Valentine’s Day Hearts- Chocolate Chip Banana Paleo Muffins


I was thrilled to come across this heart shaped mini cake pan during a recent shopping trip, and knew I could put it to good use. With Valentine’s Day approaching in a few days, I was determined to find something healthy, yet delicious and fun, to make for the kids. And of course, the husband!

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I used this recipe from one of my favorite Paleo Blogs, and added a heart shaped strawberry slice to the middle. The only modification is I didn’t use walnuts, and I decreased the baking time to about 15-18 minutes.

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The kids loved them, and it was a nice little surprise for Valentine’s Day breakfast!

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I’m not leaving you hanging…

It’s been a heck of a busy week.  We are all finally over being sick, Josh had a huge event at the Academy this past weekend, I began the switch to a new host for my blog, then decided against it and switched it back to wordpress.  For now, anyway.  My blog has been growing, and I’d sort of like some more capabilities on here, so I’d love to hear suggestions from those with more than just a free blog site. 

With that being said, I have a lot of great ideas to get up on here.  Some of these idea’s include more meal plans, a few new recipe’s I’ve tried, swimsuit season diet tips/meal plans, toddler meal plans which will also include gluten free eating, and more crock pot freezer meals.  I am also still trying to get infant/toddler lesson plans together.  This is probably my most requested, yet I sort of just do my own thing and don’t always have an exact “plan.”

Everything else is going great, both business have been booming, the kids are happy and healthy, and we are already planning the boys 1st birthday!  I’ll have THREE toddlers in just a few short weeks.  Yikes.  Time for more babies!

Paleo Thin Mints (Just like the Girl Scout Cookies)- And no, it’s not April Fools!


It’s a rare Thursday night. I took all three kids shopping all day. We went to the mall, Toys R Us, and the grocery store. We had a blast! When I got home, it was a scramble to get everyone fed and in their jammies. As I was cleaning up the boys from dinner, Aerie asked me if she could go to bed. It was only 7:00. She’s usually up until 10:30-11:00. She has been under the weather though, so it’s not completely unusual. Still, I’m missing my cuddle time with her that we usually have after the boys go to bed. We cuddle up and talk about the day. She tells me her favorite parts of the day, and what she wants to do the next day. She usually makes me get out of bed and do some ballet moves with her. We plié and sashay for a while, then cuddle up again and chat until Josh gets home. Then we hide from him under the covers, and she giggles hysterically as Josh is trying to “find” us. She’s such a sweet little thing.

Anyway, it’s now 8:30pm and I’m at the beginning of my husband-less weekend and all three kids are in bed. That NEVER happens. So I’m sitting here texting a good friend, eating dinner, and surfing the web for Paleo recipes. I live a wild and crazy life, I know!

While surfing the web, I came across this recipe, and it’s too good to be true! I was going to wait to blog about this until I actually made them, but I’m in the beginning of a 21 day sugar detox. If it wasn’t for this sugar detox, I would have already packed up all three kids, hopped in the car, and went back to the grocery store just for some mint extract. Everything else is already in my pantry. But with information this good, I just couldn’t hold out on you all.

Oh, and before anyone gets offended, I’m NOT saying you shouldn’t support the Girl Scouts. They rock! Buy up their cookies and give them away. Send some to the troops. Donate some to a food bank. It’s like two good deeds in one. But then go make yourself some guilt free, yummy, good for your (body and) tummy Paleo style Thin Mints.

Hurry. Go check out the recipe on the Fed & Fit website (cool name!), and get to baking!

Have I mentioned, I’m excited?!! Now go make some, and tell me how good they are!!

DIY Individual Smoothie Packs

Aeriella began a new season of gymnastics this week. Since she is now in the older class, we have to have her there by 9am. This will make for a quick, on the go breakfast, especially since she normally doesn’t wake up until 8:30. Obviously, my first “go-to” choice for a quick breakfast that will fuel her enough for gymnastics, but not sit heavily in her stomach is a smoothie. Sometimes it’s so time consuming to get out all the different things I need to make a smoothie. The different fruits/veggies (washed and cut) that I’m going to use, ice to make it thicker, nut butter, milk, other additives such as flax or wheat germ. Then blending it up, and putting away all the things I got out to put in it. It could take as long as whipping up a few eggs and sausage. This momma’s busy, I’ve gotta save some time.

Then I got to thinking, why can’t I pre-freeze my smoothie ingredients the same way I do my freezer meals? Hmm.

