A great read

Woke up to the sound of my alarm at 5:45am this morning. I’m so proud of myself! I went to bed at a decent hour last night, so rolling out of bed didn’t feel AS awful as it does sometimes.
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Pressing play on my newest book I’m listening to! I’m usually listening to one and reading another in the cracks of my time—something to help me with my own mindset, something to help me approach my business development.
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This time in the morning, before everything starts for the day—it’s called my Miracle Morning. The time where I set my mind straight, I lay out my schedule, and I get to a place where I feel calm and collected to take on the day.
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I can easily be a frantic person. Having lots of things going, which then leads to me not getting as much done. Can you relate to that?
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As a mommy, wife, and business owner, I have a lot of “things to do” but I’m consciously working on weighing priorities, finding balance, and working for peace and joy in the midst of the something crazy and frantic world we live in.
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This book is rocking my WORLD right now. Girlfriends in every stage of life, LISTEN TO THIS!! It’s so so good.

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The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Survival Guide

Grocery shopping. Everybody’s favorite pastime, right? (Nope.)

Let’s face it, grocery shopping can be intimidating, challenging, and feel like a chore. And once you get there, how do you make sure you’re buying the “right” foods?

We all know the basic rules: Don’t shop when you’re hungry, shop on the “outside” (where they stock all the healthy stuff), and go with a list.

But we all have those days when we end up at the grocery store, starving, wandering around aimlessly, without a list.

Don’t panic; here’s how to survive the grocery store, one aisle at a time.

How to Shop for Fruits and Vegetables

First up, fruits and veggies. Make this your first stop. When you fill your cart with colorful produce, there’s less room for things that shouldn’t be in there — like everything in the chip and candy aisle.

When selecting produce, dig deep. If you want your fruits and veggies to be fresh and perky all week long, pick from the back of the pack — the ones front and center are nearing their expiration date and may spoil faster.

And if your pocketbook calls the shots (like the rest of us), spend your dollars wisely by going organic only when necessary. Buying fruits and veggies in season will save you even more dough. But if you’re not in the right season, head for the freezer section: the frozen versions are just as nutritious.

Here are the basics that are always good to have on hand:

  • Leafy greens: Pick up romaine, arugula, kale, and spinach. These are multi-purpose greens, perfect for salads, smoothies, stews, and more.
  • Bananas: This is a versatile fruit that can be used in a variety of recipes, depending on its stage of ripeness. Riper bananas can be easier on the digestive system, but underripe bananas may be better for you. (Gluten-free banana bread, anyone?)
  • Apples, pears, and oranges: These are great for a quick, healthy snack on-the-go.
  • Berries: Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries — these sweet workhorses are essential to have for snacking or healthy shakes.
  • Avocado: Skip the mushy ones. If you can gently press into the skin and it gives back, it’s ripe and ready to eat. Stuck with one that’s not quite ready? Take it home and ripen it faster than Mother Nature.
  • Bell peppers: Red, green or yellow, these are a base ingredient in many healthy recipes.
  • Onions and garlic: Like bell peppers, this dynamic duo appears in more recipes than you can shake a stick at, so don’t get caught empty-handed!
  • Mushrooms: You can stuff them, saute them, or toss them in an omelet. Or add them to soups, pastas, stews, casseroles… you get the idea.
  • Broccoli and cauliflower: These old-school veggies of our childhood are now the new “bread” — use them to make pizza crust, “toast,” tots, breadsticks, and more.

How to Shop for Meat and Seafood

In general, when it comes to protein, choose cuts of meat with “loin,” or “round” in the name; these are the lean cuts. For ground meats, choose at least 93 to 95 percent lean. Ground turkey should be 99 percent lean. Keep in mind beneficial fats in salmon and tuna are on the good list!

Here are some other in-the-know tips from the pros:

  • Talk to the butcher and ask questions; you may just find yourself privy to VIP treatment. Find out what cuts are super fresh and ask for the best way to cook them. You can even request for meats to be ground fresh for you.
  • Serving a family of one or two? Cut down on food waste by getting it cut to your preferred portion.
  • Stay away from textured soy protein products and stick with tofu and tempeh — and make it organic to avoid GMOs.
  • If you want deli meat for a quick lunch or snack, choose nitrate-free, low-sodium, and less-processed varieties.
  • In a rush? Pick up a rotisserie chicken — just make sure it’s a plain version instead of one with sauces that could be sweetened with sugar. To keep things lean, discard the fatty skin.
  • Canned tuna and salmon are a bargain when it comes to seafood. They’re easy to prepare and rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Buy tuna and salmon canned in water instead of oil.
  • Fresh-caught fish shouldn’t have an odor, so if it’s super smelly, pass it up or go for frozen, which is often a better price, too.

How to Shop for Eggs and Dairy

The options in the egg and dairy aisle can be dizzying: cashew milk, almond milk, grass-fed, free-range, brown/white, extra-large eggs, and on and on. For both eggs and dairy, there are plenty of arguments on both sides of the organic vs. conventional debate, but here are some general guidelines:

  • If you’re a dairy drinker, choose whole or 2-percent milk, which can be more satiating than skim or nonfat; the same goes for cheese.
  • If you’re looking for protein without the dairy, soy milk is your best friend because most other nut milk alternatives are actually poor sources of protein. Nut milks are tasty and lower calorie, but make sure you go with the unsweetened versions.
  • When it comes to cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and ricotta cheese, 2 percent or low fat can help keep protein high and your overall fat intake low. When it comes to yogurt, avoid brands with added sugar and go for plain and unsweetened.

