Food, Health

What To Do With Misfit Market Produce

Misfit Market is an organic produce subscription that is delivered to your door for half the price of supermarkets. I’m sure you’re thinking it’s probably expired or undesirable produce. It’s actually farm fresh and locally sourced fruits and veggies that are less than perfect in appearance or shape and cannot be sold in the grocery stores. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t bother me that things aren’t perfect, I’m going to chop them up most of the time anyway! Misfit Market saves a lot of food waste and helps organic produce to be more available on a budget.

We’ve been getting our Misfit boxes every week for a few months now and love it! We started with the Madness Box which is perfect for families of 4 and then we decided for health reasons to eat a plant based diet and now order 2 Madness Boxes per week. If you have only 1-3 people in your home, I would suggest the Mischief Box which has a smaller amount of produce. I do a weekly posting of what was in my box, and what meals I made with it on my Health & Harmony Facebook page so go join my page to get some inspiration!

Seasonal Produce

If you’ve grown a garden, you know that sometimes you end up with a bunch of the same kind of produce. That can happen when you get Misfit Market boxes on a regular basis too since they are sourcing from local farms. Eggplant, summer squash, zucchini, and onions have been a staple in our boxes for the last few months. I started to accumulate eggplant since it’s not a favorite veggie and summer squash because I was limited in knowing how to prepare it other than in a pan with onions and that gets boring! So I hit the internet to find some new ways to use these and adapt them to our plant based eating. To our surprise and delight, everything was so delicious and we used up EVERYTHING in our fridge and pantry!

My eyes and palate have been opened to some new meals through this introduction of a plant based diet and Misfit Market deliveries have really helped us stick to it. Once you have this much produce in your house, there’s no turning back! So if you’re the type of person that needs accountability, this is for you!

Meal Planning

The key to sticking with a plant based diet is definitely being prepared. I find it most helpful to have a planned menu for the week including lunches. Both for me and mom at home and for the guys out of the house all day. Otherwise, we don’t make the best choices and end up feeling terrible too boot.

When I get my Madness Box, I wash everything thoroughly in Thieves Fruit & Veggie Wash and vinegar. I make a list of all the items received and then think about what I can make with them. If I’m not sure, Pinterest and the Forks Over Knives Facebook Page is always helpful in finding new recipes. Once I have my menu planned out then I order anything else I need to begin preparing meals for grocery pickup at my local grocery store. I spend one day- usually Saturday doing meal prep for lunches, putting a crockpot meal together for the busiest night of the week, and cutting/prepping any veggies to save time during the week so all of my meals stay at about 45 minutes or less to get to the table. It has helped tremendously and we’ve all been healthier for it!

When You’re Tired Of The Same Old Thing

My mom did her best, but she wasn’t interested in cooking when I grew up. So we ate the same thing every week over and over. I guess that’s why It used to be rare for me to make the same meals more than once or twice. Now that our eating habits have changed, we tend to eat some of the same meals, but in different ways which keeps things interesting and just different enough for me. I’ve also come to learn and enjoy eating foods raw. They taste different and it brings new prospective to foods I thought I didn’t like much.

One of those foods that tastes better raw is eggplant! Who knew! Eggplant is a common item in your Misfit Box. What comes to mind is eggplant parmigiana right? We did that a couple of times, but I still had a lot of it left. I came across this Raw Eggplant Manicotti recipe and adapted it using a vegan cream cheese with chives and nutritional yeast as the “cheese” of the manicotti then followed the rest of the recipe x4 and made a huge batch of these. They were absolutely delicious and even the meat eating men in my house thought they were delicious!

Another common ingredient in the Misfit Box is red onion. Granted, these can be used in more ways than eggplant, but can you use 6 or 7 a week? Likely no! That’s when Caramelized Onion Marmalade was born! It smells like Thanksgiving Dinner while cooking and pretty much cooks itself with a little monitoring. It is out of this world delicious on all kinds of things! Our favorite was on a portobello mushroom black bean burger topped with guac, sprouts, and some roasted radish chips! It’s also a great lunch or party snack when placed on top of a baguette smeared in goat cheese. MMMMM…I’m getting hungry!

