Category: Plant-based Diet

Family Share: Indoor Family-Friendly Games and Recipes


indoor hopscotch from

Yesterday I saw this fun post on creating an indoor hopscotch grid at  I’m sure there are tons of restless kids out there with anxious moms looking for a fun activity to keep the kiddos happy until the weather is nice enough to send them outside again.

inside ring toss chair game When I was a kid we used to turn the chairs upside down and create a ring toss with the chair legs.  Here’s a picture above to show you what I mean.  We used old rubber canning rings that were used to seal Ball Jars, but any type of rubber or plastic ring would work.  If you have the bright plastic dive rings that the kids use to play games in the pool this would be a great way to use them during the winter.

Another favorite indoor game that is easily set up with common household items is the bean drop game.  Get a quart size jar, place it on the floor, hold a large bean near your nose and try to drop it into the jar.  The taller you are the harder it is, which makes this game perfect for families.

Another family favorite is the toothpaste cap game.  I think this is best played in a group of 6 or more.  We’ve played this with as many as 25 people in a circle.  The person that is ‘it’ fills a small toothpaste cap with water and chooses a category, such as makes of cars, disney movies, animals, colors, etc.  And they choose a specific item in that category.  Then the stand in front of the each person as they guess an item.  When someone guesses correctly, the ‘it’ person splashes them with the water and now they are ‘it’.

 This past week my daughter Kristin posted some interesting recipes at Green Leaves and Jam.  One is a simple toasted peanut butter sandwich and the other a carrot ‘hot dog.’  Before your dismiss the idea of a carrot hot dog, you’ve got to read about it.  Very interesting.  And I had never thought about toasting a peanut butter sandwich, but it is yummy when it’s cold outside, and I’ve toasted my peanut butter sandwich everyday this week.

carrot hot dog

Carrot Hot Dogs

toasted peanut butter and banana

Toasted Peanut Butter Sandwiches

I hope you enjoyed these family-friendly games and recipes for these last few weeks of winter weather.

Enjoy,  Julie

valentine pink milk with heart card

Healthy Pink Milk for Valentine’s Day

valentine pink milk with heart card Serve some pink milk to your sweeties on Valentine’s Day!  Just blend a couple of strawberries in milk.  (I used almond milk here.)  To make it sweet and keep it healthy add a dribble of agave or honey.  This is a great way to color your food pink without adding food colorings.

valentine pink milk on cereal Pour it over your cereal or enjoy it straight from the glass.  Or add blended strawberries to your favorite waffle or pancake recipe for another healthy pink breakfast!

valentine pink milk with heart card

And have a healthy, happy, wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Click here for details and video to make this Jar of Hearts I Love You card.


Enjoy!  Julie

blueberry oatmeal

Personally! 2 Plant-based Meals – ‘Homemade’ Chili and Blueberry Oatmeal

blueberry oatmeal

When my friends learn that we eat a plant-based  diet, one of the first questions they ask is, “What do you eat?”  This of course is always accompanied with a shocked look and dismay.  To most of us who have eaten a standard American diet our whole lives, giving up meat, fish and dairy can seem daunting, foreign and just plain strange!   I understand – I was a reluctant enthusiast.  It has taken me 20 years to realize that I – personally – feel better on a plant-based diet.

And most people can only think of the beloved foods they would have to give up.  So after “What do you eat?”, the next response is “I could never give up ____.”  You can fill in the blank with cheese, milk, hamburgers or pizza, etc.  The fact is I still enjoy most of these things in a plant-based fashion.

My definition of sacrifice is to give up something good for something better.  Think exercise.  When you get up early to exercise you may be giving up a little sleep but you are gaining so much more from your activity.  And really when you are motivated to improve your health and the health of your family it doesn’t long before your taste buds change and your healthy food tastes amazing.  Really!

Sometime later I’ll tell you about my reluctant conversion so you don’t make the same mistake I made of being sick for years when all I needed to do is change my eating habits.  Silly!  In fact, in the past three weeks I’ve lost 6 pounds while enjoying lasagna, burritos and burgers (all yummy and vegetable based), eating out and entertaining friends at my house.  I’ve not measured my food, or counted calories.  Yay!  Because, let’s face it, I’m not going to!!

So what is in the purple bowl above?  That’s my yummy breakfast. I started with the Better Oats RAW Organic Pure & Simple Multi-Grain Hot Cereal.  It comes in this great little pouch that also acts as a measuring cup to add water.  Just reading the ingredients makes me feel healthy – organic oats, barley, wheat, flaxseed, quinoa, and rye and evaporated sea salt.

Here’s the complete list from my breakfast bowl:
RAW multigrain hot cereal with flax
about 1 c. blueberries (mine were frozen)
chopped dates
chopped walnuts
and a drizzle of Agave syrup after heating
The cereal package recommends 2 minutes in the microwave, but because I added frozen berries I needed to cook it longer.

brussels sprouts greens

I wish I had taken a picture of this plant before I started cutting it up.  Seriously interesting looking.  These are Brussels sprout greens.  Until I saw this plant I didn’t realize how brussel sprouts grow.  Google a picture.  It’s quite interesting.  The sprouts grow up the stalk of the plant in rows, like a column.  Apparently you can eat Brussels sprout greens.  I didn’t know that until this plant came in my farmers market co-op order this past week.

I was told to cook Brussels sprout greens like you would kale so I added it to my soups and chili this week.  I learned that these leaves don’t cook down or wilt the way kale or spinach leaves do, so I chopped it small.


My easy ‘homemade’ chili started with store-bought vegetarian chili.  (Sorry I can’t remember the brand.)  It was not canned but rather in the refrigerator section at Costco.  In addition to lots of beans it had a ton of great veggies in it including mushrooms.  I always read the labels to make sure I know what I’m getting, but I laughed when I read heat and top with cheese, sour cream, etc.  I skipped that step!

This chili was a medium spicy and I knew my husband wouldn’t like it quite that spicy so I added a can of diced tomatoes in addition to the added Brussels sprout leaves.  I try to add more greens to everything I do, because you can never get enough.

I have so many stamping projects to share with you this week, it will be hard to decide which to show you first!!  So I hope you will join me this week.

I hope you had a wonderful and healthy weekend.  And thanks for letting me share my plant-based diet and my blueberry oatmeal and ‘homemade’ chili.

Enjoy!  Julie