How to Shop for Pantry Items

  • Go for raw, unsalted nuts. All nuts are a great source of heart healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Skip the packaged nuts and head for the bulk aisle to save money and only get as much as you need.
  • Stock up on brown rice, quinoa, faro, or {insert your favorite whole grain here}. These healthy basics can be used in an endless number of recipes.
  • Peanut butter or almond butter, take your pick. But check the ingredient list: It should only list nuts. (A little salt is OK.) Many store-bought butters contain added sugars and hydrogenated oils. Better yet, buy some nuts and make your own nut butter at home.
  • Any and all kinds of dry or canned beans (unsalted, please!) Toss them into a stir-fry or make a comforting soup because beans just may be the secret to longevity.
  • If you’re cooking with heat, coconut oil, sesame oil and regular olive oil do the best job. Extra virgin oils have a lower smoke point (translation: They burn at high temperatures), so save them for dressings and as a finishing oil. Check out this essential guide to oils.
  • Skip processed white sugar and pick up raw honey or 100-percent pure maple syrup are where it’s at. But remember: They’re both still pure sugar, so moderation is key.

So the next time you find yourself at the grocery store without a plan, stick with these basics and you’ll never go home with bags of junk food ever again

Quick Dinner Idea

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Easy & quick dinner tonight, because that’s the name of our game lately!
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Fresh romaine.
Fresh black beans seasoned with sea salt, cracked pepper; and garlic powder.
Diced tomatoes.
Ground turkey seasoned with taco seasoning.
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Toss it all together and crack a few tortilla chips on top for a delicious and easy dinner for the whole family!
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This is always an easy dish when I don’t really feel like cooking, but have the staples lying around. Better than eating out! 👌🏽

Quote to live by

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I just absolutely love this quote so much. 🙌🏽
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It’s such a powerful thing when you experience seeing someone come into their own and feel comfortable enough to simply BE who they are.
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No barriers. No judgement. No worry. Just simply, confidence. 💗
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It’s been a long journey for me to strip myself of the insecurity and uncomfortableness in who I was, always worried about what others think. Always worried about the silent judgement.
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Of course there are still times when those feelings creep up on me, but through time and working on becoming the best ME I can be, somewhere along the way, I gained confidence, security, and trust in who I am as a daughter of Christ and in what my mission in life is.
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It’s magical, to see the changes and the comfort that lies in the quiet confidence of feeling comfortable enough to just BE ME. And to know that THAT is simply enough.
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Do you know that you are enough?
Have you experienced that freedom of simply being YOU, unapologetically?
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Your story and your life are beautiful, no need to apologize for the story that God’s painting in your life. Use it to bless others. Use it to fuel your passion and zest for life. 💗
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Happy Friday, lovely. Be you. That’s the best version there is.

Banana & Oat GUILT FREE Cookies

These yummy gems are one of my GO-to treats when I’m craving something sweet because one, I always have everything I need, and two, they’re totally guiltless! 👌🏽
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1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Spray the baking sheet with coconut oil nonstick spray.
3. In a bowl, mix 3 super ripe bananas, 1/4 cup almond or coconut milk, 1/3 cup of all natural apple sauce or you could do pumpkin purée, and 1 tsp of vanilla.
4. Mash all that together.
5. Then, slowly stir in 2 cups of quick oats and around 1 tsp of cinnamon. I used gluten free oats and normally I will toss them through the food processor to cut them up a bit first. Tonight I was a little lazy.
5. Lastly, fold in some mini chocolate chips. I did about 1/2 a cup.
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Once all is mixed, either use a small spoon or a small cookie scoop to lay 12 “cookies” on the sheet. Before placing them in oven, press them down to flatten because they won’t expand and it kind of makes them get a nice outer crust that’s crunchy!
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Pop them in the oven to bake for 17ish minutes or until they are cooked through and lightly browned as much as you want!
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You can’t mess these up and you can make so many variations too! Dried cranberries, nuts, blueberries….the possibilities are endless!
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Horchata Shakeology

Horchata is a creamy beverage from Spain and Latin America made from rice or nuts and spiced with cinnamon that tastes like a rich dessert. This healthy version will let you enjoy the yummy treat without it ending up on your waistline.
Author: Beachbody
Recipe type: Beverage
Serves: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or rice milk)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology
  • 2 Tbsp. sliced raw almonds
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup ice
Instructions
  1. Place almond milk, extract, Shakeology, almonds, cinnamon, and ice in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

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Chocolate Chip Banana Oat Muffins

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and an even consistency.
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Preheat your oven to 400 and grease a muffin tin or use paper liners (also greased) with coconut oil spray.
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Lastly, add in your mixings — I stirred in chocolate chips for this batch, but you can do blueberries, nuts, dried cranberries, or whatever your heart desires! I recommend stirring them in so they don’t get too sliced in the blender.
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Bake at 400 for around 17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 👍🏽
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These are perfect for a snack or breakfast and totally hubby & kiddo approved! 👊🏽
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Enjoy making them YOUR own with toppings and spices alike. Pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and different extracts are super yummy add-ins too!

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