Watermelon Smoothie

A Watermelon Smoothie is the perfect refresher in this hot heat.  

Melon is an excellent electrolyte replacer that is low in sugar and calories. To make a plain watermelon smoothie all you need is watermelon cut up in cubes and blended in the blender. Its simple, easy and done in a flash.  I prefer to use cold watermelon so I do not have to add ice cubes. If your melon needs a little sweeter I add dates.  Love it. If it is to sweet squeeze in some lime.

Watermelon Smoothie


Last week I made a “Watermelon & Cherry Smoothie” that was heaven.  Watermelon smoothies are very filling and great for detoxing. 



  • WatermelonWatermelon Smoothie
  • Lime (optionals)
  • Dates (optionals)


No-Bake Energy Bites

I love these “No-Bake Energy Bites.

Some mornings I do not have time to cook breakfast, so these energy bites are a great grab and go treat.  They are packed with fiber, protein and fruit.  A couple bites will easily take away the morning hunger pains.  I often change up the recipe by using different nut butters or raisins instead of dried cherries. They can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. The recipe makes 25 to 30 balls depending to the size of the balls.


No-Bake Energy Bites

No-Bake Energy Bites

1 Cup (dry) Oatmeal – (old-fashioned oats)

2/3 Cup toasted coconut flakes

1/2 Cup sunflower seed butter

1/2 Cup ground flaxseed

1/2 Cup dried cherries

1/3 Cup honey

1 Teaspoon vanilla



Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed.  Let chill the refrigerator for half an hour then roll into balls.  Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week,

Makes about 20 -25 balls


Embrace Change: Copycat Outback Bread

Homemade copycat Outback bread with a bread machine.

Enjoy the Outback Bread every day using this copycat Outback bread recipe.  I found this recipe at Pinterest — momcaster.com  and had to try it.  She used Oster Bread Machine which made a bigger loaf, but I needed to cut it in half to fit my machine.  The sugar, honey and molasses makes it sweet so for me its not an everyday bread … maybe every other day. lol

If it last, let it cool and slice for a great sandwich. I love to make my own herb butter and eat it warm. I promise you, this bread will make it into your weekly rotation.

For those who don’t own a bread machine check out your local Goodwill.  My machine was in great condition for $6.99.  I figured I would gamble with $6.99 to see if I would use it … great purchase. Last week I paid $4.99 for Soft Sub Rolls… almost made me want to give up bread.

So what changes did I Embrace:

  • New recipe
  • Savings on bread
  • New DIY
  • Recycled bread machine
Copycat Outback Bread

Copycat Outback Bread

Here are some tips for a successful loaf:

  • Warm water, coffee & milk to 100 degrees
  • Set out butter ahead of time so it will be at room temperature
  • Spray the honey measure cup with cooking spray for easy removal
  • Use Iodine salt not sea salt
  • Use the correct measuring utensil  “dry vs. liquid” cups it makes a difference

Copycat Outback Bread

Machine Bread

Machine Bread

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup coffee

1/4 cup evaporate milk

<warm the top three ingredients to 100 degrees>

1 Tablespoon Butter <room temperature>

1/4 cup honey <spray your cup with cooking spray for easy removal>

1 1/8 cup bread flour <I used bread machine floor>

1 1/8 cup wheat flour

1/2 tablespoon cocoa

1/2 tablespoon sugar

1/2 tablespoon molasses

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 teaspoon bread yeast


Embrace Change: Refrigerator Oatmeal

Embrace Change try refrigerator oatmeal it is a simple solution for a quick healthy breakfast.

When I was on my cruise in January, I ate oatmeal every morning for breakfast. Although, I have eaten oatmeal before, having it daily was quite filling. I decided to add oatmeal to my morning breakfast routine. I thought eating oatmeal would be something that would help sustain me on my healthy eating plan.

Refrigerator Oatmeal

When I got back home the oatmeal wasn’t hot and ready to eat when I got up, like it was on the ship. I could have done instant oatmeal, but it does not taste the same. Ugh! My journey down the healthy eating path came to a halt.  My next plan was to batch cook my oatmeal, and heat it up each morning. That lasted a week maybe two before I stopped again.

Then I remembered seeing a recipe for “Refrigerator Oatmeal” on Pinterest, Facebook …somewhere out there in cyberspace. I thought to myself, no way was this going to taste good, but I would give it a try. Would the oatmeal be too dry, too wet, or would it have no flavor at all.  OMG, “Refrigerator Oatmeal” is so good and simple to make. This is the best kept secret that needed to be told. How can oatmeal and milk put in the refrigerator taste so good. How; not sure but I am hooked.

