1, 2, 3 Guacamole

Guacamole with lemonThis is the best guacamole ev”ah”. At least, we think so. It meets two very important criteria for us–it’s simple and delicious.

And you’ll notice we swapped a lemon for a lime. It was something Brance and I did for lack of ingredients one night, but we actually think it tastes WAY better this way.

Our friends and family tend to agree.

Let us know what you think of this guacamole with lemon!

Update: I originally mistyped the salt amount. I’ve since corrected it to 1/4 teaspoon. Continue reading

Dealing with offense

treacherousWhen it comes to offense–

Christ says to turn the other cheek. He says to forgive.
He says to LOVE. Even our enemies.

As I apply this in my own life, I am finding that these are hard, but freeing truths.

When we choose forgiveness, when we choose to love instead of hate, when we desire the good of those who have harmed us deeply, a shift happens.

Slowly, but surely, we are released from the shackles that pain has placed on us. We are freed from the prison of our own bitterness and anger and unforgiveness—things that only poison us, after all.

And if Christ can hang bloodied on a cross and forgive those who have brought about his gruesome death, can we not, with his help, forgive the hurtful comment or deed? The thoughtless action or selfish motive?

I heard someone once suggest to try and Continue reading

Primal Defense Giveaway!!!

Gillihan Leave Fight
By Anabell Jimenez

I started taking Primal Defense, a probiotic by Garden of Life, two years ago when I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. A friend of ours was thoughtful to buy it for me when I was really struggling those first couple of months. I have taken it almost every day since then.

Like I mentioned in my recent health tips article, probiotics have really helped improve my health and wellbeing. Once I began taking Primal Defense and eating fermented foods, my colitis greatly improved. My gastroenterologist, surprised at how well I was doing, cut my medication back dramatically. I am now mostly symptom free and on very little medication for someone with a severe bowel disease (I don’t even have to take it every day).

The gut and the appendix

Gut health is hugely important for all of us, though!  In fact, it has just come out that researchers finally think that they know what our appendix is for and it has to do with our gut! What they found was that the appendix houses a healthy bacteria population and that this is the body’s “insurance policy”. Basically, having a healthy gut, well-populated with good bacteria, is so important that the body has a back-up in the appendix for when the intestines loses its population (through diarrhea or antibiotics, for example). Our appendix has a purpose after all!

The importance of probiotics

Many researchers and doctors are now thinking that many diseases and illnesses, including autoimmunity and depression (!), have their root in poor gut health. So, getting our guts in a healthy place is hugely important, even beyond the healthy digestion and bowel function that probiotics are touted for . Although, for many of us, those functions aren’t small issues and there is nothing like a good dose of probiotics to help keep them going optimally! Stomach aches that I had struggled with years disappeared when I began taking probiotics. I now rarely have issues with gas, if ever. And my bowels function normally. A miracle for someone who has UC!

Primal Defense cured my seasonal allergies

Another huge thing that Primal Defense has done for me is to cure my allergies. This one totally took me by surprise. I never imagined for one moment, when I began taking this probiotic, that it would address my allergies. Who would? So, I was really shocked when that spring came and I had no allergies. Summer came–no allergies. And then–no allergies in the fall. In the past, camping and spending time outdoors with my family during these months required a box of tissues and Benadryl around the clock. It had become especially miserable since moving to Massachusetts. Dang those birch trees!

When I  began looking into this little “miracle” allergy cure, I found that there were other people who experienced the same thing when taking Primal Defense. Anyone who suffers from seasonal allergies will know how big this is! For this reason alone, I plan to stay on it :).

Primal Defense addressed certain food allergies

And not only did it cure my seasonal allergies, it addressed some food allergies I had as well. Avocados, apples, carrots, and almonds were all foods I had problems with in the past. Supposedly their protein mimics birch tree pollen and some people who are allergic to birch will also have an allergic reaction to these as well. Thankfully, in the past, I never had a severe reaction. But I was always afraid to eat them because they caused my mouth and throat to itch–which is still a little scary. As long as I am taking Primal Defense on a daily basis, I can eat these foods, no problem. (I forgot to take it with me on a trip a while ago and noticed that these foods began to bother me again. Once I began taking it regularly, that problem disappeared.)

Primal Defense Giveaway!

primal_defenseThis is not a sponsored post. But, because Primal Defense has done so much for my health, I can’t help but talk about it with my readers. And I am giving away a container to two of my subscribers! To enter, you can subscribe to A Life Enjoyed for free HERE. (All current subscribers are automatically entered into this giveaway and any future ones).

