Healthier snacking while at work or on the go

Hello beautiful people,

I wanted to share with you some of my favorite snacks to keep at work if I get munchies or hungry. Some of these I keep in my purse for on the go so I do not get trapped into bad eating. These change so that I do not get bored. But I just restocked the cabinet at work today so I figured to share with you.

1. Oat Fit maple and brown sugar oatmeal with flax. 100 calories 3g of protein, 12 g of fiber, 1g of sugar and 9% sodium.

2. Multigrain Rice Crackers with sea salt 130 cal, 2g of protein, 1g of sugar,  6% of sodium per 16 crackers. I sometimes eat these with freshly maid hummus.

3. Kale Chips 95 calories, 4g of protein, 4g of sugar, 12% sodium per half a bag. I buy these at Kroger sometimes but this specific one I bought at Marshalls for $3.99 and its the best one yet.

4. Dry Roasted Edamame 130 cal, 14g of protein, 8g of fiber, 1g of sugar, 3% sodium. This has 40% more protein than peanuts. Can be found here

5. Baked Goldfish Pretzel 130 cal, 3g of protein, less than 1g of sugar, 18% of sodium per 43 pieces.

6. Low Sodium Rice Cakes 40 calories, 1 gram of protein, and 0% sodium. I spread peanut butter on them with honey or raisins.

7. Pure Protein Bars 180-200 calories (varies by flavor of bar) 19-22g of protein, 3g of sugar, 2g of fiber, 4% sodium. I love these. I have them for breakfast with coffee, post workout, or when I am really hungry but will not be home to eat soon enough lol. I always carry one in my purse. I get a variety pack here.

8. Apples I always have an apple around. I snack on them all the time. I sometimes slice them and dip into peanut butter.

9. Earth Balance natural peanut butter and flaxseed 190 cal, 2g of sugar, 7g of protein per 2 Tbsp of serving. Its high in Omega-3. I spread this on my rice cakes, dip my apples in it or just eat a spoon of it alone 🙂 Buy at Kroger or here.

10. Dark chocolate I LOVE chocolate. Its worth every penny to me to get good quality chocolate. This one is 170 cal, 2g of protein, 0 % sodium. I have this when I have a really sweet tooth, its gluten and dairy free. No artificial anything. I love it! I am a firm believe in you get what you pay for, same goes for good tasting food. I buy this at Kroger for $1.97 or a box of 12 on amazon for $6.30 here.

11. Horizon low fat organic milk for my morning cereal days. I buy this for the kids too since it doesn’t have to be refrigerated, good for lunchboxes and travel. I buy it at Kroger when they have 10 for $10 or on Amazon here.

If you have Amazon prime and plan ahead you can always get better deals on healthier food. We order a lot of our stuff through amazon.


  
  

I also bring fresh vegetables and fruits and keep them in the fridge.

What do you guys like to snack on?

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Zucchini Pancakes

Hello beautiful people!

Last night I made zucchini pancakes and thought I’d share the recipe with you lovelies.

2 medium to large zucchini’s washed and grated, you may peel skin if you wish
2 tablespoons grated sweet or red onion
2 medium to large eggs lightly beaten
7 tablespoons of flour
2 tablespoons of grated parmesan
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
black pepper to taste (some people like a lot I used 1/2 teaspoon)

Grate the zucchini into a bowl. Immediately stir in the onions and eggs. Stir in the flour, baking soda, salt and pepper. Mix well then had parmesan and stir. Heat a large skillet over medium heat with non-stick spray. When the skillet is hot lower heat to medium-low and drop heaping soup spoon of batter into skillet. Cook the pancakes about 2 minutes on each side. Spray the skillet each time before adding batter. Place the pancakes on a sheet pan and put in over for  about 10 minutes. (Pre-heat over to 325). Serve warm with sour cream or tzatziki sauce. 