Jar Oatmeal

Refrigerator Oatmeal can be taken right out of the refrigerator, and eaten right out of the jar. The recipe is a simple, use a 1:1 ratio, oatmeal to liquid. I use almond milk, but I have seen recipes use soy, whole milk, skim and even water. The possibilities to add flavor is limitless, nuts, fruits, brown sugar, just go on Pinterest for recipes. My secret ingredient is chia seeds. I also prefer to put mine in the microwave for 45 seconds to knock off the chill, if I don’t remember to take it out of the fridge when I first get up.

All you need to make this simple treat is a jar, oatmeal and liquid. I use a 8 oz. mason jar. I normally fill 3 or 4 jars at a time with oatmeal. At night I put 2 jars in the fridge (1 for me the other for Rick) with great anticipation for morning breakfast.

I can’t guarantee that you will love this as much as I do but “Embrace Change” try something new.


Roxanne Wilkening MS Ed.



Mason Jar
1/2 Pint mason jar (any jar will do)

Oatmeal (4oz)

  • Steel cut
  • Old fashioned oats

Liquid (4oz)

  • Milk (skim, 2%, whole)
  • Soy
  • Almond
  • Water


  • Nuts
  • Fruit
  • Coconut 
  • Nut butters
  • Raisins

Slow Cooker 6 Must Have Features

6 Must have Slow Cooker Features

Are you shopping for a “Slow Cooker”? Check out these 6 must have features. Having the right features can change your entire attitude about using a slow cooker.  A good “Slow Cooker” will save you time and money.  Check out my Spaghetti Meat Sauce recipe .  The great thing about this recipe is I have enough meat sauce for dinner and enough to freeze for later. The added bonus of the 5 quart size.


Timer that turns off cooker after 20 hours.

  • Having a programmable timer is a great safety feature in the event that you forget to shut it off.

Settings that with High, Low and Warm.

  • Cooking time can vary between high and low.  This is a great feature when time is a factor.  I also enjoy having the warm option when eating time can vary with guests.

Holds at least 5 Quarts.

  • Even with a 2 person family having at least 5 quarts is a must.  I would much rather freeze or have leftovers than taking the risk of not having enough.

Oval design that can accommodate large and odd shape items.

  • My first slow cooker was the tall upright design however I found it difficult to use with large chickens or roast.  Since I have started experimenting with different recipes which may call for a variety of ingredients I prefer the oval design.

Removable dishwasher-safe ceramic insert with a lip.

  • The reason I started using the slow cooker I wanted simple recipes with minmum cleanup. Having the ceramic insert either sprayed with cooking spray or a cooking liner makes cleanup a breeze.

Glass Lid

  • Yes I know a watched pot never boils, that why I enjoy the glass lid with the lip so I can peek inside and not losing valuable heat.

Slow Cooker Recipe – Spaghetti Meat Sauce

Slow Cooker Recipe: Spaghetti Meat Sauce



Spaghetti Meat Sauce

Spaghetti Meat Sauce

  • 2 lb. Ground Chuck
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped green peppers
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (1-lb.) cans tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (12-oz.) can tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 Tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 dried oregano leaves
  • 1 dried basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • Break up pieces of meat with a fork and mix together.
  • Combine meat in a slow cooker with remaining ingredients.  Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours.
  • Serve over hot spaghetti, noodles, or pasta.

EOD Diet – Salad

EOD Diet 2-week trial was successful.

I recently started the EOD diet – Every Other Day Diet by Krista Varady and Bill Gottlieb.  The basis of EOD diet is to eat anything you want one day and the next day limit yourself to 500 calories.  My first thought on the EOD diet, was no way, but I have found it was easier than I thought.  I tested the EOD diet for two weeks and then went on vacation.  I was very happy with the results.  I returned from vacation and was able to get right back on track.

EOD Salad

EOD Meal


I recommend getting the Every Other Day diet book (buy it here) it gave great testimonies, case studies and menu suggestions.  

Below is a salad I had on my 500 calorie day. Before I get all excited about the EOD diet,  I am going to test this for another month.  Follow me on Instagram and Pinterest to see my 500 day eats.  



Greens: All greens were chopped

  • Broccoli Slaw
  • Cilantro 
  • Mixed greens
  • Red cabbage
  • Spinach

Fruit & Vegetables 

  • Carrots
  • Olives
  • Onion
  • Pomegranate seeds


  • Chicken breast

A splash of olive oil and red wine vinegar. 


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Mushroom Sliders

Mushroom Sliders the best substitute for hamburgers.

Mushroom Sliders

Mushroom Sliders

I tried these Mushroom Sliders back in 2012 and they are still on my favorite list.  The original recipe was on “The Chew” made by Daphne Oz’s.  She paired them with sweet potato oven fries. (Mushroom Sliders with Sweet Potato Oven Fries) I was a vegetarian for about two years and these “Mushroom Sliders” was a great replacement for that meaty hamburgers that I normally ate.  

