Cleanse Day #3

We are on the third day of our Ten Day Cleanse by Dr Oz and it’s going great. I can already feel the difference, lighter and less appetite. Plus, everything I eat just tastes really great and I don’t crave as much of the stuff I can’t eat. Although, when I was baking Valentine cookies for the kids to bring to their friends at school, they smelled SOOOOO good!

I started the day with a cup of warm water with lemon. Then, for breakfast I made these Vegetable Mini Frittatas with red and green peppers, turkey bacon and quinoa. Delicious. I love eggs and especially eggs with turkey bacon and it’s all part of the plan. I made them in a muffin pan so they were super cute and convenient to take on the go. Just pop one or two or three in your mouth and go. The kids took some today for lunch too.


The frittatas filled me up until late in the day so I only had a smoothie, a Chocolate Almond Smoothie, as an afternoon snack, followed a little later by an apple.

For dinner, I made myself a Burrito Bowl, with black beans, lettuce, grilled chicken and some fresh pico salsa. At bedtime, I was a little hungry, so I fixed myself a Brown Rice Cake with Almond Butter, yum. I know that I”m not supposed to eat anything after 8pm but I was very hungry and since I am still nursing Benny, I just had to have a little something and that seemed to hit the spot.

So, the days are going pretty quickly. The challenge will be this weekend since it’s Valentine’s Day on Saturday and we have a family birthday party on Sunday! Until tomorrow…

Ten Day Cleanse

My husband and I, along with a couple of friends, have started a Ten Day Cleanse by Dr Oz. It’s simple, you can eat REAL whole foods, it’s inexpensive and it’s quick, just ten days. Plus, it opens up your world to thinking outside the box with different meal options, not just sandwiches, pasta and pizza!

You can follow our journey during this cleanse, by viewing our daily recipes and meal ideas. I’ll post daily with pictures and recipes on what to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is a fun challenge and so easy to do. I hope you’ll join us.

Here is some quick information about the cleanse.

Drink fruit and protein packed smoothies. Eat lots of vegetables, particularly, the low glycemic ones. Drink lots of water. Drink a cup of green tea. No caffeine. No sugar. No wheat. No dairy. No alcohol. Plus, you can’t eat after 8pm.
You can snack in between meals, on raw almonds, an apple, hummus or any of the same low glycemic vegetables. Make sure to eat plenty of protein, either fish, chicken, eggs or Greek yogurt. In the smoothies, we add whey protein powder and flax seed.
Lunch and Dinner is easy with soups, salads and lots of vegetable and protein packed meals.
Join us and meet the challenge!

Baby Food 101

Hope you all had a great holiday with your family and friends. It was great to spend some quality time with all of our family and close friends but it was especially nice to enjoy some “quiet” family time at home. Now, it’s back to the good old routine.


Many of you have been inquiring about recipes. I haven’t posted any recipes in quite some time, quite frankly, it’s been so busy with all the holiday preparations and all the after school activities, plus having to take care of a very energetic, fast growing, little boy. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking and baking though, especially baby food (and these sweet, coffee cake streusel muffins).


Benny is almost eight months now, I just can’t believe it. He’s crawling around very quickly, standing, eating solids and trying to pick up and eat finger foods. He’s such a sweet, happy, energetic little boy.


He’s been enjoying trying all new foods. It’s a fun time. I love, love making and feeding the baby. Some of you have been inquiring about baby food recipes so let me give you a quick roundup of what “we” have been making for Benny. Making baby food is easy. Just peel, wash, cut, steam and puree. It’s that simple!

First of all, in the beginning, I waited at least ONE week in between trying any new food, just to be sure there weren’t any allergies. When he was about 5 months, I started giving him baby cereal, Earth’s Best Rice Cereal, followed by Earth’s Best Oatmeal Cereal and then Nurtur Me Quinoa Cereal, all made with breastmilk. He loved it and continues to devour it.

Then, shortly thereafter, he started eating single VEGETABLES. I always start with vegetables rather then fruit, just because fruit tends to be sweeter and babies already prefer sweeter so it’s good to give them a head start eating their vegetables. Plus, I always try to get seasonal, organic produce. I think it’s important to give their growing bodies the purest, whole foods. If I can’t find it fresh, then organic frozen is my second choice. Plus, it’s a great option for a quick meal, just steam and puree! I purchased these 4oz. glass jars, great for baby food, safe for the freezer, heating up and serving! Picked up the Wean Green jars on Amazon and the Ball jars at Target.

We started with all the ORANGE and YELLOW vegetables, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, butternut squash, carrots, winter squash. Then, we moved on to the GREEN vegetables, zucchini, peas, green beans, kale, spinach. I also gave him parsnips, but that wasn’t his favorite. After all the “first foods for vegetables”, we moved on to FRUIT. We gave him apples, avocados, bananas, mango, peaches, pears and prunes.

