Children need plenty of water to stay hydrated and healthy. Water makes up more than half of your child’s weight, and a steady supply is necessary to keep his body working properly. It is vital to introduce water as your child’s drink of choose early on in their life.  Don’t make the mistake of giving your child sweet juice, chocolate milk or soda. Those sugar packed drinks will win over the plain taste of water every time. Teaching your child why drinking plenty of water is so important can motivate him to consume more, and entertaining activities can make learning about water more interesting.

Run an experiment with your child to show him the importance of water. Purchase two plants that look exactly the same. Talk with your child about how water hydrates his body and helps him feel healthy. Place the two plants in a sunny spot and tell your child to water one of the plants, but to leave the other plant without any water. Over the next several days, have your child observe what happens to the plant that doesn’t get any water. Tell him that the same thing can happen to his body. He will begin to feel sluggish and fatigued. Dehydration can also reduce your child’s ability to think clearly and make him sick. Observe the plant that you’ve been watering as well. Talk about how healthy it looks and remind your child that when he drinks plenty of water he will be healthier and feel better.

Here are my top 10 reasons way you and your kids need to drink water!

  1. Increases Energy & Relieves Fatigue

Since your brain is mostly water, drinking it helps you think, focus and concentrate better and be more alert. As an added bonus, your energy levels are also boosted!

  1. Promotes Weight Loss

Removes by-products of fat, reduces eating intake (by filling up your tummy if consumed prior to meals), reduces hunger (hello natural appetite suppressant!), raises your metabolism and has zero calories!

  1. Flushes Out Toxins

Gets rid of waste through sweat and urination which reduces the risk of kidney stones and UTI’s (urinary tract infections).

  1. Improves Skin Complexion

Moisturizes your skin, keeps it fresh, soft, glowing and smooth. Gets rid of wrinkles. It’s the best anti-aging treatment around!

  1. Maintains Regularity

Aids in digestion as water is essential to digest your food and prevents constipation.

  1. Boosts Immune System

A water guzzler is less likely to get sick. And who wouldn’t rather feel healthy the majority of the time? Drinking plenty of water helps fight against flu, cancer and other ailments like heart attacks.

  1. Natural Headache Remedy

Helps relieve and prevent headaches (migraines & back pains too!) which are commonly caused by dehydration.

  1. Prevents Cramps & Sprains

Proper hydration helps keep joints lubricated and muscles more elastic so joint pain is less likely.

  1. Puts You In A Good Mood

When the body is functioning at its best, you will feel great and be happy!

  1. Save Money!

Water is FREE! Even if you choose bottled/filtered water, it’s STILL cheaper than that high sugar and fat-filled latte!

(information form www.mindbodygreen.com)

Our family just experienced a loss in our canine family. Our beloved Marley pass away this week from complications of Diabetes. We loved her and we are looking forward to seeing her again in heaven.

Several months ago Marley was diagnosed with Diabetes, yes you read that correctly, dogs can get Diabetes. Marley fought a good fight. She spent two weeks in an emergency room were the doctors were trying to regulate her blood sugar. She stopped eating for a period of time, which sent her into a diabetic coma, which lead her to temporary paralyses. We started to rehabilitate her back to health and she was making significant progress! We were so happy, but then overnight she started to go blind. Within a day she decided she didn’t want to fight anymore and fell asleep in Jesus.

November is nationally recognized as American Diabetes Month, a month focused on raising awareness about diabetes in people. Not as commonly known is that November is also recognized as Pet Diabetes Awareness Month. A growing epidemic amongst our pets, recognizing and spreading awareness about diabetes in dogs and cats is vital to helping pet owners spot and treat the disorder early.

Since our precious Marley lost her life to his illness I wanted to share with you the signs, symptoms and treatment so we can help keep your doggie families safe.

The most common form of diabetes in dogs is diabetes mellitus, or “sugar diabetes.” As its name implies, sugar diabetes is a condition that affects your dog’s blood sugar level. A small organ near the stomach, the pancreas, is responsible for regulating blood sugar by producing insulin.

How it works: when your dog eats, her food is broken down into tiny components including carbohydrates. Carbs are then converted into simple sugars, including glucose. The pancreas releases insulin go help turn glucose to fuel inside your dog’s cells.

