The Healthy, Happy Ebook

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Thanks for stopping by! I'm young, I'm in love with my man, and I'm a mommy. We're busy, but happy. I'll share with you how to eat natural, healthy, whole foods while balancing family life! Learn to love your food, it will love you back!
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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Healthy Nutty Crunch Salad w/ Orange Chia dressing







After our fun celebrating today with Harry Potter and the almost overwhelming sweetness from our Homemade Butter Beer I remembered what I had planned for our Alphabet Day "N" day! For a reminder of Alphabet Days, here is the link.

Thank goodness for "N" day, it's one of those meals that just makes you want to pat yourself on the back for eating something so healthy, but it tastes so good! If you are like me I like some texture to my salads, I don't want just a boring, lettuce, rabbit bite! Give me some ziiiing, ya know! Well this was just what I wanted! I loved the orange dressing as well, it made it really sweet and I just love citrus. Surprisingly it was the celery that tasted so wonderful with the orange to me! This is no wimpy salad either! I had a HUGE plateful, because I could! It's full of the healthy fats from the nuts, why not add tons of low cal nutritious greens, I had it topped with quinoa and I didn't feel any ounce of guilt with the dressing...score!!!! When your looking for a quick meal for lunch or dinner and you don't want any heat in your house, put together this bad boy and you'll be satisfied I'm sure!

Nutty Crunch Salad

3-4 C Romaine lettuce
1/8 C cashews
1/4 C Whole Raw Almonds
1/8 C rice noodles
1/4 C cooked quinoa (optional)
1 celery stalk chopped

Other optional toppings
tomatoes
apples
blueberries
flax seeds
sunflower nuts
sesame seeds
avacodo
beans
carrots
broccoli 
etc.

Combine all ingredients to a large bowl and toss until completely combined

Orange Chia Dressing

1 peeled Navel Orange
2 T chia seeds
1/4 C almond milk
2 T agave (optional, you could use a medjool date for sweetness if you'd like also)

Combine all ingredients to a blender. Blend until completely smooth, about 90 seconds. Pour over top of salad! Enjoy


Geeks Unite! Homemade Butter Beer!




Okay, here is my guilty confession...I am a HUGE  Harry Potter fan! I have read all the books 10 times each, and of course my favorite Christmas present last year was the entire 8 disc set of Harry Potter movies! Well to my happy surprise when I logged on to facebook this morning I learned it was J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter's Birthdays! So of course we had to have some fun and make a Harry Potter inspired recipe! Well, I thought Butter Beer, that is mentioned often in the books, why not try that out! Well of course I should have gotten a clue from the name that the recipes wouldn't be great for you. Well I'll tell you this, I did try to healthify this recipe and it turned out super great. However, it was still a little bit too much for me and I think my kids also after a little while. We aren't used to so much sweet in one wack. It tasted really good and it was worth it for the fun of it, but still it was a little too much. I can't imagine what the original recipe would taste like.

So if you're geeky like I am, this will be fun for you to try. I'm also linking the original recipe, which is actually a Harry Potter recipe page so it has other ones as well, I think some would be fun for Halloween time!!! So curl up with the Prisoner of Azkaban and Enjoy


Homemade Butter Beer

2 1/2 C Almond Milk
1/2 C butterscotch chips or sauce

Heat almond milk and butterscotch chips in saucepan until chips are completely melted.

For the topping

3 C confectioners sugar
4-5 T vegan margarine, soy free (you can also use another butter or margarine)
1/3 C coconut milk (or almond milk)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Cream together margarine and sugar, slowly add milk and continue beating. Add in spices and beat until all combined. Spoon on top of the milk, it should eventually float to the top! Sugary, but still fun and yum!


This is the link to the original site


***** UPDATE****  my friend posted a yummy sounding sugar free version of this at her blog!!! Enjoy


Monday, July 30, 2012

Mini Vegetarian Shepard's Pies





 

 There was a hint of Fall in the air for me today! It was pretty mild this morning as I left for work, and it hadn't reached it's blazing summer heat as I was leaving work. I feel I'm never quite satisfied with the seasons and holidays.
When it gets to this point in the summer I start planning for my fall and Christmas festivities. I'm already planning food! Derek and I discussed our Halloween costumes today! They're going to be great by the way. I just can't wait for the Holidays. However, the day after Christmas I'm usually wishing the icy snow away and looking forward to St. Patrick's Day and Easter, and for sure by the time the Bi-polar spring is in full swing (as in we get all four seasons in one day) I'm praying for Summer weather! It's a vicious cycle.

Well today I wanted to have a little "fall like" comfort food for our dinner, and of course it had to be something mini size for our ABC "M" day! I have become the BIGGEST fan of vegetarian Shepard's pies ever since I made my first one! This is just a fun remake of my original posting. This is not a gluten-free version due to the biscuit crust, however the traditional Shepard's Pie is. So check out that recipe here, oh it was one of the first recipes I posted....ahhh a sentimental moment!

Anyway, I love every single bit of the zesty sauce covering all the delicious vegetables that get crammed into this little baby! If it wouldn't add to my hips so much I'd probably eat all of them! Trust me I've eaten the whole original Shepard's pie by myself over a period of 24 hours, it's ridiculous!!!

These were a fun thing for the kids to see, I think they thought it was fun that their dinner was in a little cup from a muffin tin! From my experience with my two kids, this is an excellent way to sneak in those veggies and have them gobble them up. I think it's the mashed potatoes, if it's covered in fluffy potatoes, whatever is underneath it must be just as amazing right! Well whatever it is it works in this house. This meal is almost pure veggies so I'm happy!

I used a garlic biscuit crust, I really liked the taste. The only issue I had was removing the pies from the muffin tin. They fell apart pretty easily. I didn't grease my tin hardly at all so that could play a part, but I also think the biscuits just crumbled under everything and me trying to pop them out. It obviously didn't effect the taste at all, but if you're looking for a pretty appearance I suggest greasing the pan a little heavier than I did. I was really excited about sharing this recipe since it fits right along with my budgeting tips on eating healthy for less. I used some left over vegetables from  my veggie kabobs from two days ago, which is one of the tips I gave. Plan your left overs so that you can use them in other meals throughout the week! This will save money and make sure you don't waste your food. After I had assembled all the mini pies, I still had mashed potatoes left and the vegetable filling, so what do you do with that. I stuck it in a disposable baking dish, covered it really well and plopped it in the freezer! So now I have an original Vegetarian Shepard's Pie waiting for me to stick in the oven in the coming weeks. The sauce is a little different in this recipe, but it will still be wonderful! Easy peasy! You can view my budget post here, there will be more on budgeting to come since it was so popular!

