Tag Archives: healthyfamily

Turkey Trot 2016

November 24, 2016

Another year…another list of blessings to be thankful for today and everyday!!! This year I am particularly thankful to for family and friends that fill my life with joy and laughter!

I hope everyone has a Blessed Day!

 

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!!!

Walnut Brownies

June 3, 2016

Walnut Brownies

brownies

 

I’m always on the lookout for amazing real food recipes for desserts…especially brownies! These walnut brownies do not disappoint. If you are looking for a more cake like brownie that is still rich in flavor, you will love these! This is the perfect way to satisfy those sweet tooth cravings, without loading your body up with the extra chemicals, additives and other junk. I can notice a huge different the way my body responses to the package desserts versus the homemade real food desserts! An extra bonus for me is today I’m carb loading for my half marathon in the morning; while I don’t recommend loading up on sweets (real food or otherwise) before a race…I will have just one! J

 

Walnut Brownies –    Forks over Knives Cookbook

  • 3 oz extra firm tofu, drained (yes tofu!)
  • 1/3 c pitted prunes (or dates for extra sweet)
  • ½ c unsweetened plant-based milk, heated until very hot not boiling
  • ¾ c 100% pure maple syrup
  • ½ c plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ c water, heated until very hot not boiling
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ c walnuts, chopped

 

 

  1. Preheat oven 325 degrees. Line 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper.
  2. Crumble tofu in blender. Add prunes. Pour in the hot milk and puree for about 3- seconds. Add the maple syrup and puree until smooth.
  3. Add cocoa powder to mixing bowl. Add the hot water and mix with a fork until mixed well.
  4. Add the prune mixture to the chocolate mixing bowl and stir well. Mix in the vanilla.
  5. Add in half of the flour and add the baking soda and salt. Mix well. Mix in the remaining flour and fold in the walnuts.
  6. Spread the batter into the baking pan. It will be thick, but it will spread out to the corners of the pan.
  7. Bake for 17-20 minutes. The top should be firm to the touch.
  8. Let cool for 20 minutes and serve.

 

Makes about 12 delicious walnut brownies!

What’s your favorite real food brownie recipe?

Happy Baking!!!

Eggplant Bruschetta

September 12, 2015

Eggplant Bruschetta

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One of the many reasons we LOVE participating in a CSA is that we get veggies we wouldn’t always buy at the store. While each week’s share contains several different veggies, we often get the same veggie(s) for several weeks. And well, after several weeks of grilling and roasting eggplant my kids were ready for something else.

 

Lucky for us, our wonderful farmers provide recipe ideas each week. The first week or so I passed on the idea of trying the eggplant bruschetta recipe. I’m not sure if it’s because I thought it was too involved or because I wouldn’t like it – thankfully neither were the case!

 
During the summer months our family normally enjoys eating a summer salad mix; tomatoes, red onion, feta cheese with the balsamic dressing. So I finally decided that this would potentially be a big hit with our family….IT WAS DELICIOUS!!! It was so good I made two different variations and we ate eggplant bruschetta all week!

 

Here is the link to the CSA – scroll down to eggplant section and click on eggplant bruschetta for the recipe.

http://redfearnfarm.com/kansas-city-csa/csa-2015-week-13-kansas-city-mo/

Now, I said I tried two variations – neither one 100% followed the recipe – which is usually how I cook…a little of this a little of that 🙂

 

The first time I made it I used ricotta cheese – mainly because I had no idea what ricotta salata was – and the process seemed a tad too involved for me this week. (#mommyproblems). I also did not use mint on either version – but I will the next time. I think the mint would be good. With or without the mint, this dish was AMAZING!!!! Family approved!

 

Ricotta Cheese Version

eggplant bruschetta ricotta

 

The second time around I used feta cheese and still no mint. Still amazing! The adults liked this versions just as well as the ricotta cheese version, however, the kiddos weren’t as crazy about the feta cheese version. I think that is mainly because of the creamier texture the ricotta cheese provides.

 

Feta Cheese Version

eggplant bruschetta feta

 

Once I try the ricotta salata version I will let you know my favorite version – but so far the ricotta cheese version is my favorite! But they were both delicious.

 

Let me know which one you prefer. And have fun trying out these new and delicious recipes.

 

Happy Sampling!

 

 

Got my Brooks on I’m ready to go…running with the family!

September 8,  2015

Got my Brooks on I’m ready to go…running with the family!

