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Healthy Halloween Treats

If you know my household, you know that I am pretty crazy when it comes to eating clean and making sure we get all of our daily fruits and veggies in. It is so important that kids get a balanced diet and plenty of exercise in a day. I have created a list of healthy holiday treats that will fancy any toddler/preschooler/school-age child/adult. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

 

Halloween Yogurt Bark

 PREP TIME
TOTAL TIME
author: Fork & Beans
serves: Serves 4
INGREDIENTS
  • 4 (5.3oz) cartons of nondairy yogurt (preferably orange-colored)
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil (optional)
  • ¼ c. blueberries
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
  • ½ yellow nectarine
  • Monster Googly Eyes
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment or wax paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all the yogurt cartons together. If using the coconut oil, add now. Pour into the pan.
  3. Top with the sliced kiwi, nectarine, blueberries, and googly eyes.
  4. Place in freezer until set.
  5. Cut into pieces and allow the little ones to choose their own yogurt bark.
 *I used Silk yogurt alternative but you are free to use whatever nondairy yogurt is your favorite. There really is a lot of freedom with this Halloween Yogurt Bark idea so have fun with it and play around. Use the ingredients you love but just make sure that it has a Halloween flair!

 

Presentation is everything! Stack pineapple, orange slices and whipped cream or yogurt to create a healthier take on candy corn.

Halloween Fruit Kabobs

1.For the marshmallows, use a black food coloring marker to draw a ghostly face onto each marshmallow. (This is a great task for older kids to help with!)  Let the marshmallows dry for a few minutes before using.

2. Wash and cut the fruit into bite-sized pieces.  Add a strawberry, piece of melon and then a ghost marshmallow to the skewer.  Repeat the pattern until you are at the top.

Jack-o-Lantern Stuffed Peppers

These festive Stuffed Peppers are perfect for Halloween!

 Course Main Course
 Prep Time 25 minutes
 Cook Time 35 minutes
 Total Time 1 hour
 Servings 4 servings, 1 bell pepper each
 Calories 426 kcal
 Author Beachbody

Ingredients

  • 4 medium orange bell peppers
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. raw 93% lean ground turkey
  • ½ medium onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • Ground black pepper to taste; optional
  • 1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce, no sugar added
  • 1 cup black beans drained, rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Slice stem end off peppers. (Reserve for later use.) Remove seeds and veins from peppers. Cut a jack-o-lantern face out of one side of each pepper. Stand peppers upright in baking dish. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400º F.
  3. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add turkey; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until almost browned.
  5. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
  6. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
  7. Add chili powder, cumin, pepper (if desired), tomato sauce, and beans; cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  8. Add rice; mix well.
  9. Fill peppers with turkey mixture. Top with reserved stem end of peppers Add water to the baking dish. Cover with foil.
  10. Bake peppers for 12 to 15 minutes, or until tender-crisp.
  11. Remove stem top of peppers, sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake for 2 to 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  12. Replace tops and serve.
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Staying Healthy During Pregnancy

I take great pride in staying healthy but when I pregnant, it seems to be more difficult than when I am not. I am fighting cravings, obstacles with what I can and cannot eat, making sure to get enough water in daily, etc. It can be downright difficult and overly exhausting. Wouldn’t it be easier to just eat whatever sounds good?

The answer is yes, BUT, feeding your body right during pregnancy is almost MORE important than feeding your body right without growing a human.  Healthy eating during pregnancy is critical to your baby’s growth and development. In order to get the nutrients you need, you must eat from a variety of food groups, including fruits and vegetables, breads and grains, protein sources and dairy products. Typically, you will need to consume an extra 300 calories a day.

Sample Daily Menu

The following sample menu will give you some idea of what a pregnant woman should typically consume in a day for a healthy diet during pregnancy. Three small, but balanced, meals and three light snacks throughout the day are a good rule of thumb to ensure you and your baby’s nutritional needs are met.

Breakfast: Oatmeal cereal, banana, 1 slice whole wheat toast, 2 tsp jam, 1 cup skim milk

Snack: 1 cup yogurt, grapes

Lunch: Turkey (if deli meat, do not eat cold – heat to steaming to avoid Listeria) and cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread, raw carrot sticks, pear, and 1 cup skim milk

Snack: Raw veggies and low-calorie dip

Dinner: 4 oz chicken, 1 cup wild rice, 1 cup veggies, 1 cup skim milk

Snack: fresh fruit or low-fat frozen yogurt

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Healthy Dinner Options For the Picky Eater

If you have a child like mine in the house, then you know how difficult it is to get them to eat a balanced meal…let alone a balanced diet. I have found some healthy “go-to” recipes that my picky eater will devour. I have compiled a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu along with a dessert and snack option. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Breakfast:

Vanilla Yogurt Bowl

This is no ordinary bowl of yogurt!
 Prep Time 10 minutes
 Total Time 10 minutes
 Servings 1 serving

Ingredients

  •  cup reduced fat (2%) plain yogurt
  • 1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology
  • 5 medium strawberries , chopped
  • ½ medium banana , chopped
  • 1 Tbsp . sliced raw almonds

Instructions

  1. Combine yogurt and Shakeology in a small bowl; mix well.
  2. Divide yogurt mixture evenly into two medium serving bowls.
  3. Top each bowl evenly with strawberries, banana, and almonds.

 

Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 354
Total Fat: 9 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 20 mg
Sodium: 286 mg
Carbohydrates: 48 g
Fiber: 7 g
Sugars: 26 g
Protein: 26 g

Lunch:

Edamame and Radish Salad with Avocado

 Prep Time 10 minutes
 Total Time 10 minutes
 Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic , finely chopped
  • 1 tsp . finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp . raw honey
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 4 tsp . olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp . fresh lime juice
  • Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
  • Hot water
  • 2 cups frozen shelled edamame , thawed
  • 3 medium green onions , chopped
  • 6 sprigs fresh parsley , chopped
  • 8 medium radishes , thinly sliced
  • 2 cups fresh arugula
  • 1 medium avocado , chopped
  • 2 tsp . sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. To make dressing, combine garlic, ginger, honey, vinegar, oil, and lime juice in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper if desired; whisk to blend. Set aside.
  2. Place edamame, green onions, parsley, radishes, arugula, and avocado in a medium bowl; toss gently to blend.
  3. Drizzle with dressing; toss gently to blend.
  4. Top with sesame seeds.
  5. Divide evenly between four serving bowls.

 

Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 263
Total Fat: 16 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 89 mg
Carbohydrates: 23 g
Fiber: 13 g
Sugars: 7 g
Protein: 11 g

 

Dinner:

Steak Fajitas

  Prep Time 20 minutes
 Cook Time 18 minutes
 Total Time 38 minutes
 Servings 4 servings, 2 fajitas each

Ingredients

  •  tsp . olive oil
  • 2 medium green (red or yellow) bell peppers, cut into strips
  • 1 medium onion , sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic , finely chopped
  • 1 lb . raw extra-lean beef sirloin , cut into 2-inch strips
  • 1 tsp . ground chili powder
  • 1 tsp . ground cumin
  • 1 tsp . crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp . sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
  • ½ cup fresh salsa
  • 8 6- inch corn tortillas , warm
  • 4 Tbsp . reduced-fat (2%) plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add bell peppers and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until onion is translucent and peppers are tender.
  3. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
  4. Add beef, chili powder, cumin, pepper flakes, and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 8 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink.
  5. Add salsa; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until heated through.
  6. Evenly top each tortilla with beef mixture, yogurt, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice

Desserts:

Slow Cooker Baked Apples

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings5servings, 1 apple each

Ingredients

  • 5 medium Cortland (or Honey Crisp, Macintosh or Mutsu) apples
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup dry old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp . ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp . pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ tsp . sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
  • 2 tbsp . organic grass-fed butter , (or extra-virgin organic coconut oil)
  • ¾ cup water

Instructions

  1. Core apples using an apple corer (or sharp knife).
  2. Add water to a 3-quart slow cooker and carefully place apples in slow cooker so that they are standing upright.
  3. Combine flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and butter in a small bowl; mix with a fork until crumbly.
  4. Fill apples evenly with oat mixture.
  5. Cook on low for 2 hours, or until apples are fork tender. Remove apples from slow cooker. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

Nutritional Information (per serving):

Calories: 251
Total Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 12 mg
Sodium: 134 mg
Carbohydrates: 49 g
Fiber: 6 g
Sugars: 29 g
Protein: 3 g

Snack:

Maple Chai Roasted Chickpeas

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 38 minutes

 Total Time 48 minutes
 Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained, rinsed, dried
  • 1 Tbsp . olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp . pure maple syrup
  • ½ tsp . ground ginger
  • ½ tsp . ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp . ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp . ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp . sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
  • ¼ tsp . ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Combine chickpeas, oil, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl; toss gently to blend.
  3. Place chickpeas on large baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 35 to 38 minutes, shaking baking sheet every 10 minutes, until brown and crunchy.

Maple Chai Roasted Chickpeas

Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 151
Total Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 477 mg
Carbohydrates: 20 g
Fiber: 6 g
Sugars: 3 g
Protein: 6 g

 

 

 

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Daily Sunshine…It’s What’s For Din Din!