Mini Vegetarian Shepard's Pies
5 potatoes, peeled
1 C low sodium vegetable broth
1 can tomato paste
1 broccoli crown, chopped
1 zucchini
1 small yellow squash
1/2 asparagus bunch
1/2 yellow onion
2-3 carrots chopped, or 1 C shredded carrots
1/2 T cumin
1/2 T Mrs. Dash seasoning
1 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

For the crust
2 C whole wheat flour
1 tsp raw cane sugar
1 T baking powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 C almond milk (or any milk you'd like)
1/3 C margarine or butter (I used vegan margarine and it was perfect)

Wash and peel potatoes. Chop into small pieces and cover with water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender. Add small amount of margarine or butter and small amount of milk. Use beater to whip potatoes. Beat until frothy. Chop all the vegetables to the desired size and set aside with potatoes. 
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees. For the crust add all the dry ingredients to a medium sized bowl. Melt margarine and add to the dry ingredients. Stir until crumbly.  Combine egg and milk in a small bowl and beat together until egg is well mixed. Add into the dry ingredients. Beat or stir until well combined. Grease muffin tin and spoon in batter 1/4 full. Pre-bake for  4-5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. Add vegetables to skillet with seasonings, tomato paste, and vegetable broth. Simmer covered for 5-7 minutes until just tender. Using a spoon make wells in the biscuits in the muffin tins since the dough should not be baked through.
Add vegetables to the well in the crust and top with mashed potatoes.

Place in oven and bake for another 7-8 minutes, until potatoes are golden and biscuits are baked completely through! Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the muffin tins. Enjoy!!!!




Mini Double Chocolate Cookies


It's "M" day, so I must honor the Disney Freak in me!!!!

Today is all about mini size!!! 

I've posted before that when I first was discovering healthy alternatives for baking and recipes I found beans to use in baked goods. At first I was disgusted and was sure that they would be gross and your cookie would taste like a sugary burrito!
Well I finally was brave enough to try a recipe and have now since made many different bean baked goods, two of my favorites are the Heavenly Bean Cookies and Butter Bean Scotchies
So today I thought about making one of these cookies but just making them into mini balls, after awhile I thought...no. They are both white bean cookies that are quite similar, they're delicious, but I needed to go out on a limb and try a different type of cookie with a different bean! I've made black bean brownies before since I have a gluten free recipe and I made them for my mom (I just need to make them again, take a picture and post them, they're great), but I've never used the black beans in a cookie!
After the cookie making today I can now say that beans in themselves could have their own cookbook. 100 ways to use beans in baking and cooking!!!! They offer protein, vitamins and they don't bust out they're flavor and make your sweets all beany. They can be bold when they want, and invisible when they want!

So obviously we had another bean cookie hit! They were cute, tasty, healthy, and chocolatey! Yay! They are about 30-40 calories a cookie due to the size and it'll depend on how many chocolate chips you use!!! You can't beat that. My daughter settled in the second they were out of the oven with her glass of almond milk, and popped down two cookies!!!!

Be brave, try these! I am such a fan of beans in my cookies and baking. These are not gluten free, but there are so many recipes available that use beans instead of flour for those who can't have gluten! I also feel that beans are an important part of a natural diet, so what better way to get them in than through a cookie!!!

Mini Double Chocolate Cookies

1/2 C oats
1 cup whole grain flour (I use spelt)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 C cocoa powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 C canned black beans
1 T bean liquid
1/8 C coconut sugar 
1/4 C Raw cane sugar
1/4 C agave sweetener
1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
1/2 tsp vanilla
4-6 T water
1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
1/2 c. semi- sweet  chocolate chips
dash of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients in medium bowl. Add wet ingredients including beans to blender. Blend on high for one minute or until smooth. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips. If it is too dry add some more water, slowly!

  Drop by 1/2 table spoons onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. You can make them smaller if you want, but just make sure you lower the bake time! Let them cool about 5 minutes before taking them off the sheet! Enjoy


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Musings from Healthy Mommy Me!





In many previous posts I've mentioned my little ones! I've mentioned struggles I've had in getting them to eat healthy, in trying to balance my time and accomplish everything I'd like to do! There have been times where I am so stinkin' tired I stare at my overflowing sink that is full of stinky, dirty dishes and wonder to myself...

"why the heck do you spend so much time finding all these recipes and whipping them up (sometimes failing) when you can run to the store down the street, grab a box of hamburger helper for $2.00 and be done with dinner in 15 minutes and have a one dish clean up!"

 It seems easy, right, to do that. As adults, we typically know what is good and bad for our bodies (even if we don't eat well). Many of us who strive for a healthy lifestyle grew up on a typical diet, with white rice, white bread, meat as the main dish, refined sugar, etc. Yet here we are learning about healthy eating! So I ask you all, why not let our kids do the same? Why not have the typically balanced diet, of food that isn't super awful, (I'm not saying that you feed your kids doughnuts and fries all day long), but the standard set up of a meal and just stop worrying so much about it! When they are adults they can figure it out for themselves!

It can be so difficult to convince a young child to eat something healthy!

BUT....I'll tell you that is is worth it! When I feel like complaining I look around at my two little sweeties and realize, that yes sometimes it is hard to introduce a new food to my children, but 95% of the time after giving them a chance they end up loving it!

I remember that I'm helping them get a taste for healthy foods now and I'm helping them learn what is healthy and what isn't. My hope is that by the time they have grown and left my home and they are on their own, they won't do what I did and buy fake foods, they will hit the produce section, and bulk sections of the stores and load up on fruits, veggies, nuts etc and know what to do with  them! I hope they will have an influence on their peers, future spouses, children so they can pass down the information they've learned to their families!

