FOOD REVIEW: PASTA LENSI CHICKPEA

I have two problems. CARBS AND SWEETS! Who is with me here? I know I am not the only person with this problem. Sometimes in the middle of the day I will find myself craving pasta or Chick Fil -A waffle fries with extra ketchup (sorry that’s the foodie coming out of me)!

Although, I am on my journey to becoming a better me doesn’t mean I hold my family hostage of all of the great things in life like carbs. My kids will still have the occasional food coloring dye in their frosting with their cupcakes that we bought at the store or made out of the box. I still give them chips and cookies and all the fine things in life. It’s called balance and of course my husband loves pasta so as the great wife I am I try to find a middle ground by looking at alternative pasta! We are a big fan of Zoodles and whole wheat noodles but we may have hit the jack pot when I decided to buy this!

Disclaimer: If you hate Walmart check on Lensi website to see if they sell this elsewhere because I found this at Walmart!

I must admit I was a little skeptical of how this would taste but like I said before I will try anything once! What sort of won me over was that there are 22 grams of protein. I decided this would be a perfect pasta for Spaghetti and to be honest I love a pasta meal where there are always left overs because I couldn’t imagine life without leftovers.

It does take longer for this to cook than regular pasta but the consistency was just like regular pasta. I didn’t try to throw the pasta on to the cabinet when it was ready, like I usually do! (Please tell me I am not the only one who does this too!) It did not exactly taste just like regular noodles but to be honest the taste was very similar.

It worked perfect with the turkey meat and spaghetti sauce and the kids and hubby approved of it! Not only was it good but the kids asked for seconds so in my book that is what I call a win.

If your looking for something healthier than past, with way more protein, way less carbs and want to trick your kids into eating healthy well this is a way to go. They also have black bean pasta that I want to try once I find a recipe!

TOASTED CHICKEN KALE SALAD WITH LEMON DIJON SALAD DRESSING

Do you need a chicken kale salad? If you follow me, well then you know I rant and rave over the Chick Fil A — Kale Salad! After tasting that I never thought I would find something even remotely close that I would love. This chicken kale salad was sent by the goods because not only is it yummy but it is so healthy.  I have made this for dinner and this is something that my husband has requested over and over. Tip: This is one of my go to meal prep meals and it last for a three days! It’s not expensive and really easy!

 

What you will need:

  • 1 slice of low sprouted whole grain bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 ground black pepper
  • 4 oz. raw chicken breast, boneless, skinless (cut into strips)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground chili powder
  • 1 bunch kale (torn into large pieces) (6 oz)
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Dijon Salad Dressing
  • 1 Tsp finely chopped lemon peel

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450*F
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil
  3. Combine bread, oil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl; toss until wet blended. Place on prepared

 

 

Lemon Dijon Salad Dressing

What you will need: 

  • 1 large egg yolk, pasteurized
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 4 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp Finely Chopped Lemon Peel
  • 1/4 cup Extra- Virgin Olive Oil

Instructions:

  1. Place egg yolk, mustard, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and lemon peel in a blender or (food processor); cover and blend until smooth.
  2. Slowly add oil, blending continuously until well blended.

4 Easy + Healthy Meal Ideas For Halloween

healthier-halloween

Halloween is just around the corner which means your kids are going to have junk food by the literal bucketful at their disposal. It is possible, though, to let your family indulge in some festive treats without all that sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. Whether you need to plan a classroom party or want to host a spooky soiree at home with appetizers, these ideas may offer up healthier swaps for your guests.

Healthy Halloween Meal Ideas

Here are some easy alternatives to candy bars and other sugary snacks to give your family this Halloween season:

Candy Apples: You might not think that apples coated in chocolate or other forms of candy are the healthiest alternative to candy bars. Candied apples encourages your kids to eat their fruit in a fun and festive way. Instead of just coating the apples in caramel, consider dipping them in a low-fat and low-sugar candy, such as cinnamon candy. This will give them a sweet and attractive treat that is both festive and and healthy. You can also involve your family as you dip them together and add toppings like sliced almonds or shredded coconut.

 

Chocolate-Dipped Fruit: Apples aren’t the only fruit that can make for a delicious your Halloween-themed snack. Try some chocolate-dipped fruit this month. Orange slices combined with dark or milk chocolate will get you in the mood with its orange and black appearance. Just melt the chocolate, then dip a small part of the orange slice into the chocolate, and place on wax paper to harden.