As a mom, I know the struggle of trying to get your family to eat healthy. What’s worse, even seemingly “healthy” snacks are filled with refined sugar, saturated fats, and artificial flavors. I also know that while Shakeology is an incredibly important source of dense superfood nutrition, most of us still need a source of nutrients from fruits and vegetables that we can share with our kids as an alternative to the unhealthy snacks they beg for. And that’s why Beachbody created Daily Sunshine.

This is a smoothie that everyone will love. It’s made with organic fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and it provides plant-based protein. I know how hard it can be to convince my daughters to eat all those things—but not with Daily Sunshine!

I still drink my Shakeology every morning, and then every afternoon my daughters and I each have a chocolate or strawberry banana Daily Sunshine. The best part is, it’s not a battle, they ask for it! Sometimes I even make Daily Sunshine a reward for eating a small bowl of veggies! How about that for a healthy incentive?

We know our kids need fruits and vegetables. But they beg for snacks loaded with salt, saturated fat, and high-fructose corn syrup—and zero real nutrition. What’s a well-meaning parent to do?

You give them Daily Sunshine, the healthy smoothie kids love—and parents feel great about serving! Daily Sunshine puts an end to the kitchen table battles, the bargaining, and the compromises. Now everyone can be happy at snack time.

3-IN-1 SMOOTHIE
Daily Sunshine is made with organic fruits and vegetables, organic pea protein, and healthy fats. It delivers the equivalent of a full serving of fruits and vegetables† in each smoothie. Just add water, shake, and drink!

NUTRITIONIST DEVELOPED
Daily Sunshine is carefully formulated with the building blocks of nutrition kids need to help them grow up healthy and strong.

PEDIATRICIAN-APPROVED FORMULA
4 out of 5 pediatricians approve the Daily Sunshine formula. So you can be confident you’re giving your family great nutrition every day.

KID-APPROVED TASTE  
How can a “real-food” formula taste so great? Beachbody puts both flavors through rigorous taste tests to ensure they satisfy the world’s toughest critics—kids!

THERE’S NOTHING SECRET ABOUT OUR INGREDIENTS.

Check out our label. These are real ingredients you can recognize. Made with organic fruits and vegetables, organic pea protein, and healthy fats, plus a few other important ingredients to help support optimal health.

http://images.beachbody.com/pdf/DSS-nutrition-fact-PDF-StrawBan.pdf

http://images.beachbody.com/pdf/DSS-nutrition-fact-PDF-Chocolate.pdf

 

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Healthy Mac and Cheese Recipe Your Kids Will Love

 

No, really. I mean it. Healthy Mac and Cheese.

Like mac and cheese that is healthy. Noodles with sauce that will secretly give you vegetables. Creamy sauce without boatloads of butter and flour. Favorite comfort food that packs a little nutrition.

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni – whole wheat, low glycemic, gluten free… any will work!
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 small butternut squash (4-5 cups cubed)
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup shredded cheese – I like Gruyère but any kind will work
  • parsley for topping
  • salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium low heat. Cut the onion into thin rings and add to the butter in the pan, sauteing over low heat until fragrant and golden, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, remove the skin and the seeds from the squash. Cut the flesh into small cubes. Bring the broth to a boil and add the squash. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until fork tender. Drain, reserving ½ cup broth, and transfer squash to the blender. Add the onions, milk, salt, and reserved broth and puree until completely smooth and creamy. This should yield about 4 cups sauce.
  3. Pour the pureed sauce over the cooked noodles and add the shredded cheese. Stir to melt the cheese; add water or milk to adjust consistency as needed. Serve with parsley, salt, and pepper to taste.
NOTES
When caramelizing the onions, keep the heat low to prevent burning. The deeper the golden color, the more flavorful they will be.
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Smoothies…It’s What’s For Dinner

Ahhhhh…the cool breeze of spring leaving us and the HOT “dog days” of summer arriving. This is my time of year. In fact, I would say that summertime has allowed me to be creative…let me explain how. With hot weather comes days of eating a bit less BUT eating a bit unhealthier than usual. Oh, you know, ice cream with gobs of chocolate sauce, burgers and hot dogs on the grill with potato chips, potato salad smothered in mayonnaise, cotton candy and elephant ears at your local fair, etc. Food can either be our fuel or our enemy…and we get the opportunity to choose. Fortunately for you, I have some amazingly creative ways to get your fruits and veggies into you and your children’s diets without them batting an eye, squealing with disgust, or turning their cute little noses up at the thought of eating 2 cups of spinach daily. In fact, if you are not someone who loves their veggies, read on…this is your blog post my friend!

