Monthly Archives: November 2015

Turkey Trot 2015

A year later…another Turkey Trot!

November 25, 2014

Turkey Trot – Thanksgiving Day Traditions

 

trail

 

Most people know that I love to run and I run almost every morning.  And either because of this or in spite of this, I have unknowingly created my own Thanksgiving tradition; my own personal Turkey Trot. For the last 10+ years I have ran every Thanksgiving Day morning. Whether I was pregnant, just had a baby, running a little, or running daily I have always ran on Thanksgiving.

As Thanksgiving was approaching this year, I realized that I had created my own tradition. It is a wonderful thing to take time to be purposefully thankful. And that is what my Turkey Trot is all about. I take time to thank God for all the wonderful blessings in my life and to allow myself to feel his presence. In a world with so much “stuff” it can be easy to forget what is truly important in life.

As you enjoy your Thanksgiving take a few minutes… or an hour to run, walk or sit outside and enjoy God’s Beauty and allow HIS peace to wash over you.

 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Pumpkin Power Balls

November, 24, 2015

Pumpkin Power Balls

pumpkin power ball

 

 

Just in time for Thanksgiving!

 

One of my favorite things about fall is pumpkin, pumpkin, everything pumpkin. So when I saw a recipe for pumpkin power balls I knew we had to try it. We got a few pie pumpkins from our CSA so I was excited to try our favorite pumpkin recipes this year with real, natural pumpkin. While you can buy canned pumpkin; the extra step of scooping out the pumpkin seeds (or guts as my kids call them) and roasting the pumpkin makes it feel so much more like fall. And the kids love scooping out the guts!

 

Our family loves power balls, as we call them and we are always willing and ready to try different variations.

 

I modified this recipe from @cleanfoodcrush  on Instagram – she has a TON of great recipes. I

 

  • 3 C uncooked oatmeal (old fashion oats)
  • 1 C sunflower seeds
  • 1 C all-natural peanut butter
  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • ⅔ c raw honey
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp pumpkin spice (I used all-spice, because that’s what I had) 🙂
  • ½ TBSP vanilla extract

 

  • Combine all ingredients – Mix well.
  • Roll into balls.
  • Place on parchment paper and freeze 30-60 mins.
  • Serve or freeze. I freeze any extras in an airtight container.

 

Survey says = A SUCCESS. The kids loved the pumpkin power balls!

 

The original recipe uses chocolate chips and while you certainly could add them in – I find my kids love them so much without the chocolate, why add it? They are able to enjoy a healthy, whole food snack that is full of nutrition!

 

My 1st grader loves taking them in her lunch and I enjoy them as a pre or post run snack! 
Everyone is happy!

Oatmeal Bar!

November 18, 2015

Oatmeal Bar!

oatmeal

 

Have you ever had one of those mornings? You know, the ones where all the kids are complaining and you are rushing to get breakfast made; and if you’re lucky you will rush out of the house just in the time with no major injuries. Well….we have those mornings A LOT!!! We have a crazy busy life. But when I need to slow things down and enjoy a small window of calm in my mornings I know what will help. Oatmeal for breakfast! Yep, that’s right!  

 

One of my go to breakfast choices is oatmeal. It’s inexpensive, fast, easy and extremely nutritious. An added bonus, my kids LOVE it!

 

I buy the Old Fashion Oats and cook them on the stove- takes about 10 mins start to finish. While the oatmeal is cooking I get all the toppings out and ready and I will also finish packing the lunches. I can be in and out of the kitchen with breakfast on the table and lunches ready to go…easy peasy.

 

The toppings…this is what makes it so delicious – even though I prefer mine plain (I’m strange I know). One benefit of having an oatmeal bar is that you can mix it up. You can choose honey and apples today and cinnamon and brown sugar the next time so it never gets boring. And adding honey or brown sugar only adds about 2-6 grams of sugar compared to the 12-20+grams of sugar in cereals and instant flavored oatmeal.

Favorite Toppings

  • Honey
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown Sugar
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Walnuts
  • Raisins
  • Dates
  • Coconut Milk

 

Be creative and have fun experimenting! Now, I don’t have all these choices each time. I usually have 3-4 choices and then they pick their toppings. My kiddos love having a choice at meal time; it makes them feel included and I love that!  And they really enjoy creating their own oatmeal.

 

Result

  • Everyone is happy
  • Whole food
  • Whole grains
  • Nutritious Meal
  • No chemicals
  • Less Sugar
  • Cheap
  • Fast
  • Easy
  • Kid Approved

What more could we ask for???? It is amazing the difference it can make when everyone starts off the day happy and with a full tummy! (Mom and dad included)  Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day…for many reasons.

 

Have fun creating your favorite oatmeal!!!