So this is what I did…

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I didn’t really do any specific measurements, just filled ziplock bags with various ingredients. Do you notice a common theme? They ALL contain a green veggie! Spinach and Kale are my favorite’s to use in smoothies. You can use a whole handful and it doesn’t interfere with the sweetness of the fruit. Another added bonus of freezing the fruits/veggies ahead of time is since they are frozen, I won’t have to use any ice cubes to thicken it, which also won’t water it down. All I really have to do is add milk and blend. I will probably add some nut butter and flaxseed most of the time for her. Or for me, I’ll throw in some protein powder. But still, so much easier, with a lot less prep/clean up.

This morning I grabbed a berry/kale blend, added almond milk, cottage cheese and flaxseed. Aerie loved it, especially since it was purple from the blackberries and blueberries. Purple is her favorite color, so she kept saying “My smoothie is purple, Momma. I like it!” Made her happy. She even asked for another one when we got home from gymnastics.

Speaking of gymnastics, she bumped up to the 2.5 year old class this season. She’s a few months away from being 2 ½, but her teacher last season said she’d be better suited in the bigger class. She did really well, and she definitely is quite a little athlete. I was amazed at how well she rocked the balance beams this time since they add more obstacles to them in the older class. She has no fear of jumping off really high things, and does surprisingly well at landing on her feet. Of course she rocked the trampoline, too. She LOVES to jump. I was really proud that she listened and stayed right on the big X in the middle of the trampoline instead of bouncing all over the place. I love watching how coordinated she is in things such as jumping jacks, kangaroo jumps, and things like that. I was a little worried about the older class, but she did great. We still have to work on waiting patiently for her turn, but she will get it.

Okay, so get to those freezer bags of smoothies. Add all your favorite things. Make sure to wash your fruit if you are using fresh fruit (which I recommend). You can also buy frozen fruit, but it may have added sugar, it will also cost more money, and not taste as good as just freezing fresh fruit.

Next week when I buy more of a variety of fruit, I will post a blog on some of my favorite smoothie recipe’s. You know, with fun things like pineapples and coconuts and stuff. Stay tuned!

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4 Asian-Inspired Gluten Free (Paleo) Crockpot Freezer Meals

Two things. I’m in an Asian kind of mood, and I have some chicken and beef broth to get rid of before it goes bad. Originally I was going to do a blog on 7 crockpot freezer meals. As I started to prep, I realized that the first 4 were Asian meals. Therefore, I’m going to stop with the 4 meals and feature just the Asian-inspired meals. I’ll do another 7 day one later when my taste buds allow me to showcase more variety.

Of course, these are all gluten free (as long as you choose the correct ingredients). They can also fit right into your Paleo/Primal lifestyle depending on how strict you are (I will occasionally use things such as brown sugar in a recipe, but only every once in a while). All of these meals are super delicious and easy, so even if you’re not following a gluten free diet, you will still enjoy them. You can cut costs down by doing regular soy sauce instead of the organic gluten free soy sauce, or also substitute regular soy sauce for the coconut amino’s.

General Tso’s Chicken
Paleo Honey Sesame Chicken
Paleo Sesame Beef
Pineapple Chicken (adapted from http://foodpinsnow.com/?p=1228)
4 large chicken breasts
1 medium chopped onion
1/2 cup organic chicken broth
3 TBSP coconut amino’s
1/2 fresh, cored pineapple in it’s natural juice
shredded unsweetened coconut to top (optional)
Add all ingredients to crock pot except shredded coconut. Cook on high for 4 hours. Once you have it on your plate, top with a little shredded coconut.

When you prepare, just put all of your ingredients in a ziplock freezer bag, label directly on the bag the name of the recipe, if there is anything else you need to add, and how long it takes to make.

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Told ya I was in a “Chinese” food kind of mood! It’s funny because I haven’t had Chinese food in the longest time. I have a personal love for Shrimp Fried Rice and General Tso’s Chicken (the spicier, the better). But with each pregnancy (I swear, I feel like I’ve been pregnant for the past 3 years…but I pretty much have been!) I was always turned off by the thought of Chinese food. Looks like my taste buds are coming back… and I’m so happy to have found options that are not only much healthier, but also fit within the guidelines that I like to eat. Oh, and they’re quick and easy to prepare, and when it comes time to cook, your crock pot does all the work!