I have no control over what they choose to do in their lives someday, these are my hopes for them! I am dedicated to helping them establish this lifestyle for themselves!

More than developing a lifestyle I'm trying to defend them! I am a believer that what we eat can seriously compromise our defenses in our bodies against certain diseases.
These are from my own experience with my children: My daughter is the oldest, I fed her whatever I could because I just knew she wouldn't eat "good stuff" she got a large intake of cow's milk, cheese, chicken nuggets, bread, etc. In her first 18 months of life she had a total of 8 ear infections and mild eczema!
With my Son, when our little man was old enough to eat solids we had already begun the change to our way of eating. My son never had an ear infection until he was 1 year old! And guess what. It was during our move. We were bouncing back and forth between relatives homes while we were waiting for ours to open up, I gave him cow's milk, yogurt and string cheese almost daily, and there you go a massive ear infection with fever to follow! He's never had one since! My daughter still has slight eczema on her cheeks, but hasn't had another ear infection since we began this process!

"...You can't gain excellent health by consuming medicinal substances or herbal remedies only. Superior health is the result of nutritional excellence and healthy habits; it does not result from taking remedies. This does not mean that natural substance with medicinal properties or even a drug should never be used, it means we pay a price...from the use of such substance and we are better off if we can live in a manner to avoid such things. "

"Children's diets today are notoriously low in beneficial omega-3 fats found in foods such as walnuts, flax seeds, soybeans, leafy greens, and certain fish. Omega-3, DHA is an essential nutrient for optimal brain and eye function."
                                                                                   Dr. Joel Fuhrman, MD Disease- Proof Your Child

I think we as parents need to give ourselves some credit. We all love our children more than the world, we all want what's best for them. There are days where it is hard to reason with them, especially when you know what you are giving them is going to benefit their lives! My advice as a fellow mommy,who has seen this way of eating bring more health to her own precious little ones, is keep trying!!!! Constantly remember you are shaping their life for the long haul! Who better to teach them about health and nutrition, but mom! Lead by example! Research all you can, I recommend the books, Eat to Live and Disease-Proof Your Child both by Joel Furhman, they are intense, but they have given me a good outline on how I want to feed my family. I may not follow them perfectly, but even following 85-90% has made such an impact on my family!!! Good luck! We're all in this together!




Strawberry Sweet Bread w/ Strawberry Glaze




Are you ready to get your grain on? This sweet bread was marvelous, but it is full of yummy grains, and a surprise ingredient....quinoa! Yes, cooked quinoa! I have never used quinoa in a baking before. I've seen the quinoa flour and pasta, however I've never thought to use cooked quinoa.

This recipe is a combination of many searches and mashing them all together to satisfy my tastes! I found some ideas at ohsheglows.com, poorgirleatswell.com, and my best friend google!  I knew a few things I wanted, I wanted it to be egg less, healthy (obviously), I wanted a glaze and I wanted a berry or fruit. I couldn't decide between strawberries or cherries for awhile, finally I decided on the strawberries (I do think cherries would be great in this too, with a cherry glaze...maybe some chocolate chips....light bulb!!!! Cherry chocolate chip bread!!! To be continued...)

Well after I had compiled a list of ingredients I stumbled upon the idea of adding cooked quinoa to your baking, since apparently it adds moisture, more healthy grains, and flavor! Hmmmm, well the purpose of my blog is to think outside the box when feeding ourselves and our families healthy. So I decided to try it. Whenever I make up a recipe I get very unorganized in my baking, maybe I should do a post on how to simplify baking and cooking so clean up is easier...it will say..."Don't bake like ME!"





As I was starting the process of making the bread, I had those negative thoughts come into my head, just like with the veggie kabobs, I kept thinking, your taking a risk with just mashing together multiple recipes, you just finished doing a budget post and now here you are going to waste all your food!

Well I'm here to tell you when the negativity bug comes knocking, punch him! A lot of times when we have just a basic idea in mind, sometimes that is when we create our tastiest creations! I will admit I've never been awesome at glazes, they never seem to get really thick for me and they tend to absorb into baked good a lot, not that it hurts the flavor it just doesn't look as pretty. I let things cool and everything so if anyone has any tips let me know! This bread turned out really tasty! I really enjoy things where you can taste the health of it, but it still has an enjoyable sweetness to it! And this had it all for me. The glaze made some bites taste almost like a doughnut...I mean that is awesome right! It was a pretty pink color, so as soon as I saw it I thought, 'what a nice Valentine's Day Bread' and it would be, but we'll enjoy it in July as well :)  Okay enough chit chat, on to the recipe! Enjoy this, just save some for everyone at your house :)

Strawberry Sweet Bread w/ Strawberry Glaze
2 C flour (I used whole grain Spelt Flour)
1 C quinoa, cooked
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 T ground flax seed
2 T raw cane sugar (optional)
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 C almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
1 C strawberries
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/4 C agave 
1/4 C raw honey (you can also use maple syrup)
1/3 C oil (I used olive oil)

Glaze
1/2 C confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
4 frozen strawberries


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook quinoa completely. Set aside to cool. Combine almond milk, vinegar, agave, honey, almond extract, vanilla, and oil to a small bowl. Set aside while you combine the dry ingredients. Add all dry ingredients, except strawberries, and including quinoa to a large bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well until blended, add strawberries. Be careful not over mix the Spelt flour, it's a delicate flour. Pour dough into a bread pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until completely cooked through. Remove and let cool on a cooling rack. After bread has cooled slightly, begin to assemble glaze. Add sugar to a small bowl. Make sure strawberries are thawed (I actually microwaved mine for a minute to make them mushy) Smash out as much juice as you can and pour it into the sugar, try and keep as many chunks out as possible, I ended up with about 4-5 T of liquid. And after awhile I had even more, that I didn't use, so if you want a lot, keep mushing them! Pour glaze over the top of the bread! Enjoy


*Question for everyone, I've noticed there is a debate whether or not honey is vegan. I know it's made from Bees so I guess in that sense I see how it isn't, but I would love others opinions, I'm not sure if I should call things that use honey vegan?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

"Lazy Lime" Breakfast Smoothie



It's the letter "L" today, I'm not sure if I'm going to do a letter tomorrow, I'm having a tough time finding time to do alphabet day on the weekends so it might just be a Monday-Friday deal :) Today is my "Lazy Lime breakfast smoothie! I have never really been able to take a lovely picture of a smoothie, this one is no different I'm afraid. It was much greener than the picture lets on and more appetizing to look at! I'm working on my photography skills guys :)

 I call it lazy because you really can't beat the speed and ease of a smoothie, and everyone in my family drinks one, so no need to try and make a huge breakfast for everyone! It's lazy, but oh so healthy! I had never used lime in my smoothies before, I liked the subtle hint of lime. If you want more lime taste you might want to throw some zest into yours!