For extra entries into this contest: comment on A Life Enjoyed blog posts (up to 3) AND like this article and/or share it on A Life Enjoyed’s Facebook page. Each of these things will give you an extra entry (up to 5 total!). While you are there, make sure to like A Life Enjoyed’s Facebook page, too :).

Winners will be chosen Feb. 1 at noon.

Good luck!


2/1/2016 Update: We notified the winners through email!!!

8 health tips that have improved my life

health tipsWhen it comes to health and nutrition I try to approach it with balance.

I try not to be difficult or inflexible —the person with a long list of demands and things they won’t eat. (I realize this is very personal and what works for me may not work for another. Especially someone with life-threatening allergies!)

Also, I don’t want staying healthy to take over my life. I don’t have the time to devote hours a day to health and nutrition and research. I am lucky to have a couple of minutes here and there.

BUT, there are some small changes I have made that have paid off big when it comes to my health and wellbeing. They have made a huge difference in how I feel both physically and emotionally (two things I am finding more and more are closely related).

Here are eight “little” things I have done to help bring better health to my life. I’ll call them my “balanced” health tips :). Continue reading

A special woman and grandmother

Grandma!Brance’s Grandmother passed away on Sunday.

In honor of this amazing woman, here is an interview I did with her last spring.


Brance’s grandma Norma just celebrated her 90th Birthday. She is one of the most upbeat and resilient people I know. Her life has not always been easy. Norma grew up in poverty during the Great Depression, worked very hard her entire life, has lost many loved ones during her lifetime—including her husband and a son—but her joy and trust, even in life’s difficult circumstances, is something we could all use.

Norma’s positive attitude has allowed her to create a beautiful life for herself and her family. The love that they all share, the fun they have, and the financial stability they have experienced for years now can be traced back to this special lady. I thought it might be fun and helpful to ask her a few questions so that we can learn from her.

What things have  helped you the most in life?

I think the main thing that has held us together has been the love we have for one another.

Also, I have always had goals that I am working towards. You have to have a vision of what you want. In jobs or at home—in whatever.

What were some of your goals over the years?

To be a hair dresser and have a nice home for my family. We owned a motel, but during that time I took classes to work toward my goal of being a hairdresser. After running Continue reading

The number one predictor of health and happiness is…

i-LS7rjr3-X2Here at A Life Enjoyed, Brance and I are really into research and studies–especially those that have to do with health and happiness.

Because we are about enjoying life. You see, my own transformation came about as a result of some discoveries I made through research. These discoveries have been worth their weight in gold to me and my precious family.

And because my life is so much better for these discoveries, our blog was born–to hopefully help and inspire others. From the beginning, we’ve said to one another that if even one person is helped, this will be worth the effort. So we continue to look and learn and share those things with you.

Well, you can imagine how giddy I was when the results recently came out on a 75 year happiness study, the longest to date. The study was done by Harvard researches right here in our backyard.

The results will surprise most people. What they found contradicts what the majority of us assumes makes for a good life.

When asked, most of us believe that happiness comes with fame and money. And so we kill ourselves at our jobs, and hobbies, and projects trying to make a name for ourselves and trying to accumulate more wealth. And our reward? Poor health and dissatisfaction.

Yet, when we feel dissatisfied we assume that the antidote, the way to happiness, is more fame and money. We subconsciously end up in this hamster wheel endlessly pursuing fame and money to our own demise, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Continue reading

The egg roll meal

Egg roll mealI just received the best compliment a person could ever ask for. My darling little daughter told me she thinks I am the greatest cook around and wondered how I got so good at cooking.

I melted. Precious words like those make all the hectic, crazy of being a parent worth it, right?

Of course I am the best cook around in her 7-year-old mind, because, really, I am the only  one that she samples food from on a daily basis. But it was so sincere and what mom doesn’t need a little boost here and there. I’ll take the compliment :).

Thank you. Well, I told her, it’s probably because I get lots of practice preparing food for you guys. I cook a lot–like 1-2 meals every day.

She nodded in agreement and then twirled on to another room.

I thought I would share one those recipes I have had a lot of practice perfecting over time. It’s a twist on the egg roll and it is one of our family favorites. We call it the egg roll meal.

Egg roll meal


Continue reading