Posts Tagged ‘Swanson Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil’

I am venturing out on a Lunch Quest.

Habit and convenience are the two reasons I tend to eat the same lunches during the week. I like to keep certain items on hand that are healthy and easy to eat at my desk.  But I have to admit, I am getting bored with eating my same old, same old bag lunch. I have been craving green salads, but I like mine loaded up or I tend to get hungry not long after eating. I wanted to try out this salad in advance to see if I would be able to adapt it for a during the week “take away” shrimp salad.

Avocado Shrimp Salad

I sautéed the shrimp in Extra Virgin Coconut Oil and seasoned with white cooking wine, lemon juice, paprika and chives.

They cook up so fast, they only need a few minutes of cooking time. They get really tough if they are overcooked.

I chopped up an avocado and sprinkled with lemon juice to keep its color.

I did not add any dressing to this salad, just some lemon juice and I mixed up the avocado really well. It coated all the leaves and really added a creaminess like a dressing would.

Here’s my thought on the salad, it was perfect to make and to eat at home, but I don’t think I’ll take this to work with me, the avocado cut in advance would get too brown and everything would have to be packed separate and then added together at my desk, so it really would not be the most convenient, plus I would worry that the shrimp would lose its freshness.

So this is a keeper when made at home for when I want to eat it for that meal, but the quest for something different for lunch continues on, I might have found a great new salad, but my quest is not complete.

In today’s Boot Camp news, we start week #2 and I am ready to go, I am able to do all the workouts on the day’s as they are listed and I have chosen a new goal. I am going to be keeping my in Bed By 11p.m. for Goal #1, because I really need to develop better sleeping habits, but this week I decided to go with Using a Foam Roller after each workout as my #2 Goal.


One of my main focuses for this weeks workouts is to really concentrate on the muscles that I am working. I want to really focus on breathing, tempo and form.  I have noticed that I hold my breath on excretion and push too fast through the exercise. I have enlisted the help of my husband this week also, I asked him to make sure I am keeping my form when I do the sets. He pointed out a few things for me last week and I really liked having a spotter. He kept asking me during the Crab Walk “Is your Butt suppose to be dragging like that?”  So I would start over and keep my tush up. I think he should have been a coach, he has a really good attention to detail kind of mind, plus he’s a great motivator, i’d shout out “tell me I can do it”  in my I don’t think I can voice, and he would jump up and cheer me on! He’s so cool.

Question of the day: What do you bring for your bag lunch?

Check Ya Later.



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Best Body Boot Camp Update: 1st. off I have learned that I can push past the pain. 2nd. I look forward to working out. Pushing past the pain has been easier than I thought. I had some serious thigh burning the first few minutes of my elliptical workout today, but once I got past the burn I found myself having more energy and ability to adapt to the changing intervals with ease. I have also found that I look forward to what I will get to try next, I mean not in a million years would I ever have thought that I would be doing some of these exercises, they always seems too advance for me, but when I am able to do them, and complete the set it just helps me build my confidence and lose the phrase “I can’t do that”.

Now on to something sweet. There are times when we all find a recipe that immediately you know I have to make that, well here’s one such recipe for Avocado Chocolate Pudding that I adapted from That’s so Michelle.  I knew that if my husband saw me making this he would taste it with hesitation or maybe prejudge what it would taste like, so I made it while he was working out. My husband loves food and he really is not picky at all, but I wanted him to eat the pudding and tell me how he liked it before I told him what was in it. I just love to show him that you can add goodness to any meal, snack and dessert.

Avocado Chocolate Pudding 

It was weird to see avocado and peanut butter in a bowl together.

I was excited to get to try out Swanson Organic Cocoa Powder in a recipe that would really feature it. I just love that fact that there is NO sugar added to it and it has a smooth cocoa flavor.

Finding way to incorporate coconut oil into my diet has not been hard, I love this stuff and it really is easy to find ways to use it.  Check out this link for reasons why coconut oil is so amazing.

Mix it all together in a bowl and use your hand mixer until smooth.

This batch made  4 really nice size servings. I added chocolate chips for a little crunch.

So here’s the reaction from my husband. He loved it. Which I knew he would. So I then told him what was in it. The only thing he said was “You Put What in My Pudding?” It was so funny, he really didn’t care what was in it because it tasted like Chocolate Pudding.

Ingredients  (Serves 4)

1 Ripe Avocado
1/4 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
6 Packets of Truvia or 1/4 Cup sugar
1/4 cup Agave Nectar
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
Dash of Salt

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix with a hand mixer until creamy and smooth and serve.

Question of the day: Have you tried coconut oil? What did you use it in? 

Check Ya Later.

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Completed Day #1 of the Best Body Boot Camp. Getting organized and prepped for it was really easy, Tina provided all the information, I just needed to put in the work, and work I did, wow it was a great workout.

So after my workout I wanted to really fuel my body, so I made a Recovery Smoothie with fruits and spinach.

Recovery Smoothie Recipe:

  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk
  • 1 Scoop Protein Powder
  • 1 Banana
  • 6 Large Strawberries
  • 1 Handful Spinach
  • 6-8 Pitted Cherries
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Scoop Date Sugar
  • 2 Ice Cubes
  • 1 Handful Kashi Cereal (added to the top as a garnish)
Blended and served immediately.

The banana and spinach were fresh and the cherries and strawberries were frozen from my smoothie stash.

Today I added a little Swanson Organic Date Sugar into the mix, I really wanted to see if it would sweeten it up a bit.

Date sugar is a lower calorie and healthier option to brown sugar. Two of the little scoops are only 30 calories. I only used a 1/2 of the scoop, just to give it a try. Verdict, I liked it, and it did give the smoothie a sweeter flavor that it needed. I look forward to using in a muffin recipe that I plan on making.