The great thing about smoothies is how many nutrients you can back into them or proteins and all you really taste is a super yummy drink! I used to feel that I needed yogurt in my smoothies at all times, but now I am totally satisfied just stuffing it full of bananas, fruit, and I use almond milk a lot in my smoothies! I always add Chia seeds, and Flax seeds to my smoothies to get the calcium and omega 3's.

P.S. I may start a rumor that there may be a giveaway on here soon....just sayin' :)

Lazy Lime Smoothie
1 fresh banana
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 C frozen strawberries
1/2 C frozen blueberries
2 limes, juiced
2-3 large handfuls of spinach
1 T ground flax seed
2 T Chia seeds
Oats, for top (optional)
1/4 C water
1/4 C almond milk

Combine all ingredients, apart from oats, to blender. Blend on high until completely smooth! About 90 seconds. Add oats and fresh lime zest to the top if you'd like!!! Sleep in, be lazy, it's a weekend :)




Friday, July 27, 2012

Vegetarian Kabobs (with vegan option)






It's "K" day and all I have to say is....MMMMM....that's what comes to mind when I think about this perfect summertime meal! I love kabobs, but guess what! I don't have a grill!!! What.... I know we're missing out, we're saving up for one! Anyways so I decided to bake these veggie kabobs and they turned out terrific! I served them with Quinoa and it turned out to be a perfect meal. You really don't need chicken or beef to make a kabob enjoyable!

I had some negativity in my head while I was making dinner though, I kept saying to myself, my kids aren't going to eat this. I just know my little man is going to throw it everywhere, my daughter will just cry about how she doesn't like it before she tries it, but I reeeaaaallly want to make this for dinner so I'll just deal with it then!!!

Well, my little pumpkins shut those negative thoughts right up! Yes my son had a hard time eating it, but that was because he was having a tough time handling the fork, once I helped out a little bit he couldn't get enough of everything!!! My little girl ate it all, except she asked if she could not eat the onions, I agreed, she ate all the carrots and squash so how could I not!

Dinners like these, where I think they are just going to be "Mom and Dad" dinners, but turn into healthy family dinners...this is why I do this!!! It makes it so worth it! I encourage you to make these your own, I used vegetables that I love, but add mushrooms, peppers, whatever you'd like!

Vegetarian Kabobs
1 zucchini squash
1 yellow squash
1/2 onion
3 full carrots
1 T olive oil
1/2 packet of Italian dressing seasoning

Chop vegetables into desired sizes. Make sure the onions aren't in a ring. Add olive oil to skillet and heat over medium. Add vegetables and seasoning and saute for 7 minutes or so to start tenderizing and making sure they are well coated with the seasoning.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Assemble vegetables onto skewer, and place on cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes then remove and flip skewers to the other side, be careful not to get burned by the stinking pan

Bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven! Enjoy with quinoa, salad, or brown rice!!!!


Perfect for a BBQ

*Italian Dressing Seasoning is not vegan, so for a vegan option use Mrs. Dash vegetable seasoning, with 1 tsp dried parsley, 1 tsp dried basil, and 1 tsp dried oregano!


Health Shopping on a Budget


Over the passed few weeks I've had several emails and conversations with people about how they would like to eat healthy, but they feel it would be out of their budget. Well I'm going to bring you into my shopping world and maybe give some insight on how to shop for healthy foods on a budget!

My family is in no way rich. My husband is still a student and I work part-time, two kids require a lot of expenses so, yes I still live on a budget! I am spending more than I originally was on groceries because I'm constantly inventing and trying new recipes! And unfortunately sometimes my creations don't turn out how I'd like them too, for example yesterday :(

These were meant for "J" day jelly filled brownies, they sounded sooo good to me, I had thought them up, made them healthy, but the end result was blah...garbage here we come! And that is a peak at what my kitchen looks like on a regular basis! I'm really hating dishes lately :) So when mishaps such as the brownies happen, I do end up wasting some food. The good thing about this blog though for you all, is the recipes I post have been tried and tested, so hopefully you won't throw food out and waste your money!

So I've explained to people that in the beginning when you are building up your stock of foods, such as chia seeds, flax, quinoa, flours, nutritional yeast, and other grains it may be quite expensive. I couldn't wait to start trying food in this lifestyle so I remember it was quite the dent in the wallet. If you are more patient than I am, every time you go grocery shopping add a health food item to your list from a bulk section and stock up on that item, maybe Spelt flour, or maybe you want to start with Quinoa, whatever it is you can always go slow then it won't be such a financial burden!

Okay, today was grocery shopping day, I plan weekly meals since it's easier for us to set up a set budget for each week, if you enjoy doing two weeks of food at a time, by all means go for it, just make sure you adjust your budget! One of the most important things I like to do to help me stay within our budget is first, use cash for groceries if you can...discipline yourself to know when the cash is gone...no more groceries! When it comes to that point you need to get creative with meals, eat salads, or leftovers, or PB&J's for a few days.

 The next tip I can give you is never, I repeat never go to the grocery store without your list, and maybe don't go with your husband :) On one side of my list I plan my meals. I try and make meals that I can incorporate leftovers into another meal, for example tonight we made veggie kabobs, I made sure to save some extra vegetables for my mini veggie Shepard's pie's in a few nights! Neat right! On the other side of the list I write down the grocery list. I always scan my cupboards first to see what I already have, it's not fun to come home and realize you have about 4 cans of tomato paste, especially when your living on a budget! So check your cupboards first!