I usually end up making about 2 crock pot meals a week, so I don’t know which two I’ll have this week yet (I also have a good old fashioned roast in a freezer bag, too). But one thing’s for sure… I plan on pairing most of these up with lightly steamed broccoli. There’s something about Chinese food that makes firm, bright green broccoli a necessity. Oh, and hopefully I’ll find some time to whip up some delicious cauliflower fried “rice.” There are many other easier versions of cauliflower “rice” out there, but this one is worth all the time it takes to make. Absolutely delicious. I think I’ll make it with the General Tso’s Chicken.

This Weeks Meal Plan, Recipe’s, and More

As promised, here is a meal plan of what I (and the family) am eating this week. I am putting down mainly what I’m eating, but the rest of the family (boys and all) eat very similar but will have some other items added to their meals, such as fruit, and limited grains. I’ll try to add that in as I go through. If you are currently eating Paleo, I’m sure you know that it’s not too hard to get your family to do the same as long as you are creative with recipes. If the rest of your family is not Paleo, it’s easy to at least have them eat the main dish, and switch out sides if necessary.

And because I have some extra time, I will also add in links to recipes I used for this week.
Let’s start out here. This is what part of my kitchen looks like in the midst of getting the entire week’s meals prepped at once.

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You will see a few freezer meals that I will pop in the crock pot, as well as some dishes that I will refrigerate and bake when it’s time. I have actually cooked things ahead of time in the past and refrigerated or froze them until it was time to eat, but I prefer eating my foods fresh, right out of the oven (or crock pot). But I will still actually cook some meals ahead of time if I know it’s going to be a hectic week.

The freezer/crock pot meals are the easiest. Simply add all the ingredients to a ziplock freezer bag and either freeze or refrigerate. I always label on the outside of the bag what it is, cooking time, and if I need to add anything extra to it. I always have a few spare ones in my fridge just in case. You can always put frozen stuff in the crock pot, or defrost it overnight in the refrigerator. Tastes great either way!

I’ll admit, it’s messy and time consuming, but it sure makes up for making meals from scratch each day, and definitely saves time over the course of the week. It takes some planning, especially when you are starting out. But I have our whole weeks meals prepped in under 2 hours. Now, don’t expect to jump into it your first time and have everything done that quickly. I’m not going to lie to you, when I first started prepping meals for the week, it took me A LOT of time. But I’ve learned how to multi-task in the kitchen, and how to put things together much quicker as I got more experience with it.

Monday:
Breakfast- 2 eggs and 1 egg white, 4pc turkey bacon
Lunch- 2 slices of sweet potato pizza (this mess calls for its own blog post)
Dinner- Stuffed Peppers (I used ground beef intead of sausage, but either is good. Even ground turkey tastes good)
Tuesday:
Breakfast- Chicken and Apple Hash
Lunch- Chicken Salad over Spinach
Dinner- Balsamic Chicken and Broccoli
Wednesday:
Breakfast- 2 eggs and 1 egg white, 2 turkey sausage patties
Lunch- Leftover Balsamic Chicken and Broccoli
Dinner- Meatloaf, sweet potato fries, broccoli (I make a BBQ meatloaf. I sort of just made this one up… 1 lb ground beef, 1 small chopped onion, 1/4 cup grated cauliflower, 2 egg whites, 1/4 cup BBQ sauce, dash of pepper. Mix all together and form into a loaf. Place in a baking dish [top with a little extra BBQ sauce if you wish] and bake at 375 for about 25-30 min or until done. You can use any kind of BBQ sauce, but here is a recipe for Paleo BBQ sauce.)
Thursday:
Breakfast- Coconut fried Tilapia (everyone else will have eggs, fruit and turkey sausage)
Lunch- 1 cup chicken salad and ¼ cup walnuts
Dinner- Pineapple Chicken and broccoli (I will add quiona to the kids meals and to Josh’s if he wants it)
Friday:
Breakfast- Peach/Pecan Scramble
Lunch- Leftover Pineapple Chicken
Dinner- Salmon, Broccoli, and maybe Paleo Biscuits (baked sweet potato for Josh and the kids). I haven’t decided which variation of spices I will use for Salmon yet. I have a lot of delicious Salmon recipes pinned on Pinterest if you would like to check them out.
Saturday:
Brunch- chicken salad, hardboiled eggs, fresh fruit salad
Dinner- Breaded Coconut Fried Chicken, sweet potato fries, broccoli
Sunday:
Brunch- Eggs, leftover coconut fried chicken, fresh fruit salad
Dinner- Steamed Shrimp, sweet potato fries, broccoli

As you can see, we eat a lot of chicken. It’s our go-to meat of choice. Josh doesn’t eat pork, so I rarely make it. Also, you will see A LOT of broccoli in this week’s meal plan. That is not a norm, but I couldn’t find many veggies this time at the grocery store that I wanted, so I just stuck with broccoli.

