Tuesday, January 28, 2014

~Yummy One Pot Meal~Sausage and Spinach Pasta~Make Gluten Free or Not~

Sausage, Spinach and Quinoa Pasta 

One package of sausage {I used Applegate Organics italian chicken-turkey sausage}
1/2 onion, diced {Optional}
1 cup sliced mushrooms {optional, I love mushrooms}
1 can 13-14oz diced or stewed tomatoes {I used Muir Glen
organic diced}
1 1/2 cups chicken stock {I used homemade}{Click here for homemade chicken stock recipe}
8oz package Quinoa Pasta {I used Ancient Harvest Organics} OR{ for regular you can use 1/2 package of egg noodles}
3 cups of fresh spinach {I used Earthbound Farm Organics}
1 cup of fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Start by cutting up the sausage into slices. Then put sausage in pot and brown, add onions and mushrooms, then when the mushrooms shrink and onions are cooked add in the tomatoes, chicken broth, and uncooked quinoa pasta OR uncooked egg noodles. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Lastly add spinach making to stir in well. Let cook about 10 more minutes.

Grate your fresh Parmesan and sprinkle over the top before serving. Let melt a bit and then serve!

~This post was inspired by Wholesome Mommy and her blog, She has a similar recipe, I just tweaked it to my liking, which you can do too!~

~Easy Homemade Chicken Broth~

The health that is in chicken broth is amazing, that is why I learned how to make my own. I attached this GREAT article on the healing effects of bone broth from Dr. Mercola's website. Its a great read and very informative. I would encourage you to read it if you are really serious about learning to make your own chicken broth, it will get you excited about making it! Also, Dr. Mercola has an even BETTER recipe and way of making broth, although its more time consuming. {NOTE}I'm just trying to help moms out who need quick, easy recipes for their family, but if you have more time then I would suggest trying his method.

You can use your chicken broth to make soups, boil noodles in, make rice with, or quinoa.

Just about every week when I'm planning my meals I use chicken meat. BUT instead of buying chicken breasts, I usually purchase the whole chicken. Its ALWAYS cheaper and I can get two meals out of one chicken. So for example I will make chicken soup with some meat and a stir fry with the leftover meat.

EASY Homemade Chicken Broth

Crock pot {If you don't have a crock pot, you can do this in a large pot on the stove, put in water and chicken and bring to boil, then set to low and let simmer uncovered for about 4 hours, add more water after 2 hours if its getting low}
1 whole free range chicken, thawed

Place you whole chicken in the crock pot, fill with water about 1/2-3/4 full. Turn crock pot on for most convenient time for you. If your gonna be home set for 4 hours, if your going to work all day set for 10 hrs.

When chicken is all done, let it cool. Then pull chicken out. Use strainer to strain broth for unwanted bones or meat pieces. Strain broth and pour into a container until ready for use. You can freeze your broth or place it in the freezer if you know you will be using it that week.

You can store your broth in many ways, glass jars, tuberware, or even plastic ziplocs if thats all you have on hand. It takes time to build up a kitchen with gadgets, so use what you have until you can buy what you'd like :)


After you have picked all the meat off, place the remaining bones in a pot full of water and simmer for anywhere from 20-60 minutes. Whatever time you have. The longer you simmer the more health in your broth. Then strain out bones, use for chicken soup immediately and just add veggies and meat OR store in container until you use.


Since this is homemade broth it will harden and become gel-like if stored or leftovers are placed in fridge. This is okay and normal, once its warmed it will return to its liquid state. :)


Monday, January 27, 2014

Yummy Moist Banana Bread! Use Wheat or Make Gluten Free

Yummy Moist Banana Bread

2-3 Bananas
1/2 c sugar OR stevia OR 1/2 c of Honey
1/2 stick butter {I use Full Circle Organic} OR sub for coconut oil
2 eggs
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tbsp vanilla {The REAL stuff, not imitation}
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 c Whole wheat flour/white flour OR Gluten Free Flour {If using Gluten Free Flour, remember to add Xanthan Gum}

Optional Additions:
1/2 bag of REAL Chocolate Chips such as Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips
1 cup Walnuts or Pecans {Check ingredient list for added ingredients, such as maltodrexin, salt, sugar}Try to get plain, raw nuts

Brown sugar OR Coconut sugar sprinkled over the top before baking.

Pre-heat oven to 350.

Mash up your bananas, but do over mash :), add sugar{OR sugar sub}, add cooled melted butter{OR coconut oil}, and 2 eggs. Add cinnamon and vanilla. MIX!

Next add baking soda, and flour. Mix it up.

Grease baking dish or cupcake pan.

Add your batter and then sprinkle with brown sugar OR{Coconut sugar}.

