie sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 20-30 min, “stirring” the fries every 10 min. You can also skip the salt & sprinkle some cinnamon and honey (no honey till 1 yr) on them instead! Perfect for a teething baby to gnaw on, or an older child to snack on!

2. Hummus & Veggie Plate (18 mos & up)

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Cut up 1 or 2 of your child’s favorite vegetable. Put a dollop of hummus on the plate and let them dip as much as they want!

3. Fruit & Honey (honey after 1 yr)

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This is one of my favorite snacks. Adding some raw honey to a piece of fruit is a sure way to curb a sweet tooth. My favorites are strawberries, blueberries, grapefruit, and oranges.

4. Celery Sticks with Cream Cheese and Turkey (2 & up)

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Fill celery with cream cheese & top with a slice of shaved turkey breast!

5. Avocado Toast (2 & up)

Screen Shot 2013-04-14 at 7.45.08 PMSlice & mash ripe avocado on top of a healthy slice of toast.

6. Baked Cinnamon Apple Chips ( 2 & up)

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Slice an apple into thin slices. Slightly grease a cookie sheet with unsalted butter or coconut oil. Spread out apples & sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

7. Baked Kale Chips (18 mos & up)

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You can make these in so many different flavors. Sometimes I use soy sauce or grated parmesan, but normally I just stick with my basic recipe: Peel kale from the stem and rip into bite size pieces. Spread onto pan, coat them with olive oil, a LITTLE bit of salt, and bake in a 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes until kale is crunchy. Careful with the salt, a little bit goes a long way with these. Even the pickiest kid will love them!

8. Peanut Butter & Banana Toast (2 & up)

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Spread some real, no sugar added peanut butter on a healthy slice of toast & top it with sliced banana. If you want it to be a little sweeter, drizzle some raw honey on top!

9. Frozen Grapes (18 months & up)

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Skewer some grapes, and freeze them! Can also be frozen and eaten without skewer for younger kids. Great alternative to sugary popsicles. You can also make a fruit shish-kabob with grapes, kiwi, mango, pineapple, etc. Fun!

10. Parmesan Cheese Crisps (18 mos & up)

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Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put a tablespoon of shredded parmesan cheese (fresh, not the one in the green can!) on the sheet and lightly pat down so it’s in a disc shape. Leave 2 inches in between each one. Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. Let cool, then peel off & you have parmesan chips!

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I highly encourage you to make snacks for your kids instead of opening up packages. Those foods are loaded with sodium, sugar, corn syrup, and other additives that will leave your kids feeling unsatisfied & still hungry. They will thank you one day!


Lisa O

How To Eat Healthy On A Budget

So, I’ve been getting a lot of angsty tweets from moms saying things like, “Sorry, I can’t afford organic food, I’m not rich!”, and “Not all of us can find these healthy ingredients in our local stores.” Okay, okay. Enough whining peeps. The truth is, you CAN afford to feed your family healthy, clean food on a small budget. I know several families who do. There is NO excuse to not give your kids healthy things 90% of the time. I’m going to show you how.

Screen Shot 2013-04-03 at 4.37.37 PM1. You don’t need to buy EVERYTHING organic

Some foods are dirtier than others. HERE is a list of the “dirty dozen” aka 12 foods you should buy organic. Foods with hard outer shells are less likely to be pesticide dense. This is a simple way for you to be able to pick and choose how you spend your money on organic goods.

Screen Shot 2013-04-03 at 5.07.32 PM2. Grow your own vegetable garden

This sounds difficult, but it really isn’t. I have my own vegetable garden that is no bigger than 3×12 feet. I grow cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, and eggplant as well as herbs in planter pots. This is a GREAT way to save money. You can have an abundance of normally expensive organic produce for FREE in your own yard. It’s also a fun activity to do with your kids. I googled how to plant a garden and did it myself. It’s that easy.  Bam, no excuses.

This is an actual photo of my vegetable garden at home.

This is an actual photo of my vegetable garden at home.

3. Buy in bulk when there’s a good deal, and preserve the leftovers

When my tomato plants spit out a zillion tomatoes, I make salsa and can it, as well as strawberry jam with my abundant strawberry harvest. You can can anything: Pickles, green beans, tomatoes, onions, etc. You can dehydrate the tomatoes in the oven as well and use them for so many dishes. Freezing your berries is also great for smoothies. Once again, there is endless info on how to do this stuff on google.

Screen Shot 2013-04-03 at 5.10.35 PM4. Buy frozen organic produce

Freezing something does not lessen the nutritional value. So, check the frozen foods aisle for organic frozen vegetables and fruit instead of buying something fresh if you’re going to be cooking it anyway. For example, frozen organic green beans are generally cheaper than fresh ones, and fresh ones go bad quickly.

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5. Make your own butter

Organic butter can be expensive. HERE is a great recipe for making butter. All it involves is heavy cream and a pinch of salt. Cheaper and tastier.

