Archives for January 2017

New Year. New You. Healthy Living Goals

Compensation was provided by LÄRABAR. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of LÄRABAR.

LARABAR New Year New You offer

Are you focused on getting healthy in 2017?


My husband and I have set a goal for our future. We want to remain active as long as we can. There are so many activities we love to do, and we hope to be doing them well into our 80’s (dare I say 90’s???)

We consider ourselves truly blessed to be able to live in Colorado where we can hike, camp, ski, and snowshoe.

My husband and I are at an exciting time in our lives. We’ll soon be empty-nesters! In just a few short months, we’ll be able to pick-up and go at the drop of a hat. Neither of us can really wrap our minds around it.

So this year we’ve been “practicing” for our future. We’ve been trying to make sure we do more of what we love and not just get caught up in the day-to-day chores and routine living.

Recently, the sun came out and it was a gorgeous day. We decided there was nothing stopping us from heading up to a local state park to do a little snowshoeing.

Whenever we set out for a physical activity, we tuck a few LARABARS into our pockets. Not only do they offer a good balance of carbs and proteins to help keep us fueled up, they also taste good.

There is something about cold air and exercise that makes me crave sweet. LARABARS allow me to indulge my sweet tooth while still sticking to my healthy living goals.

It’s nice to have a healthy option that’s ready to go when you are. LARABARS are that option for us.

What are your healthy goals for 2017?

You can find LARABAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest for more healthy eating inspiration.

Slow Cooker Beef Roast: Poblano Roast Beef & Tacos with Jicama Slaw

Slow cooker beef roast: Cook once and eat twice!

Slow Cooker Beef Roast: Cook Once, Eat Twice. Make Poblano Roast Beef one night, make Tacos with Jicama-Orange Slaw another

My new favorite thing in the whole wide world is strategizing how to slow cook one meal and then easily turn it into a second meal.

This not only means less time cooking, it also means one less meal I have to plan.

Meal planning is my nemesis. I love to cook. I hate to come up with “What’s for dinner?”

A slow cooker beef roast is perfect for cooking once, eating twice. The beef roast benefits from a long, slow cook time, so it needs to cook an 8 hour day.

I do believe in giving it a quick sear on all sides before putting it in the slow cooker. It means one more dish, but other than that, it’s a pretty quick and painless process to get all the ingredients into the pot then just hit “cook on low” and walk away.

In this recipe, I picked up a boneless chuck roast from Whole Foods on sale for only $3.99/pound. That means my roast only cost me $11.50! From Whole Paycheck! And I’m splitting that cost across two meals. Can you say inexpensive?

I suggest you purchase a roast based on your family size. Our family of 4 – all with adult appetites – does well with a 3 pound roast. That breaks down to about 3 ounces of meat per family member per meal.

If your family needs a larger portion of meat to be satisfied, buy a larger roast. No matter what size you buy, it’s the same amount of cooking time. Booyah!

Slow Cooker Beef Roast

Slow Cooker Beef Roast: Cook Once, Eat Twice. Make Poblano Roast Beef the first night. Make Tacos with Jicama-Orange Slaw the next.

Slow Cooker Poblano Beef Roast

3 to 4 lb boneless chuck roast
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup beef broth
4 cloves garlic
3 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
2 bay leaves
1 large onion, chopped

Season roast with salt, pepper and garlic powder. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Sear beef on each side. Transfer beef to slow cooker. In a small bowl, whisk together broth and  garlic. Pour over roast. Add peppers, bay leaves, and onions. Cover and cook low on 8 hours. Shred roast.

Reserve 1/2 of shredded beef and ¼ cup of cooking liquid for Tacos with Jicama-Orange Slaw before serving.

Serve roast topped with poblanos. Excellent over rice or cauliflower rice with a side of black beans.

Slow Cooker Beef Roast: Cook Once, Eat Twice. Make Poblano Roast Beef the first night. Make Tacos with Jicama-Orange Slaw the next.

Tacos with Jicama-Orange Slaw

Reserved beef from Poblano Roast Beef
¼ cup reserved beef broth
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
1 medium jicama, peeled and shredded
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
Corn tortillas
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
Optional: avocado

In a saucepan, bring roast, broth and cumin to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until heated through.

In a medium bowl, toss together jicama, jalapeno, cilantro, orange rind, orange juice, oil, salt and pepper.

Heat tortillas according to package directions. Top tortillas with beef and slaw and serve with onions for topping. Optional: Add avocado

Slow Cooker Beef Roast: Cook Once, Eat Twice. Make Poblano Roast Beef the first night. Make Tacos with Jicama-Orange Slaw the next.