I really love the little scoop that it came with.

Loaded  up the smoothie maker and let it run for about 45 seconds, I had to shake it up a bit and run it for another 30 seconds to really blend the ice cubes well.

This is just what I needed. This will hold me over until dinner tonight.

I also added a handful of Kashi Heart to Heart Cinnamon Oat Cereal.

Question of the day: What’s your favorite cold cereal?

Check Ya Later.

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Tomorrow I start my Best Body Boot Camp.  I have found myself on several occasions singing and humming the song Anticipation by Carly Simon, I am really excited to get started, so I reviewed the exercises and how the Boot Camp works. Tina did an amazing job setting up this program, it’s obvious the amount of time she put into preparing it. I am so glad I joined, and I look forward to starting the 8 week Boot Camp.


So I decided to take today off to rest up for my pending workouts. I plan on doing some stretching and some foam rolling.

This recipe is one that I have always wanted to make. I adapted this recipe from Eating Bird Food.

Homemade Mayan Harvest Bake

Makes 4 Large Servings


2 Sweet Potatoes, Washed and Diced into 1/2 inch Cubes
1 Bunch of Kale, Cleaned, Destemed and Chopped
1 15 Oz. Can Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed
1/4 Cup Sunflower Seeds


1 tbsp. Swanson Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (divided)
1 Onion, Chopped
2-3 Cloves of Garlic
1 15 Oz. Can Diced Tomato’s
1/4 Cup Water
1 tbsp. Chili Powder
1 tsp. Paprika
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt


1/2 cup Quinoa
1/2 cup Farro
2 cups of Water with a Bouillon Cube or Broth Concentrate -or- just use 2 Cups Vegetable Broth


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss sweet potatoes in 1/2 tbsp. oil and roast for 20 minutes in a square glass baking dish/pan, stirring once.
  3. While the potatoes are roasting, heat 1/2 tbsp. coconut oil on medium high in a large skillet and saute the onion and garlic until soft and fragrant. Add diced tomato’s, water, and spices (chili powder, paprika, sea salt) into the skillet and let simmer for 10 minutes. The sauce should be on the thicker side, but add more water if you want to thin it out. Stir in black beans.
  4. Heat another skillet over medium, using the other 1/2 tbsp. coconut oil, add the chopped kale, a few tbsp. of water and a bit of sea salt. Let the kale wilt and toss for 5-7 minutes.
  5. Pull roasted sweet potatoes out of the oven and top with cooked kale, and black bean sauce, mix together and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
  6. While it’s baking prepare the grains by putting the quinoa, and the farro, with 2 cups of liquid into a small pot. Bring mixture to a boil, then cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  7. Portion out the grains in a crock or on a plate and top with the harvest bake, sprinkle with sunflower seeds and serve.
Now get to chopping, you need to cut up two sweet potatoes into 1/2 cubes.
This was my first time using coconut oil to saute, I have just recently started using it. I loved trying it in a smoothies, but you don’t get the aroma is gave’s off until you saute with it. It’s lovely.
Sauteing kale softens it and gives it a beautiful shiny glow. It also helps to remove some of the bitterness flavor.
Combine all the ingredients while the quinoa and the farro cook, and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
Look at how beautiful the quinoa is, I love these little seeds, they have great texture, I also love the chewy bite the farro adds.
Layer the grains, then top with the sweet potato and black bean mix and top with sunflower seeds.
This is such a warm and inviting dish, I really enjoyed it, and my husband also gave it a thumbs up.
My only regret was the fact that I was unable to find plantain’s and pumpkin seeds, like the original recipe called for, but I will keep my eyes open for “Next Time.”
This dish does not lack in flavor, the combination of the sweet potatoes, the chili flavor and black beans blends so well.  It was a time-consuming recipe to build, and I used practically all my pots, pans and utensils, but it was worth it.

Question of the Day: Do you substitute items in recipes with similar items or just omit them?

Check Ya later.

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So I am so excited to share this recipe. Even thought it’s cold here in Michigan sometimes you just have to have a smoothie.

Just by looking at this picture, you probably don’t see the green specks of goodness, but this smoothie bowl has not one but two types of greens in it.

Keeping Up with Kale Smoothie

  • 1 Cup So Delicious Coconut Milk
  • 1 Scoop Protein Powder
  • 1 Handful Kale
  • 1 Handful Spinach
  • 1/2 Frozen Banana (can also use fresh)
  • 1 Handful Frozen Blueberries (can also use fresh)
  • 1 Tablespoon Milled Flax seed
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil

Side Note: If you use all fresh fruits instead of frozen add an ice-cube or two.

Blend for about a minute and enjoy.

I keep lots of frozen fruits on hand for smoothies. It makes it really convenient to be able to go to the freezer and have a selection of frozen fruits already portioned in snack size bags.

Look at all the specks of goodness. Now I could not taste the kale or spinach, but I felt the texture which I really liked, the flavor that jumped out at me was the nutty flavor from the Organic Milled Flax Seed, it was a perfect addition to this smoothie.

This was my first time adding coconut oil to a smoothie, and it really gave it a silky texture. There are many health benefit’s from coconut oil, but the one that interests me the most is the fact that it is metabolized quickly so it’s used as an energy source rather than being stored as fat. I have also read that it keeps you fuller longer and helps to control sugar cravings. Thanks to my friends over at Swanson Health Products I get to try these items in lots of recipes and explore new flavors.

Rating this smoothie is easy, this is a Keeper. I want to try different fruits next time with the kale and spinach and see if the taste changes.

Question of the day: Greens in your smoothie Yeah or Nay? 

Check Ya later.

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