The Reason Why…

Written by Lyndi. Posted in About Me, Health & Wellness, Interior Design, Life Coaching

Today, you are going to learn a little more about why I am who I am and where I get my inspiration from.  

I had a good childhood, an incredibly sweet and loving mom,  two very protective older brothers (who would gladly beat up any boy that would look at me) and a sweet younger sister that I was very close to.  I was independent and mature for my age as a teenager.  I got my first official job at 14 (had to lie about my age to get it), bought my first car at 15, finished high school at 16, was going to college at 17 and got married at 18.  Oh my GOODNESS, is that crazy?!? By the way, I do not recommend that for anyone!

Throughout my life, I have always had a very special person to encourage, teach, inspire and love was my auntie Kathy.   Her husband passed away when she was pregnant with her first baby, so she was a single mom and I was able to spend countless summers and holidays with her and her son Tyler.  They lived in California and I lived in Utah, but she would have me come stay with her for weeks at a time.  During those visits, she would make me feel like I was the most important person in the world to her (I realize now that she did this with all of her nieces and nephews).   She taught me to be responsible for my actions, to be strong, to not be taken advantage of, to persevere, to delay gratification (her favorite term) to be emotionally healthy, to read self help books and most of all to laugh and have fun!   

When I became a wife and a mom,  she was always the one that I would get advice from...she knew what to do in EVERY situation.  I was incredibly close to her and I knew that no matter what mistakes I would make she would still love me, be there for me and tell me how to fix it, even if I didn't ask.  

About 5 years ago she moved to Utah, bought a new house and she wanted me to help her design and decorate it from top to bottom...of course I said YES!  The idea of hanging out with her for a week, plus buying new furniture and decor sounded like heaven.  Throughout the week of decorating, she said multiple times "you are good at this" and "you should do this professionally".  She told everyone in the family and all of her freinds that she thought I should be an interior designer...of course I liked that idea, but I didn't think it was even a possiblilty at the time.     

A few months after her house was complete and beyond beautiful, we found out that she had cancer.  She has always had great strength and determination, so I was completely convinced that she would kick cancers ass...but for once in my life, I was wrong.  She passed away 6 weeks later...It all happened so fast and I was devastated to say the least, but I also felt an incredible calmness about it.  I knew she was finally with her husband again in heaven and she was feeling no more pain or discomfort.

Since her passing, I have had an intense desire to become more like her.  After a long, challenging road of getting passed all of my insecurities I think I have finally figured out who I really am, what I can become and what my purpose is in this life.  I make decisions based on what I feel is right and not what other people think I should be doing.  It is a WONDERFUL place to be and I highly recommend it! 

I know that God lives and loves me and I feel him guiding me in my life every single day.  I believe that we all have angels that are constantly surrounding us and lifting us up when we need it and even when we don't.  I know that my Aunt Kathy is one of my angels.  She had so much encouragement and faith in me and I can now see how her hand has strongly guided me to the direction of Interior Design and writing this blog. 

She will always be a huge part of my life and whenever I am struggling with a situation, I think to myself "What would Kathy do?" and I instantly know what she would say.  I love and miss her dearly.   


Thanksgiving 2008 - I can't believe how much younger I look only five years ago




Benefits of Green Smoothies…plus, a delicious protein and omega packed green smoothie recipe that is dairy free…and you and your kids will devour it!

Written by Lyndi. Posted in Health & Wellness, Recipes

Yeah, I know...that is the longest title of a blog post in blog history!  But I wanted to emphasize the insane health benefits in this smoothie and to point out that it actually tastes delicious too!  

I think it is important to have fruits and vegetables on our plates for dinner every night, but that is not the main way I get my kids to eat their greens!  I like to find ways to hide veggies in different recipes or smoothies as much as I can so my kids get the adequate nutrition that they need!  We started drinking green smoothies a few years ago and I have seen amazing results from it. 

A few tricks on making a green smoothie: First, put in your liquid, then your spinach (or whatever greens you are using) and blend this together first before you add anything else.  This will get the spinach completely broken down and smooth.  Notice how much I put in...I stuff as much as I possible can into each smoothie...the spinach really has no flavor and it is soooo good for you (see reasons why down below). Then add your flax seeds, chia seeds, and peanut or almond butter...blend again to get a smooth consistency...add fruit and ice and blend one last time.  If your kids are picky, spray some whip cream on the top of it and put it in a fancy cup so they will think it is a treat.  IMG_3027IMG_3017

Chocolate Protein and Omega Packed Green Smoothie-Dairy Free

(Makes approximately 4-6  smoothies)

3 cups Almond Milk

3 cups Spinach

2 scoops Chocolate Protein Powder (my favorite is muscle milk-cheapest at Costco)

3 tablespoons Almond Butter

1 tablespoon Chia Seed

2 tablespoon Flax Seed

2 Bananas


It is the perfect snack for after school, before swim team or after dance class...and it's great to add to a healthy breakfast too.  The kids will ALWAYS  ask for seconds of this recipe!