Okay so we headed to the store! Something I really try to do on my grocery trips is...
I take my kids! I know it's not always a joy to bring the kids to the grocery store, but I find it such a valuable time to really teach them about healthy foods vs. unhealthy foods! My daughter wanted to pick something out...we didn't run to the cookie section...nope she picked a cucumber! Yes, a cucumber! I didn't encourage it, it was all her, (because to be honest I'm not the biggest cucumber fan) anyways my point is over the last few months my kids have always learned at such young ages what is healthy and what isn't. I find that has been my greatest accomplishment with this, and no amount of grocery bill will take that away from me!

Okay, so we've established that some health food is expensive, here is a health food that I didn't buy, but love to have on hand for my desserts, Raw Cane Sugar

I bought this exact bag a month ago and still have half of it! That's the beauty of it all, your taste buds adjust to not using so much sugar and sweets! So yes this bag may be smaller than a refined white sugar bag, but it takes me just as long to use it! And it's not very expensive.

I'm not sure if you want me to write out my whole receipt, but the grand total for our grocery trips was
$69.76

As you can see I bought 36 items, which will give us 7-9 meals, and 4-5 snacks and treats! I used two coupons for two half gallons of almond milk! I love it we get so many of those since that's the only milk we buy at Smith's!

I bought some Agave today and it was $4.00 for a 24 oz bottle!!! Most of my list today consisted of produce with some chicken and 1 lb of turkey. And the milk of course. I had a few other things on there as well! If you feel this is still a high number for a week's worth of food, remember I'm making meals each day for blogging purposes, I don't eat a lot of leftovers, we might have them for lunch so they don't go to waste... you can cut this number down if you plan maybe 4 healthy meals a week, leftovers a night or two and then whatever meal you want another night! I've got some cookies planned, sweet breads, and muffins planned with this list as well! I used to use a lot of coupons for food all the time, I saved a lot of money, but fruits and vegetables weren't my main food, we ate them of course, but I also had a lot of boxed food, and my kids hated vegetables. They weren't picking cucumbers out at the store! This budget is not far off from what I was spending before healthy eating. This number may increase when I stop in for my nuts and nut butters, they tend to be some of my most expensive items I buy!

I hope these tips help you! It's very much so worth it. Just do what you can. Start slowly and plan, plan, plan your meals! It will save you money if you write them out!!!! Good luck and keep it up!







Thursday, July 26, 2012

Balance Your Life



Do you ever feel like each day is a crazy whirlwind and you never seem to have time to do everything you had planned for the day! Do you feel that there is too much on your plate that you can't do everything you want, like make dinner or work out?

I've been thinking a lot about balance lately and it's importance to our happiness with life! My talent has never been organizing, budgeting, list making...etc. I don't have great patience when it comes to these things. I find that I see something I'd like to do and at times I'm impulsive and rush out to buy the supplies to do it, other times I can wait, but many times I feel as if that idea eventually gets pushed to the back burner and becomes something that "I want to do someday", I blame pinterest for much of these ideas :)! I've never really been able to be stay at home mom! My daughter was born before I finished school, so I stayed in school and finished my degree, it was tough, I remember actually working hard to balance my life then so I wouldn't fail my classes, I would wake up at 5 or 5:30 and that was "me" time, I would read, exercise whatever I wanted to do....then I would get breakfast for my daughter get her ready and head to the baby sitter and class, when we got home, it was dinner, cleaning, playing, then her bedtime, and my homework time! It was busy, but doable.

My son came 4 days before graduation, I was able to stay home for that summer and felt I had an excellent balance, we had a routine, I felt my house was clean, we made meals, snacks, and lunch together, I exercised each morning! However, now it was my husbands turn to hit school full-time, and he doesn't have a super easy degree...Mechanical Engineering! So I found a full-time job...talk about throwing off my balance! I felt pretty out of balance actually, for some reason working was different than going to school full-time, granted I had two kids now, but still. I felt I never was able to take care of the house, my husband tried to help, which I was grateful for, I never felt like I had enough time to do things with my kids....I felt like I went to work, ate, and put the kids to sleep...then started all over! I was NOT happy! Well when it was time to go to a different school and we moved, I found a job working less and a job that was much closer, so I get home much earlier than I used to, which I love. However, some days I still find that I am struggling to fit everything I want to do in my day! So I've really put some thoughts to things that I think can help with balance, whether you stay home, work full-time, or your a student, or whatever it is so important to find balance in our lives, this blog is about health and happiness! If we feel our lives are moving forward but we really aren't progressing, we may be missing out on a lot of happiness! So....

- I feel it's very important to schedule "me" time EVERY DAY! Mine usually is at night when the kids go to sleep, but I do something I want to do, whether it's watch a T.V. show, or read a book...and you know what if I have dishes in the sink I do it before washing them or mopping the floor! It's my time and those can wait!

-Make a checklist! If you have something you really want to accomplish that day write it out. Don't let it become your someday idea!

-Use a calandar! If you have a large family or if it's just you write your week out and take a day each week to go over the upcoming week. We try to do it on Sundays as a couple! We write out work schedules anything we'd like to do and weekend activities. As a couple we've found it's good for communication as well as we both know what the other will be doing!

-Use your budget! If you have an idea that you want to do, such as a project or craft, put it in your budget! If you can afford it right then go for it, if you think you probably shouldn't get it yet, add it to a written out budget and patiently save for it!!!!  (I hate the word patiently) but it will cause less stress for you and you'll enjoy it more since you know you can pay for it without denting your budget too much!

-If you can't leave the house to do things, turn your house into a place you want to go! For example when I really want to eat out, but we can't afford it or I don't want to risk the unhealthiness, we try and make a really fun meal at home, one that tastes almost like a restaurant, we rent a movie or whatever and enjoy a night in! Or the gym. I don't use a gym right now, since we're still living student life we are on a budget and our schedules don't always line up. So I don't have a gym with a day care so what to do...no exercise? No not a good choice, I turn my house into the gym. There are so many resources to exercises you can do at home. This is a list of exercises I use when I'm at home!