The third item we commonly get is yellow summer squash. I’ve used it all of the traditional ways and even used it in a bread, but still had lots left over and each week got more since it’s prime season. Italian Sausage Stuffed Summer Squash was a great way to use up all the summer squash I had and I heard “It’s a keeper” from around my dining table. I adapted the recipe using vegan cheese, Ultimate Beefless Ground, and gluten free bread. They were yummy and would be even better with just a splash of marinara to be more like a sausage pizza!

Have You Tried Misfit Market?

With Misfit Market expanding into new states recently, I’m curious if you’ve tried it? What have you made with what you got in your box? I’d love to see it in the comments! If you haven’t tried it and would like to, here’s a discount code to get you going!

Food, Health

Caramelized Red Onion Marmalade

We’ve been loving our Misfit Market weekly deliveries, but I was starting to accumulate a stockpile of red onions. I used them in as many recipes as I could, but still had a lot and each weeks seemed to get more! I was determined to find a way to use them up and prove to hubby it could be done!

As we’ve just started eating a plant based diet, I’ve learned so much about veggies I didn’t know before. Onions in particular surprised me to learn they are packed with nutrients and antioxidants making them cancer fighting kung foo masters. Which is what we are shooting for here with my mother’s cancer treatment. They also contain 10% of the recommended vitamin C, 2% of your calcium, , and 2% of your iron for the day! They are immune boosting and rich in vitamins K, B6 as well. Red onions are not only high in vitamins, but also in minerals. Folate, thiamin, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and manganese to be exact. Next time I see red onions on a dish I won’t say hold the onion- how about you?!

Caramelized onions are good on lots of things so that’s where my mind started to think about how to use up this pile of onions! I did a quick search and found a recipe I could start with as a foundation and adapt it to make it my own. We found it to be so delicious with just about anything you added it to, but this portobello mushroom and black bean burger was the bomb with a layer of marmalade, guac, sprouts, and roasted radish chips!

So here’s what I did:

Ingredients

  • 3 TBSP Avocado Oil
  • 6 Red Onions, sliced fine
  • 3 Yellow Onions, Chopped Fine
  • 2 Shallots, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 3/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3/4 Cup Organic Brown Coconut Sugar
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 3 Bay Leaves

Instructions

  • In a food processor, slice the red onion thin. Then dice the yellow onion and shallots. (I used my food processor for all of it and just dumped it all straight into the pan.)
  • In a ceramic skillet on medium low heat add all onions and coat with the heated oil and season with salt & pepper. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the onions have softened, but don’t allow them to brown.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and brown coconut sugar until well combined. Add the mixture to the pan along with cinnamon stick, and bay leaves. Stir until well combined and leave uncovered on low for another hour to 90 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed and the onions are a dark burgundy color.
  • Be sure to keep a close eye on it the last 30 minutes as the liquid gets fully absorbed to prevent the onions from burning.
  • Allow to cool completely and then put into any airtight container. It will keep refrigerated for a very long time and the taste intensifies as it sits.

This is a great way to use up those red onions and have a condiment on hand for future use! Great for last minute guest snack or for those holiday gatherings!

Food, Health

How To Delete Type 2 Diabetes To Regain Your Health

Type 2 diabetes affects 10% of the global population and is currently the 8th most common cause of death worldwide. That’s a staggering number considering it’s preventable and reversible! Simple lifestyle modifications that you can implement slowly each day will inch you that much closer to being free from Type 2 Diabetes and on to living a healthy life.

Feeling Sick & Tired Of Being Sick & Tired?

There are a variety of reasons why someone would develop Type 2 Diabetes, but the most common is stress which is abundant in most of us today. When stress builds on the body day after day and week after week it causes inflammation in the body which weakens the immune system and suppresses your ability to fight off illness. It also compromises your Adrenal Glands causing Adrenal Fatigue which then manifests itself in the form of disease sending you on a cyclone of sick and tired.