Health Benefits of this recipe

Flaxseeds: Two tablespoons of flaxseed meal contains 4 grams of fiber, 2.4 grams of the short-chain omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and 300 milligrams of a particular type of antioxidant called lignans. Both ALA and lignans are anti-inflammatory, and lignans may also help lower cholesterol levels. Flaxseeds should be eating ground, otherwise they won’t be fully digested—and you won’t extract the nutrients.

Chia Seeds: While most associate them with the infomercials trying to convince you to buy green furry pets, chia seeds were originally eaten by the Mayan and Aztecs. One of the goals of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans was to have people choose foods that provide more dietary fiber. The typical American only eats 40 percent of their daily fiber goals (women should aim to consume 25 grams a day). Chia seeds can help you close this gap. With 5 grams of fiber per tablespoon, just adding two tablespoons of the seeds to your oatmeal or smoothie in the morning will double the fiber intake of the average American. Like flax, chia seeds also contain the omega-3 fat ALA.

Spinach (this is all in 1 Cup):

  • High in Protein - The highest vegetable protein around! One cup of spinach equals 5g of protein. (12% DV)
  • Super high in Vitamin A – Over 18,000 IU (377% DV). Vitamin A benefits the heart by preventing cholesterol from becoming oxidized in the body.
  • Crazy high in Vitamin K – Second only to Cauliflower with over 880 mcg (1111% DV) Vitamin K is essential as it helps calcium adhere to the bone making them stronger.
  • Great source of Folate/Folic Acid – Over 260 mcg or 66% DV. Which is particularly important for pregnant or nursing women.
  • Nice source of Vitamin C – With 17.6 mg or 29% DV. This also benefits the heart by preventing cholesterol from becoming oxidized in the body.
  • Great source of Minerals - 84% DV of manganese, 39% DV of magnesium, 36% DV of iron, 24% DV of potassium, and 24% DV of calcium.
  • 13 Flavonoids that help to fight cancer, protect against age related memory loss, and prevent heart disease.
  • Decent source of Fiber with 4.3g or 17% DV.

 Health Benefits of Green Smoothies

1 – Natural Weight Loss

Drinking a green smoothie is the best thing you can do to lose weight. Green smoothies provide the nutrition, vitamins, minerals, healthy carbohydrates, fiber and low fat whole food that you need to lose weight quickly, safely and effectively without starving yourself. 

2 – Increased Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables (Particularly Greens)

The American Cancer Society recommends that we eat 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day to prevent cancer and other diseases. Green smoothies are a quick and convenient way to get your vegetables and dark, leafy greens without tasting them. The fruit masks the flavor so even though all you taste is pineapple, mango, banana or strawberry, you are consuming a healthy dose of spinach, carrots, tomatoes and any other vegetable that you put in.

3 – Easy Digestibility and Nutrient Assimilation

Blending fruits and vegetables together breaks down the cells of plants and improves digestibility. Your blender unlocks the nutrients and maximizes their delivery to your body more than chewing any salad could. Smoothies are quicker and more convenient than preparing and thoroughly chewing a salad, especially when you are on the go.

4 – Antioxidants

Green smoothies are high in antioxidants and phytonutrients. Not only are you giving your body the best defenses for disease, but you are ingesting a variety of natural substances that are essential for optimum health and fitness.

5 – Increased Energy

Smoothies provide a powerful boost of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients without bogging down your digestive system. Since you are eating natural, whole foods in the most optimum form for your digestion and nutrient absorption, you will have more energy to get things done and enjoy your day.

6 – Mental Clarity and Focus

With a healthier diet comes greater mental clarity and focus.  You will experience greater alertness, energy and dramatically reduced anxiety and nervousness.

7 – Increased Fiber Intake

Unlike fruit juice or using a juicer, green smoothies use the whole fruit and vegetable so that you get all the fiber and nutrition. Fiber is essential for good colon health and it keeps your bowels in working order.

8 – Clearer Skin

Clearer, radiant skin is an often-reported benefit to eating healthier. Smoothies are high in fiber and allow your body to eliminate toxins the right way instead of through your skin. 

9 – Reduce Cravings

Green smoothies reduce cravings for junk foods, unhealthy sweets, salt and fats. You will find that after a few weeks of drinking smoothies, you will crave healthier foods such as fruits, vegetables and greens.