The build-up of excess sugar in the blood leads to these four major symptoms of canine diabetes:

  • Increased urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Weight loss
  • Increased appetite

If untreated, diabetes can advance to include these symptoms:

  • Sweet-smelling or fruity breath
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Kidney failure
  • Cataract formation and eventual blindness
  • Chronic skin infections

There are no definitive causes for diabetes. However, certain factors may increase the likelihood of diabetes in your dog:

  • Advanced age. Most dogs who develop diabetes are five or older when diagnosed.
  • Chronic or repeated pancreatitis(inflammation of the pancreas), which can damage the organ
  • Obesity, which contributes to insulin resistance and is a risk factor for pancreatitis
  • Steroid medicationsused long-term
  • Cushing’s disease(which increases steroids in the system)
  • Intact female dogsare twice as likely as male dogs to develop diabetes. One more reason why having your dog fixed can save lives!

Genetics also play a role. These are the dog breeds most likely to develop diabetes:

  • Beagles
  • Bichons Frises
  • Cairn Terriers
  • Dachshunds
  • Fox Terriers
  • Keeshonds
  • Poodles
  • Pugs

When your dog is first diagnosed with diabetes, you may have to make more frequent vet visits for testing and medication adjustments. The veterinarian will help determine the best treatment and management plan for your dog, and monitor her progress in the early stages.

Treatment for dog diabetes is typically straightforward and easy to integrate into your daily routine. It includes:

  • A balanced dietincluding high-quality protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates to help slow the absorption of glucose. Wellness CORE and Blue Buffalo make highly-regarded options; check with your vet for recommendations and before trying any new food.
  • Moderate, consistent exerciseto help maintain glucose levels.
  • Daily insulin injectionsunder the skin. The idea of giving your dog shots every day can be intimidating, but don’t worry, it’s not that hard!
  • Glucose monitoringat the vet’s office or at home

If you have seen any of these signs or symptoms in your dog please take them to the vets office as soon as you can!

Rest in peace Marley. We love you!

If you are like me you have already started planning the most anticipated meal of the year. My family can wipe out a Thanksgiving dinner within an hour, but the meal has been planned, talked about and strategized for months prior. When turkey is not on the table, there’s even more planning to do. The big question is what will be the centerpiece of the table if meat is not an option?

There are plenty of meat alternatives if you want something “meaty.” I’m excited to say over the years, the number of plant-based meats has exploded, and companies are making sure there are lots of delicious choices that will please everyone on your guest list. Here are my favorite plant-based meats for Thanksgiving. Some of these will be on my table for thanksgiving!

Tofurky Holiday Products

“Tofurky” may be uttered in a lot of vegan jokes, but Tofurky has been “America’s leading turkey alternative since 1995.” Tofurky roasts have a meat-like texture and delicious, savory flavor. Tofurky offers several products for the holidays. The Tofurky Roast is a pre-cooked, all veggie roast made from a tofu-wheat-protein blend. It comes stuffed with wild rice and whole wheat bread crumb stuffing. It carves up just like a boneless turkey breast.

The Savory Gravy is a rich gravy with herbs and spices that is perfect poured over the roast. All you have to do is heat it up, so its perfectly easy for a busy cooking day. You can buy the roast and the savory gravy separately or together in one box.

What is Tofurky made of? Their Tofurky products are made from organic tofu and gourmet, non-genetically modified ingredients. Here’s a simple list: Wheat gluten, organic tofu, canola oil, soy sauce, corn starch, white bean flour, garbanzo bean flour, lemon juice, onion, carrots, celery, salt, and calcium lactate from beets.Mystery solved!

Field Roast Celebration Roast with Traditional Bread Stuffing and Gravy

The one-pound Field Roast Celebration Roast now comes in a two-pound version complete with all the trimmings! The roast is seasoned with sage, garlic, and lemon juice. The texture is outstanding, and the taste is unbelievable. It comes with a traditional bread stuffing made with onions, celery, cranberries and butternut squash. It gets topped off with a rich, earthy mushroom gravy made with mushrooms. This boxed dinner can feed up to eight people easily.

Vegetarian Plus Vegan Turkey Roll

Vegetarian Plus makes a Vegan Turkey Roll. The turkey roll is firm and moist, made with non-GMO soy and slices beautifully. It comes with a cinnamon-berry glaze to brush over the top. The one-pound roll feeds four to six people.

