{Becca's Healthy Hints} Cleaning your Vitamix

Ok, so you've made the Lentil Pancake Bread...You've made your own flour in your Vitamix or blender...You've made the Banana Pudding over and over because your kids can't get enough of it...or maybe you make a smoothie every morning. We do this and without fail there are little raspberry seeds left behind. What do you do if it looks like your blender needs a little extra cleaning? The video I'm sharing today is just a quick little Healthy Hint that will show you how easy it is to deep-clean that fantastic Vitamix that you've come to know and love! If you haven't already seen the recipes I mentioned above, I encourage you to have a look. They are taste-tested, easy, clean-eating recipes that are sure to please!

Most of the time, when using the Vitamix, you can just give it a quick rinse, maybe wipe it down, and you're good to go for next time! This is one of the things I love about it. However, sometimes I find that some of the ingredients will get stuck under the blades and it's really not a good idea to start digging around with a utensil to clean it out...not good for the blades and it's certainly not good for the utensil! So, if you find it needs a little extra cleaning, this video will show you how easy it is to do just that. If you already have a Vitamix you may have seen this demonstration...we purchased ours several years back at Costco and the representative demonstrated this after making us one of the delicious tortilla soups! Also, if you don't have a food processor, you can make my Almond Butter (or other nuts) in your Vitamix or other blender and this definitely comes in handy!

How to Clean Your Vitamix

- Pour a couple cups of water into the Vitamix (or regular blender)
- Squirt a little bit of dish soap into the water and place pitcher on the machine.
- Put the top on and put the blender on it's highest setting.
- Let it run for a few minutes and watch the suds clean away!
- Rinse it really well and let it dry.

It's officially been Spring for several weeks now, but it's just recently starting to look and feel like it...we're not covered in a big blanket of snow here in Ontario like other parts of Canada, but it has still been chilly and we're just now enjoying some sunny days and that nice Spring rain (and possible thunderstorms...I LOVE thunderstorms!) It's been an up and down Winter and we're all pretty much over it and wish it would warm up already! Looks like we will finally be getting some nice weather soon. I am always fascinated at how people emerge from their hibernation as soon as the weather is nice. It's contagious and everyone gets out on
the paths around Mud Creek that is within walking distance from our house...it's wonderful!

I grew up in Florida, but I've always appreciated the changing seasons when I've lived in a place that has them (like I do now). I feel like I appreciate each change in season because it's exactly that...a change from what you've gotten used to. My parents and grandparents were always very good about making sure we did a fair amount of traveling which meant we were exposed to many different places; climates and terrain. To this point I am proud to say that because of my family, I have traveled to 47 States and 5 Provinces! I was able to travel to Israel and Egypt with my parents, Europe with my college concert choir and most recently I had the privilege of being involved in a mission trip to Kenya in 2009...an experience I will not soon forget! I am very thankful that I was given all those opportunities and hope to travel even more with my little family. Kirk has a great amount of travel and mission work under his belt as well and we both feel it's important to travel with our sons as much as possible to expose them to a variety of experiences. It helps expand our worldview when we see how other people live and encourages us to think outside of ourselves...an important life lesson that we are both blessed to have had.

It's also important to get away from the normal day-to-day schedule and have some fun as a family! When Kirk and I were newlyweds and new parents we lived in California far away from family and all of our traveling was spent visiting our families. With his in Canada and mine in Florida, any travel money we had (or was gifted) was spent on getting back "home for a visit." Now that we live near to one side of the family, we have been able to have a couple of nice getaways in the last couple years as well as visit my side of the family. Below are some pictures that give just a taste of the trips we've been able to take recently with friends and family with which we have been able to connect.
Cruise to Cozumel & Grand Cayman 2011

Kaleb kissing a dolphin in Grand Cayman!

Grandma & Papa Gardner with the  boys at Magic Kingdom!

One of my bestest friends in the whole world, Kimberly!
Our dear friends & California "Family," the Karmans

The Boys at El Matador Beach in California

That's a lot of boys! McCollums and Groombridges...friends forever!

Kirk and his best buddy, Ryan McCollum!
My dear friend, Teri...one of the biggest prayer warriors I've ever known!

Kirk and the Boys in Carsland at Disneyland!!

Visiting old friends in California!

Does your family have a regular vacation spot you go to? Mine always used to (my dad still does) go to Taylor County Camp Meeting every summer and Kirk's family always went to Ft. Myers Beach to their timeshare, The Sandcastle Beach Club. My parents now enjoy a timeshare at Wyndham's Bonnet Creek Resort which is a wonderful way to spend time with family (and go to Disneyworld)! I'm going to attempt to track down more of these types of pictures so check back for those!

Have you been fortunate enough to be involved in any mission trips to help others? Feel free to share below...we are encouraged and inspired when we hear each other's stories!

hope you continue to try my recipes and share with your friends and family and that the little Healthy Hint above helps makes things even more easy as you do your best to feed your families well. Use that Vitamix often and enjoy tasty, healthy meals whipped up in a hurry! Make sure to rate, comment and subscribe on YouTube and connect on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram.

Treat yourself well!