Berry Chia Sorbet Yumminess

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We are lucky to live close to a few berry farms, and last week we took advantage of them!

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The littles loved picking blueberries. We knew we had to make something delicious with them. So we bring you this icy treat!

2 c organic frozen berries (I threw our fresh in there too)

1 c ice cubes

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (can use coconut or soy too)

1 tbsp chia seeds

1/2 c greek yogurt

Throw in the blender and enjoy!

Things I want to never forget about this day:

1. Logan insisting on making popsicles with his left over sorbet.

2. Logan insisting on wearing his cousin’s shorts that he borrowed for the 3rd day straight. They were filthy. Don’t worry, I didn’t let him.

3. Arielle’s waddle. She has been so adamant about walking everywhere this past week. I adore it.

4. Arielle wanting to feed herself the ice cream. I even gave her a different spoon to hold so that she wouldn’t try to take the one I was feeding her with, to no avail. She got that sorbet everywhere! She is one stubborn little girl!

Intermittent Fasting

I read an interesting article on intermittent fasting this morning by Dr. John Berardi. Intermittent fasting dieting requires fasting for either one or two 24 hour periods each week. So, he did a 6 month experiment to see if he could lose more weight and body fat by this technique. He found that intermittent fasting didn’t work better than other diets in losing weight but it did help more with maintaining and also learning to mentally deal with hunger.

Maybe I am just odd, but I think it sounds fascinating to learn to mentally cope with hunger. Everyone runs into situations where they have to skip a meal. This past week, I had to help my husband at his job. I had eaten breakfast and then went to work, not thinking about the fact I wouldn’t be able to eat again until dinner. The entire time I was wishing I had of packed something, I was so hungry. To have been able to cope with that better and not think about how hungry I was every two seconds would have been awesome! One problem I ran into with his plan though is drinking green tea every few hours. I don’t drink green tea, so I would have to omit that completely. I am thinking of trying this once or twice to see what happens.

Dr. Berardi also gave 3 commonalities that this diet plan shares with other successful weight loss plans:

1. Calorie control. When calories are controlled, progress is made. They can be controlled by either eating frequent small meals or infrequent larger meals.

2. Focus on food quality. Fresh, unprocessed, nutrient-dense food is a must, regardless of which eating style you adopt.

3. Regular exercise. Exercise is a critical part of the equation in any weight loss plan.

Anyone looking to lose weight must follow those guidelines. It is simple math. There must be a greater output of energy than input of energy. It’s what I preach! Love it when I find others online who don’t claim to have a miracle gimmick to lose that last bit of weight. This is how the body works. Adhering to those guidelines makes for sustainable weight loss. It’s as easy to understand as that!

My new fave: BBQ Chicken Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

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Thursday night of last week was amazing. I kept meaning to post about it but we have had a busy weekend. (Translation: Father’s Day!) We devoured this BBQ Chicken Pizza with Cauliflower Crust recipe from A Pinch of Yum. Absolutely fantastic. And with only 150 calories per slice, it’s pretty much unbeatable. I don’t normally eat cheese, but I had to make an exception for this, and I’m glad I did. It wasn’t very much cheese, but I am now on the hunt for a mozzarella cheese alternative. So I need some ideas! I’ve been hunting the internet with no luck. If someone stumbles on this post, and has a great alternative, I’m begging you: Please tell me!!

But for now, I will just have to enjoy the pizza the way this recipe calls for it! One thing that I did change was I used a flax egg (1 tbsp flax plus 3 tbsp water = 1 egg). Also add one tablespoon of ground chia seed to make the crust even more chewy. Here is the link to this amazingness that you will love forever!

And for a good laugh, enjoy these pizza fails! I was laughing so hard at the pizza on pizza one!

Happy Father’s Day to My Man!

My kiddos have the best dad, hands down. We are so incredibly lucky. We celebrate Father’s Day every year by cooking whatever he requests. This year it was gooey homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast and then spinach and ricotta cheese pizza for dinner. I made both from scratch. Not healthy. At all. But hey, dad deserves one day a year right?! Your wish is my command:

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Also, I have the best dad myself! He has been such an amazing, supportive rock in my life. Love you dad!

