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RA Natural Way

Sharing what I have learned about treating chronic pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia and indeterminable autoimmune disorders in the most natural way possible while maintaining a positive attitude. Hope. Faith. Love. Yoga. Travel.

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Cooking

Caldo verde (gf) (df)

Today was the last day of my Christmas vacation and it was hard to get moving this morning. While the Arctic Outbreak hasn’t reached Florida yet, I decided it was best to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather! For the first time in years, I rode my bike to the nearest Publix shopping center. It was 6 miles round trip and I found that it was a lot more challenging to balance the bike when the basket was loaded up with food!

I did find a new Publix Aprons recipe to try! Caldo Verde is a popular Portuguese soup, traditionally made with collard greens and meatless. Pubix has their version and now I’ll show you mine!

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Time: 40 mins

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 links of Italian sausage (I used chicken sausage)
  • 1 (32 oz) container reduced-sodium chicken broth (I used a vegetarian version)
  • 3 large potatoes, chopped
  • 1 lb kale
  • I added: 1/2 cup of diced yellow onions and 1 cup of sliced portobello mushrooms

Cut sausages into 1/2-inch pieces and cook 4-5 minutes on medium in a stock pot. Add broth and chopped potatoes (and onions if you choose). Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 18-20 minutes or until potatoes begin to soften.

Stir in kale (and optional mushrooms); salt and pepper to your liking, and cook 10-12 more minutes or until kale and potatoes are tender.

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This made so much food! I decided to freeze some and save it for a cold winter night!

Stay warm America!

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Ultra Healthy Dinner

After eating pancakes for dinner last night, I decided to be a bit healthier today!

Typically, I cook enough food to leave plenty of leftovers for the week. As a teacher, I need to pack a lunch every day. When I finish cooking, I divide the leftovers into lunch size portions and put them in the fridge. Each morning, I can easily pop a tupperware into my lunch box!

Tilapia, kale and a brown rice, quinoa mix. Full of vitamins and Omega 3s!

tilapiaeditSOC006_XlI put the tilapia in a bowl with lemon juice, salt, onion pepper and garlic seasoning. Let it sit, while I sautéed the kale with olive oil until it wilted. This Seeds of Change mix is wonderful because it’s so easy to prepare and Organic. I dumped the whole package in a pot with a little olive oil and warmed it up on low. Finally, I sautéed the tilapia on medium until fully cooked.

This is a quick, healthy meal and with leftovers, it is also inexpensive!

Before eating this meal, I went for a long walk and did my yoga stretches! This is exactly what I need to be doing every day!

For changes to be of any true value, they’ve got to be lasting and consistent,” -Tony Robbins.

Enchiladas (df) (gf)

My boyfriend surprised me recently by buying ingredients for dairy-free, relatively healthy enchiladas. I love Mexican food and I can usually modify most of it for a healthier version. I wasn’t sure how this dish would turn out… but it came together nicely!

Our Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of lean, organic ground turkey
  • 2 cans of enchilada sauce, spicy or mild (organic if possible)
  • 1/2 cup onions
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded vegan cheddar cheese
  • 1 package corn tortillas

First, pre-heat the oven to 375F. I chose the smaller Pyrex dish because we had smaller tortillas to work with (we would have preferred larger ones). We poured enchilada sauce along the bottom of the pan to help keep the enchiladas from sticking. In a 10-inch skillet, cook the ground turkey and mix in previously sautéed onions. Cook thoroughly; drain.

Spoon the meat into the tortillas and tightly roll. Fit together in Pyrex dish. Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce on top. Bake 10-15 minutes, add cheese and bake another 5 minutes.

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I added a healthy salad: mixed greens, carrot, mushrooms, tomatoes, oil and vinegar.

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IMG_3404editThese turned out pretty Yummy!

My Favorite Snack

Guacamole!

My most favorite dip to make and eat!  Yum yum!

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guacamole with sweet potato chips

My recipe:

  • avocados (2 peeled, seeds removed)
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • 1/3 cup yellow onion, diced & sauteed *most people prefer raw red onion, but they disagree with me
  • salt and pepper

Prep the onions, garlic and tomatoes. Lightly mash the avocados in a bowl and squeeze in lime juice. Let sit for a few minutes in refrigerator. When everything is prepped, use a wooden spoon to fold tomatoes into avocado along with garlic and onions. Salt and pepper generously. Put back in the refrigerator to cool for a few minutes.

Enjoy with your favorite chips! Here are a few I’ve been trying:IMG_3309 copy

Gluten Free Cookies

My first attempt at gluten free cookies was not as successful as the chocolate brownies… but I learned from my mistakes and the second batch turned out ok!IMG_3024 copy

Making these cookies is much harder than any other cookie I’ve ever baked! The batter is so sticky that I had to ask my boyfriend to scrape off my hands for me. It says to roll the batter into little balls and this proved to be most difficult. Even using a spoon was futile. But once my hands were clean, I kept them wet and was able to to get the dough rolled…

They cooked faster than the box said and the first batch burned really fast! It’s a good idea to always do a test batch when baking something for the first time!

I used dark chocolate chips and the second batch turned out yummy!

Closer to Christmas, I will try more brands and combinations so that I can get my holiday cookie fix and remain gluten free!

Pizza! The gluten free way!

I love pizza. Pizza is probably my favorite food and yet everything on a traditional pizza can cause inflammation in my joints… Did that stop me from trying to make the best gluten free pizza possible? Nope. I used turkey pepperoni and part-skim mozzarella.

Note: If I make this again, I will probably go even further and find imitation cheese because I paid the price after eating this! But it was delicious and a real treat! I used Bloomfield Farms for this one but Bob’s Red Mill makes a great whole grain crust as well!

This is actually my second attempt, following the thick crust recipe. I thought it turned out perfect.

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The mix is very sticky and it takes wet hands to get it smoothed out onto the pan. I tried other methods and tools but it was easiest to just use my hands.

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