It’s also worth mentioning that I don’t prepare my sides ahead of time. I really don’t add anything to my veggies anyway, so I just steam them when it’s time to eat. It doesn’t take long. They also make steamer bags of veggies that you just pop in the microwave to save you from having an extra steamer basket, pot to clean. I am a big fan of roasting veggies though, and will do that on occasion with a few spices and olive oil.

I didn’t list snacks in here, but yes I (we) eat them. Depending on when I work out, I will have a protein shake immediately following my workout, which just consists of 1 ½ scoops of protein and water. I also have another snack throughout the day, usually consisting of hard boiled eggs, ¼ cup of raw nuts, tuna, or a trail mix I make where I mix together the following ingredients: Slices almonds, raisens, vegan chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, and unsweetened coconut flakes. That is my favorite combination, but you can really use any combo of nuts/seeds. Fresh fruit is also a great snack choice, but I always recommend eating it with some other source of protein.

I hope this post was beneficial to you if you are interested in exploring the world of Paleo, or if you just want to save time by planning and putting together your meals ahead of time. All of my meal programming is done by me. I hope to have a 30 day freezer menu plan to share on here or on Pinterest in the future, but until then, I’ll try to post some weekly ones to give you fresh ideas.

Afterthought- As I re-read through this week’s menu, it is pretty boring. I’m sorry! I promise to make the next one a little more exciting with some more variety. I have a lot of other delicious recipes to share, and next time I decide to post a weekly meal plan, I’ll make it a bit more interesting. But remember, eating isn’t for enjoyment. It’s to fuel your body properly. Feed it well and it will treat you well. Feed it poorly and you will feel the effects of it. Exhaustion, depression, anxiety, poor immunity, and a laundry list of diseases/illnesses can be a direct result of what you eat. Take it from me, I have infant twins and a toddler. I feel great and am never exhausted. I drink limited caffeine and the only supplements I take are a multivitamin and fish oil. Eating great will not only transform your body into one you love, but it will also (and more importantly) make you feel better and have energy to tackle every day life.

Sweet Potato Pizza Crust. Um, yeah…

So, I found this recipe on Pinterest for Sweet Potato Pizza Crust. It looked easy enough, and I like to add at least one new recipe a week into my menu. I figured I’d give it a try this week. Big fail. Well, sort off. Well, no, really, it was a fail.

I even followed the directions. I didn’t make any adaptations to the crust recipe. It called for cheese, and even though I don’t eat cheese too often, I used it anyway. I figured I’d try the recipe exactly how it was supposed to be made, then make changes the next time.

This is what the pizza crust looked like before I baked it.

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If you have clicked the link to look at the recipe, you will see that it said to bake it 25-30 minutes, or until the outside of the crust is golden and the center is firm. I did that. I even baked it an extra 10 minutes to make sure. Then I added my toppings. I used pizza sauce from Trader Joes, and I roasted a tomato, red onion, garlic and olive oil combination, and added some chopped cauliflower, broccoli and red peppers. I didn’t add any extra cheese on top. Then I put it back in the oven for about 15 more minutes. This is what it looked like when it was finished.

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I always forget that I don’t have a pizza cutter. I HAD one, but Josh threw it away because it didn’t match the kitchen. I kept it in the drawer anyway, but since it didn’t technically “match,” he threw it away. He did this with an old toaster and waffle maker, too. He’s crazy. Anyway, as I cut into it with a steak knife, I knew I wasn’t going to like it. The center was still soft. It was definitely an “eat it with your fork” type of pizza. Josh said it was good. Aerie ate it and the boys LOVED it. I didn’t really like it. I’m honestly not a big sweet potato fan anyway, plus it was mushy, which accentuated the sweetness of the sweet potato. The toppings were delicious though!

If I make this again, or if you are going to give it a try, I would suggest making your crust a little thinner than what the recipe suggests (I believe they want it to be about ½ inch thick, but I personally think that was a bit too thick). I would also maybe add a bit more almond flour, but cut down on the sweet potato. And maybe add a little more of the spices. Just a little. I honestly think it could do without the cheese, too. At first I thought they used the cheese for consistency, but I think the combination of mashed sweet potatoes, eggs and almond flour will hold it together nicely on its own.