Sunday, July 2, 2017

4 Quick and Easy Salad Ideas

Dinner time! Salads are so versatile and can easily be turned into a meal. 

Add in some blueberries, avocado, bacon, and carrots to your spinach or other greens of your choice and Voila! I love my salads to be tasty and full of goodness as shown below. And because there are so many variations, none of my salads are the same. 


I love salads because they are so easy to make and taste good. Salads don't have to be boring. An easy and quick side dish and a staple in my family on hot summer days is mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, EVOO, salt, and cracked pepper. It pairs well with grilled chicken or any meat of your choice. 


Another thing you can do is to replace the cucumbers with avocados for a healthy fat. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture for the next salad because it was gobbled up and I forgot to take a picture. So I have in it's place, the recipe. I am pretty sure you can get an idea of all of the the ingredients in the other salads posted. 

Avocado and Tomato Mozzarella Salad

2 avocados (cubed)
2 - 3 tomatoes (cubed)
1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese (cubed)
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. basil
salt & pepper

Mix and enjoy. Chill for 30 minutes or so if you want the flavors to blend more.

The best thing about salads is that they don't require lots of prep or even the oven if you choose not to turn it on. We love using spinach in place of the lettuce because it contains more nutritional value than ice burg lettuce. We also don't typically use argula or kale in our salads, but that is just a personal preference. 

Some of our salads are more interesting and creative such as this salad.


It is simply spinach topped with grilled and shredded chicken with couscous. Then I drizzled EVOO on top and used a little bit of sea salt and cracked pepper. It doesn't look as pretty but it sure tasted good.

What about you? Are you a salad fan? If so, what is your favorite salad to eat?

- Michelle 

Monday, June 19, 2017

2 Foods that Help with Muscle Soreness

This week has been a dozy in activities and the added stress has made recovery a little slower. To help aid in my recovery, there are a few foods that I  like to call upon especially when I am training hard.

1. Watermelon


Research has shown that the specific amino acid known as L-Citrulline, naturally occurring in watermelon, may help improve blood flow, while also reducing arterial pressure. According to a small study conducted in Spain on the bioavailability of L-Citrulline, athletes were given watermelon juice as part of their fluid-replacement regimen. Preliminary data shows that those participants that consumed the juice after a 24-hour period had a reduction in muscle soreness and recovery.


For a refreshing drink, place chopped melon in a blender with ice, lime juice, and sugar substitute such as stevia or agave nectar (to taste) for a tasty afternoon refresher or you can try my DIY Watermelon and Coconut Sports Drink

2. Cherry Juice



Concentrated tart cherry juice is my main go-to. Most grocery stores or Sams/Costco now carry tart cherry juice. Tart cherries are rich in phytonutrients and anthocyanins. They have natural anti inflammatory properties which fight free radicals, repair cell damage, and block the inflammation-causing enzymes which your body produces during exercise. Drinking tart cherry juice helps to reduce muscle pain following long runs or hard workouts, and aids in recovery. Tart cherries also contain melatonin which helps with falling asleep quicker and improves sleep quality.


Cherry juice tastes great blended into a healthy smoothie or mixed with apple juice.

 Have you ever tried a drink made with watermelon or tart cherry juice?

-Michelle

Monday, June 12, 2017

Why BCAAs are Great

Summer is here! Amber and I have been really busy. We got back from church camp on Thursday night.  Amber had her twin's birthday party and Vacation Bible School has just started for my church. 

As busy moms, we have to have some tricks up our sleeves, so that we have enough stamina to get everything done because naps are hardly an option. That is why I turn to Momsanity BCAAs. Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. 


BCAAs are great for several reasons. Research shows that they help with many issues beside pshyic and performance. 

BCAAs or Branch chain amino acids contain leucine, isoleucine and valine, which are essential building blocks of muscle.  Even though they occur naturally in the body, they can be depleted by stressors in our everyday life and through exercise.

Incorporating BCAAs in our diet helps promote muscle growth and encourages the fat burning process. They encourage muscle endurance, blunt fatigue, help with insulin sensitivity, and helps increase our mental clarity. 

      These amino acids are a busy mom’s best friend. Cortisol is an stress hormone that contrary to popular belief is good for protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism. But most of us produce too much of it.  Higher levels of cortisol increase our blood sugar resulting in fat storing and muscle metabolism.Studies show that they can help lower cortisol  levels, which can decrease cravings and hunger caused by our Ghrelin hormones, which are triggered by stress and higher amounts of cortisol. 



