Crazy Easy (delicious) Energy Balls

I’ve been playing around with some energy ball recipes that I’ve seen online but today I put together, what in my opinion is the most delicious combination yet. Not only are these stupid easy to make, but even my husband (yes the cheeseburger and fries addict,) thinks they’re amazing and has already asked me to make more batches. Keep in mind you can always substitute different ingredients for your own taste and if you do please let me know, I’d love to try what you guys come up with as well! Hope you enjoy xo

Ingredients

  • 2 C almonds 
  • 1 C figs
  • 1 C dried cranberries 
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 

Directions

  1. Place nuts in food processor, process until nuts are about pea-sized
  2. Combine figs and cranberries, process until ingredients are greatly broken down
  3. Add vanilla, process until all ingredients combine into one big sticky ball
  4. Roll into smaller balls, keep in refrigerator 6-7 days or freeze

See? I told you it was easy!  

 

When life hands you pumpkins

I don’t know about you but there’s something about Fall that always seems to bring me back to life. To say it’s my favorite time of year would be an understatement; Halloween is my favorite holiday (yes even more than Christmas,) I got married in the Fall and last October our little dude entered the world. This year more than ever I feel like I am so caught up in the hecticness of daily life, from trying to manage an-almost toddler to still being a present wife, daughter and friend. It can be so overwhelming and one thing I’ve noticed amongst parents is this sense of competition;  “my kid walked by this age, my kid already eats those things, my kid doesn’t sleep like that” etc etc etc. Now don’t get me wrong I’ve been finding a great support system in the parenting community but this sense of competition amongst friends, strangers, social media and so on is crazy to me. Growing up I can remember my dad always telling me to not compare my grades to the other kids and to try to do well for myself, not to be like others who maybe did better than me. All I know after this year is that parenting is hard, and every child, every teenager, every adult is different. We all do things our own way and we should embrace the differences in our kids rather than criticize them. It’s so awesome to see parents come together and support one another by offering advice or to be a sounding board, which as we know is more than necessary to keep our sanity. As my little dudes 1st birthday approaches I hope to gain more confidence as a parent and realize we’re all doing good as long as our kids are happy. That being said, excuse me while I go get a hot coffee, throw on a sweater and geek out over finally having some cold weather.  

 

Go-to Garlic Salmon

The older our tiny human gets the harder it’s been getting to try new and extravagant dinners so I’m relying on my go-to meals more than ever lately. This is a super simple recipe that doesn’t break the bank and requires limited prep time. My husband loves this one and I don’t even think he realizes how healthy it is, so shh don’t tell him! If you try this or add a yummy spin on it I’d love to hear about it. Mangia! 

Garlic-Soy Salmon

Ingredients

  1. Wild salmon (2 steaks or however many you prefer for the amount of people you are feeding)
  2. Fresh garlic
  3. Soy sauce (I use Kikkoman less sodium)
  4. Lemon
  5. Asparagus
  6. Rice pilaf (I use Uncle Ben’s microwave bag)

Directions

     Coat two pans with your choice of olive oil. Finely chop half of a clove of garlic and separate evenly between both pans. Asparagus goes in one pan with the salmon steaks in the other. Cut end off of lemon and squeeze onto both asparagus and salmon, begin to cook. After cooking for one minute add a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce onto salmon. Now I like to shred my salmon and remove the skin but I recommend you prepare the salmon however you like. Cook rice and prepare onto plate: asparagus ontop of rice with shredded salmon to the side, cut second end of lemon and squeeze over whole meal. Pour a glass of wine and enjoy! 