These tacos seriously take no time at all to prepare. And the flavor is on point.

The Poblano Beef Roast is Paleo, Whole 30, and Sugar Detox compliant as is. If you are following any of those plans, serve your tacos on lettuce wraps to be compliant.

Do you have any slow cook once, eat twice meals you make?

20 Ways to Use Essential Oils

20 Ways to Use Essential Oils. There are so many things you do with just Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint essential oils. I received free product from Plant Therapy but was under no obligation to write about them or give a favorable review.

Looking for practical ways to use essential oils? Find out how you can use essential oils in just about every area of your life. Live more naturally with fewer toxins.

If you are interested in getting started with essential oils, investing in a basic starter set with lavender, lemon and peppermint is a great place to start.

These three oils have a lot of practical uses around the house. These are just some of the ways to use essential oils to live a more natural, toxic-free life.

20 Ways to Use Essential Oils

Fruit Rinse: Fill a large bowl with clean, cold water. Add 3 drops of lemon essential oil. Add fruit to bowl to clean off pesticides or waxy residue.

Make an All Purpose Cleaner: In an 16 ounce spray bottle, mix 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup of water. Add 1 tablespoon baking soda, 6 drops of lemon essential oil, and 6 drops of lavender essential oil. Spray and clean all the things!

Sleep Aide: Diffuse a few drops of lavender oil in your bedroom at night to aide in sleep. I can not stress enough how much you will love this. Treat yourself! You are worth it!

Queasy Stomach: When feeling queasy, take a few whiffs of peppermint oil to ease the quease.

Air Purifier: Diffuse a few drops of lemon oil to purify the air.

Toy Cleaner: In a large bucket or bowl, mix 1 cup hot water with 1 cup vinegar. Add 1 tablespoon Castile soap and 60 drops lemon essential oil. Dip toys in water and scrub. Rinse and let dry.

Carpet Spot Remover: Mix together 1 tablespoon vinegar, 2 tablespoons baking soda, and 2 drops lemon essential oil. Apply the paste to the stain. Allow the paste to dry before vacuuming.

Sunburn Treatment: Add several drops of lavender essential oil to aloe vera gel (make sure it is the gel) and apply to sunburn.

Looking for practical ways to use essential oils? Find out how you can use essential oils in just about every area of your life. Live more naturally with fewer toxins.


Microwave: Add a few drops of lemon essential oil to a bowl filled with water. Microwave for 3 minutes. The lemon steam helps loosen cooked on gunk so you can wipe it off.

Hot Flashes: Add a few drops of peppermint to witch hazel in a glass bottle. Use spray to relieve hot flashes. (Avoid face and eyes)

Carpet Deodorizer: Add 3 drops of lemon essential oil to 3 ounces of baking soda. Sprinkle on carpet before vacuuming. You will find yourself actually enjoying vacuuming!

Stay Awake While Driving: To help you stay awake while driving, add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to a wooden clothespin. Clip to your car’s vent to diffuse while driving.

Stainless Steel Polish: In a glass jar, mix together 1/3 cup olive oil with 3 drops of lemon essential oil. Dip a soft cloth is oil. Rub on stainless steel in small circular motions.

Homemade Soft Scrub: Add 3 tablespoons to 1/2 cup baking soda. Add 10 drops of lemon essential oil. Mix into a paste. Scrub tub and tiles before rinsing.

Headache Relief: Add a drop of peppermint oil to one tablespoon olive oil. Rub into temples and on to back of neck to help with headache symptoms.

Bug Bite Relief: To one tablespoon coconut oil add 2 drops lavender and 2 drops peppermint essential oil. Rub on bug bites to relieve itch.

Looking for practical ways to use essential oils? Find out how you can use essential oils in just about every area of your life. Live more naturally with fewer toxins.

Apply a few drops of lemon essential oil to your dish soap to help boost it’s degreasing power.

Antiseptic: Apply a drop or two of lavender essential oil to minor cuts.

Drawer Freshener:
Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a few cotton balls. Stash in your drawers to keep clothes smelling fresh.

Shampoo Boost: Add 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil to your shampoo. Peppermint not only helps to wake you up, it can help eliminate dandruff.

Those are my top 20. Now I want to know:

What are your favorite ways to use essential oils?

The Easiest Healthy Football Tailgate Appetizer

Anyone can create a stadium out of vegetables. It’s the easiest healthy football tailgate appetizer to make that will also impress your friends and family.