Balance is crucial to health and happiness. I'm working on it myself. I just know I don't like going to bed at night feeling exausted because I was so busy, but feeling as if I hadn't accomplished anything! This like anything else takes time and you need to develop the habit! Baby steps, but keep trying!!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Italian Pesto Spinach Pasta





Alrighty....today was craving day for me! I was sitting there at work thinking of what could I make for our Alphabet day for "I" I knew I wanted to make something for dinner since I had made snacks yesterday and we still had muffins left over, all of a sudden I thought of a sauce made from spinach for pasta! I went over a few different ideas, some involved a creamy cashew spinach sauce, eh... I decided that didn't sound right, another idea was a marinara sauce...eh...not until I thought, Pesto! did I finally stick with it. Well, so I had no idea how I was going to make it, I just knew I wanted it to have spinach...I really have been loving spinach lately...so bring on some more. So I just went through my pantry and cupboards while the kids were napping. I made this pretty early in the day since I went out with the girl's tonight whoot whoot! So I wanted my kids to eat before I left, although I didn't have hopes that my husband would like it....he's kind of picky about pasta.

So I rounded up, crushed tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, basil, Italian seasoning, onion powder, and of course spinach! I felt pretty good about my choices, so I blended them all together, the sauce came out looking a sickly green color, I was starting to lose hope. So I sadly poured it over my pasta and....pasta bliss....
      I was so happy with the outcome (especially because it wouldn't end up in the trash), it tasted like a pesto I had made from a packet one time, but this was full of healthy happiness!

Okay, mom likes it so I checked that off...now the kids!

My son just gobbled it up no questions asked....

.........his sister....she balled and balled that she didn't like it before she even had a bite, just because it was really green. Well our rule is, you try everything so I explained she needed to try it and I bet she would like it! So finally glaring at me the whole time, she sticks her little fork in her mouth with her pasta...I head to the other room, satisfied knowing once again that mom rules...when I hear her say to Derek, "Dad, I love green noodles, I'm so big, I'm going to eat it all gone!" And she did!
 Now the tricky one. I told Derek I made it so he could have something besides left overs at work tonight, so I told him to try it and if he wanted it he could take it. Well I leave it at that, next thing I see is him loading up a Tupperware with my green creation! So I asked if he liked it and he said, "yeah, it's good" Whatever, I'll take it! So there you have it. This "I" day pesto passed through our family! We really enjoyed it! Now shake things up if you'd like and get yours to pass through your family

Italian Pesto Spinach Pasta

2 large handfuls of fresh spinach
3 garlic cloves
1/3 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz can)
2 T basil
1/4 c sun dried tomatoes
1/4 C Italian seasoning
2 T parsley
1 tsp onion powder
1/8 c water (if needed)
1 lb whole wheat pasta or grain of your choice

Cook pasta according to directions on box. Combine remaining ingredients to food processor or blender and blend until smooth and saucy. Drain pasta and return to pan. Pour sauce over pasta and blend well! Serve warm with green veggies for a side!!! Yum



*If you haven't already, like me on facebook I ask for requests and post different thing on there! Search naturally healthy and happy

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Honey Oat Muffins




I feel like the last few days we've been on the go and I haven't been able to stick to my typical eating routine. I haven't been bad with my food choices, at the baby shower the other day I had no desserts and only had my couscous salad and a green salad, I went to a movie last night with my husband, I did have some sips of his root beer, but that's it! Even after trying to be really good on the go, the up and down eating schedules and not having typical small meals throughout the day has sent my stomach for a loop and my energy levels down, I've been craving whole natural foods today, so for snacks I indulged on nectarines and super bars, for lunch I had an awesome spinach salad with chia seeds and today for my family I made these Honey Oat muffins! They are full of yummy healthy ingredients, they taste like naturally sweetened, so they aren't quite as sweet as my zucchini muffins or blueberry muffins, I used agave in those these have raw honey, but I needed just some overall good health food!

I am happy that it has come to this point with me, that a couple sips of root beer or some missed veggie servings really cause a change in my energy and feeling good!! That must mean somethings going right with the way we eat! It just is more proof to me that our bodies really do want natural, wholesome foods, they don't throw a fit when I eat those, but if I go without you bet this body is going to have something to say.

I'm glad these muffins turned out, I wanted to make them for "H" day for my family but I also wanted to make them vegan! I decided to see if I could master making muffins from my own mind without eggs, you know I think I did it! I think I should have taken them out a little bit sooner, but they still tasted great!

Honey Oat Muffins
1 3/4 C whole wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
1/4 C ground flax seed
3/4 C oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 - 3/4 C honey (depending on desired sweetness)
1 C almond milk
1 T apple cider vinegar
1/4 C applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine almond milk and vinegar in small bowl and set aside. Combine all dry ingredients in large bowl. Mix vanilla, almond extract, applesauce and honey with almond milk. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add wet ingredients. Fold everything together so that it is well mixed. Pour dough into paper muffin liners or grease muffin tin with coconut oil and pour dough in. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Let cool for 10 minutes.

 Optional- you can sprinkle some raw cane sugar on top before you bake just for an extra sweet taste. Also add nuts or raisins if you'd like! Enjoy

Happy "H" day!






Today is "H" day, I've had a bunch of recipes pop into mind today, but I've only allowed myself to do two of them..I've got a budget just like everyone else :) Today is also a holiday in Utah, did I mention I live in Utah, well I do:) We call it Pioneer Day, it's when the Mormon Pioneers settled the Salt Lake Valley, so there are all sorts of fun activities all day long with parades and fireworks included...if we don't get rained out! So for our fun activities today in our house we're learning about "heritage" cute right...since our family had ancestors come over from everywhere to the Salt Lake Valley, my husband's family comes from England, mine from Sweden and Scotland!!! It's a great time to remember those who came before us, and to remember where we come from! So enough sentimental talk...

The food line up

Honey Oat Muffins

Hawaiian Chicken and brown rice!


the other options I thought of were 

Huevos Rancheros
and 
Hummus

Now that I think about it though my heritage does come from Scotland, why not some Haggis!!! Uh probably not, I actually have tried it, we went over to Edinburgh a few years ago...the taste wasn't so bad guys! :)

Final Day of Ab challenge

For those following the ab challenge, I'm sorry I wasn't able to post it yesterday! We are in the hiring process of a part-time nanny for when my husband starts school in August...yuck! It's always a nerve racking process trying to find someone you feel comfortable with leaving your sweet kids with. Luckily it's only for a few hours a week for us, but still it's kind of stressful, so I was doing interviews...then to destress my husband took my out...and I'm not passing that up...you understand!