 

Whole30 buffalo chicken sliders

Listen, do yourself a favor and make these..immediately. My husband and I started Whole 30 today; yes the same husband who is a cheeseburger and French fry addict. And guess what, he asked to do it with me, I didn’t even say a word! It’s a miracle. Now if you or your partner is like my husband (aka needs cheese on everything, loves bread, always said he hates sweet potatoes) then I’ll let you know what he said about this meal, aaaand I quote “wow..did you make these fries? These are sweet potatoes? They’re so good! This burger doesn’t even need condiments..the flavor is insane when can we have these again?” So like I said, try these and bask in the flavorful glory that is chicken sliders and fries. Please let me know if you like it or make any alternations, I’d love to hear about it

Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients

  • Sweet potato
  • Garlic powder
  • Olive oil 
  • Sea salt 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peep sweet potato and cut to likewise length. Rub on 3 caps full of olive oil, a few shakes of garlic powder and a couple pinches of sea salt. Place on foil lined baking tray for 30 minutes. Flip half way through.

Buffalo Chicken Sliders

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1/2 c celery chopped
  • 1/2 c shredded carrot
  • 1/4 c franks hot sauce (whole30 approved)
  • 1 tsp clfibely chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Few pinches of sea salt

Combined all ingredients into a large bowl. I did this a few hours before cooking and placed in refrigerator to let the mixture marinate and I highly suggest this. When ready to cook form into patties and either grill on the bbq or cook with a little olive oil on the stove top.  

 

All about that turkey burger life

You know you need a hobby when getting a barbecue has been one of the highlights of your summer, but seriously..I’m stoked. I have been on a barbecuing spree lately and I love it, mainly because of how time saving it is but also because everything tastes better than on my stovetop (no offense stovetop.) Ever since my gallbladder incident and learning that my kidney is fatty, I’ve had to cut back on high fat foods, which had led to turkey becoming my main source of animal protein. Don’t get me wrong, ground turkey is good and all but sometimes the taste can be a little bland to me so I like to add a few spices every now and then. These turkey burgers are so easy it’s kind of silly that I’m even posting a recipe for them but clearly it’s not stopping me. Let me know how you guys jazz up your low-fat meals, I could definitely use some new recipes to try. 

Protein Style Turkey Burgers

Ingredients

  • Ground turkey
  • Lite Cheddar Cheese (mine is from trader joes)
  • Garlic powder
  • Black truffle salt (not necessary but oh so delicious)
  • Lettuce
  • Condiments

After ground turkey is taken out of the packaging, add a pinch of black truffle salt directly to the meat followed by a few shakes of the garlic powder (the amount depends on how strong you like garlic taste.) Form meat into patties and either cook on barbecue or with a little olive oil on your stovetop. Top with the Lite Cheddar and place on a bed of lettuce with condiments of your choice. I sided with sweet potato chips this time and it went really well with the burgers. Overall this is such a quick and delicious dinner, perfect for busy week nights.

  

Low fat dinner, happy tastebuds

Happy Monday everyone, I hope it’s not toooo bad! Over the weekend I surprised myself by making some things that were very low in fat and my husband actually liked..I know, hold for applause. I made a reduced guilt taco salad (minus the taco) and frozen yogurt dabs. I shop at Trader Joes but you can modify the ingredients for where you shop. I will start with the yogurt dabs because they are embarrassingly easy and should be done first to be put in the freezer for a few hours. I hope you give these a try and let me know if you make changes that I can try out the next time I make this! 

Yogurt Dabs

Ingredients 

  • Trader joes non fat pomegranate Greek yogurt 
  • Trader joes non fat black raspberry Greek yogurt
  • Parchment paper

Take a tablespoon and scoop enough yogurt to cover the spoon, then use your finger to slide yogurt onto parchment paper. Carefully life the paper (might want to use two people for this) and place on freezer for a few hours, they freeze pretty quickly. Take off of parchment paper and enjoy! ..told you it was easy. 

Reduced guilt taco salad

Ingredients

  • Lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • Trader joes reduced guilt guacamole made with Greek yogurt
  • Light sour cream
  • Trader joes taco seasoning 
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Mexican blend cheese 
  • Salsa or tomatoes 

Place meat on the stove, once it starts to brown add 1/4 package of taco seasoning (if you like it very strong add more) Wash romaine and place in bowls while meat cooks. When meat is ready spoon over the lettuce, top with the sour cream, guacamole and cheese. I did not add the salsa on mine because with no gall bladder it’s hard for me to eat spicy foods right now but normally I would add chunky salsa as well. This is so easy and quick to make but satisfying, perfect for busy parents and students. Now eat up!  