 

Jack-O-Lantern Grilled Cheese: If you are looking for a spooky snack for the kids, try some Halloween-themed grilled cheese. Start with whole wheat or whole grain bread, and cut the slices with a Jack-O-Lantern  cookie cutter. Cook your grilled cheese sandwich as you normally would, and serve your kids a fun and healthy meal. Add veggies to your sandwich for an extra pack of protein. Baby spinach, tomatoes, and green and red bell peppers are excellent options!

 

Pumpkin Biscuits: Want a healthy alternative with a fall twist? Try using pumpkin butter as a substitute  in your next recipe. Your biscuits still come out fluffy and flavorful, but they will have less saturated fat and calories. Try sprinkling in some nutmeg or cinnamon for added seasoning. You won’t even need to add more butter to them when they are done, since there is plenty of seasoning with them on their own.

 

Fall Smoothies: Combine ice, pumpkin puree, milk and/or yogurt, a dash of pumpkin spice, and finish it off with a sprinkle of cinnamon. This pumpkin flavored smoothie is best  as a snack or a meal replacement. Enjoy it ice cold and blended to your desired consistency.

 

Candy Corn Fruit Cups: Combine orange and yellow fruit for a simple snack. Layer your orange fruit on the bottom of a mason jar and then add yellow fruit. Think oranges, pineapples, melon. Top with whipped cream.
Whether you need to host friends or family members, these clever ideas can help you serve seasonal snacks that aren’t full of added sugar. 

Banana Almond Protein Muffins

BANANA-ALMOND-PROTEIN

Protein pancakes are amazing but protein muffins are a little better! I will literally make my own recipe up and my husband is always thrilled to be my guinea pig!

Meal prepping is probably one of the hardest things I have had to do. Not when it comes to lunch but definitely when it comes to breakfast. I always say the only way you will not get bored with healthy lifestyle is if you try new things. I don’t always want the same baked chicken with veggies for lunch and thats when Pinterest can be your biggest support system.

kodiak-power-cakes

I came across this gem at my favorite store Target in the Pancake/ Breakfast food section. I never heard of Kodiak cakes but considering they were almost sold out, well I was sold on trying it.  I love how this mix can be used for so many different ways when it comes to food.kodiak-banana-cakes

I decided to make my own recipe for my meal prep and make muffins. 2 cups of the mix, 1 cup of water, 2 mashed up bananas, almonds, brown sugar, honey and a little vanilla extract made for a great breakfast. The kids and my husband were fighting over these because they only received 5 muffins to split because this mama had to take them for breakfast.




This is my first time using protein pancake mix and I am a big fan. I was always a Bisquick type of girl and grow up on that, which now my kids love this, after trying Kodiak Cakes I wont buy another brand. There are so many protein products that taste like protein but I forgot I was actually eating something healthy because it taste better than ihop pancakes. The best part is you can add anything to your protein muffins like more protein!

What do you like to eat in your Protein Muffins? I want to hear from you!

Breakfast Protein Banana Muffins

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Breakfast Protein Banana Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups_Kodiak Power Cake Mix
  • 1 cup_Water
  • 2 Bananas
  • 1 cup_Almonds (chopped)
  • 1 tsp_Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp_ Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp_ Honey

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400*
  2. Mash the bananas in a bowl.
  3. After it is all mashed mix all ingredients together. Mix well.
  4. Put the mix in a 12 cup muffin pan.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.
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Top 3 Fitness Apps for Androids & iPhones

Top 3 Fitness Apps

I wish I could tell you that I had the crazy motivation to just get up and lose weight but then I would be lying to you! I did look in the mirror and say what have I done to my body? Why am I always tired and never have any energy? Well part of it was because I had a newborn and at the time a 2.5 year old. I looked around me and wondered if I could lose weight for free? What was around me that I have not taken advantage of. Yes, I paid thousands of dollars just in one year on a personal trainer and didn’t see a difference in my body at all.

I googled some great apps to help lose weight and I have to say I found 3 apps that changed my life and the best part is they are free!

 




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  1. My Fitness Pal– Hello Calorie counter and motivator! This app made me realize everything I was putting in my body and how many calories I engorged in. The great thing about the app is if the food is not in the database there is a bar code scanner and it will then put it in the database. At first it was a pain but this helped me meal plan my entire day! On my bad days this helped hold me to be accountable and see where I went wrong. This app is available for Androids and iphones. nike-running-app
  2. Nike + Running GPS App– Now this one was fun! If you have been an avid reader, well then you know how much emphasis I put in having a support system. One of my good friends who lives in DC loved to challenge me. She also has been on a weight loss journey and really helped me through everything.  Every month we would create a goal (which I never finished, but came really close each time) which would consist of doing 35 miles a month and then would increase each month. This app is awesome because it tell you what you time was for each mile. I would do this on the treadmill and would try to beat each time. I got faster at running a mile and the best part is that it cheers you on! Who doesn’t love a little more motivation?! This app is available for Androids and iphones. IMG_4152 IMG_4151 IMG_4150
  3. Fitbit- I seriously have nothing but good things about my fitbit. When I first bought my fitbit I didn’t understand why it was so expensive but knew this was something I had to do! The app is amazing. It tracks how many calories you burned, how many steps taken that day and the best part it connects with My Fitness Pal app! Every Monday I would weight in and on the app you can keep track of your measurements and weight. This is such an awesome app I can’t even explain how much this device/ app kept me on the right track to getting to my goal weight.