Vegetarian Plus Vegan Ham

Thanksgiving enthusiast that like ham say that vegan ham is really darn delicious, and vegan ham makes a nice substitute for the turkey, and might also be nice for Easter or Christmas. This option, from Vegetarian Plus also looks quite real.

I really encourage you to try all or some of these options!

Ease your mind about not having a turkey on the table. Whether you’re feeding two people or twenty-two friends and relatives, these plant-based meat alternatives will have everyone asking for seconds.

All of the classics are here and accounted for!

Skipping out on animal products doesn’t mean skimping on comforting, carb-y dishes—it actually means you can focus on bolder flavors brimming with spice and explore textures beyond the usual seven kinds of creamy. Give my dishes a peek and tell me if you’re not strapping on the fat pants by the end of it.

Cauliflower Stuffing!

4 tbsp. butter

1 onion, chopped

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped or thinly sliced

1 small head cauliflower, chopped

1 c. chopped mushrooms

kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley

2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary

1 tbsp. chopped fresh sage (or 1 tsp. ground sage)

1/2 c. vegetable or chicken broth

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until soft, 7 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add cauliflower and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes more.
  3. Add parsley, rosemary, and sage and stir until combined, then pour over vegetable broth and cover with a lid. Cover until totally tender and liquid is absorbed, 15 minutes.

Sweet Potatoes Casserole!

5 Sweet Potatoes

¼ cup Butter

1 can crushed pineapple

1 cup Pecans – chopped

1 can Coconut milk

2 tablespoons Cornstarch

1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Bake the yams for 1.5 hours. After they are cooked let them cool for about 15 minutes and then scoop out the insides into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the coconut milk and butter to the yams and mix well.
  4. In a small saucepan pour the crushed pineapple in and bring to a boil.
  5. Mix your cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water and mix until the cornstarch is diluted.
  6. Add cornstarch mixture and vanilla to your boiling crushed pineapple. Continue to mix until it thickens, usually 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Place yam mixture into a baking pan or a pie pan. Pour pineapple sauce on the top and then sprinkle the chopped pecans on pineapple.
  8. Serve warm!

Pumpkin Pie! Check out my YouTube Video Click Here

1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

1 cup coconut milk

15 pitted dates

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

3 tablespoons organic corn starch

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 prepared and par-baked crust (see video for my favorite crust)

dairy free whipped cream, for serving

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. For the Date paste, add the dates and ¾ cup of water in to a blender and blend until very smooth and creamy
  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, coconut milk, date paste, pumpkin pie spice, corn starch, salt, and vanilla until very smooth. Pour into the par-baked pie crust and carefully transfer to the oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the pumpkin pie filling has set. Be sure to check half way through baking and cover the crust edges with foil or a crust shield if they are getting dark. It’s okay if it still jiggles a bit, it sets while it cools overnight.
  4. Remove from the oven and let the pie cool completely. Transfer to the refrigerator to set up over night. Serve chilled with dairy free whipped cream.

 

Berry Pie! Check out my YouTube Video Click Here 

2 bags frozen mixed berries

2 bags of frozen cherries

4 tablespoons of cornstarch

1 can of apple juice concentrate

1 prepared and par-baked crust (see video for my favorite crust)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Pour the frozen mixed berries and cherries into a large saucepan.
  3. Add the apple juice concentrate to the berries and bring to a boil.
  4. Mix the cornstarch with 4 tablespoons of cold water.
  5. Add cornstarch mixture to boiling berries and stir until the mixture thickens, usually 5 minutes.
  6. Pour berry mixture into piecrust.
  7. Bake pie according to the piecrust directions.
  8. Serve hot or cold!

Here are a few of my favorite thanksgiving products that you have to use!

Sugar free Spiced Cider from Trader Joes

Organic Stuffing from Arrowhead Mills

Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds from Go Raw

Fall Zucchette Pasta from Trader Joes

Pumpkin Spice Rooibos from Trader Joes

Cranberry Sauce from Grown Right

Organic Pumkins from Farmers Market

Hazelnut Coffee with Hazelnut Coconut Milk Creamer by Teeccino and So Delicious 

Last but not least…. My favorite….

Pumpkin Cheese Cake from Daiya

In next week’s blog we will be discussing vegan “meats” you can serve and enjoy for Thanksgiving. Stay tune!

Happy Cooking!!!