Now, the real fun has begun, with mixing different foods together and this is where many of you have been asking for my “recipe” combination ideas.

Well, we have created a lot of great combinations. He is enjoying all of them and to be honest, I enjoy them too. I try all the food I make before giving it to him, just to be sure it’s good. A good chef always tastes his food before giving it to others.

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Some of our combinations have been, peas with sweet potatoes, kale with sweet potatoes, spinach with white potatoes, zucchini with corn and quinoa, butternut squash with sweet potato, purple carrot and chickpeas, banana and avocado, acorn squash with green beans, blueberries with pears and avocado and most recently, mango with pears and Greek yogurt, spinach with carrots and potato, apples and avocado. I’ve been trying to avoid adding rice to his meals, as I have these rice type of crackers for teething that he eats every couple of days.

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He’s also been enjoying eating finger foods, such as O cereal, peas, rice pasta and broccoli, cut up into the tiniest of pieces. It’s fun, keeps him occupied while we eat dinner and helps him practice his pincer grasp with his fingers. Making baby food doesn’t have to be complicated. Of course, it’s always a good idea to have a couple jars of ready made food at home for those emergencies, but making baby food honestly is really easy and a lot of fun. Plus, you can’t beat the fresh taste instead of food that has been sitting on store shelves for who knows how long!


Until next time, happy cooking and happy 2015 from our family to yours!

Happy Holidays 2014

Just wanted to wish everyone a magical holiday season…. filled with love and happiness.

It has been quite a spectacular year for us and we are so very thankful for our continued good health in our family, our new beautiful, sweet baby and for all the love and faith that continues to surround us.

Fall and Thanksgiving 2014 154

Happy Holidays….

Love, Liz, Mike, Lilliana, Lucas, Julian and Benjamin

Celebrating Julian’s Birthday

Today, November 8th, is our beautiful, sweet baby boy’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Julian!

Meet our son, Julian.
Meet our son, Julian.

Julian would have been four years old today. Four years! It’s unbelievable to me.

Even though he isn’t with us physically, he is most definitely here with us spiritually and emotionally and we think about him every day, every single day!

Today, we celebrate his birth, his arrival into our family. We spend a family day together, our annual tradition, with a visit to the cemetary to bring him gifts, a dinner at Julian’s pizzeria, a look back through his photos and memory book, watching his very special video and singing Happy Birthday to our sweet, handsome baby Julian, blowing out candles to homemade, family made cupcakes. It’s a special day for us and there is so much special meaning in celebrating the same way every year. It’s our way of honoring and celebrating our Julian.

Our three beautiful children, Lilliana, Lucas and Julian
Lilliana, Lucas and Julian

We miss him so very much and wish he could be here with us, celebrating in person, with all of his family. I can imagine him smiling and laughing with all of us, enjoying all of his cuteness. Thinking about that, makes me smile as I write this post. Thinking about him bearing no more pain but just looking down at all of us here, listening to us sing to him, feeling his love surrounding us. I continue to be open to all of the signs around me that remind me of his sweet presence and ever lasting love.

Happy Birthday Julian. We love you!

Summer Vegetable “Burgers”

Every summer, I look forward to growing and buying farm fresh fruits and vegetables. You just can’t beat fresh peas, swiss chard, kale, zucchini, string beans and those sweet yummy tomatoes as well as many other delicious produce.

When you eat freshly picked produce you can taste the difference from out of season produce from your local supermarket. It’s the best time to get creative in the kitchen and eat it all up.


Well, unfortunately this year, we have a tiny garden. There just wasn’t enough time to get it organized and put together this spring with our new little sweet Benny boy, but that’s ok, he is our priority right now as well as all of our fun summer activities. However, that doesn’t mean we aren’t getting any garden fresh produce around here. My parents have a huge garden so they are always kind to share with us plus all the yummy stuff we buy at our local farmers market.

Right now is the time for zucchini, cucumbers and string beans. Lots of zucchini! So, I always enjoy baking zucchini bread, muffins, cookies as well as cooking fried zucchini, zucchini frittata, risotto, pancakes and now these summer vegetable burgers. These “burgers” are awesome, made with shredded onions, carrots, zucchini and garlic. You can even add in there some fresh corn on the cob and protein packed quinoa. We love eating them with oven baked “french fries” on the side and without a bun. It’s healthier that way and you get to enjoy eating more of the actual “burger”. Vegetable burgers are so versatile, you can make them with any of your favorite vegetables or beans. We also have a favorite Black Bean Burger that we make here at home. It’s also very yummy.