Homemade Soup

homemade soup

One of my favorite ways to make good use of a few oddball pantry items and save money is to make soup.  I also keep a bag in the freezer to add leftovers to that aren’t enough to make a family meal with.  Then put them all together for a great healthy soup!

My most recent homemade soup had:

  • leftover turkey + chicken
  • pinto beans
  • last bits of various noodles
  • a can of corn
  • leftover fresh salsa with onion (this gave it a really great flavor!)
  • 2 boxes of organic turkey broth (I try to keep some on hand)

This was SO easy and SO good!

What about you?  Do you like soup?  Do you follow a recipe or just dump like me?

smoothie recipe round up

Smoothee Recipe Roundup

I drink a smoothee every morning and sometimes for lunch because they are quick, easy and I know they have the right amount of nutrients to start the day right.  Plus they have 24 grams of protein which is  important to have with each meal and it keeps me full. and often we make them for afternoon snacks.  My boys love them,too.  I often make them as an afternoon snack and it’s a sneaky easy way for me to get extra nutrients in their growing bodies.  I have several recipes on the blog, but today I decided to compile my favorites into one post for easy finding.

Healthy Iced Vanilla Coffee

iced vanilla coffee smoothee

Get the recipe HERE


Berry Delicious

berry delicious protein smoothie

Get the recipe HERE


Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup

chocolate peanut butter protein smoothie

get the recipe HERE


Pumpkin Vanilla Spice

pumpkin spice smoothie (2)

get the recipe HERE


Mocha Frappe Smoothee

mocha protein frappe

get the recipe HERE


smoothie recipe round up

I have a list of several more recipes but these are my favorites so far.

What about you?  Do you drink smoothies?  Do you make them for your kids? 

protein energy bites

Protein Energy Bites

protein energy bitesThis is a super easy and healthy snack for you and the kids! 

It has only 3 ingredients

protein energy bite ingredients

protein energy bites recipe

Stir it all together and scoop into little balls. 

Eat and enjoy!

{we like them best refrigerated about 30 mins}

protein energy bites 2

They are filling too. 

I sent 3 with my teenage son to school in his lunch and it was just right for my growing boy. 

My youngest son is gluten intolerant so these are perfect for him too.

You could also mix in chocolate chips, oatmeal, nuts or raisins.

protein energy bites your kids will love

You can use any protein powder but this Chocolate Protein Powder is the only one I trust and give to my kids.

Enjoy and have fun mixing it up!

Tomato, Cucumber + Avocado Salad

I have been focusing on clean eating for the past month and have been learning new healthy recipes.  This salad has quickly become one of my favorites!  It is super easy to make, uses raw food and gives just enough protein to fill me up.

tomato cucumber avocado salad

I have had it several days in a row this past week while I have been detoxing because I love it so much.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


  • cut up one cucumber
  • slice one avocado
  • cut in half about 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
  • mix together
  • drizzle with freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • sprinkle with sea salt


Clean Eating {step 5} Swap White for Wheat (and other healthy grains)

We are halfway through our Clean Eating for Beginners series!  If you have been following along and focused on just one healthy swap a week you have implemented 4 clean eating solutions.  Personally, I have added in a ton more fruits and veggies to our families meals and snacks, given up soda, started using organic sugar and local honey and stopped using vegetable oil.  I feel pretty good about it so far! 

[ To find the whole series, start HERE

This week we are talking about healthy grains.

I have been told and read that white bread and flour is one of the worst things you can put into your body.  Uh oh.  Guilty of that in our house.  Honestly, this will be a tough one in our house because my teen boys are so used to white bread.  However, there are a few beginner clean eating solutions we can implement and take our baby steps there. 

In the past, I have purchased and used white bleached flour to use for baking.  Now that I know that is definitely not a clean choice, I searched for solutions.

clean eating for beginners step 5


Here is what I learned :

Organic grains are best!  If you can’t swing organic grains, then look for whole grains with few or no additives.

Unbleached wheat flour is a better choice.  I like King’s Arthur or Trader Joe’s or Bob’s Red Mill.

Sprouted wheat is best for breads.  Ezekia 4:9 is a good brand. Trader Joe’s has some great options as well.  Your next best is to again look for whole grains with few or no additives.

Ditch the crackers.  We really don’t need these, but if you are like us, you like them every once in awhile for dips and easy kid snacking.  Opt for a multigrain or whole wheat cracker. 