For cupcakes bake about 20 minutes.
For pan bake about 50 minutes.

Use a toothpick to check about 10 minutes before timer goes off. Everybodys oven is a touch different.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead - Trailer


Seeds Of Death - Full Movie

Food Inc - Official Trailer [HD]

~BEST Homemade Healthy Fruit Jelly EVER!!~

So recently I wrote about high fructose corn syrup and how it is in EVERYTHING including most jellies. Before I found this recipe I was buying jelly from the farmers market and from Woodmans, a local store that carries Wisconsin based foods. The ingredients contained only real sugar, but now since starting my science based nutrition program I'm also trying to cut sugars where ever I can. So here is a great recipe for homemade jam.

You can always change the amounts to sweeten more or less, or to make more. I started out with a small batch but plan on making more. With three kids we do and will go through many PB &J's :)

Homemade Fruit Jelly

1cup frozen raspberries, or mixed berries or whatever berry you like
1-2 TBSP Honey
 2 tbsp of chia seeds

Either you can let your frozen fruit sit out for a few hours until its thawed and ready to be mashed or you can throw it in a pot and cook on low heat until it thawed and soft. I prefer to let it just sit out because then I'm not killing any nutrients by cooking it and you can say its a RAW food :)

Once fruit is thawed, use a fork and mash it up until its mostly chunk free, but a few fruity chunks are fine.

Add 1-2 TBSP of honey and mix. I would start with one TBSP and taste test. Then add to your liking.
Finally add 2 TBSP of chia seeds and mix. Wait about 5-10 minutes and the chia seeds will have expanded into gel like pieces which really makes this like Jelly.

Store in an cleaned used jelly jar. I used my store bought Jelly jar, and cleaned it out after i used it all and put my new Healthy Homemade Fruit Jelly in it.

Berries have tons of antioxidants, chia seeds are a great source of healthy fat and protein, and honey is a great natural sweetener. The vitamins present in honey are B6, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and certain amino acids. The minerals found in honey include calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc. Honey also has a low glycemic index which is helpful to those with diabetes.

Here are some links on the nutrition of berries, chia seeds, and honey:



My Journey To Healing~Day 1~Science Based Nutrition

Recently, I have found a new chiropractor for my family. I liked my old chiropractor but we were looking for a chiropractic office that offered more. Well, I found it! A few months back or maybe like a year ago(once again I'm not good at remember time lengths) , I noticed a sign on a pole outside of this Chiropractic office that said "What does your blood say about you?", every time I passed, I would wonder about it. I was curious what the sign meant and what my blood said about me. I was happy with my current situation and chiropractor so I didn't think about moving. But for some reason I eventually called that office with the sign outside on the pole, now it reads welcome Dr. Kristi Kennedy Otto.

Its called Appleton Chiropractic, and its located in Appleton, WI across from Copps on Wisconsin Ave. Dr. Roy is my husbands doc and Dr. Kristi is mine and the boys. After my first meeting with Dr. Kristi I knew I was in the right place. I didn't feel weird about all my health nut theories and could talk about the research Ive done without surrounding doubts. It felt good. I began getting adjusted, along with using the decompression machine and vibration plate. This was my first experience with both these kinds of machines. Dr. Kristi said that the compression machine will "Fluff up my marshmellows in between my legos". LOL, I love it! And then she said the vibration plate is great for cleaning out your lymph system. Currently I still use those machines, and now started some muscle strengthening machines. I have also used micro-current, and had a detoxification foot bath.

The detox foot bath was interesting, and it freaked me out a little bit. When I was finished I felt a bit anxious. Some people report feeling cleansed but not me. I have never had a foot detox bath and I'm assuming I had a heavy load to release in there and it was just a bit overwhelming for my body so it reacted with a bit of anxiety. I felt great the days following and my body continued to detox.

I said all that though to say I also found out what my blood says about me! I had the blood and hair analysis ran and my results were worse than I hoped but nonetheless good to know about. Some of the things I have been going through have been confirmed by it and I was also given a complete list of the vitamins I need. The program is called SBN, Science Based Nutrition.
I just started the vitamin part of the program today, but made the food changes about a week ago. I had already been altering my diet but with this new tool to help I have decided to take out all gluten and most dairy from my diet. My focus is on eating meats and vegetables. Really trying to cut sugars since my main concern right now is healing my gut and sugar can aggravate the gut.

I was planning on blogging my journey to healing as I call it. So today is Day 1. This morning when I woke up, I drank a full bottle of clean spring water and took my probiotics in a bit of almond milk, and then got all my vitamins out. It took me about a half hour to get them together and take them all. I felt pretty good and still feel pretty good.

SO, What does your blood say about you?