10 – Rich With Chlorophyll

Green smoothies are rich with chlorophyll which some natural health experts say enhances the immune system, purifies the blood and rejuvenates the body.

11 – Alkalizing

Fruits and vegetables are alkaline foods and many natural health experts claim that consuming these foods helps maintain a proper alkaline balance in the body. Acid-producing foods (as well as the over-consumption of protein) can raise the PH level of the blood, which can cause your body to leach calcium from your bones to neutralize it, thus increasing your risk for osteoporosis. 



75 Healthy Substitutions for Recipes & Gluten Free Options too!

Written by Lyndi. Posted in Health & Wellness, Recipes

This past week was so much fun...we had Easter, plus Spring Break, plus having family in town, all equals lots of cooking delicious food in my kitchen!  Although I enjoyed every bite,  it's time to get back on the healthy eating train again!   Here is a list of healthy substitutions for recipes...some are very surprising, but they really do work! You can download the link below if you would like a copy!!


1. Black beans for flour

Swapping out flour for a can of black beans (drained and rinsed, of course) in brownies is a great way to cut out the gluten and fit in an extra dose of protein, Plus, they taste great. When baking, swap out 1 cup flour for 1 cup black bean puree (about a 15oz can).

2. Whole wheat flour for white flour

In virtually any baked good, replacing white flour with whole wheat can add a whole new dimension of nutrients, flavor, and texture. Because whole wheat includes the outer shell of the grain, it also provides an extra punch of fiber, which aids in digestion and can even lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease. For every cup of white flour, substitute 7/8 cup of whole-wheat.

3. Unsweetened applesauce for sugar

Using applesauce in place of sugar can give the necessary sweetness without the extra calories and, well, sugar. While one cup of unsweetened applesauce contains only about 100 calories, a cup of sugar can pack in more than 770 calories! This swap is  perfect for oatmeal raisin cookies. Pro tip: You can sub sugar for apple sauce in a 1:1 ratio, but for every cup of applesauce you use, reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup.

4. Unsweetened applesauce for oil or butter

Don’t knock this one till you’ve tried it. The applesauce gives the right consistency and a hint of sweetness without all the fat of oil or butter. This works well in any sweet bread, like banana or zucchini, or in muffins (like in these low-fat blueberry muffins) — and even with pre-boxed mixes! On your first try, only try swapping out half the fat (so a recipe using 1 cup of oil would use 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce). If you can't tell the difference with that swap, try swapping a bit more of the fat next time around.

5. Almond flour for wheat flour

This gluten-free switch gives any baked good a dose of protein, omega-3s, and a delicious nutty flavor. Check out these classic butter cookies for a simple example. A word of advice: almond flour is much heavier than other baking flours, so when subbing go 1/4 cup at a time (so 1 cup wheat flour would become 3/4 cup wheat flour and 1/4 cup almond flour). Or, if it's all or nothing for your recipe, remember to increase the amount of rising agent (by about 1/2 teaspoon per cup of almond flour added) to account for the extra weight.

6. Avocado puree for butter

They’re both fats (albeit very different fats) and have nearly the same consistency at room temperature. The creaminess and subtle flavor of the avocado lends itself well to the texture of fudge brownies and dark chocolate flavorings. Check out this recipe for perfect proportion guidelines. It can take some experimenting to get this swap perfect, but generally, using 1 cup of avocado puree per cup of butter works

7. Brown rice cereal with flax meal for Rice Crispies

Brown puffed rice has the same texture as conventional white rice, but with half the calories. The flax adds extra fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and phytochemicals to the mix without compromising flavor!

8. Marshmallow Fluff for frosting

Replacing the fat and sugar in frosting with marshmallow achieves the perfect consistency with many fewer calories. While two tablespoons of marshmallow has just 40 calories and 6 grams of sugar (and no fat!), the same amount of conventional frosting can pack up to 100 calories, 14 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of fat. Need we go on?

9. Natural peanut butter for reduced-fat peanut butter

While they may appear better than traditional Skippy or Jiff, reduced fat versions of peanut butter can actually have more sugar — and an extra-long list of artificial additives— than the classics. Natural peanut butter (preferably unsalted) provides the same sweetness without call the extra junk.

10. Vanilla for sugar

Cutting sugar in half and adding a teaspoon of vanilla as a replacement can give just as much flavor with significantly fewer calories. Assuming the recipe originally calls for one cup of sugar, that’s already almost 400 calories cut out! You can't sub this one in equal ratios, but next time you're whipping up some cookies, try cutting 2 tablespoons of sugar and adding an extra 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.


Adapted from



Building self confidence in your kids!