Ready to make the easiest healthy football tailgate appetizer? All you need is an assortment of veggies, some homemade dip, and some recyclable pans

I love the scrumdiddlyumptious appetizers that you typically get at a football tailgate as much as anyone.

Wings, nachos, jalapeno poppers, burgers, brats, chips and dips… What’s not to love?

However, my metabolism just can’t keep up with an afternoon of indulging in these traditional tailgate foods.

I hate always being the one to bring a veggie tray. It seems like a buzz kill, doesn’t it???

But in order to make sure I have a healthy option, I’ll be the one bringing the veggies.


This year, I’ll be bringing the veggie tray football stadium. It’s all in the presentation!

What you’ll need:

Chopped Veggies – you choose your favorites!
Homemade Ranch Dip (I like this recipe)
Dried Parsley
2 aluminum pans – a large lasagne size and a smaller bread size

How to Make Your Healthy Football Tailgate Appetizer Video


Healthy Cauliflower Nachos Recipe

This healthy cauliflower nachos recipe features seasoned and roasted cauliflower that tastes so mind-blowingly good, you won't miss the chips.

Oh friends. Do I have a treat for you!

Not to toot my own horn, but I think this might be one of my finest recipe creations to date.

First, I have to confess how much I LOVE tortilla chips.

Years ago, my husband was stationed in Del Rio, TX. There isn’t much in Del Rio, but there is a Julio Chip’s Factory.

Oh. My. Word. If you’ve never had fresh chips right off the factory conveyor belt, then you have not lived. So yummy!

But in an effort to eat healthier, I rarely ever buy chips.

And now that I’ve had these healthy cauliflower nachos, I may never buy chips again. For real.

These are actually quite easy to make. I started with homemade taco seasoning. You don’t have to make your own, but this is exactly what I used.


2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

Mix all the spices in a small bowl.

This healthy cauliflower nachos recipe features seasoned and roasted cauliflower that tastes so mind-blowingly good, you won't miss the chips.

Next you slice your cauliflower into large chunks.

This healthy cauliflower nachos recipe features seasoned and roasted cauliflower that tastes so mind-blowingly good, you won't miss the chips.

Brush the chunks with a generous amount of olive oil.

This healthy cauliflower nachos recipe features seasoned and roasted cauliflower that tastes so mind-blowingly good, you won't miss the chips.

Then sprinkle the cauliflower with about half the seasoning. Roast the cauliflower at 425 for about 20 minutes – or until fork tender but still firm.

This healthy cauliflower nachos recipe features seasoned and roasted cauliflower that tastes so mind-blowingly good, you won't miss the chips.

You could eat the seasoned and roasted cauliflower not be sad. It’s flippin’ good.

However, I think you should load your nachos!

My goal was to turn these into main dish nachos. Something you can sit down with a plate full and walk away feeling satisfied.

I also wanted to keep this fitting for a paleo, whole 30 or sugar detox diet. Therefore, I left off any cheese. No cheese, but yes guacamole. I love guac more than cheese, so I don’t feel like I compromised in flavor one bit.

Healthy Cauliflower Nachos Recipe


  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • taco seasoning
  • 1/2 lb ground beef or turkey or chicken
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • guacamole
  • optional: pickled jalapenos


  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Slice cauliflower into large pieces, remove core.
  3. Brush cauliflower with olive oil. Sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon taco seasoning.
  4. Roast cauliflower for 20 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.
  5. While cauliflower roasts, brown ground meat and season with taco seasoning.
  6. Top roast cauliflower with meat. Sprinkle with tomatoes and red onion. Top with guacamole and jalapenos if using.

Make these for dinner, or make them for a healthy treat to eat during the big game. Either way, I know you won’t feel deprived because they aren’t made with chips.

Drugstore Lotions Safe for Baby

Is it possible to find lotions safe for baby at the drugstore?

Drugstore Lotions Safe for Baby: Did you know you can find lotions at the drugstore that are safe to use on your baby? Mom recommended because they work and safety screened to be non-toxic.

This is the time of year that everyone is battling dry skin – including our precious, sweet, delicate babies.

If your baby is battling dry skin, did you know there are several drugstore options that are safe enough to use on babies?

This list is made up of the lotions most recommended by moms. In fact, each lotion on this list had to be recommended by moms who are currently using it AND are having success treating their baby’s dry skin.

In addition to being mom recommended, these are the lotions that get a green light from the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database.

Whenever I am looking for the safety of a product, I run it through the Skin Deep Database.

