You can have your pancakes and eat them too!

I grew up eating pancakes on Saturday and Sunday mornings, even back in high school I had the nutrition bug.  In an attempt to make pancakes healthy I used to add fruit, granola, nuts or oats but I was only masking the complete processed pancake mix.  The harmful hydrogenated oils and preservatives were still there,so I needed to find a better recipe.  There are just some mornings when I still wake up want some pancakes!  This morning was one of the mornings that I get to stay home with Lily during the week.  I have more time to prepare breakfast and rather then my normal meal replacement shake I want some real breakfast, eggs, pancakes, etc. Regular processed box pancake mix are out of the question, they are simple carbs not to mention complete pancake mixes have harmful ingredients and preservatives ( I know better now and stay away from the mixes)!. 

During my quest to find the perfect healthy pancake I have tried several recipes and have not found one that I love, some are too heavy, some have no protein, some are too grainy so I decided to make up my own!  The best part is you get full, the blood sugars stabilize and they are packed with protein. 

Makes 4 silver dollar size pancakes (double or triple for the family.)
1/4 c all natural vanilla whey protein
4 tbs oat flour - if you don’t have on hand just put rolled oats in the food processor until they are in powder form, or use almond flour if you are really watching the carbs
1 egg
2-3 tablespoons vanilla Greek yogurt
2 tbs organic coconut milk (unsweetened)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda

Whisk all ingredients together until protein dissolves and cook on medium heat. Serve with organic jam, pure maple syrup or stevia sweetened syrup (if you are watching your carbs)

ENJOY- let me know what you think!

Homecoming and Pumpkin Patch

It was a power packed Fall weekend at the Yarn House!  Saturday, Ben Jr. had homecoming, it was so much fun to see him get all dressed up we met up with the group took pictures and sent him off to the big event.  Then on Sunday we took Lily to the pumpkin patch, it was not a great one, kind of scary carnival type of pumpkin patch, there were sad pony’s and rabbit petting area, but since she was dressed up like a bunny she needed to see the real bunny’s, the picture tells the entire story of how that went. 

 Look at these handsome boys! I love these smiles!
 the Yarn boys (missing Santana)
 I had to sneak one in with this stud :-)
 Ben and his date Alyssa

 PUMPKIN PATCH TIME!
 She could not wait to get her hands on the huge orange pumpkins!
 Really, no is going to tell me “no” I can actually touch them?????!!!!
 Funny bunny in the patch

 She is already giving me the “mom, stop taking so many pictures look”

 I love this little bum
 Time to get down down to business, lets pick out a pumpkin!

 Not all bunny’s like other bunny’s this was a little much :-( 
 This called for daddy’s protection
As you can see her brothers were so excited to be at the pumpkin patch!

10 things I love about “life with Lily”

It’s been over a whole year now and I guess you could say my life has completely changed but I am now used to it and my new life with Lily is normal.  I know every new mom thinks in the back of her head, holy crap, I am never going to be able to relax again or even go to the bathroom without someone watching me.  So here are a few of the ways my life with Lily has changed.

  1. I no longer need to set my alarm, Lily wakes up the same time every day and she is full force energy from the beginning to the end of the day
  2. I no longer put potentially dangerous items in low drawers or cabinets, this habit came quick when Lily pull my razors out of my drawer, removed the plastic balde cover and went to put it in her mouth all within 1 second. 
  3. I do not dilly dally in the shower anymore, she will try to get in the tub, play with the curtain or throw her toys at the water, even if she is alsleep I take a quick one, too much to get done during her naps, who has time to enjoy a long shower.
  4. I get THE BEST greeting when I come home or pick her up from the babysitter
  5. I run around and dance and jump like a crazy women just to make her laugh
  6. It is impossible to sit down at a football game for more then 10 seconds, too many stairs and things on the ground I spend the entire night chasing Lily I have to trick her into to watching Ben Jrs plays!  The other parents know me as the one with the energizer child!
  7. I know almost all of the theme songs for disney cartoons on Disney Jr. (if you know me well, you know I HATE cartoons)
  8. My heart melts every time Lily leans in to give me a kiss
  9. I would rather shop for her then me, too much mommy muffin top still!