If anybody wants more info on SBN, Science based nutrition or is looking for a chiropractic check out my links below:



Food Matters Official Trailer

My REAL Food Journey~Knowledge is Power!

 I'm very much into natural healing, whole foods, raw eatin', and natural cleanin'! I'm a FOODIE, that is a word by the way and here is the definition, "a person having an enthusiastic interest in the preparation and consumption of good food" taken from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/foodie. Why have I become so enthusiastic about food, you ask?

Well, about two or so years ago I started having digestive issues, gassy, bloating, feeling sick after eating, dizziness, foggy, and an overall feeling of sickness. I decided to go to a clinic and get tested for allergies. The Doc said I was fine and my tests were normal, but I wasn't feeling normal :/ So in the last 2 or so years (BTW I'm really bad at estimating time, so it was basically awhile ago..lol) I began my research and WOW, have I learned SO much! Yet I have so much more I what to learn and know because of what I've researched already. In short, I found out that our food system is a MESS!! We have GMO's, Artificial Flavors, Colors, Yellow # This and that, Antibiotics, Hormones, MSG, High Fructose Corn Syrup, and about tons of other science experiments in our food today.

So this is what I did, I taught myself the basics of reading food labels, I went to the library and found books on how to read food labels, researched reading food labels on the Internet and starting reading the labels of all my food at the grocery store. Anytime I couldn't understand the 50 ingredient long list, I would write it down and look it up when I got home. Most, not all, but most of the food I purchase now has usually 5 or less ingredients. And I know what those ingredients are.

It was a slow process, but I began tossing out food because I couldn't eat it after knowing what was in it. After watching the documentary Food, INC, I was so grossed out and upset with TYSON foods, that I went straight into my freezer and tossed out my new unopened bag of TYSON chicken breasts. YUCK!(Watch Food, INC and tell me if your not tempted to do the same) I NEVER buy Tsyon chicken anymore.  Then I started buying antibiotic free/hormone free chicken, usually harvestland, Walmart and Copps foods carries this brand.

Now, I shop mostly at Woodmans and I buy either organic whole chicken when I can afford it, or the brand Just Bare Whole Chicken. I can usually get two meals out of one whole bird :) And I love making soups with the chicken stock, the health in the bone broth just makes me smile..lol.

Another thing I really picked up on quickly was how everything had corn in it. This to me was a mystery I wanted to solve. I rented the movie King Corn from the library and then I began to understand why everything has corn in it. Now its not the whole kernel or corn but its a very refined, isolated part of the corn. The greatest analogy I ever heard was made on the documentary called Hungry For Change(A sort of sequel to Food Matters). A man said something like, when you have the coco plant, it makes a very good tea and has health benefits when in its natural form, but when you refine it and make cocaine it becomes dangerous and a drug. This is exactly the SAME as high fructose corn syrup. Corn is great on the cob, or in a salsa, but when you break it down so much as to take only the fructose or sugar out of it and use it as addictive sweeteners in foods like ketchup, salad dressing, milk, it becomes dangerous and a drug. High fructose corn syrup is addictive, and the sooner you can wean off it and get foods without it the BETTER off you are. Also, corn is cheap. Monsanto a major food giant, who is now patenting seeds, yes seeds, has made a genetically modified seed for corn. The genectic modified corn is heavily sprayed with toxic chemicals and its DNA is altered.

This is A LOT of info but its a great start and its where I started. I will continue to write more posts about my food journey, and what I have learned. If your on a real food journey I'm here to encourage you, you can do it! Please ask any questions you'd like and let me know how your real food journey started.


Here are links to the documentaries I mentioned, you can also rent them at your local library.
Check out the trailers on my blog!





Monday, January 6, 2014

~My Favorite Sandwich~Homemade Reubens~YUMMY

When I was younger my grandmother would make homemade sauerkraut, and the smell would sweep through the house. It was a kind of stinky, tangy smell. I didn't like the smell and I wouldn't even try the sauerkraut. WHAT was wrong with me, I really enjoy sauerkraut now and even crave it at times. Its so delicious.

So one of my favorite sandwiches to make is The Reuben.

I found the best recipe on another blog and have to share this for other reuben lovers!



Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Favorite Recipe~Chicken Cordon Bleu~Homemade

This is one of my family's favorite meals. Its bursting with flavor and a great source of protein. Its not to expensive, and very easy to make. And it doesn't take that long to make.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

4-6  Fresh not frozen Chicken Breasts {I buy natural raised, hormone/antibiotic free from Woodman's}
4-6 pieces provolone {I buy Applegate Organics from Woodman's}
4-6 pieces of sliced Ham {I buy Applegate Organics Ham from Woodman's}
2-3 TBSP Frying/Cooking Olive Oil{Lighter Color} or Coconut oil

You will need a skillet pan and a baking dish that will fit all chicken, I use my cast iron because I can use it on the stove and in the oven.