The Skin Deep Database is useful for navigating the long list of confusing ingredients found in beauty products. I used it to screen all of these lotions to make sure they were indeed safe for baby.

The FDA does not regulate all the harmful ingredients that can be found in over the counter products. The Skin Deep Database is my favorite tool for weeding through these ingredients and finding the products that are actually safe to use.

Lotions Safe for Baby

If your baby has dry skin, look for these lotions in your local drugstore or super store. I linked to the exact product I recommend on Amazon for your reference or if you like to do your shopping online.

Aquaphor Baby This is the number one recommendation for helping baby’s dry skin. In fact, one mom reported she continues to buy it for the whole family.

Weleda Cold Weather Protection Prevention is half the battle! This is my personal favorite for babies, kiddos and even myself! If I know I’m going to be running around town and it’s cold enough that the air hurts my face (you know what I’m talking about, right?) I use this. It keeps everyone protected and baby soft.

Mustela Hydra-Bebe Lotion One mom reported, “It’s super moisturizing without being heavy.” It is one of the more expensive options, but it still manages to be a well recommended, favorite product.

Mustela Stelaptopia Milky Bath Oil While this isn’t a lotion, it had too many recommends not to mention it here. Use it it the bath to lock in moisture during bath time. Use it in conjunction with any of the lotions here to help with baby’s dry skin.

Lotions to Treat Eczema

Has your baby’s skin gone from just dry to eczema? It’s common this time of year. So many moms struggle with keeping their baby comfortable, so I couldn’t neglect to tell you about these safe but effective options.

Aveeno Eczema Lotion As a treatment, this came highly recommended. In fact, one mom called it “a miracle.” Another mom suggested applying the lotion first, then “sealing” it in by applying a bit of coconut oil over it. Give it a try!

Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief Body Creme One mom described this as a “wonder cream.” It is another product that is safe according to Skin Deep.

What lotions do you like for your baby?

How to Make Cuticle Cream: A Natural Recipe

How to make cuticle cream.

How to make cuticle cream from all natural ingredients. An easy DIY, this is the best homemade recipe for soft cuticles and healthy hands.

How healthy are your cuticles?

Are they dried and cracked? Do they bleed? Or are they moist and supple and push down easily with an orange stick?

Thanks to the dry Colorado weather, I have to admit my cuticles are dry, cracked and painful.

Did you know cracked cuticles can lead to infection?

Cracked cuticles are vulnerable to letting in infection.

This natural cuticle care cream uses both lavender and tea tree essential oils. Both of these oils will not only help speed healing, but they will guard against infection.

Did you know cuticles should never be cut?

Your cuticle protects your nail bed. Cutting your cuticle can also leave it vulnerable to infection.

If your cuticles look long and unsightly, apply this homemade cuticle cream. Then use an orange stick to gently push them back. One or two treatments like this will leave your hands looking lovely.

To protect cuticles, wear gloves while doing the dishes or working out in the garden.

Both gardening and dish doing will dry out your cuticles. Taking this one step to protect your cuticles can help immensely.

Finally, moisturize cuticles daily.

It only takes a minute to swipe on a bit of cuticle cream. I usually do it right before bedtime. Consistency in applying the cream is the key to hand health.

Homemade natural beauty products are easy to make, so I tend to skip drugstore brands of cuticle cream and make my own. Follow this homemade DIY for an ultra creamy cuticle care cream that both smells amazing and works great.

How to make cuticle cream from all natural ingredients. An easy DIY, this is the best homemade recipe for soft cuticles and healthy hands.

How to Make Cuticle Cream

1 Tablespoon Mango Butter
1 Tablespoon Grated Beeswax
3 Tablespoons Apricot Oil
6 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
6 drops Lavender Essential Oil

Measure out 1 tablespoon of mango butter and 1 tablespoon of grated beeswax.
Melt mango butter and beeswax in the top of a double boiler. (If you don’t have a double boiler, you can melt the mango butter and beeswax in a glass measuring cup sitting in a pan of simmering water.)
Once the mango butter and beeswax are liquid, add the apricot oil and continue heating until mixture is clear. This will take approximately 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove from heat before stirring in the tea tree and lavender essential oils.
Quickly pour into a jar or tin with a tight-fitting lid.
Allow to cool completely before your first use.


chances are you had a smidge more beeswax than 1 tablespoon. You can gently reheat and try adding a bit more apricot oil.

IF YOUR CUTICLE BUTTER ISN’T HARD ENOUGH chances are you had too little beeswax. Trying melting just a bit more beeswax then quickly stirring it into the cuticle cream.

How do you care for your cuticles?