DIY quick tzatziki sauce
2 cucumbers peeled and seeded
1 tablespoon of fresh dill (you can use dry if you want, tasted better fresh)
2 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt
1 teaspoon of olive oil
salt and pepper (EVEN BETTER is dry ranch)
Place all into a food processor or a bullet if you have one and pulse.

Let us all have a fresh start

Hello beautiful people!


I know this is a long post but please take a moment to read it and accept and please share the challenge to see how many of us can complete it! Anyone can participate. YOU WILL THANK YOUR SELF FOR DOING IT! We always have room for improvement to better our selfs not only with our physical appearance but more importantly our mind and soul 😊


If you do accept the challenge and post pictures or updates on some days please use #healthymomchallenge #freshstartchallenge #julyfreshstart #30daychallenge

I have always been fascinated by minimalists. Those are the people that have a lifestyle of owning just the essentials, in other words living your life with only the things you need. But its truly its more than that. It is marked by clarity, purpose, and intentionality. At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It is a life that forces intentionality. And as a result, it forces improvements in almost all aspects of your life. I have been “cleansing” my belongings gradually (especially my closet) in the hopes of learning and adjusting to this type of life style. I always admired people that can pack for 7 days in a carry on and look fabulous and effortless all the time. But material things are not the only things minimalist master to live without, they free their minds more, and live a much stressful life. Minimalism is not external but internal. It helps people find freedom from external clutter, it does not take the next step of helping people find freedom and unity in their heart and soul. I could write days about this and if you are interested for me to tell you more about this leave a comment below. Like I said I am not there yet but have done some research and wish to achieve this goal. I am starting a 30 day challenge in July and would like to invite you my dear readers to try it out with me.

One and only rule is: Do one assignment every day, it does not need to be in order. Don’t skip a day. That’s it.

You can print out here July 2015 Challenge.