 

With less than six weeks from my first marathon now is not the time to slack on the training.  With the weather cooling off over the next few weeks I’m excited to have more family training sessions. On hot days I prefer to run in the early mornings while the kiddos are still sleeping. J  But as the weather changes, so do my runs. On several occasions I have even planned my route to swing back by my house and drop off and/or pick up my kids for a 3-4 mile run with them. Sometimes they choose to grab a scooter, bike, 4 wheeler, run with me, or a little of both. I’m lucky enough to have Kash (my 1 yr old) with me on several runs throughout the week too!

all 3 kids on trail

Here I am finishing up a run with all 3 kiddos – Kash is in the stroller! 🙂

3 kids running

Here they all opted to run! Even Kash decided to get out of the stroller and run. He got in a good 1/2 mile too!  🙂

 

It’s important to me, that I continue to include my kids on my runs even if I am training. If someone told me that in order to train for a marathon I would have to run without my kids for 18 weeks, I would have passed. Thankfully that is not the case! They are excited for me, they are excited to go see me run and therefore they are extremely excited to be part of the process. Growing up living a healthy, active lifestyle is not simply a wish I have for my kids it IS our reality. Living any other way just isn’t appealing to us. (Gladly so)

 

It is an amazing thing to watch my kids playing outside, running around. People often comment on my kids’ level of energy and stamina. I believe this is due to (a large part) their (mostly) real food diets and the fact that they are active regularly. It is amazing what are bodies are capable of if they are fueled and maintained properly. We wouldn’t put water in a Jag (‘s gas tank) and leave it sitting in a garage for 20 years and then expect it to drive perfectly, would we?!?!

 

Get outside with your little ones, young ones, old ones, parents, grandparents and get active. There is no better feeling that the one you have knowing you are truly treating your body like a temple!

 

kash walking dog 1

The cutest little dog walker and best running partner under 2!!!

 

 

Happy Training!!!

Family Fun Day! The Kansas City Zoo

August 12, 2015

Family Fun Day! The Kansas City Zoo

 

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Here is my family on one of our MANY zoo trips this year with our awesome niece Taryn. 🙂

So many places to go…can’t decide where to go next!  🙂

 

We Sinthusys are always on the look out for fun, family activities we can all do together. And the Zoo is something we ALL enjoy. As many times as our family has been, it never gets boring (not yet anyways!)  I love the Zoo…I mean really what’s not to love… and we get to see the kids figuring out and understanding new things on each visit. And of course anything to get us outdoors and walking all day is just an added bonus. However, this last visit I left…well shocked and a little confused! Maybe I never paid close attention before? I’m not sure why this visit was different….BUT

SODA, SODA and well more SODA?!?! It seemed like almost every stroller had 2, 3, 4 even 5 of those large refillable soda cups hanging from the handles…really?

Have you ever heard someone say, “I can’t afford to eat healthy? HAHA!  Water is free…last time I checked soda is not free!  Why as parents do we think we are punishing are kids by not letting them indulge in sugar that will quite possibly lead to health and/or weight problems in their future? With all the studies out there that say, “Yes, added sugar does in fact act just like cocaine and is addictive and has NO positive benefits”…why do we keep buying it??? Why do we want our children to face the same (or worse) health/weight struggles we have had to struggle with as adults?!??! (This is a subject I’m very passionate about – if you didn’t notice!) 😉

Of course my kids see the big cute drinking cups and want one…if they were a few bucks and came filled with H2O I just might buy them. So why not place water filling stations around the Zoo, so families can fill up on ice water…it’s hot out there. And the Kansas City Zoo, might offer this however in the years my family has been going I have never seen a water filling station….NO I’m not talking about a drinking fountain. I prefer my water free of germs. 🙂

One fabulous option the Kansas City Zoo does offer is you can bring in your own food and drinks. And good thing, because I’m not sure there are many (or any) items on the menus that I would purchase for my kids, plus yes it saves a few bucks. But it would be nice to be able to walk into a cafe and grab a fresh salad, or sandwich that isn’t highly processed. And please don’t tell me they have bananas or apples for sale…wow, yes an apple that’s a great meal option….that would be part of a snack for us. So again, I appreciate being able to bring in our own food.  But, why not start promoting a healthy, active lifestyle? I’m sure most of us would agree that the Zoo is a great fun family activity…what better place to start, right?

My thoughts exactly! I will be sending a letter with a simple request to the Kansas City Zoo. Set-up a few VISIBLE water stations that are staffed…why staffed? Because there are kids at the Zoo…enough said.

Our family still LOVES the Zoo and we hope to help make it an even more enjoyable family fun activity! 🙂

 

Does your local zoo have water filling stations?

 

Let me know what your family is struggling with this week and I’ll tell you how we handle that issue (if we have).

 

 

Drink Water!!! 🙂

 

Happy Wellness Wednesday!

 

Clean Eats!

August 10, 2015

Clean Eats!

 

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This was my lunch today – and probably a few more days this week 🙂 Yes it’s that good!!!