When we feel sick and tired, our bodies crave comfort foods usually in the form of sugar and carbs. Those nutrients are broken down quickly and turn the foods into glucose which then spikes your sugar and energy for a short period. When that sugar is depleted, you’re then looking for more of that energy and lean on the sugar and carbs that feed that cycle gaining weight and keeping you feeling sick and tired. Brain fog, difficulty concentrating, impatience, nervousness, heart palpitations, excess sweating, light headedness, nausea, fatigue, and mood swings are all reactions of unbalanced blood sugar. Sound like you or someone you know?

3 Simple Changes

Here are a few really simple lifestyle modifications you can make toward beating Type 2 Diabetes. They’re probably not new information to you, but if they could change your life would you do them?

  1. Drink More Water! So that’s a no brainer right?! Drinking water is essential to our health right down to a cellular level, yet most people don’t drink nearly enough- including me! However, it’s a vital first step in lowering blood sugar. Opting for water with your meal over a soda can also save you 240 calories!

Drinking more water decreases your cravings and increases your energy level because it’s working to carry nutrients to your cells and flushing toxins from the body. It also cushions your joints and prevents muscle cramping. Best of all it reduces inflammation which is the source of most major illness in the body.

You should be drinking half of your body weight in water daily. If you don’t drink much water, I probably just lost you. However, take heart there are easy ways to help you drink more water daily without really putting much effort into it. A Health Coach can help guide you in those methods. If you’re drinking enough, you’re generally going to the restroom every 2-3 hours and urine is light in color. If you’re not drinking enough water, you could experience symptoms like dizziness, rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, very dry skin and mouth, fatigue, and mental fog.

2. Balance Protein…Hmm, bet you didn’t think of that one. Everyone has a unique chemical makeup, therefore everyone requires different amounts of nutrients from various sources.

Specifically in patients with Type 2 Diabetes you want protein sources that are complex and take the body longer to digest. This slows down the digestion and absorption process of any carbohydrates you ate with your meal- in turn lessening the pattern of blood sugar readings being all over the map.

When you have too little protein, you can have crazy intense sugar cravings, have feelings of weakness or fatigue, be lethargic, experience hair loss, and changes in hair color and texture. Feelings of being jittery or anxious are also common symptoms. While having too little protein is most common, you could also have too much protein in your diet. Symptoms of too much protein in your diet are constipation, kidney disfunction, extreme bad breath, body odor, weight gain, and feeling tight or stiff in the body. Balancing protein and the right KINDS of protein are essential for balancing blood sugar levels and in turn reduces insulin resistance.

3. Physical Activity. Most people who are Type 2 Diabetic are overweight and the thought of physical activity doesn’t appeal to them or they just feel too weak and tired to move. Alternately, physical activity independent of weight loss has been shown to improve glycemic control and lower insulin resistance. Physical activity also improves cardiovascular function, lipid profile, and general mental wellbeing. It’s the trifecta of health!

You don’t have to join a gym or hire a personal trainer, although that would be great accountability. Simply moving for 30 minutes a day walking, jogging, or biking will do the trick. Work your way up from there and see how this small step is the right one in a healthy direction!

Results Of Uncontrolled Diabetes

So if you’re still not convinced that taking steps toward preventing or reversing Type 2 Diabetes is worth changing a few habits, maybe seeing what the result of uncontrolled Diabetes is.

-Diabetic Ketoacidosis, High Blood Pressure leading to Heart Disease, Kidney Disease & Renal Failure, and HHNS (which is fatal in 20% of people who fall victim to its complications) are all outcomes of uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes.

There is a better way! If you’ve been told you are Pre-Diabetic or have Type 2 Diabetes and need help with finding a direction to overcome it, a Health Coach is a great way to go. I’m currently in training to be a Health Coach after successfully overseeing my mother’s care and reversing her Type 2 Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, and Neuropathy through proper nutrition and physical activity. I’ve seen this work first hand and I’d love to help you too!