So this was to be done yesterday. You are going to have to go to the link because there is a video that is followed for an ab workout sequence! It's an awesome way to finish off the challenge! I hope everyone who has participated has enjoyed it as much as I have! I've really loved pushing through those sore muscles and getting some different, effective Ab workouts that I can incorporate into my typical workouts!

Now that is just what we're supposed to do with this! Take what you've done this week, and incorporate some intense Ab training every 4-3 days in your workouts, I know you'll get results! The baby pouch is my problem area...triceps are next, but I'm really looking forward to kissing that baby pouch good-bye

Final Ab Challenge

Bob Harper’s Ab Challenge – Complete entire routine (follow video)
Bob Harper’s Set ups – Complete 25 reps (Follow video for correct form)
Leg Lifts – 25 reps
Push Through – 25 reps


Monday, July 23, 2012

Garden Turkey Burgers




It is a fast food genertaion now a days isn't it! Hamburgers and Fries have become a staple for our American cuisine! I have tried to provide my family with healthier alternatives for a good burger, sometimes I haven't had much success. I've tried some bean burger, but honestly most have not turned out so wonderful, I've made turkey burgers which have been good, but still borderline not as healthy as I would like, then I've tried straight out veggie burgers which have been pretty good.

As I have said before this has been a family journey, the other day my husband came up to me and said he wanted to try something out with some ground turkey we had. So of course he takes his time and he looked for some ideas on line for a few days, finally I asked him what he was going to make and he announced he wanted to make a Garden "Hybrid" burger! Uh...okay. I told him well it's worth a try! I am here to say that I'm glad he made them, I loved them, honestly though we both said after we ate them that they would have been great without the turkey! He was entirely in charge of this meal, I think if we do plain veggie burgers next time we'll add some more vegetables, I'll add some suggestions at the bottom! What a great guy....so here is a "G" day recipe, enjoy these Garden Burgers, they are very flavorful!


Garden Turkey Burgers

1/2 pound lean ground turkey
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 small yellow onion
1 green bell pepper
3 garlic cloves
3 medium potatoes, shredded
3 T dijon mustard
1 T red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven 375 degrees. Add 3 tsp olive oil to skillet, add onions and cook until almost completely translucent, add peppers and garlic and sautee until vegetables are tender. Set aside. Shred potatoes, skin included and combine with sauteed vegetables. Combine ground turkey with vegetables, add mustard, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Form into patties, don't make them too thick! Grease cookie sheet and place patties on cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, then flip each patty over, bake another 20 minutes until turkey is completely cooked! Serve with homemade steak fries and your favorit burger fixins!!!!


*For vegan option, take out turkey, here are some suggested veggies

shredded carrots
shredded zucchini
mushrooms
rice (I know it's not a veggie)
spinach
yellow squash
butternut squash
sweet potatoes
celery
etc...





Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hawaiian Chicken!




You know, I stick to a pretty filling plant diet, but I'll admit sometime a nice tangy, sweet chicken is wonderful! There are some meats I have chosen to not eat any more, pork of any kind and red meat! I'm still working on the poultry! I do think it's okay to eat meat health wise maybe a couple days a week, it's just the animal part...I know that's why a lot of people don't eat meat is for animal rights, which is great! But if you do have chicken every once in awhile or however you eat it, I really liked this recipe, we served it on a bed of wild rice and it was great! It also is really easy to make. I baked my chicken, but I'm sure this could be done in the crock pot as well! You can use canned pineapple, but it will have more sugars in it, so fresh pineapple would be best! This is a great summer dinner!!!


Hawaiian Chicken

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 fresh pineapple, chopped (or canned tidbits)
1/2 C honey
1/3 C water
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 T cornstarch
1/4 tsp cumin
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp Mrs. Dash seasoning (by the way if you don't know this is a salt replacement, it's made from veggies, use it, love it!)

Oven Baking method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken breasts in baking dish, sprinkle with cumin, onion powder and Mrs. Dash. Add pineapple, honey, water, nutmeg, and cornstarch to blender. Blend until a chunky puree or desired thickness has occurred. Pour 1/3 amount of pineapple sauce onto chicken. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and turn chicken over, add another 1/3 of pineapple sauce to chicken, return to the oven uncovered and bake another 20 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through! Serve with rice and top with remaining pineapple sauce!

Crock Pot version: Add chicken and chicken seasonings to the crock pot with small amount of water. Cook on low for about 4 hours, add remaining ingredients. You can puree the sauce or just add the ingredients whole, whatever texture you'd like, cook for another 2-3 hours, stir up the sauce every once in a while if you chose not to puree it! 

Enjoy





Tootie Fruity Freeze Cups





It was a nice hot day today, so after dinner I wanted to make a treat that would cool us down. It still is "F" day for our alphabet days and we are honoring fruit today, so what more could I do than a delicious fruit cup. I wasn't sure how they would turn out, since I just invented them today :) Well, I invented the filling, for the crust I used the berry pie crust and just put in a cupcake pan instead of a pie dish! It worked out really great, they actually popped out easily, that's the part I was most worried about do you know what else is great, they are gluten free and vegan, what do ya know


*I also think if you want to do a revamp of the berry pie you could put it in cups like these and have mini berry pies!!!!

 I did a banana filling, and after you pop it in the freezer for a couple hours it comes out much like a banana Popsicle in a crust...Next time I think I'm going to puree all the fruit and turn the whole thing into a fruit freeze instead of topping it with the fresh fruit, not that it wasn't good, I just want to shake it up! Go ahead and play around with it, it's quite simple to make, it just needs time to set up, make it your own! Enjoy

Tootie Fruity Freeze Cups

1 recipe of berry pie graham pie crust (link above)
1 fresh banana
1 frozen banana
1/3 C agave or raw honey
2 T fruit jam (optional)
1/3 C almond milk, or any non-dairy milk
2 T cornstarch
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
cut fresh fruit

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pie crust according to directions. Smash crust into cupcake pan. Bake for about 8 minutes. Watch closely, these are smaller so they will burn much faster! Set aside to cool slightly. Add frozen banana and almond milk to blender and blend until broken up and blended slightly. Add fresh banana, agave, jam, vanilla, and almond extract. Blend until very smooth and no banana chunks. Add contents of blender to a small saucepan, heat over med heat, add cornstarch and cinnamon, whisking constantly, until it seems quite thick. Pour banana mixture into the crust cups and put in the freezer for about 2 hours to set up. Remove from freezer and top with any fresh fruit you'd like. I used raspberries and nectarines! If you don't like it so frozen, take it out earlier so it more of a soft banana filling! 