 

Run, mom, run!!

This is my first guest blog! Janice is a working momma of two whose article I was introduced to through a mutual friend. I won’t go into much detail as her article speaks for itself but I am so proud to be apart of a community of fit moms who give so much to their kids and their work, but also realize how important it us to for us to carve out time to work on ourselves and our health.

How to Be a Running Mom

By: Janice Bruce

I hear it all the time: “How do you do it?” Occasionally, someone is asking about my decadent mashed potatoes, but usually this has to do with my diligent running routine and how I am able to balance working and being a mom. Unlike many running moms, I think I had the benefit of already being a runner before I had kids.

I know it doesn’t come easily for everyone, though, and I have definitely struggled and sacrificed at times. Because running is so necessary for my sanity, I knew I needed to figure out a precise plan in order to be able to lace up my kicks multiple times a week. With 2 boys younger than 7, everything must be a coordinated effort.

Here is a rundown of how I manage it.

Always Be Ready

I know, you probably rolled your eyes when I mentioned a “precise plan.” When it comes to kids, everything is perfectly unplanned. I decided that the same goes for running. I tell myself, “I will get a run in some time today,” but I don’t always know when that will be, so I stay ready to dash out the door at any given time.

When my second was born, I was often doing my errands in my running clothes. I might drop the kids at swim lessons and run around the pool neighborhood. Or as soon as my wonderful husband came home from work, he took over kid duty for the next 30 to 45 minutes so I could work in my run for the day. (I should definitely mention that my partner in parenting has been hugely supportive, and I wouldn’t be able to juggle it all without him.)

Since returning to work, my routine has actually gotten a bit easier because the kids are at school or daycare all day and I run at lunchtime, then eat at my desk. On days when that doesn’t work out, I do sometimes find myself running as late as 10 o’clock at night. If you’re considering running alone very early or late, please take appropriate safety precautions or think about a gym membership. Here’s a bonus tip: Keep a backup set of shoes and clothes in your vehicle.

Pump Early & Often

I chose to breastfeed my little dudes. After learning everything I could about using and storing breast milk, I devised a plan. I pumped between 3 and 5 times a day because, remember, I didn’t know exactly when or for how long I would be gone on runs. While the duration of many of my runs wasn’t that long, sometimes my run times would coincide with feeding time. This would give my husband the ability to feed with or without me there. Another benefit of this was that I wasn’t always the one obligated to get up in the middle of the night, as we always had some milk stashed in the fridge.

The only time this didn’t work as well was on race days. Running a half marathon would mean that I would go up to 3 hours without pumping. To compensate, I pumped as soon as I woke up that morning around 4 a.m. I remember when my older son was just 7 months old, breakfast was in the car parked as close to the start line as we could manage while fellow racers were milling around waiting for the race to start. So learn the guidelines for milk storage, and save all you can.

Letting Go Sometimes

My best advice is probably to not stress out if you have to sacrifice something every so often. Take breaks when you need to. There will be a time when some other priority has to somehow fit into the schedule. For instance, I took a long break when I got a mommy makeover. As I said, I’ve been a runner a long time, and my athletic body was something I was proud of and really a part of my identity. Of course, pregnancy and breastfeeding brought changes. I suddenly had a lot of lumps and bulges that wouldn’t go away, even after a year and a half of diet and exercise.

I started reading up on surgical solutions and found this website from San Jose mommy makeover specialist Dr. Lepore. I realized I was going to need several weeks of downtime, and although I could gradually resume some exercise, I needed to keep it low-impact for a while. I decided this was something I wanted to prioritize, so I didn’t run for a few months. This little exercise in shifting gears helped make it easier to cope when other things came up, like the husband getting sick or school being canceled unexpectedly. I learned to let go a little and not beat myself up about skipping days.

I truly believe that running helps me be a better mom, so my family and I have found a way to make it a priority in our lives. With your loved ones’ support and some careful planning, you can make it a priority, too.