Chia Seed Pudding- Great Way to Trick the Kids

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I’ve been hearing so much about Chia seeds lately. At Costco they have bags of them and at my local whole foods store, they have a whole shelf dedicated to Chia energy drinks in the refrigerated section. I was told they are the “new flaxseed” because they don’t go rancid but have a high amount of fiber and omega-3 fats. Also, because they are so high in fiber, they leave you feeling full longer! Total win in my book! When I read this post by my lovely friend Jordan about Chia seeds, I knew I had to try them. I made them with soy milk, drizzled a little agave on top with a splash of cinnamon. My little guy loved it. He made me keep adding more berries. He’s slightly obsessed with blueberries.

Chia Seed Pudding:

1 c soy or almond milk (I used soy because that’s what I had but almond milk has less calories.)

3 tbsp chia seeds

1 tsp vanilla

Mix ingredients together, cover and let the seeds soak overnight in the fridge. In the morning, top with cinnamon, berries, and agave or honey and you have a delish breakfast! And what could be better than telling your kids that they are having pudding for breakfast?! Logan loves eating cereal in the morning. Finding healthy breakfast cereals that he enjoys can be challenging. Many mornings, it is just about getting him to eat something. Anything! So, this is the perfect breakfast for my littles! So healthy! Sneaky mom. Jordan recommended to me putting cocoa powder in it for my littles. I’m trying it tomorrow. Kids, we are having chocolate pudding for breakfast! Great way to start the day! (Logan, just don’t tell anyone about our breakfast chocolate pudding so I don’t sound like a bad mom. It’s our little secret.)

Also, make sure you go check out Jordan’s blog, Berlin By the Bay, for more awesome recipes like this one!

Grandma’s Whole Wheat Carrot Cake

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When my Grandpa passed away about two years ago, I went to my Grandma and collected my favorites of her recipes. She sat down with me and helped me write each one individually. It is a memory that I will cherish forever. Grandma would make this carrot cake for my dad all the time while I was growing up. It is extremely moist and delicious, my favorite carrot cake recipe by far. I remember enjoying this on so many occasions: a huge perk of living so close to Grandma!

I made the modification of using coconut oil instead of butter. It makes this cake even better. The oil definitely adds to the moistness and the coconut enhances the flavor. I use Trader Joe’s Organic Coconut Oil. It’s divine.

Here’s the ingredients for the cake:

1 c whole wheat flour

2 eggs

2/3 c coconut oil

1 c firmly packed brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1 1/4 tsp baking soda

1 c grated carrots

1 c chopped apple (optional)

1/2 c raisins (optional)

1/4 c nuts (optional)

Lightly beat eggs, add oil and sugar. Beat until well blended. Stir in flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Stir into egg mixture. Stir in carrots, apples, raisins, nuts. Pour into greased pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Ingredients for the cream cheese frosting (I don’t eat dairy, so I opt out of adding frosting at all and sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top):

1/2 package cream cheese

1/4 c softened butter

2 c sifted powdered sugar

1/2 tsp grated orange peel

1/2 tsp vanilla

Cream together the cream cheese and the butter. Add powdered sugar and mix. Then add the orange peel and vanilla. Beat until creamy.

Wait until cake has cooled to top with frosting. Enjoy!

(This makes 9 servings of cake and is 326 calories per serving!)

 

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

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This weekend was my sweet girl’s first birthday! We celebrated at the park with a little dinner and cake bash with a few close friends and family.

We decided to keep it small and simple. This turned out to be the right choice! It was the perfect party.

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She LOVED her cake!

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Me and my precious baby girl. So in love with her.

Here are a few favorites taken of her first year of life.

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Watermelon Cilantro Salad

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This salad is amazing. I started eating before I took a picture so it did look prettier before. I will make tomorrow and hopefully get something that isn’t half eaten- if I can control myself!