I couldn’t be more excited to share with you the different smoothie recipes we use throughout the summer. My kids LOVE these recipes and when they are asked what they would like to eat, they usually come up with some sort of smoothie they have had in the past several days. Check these recipes out, try them and comment on how well your kids liked them. Post your own smoothie recipes and let’s get some recipes flying!

1. CLEAN EATING COCONUT MILK SMOOTHIE

Author: Tiffany McCauley | The Gracious Pantry.com

Yield: About 2 cups
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup light coconut milk (in the can)
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 1 cups raw spinach
  • 2 tablespoons dried coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
INSTRUCTIONS: Blend and serve.

 

2. Cinnamon Chai Tea Banana Smoothie

INGREDIENTS

  • -1 scoop grass-fed whey protein Use code LEXI for 10% off at checkout
  • -1 6 oz. cup pre-brewed chai tea, cooled
  • -1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • -1 frozen banana
  • -1 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • -1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • -5 ice cubes
  • -Optional: Dash of raw honey or 3 drops liquid stevia

INSTRUCTIONS

  • 1. Place all ingredients in high-speed blender
  • 2. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  • 3. Garnish and enjoy!

 

3. Blueberry Kale Smoothie

Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 1 • Size: 1 smoothie • Points +: 5 pts • Smart Points: 5
Calories: 312 • Fat: 12 g • Carb: 51 g • Fiber: 10 g • Protein: 9 g • Sugar: 31 g
Sodium: 241 mg • Cholest: 0 mg

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 cup organic frozen blueberries
  • 1 loose cup baby kale
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter (or any nut butter)
  • 3/4 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1/2 frozen ripe banana
  • 2 pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup ice

INSTRUCTIONS: Place all the ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth.

4. Quinoa Banana Berry Smoothie

Yield: 2 servings | Serving Size: 1 cup | Calories: 328 | Total Fat: 2.8 g | Saturated Fat: 0 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium:4 mg | Carbohydrates: 71.8 g | Dietary Fiber: 9.8 g | Sugars: 34.4 g | Protein: 7.2 g | SmartPoints: 11 |

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup cooked Quinoa (cook according to package and chill)
  • 1 frozen banana (pre-sliced)
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1-1/2 cups green tea (home brewed without added sweeteners is best), add more or less depending on consistency preferred.
  • 6 ice cubes

INSTRUCTIONS: Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.

5. Eat Clean Oats & Banana Protein Smoothie {Easy & Delicious}

 Author: The PennyWiseMama
Serves: 1
INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp natural peanut butter OR 2 tbsp PB2
  • 1 tbsp ground golden flax seed
  • 1 tsp bee pollen (optional)
  • 1 cup ice

INSTRUCTIONS: Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.

 

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Bursting with Flavor: Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken

Memorial Day Weekend is the perfect time to dust off the grill and gather together with family and friends to thank the Lord for our many blessings as we remember the heroic men and women who have given their lives for the freedoms we enjoy!

What better way to celebrate than with a super quick-n-easy meal that allows us more time with our family and less time in the kitchen! Firing up the grill is definitely one of the easiest ways to get a healthy meal on the table in just minutes!

Another plus is that grilling results in less mess and less dishes. And of course, you just can’t beat the savory flavor of grilled meats, which is why it’s one of my favorite cooking methods.

This super easy Cilantro Lime Chicken recipe is my new go-to favorite. I love that I can make the marinade ahead of time, which means even faster turn-around time on busy weeknights! I also throw some veggies on the grill at the same time for a simple side dish that complements the chicken perfectly and adds a boost of nutrition!

Dinner doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious and healthy. With just a few simple ingredients, you can create quick-n-easy dishes just bursting with flavor! And remember you can always save even more time by grilling extra chicken that you can use to create other healthy weeknight meals.

Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken

Ingredients

2.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 Tbsp lime zest (about 2 limes)
2 Tbsp lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp sea salt

Instructions

1. Place chicken thighs in a 9×9-inch baking dish; set aside.
2. Place remaining ingredients into a blender or food processor in the order given. Cover and process on low until fine chopped and blended.
3. Transfer 1/2 cup of the cilantro-lime marinade to a small bowl. Evenly distribute the remaining marinade over the chicken, making sure to well coat.
4. Cover chicken and refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour. Then remove from fridge and pre-heat grill to medium-high heat.
5. Grill chicken about 3-4 minutes, until the edges become opaque. Then flip the chicken over and brush with reserved marinade. Reduce heat to medium and cover grill. Continue cooking until chicken is cooked through. Enjoy!