BCAAs are also good for our brain because they are precursors to our brain's stimulating glutamate, and the relaxation neurotransmitter (GABA). These means that by balancing the stimulating and relaxation response in our brains, we can help stop the craving before they start, 

I Love Momsanity BCAAs because they are naturally sweetened with Stevia, Erythritol,  and Monk Fruit , and contain nothing artificial. They come in two great flavors, Fruit Punch and Cherry Lime, but they will be releasing a third flavor soon! 

Do you take BCAAs on a daily basis? If so, do you prefer pill or drink form?

-Michelle


Monday, May 29, 2017

Happy Memorial Day. WE LOVE YOU AMERICA!!



As TWO military veterans that write this blog, I will speak for Michelle and say, WE LOVE YOU AMERICA.

Michelle and I (and Michelle's hubby) both know many of the feelings that this video below portrays. I did a tour in Iraq as a paratrooper along side many young men and women who I,  still to this day, am proud to have served beside and call family. Thank you from the bottoms of our hearts to any and all that served before us, along side us and after us. We love you, and we love AMERICA!!

Check out this beautiful tribute to our many heros on YouTube. Also, grab a tissue. I made it about 15 seconds.

Amber

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Irresistible Coconut Vanilla Cupcakes

Irresistibly fluffy and super yummy healthy vanilla cupcakes. 

This recipe is just a simple vanilla cupcake recipe that I changed to make a little healthier. 

I love cupcakes. My kids love cupcakes. Everyone I know loves cupcakes!! 
Who doesn't love cupcakes? I mean, seriously. 

When I cook or bake, I try my best to switch up any ingredients I can in the recipes to make whatever I'm cooking better my family. I have growing kids at home and I don't want their bodies full of junk all the time!!

I am by no means a "health freak" and no, I don't always feed my kids healthy food. I know these cupcakes aren't vegan or gluten free or freakishly healthy in some other way and ya know what

That's okay with me. 

I am just a mom who is trying to do better at feeding her family by switching up some ingredients in normal everyday recipes that I find in cookbooks or on Pinterest or wherever! 

Now, on to the cupcakes!!!
I don't use "real" sugar when I make these. I love coconut sugar and you can substitute it on a 1:1 ratio. Which means you can use it exactly like regular sugar. Say what! Yep, I said it.


I find the best deal on coconut sugar at Sam's. I live in the southern part of Missouri and we don't have Costco. I'd kill for a Costco...  Seriously. 
Costco....ya hear me. What do I need to do?? Huh?? Would you please come to the Ozarks already?!?!

So, anyhooo
The "sugar" is made from the palm of the coconut tree. 
Coconut sugar is also sometimes called coconut palm sugar. It's made from the sap of the coconut plant!

It's a two step process. 

A cut is made in the flower of the coconut palm so that the sap or liquid can be collected and then it's heated up till the water evaporates. 

You end up with something that looks like this:


It's. So. Good.

Coconut Sugar also contains some key vitamins and minerals like Iron, Zinc, Calcium and Potassium, along with antioxidants, short chain fatty acids and polyphenols!   

The original recipe calls for white sugar.  I just use coconut. However, if you are still a tiny bit afraid just use half and half. I've also done that when I was running low on coconut sugar. 

Replace the butter with coconut oil 1:1

And use pink Himalayan sea salt instead of regular salt. 
Like, always. ❤️



 Seriously, don't use iodized salt.
 There's nothing good left in it after all the processing and chemical adding (that's why it's only​ $.50). Read more here:

I love, LOVE, luuuuuvvvvv, this vanilla. It's REAL vanilla not a fake imitation. Just the smell of it makes me all happy inside. And as life will teach you, ain't nothing good that's fake. 
Am I right?! Huh? Yep. 
Did I tell you I love this vanilla?


There are so many options out there for changing up a simple cake recipe and making it healthier. This isn't the only way and it probably isn't the best way but we sure LOVE them. 
If you try them out let us know. 

We love ya!
Amber


 Coconut Oil Vanilla Cupcakes


PRINT RECIPE

Coconut Sugar Cupcakes
Delicious cupcakes made using Coconut Oil and Coconut sugar
Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1.5 Cups Coconut Sugar
  • 4 or 6 egg whites Eggs, large
  • 1 Tablespoon Bourbon Vanilla
  • 2 3/4 Cup Cake Flour or All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
  • 1 Cup Milk, any kind will work
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350F Lightly grease or line your cupcake pan 
2. In a large bowl beat the oil and sugar together for about 3 mins or until nice and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each.
3. Beat in the vanilla
4. Combine, in a separate bowl, the dry ingredients Flour, baking powder and Salt Stir with a whisk to mix
5. Add the dry ingredients to the oil/sugar mixture and alternate with the milk, mixing well after each addition
6. Fill the cupcake pan 2/3 full and bake for 23-25 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool and frost with your fav frosting!
Details

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Busy Mom Fitness

The dishes are piling up, the clean clothes pile is getting smaller while the dirty clothes grow into a mountain in your laundry room. You are overwhelmed. Your days are jammed packed of stuff that needs to get done and your energy levels are almost non-existent.