 

  • Baked Chicken Breast – I seasoned with a pinch of sea salt and cracked pepper.
  • Pinto Beans – Soak and cook in the crock pot (so easy)
  • Homemade Pico
  • Mix the beans, chicken and pico together
  • Scoop onto the lettuce. I used Romaine Lettuce Hearts but any kind of lettuce would work.

 

One thing we can all agree on, is that life is busy! You are working 70+ hours, the kids have practice,  the kids have games, doctor appointment, bible study, dentist appts…etc, etc…etc.

 

I get it! LIFE IS BUSY! 🙂

Since we know this, why don’t we just:

  1. Accept it
  2. Except it
  3. Plan for it

And while you may or may not have several hours on the weekend to meal prep for the entire week for each and every meal…that’s ok. Start with simple solutions that will keep you eating clean, healthy meals that you enjoy! The key word is ENJOY. DON’T eat plain chicken and broccoli every night either. Remember, we need a variety of foods and the goal is to have a lifestyle change, so find ways to make the foods you like. And if you need help, just ask!  

 

Click the link below for ideas to help keep your body properly nourished.

http://theactivefam.com/wellness-wednesday/#sthash.bNTP94oV.dpbs

 

One way to plan for the chaos it to keep a few simple staples on hand and ready to serve. I try to keep a few staples made each week to pull out in a rush – but I also like to mix it up and switch out my weekly staples.

This week my staples are homemade pico (my husband makes the best) and pinto beans. Both are so easy and simple to make. I use the pico on my eggs, blue corn chips, veggies and the above pictured chicken lettuce wraps.  You can pair the beans with chips, chicken, fish, pico and or veggies (I smash the beans add some pico – YUM) Both items make for fast and delicious meals and/or snacks.

 

What are your favorite staples?

 

Share your favorite ways to eat pico and/or pinto beans!

 

Happy Monday!

 

Farm to Table

July 15, 2015

 

I’m loving the veggies from our CSA this season. For anyone starting out or if you are already on your journey to a healthier lifestyle a CSA is a great option.  Check out the link below!

 

http://theactivefam.com/?p=221#sthash.zsLAFhxj

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Road Trip Snack and Meal Ideas.

July 6, 2015

Road Trip!

Healthy Road Trip Snack and Meal Ideas!

Most people that know us know that we enjoy a road trip here and there! And when you are traveling with 5 people (3 small children) having delicious, healthy snack and meal options is a MUST!

While you might be thinking, “I don’t want to watch what I eat…I’m on vacation” Not to worry. I’m not suggesting that you don’t try the local fare but save your vacay splurges for the destination not the car. Remember, like anything else, your road tripping skills will improve the more you use them. 🙂

As our family moved from 2 children and a baby to 2 children and a toddler – this changed the game for us. Finding road trip snack and meal ideas for a toddler is different than for the older children. Why? Well, with my youngest he wants to feed himself…but that’s not always a good idea, especially in a moving vehicle. And who has time to stop each and every time one of the three kids wants a snack? Not this mama, for sure!

This summer the 5 of us, plus our 12 year old nephew made the 17 hour (one way) road trip out to Edisto Island. (It was gorgeous and we can’t wait to go back).

 

Here is what we packed for our road trip!

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  • Pineapple
  • Cucumber chips
  • Cauliflower
  • SPARK (a MUST have for the adults) 🙂
  • Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels (one of the few processed snacks, I don’t mind so much)
  • Homemade popcorn
  • Homemade Chicken Salad
  • Carrot Sticks
  • Homemade Trail Mix (almonds and raisins – so easy – kids love it)
  • Homemade Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins
  • Homemade oatmeal cookies
  • Whole wheat bread for chicken salad sandwiches

I opted to eat my chicken salad with the cauliflower, cucumbers and/or carrots, so GOOD!

We always try to pack food that will be easy to eat on the road and won’t leave us feeling…ughhhh!

 

And don’t forget the drinks. We packed a cooler with a spout full of water and filled up our water bottles as needed! It worked out great.

 

Happy Road Tripping!!!

 

 

 

The Hospital Hill Half Marathon 2015 (13.1 miles)… I Conquered the Hill!

June 8, 2015

The Hospital Hill Half Marathon 2015 (13.1 miles) …    

I Conquered the Hill!

Got my Brooks on….I ’m ready to go!!!

Driving the course a few days out from the race my nerves were kicking in; would I finish, would I wake up late, would I eat enough/too much, would I have to take a potty break?! All these questions were filling my mind and my stomach was in knots and the race was still 5 days out! It was then that I decided to forget about all these questions/worries etc. I had followed Hal Higdon’s training guide – Novice 2 and by followed I mean FOLLOWED, no missed runs, nothing. I had been on a fairly strict diet 12 weeks out and I had a carb loading plan for the days before the race. I knew I was ready to complete my first half marathon and I decided to let go of everything else and allow myself to enjoy that day, the day I had been working towards for months now.