July 2015

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1 2 3 4
Mediated for 15 min Stay offline for one day No-complaint day Clean out your closet
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
No electronics at all. NONE Don’t wear makeup Go for a walk alone. Journal for 5-15 minutes Identify your stress triggers Clear our your drawers/junk drawers Plan a local trip
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Be grateful Clean out your makeup collection Clean your makeup brushes Clean up your social media Write down your goals Change your bedtime routine Evaluate your last 3 purchases
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Let go of something. Change your morning routine Write down your priorities   Call a family member Create a reading list Do not eat/drink anything bad today Leave this day unplanned
26 27 28 29 30 31
Reorganize a room NO social media until evening Volunteer for something Call an old friend One thing at a time
  1. Meditate for 15 minutes I have mentioned that I have stated meditation after my car accident. I use the app HeadSpace on my iPhone. It is simple to use and it truly does help. I have been doing it for 5 minutes daily but will need to squeeze and extra 10 minutes and do it for 15. I find it very helpful.
  2. Stay offline for one day On our recent vacation I did not have wifi in our room, I did not want to purchase it so that we did not log online. Many of us spend more time looking down into our phones rather than the world around us. I was offline couple of day. I spent 2 days of 5 minute quick message checking from family at home and just to say we are ok and check on them. Other than that 7 days offline and nothing changed….I mean absolutely nothing. Everything was still the same. You will not miss anything but will rest your eyes and brain from social media drama.
  3. No-Complaint day This day try not to complain at all. Complaining is never productive. Complaining makes our thoughts even more negative which hurts us and the people that are listening to us. It’s a ripple effect. If you find your self complaining simply think of another way to solve the problem or let it go. Ask people that are around you if you are complaining to stop you, sometimes we don’t even know when we are doing it.
  4. Clean out your closets Clean out your wardrobe closet and any other closet you have time to clean J. For your clothes start by picking 10 pieces you absolutely could not be without. Look at it this way, if you had to evacuate your house quickly pick 10 items you absolutely must have and put those aside. Rest of the clothes sort them out and really think about when was the last time you wore them and if you really will wear it. Donate the clothes if you have not worn it in the last year because you simply will not wear it.
  5. No electronics at all Today the challenge is not to have any electronics at all. No tv, no phone or phone camera and no computer. Tell your family that you will not be reachable unless it’s an emergency not to call you. Go out with your spouse and family and do something fun, go to the pool, park, ice cream shop, anything. You do not have take pictures of this either to post online, just simply ENJOY it your self.
  6. Do not wear make up This is totally a challenge for me because of having really bad adult acne skin issues but I will be a trooper and do it J We may discover many of the products we usually plaster on in daily we actually do not need.
  7. Go for a walk alone I do this often and I enjoy it. Take a walk alone, you can do it during lunch or before work even after work if you can find time. You can listen to music but do not browse or talk on your phone. This is to clear your mind.
  8. Journal for 5-15 minutes Writing things down is very therapeutic. I always joke that people that over share personal info on social media should get a journal but in all honesty it is really true. Personal stuff should be kept personal, if you are frustrated, happy or sad you should put the pen to paper and see how much better you will feel afterwards. I highly recommend this five minute journal that has been put together by Alex Ikonn over at FiveMinuteJournal. It is brilliant and easy and you will find a lot of positivity out of it.
  9. Identify your stress Pinpoint your stress. Try taking notes of your stress levels and activities throughout your day, then read the notes and try to think about what you could do to prevent and counteract them in the future. For example, if you are stressed out because of traffic every day simply understand that it is something you can not change unless you can change your route. Instead try to listen to music, jam out to your favorite songs or listen to an audio book. It’s not worth the stress or negative thoughts about something that can not be changed.
  10. Clean out your junk drawers, dresser drawers or any other drawers J Just clean it all out, its called junk drawer for a reason. De-clutter your home and keep only the necessary things. You will find that most of the time we do not even open these drawers, we just do not need or use things out of them. CLEAN THEM OUT.
  11. Plan a local trip Plan an all day trip to a place you usually would not find your self going to. For example if you are not nature lover plan a trip to a state park. I promise you that you will find at least one thing that you enjoy…a view, a waterfall, people watching…
  12. Be grateful Be mindful and appreciate the little things (and big) that are already part of your life. Do not be consumed by social pressure of what you need to have. There are many people that do not even have clean water so I am sure whatever situation you are in is better than some. Be happy, be thankful, and be humble. Write a list of everything or anyone you are grateful for.
  13. Clean out your make up collection Now ladies, we all have those 5 things we probably use daily (foundation, bronzer/blush, eyeliner and mascara…maybe a lipstick or two). Do we really need 500 eye shadows??? Natural is the best. Buy a palate that works for your complexation and eye color, everything else is unnecessary junk.
  14. Clean your make up brushes Your brushes should be cleaned technically after every use but I know none of us really do. I soak then take my brushes into the shower with me once a week and give them a deep clean (hair wash). Its pointless to use expensive makeup and creams for our face and plaster it on with overgrowth of bacteria on our brushes.
  15. Clean up social media How many of you actually know your friends on social media? Be a little more selective on who you follow and who you allow to see your pages and your personal pictures. Do you really need to be friends with friend of a friend, or people you have not seen or spoken to in years?
  16. Write down your goals Do you have any personal goal or family goals you would like to achieve? Write them down, discuss them and actually take action in achieving them.
  17. Change your bedtime routine Change something about your bedtime routine. Prepare your lunch or meals for the next day so morning routine is smoother. Have cup of calming tea before bed, instead of browsing your tablet or your phone listen to relaxing music. Read a book, or read a book to your child. Have a pillow talk with your spouse.
  18. Evaluate your last 3 purchases We are all guilty of mindless spending. Think about your last 3 purchases and think about how useful they turned out to be. Learning to only buy necessary things is the key to living a simpler life.
  19. Let go of something
    Letting go of something is hard, but sometimes holding on to something is even harder. Think about something you are holding on to and then free your self.
  20. Change your morning routine
    Instead of immediately checking your email or social media, meditate workout or journal.
  21. Write down your priorities Write down your priorities in life and evaluate. Take a really close look and see if your priorities are in order, maybe discuss it with your spouse or loved one and you never know some priorities may change for the better.
  22. Call a family member Call a family member that you have not spoken to in a while. Family is very important and talking to a cousin or aunt/uncle you have not spoken to in a while may just be what your soul needs.
  23. Create a reading list Create a reading list even if you are not a reader. Start at least one book and read half way through it before you quits, there is high chance you will continue to read the book and enjoy it.
  24. Do not eat or drink anything bad for a day Today’s challenge is to have a completely clean day. You can not drink anything artificial, you can have water, coffee or tea. No artificial sugar, fast food, eating out or prepackaged. At the end of the day you will realize that today you probably had much more energy and focus than on days you are not eating clean.
  25. Leave this day unplanned For once leave Saturday unplanned. Do not plan anything ahead and just see what the day brings with your family.
  26. Reorganize a room Spruce up a room in your home, maybe your family room or bedroom. De-clutter and rearrange furniture if possible. Sometimes the change is very welcome and creates a more relaxing environment. If most of your surface space is covered evaluate if you really need everything in the room and clear it out, I promise you less is more. Change up the room colors, try to find a color palate that is relaxing for you.
  27. No social media until evening Another great day to be social media free. Today instead of spending time on social media to see what your friends are up to maybe call them (not text) and meet up for coffee, lunch or dinner. Be social in real life. You may not even feel the need to check it at night.
  28. Volunteer With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering are enormous to you, your family, and your community. The right match can help you find friends, reach out to the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career. Volunteering with your kids is even more fun. Children watch everything you do and I have posted about this before. By giving back to the community, you show them firsthand how volunteering makes a difference and how good it feels to help others.
  29. Call an old friend A lot of us like to communicate through social media and text messages that we have forgotten what our friends sound like. Sometimes you just need to hear your friend’s voice, kind words and a smile. Some time catching up will bring up old memories and leave you both in a good mood.
  30. One thing at a time Our lives are so busy, from the moments our alarm goes off to the moment we go to bed we are constantly multi tasking. I challenge you to practice doing one task at a time. Take a breather. Do not move onto the to the next task or even think about it until the first one is completed. This alone will reduce a great amount of stress.