You may wonder to your self, how am I supposed to fit in exercise? Well, as busy moms, we have to make time or it won't get done. Their will always be something just vying for our attention or pulling us in another direction. Truth is, it is a rat race and as soon as we do the dishes, they magically appear back in the sink, and we will find our self back at the grocery store soon after going shopping because kids turn into carnivorous little beings. But we only have one body. And if we are running our self ragged, who is going to do our job if we can't. 

As hard as it is to find time to take care of our self, it is much needed. It may take a while, but we will start feeling better and have more energy to do what we need to do, because #momlife is a 24 hour job.

On those craziest of days, where we are going non-stop from sunrise to sundown, we can fit in little spurts of moving our body such as lunges, squats, wall sits, calf raises, jumping jacks, and stretching. It all adds up and can make a big difference. You can incorporate exercises into your day as you cook dinner, while waiting for the kids to get ready for bed, at soccer games, or when ever you have the time. 

When we have a little more time, HIIT workouts are a great way to get in a good workout in as little as 15-20 minutes if you don't have the time to hit the gym or go for a run. They can be done in the comfort of your own home.  As I mentioned in this post, metabolic exercises are a busy mom's best friend.  With so many responsibilities and things to get done throughout the day, fitting in time to be active and taking care of yourself shouldn't be an added stress. 

To help you get some ideas, here are a couple of workouts you can do at home, in your pjs and with bed hair/no makeup. It is a judge free zone, lol! You can modify or add your own moves based at where you are at in your fitness level. These workouts out really do help. In fact, I am using the workouts that I have shared in my health coaching business that have gotten some good reviews. 






Try them out and let me know what you think. What are some ways you fit in fitness on the craziest of days? 

Mom life can be stressful! Here is how De from FaithFueled Moms combines faith and fitness to cope with stress.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

- Michelle



Saturday, May 13, 2017

10 of Our FAVORITE DIY Gifts for Mother's Day

First off, I'd like to introduce myself. I'm Amber and my sweet and beautiful friend Michelle has had this blog way before we became friends. She's good at it too! We just seem to have so much fun together and ALWAYS seem to be lost (more on this later), or running ( training for a 50 mile!!), or completely goofing off and always on some sort of adventure.

We thought others would enjoy our craziness and  might want to come along and see exactly what happens in our crazy, busy, mom's of 3, Ozark life's. Whew, that was a mouthful.

So, now here we go with my Mother's Day post. I absolutely love being a mom. Michelle and I have both said how it's the most wonderful job in the whole world. There really isn't anything I'd rather do during the day. My twins will go to kindergarten next year and I'm getting teary eyed just thinking about it. Life. Is. Fast.

I've come to realize through the years that no one loves you like your babies do. Those sweet little eyes that look up to you for all the answers, to heal all the ouchies, to provide all of the cuddles and to give them all the love in your whole heart.

Mom's can turn grey sky's blue, heartaches to stepping stones and make someone's mean words hurt a little less. Yes, us mom's have a hard job. We always seem to be cleaning, always cooking, always folding that never ending laundry pile ( that we FINALLY remembered to dry).

Yes, we are tired. Yes, we are stressed. Yes, sometimes we do want to run away. But we don't. We love. We give more than we have and push ourselves harder than we should.

It's true that no one loves you like your babies. That's why we do it.  Because no one will ever love you the way your momma does.

1. I love this idea! Make your momma a personalized Coffee mug with sharpie. So sweet and so simple. Check it out here: http://modernparentsmessykids.com/mothers-day-diy-queen-bee-mug/


2. I would love to have this sweet little tray made by my sweet little. 


3. FREE PRINTABLE BOOK!! Doesn't get much cuter than this. 


4. FREE PRINTABLE keepsake page. One for grandma and one for mom.


5.Foot Print Stool 


6. Cute Gardening Set


7. Mason Jar Frame and Vase


8. Handprint Flower tea towels


9. Yummy relaxing homemade sugar scrub.Yes, please! 


10. In my opinion (as a mom of three) something like this is just as special as any gift I could receive. FREE Printable!! 


Happy mother's day to all of our sweet mommy readers out there. We love ya!

Amber