Mushroom Sliders

Mushroom Sliders

I am not good at following recipes, I always changing them.  I used “Baby Bella instead of Portobello. I also added some Oyster mushrooms. I used a nice sweet Vidalia onion. Since my cooked rice is not always great, I purchased Trader Joe’s brown rice in the frozen section. For the cheese I also added Provolone. Almost forgot I used spinach instead of thyme.

Below is the original recipe but don’t be afraid to change it up, I did.



Mushroom Sliders

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

3 pounds of mixed mushrooms diced (Shitakes/Portobello/button)

1 onion (minced)



3 Springs Thyme (Leaves Only)

1 cup cooked brown rice (Trader Joe’s)

1/2 cup Whole Grain Breadcrumb

1/2 cup Grated Monterey Jack Cheese


  • Saute mushrooms and onions in the olive oil. 
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Add Thyme
  • Cook until mushrooms are tender and onions translucent.
  • Place the mushrooms mixture into a large bowl and cool.
  • Add rice, breadcrumbs and eggs.
  • Form into small patties.
  • Heat a skillet.
  • Add the patties to the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on the first side.
  • Flip the burgers and top with the cheese


Homemade Laundry Detergent

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Here’s a simple solution to expensive laundry detergent try homemade laundry detergent with 3 simple ingredients. I got this recipe from diynatural.com and tried it this weekend. This was simple, fun and saves money.


The recipe on diynatural.com used 1 cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda, 1 cup of 20 Mule Team and 1 bar of Fels-Naptha but since this has a great shelf life I made a bigger batch.  They recommended 1 tablespoon per load or 2 – 3 for larger or heavily soiled loads.  I am sure this is a powerful detergent but 1 tablespoon seemed skimpy, so I increased my amount.


Depending on how much you use this detergent it can be as low as $0.16 per load.  Although cost was a factor in my decision to go with homemade laundry detergent; I also enjoyed knowing what ingredients were used.  Keep in mind your clothes cover your skin, decreases skin absorption by using products with the least amount of chemicals.


Problem: Laundry Detergent

Simple Solution: DIY Homemade Laundry Detergent.


Homemade Laundry Detergent

Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda

Ingredient 1: Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda

The best thing about Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda in your Homemade Laundry is that it is an all natural product.  It is considered a laundry detergent booster and household cleaner.



20 Mule Team Borax

20 Mule Team Borax

Ingredient 2: 20 Mule Team Borax

The 20 Mule Team Borax used in your Homemade Laundry Detergent provides 4 benefits.  Borax is a booster, controls odor, fights stains, and 100 percent natural.

Ingredient 3: Fels-Napth

Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar

Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar Soap

Fels-Napth found in the laundry detergent in the grocery store is the final ingredient in the Homemade Laundry Detergent.  Fels-Napth manufacturer claims it is most effective for it’s stain removal ability with chocolate, baby formula, perspiration and make-up.  Since this comes in a bar form, grating is required.  I used my food processor. 



Chia Recipes: Yogurt Blueberries

Chia Recipes: Yogurt Blueberries with Chia seeds.

Are you looking for Chia Recipes that are quick and easy? Look no more; it is as easy as sprinkling seeds over your yogurt snack. Boom! Done!


Chia Recipes: Yogurt Blueberries with Chia Seeds

Blueberries, Yogurt and Chia Seeds


Adding Chia seeds to your yogurt gives it a nutty crunchy texture but packs in the extra nutrients gained from the seed. When first being introduced to Chia I recommend that you start with one tablespoon gradually increase to two. This will give your body time to adapt to the increased fiber. Also, with taking increased amounts of fiber you must ensure that you drink plenty water.


You say that was no Chia Recipe, how about “Chia Blueberry Yogurt Dots”.


Homemade yogurt dots are easy, drop dots of yogurt on a cookie sheet and freeze for 2 hours and you have yogurt dots. To boost your antioxidants lets dip blueberries into yogurt and then dip into Chia seeds.


I tried this and after ten berries I was tired. Who really has the time to dip berries into yogurt and then dip into Chia seeds? Yes; if this were a fancy brunch maybe I would take the time, but I wanted something simple.


Here is a Simple Solution to “Blueberry Yogurt Dots”. Rinse your berries, top with yogurt and spoon on Chia seeds, and fold mixture to avoid smashing berries. Spread mixture onto cookie sheet and freeze for 2 hours or until frozen. I covered my sheet with wax paper and then spread the mixture.


Chia Seed Recipes:  Yogurt Blueberries and Chia Seeds

Chia Blueberry Yogurt Dots


I enjoyed these more as a morning snack at work because they were not straight from the freezer, however some will love the frozen crunch.


Chia Blueberry Yogurt Dots


2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds

5 oz Greek yogurt

1 cup blue berries