Written by Lyndi. Posted in Health & Wellness, Kids & Family Life, Life Coaching, Parenting Tips

I am the lucky mom of four kids...they all didn't come easily into this world, so I am extra grateful to have them be a part of my family (more on that story to come)!  I want to be the best mom possible to them...and I think the most important thing I can teach them is how valuable and truly special they, how do I do that?!? B03

Children do not need to be fussed over and overpraised for doing simple things that should be done every day, or told they are geniuses for putting a sippy cup in the sink. Children do, however, need to be encouraged—daily.

Everyday they need:

a hug and a kiss

and they need to hear these things...yes,!

I love you

Thank you

I'm so lucky that you are my child

I'm proud of you

I believe in you

I trust you

& they need encouragement 



They need to feel that they are important to you. The best way to do this is through complimenting them.

  • Make your compliments meaningful. Don't just compliment your kids for doing what's expected of them, or for something minor.   Compliments should be reserved for actual accomplishments! Don't pour on the praise for something they didn't actually do. And never say they are the Best in the World in anything. I'm sure that your child is going to do MANY wonderful things today; the key is to look for the right opportunity to praise them.
  • Praise them appropriately. When your kids do something special, like draw you a picture or get dressed by themselves, that's when you can tell that you're proud of them.  Rewarding your children reinforces good behavior, but they are validated simply by knowing that they've pleased you.
  • Slip them a note. If your children can read or are in school, tuck a note in their backpack or lunchbox and let them know how you feel about them.  A little acknowledgment can go a long way.
  • Notice their good deeds.  Whenever you see your child being nice or doing anything positive, tell them that you noticed it and how proud you are of them.

If you do these things everyday, I guarantee that you will see a major shift in your child's self confidence...which boils over into every single aspect of their lives!! Happy Complimenting!

Information Adapted from



How to get your kids to LOVE to brush their teeth!

Written by Lyndi. Posted in Health & Wellness, Kids & Family Life, Parenting Tips

max brushing teeth Brushing their, it's always been a challenge in my house. So I decided that I needed to be creative and find ways to make it fun for my kids. This picture is of my little boy Max...he's a tough one to get to do anything because whatever I want, he wants the opposite...but this even works with him!!

1.  Take Turns!  Start by letting your kids roll dice...whoever gets doubles first, gets to brush their teeth first, second and third, ect...It's amazing how excited they get about this. If I don't have dice around, I will let them pick numbers or straws...this works great too!

2.  Have a special designated spot that they get to brush their teeth at. Mine is on my counter in my bathroom...but you could use a special stool, ect.

3.  Let your kids choose a couple different toothbrushes and toothpastes from the store...then when it's teeth brushing time, let them choose which one they want to use that day. If they have a choice then there will be no power struggle and they will think it is all their own idea. This works great! Also, buy new toothbrushes every few months...I know it is simple, but the kids get excited about it and love the change.

4.  I let my kids brush their own teeth for a minute and then I brush them the rest of the time (yes, even my 12 year old)...I set a timer and I will try to be funny, or sing a song while I do it.

5.  Let the kids choose some fun "special" cups from the store that are only used for rinsing after brushing teeth...this gets them excited.

Then finally tell them how proud you are of them for being such good teeth brushers...end with a high five, airplane ride or hugs...make it a positive, fun experience.

Now, get their asses to bed.



Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos

Written by Lyndi. Posted in Health & Wellness, Recipes

I know what you are thinking...these sound gross, right?!? Well, these my friend are soooo delicious! My fabulous friend Amber brought them over for me to try and I have been hooked ever since! They are vegetarian, but have tons of protein and veggies and are down right healthy...yet super tasty!


Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos


Yield: Makes about 6 burritos


2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed small (about 3-4 cups)

1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced

1 red pepper, diced small

1 small red onion, diced small (about 1/2 cup)

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drain

1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (depending on your taste)

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice (from about 1 lime)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 ripe avocado

6-8 burrito-size tortillas - I used whole wheat for a healthy option


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss together the sweet potatoes, jalapeno, red pepper and red onion with the olive oil, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Dump the coated veggies onto a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for 18-20 minutes, tossing halfway through. The vegetables should be tender but not mushy at the end of cooking time.

Let the vegetable mixture cool. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl and toss with the black beans, cilantro, honey and lime juice. Taste the mixture and add additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Refrigerate the mixture until ready to assemble the burritos or use immediately.

Place tortillas on a pan, add cheese and mixture...wrap, add avocado and devour!!

Adapted from: Mels Kitchen Cafe


Printable Recipe



©Copyright 2013 - Ellie Bean Design, LLC