These 3 apps have been so beneficial in my weight loss! What apps have you been using on your weight loss journey? What apps do you plan to use?




Lemon Shrimp & Asparagus

Lemon Shrimp

Cooking has been very therapeutic all the days that I am not busy, probably because of the co-op I have joined. I am satisfied knowing that everything I am cooking for my family is fresh and healthy for them. Along with my lifestyle change my cooking has changed drastically. Fresh veggies like Asparagus and any kind of seafood like shrimp (families favorite) has been very important for dinner.



Stir-Fry in my house is a big hit. Not only for mommy because its always a less than 30 minutes meal but so does my kids and the husband. My 3 year old loves how there is always sauce on it because it probably reminds him chicken nuggets and BBQ sauce.

 

Ingredients
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed and each stalk cut into 3″ pieces
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 pound large raw shrimp (peeled)
  • ⅔ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  1. In a small bowl mix together chicken stock, soy sauce, sugar, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of ginger. After it is put together set it aside.
  2. In a large pan heat tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high. Add shrimp to pan and cook until its slightly pink. Season with whatever salt product you want. Also add 1 tablespoon of ginger. I like to use seasoning salt or sea salt both are great. Shrimp needs to be a little undercooked.IMG_4070
  3. In the same frying pan add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add asparagus to pan and cook for 2 minutes and turn over. The asparagus should turn bright green. Once it turns bright green add the shrimp you put aside and also add the lemon sauce you set aside. IMG_4058
  4. Cover with lid and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

 

I made this meal all the time for my family when I started my lifestyle change. I would serve them rice or noodles with it and I would have an extra serving of veggies. Now that my goal is to maintain it all, I still will rarely have carbs at dinner. Carbs just sit there and will turn into sugar and that sugar will make you gain weight. I am hoping that now that I only cook good food for my family that my kids will grow up to make healthy choices.

 




Crumb Blueberry Muffins

blueberry-crumb-muffins

Breakfast for my family is probably one of the easiest meals to come up with because who doesn’t love breakfast foods? Blueberry muffins not only put a smile on my face but it makes my house smell yummy!

Have you ever remembered something about your childhood that you wish you knew the recipe for like from your grandma or mom. I remember going to my grandmas house for the summer and I would wake up to fresh tortillas and the sound of potatoes hitting the grease. I remember that smell so vividly that everytime I smell fresh tortilla I instantly have a flashback!

That is how I want my house to be. I want my kids to remember their childhood of waking up on the weekends to fresh muffins. I am in the making memories business and I want my kids (especially my daughter) to smell blueberries and think of me when she is older!



Crumb Blueberry Muffins 

You will need:

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup buttermilk or whatever milk you want
2 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2cups fresh or frozen blueberries if thawed (Can use frozen if thawed and drained first.)

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Melt the 6 Tablespoons butter in a small pan on medium heat. Melt it until it turn a little brown. Remove from the heat right away and transfer to a bowl to cool.

1. In a bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and yolk, until thoroughly incorporated. Stir in the brown butter.

IMG_3246

 

2. In another bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the milk mixture all at once and stir gently.

3. For the streusel topping:
Combine all three ingredients in a bowl. Mix like this until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over the muffin batter in the cups.

IMG_32564. Bake the muffins for 20 to 22 minutes, or until golden. Cool in the muffin pan for 15 minutes before removing.

 

 

Crumb Blueberry Muffins

Crumb Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients

  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk or whatever milk you want
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries if thawed (Can use frozen if thawed and drained first.)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Melt the 6 Tablespoons butter in a small pan on medium heat. Melt it until it turn a little brown. Remove from the heat right away and transfer to a bowl to cool and put aside.
  3. 1. In a bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and yolk, until thoroughly incorporated. Stir in the brown butter.
  4. 2. In another bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the milk mixture all at once and stir gently.
  5. 3. For the streusel topping:
  6. Combine all three ingredients in a bowl. Mix like this until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over the muffin batter in the cups.
  7. 4. Bake the muffins for 20 to 22 minutes, or until golden. Cool in the muffin pan for 15 minutes before removing.
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Meal Prep For Beginners

meal prepMeal prepping is a must when it comes to staying on track and eating healthy.

