High Five Friday!

Hello! Is it really July 22 already? Ah! We’re starting school in less than a month. I asked the girls today if they were excited to start up again and they said “Yes!” They must love their teacher. 🙂

I’m linking up with Happy Fit Mama today for High Five Friday!


  1. We had family pictures taken a few weekends ago to celebrate my Grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary. My brother-in-law did the pictures for us. He always does an awesome job!


These girls… Sisters – Best Friends For Life

2. Good friends to watch my girls while I went to an appointment. They had a blast!

3. Very helpful children! I had some atypical cells removed from my back on Tuesday which made me a lot more sore than I was anticipating. Both girls , but Little lady, especially, have been so sweet and helpful… offering to do chores, pick things up and carry heavy things for me. I am so thankful for their soft hearts.

4. Fresh basil from my garden! I have been keeping the plant pretty much stripped by making my pesto!

1/2 cup walnuts or sunflower seeds

2 cups fresh basil, packed tightly (or 1 cup basil and 1 cup kale)

3 T. nutritional yeast

1 t. fresh lemon juice

1 t. garlic powder

salt to taste

Process in food processor adding up to 1/2 cup of water as needed. YUM!

5. I also picked my first tomato on Wednesday! There’s nothing quite like a fresh tomato from the garden.

What would you like to high five this week? Are your kids helpful when you don’t feel well?




More than food…

Sometimes I am asked why my business is called The Joyful Nourished Life. So, today I want to share just a little snippet of why nourishment is about so much more than food.


There are many reasons why people have “lifestyle” diseases and why so many Americans are obese & unhealthy. Just one of those reasons is that we live in a culture where there is food on every corner. For people who are binge eaters or emotional eaters, food is their source of joy and comfort. So when the doctor says, you have Type 2 diabetes and you need to lose 50 pounds, it is devastating! Or when someone suggests that perhaps a certain drink (chemical) you are consuming, is causing your migraine headaches, you think… “I am NOT giving up my Diet Soda! I look forward to having that treat every afternoon.”

I try to share with others that nourishment is about SO much more than food. Joy can be found outside of food! Sure, God intended for us to enjoy food and be thankful for it (trust me… I definitely enjoy my cashew milk ice cream!), but He did not intend for us to be gluttons or for food to be the center of our universe.

So, the next time you are feeling down and want to reach for a pint of ice cream. Try these things instead.

  1. Ultimately, the joy of the Lord is My strength. Nehemiah 8:10  So, when in need of comfort, reach out to the Lord in His word and through prayer!
  2. Serve others! Sometimes, we get so self-focused and feeling badly about what is going on in OUR lives, that we turn a blind eye to the needs of others. Find a widow to visit, go to the nursing home and talk with the lonely residents, volunteer at a food bank, offer to babysit for a young mother…
  3. Go for a walk outside! Being outdoors automatically lifts my spirits. 20160317_065515.jpg
  4. Sing! I have always loved to sing. I remember singing very loudly with my sister and Dad in the car and at home. We do the same thing now that I have my own family. Anyone who sees us driving down the road probably thinks we’re CRAZY. 🙂
  5. Examine your surroundings. At my house, we try not to watch TV shows and movies that bring unwholesome thoughts/ideas into our home. This does not mean we turn a blind eye to what is going on in the world. It means we pray for our leaders even more and realize that God is always in control. Phil. 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

What things do you do to nourish your spirit?


Menu planning

My oldest was at Bible camp 3.5 hours away all last week. She had a great time and I love that she can be encouraged even more to learn about God and His love for her. But, as you can imagine, we are SO happy to have her home! They were singing together in the backseat on the way home. I thought, “This is more like it.” 🙂


Miss Spunky missed big Sis terribly! She even dusted and vacuumed her room for her while she was gone. And Miss Spunky does NOT like to clean.

Almost there – Can’t wait to see her sister!

I tried to do some special things with her while big Sis was at camp. I asked her if she would rather go see “The Secret Life of Pets” or go bowling.

I was surprised by her choice.

We have a busy week planned, so we will go with slow cooker and easy peasy meals. That seems to be a recurring theme this summer. Plus I’m getting more out of the garden… yay!

Sunday – Nachos topped with black beans and fixins.