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6. Make your own bread

This is easier than you think. If sprouted grain bread is too hardcore for you, start out with a basic whole grain recipe. You can google a zillion recipes for that, but I won’t give a link because I’m not a huge fan of wheat. I make my own bread using flax seeds:

FLAX SEED BREAD <–click for video tutorial

Screen Shot 2013-04-03 at 5.16.45 PM7. Stay away from pre-packaged food

Screen Shot 2013-04-03 at 5.23.05 PMHere are some commonly used pre-packaged items that can be easily made into organic food:

  • Shake N’ Bake chicken coating– take a leftover loaf of bread or baguette and leave it out over night, uncovered. The next day the bread will be hard. The next day, cut the bread into chunks, and grind it up into crumbs in the food processor. Bam, that’s what breadcrumbs are, folks. Add some dried herbs: salt, pepper, paprika, garlic salt, oregano, basil, and onion powder & there ya go, shake n bake chicken without cancer. Every time I have an old loaf of bread, I dry it, grind it, and freeze it in a bag so I always have fresh breadcrumbs.
  • Organic Salad Dressing- combine olive oil, juice of a freshly squeezed lemon or lime, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and a teaspoon of grainy dijon mustard. Whisk together. Super cheap & delicious.
  • Organic Whipped Cream- Empty a chilled container of heavy whipping cream into a stand mixer, along with 2 tsp of vanilla extract. Whip till it becomes whipped cream!
  • Organic Baked French Fries- cut potatoes into french fry sticks (not thin). Coat with olive oil, salt & pepper. Spread on baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes, turning and flipping fries every 15-20 min. Can also be done with sweet potatoes. These are insanely delicious.

8. Cut back on spending in other areas

It is worth it to give your family what they need nutritionally, I promise. If you can afford to not buy certain things you don’t need during the month, spend that money on GOOD groceries. Your health is important.

The list goes on…From now on, every time you go to cook or eat something pre-packaged, google to find out if there’s a way to mimic the recipe using real, whole food ingredients. That is a great way to start transitioning into healthier eating habits. Just to prove to my skeptics that this can be done without spending a ton of money, I will regularly be posting photos and recipes of the foods I cook and eat.

Happy Eating!

Lisa O

Incase You Haven’t Heard

Obama has signed the “Monsanto Protection Act”. It was only a matter of time before our President officially signed off on what is one of the most vile attacks on our basic human rights. The “Monsanto Protection Act” was a small provision cleverly slipped into a spending bill, HR933, and was signed on Tuesday.

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To simplify this, let’s look at some basic definitions:

Monsanto- A massive biotechnology company that produces food, drugs, pesticides, and is the leader in genetically modified crops. They are a super evil company, and it would appear they are trying to take over the world. HERE is an article if you wish to read more about their doings.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)- is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Food, as well as animals can be genetically modified.

Why do they genetically modify crops?– They modify the DNA of certain crops to be resistant to certain pests or bacteria. They basically make the pesticide a part of the DNA, so it’s not sprayed on, it’s actually mutated into the genetic sequence. They also modify the DNA to make the crops grow faster & bigger while lowering the nutritional value.

Why are GMO’s bad for consumption?- The consequences of eating these crops are largely unknown. GMO’s have been banned in the European Union, UK, Australia, Japan and dozens of other countries. All studies done on GMO’s and rats have had horrible outcomes, with the rats growing large tumors after consuming GMO corn. HERE is an amazing, quick 8 reasons why GMO’s are bad.

Screen Shot 2013-03-10 at 10.07.05 PMWhat is the Monsanto Protection Act?

  • It gives the USDA the power to allow the planting, harvest, and sale of GMO crops, even if a court rules they were not approved.
  • It strips away any court’s power to argue with Monsanto or any GMO crops. They are immune to the law.
  • Even if the crops are found to be extremely dangerous to humans or the environment, the US government now has no power to stop them from ending up on your plate.
  • Their crops can now evade serious scientific review

Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 10.11.58 AMYes, Monsanto and other corps have successfully put themselves above the government. Our government is conspiring with corporations to take away our rights & leave us POWERLESS. The government no longer has our best interest in mind when our President, congress members, and senators are all being told what to do like little puppets.

Since January 2009, Monsanto and other Political Action Groups who support GMO crops have donated over 7.5 MILLION dollars to the campaigns of current congress members, and $372,000 to members of senate.

Here’s a video of Obama promising to label GMO foods in his 2007 campaigning speech:

Now I’m not going to get into Obama bashing, but there is a lot of evidence that points to him being in bed with Monsanto & the other food giants. After all, he did appoint Monsanto’s Vice President as the Senior Advisor to the Commissioner at the FDA. What’s even more ludicrous is Michelle Obama’s campaign for gardens & clean, organic food! This makes NO sense. They’re creating all of these diversions to cover up the real train wreck that is going on.

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Do you think it’s coincidence that the provision was slipped into the bill & signed during the week of the highly news-covered equal rights supreme court battle? I guess they thought it would go relatively unnoticed by the press since there was something important going on. I don’t know about you, but I smell shit. The point is, you should wake up and realize that this is a HUGE issue. The health of your future children depends on whether or not we do something about this.

Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 12.21.02 PMSo, what can we do? Remember when all of the sudden “trans fats” became the devil & companies started taking them out of foods & proudly labeling they were TRANSFAT FREE? We can do the same thing with GMO’s. By requiring companies to label their GMO products, we can call them out and avoid them, thus making a path for GMO free products to be put in the spotlight. You can also go HERE and sign a petition and get all learned up on GMO’s.

Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 12.23.17 PMOpen your eyes before you open your mouth.


Lisa O

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