These are good from Trader Joes



Clean Grain Choices :

  • Wheat flour
  • Brown rice
  • Pasta (with recognizable ingredients)
  • Couscous
  • Quinoa
  • Barley


Clean Gluten Free Choices :

  • Coconut flour.  I have baked a few things with it and we love it!
  • Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour
  • Udi’s [bread, rolls, etc]



What is your experience with white and wheat flour?  Have you tried any of these clean grain choices?  What will be your first Clean Eating Swap this week?

Join our Healthy Mama. Happy Life private community for even more tips on clean eating.

healthy mama happy life


Clean Eating {step 2} Swap Soda for Water

The next step I recommend for Clean Eating for Beginners is to drink water instead of soda or other sugary drinks.  You can do it!

[go here to check out step one]

clean eating step 2 swap soda for water

Two years ago I gave up all soda.  I was totally addicted and had to have it every day.  One day, I just decided that I needed to stop.  I knew it was full of chemicals and I just wanted to eliminate it from my diet.  It was another ‘get healthy’ step for me after my time with cancer. 

And I’m not gonna lie…. it was hard at first! 

But I stuck with it and after the first 3 days, the headaches went away.  After a week, I stopped craving it.  Six months later, it tasted terrible to me! 

It can take awhile to detox your body from the artificial sweeteners, flavors and chemicals in soda and pop and then you feel so.much.better.


7 effects of soda

Next take a look at your juices and sports drinks. Read the labels!  Most of them are chock full of sugar and chemicals.  You don’t need them.  Your kids don’t need them.  Really.  Pure water fuels them properly.  Think of the money you could save?!  If you have a sports or fitness champion in the family (or you) I recommend drinking a hydration drink that is artificial free.  They can be hard to find but I like this one to keep on hand.


I swapped the soda for water.  Water is SO good for you! 

Check these 5 advantages below.



Making your own natural flavor infused water is super easy too!

I got this pitcher at Target and can fill it with lemons, limes, cucumbers or strawberries and it tastes really refreshing. This one is 85 oz and I try to drink that much everyday! We are blessed with an RO water system in our house, but when we travel, especially road trips, I filter my water through this pitcher because it’s the only one that removes toxins AND lead.

A good rule to follow is to drink half of your body weight daily.


You can make your own lemonade too by squeezing fresh lemons and adding stevia, a natural sweeter.

I also swapped the nasty caffeine choice of soda for natural caffeine.  Green tea is a great choice!  Full of benefits and you don’t have a crash afterward.  My favorite is this one because I know it doesn’t have any artificial additives.  I drink it hot and iced.  My usual plan is one hot cup in the morning and one iced in the afternoon for a natural ‘pick me up’.

For more water tips read this post : Drink More Water

How much water do you drink daily?  Make the swap to water today and let me know how it goes for you in the comments 🙂

Get Clean Water Pitcher


Naturally Wash and Prepare Fruit and Veggies

I grocery shop weekly and then take an hour to wash and chop the fruit and veggies so it simplifies my week of meals and snacks.  I like to really load up on the fresh stuff.  For a list of the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen go here.

iphone pictures 1452


When I get home from the store, this is my best time to start washing and chopping.  You can buy veggie wash at the store, but be sure to read your labels!  Some have added chemicals and this totally defeats the purpose.  I use this natural cleaner to wash mine in because I know that it is organic (made with corn and coconut oil) and it is super inexpensive.  I save so much money with this cleaner because of it’s MANY uses.

natural veggie wash

Here is how I wash mine:

natural fruit and veggie wash

First wash your sink.

Next fill up with cool water and squirt a 1/4 tsp of natural cleaner.

Let it soak for 5 min.

Drain, rinse and dry.


Since purposing to add more real fruit and veggies in our diet, I have found a great little tweak in our snacking that helps a ton with getting my kids (um…and hubby) to eat more fresh stuff. 

Every afternoon after school and up until dinner, I set out a plate of cut up fruit and veggies.  Trust me.  This works. 

If you cut it up, they will eat it! 


Fall 2013 072

They can easily grab a piece to munch on, especially when I am cooking dinner. 

Another fruit trick is to make protein smoothees and load ‘em up with fruit.  After chopping some, I freeze them to easily throw in the smoothees.  I can even sneak spinach in and they can’t tell.  shhhhh….

iphone pictures 1593

We also love fries here.  So we have homemade carrot and potato fries here several nights a week with dinner. So much more healthy than drive through or frozen.  And it will save you money too!

clean eating recipes sweet potatoes

Clean Eating Recipe: Sweet Potatoes

I totally LOVE sweet potatoes!  You can buy them frozen BUT if you make your own you are not only saving money, you know what’s in them.  Our Clean Eating for Beginners group is focused on step one this week….  adding in real fruit and veggies to every meal.