Leftover Quinoa Pasta

Hello Beautiful people!

As some of you know I made stewed meat and quinoa pasta for dinner last night, as usual I cooked more than enough pasta so this is what I do with leftover pasta because we do not throw away food much less quinoa pasta lol 😁😁😃

I had about a cup of elbow pasta left over.   

I decided to add

1/2 avocado

1/2 diced tomatoe

2 small balls of mozzarella diced

1 can of tuna drained 

1 teaspoon of my homemade mayo (you can skip this step) 

Salt and pepper to taste. 

  

Cooking ahead

Hello beautiful people!

I’d like to share how I cook ahead for a couple of days. I plan a few meals that would have the same main ingredient than add to that main ingredient to make different meals. It cuts a lot of cooking and prepping time and dinner is ready in 30 minutes or less. In this case I used stew meat. This particular meat I buy at Aldi it barely has any fat on it and when cooked its so tender. I buy two packages.

Sunday night prep

1 large or 2 small vidalia onions
2-3 cloves of freshly minced garlic
1 large carrot sliced
handful of fresh parsley diced

Sauté on olive oil, add washed and dried meat (I dice it even smaller if the cubes are big).
Season with you favorite seasoning I just used salt and pepper.
Once you brown the meat lower the temperature to the lowest, cover and let it simmer in its own juices for 30-45 minutes 🙂



Cool it to room temp and put in fridge to use for next day.

Day 1
Brussels Potatoes Soup
Use 1/4 of your meat for this, because its a soup you do not need that much.
2 cups of washed Brussels
2 large potatoes peeled and cut into big cubes
Warm up your meat then add Brussels and potatoes. Add 2 cups of organic vegetable stock and 1 cup of water. Salt, pepper, paprika, more parsley if you would like, you can add any other vegetable you like (sometimes I add peas and freshly diced tomatoes). Bring to boil then lower temp to lowest and let look for 30 minutes.

