How-To: Make (the best!) Mayonnaise at Home (Paleo, Whole30)

Homemade Mayonnaise Quick and Easy

Ready for a healthier version of something you likely already have in your fridge?  A creamy, cool condiment gets the makeover treatment.  I’ve culled the web and done a lot of experimenting on your behalf to bring you The Best Homemade Mayonnaise (Ever).  I didn’t just make this up on my own, but I will share the unique combination of ingredients and technique I used for the richest, creamiest, most-delicious mayonnaise you have ever tasted, without any of the less-than-desirable ingredients and additives you might find in store-bought stuff.   Keep reading

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Review: Quest Bars (Non-Chocolate Category)

Quest BarsAs I mentioned in my review of all of the Quest Nutrition Quest bars containing chocolate, it just wouldn’t be fair to rate them against the Quest bars that don’t feature chocolate.  That being said, these bars are all delicious in their own right.  And sometimes (only sometimes), I’m actually in the mood for something OTHER than chocolate (shocking, I know, but it DOES happen).  When the mood for Cinnabon strikes, or some other delectable delight such as apple pie or strawberry cheesecake, I know that Quest bars have got my back in case I need a high-protein, portable option instead of the real deal.

So, here’s my (totally unofficial, non-sponsored) ranking of the Quest bars that DON’T have any chocolate in them.  As I’ve said before, I am (sadly) not compensated in any way by Quest Nutrition for my *expert* opinion, so while this post is plastered with Quest bars, all content, views and opinions expressed herein are my own and I have no affiliation with Quest Nutrition (other than as a very loyal and vocal customer) – yet (here’s hoping!).

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Review: Quest Bars (Chocolate Category)

Quest BarsAs a reminder, I LOVE QUEST BARS.  I don’t think they’re the “cleanest” or most “natural” or best “whole food” choice out there, nor do I think they’re a great snack choice for non-active bodies, and I certainly don’t agree with feeding them to young children (I’ve seen posts on the Quest Nutrition Facebook page of parents giving their TODDLERS Quest bars “for teething” – give your heads a shake, people!).  But for ME – I just can’t get enough of them.  I shudder to think how many hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars I’ve spent on Quest bars in the just under two years that have elapsed since I was introduced to them (had I known at the time what a staple they would become in my diet, I would have kissed the person who introduced me to them).

All that being said, I don’t love all Quest bars equally.  So I decided to stack ’em up for you.  And remember, I am (sadly) not compensated in any way by Quest Nutrition for my *expert* opinion, so while this post is plastered with Quest bars, all content, views and opinions expressed herein are my own and I have no affiliation with Quest Nutrition (other than as a very loyal and vocal customer) – yet (here’s hoping!).

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How-To: Make (Raw) Cashew Butter at Home

Homemade Cashew ButterIt’s time to fire up your food processor!  I’ll take you through the process of making your very own raw cashew butter at home.  I learned so much from The Healthy Foodie in her post All Natural Homemade Raw Cashew Nut Butter, and I can’t wait to share it with you! Keep reading

How-To: Make Macadamia Butter at Home

Homemade Macadamia Nut Butter SpoonfulIf my How-To: Make Hazelnut Butter at Home inspired you, then hopefully this How-To will elevate you.  I’ve taken what I’ve learned from making nut butters, including different flavour combinations, and come up with this gorgeous roasted macadamia nut butter with vanilla and sea salt.  (And if the last How-To didn’t inspire you to fire up your food processor – or high-speed blender – then maybe this one will.)

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My Favourite Fitness Bloggers

Just in time for #MotivationMonday (apparently super popular on Instagram and trending on Twitter these days), get to know my favourite fitness bloggers from around the web – a much shorter list than My Favourite Food Bloggers but I guess it’s because these two inspirational women do the work of many!  You’ll see many of their ideas and insights echoed in my own posts (and I hope I’ve given credit where credit was due) – great minds think alike!
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How-To: Make Hazelnut Butter at Home

Homemade Hazelnut Butter

As you know from my previous How-To entries, I’m not exactly re-inventing the wheel over here.  What I do hope to do, though, is provide you with the education and vicarious experience to give you the confidence that if I can do it (little ol’ me!), then so can you!  Everything you could possibly need to know (and more) on making your own nut butters at home has already been published on the web.  So, I’m just throwing my post into the fray and I highly encourage you to check out Tasty Yummies’ How to Make Homemade Nut Butters for even more insight into various other nuts and flavour options, as well as thoughts on soaked nuts vs. unsoaked nuts, raw vs. roasted and all things nut butter-related!

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How-To: Make Unsweetened Applesauce at Home

Ripe Apple“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”  “You’re the apple of my eye.”  Oh, apples!  So good on their own, so good in desserts (Salted Caramel Apple Bake, anyone?), so good at breakfast (Cinnamon Apple Pie Overnight Oatmeal), so good in soup (Simple Apple Cinnamon Roasted Squash Soup)…the options are endless.  And after all of that shameless self-promotion, what about applesauce?  Well, as you know, I’ve been loving my Vitamix high-speed blender and one of their first recipes I checked out was for Cooked Applesauce.  It’s seriously JUST APPLES.  And any regular jug blender or food processor should do the trick – I’ll show you how in this “How-To” and you can enjoy healthy, homemade applesauce, free of added sugar or preservatives, any time, either as a snack or as an ingredient in a recipe.  No need to go to the store!

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How-To: Plan and Prepare Healthy Meals

Image source: http://averyleighdesigns.com

Image source: http://averyleighdesigns.com“Failing to plan is planning to fail.”  This axiom is attributed variously to the late war-time British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and to self-help guru Alan Lakein.  Regardless of who said it, it rings true in many realms, not the least of which is health and wellness.  “Fitness starts in the kitchen,” is another popular adage.  I believe both of these statements to be patently true, especially when you are first starting out with healthy eating and active living.

Changing habits is hard work, and until better-for-you choices become reflexive and automatic (this comes with experience and practice), it can be nice to set yourself up for success in as many ways as possible.  Planning and preparing for healthy meals (and snacks) can help to take the guesswork out of your day and help you to make good decisions when hunger pangs strike you at 2:43pm on your way past the vending machine (or even 2:43am when the middle-of-the-night-munchies strike).  Being able to get healthy, family-friendly meals on the table in less time than it takes for the pizza delivery to arrive also means that you will be less likely to pick up the phone for takeout in the first place!

This post is dedicated to bringing you guidelines, tips, tricks and suggestions for healthy meal planning and preparation.  This will support your wellness goals and hopefully save your sanity during the weekday dinner rush!

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Weeknight Winner Wednesdays: Reader Input Needed!

Alright, faithful readers (I know you’re out there!). A short blog post, for once (hooray, you may be thinking). I had a brainwave today, and I wanted your input. My idea is to adopt a “day-of-the-week” post. You know, there’s Meatless Mondays and Taco Tuesdays and Wellness Wednesdays and Freaky Fridays and all that? I was thinking about “Weeknight Winner Wednesdays.” I will try to post a quick and easy recipe for a family-friendly (and nutritious and delicious) weeknight meal every Wednesday. Or maybe every other Wednesday. But definitely on Wednesday! What do you think? Would you like to see more easy, healthy meal ideas and recipes from me? Love it? Hate it? Let me know! You can e-mail me any time, or share your thoughts in the comments or in social media. I want to hear from YOU!

Thanks!

-Lauren (a.k.a. The Golden Graham Girl)