I like to get a bag of these organic sweet potatoes from Costco.  They are $7.50 for 10lbs so .75 cents a pound.  At my local grocery store the price was $1.25 per pound and that wasn’t for organic.  So this is a good deal.



Here are a few recipes on how to eat up these yummy things!

clean eating recipes sweet potatoes


Sweet Potato Fries :

1. peel and cut 3 potatoes into fry strips

2. place on baking sheet

3. drizzle with 2 T oil (olive oil or melted coconut oil) and stir to coat the fries

4. sprinkle with sea salt or cinnamon

5. bake at 450 for 15 –20 min (depending on how thick you cut your fries and how crispy you like them)

6. flip and repeat 

7. eat ‘em while they’re hot!


Sweet Potato Chips :

1. wash and slice 3 potatoes into about 1/4” chips

2. put chips into a ziploc bag and add 2 Tbsp olive oil

3. toss in the bag until they are all coated with oil

4. add in choice of spices (sea salt OR cinnamon OR cayenne pepper with chile and garlic powder for a kick)

5. mix it all up

6. place in a single layer on a baking sheet

7. bake at 425 for about 20 min (depending on the crispiness you like)

8. flip and bake for another 20.


Baked Sweet Potato :

1. wash and poke potato with a fork

2. wrap in foil

3. bake at 424 for about 30 – 40 min (depending on how big it is)

4. slice and drizzle with honey.  Yum!


Sweet Potato Cubes :

1. wash and cut into cubes

2. lay in a baking dish/pan in one layer

3. drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil OR melted coconut oil

4. sprinkle with desired seasonings (sea salt, cinnamon, or pepper)

5. bake at 400 for 15 –20 min

6. flip or stir or shake then bake another 15 – 20 min.


These recipes are SO easy and you can change it up a bit to make them sweet or salty.

Join us our clean eating for beginners private group!

healthy mama happy life


Clean Eating {step 1} Add in more Fruits and Veggies

The easiest first step to clean eating is to simply add in more fruit and veggies to every meal and snack. When I grocery shop I try to hit the produce section first and load up.  A good goal is to add 2 –3 veggies to every dinner meal and eat one fruit and one veggie as a snack for each member of your family.  This will immediately add in nutrients to your diet.

What about organic?

This was a question I asked myself too.

Below is a list of fruits and veggies.  One side is called the Dirty Dozen and the other is the Clean 15. This list is from a report from EWG (Environmental Working Group)

The truth is….some fruits and veggies are safer at the grocery store than others because of pesticides added.

By choosing to buy organic from the Dirty Dozen list, you are choosing a more clean product.

The Clean 15 is considered safe and clean to purchase non-organic.

If this is overwhelming for you, remember that clean eating is a lifestyle.  You don’t have to change everything overnight! 

Focus this week on simply adding in more fruits and veggies to your meals and pick one or two from the dirty dozen side to swap out to organic.


clean eating add in more fruits and veggies

For more tips read this ::

Naturally Wash and Prepare Fruit and Veggies

Eat more Fruits + Veggies

Clean Eating for Beginners

Baked Zucchini Chips

healthy mama happy life


Clean Eating for Beginners

I have been learning so much personally about clean eating and have been making baby steps, so to speak, about food choices in our pantry and fridge.  Clean eating is a lifestyle that can lead to preventing diseases, remove icky toxins from your body, lose weight and just feel better. The biggest challenge is just getting started and knowing what to replace with food items you have always used.


Simply put, clean eating is eliminating processed foods and sugary drinks and base your food choices on whole foods and pure water.

clean eating for beginners


Sounds simple right?


Uhhh…actually, it can be a hard switch if this is opposite of what you’ve always done.


For me, many questions came up like…

Do I buy only organic?”

Can I still eat dessert?”

What about baking?”

How do I start?”

Will it be expensive?”

How do I get my kids (even teenagers) to like it?”

How do I meal plan?”


Maybe you have asked these questions as well?


I invite you join me on the journey to clean eating.  Let’s grocery shop together.  Let’s make healthy food swaps together.  Let’s learn to budget and save money together.  Let’s meal plan together.  And let’s be leaders in our home with healthy food choices.

Step 1: Add in more fruit and veggies

Step 2: Swap soda for water

Step 3: Swap refined sugar for natural sweeteners

Step 4: Swap seasonings, oils + salt

Step 5: Swap white for wheat

Step 6: Protein (plant + animal)

Step 7: Whole Food Supplements

Step 8: Dairy (and non-dairy)

Here are a few ways to join me and to make sure you get all my current updates ::

Subscribe to my newsletter

Join our Healthy Mama. Happy Life. private page.


Happy Eating!


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