The Health Dangers of Refined Sugars

I have had the pleasure of learning more about the SweetLeaf 100% natural stevia sweetener,  I have never been a big fan of any non-calorie sweetener, and learning more about this specific brand of stevia I have changed my mind.  Of course I still believe that moderation is the key to long term weight loss and health.  Here is one of my latest articles about the dangers of refined sugar, artificial sweeteners and the better all natural options.  ENJOY!
The Health Dangers of Refined Sugars
Exploring Sugar Alternatives and the Safest Options
By Dana Yarn, RDLD
Extensive research has proven that the consumption of sugar in all its forms is taking a devastating toll on our health. The consumption of sugar has become a regular addiction that the average person faces each day. Sugar has become the main source of calories in the American diet, with the majority of those calories coming from high fructose corn syrup. It is mind blowing to see how the consumption of sugar has multiplied over the past 200 years:
           In 1800, the average person ingested approximately 18 pounds of sugar per year.
                       In 1900, individual consumption had gone up to 90 pounds of sugar per year.
                       In 2009, more than 50 percent of Americans consumed one-half pound of sugar per day, totaling more than 150 pounds of sugar per year.
Research has shown that sugars actually have true physical addiction tendencies and that they are the main contributors to the obesity epidemic we are facing. Excess body fat percentage increases your risk for deadly conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes. The large amount of sugar that Americans consume on a daily basis contributes to an immune system that operates at sub-optimal levels day in and day out. Sugar has a “poison-like” effect on the body – it is the leading reason for several diseases and degenerative issues, it destructs the immune system, and it contributes to serious health issues like obesity, tooth decay, diabetes, damage to the pancreas, premature aging, osteoporosis and hyperactivity in children. Sugar also contributes to intensifying heart disease and autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, asthma and multiple sclerosis.
From a metabolic point of view, refined sugars are completely stripped of all natural healthy components like vitamins and minerals; therefore, they only consist of a simple carbohydrate, which has absolutely no health benefits. This incomplete carbohydrate metabolism forms harmful toxins in the body and high uric acids levels, which in turn interrupts the natural metabolic function and leads to the formation of degenerative diseases and a higher risk for heart disease.
It is easy to become overwhelmed with all of the different forms of sugars, including non-calorie sugar substitutes.
Dextrose, fructose and glucose are all monosaccharides, also known as simple sugars. The primary difference between them is how your body metabolizes them. “Dextrose” is the primary term used on the ingredient list from food manufactures.
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a laboratory-made sugar consisting of 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose. This is probably the most dangerous form of sugar because the entire burden on metabolizing HFCS falls with the liver, which can result in permanent liver damage.
Sugar alcohols like xylitol, glycerol, sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol and erythritol are neither sugars nor alcohols but are becoming increasingly popular as sweeteners in mainstream “diet” products. They are not completely digested in the intestine, so they provide fewer calories than sugar but often cause problems with bloating, diarrhea and flatulence.
Sucralose is not a sugar, it is a chlorinated artificial sweetener in line with aspartame and saccharin, with detrimental health effects to match. These risks include increasing risk for cancer, bone disease and migraines, to name a few.
Honey in the raw is approximately 50 percent fructose, but it is completely natural in its raw form and has many health benefits when used in moderation, including a high antioxidant profile.
Stevia is a highly sweet herb derived from the leaf of the South American stevia plant, which is completely safe in its natural form.
Just like any supplement or food product, the integrity and quality of the product is essential for receiving the optimal health benefits. Based on our extensive product research, Service Foods has chosed to carry SweetLeaf®, the 100 percent natural stevia sweetener. This decision was based on the high-quality processing and all-natural profile of SweetLeaf®.
The stevia plants used to make SweetLeaf® are grown South America, where the plant is native and has the best conditions for optimal growth and nutrient content.
SweetLeaf® uses the entire stevia leaf, not just the sweetest part of the leaf like other stevia manufacturers. This process increases the nutrient value, and consumers have commented that they prefer the balanced taste compared to other products.
Furthermore, during the processing portion of SweetLeaf®, only purified water is used, unlike other manufacturers who use chemicals like methanol or ethanol. Instead of using  nutrient-free fillers like sugar, SweetLeaf® stevia is blended with inulin, the fibrous extract from the chickaree root, which in itself has numerous health benefits.
Using SweetLeaf® 100 percent natural stevia sweetener in moderation is a safe way to start eliminating sugars, HFCS and artificial sweeteners from your diet.
Resources:
Johnson, R.J. and Gower, T. (2009). The Sugar Fix: The High-Fructose Fallout That is                  Making You Sick and Fat, New York: Rodale Inc.
Naked Food Cooking. What is the Best Sweetener? Retrieved from
            http://www.nakedfoodcooking.com/best-sweetener/
Stanhope, Kimber L., et al. “Consuming fructose-sweetened, not glucose-sweetened,                    beverages increases visceral adiposity and lipids and decreases insulin sensitivity in        overweight/obese humans.” The Journal of Clinical Investigation 119(5) (2009):              1322-1334.
SweetLeaf® Stevia Sweetener. Retrieved from http://www.sweetleaf.com/

Family always first!

When I first became a “Yarn” I have to admit it was kind of hard to put my little family first, I was used to flying by the seat of my pants.  I would go to the gym and take back to back classes or maybe get caught up in a juicy gossip session with one of my friends and come home an hour later then planned. I was horrible at work/life balance I would put clients and potential commission before my family, which only caused more stress and the extra cash was not even worth it, in fact it was toxic.  No amount of money can replace quality time with family.   

Over the years I started breaking those bad habits and after giving birth to Lily and the boys moving in all in the same year I have a whole new understanding of family first.  Family, kids (and spouses) need us to be there for them through the good and bad, to prepare dinner, help with homework, read a book, play with dolls, go for walks, give advice, laugh with, etc.  In my continuous efforts to put family first I quit procrastinating and Lily and I took a girls only road trip to check up on her Great Aunt Liz and Grandpa in Augusta.  We had a blast and here are some pictures from out weekend trip!

 All dressed up and ready to go to Augusta!  Love this new outfit- do you like her model pose? 
 Playing with her great grandpa Snapp, he had no idea we were in town we made his night!
 Lily showing Grandpa how she can talk on the cell phone like her mommy :-)
 Lily and Grandpa rocking on their rocker recliners, her new most favorite thing to do
 L-O-V-E
 More LOVE!
  Lily and her GAL (Great Aunt Liz), thanks for the fun weekend, we’ll be back soon!
XOXO- Dana