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Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training Guide – Novice 2

 

The morning of the race – I woke up right on schedule (4am) to eat my bagel, yogurt and drink my spark. Surprisingly, my nerves were calm and I was excited, not nervous. I had a time schedule for all my pre-race products, which made the race so much more enjoyable! I can’t imagine running without my Advocare products!

 

half marathon products

Here’s what I used Race Day.

Pre-race:

  • Spark – (before breakfast with catalyst)
  • Arginine Extreme – about an hour before the race
  • VO2 Prime Bar – I ate my bar about 45 min before the race

I had tried this combo several times before on my long runs and I knew when I needed to take each one to avoid cramps, etc and to ensure my energy was spread out and would get me through the race.

During the Race:

  • Slam – around mile 3 I slammed my slam 🙂
  • Rehydrate Gel – Around 6.5 miles and another one around mile 10. I love these gels packets not only do they help keep you hydrated but it gave me the next boost to finish strong!
  • Water – I stopped at every aid station and grabbed a water to ensure I would stay hydrated. I slowed down grabbed a cup walked fast while taking small drinks (about 2 each time) then I was back at it! No one wants to choke trying to gulp down water during a race while running thru an aid station…atleast I don’t. 🙂

Post Race:

  • Banana – immediately following the race
  • Water – immediately following the race and all day the next 2 days
  • OTG –  All day -I’m in love with this stuff! Thanks Drew Brees for requesting it to be available for us non-professional athletes!  🙂

 

READY, SET, GO!!!

Walking up to the start I was calm and ready to go! And before I knew it, away we went!!! Watching everyone speed off, all I could do is keep reminding myself to start off slow, stick to your race pace and DO NOT accelerate the first 5 miles. I had read all the stories (we all know how much fun I have researching EVERYTHING!)  of people starting too fast and not being able to finish or barely finish….I knew this course had 9 hills and that I would need to conserve my energy.

With all that being said, It was SO HARD to hold back…that was one of the toughest parts of the race, trotting along the first 5 miles….BUT then I hit mile 12 and  I was SO glad I held back in the beginning. I was able to finish my last 3 miles faster than the first 5 with the last .5 mile being my fastest pace! I was happy! I finished in 2:02. I had set a goal of 2 hours and I was right there. Before training for this half I rarely timed myself running, so I had no idea what goal to set but I DO know that I worked my butt off to get that time, so I’m happy!

What an amazing, exciting and wonderful experience! I realize people probably think I’m even more nuts by describing my first half marathon as a wonderful experience…BUT it was FUN! When you have had months of hard work, training, eating well and you feel physically, mentally and spiritually strong – this is an amazing feeling and then to be doing something I LOVE, running thru the streets of the city with the roads blocked off, residents standing outside cheering you on, strangers cheering you on….what an amazing experience! WOW! I will say the most uplifting thing on race day was to see my family along the course cheering me on! (I have an awesome family) Each time it gave me an extra boost and made me feel like a Rockstar!

Here are all my supporters on race day!

Sai – my wonderful hubby,  Cassie – My sister- in-law, she has been a huge inspiration and has answered endless questions along the way (she completed the Heartland 39.3 Series last year, yes 3 – half marathons!) My beautiful nieces Vanhessa, Victoria and Taryn, ME, Kobe, Kailee and that’s Kash snoozing away in the stroller! Just missing my sister Karena and my niece Kailyn in this pic.

 

 

 

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Kobe is chowing down on post race snacks! 🙂

 

My kids who LOVE running and have completed several 5k’s totally kept me going! My amazing husband, who also doubles as my strength coach, he’s pretty awesome 😉 Not only did he wake up early, got the kids ready and corralled them for 2 hours while I was running he still managed to meet me at the finish line in the rain! My family has truly been a blessing during this entire process.

“Why would you choose Hospital Hill for your first Half”? I got asked this question all the time. I’m by no means a race expert but my understanding it that Hospital Hill is one of, if not the, toughest courses in Kansas City. There ya go!!!

After baby #3 was born I wanted a goal, something to work towards, something to be focused on….the first few months after giving birth are more about recovering and less about training for a half marathon, lol. I started running…or fast walking around 4 weeks post delivery. And I slowly started building my speed and endurance. For all you mom’s that are less that 4 months postpartum and nursing….talk about dedication!!! But we will leave those obstacles for another day! 🙂

on race day my kiddos were 5 (Kailee), 3 (Kobe) and 1 (Kash). Kash turned 1 on Friday and I ran my first half marathon the next day!  For me having kids is not an excuse to put my health or my goals on the back burner…THEY are the reason why I make my health a priority! I’m just a mom trying to lead by example and show my kids how to enjoy a healthy lifestyle and how to be the best ME possible! Always striving to be better and do better!

 

Run Happy!!!