 

Green Protein Smoothie

November 12, 2015

Green Protein Smoothie

protein greem smoothie

Protein shakes seem to be all the rage lately. It seems like every time I turn around someone is asking me how much, when and what kind of protein shake they should be using. I like to treat protein like anything else. If you are eating a whole food diet with variation you shouldn’t have any problems getting enough protein. Many times they can be counterproductive. First, let’s remember ALL things are not created equal. There are several choices of protein powders that are overly processed and full of chemicals and artificial ingredients. Yuck! Secondly, your body doesn’t store protein. What does that mean? Well, what your body doesn’t use it flushes out. So if you are getting enough protein already and then taking a protein shake on top of that; you might be wasting your money.

Now, I’m not saying all protein shakes are bad and that you should never drink them but if you think (like I did years ago) by drinking a protein shake you are suddenly going to lose weight, get tone etc…if won’t happen. Try making a few changes in other places in your diet and lifestyle as well.  Once you are eating a whole food diet 80% of the time you will be surprised how much protein you are getting. All the protein in those greens add up!

For those of you that still want an extra boost of protein in you day, here is a delicious green smoothie recipe packed with 18 grams of protein! The original recipe is from  The Food Babe

I made a few changes. But the final result is the same = a delicious green smoothie. This is one of my new favs!

Green Protein Smoothie

  • 3 c spinach (I used frozen) or kale
  • 1 c milk (soy or coconut)
  • 1c papaya (with seeds)
  • ½ c pineapple and mango (frozen)
  • 1 tbs chia seeds

Enjoy your Protein Shake!!!

Homemade Veggie Pasta Sauce

Homemade Veggie Pasta Sauce

November 6, 2015

veggies (2)

 

As much as I love fall, it also means that our CSA season is coming to an end. So it’s a good time to stock the freezer with a few staples to get us through the winter! One of my favorite things to make with our delicious veggies is pasta sauce.

 

Before I ever tried making my own sauce, it seemed so difficult, and complicated…well it’s not. Surprisingly, it’s fairly simple. After following a more precise recipe the first few times, I now just throw in any leftover veggies I have on hand. The end product is a delicious homemade sauce, well… except for a time or two. I have learned that the flavor comes from the veggies so the more you put in, the more delicious the sauce! On one occasion, I was short extra veggies and tried using just tomatoes, onions, garlic and a few spices. The sauce was ok….but nothing to talk about.

 

Today I had tomatoes, of course, eggplant, zucchini, sweet peppers, garlic and onion. I’m not sure about your kids but mine are a tad unsure of eggplant. There are days they like it and days they won’t touch it. My oldest won’t ever eat zucchini. And I’m not sure why either because out of the wide range of veggies they eat, zucchini is a fairly mild veggie?! But in the sauce, they don’t skip a beat. Another reason I love making homemade sauce full of veggies.

 

You can grab almost any recipe and make it your own. I started with  100 Days of Real Food’s recipe.

http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2010/07/19/recipe-homemade-spaghetti-sauce/

 

You can increase or decrease any of the ingredients to suit your preference. 

 

Homemade Veggie Pasta Sauce

 

INGREDIENTS

 

  • 2 pounds fresh, organic, ripe tomatoes (or 2 cups canned plum tomatoes with juice)
  • ⅔ cup chopped carrot
  • ⅔ cup chopped celery
  • ⅔ cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt, to taste

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Drop tomatoes into boiling water for 1 minute. Drain them and peel off the skin (when they are cool enough to handle). Once they have been boiled the skin comes off very easily
  2. Add the tomatoes with juice, chopped veggies, and onion to a large saucepan on low heat. Cook uncovered at a slow simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the olive oil and bring sauce to a slightly stronger simmer for 15 more minutes. Stir frequently and mash tomatoes with the back of a spoon.
  4. Taste and add salt as needed.

 

 

***I like to start my sauce by adding about 1 TBS of olive oil to a large  saucepan until hot then add         in 4-5 cloves of garlic.  Then begin with step one.

http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2010/07/19/recipe-homemade-spaghetti-sauce/

 

 

After the sauce has been simmering for a good hour or so, I like to use a hand blender to puree the veggies to desired texture. For us, that’s usually until most of the large pieces are gone and the sauce is smooth. 

sauce

And VIOLA!

 

You can increase or decrease any of the ingredients to suit your preference. 

 

You have a smooth, hearty,flavorful and delicious veggie pasta sauce. And the kids have no idea they are eating tons of nutrient rich veggies as well! Now that’s a win- win!

 

canned sauce

 

I made a large batch for my freezer! 🙂

 

If you have any amazing pasta sauce recipes, we would love to try them!

 

Happy Sauce Making!!!