*Just so you are aware, the filling thaws quickly. So if you have left overs cover and store in the freezer.


French Toast Dunkers




Good Morning and Happy "F" day! I have a few fun things planned for this day, I am focusing on fruit today, since fruit is an amazing thing in this world, so beneficial and tasty! So some fun facts about fruit:


-Fruits are excellent sources of fiber and simple sugars, but remain very low in calories...so eat up
- Fruits contain provide lots of soluble dietary fiber, so it helps ward off too many fats, but also helps in digestion... and prevents getting plugged up if you know what I mean
- Fruits are full of anti-oxidants, they can help our bodies prevent diseases, cancers, and help our bodies immune systems fight against these ailments!
-Fruits with a blue or deep purple pigment, acai, blueberries, black grapes, have been known to help prevent cancer, premature aging, and also may linked to dementia/Alzheimer's prevention
-Fruits have so many vitamins and minerals that they promote cell regeneration...which turns into slower aging!!!! 
Did you know fruits did all these things? We all know they are healthy, but these are just some of the reasons why they are healthy. I think we should have more than the standard food pyramid servings! I really try and tie them into every meal, and many snacks!!!!

Okay so now onto breakfast...I decided to make French Toast Dunkers with berry puree as a dipping sauce, I thought they turned out really great, my kids loved them too. If you don't want to do the berry puree then use maple syrup! I liked these since they were super quick, and not quite as messy with my kids believe it or not, whenever I give them pancakes or waffles with syrup it always gets all over them and my chairs, counters you name it. These, however, seemed to be a much easier clean up...which I vote for.  If you'd like a vegan recipe for french toast, check out this recipe right here...it was also a huge hit!

French Toast Dunkers

3 slices whole wheat or whole grain bread
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)

Slice the bread into 1/2 inch strips. Combine egg whites, cinnamon, and vanilla to small bowl and whisk until mixed very well. Lightly grease skillet with coconut oil. Heat skillet to med. heat. Dip strips of bread into egg mixture until both sides are coated. Let excess drip off. Place strips on the skillet and cook until both sides are brown, about  a minute or two on each side! Serve with berry puree dipping sauce or maple syrup, Enjoy

Berry Puree
2 c fresh berries
3 T maple syrup
1 T raw cane sugar (optional)

Place all ingredients into blender and blend until completely pureed. Serve as is. 




Saturday, July 21, 2012

Day 6 of 7 day Ab challenge



Well we've just about made it through! I'm so excited it's so much fun to feel like you conquered something especially when they say the word challenge! I've love this challenge, it's quick, but I have felt a great workout on my abs each day! I hope you have to. For the Saturday challenge here is the line up, sorry it's taken me so long, it's been a busy day! Tomorrow is my rest day, if you chose to rest on Wednesday then  do the Wednesday workout tomorrow

SATURDAY
Side Plank – 20 (10 each side)
Rest – 10 seconds
Side Burpees – 10 reps (5 each side)
Rest – 30 seconds
Plank – Hold 1 minute
No rest
Mason Twist – 50 reps (25 each side

Finish Strong and hard, you can do it!



Energizing Overnight Oats





Well for "E" day in the alphabet days I decided to have breakfast waiting for us in the morning, with "Energizing" overnight oats...okay okay, I'm stretching the "E" a little bit, but I was going to make an egg white omelet, but I want to save my veggies for a pasta salad I'm making for a baby shower, and we are going to be super busy around dinner, which I had planned something like eggplant parmesean or enchiladas, but those will just have to wait!

So the idea for overnight oats came from ohsheglows.com she has a lot of overnight oat recipes, but how to make this "Energizing" overnight oats and why! Well I don't know about you, but my kids wake me up super early, my husband gets home super late sometimes so he wakes me up, not on purpose, then my kids wake me up looking for breakfast...and last night and this morning I knew would be no different and since we're on the go today there is no time for any R&R, so instead of feeling weak and possibly getting a caffeinated beverage I decided to start the day out right with some natural sources of energy! So the specific things added for energy:
 Raspberries, these little babies are chuck full of natural energizers through all the vitamin C these berries contain and good carbohydrates! One cup of raspberries provides 50% of your daily vitamin C intake for only about 50 calories! It also gives you 14 g of carbohydrates! So you can feel awake from the get go!

Bananas, again bananas are an excellent source of good carbs and vitamin C but also potassium which can help regulate your blood sugars, if your like me sometimes I get spikes if I'm not eating the way I should and go into dizzy, shaky spells! Bananas provide us with 30 g of carbs in a single banana, 15 % of our vitamin C intake, and 13% of our potassium intake!

Chia seeds, chia seeds are full of the omega 3 fatty acids which provide a whole list of benefits for our bodies, but also providing energy to our muscles and organs!

Almond Milk, the almond is a great source of protein which provides the energy our bodies need! Combined with the almonds from the super bars this breakfast is full of proteins. Almonds are known at times to have more protein than some meats, but with the good fats included!

So there is a lesson on some foods that can give you the natural pick me up without turning to refined sugars and caffeine! Now onto breakfast...I need to top these with something crunchy, so I used some left over super bars from yesterday. They are really soft in the morning, so if you don't like that texture add something crunchy and it's just like cold cereal to me!

Energizing Overnight Oats
1 1/2 c of raspberries
2 c oats
2 c almond milk
2 T chia seeds
1 tsp ground flax seed
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp almond extract or vanilla
1 banana chopped, (add in the morning)
1 cup granola (add in the morning)

Combine all ingredients except banana and granola, into a dish. Mix together and put in the fridge overnight, or over 3 hours. In the morning top with banana and granola! That's it, enjoy! Add anything else you'd like, fruit, nuts, make it your own!

*Gluten Free option use gluten free oats