With my full time job and my other full time job (Mommy) leaves very letting time to make healthy decisions. My job (the one that pays the bills) requires me to eat out at least twice a week and breakfast can get tricky especially when I am running late. That’s when meal prep saved me and gave me no excuse but to eat healthy.

If I didn’t meal prep I would have never lost the weight along with working out! My number one weakness and strength at the same time is organization and my planner is my best friend. Every Friday morning I sit and think about the meals I plan on making for my family and I for the week. When I think about what meals I want to make for my family I always consider what I already have at home especially from my co-op.

meal-prep-containers

The only way you can be successful at meal prepping is if you have some of these




  1. Menu Planner. You have to know what your are making every day so you don’t get sidetrack and grab a burger because it’s “convenient”. It’s always important to write it down and it also helps with your grocery shopping.
  2. Schedule a date. Know what day will work best when it comes to meal prepping. I meal prep on Sundays because it’s just easier for my household and I typically start when nap time happens!
  3. Get Containers. I love my containers I got off Amazon. Rubbermaid works but I like to have my specific containers that I only use for my meals.
  4. Calories. I hate when I see people meal prep and it’s horrible and nothing but fat. Know what your cooking and know how many calories you are putting in your body!

Meal prepping has helped making healthy decisions so easy for me. I grab my breakfast and lunch and go about my way!




Hillshire Snacking Food Review

When your 3 year old wants more you know you have a winner. Hillshire snacks has done it again,  Quick and easy. Perfect with a glass a wine or juice box.

hillshire-snacking-food

With a 3 year old picky eater and a husband that decided he wanted to be a Pescetarian, you can imagine that dinner time or lunch time can be a nightmare in my house. Did I mention I am not a big seafood eater. Hillshire had changed my house “snacking meal”! When shopping for my 3 year old, I try to always find a balance in his diet. Something he will eat and that is really good for him. Wondering through my favorite store Target, aimlessly is my favorite pastime especially when it’s just me! I like to call this mommy time, some moms enjoy doing other things but I could spend a good 2 hours in Target and I never leave with anything under $100 which is so insane to me.

Walking through the grocery section of the store I came across Hillshire snacking. Two things stood out to me natural gouda cheese and Italian Dry Salame.

hillshire-snack-reviewIn my head I started thinking about how many I would buy and realized there was only 3 left, so of course I had to take the rest! While checking out the cashier said these are so good and held up the Hillshire snack. I told him I though I would give it a try considering it never hurts but to try something at least once! Yes, I am a foodie so I love trying new foods!

The next day while my 3 year old was having a snack I decided to pop one of the Hillshire snacks open and before I could even sit down my 3 year old ran up to me and stuck his hand out. I knew he would not like it because he is so picky and very funny about texture, but I gave him one and he yelled “yummy mommy”!

I was shocked because I have bought this kid every kind of lunchable known to man and he hated every single one. Before I could even get one in my mouth to try he asked for more, so I gave him his own. He sat there and finished his plate and I finished mine!

hillshire-snacking-spread

Hillshire snacking is perfect for a snack for the kids, if you have people over and it is lovely with a glass of wine. We are all stocked up and snack time is so much better, now hopefully we can conquer dinner!




CHIA CHOCOLATE PUDDING

I am doing a no carb challenge for two weeks and lets be honest, I probably eat all of my carbs for the day during breakfast. I don’t eat carbs for dinner so I found it difficult to think of something that I actually wanted to eat for breakfast that wasn’t on whole wheat bread or on a bagel! I came across a few pudding recipes but decided to make my own! This morning before I posted it I had it for breakfast and it gets you full very fast. I am sure that has a lot to do with the chia seeds because if you add chia seeds to anything it acts like a carb and gets you really full! This may be the trick to my carb challenge!

OHCHICMOM.COM

You will love this recipe if you are a Chia or Chocolate lover.

What you will need: 

1 cup of coconut milk/ almond milk/ milk ( I used almond milk) IMG_1833

2 Tbsp cocoa powder

2 Tbsp honey

2 Tbsp chia seeds

1 sliced banana

Count flakes to garnish on the top (optional)

 

IMG_1832

Add almond milk (or whatever milk you are using), cocoa powder, honey and chia seeds in a bowl and mix well. Cover with a lid and let it sit in the refrigerator over night.

Arrange sliced bananas over it and SERVE!

ATLANTIC