Preheat Oven to 350

First you need to cut a slit in your chicken breasts from the side. Do not cut it all the way through but big enough to place the slice of hm and cheese inside.

After all your chicken breast are cut, get a piece of ham and cheese and put together. Fold in half, then stuff inside of your chicken breast when you made the cut.

You will want to warm up your skillet and allow the oil to get warm.

When you are done putting the ham and cheese inside of all the chicken breasts they are ready for the warmed up oil and pan. Place the chicken breasts in the pan and cook each side for about 1-2 minutes or until they are slightly browned.

Once they are browned on each side, either place your cast iron skillet right in the oven, or you will have to transfer your chicken breasts to a baking dish and bake in the oven for about 10-15 more minutes or until done.

Chicken is done when you cut into it and juices are clear or chicken meat is no longer clear looking inside.

You can make a refreshing salad as a side along with a baked potato. ENJOY!

I will post pictures next time I make it, which will be next week.

Here is a website about Applegate Products:

Woodman's has a wide variety of natural and organic foods at reasonable prices. They are family owned and also do no accept Credit, only debit and checks

And find a Woodman's near you:

~Jenn Swen

My New Year~2014

So you gotta start somewhere, and this is my somewhere. I love writing, I'm on the Web way more than I want to be, so I figure I better be productive. I want to learn how to blog and become a great blogger. For 2014 I have made some ambitions and here is my list:

 1. Learn the piano
2. Excercise
3. Eat Healthy
4. LEARN to blog

I have wanted to play the piano since I was a young girl. I have always enjoyed the beautiful music that comes out of the piano. My husband bought me a piano about a year ago and so far I have taught myself the main keys, I also taught my 6 year old the main keys, beyoud that I haven't a clue. So I'm going to be watching tutorials and teaching myself this year!

Now my list for what I want to accomplish is way longer but I'll focus on these 4 things at least this month, who knows next month I might be onto something else. Thats just me. I get bored easily and don't like doing the same things over and over, but as I age I have noticed I'm getting better at being consistent and forming healthy daily habits.

I don't always enjoy excersize but its something I WANT to do. Most of my 30 minutes on the eliptical consists of thoughts like "This Burns!" "Its only 30 minutes of your day" "Your almost done!"

My Favorite part is lifting weights. Now I do not lift a lot at all, just enough to get resistance. I'm not trying to body build but rather gain muscle and become stronger. As you age its important to maintain strength to help prevent bone fractures and keep your spine aligned, among many others reasons of course. But I suppose those are some of my reasons. I also work out with my husband and view it as time spent together talking about our day, and just enjoying doing something together.

I really enjoy my after workout routine, it consists of calming stretches and some yoga and just a calm down peaceful state. In fact thats where I like to be most of my day in a peaceful state, however life has a way of bringing me out of that peaceful state.

I have a true passion for eating heathly, making healthy family meals, giving my kids healthy snack choices and just overall a interest in food and how it contains so many nutrients and vitamins. And how we can use food to heal ourselves rather than medication. I'm very interested in natural healing. I spend a good amount of time cooking, and baking so I want to do it well. I'm having my first REAL food party on January 25th, I got the idea from Wholesome Mommy Blog, and wanted to do it too! How great to get together with people you love and care about and share ideas on how to live healthy! To me its great.

My last pregnancy, which was my third child I was diagnosed at gestational diabetic based on my 3 hour glucose testing. My nurse wanted to do more testing and possible medication. I declined. I determined that I would rather see the nutritionalist and learn better how to naturally manage this. It was a challenge at first but I was very adamant about no medication. I felt it would do more harm to my baby and me. I was giving a testing monitor which greatly helped me discover the foods that were spiking my glucose. I took those out of my diet and my glucose was fine. Thank God. I'm very thankful that I had enough knowledge to know medication wasn't my only choice and that I could choose to take control of my health.

 I'm also striving for a chemical free environment, so I like to use many natural cleaning products. I enjoying making my own concoctions and I'm constantly educating myself on how to save money and use prducts that clean well but without living my home laden with toxic chemicals. I want to create a peaceful, safe haven for my family to come for peace and rest.

Lastly I'm learning to blog, I have done it before but not consistently. So this is going to be a challenge. I do love to write but sometimes I get lazy with it :)

I hope for this blog to not only encourage Mom's but to encourage anyone. Although I am a Mom and my focus is on my family and raising my children, many topics are revelant to anyone in any stage of life. Also if there is a health topic you would like covered or researched please let me know.

~Jenn Swen~


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