2 c spinach
1 c watermelon
1-2 tbsp cilantro
2 tbsp cranberries
1/2 cucumber chopped
1 tbsp Culinary Treasure’s Organic Raspberry Vinaigrette

Toss in bowl and enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Quinoa Risotto

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When I first discovered this recipe, I was was somewhat skeptical of toasting quinoa. I mean, I’m no expert chef here. Just a momma trying to feed her family healthy food! So this was a little intimidating. While it was cooking, I kept thinking, ‘Crap. I’ve ruined it. This is gonna be crap.’ But, I was SO wrong. It was amazingness. I didn’t have white wine as the recipe calls for, so I added apple-cider vinegar. And it turned out so extremely yummy.

1/2 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1 tbsp minced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 c quinoa

2 tbsp organic apple-cider vinegar

3 c organic chicken/vegetable stock

1/2 c unsweetened almond milk

extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil

First, preheat oven to 400. Peel and dice up your butternut squash. In a baking dish, add one tablespoon oil and then add the squash, coating in the oil. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes. Add your chicken/vegetable stock to a pan and let it simmer on low while you prepare the quinoa. Sauté your onion and garlic in oil. Once the onion is translucent, remove from pan and add more oil. Add quinoa and toast in the oil on low heat for 5 minutes. Next, add the onion-garlic mixture to the quinoa with the apple-cider vinegar. Once the vinegar is all soaked up, continue on low heat and start adding the chicken/vegetable stock to the quinoa in small spoonfuls. Continuously stir and making sure most liquid is absorbed, but that the quinoa isn’t dry before you add the next spoonful. Next, stir in the the almond milk and then the butternut squash.

My little guy seemed to like this risotto, eating about 1/4 cup. That is a success in my book!

(Makes about 6 servings. 246 calories per serving)

Temptations of a Stay-At-Home Mom

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This smile just cracked me up! She knows how to brighten my day!

I feel like being a stay-at-home carries many temptations. For me, these include temptations to not exercise. ‘I can do it later this afternoon’ or ‘I’ll just double my workout tomorrow’ frequent the minds of many stay-at-homers. Then, the afternoon fills up with too many things to do and the workout doesn’t happen. Tomorrow’s pile of ‘To-Do’s’ create a time pinch and that intended doubled workout never becomes reality. Then there are the temptations to eat the leftover food of my littles. ‘I’ll just finish that crust of the sandwich’ or ‘Well, he didn’t finish those crackers and we don’t want to be wasteful’ are often thoughts that can tempt a mom to consume food she doesn’t even need. Trust me, this has gone down at my house.

Everyone has different temptations, which require ways to avoid them. I make myself exercise every morning regardless of what needs to be done. We simply don’t do the gym in the afternoon, ever. I don’t schedule activities or errands during my designated “Gym Time” and even turn down invitations or reschedule appointments that fall within those two hours. I know myself, and if I fall into a pattern of not making my workout happen during that window, then my workout doesn’t happen.  At all.

My other temptation of eating my littles’ leftovers stopped a few months ago. I will confess, most of the time, okay maybe all the time, it was the crust on his sandwich at lunch. I absolutely love crust. It’s hands down the best part of the sandwich. And what crazy doesn’t eat their crust?? That was my kid! What I had to do was after he has finished, I immediately tossed it out without thinking. I’m definitely not one to eat out of the trash can. Over the past month, his appetite increased and he started eating it all. There has been no wasting of precious, delicious crust. And no more of me eating food I didn’t need.

I have never had the temptation of eating junk food that enters my house. If my husband ends up going to the grocery store, inevitably he comes home with chips. Some form of BBQ potato chips. It isn’t that I dislike chips. I just know how unhealthy and over-processed they are and so I’m never tempted to eat them. It’s the same with most sweets with maybe a few exceptions that I can’t think of the top of my mind. For the most part, I really don’t struggle with that. I know others do though.

SO, what are your biggest health temptations- whether you are a stay-at-home mom or not- and how do you deal with them?

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