Monday – Baked potato bar with fixins and salad

Tuesday – Stuffed peppers

Wednesday – Walnut cauliflower zucchini boats – I’m going to try these in the crock-pot.

Thursday – Omelets and fresh fruit

Friday – Out

Saturday – Leftovers

Are your kids doing any summer camps? Is your summer going SUPER fast too?


Skin Protection

Over 10 years ago, I had some dysplastic nevi (weird moles) taken off of my back which came back with atypical cells, so the dermatologist had to remove more cells in that area to make sure they got it all. After all of that, I started being VERY careful about sun protection. A couple of months ago, I noticed a strange spot on my back, so I went in and they actually removed 2 dysplastic nevi and they both came back with atypical cells. So, I have to have another procedure in a few weeks to remove more atypical cells. I am VERY thankful that it wasn’t melanoma, and I want to do all that I can to protect my skin. I never expose my back to the sun, so what else can I do?

The first thing I asked was why would this happen in the first place?  I have an Italian heritage which I thought would put me at a lower risk. However, I grew up spending most of my summers outside (often without sunscreen just because we didn’t know better) and I used the tanning bed often starting in Jr. High! Plus, it is hereditary!

I still love to be outside though, so I have to take appropriate steps to protect my skin. Did you know that some foods/nutrients have been shown to have protective effects?


The pigments that color fruits and vegetables help to prevent skin cellular damage from the sun.  Plants have to protect themselves from the sun’s UV rays as well and these pigments from carotenoids are powerful.  When we eat a variety of plants, especially those high in carotenoids, we help to protect our skin from the UV rays and also help to prevent disease and cancer.

Carotenoids are the orange, red and yellow pigments found in orange, red, and yellow fruits and vegetables!

Fruits and vegetables that are high in these carotenoids include:

  • tomatoes, pink grapefruit, and watermelon (lycopene)
  • spinach, kale, broccoli, corn and beans (lutein and zeananthin)
  • leafy greens, carrots, sweet potatoes, canteloupe, papaya (alpha and beta carotene)
  • a pure supplement can also help

Vitamin D

I recently discovered via a blood test that I am low in Vitamin D (very common in the Midwest!), so I will be adding that to my regimen. Vitamin D helps your organs to repair damaged cancer cells.  If you have a Vitamin D deficiency, you are more prone to skin cancer than those with sufficient levels.  If you are deficient (easy to measure with a simple blood test), you should supplement with at least 2,000 IU (Vitamin D is great for your mood and cravings, too!)

Sources of Vitamin D:

  • short periods of sunshine without sunscreen (10-15 minutes gives you 10,000 IU)
  • salmon, tuna or other fatty fish (wild)
  • egg yolks
  • beef liver
  • a high quality Vitamin D supplement that uses the most usable form, D3

Non-Toxic Sunscreen

Sunscreen is important! Look for natural options made with zinc oxide if possible.

How do you protect your skin? 

4th of July weekend and meal planning

I’m just popping in to write up my meal plan for the week. It has turned cooler the past several days. My body doesn’t adjust well to the cooler temps.  I may be in the minority, but I LOVE the 90 degree temps!

We kicked our long weekend off by attending the BFG premier at a theater where they “rolled out the red carpet” and everything. The absolute best thing about this theater? NO PREVIEWS! That’s right… we didn’t have to sit through 20-30 minutes of previews. Loved it!


The plan is for the 4 of us to run a 5K in the morning. We’ll see if the rain stops! Then, we’re having our usual 4th of July get-together at our house tomorrow evening. We live in the country, but JUST outside of city limits, so we can actually see the fireworks from our front yard. It’s always fun to have a cookout, play outdoor games, and then encourage everyone to stay for fireworks!

Sunday – Veggie chili (It’s cool and rainy – soup is a must)

Monday – Cookout – I’m doing bean burgers, coleslaw, and kale chips

Tuesday – Walnut cauliflower zucchini boats – new recipe – these look amazing!

Wednesday – Vegetable frittata, salad, fruit

Thursday – Bean tacos

Friday – Baked potato bar, salad

Saturday – Just me and the hubs – stuffed portabellas, roasted potatoes, veggies

Do you love or hate previews at the movie theater? Are you having a fun 4th of July weekend?