Day 2

Beef Stew
Warm up the beef on medium temp.
Finely dice one tomatoes and add to meat and simmer on low.
Add one tablespoon of flour and stir then add 1 cups of vegetable broth. Season with paprika, salt and pepper. Simmer on low for 15 minutes.I serve this with rice or Quinoa pasta.

  
  
Enjoy! 

Maya

Roasted Garlic Brussel Sprouts 

Hello beautiful people! 

I wanted to share a quick and easy recipe that tastes delicious. My family is big on protein loading aka chicken and steak (especially hubby) so i always want to make awesome side dishes that are not high in carbs especially for dinner. Here is a easy one….

  
1-2 pounds of brussel sprouts washed then sliced in half. 

   
 

1/4 cup of olive oil. Freshly minced garlic (I used 2 cloves). Salt, pepper and paprika to taste. 

  

Toss all ingredients well and spread it on a baking sheet that’s sprayed with non stick spray.

  
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 35 minutes. Turn Brussels with wooden spoon couple of times through baking. 

If you would like you. An top it with shredded Parmesan cheese when serving. 

Enjoy.
💜 Maya 

Matcha!

Hello beautiful people!

Today I wanted to share my new addiction….MATCHA!

I have been seeing it on Intagram for a while with a few eating healthy accounts I follow but never actually paid much attention to it. Recently a nationally syndicated radio show host was talking about it. He said that he was not a big coffee lover and wanted to steer away from caffeine and stated ordering Matcha at Starbucks. He was ordering it with ice water in a tall cup with 2 scoops of Matcha shaken, and that would cost him 80 cents. Well after he spoke about it on the radio the price went up to $2.69 because of the amount of people that were ordering it. I went to Starbucks that day to test it out. As a matter of fact all of us from work went. LOL It looked very green, but it tasted good, sweet…..and that’s the bad part. Apparently Starbuck Matcha is loaded with sugar as a matter of fact 40grams per serving. WOWZA!


Then I did some research on Matcha.

It originated from Japan. The history and the cultivation of this tea is fascinating but what is matters the most is the amount of antioxidants it has.  It is a fat burner, cancer fighter, increases concentration and boosts energy. See here what BodyBuilding says about it. Here is what I found

  • Is packed with antioxidants including the powerful EGCg
  • Boosts metabolism and burns calories
  • Detoxifies effectively and naturally
  • Calms the mind and relaxes the body
  • Is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins
  • Enhances mood and aids in concentration
  • Provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium
  • Prevents disease
  • Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar

I did some research on different brands and I found an organic one on Amazon for $19.99. Sugar free. So when I make the match drink I add a packet of stevia to sweeten it.

I have been using it for 2 weeks. I bough some at my Sprouts Market till this one arrived. If you use any water flavoring like Crystal Lights you can mix it with that if you don’t like the taste of Matcha, but honestly if you ever drank green tea its pretty much the same taste. As you can see on the bag you can use it in smoothies, lattes, baking and many other recipes. I mainly drink it in water but did test it out in my greek yogurt parfait and it was delish. I am still experimenting with different recipes and will post them.

 In two weeks that I have been taking it I definitely have a noticed 3 things. A huge difference in energy. You can ask the people at work, my bff says I am happy and bouncing off the walls ha ha 🙂  Usually I drink coffee in the morning and at 2 PM I am exhausted and go to our work kitchen and start up another pot of coffee. With Matcha I do not do that anymore. I do not crash either after drinking it. The other major difference I noticed (excuse me this is a little TMI but I got to share lol) is my bowl movements are totally regulated, I have been having issues with this for years, since high school. I even went to a GI specialist who told me to take a bunch of different medicine that was still not doing a good job. Lastly, I have had some unexpected issues come up and I have been a little stressed to which my skin decided to have a freaking zit party. With Matcha it has definitely been clearing up. So far I love it and can not find any bad reviews or experience’s on it. Will you try it? Let me know your thoughts if you do 🙂