Magical Freckle Fruit Dip

magical freckle fruit dip

So I want Max to eat more fruit. He loves mandarin oranges and grapes and will pass on bananas and apples lately so I took those four fruits and added pineapple and strawberries (which are his second two favorites) to our fridge this week. Then I thought how am I going to get him to want to eat all of the fruits?? So I thought, a dip that he will help me make because that is what the specialist in feeding say to do!

Driving home from school yesterday I excitedly told him we were going to make a fruit salad and a dip tomorrow!! Yay!! He was less than impressed. I think he actually might have said, “boring”! I got a sad face and continued to think…what if I used chia seeds (Which are super healthy) and gave the dip freckles!!! So I asked Max if he knew what freckles were and he said, “yes, like Abby Cadabby” has on Sesame Street. I told him were going to make a MAGICAL FRECKLE FRUIT DIP and his eyes lit up!! Yay!! Last night before bed he asked if were still going to make the FRECKLE DIP! I was so excited, best idea I’ve ever had! Clearly!  The boy went to bed dreaming about it!

Fast forward to this morning and the dip making. He was semi into it. Mixed the magical freckles in with little enthusiasm but he did it.  Then he ate all of the fruit and tried the dip. See, the dip was just a ploy to get him to eat all the fruit. I knew my chances were low on the dip with him. But at least he ate all of the different kinds of fruit and not just his “favorites”. Ahh, exhausting. Bonus-mommy loves the dip and had some at lunch with my fruit salad! Here is a picture of him mixing in the magic!

freckle dip 5

 

How to make the dip:

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

2 tbsp. nut butter (I used pnb)

Whisk the yogurt and peanut butter together to get a smooth even texture

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp flax-seed meal

2 tsp magical freckles (aka chia seeds)

Mix around and store in fridge.

Enjoy and have fun!! If you don’t have kids you can still make this, as I said, I love it!!

xo-A

Oat cookies with almonds, cranberries and coconut flakes!

 

oat cookies 1

 

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees

In mixing bowl place:

1/2 c melted unsalted butter

1/4 c brown sugar

Beat gently with hand mixer and then add:

2 eggs

lightly beat with hand mixer

Then add:

1 1/2 c oats

1 1/2 c flour-I used millet

1 tsp baking soda or powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c dried cranberries

1/4 coconut flakes (unsweetened)

1/4 natural sliced raw almonds

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp honey

4 oz unsweetened applesauce

Stir well with spoon and then drop onto baking sheet 1 tbsp at a time

Bake for 10 to 12 min-let cool on cookie rack-then store in an air tight container

Next up, according to Max, we will make these but with peanut butter and jelly instead of coconut and almonds!

He helped make them but wasn’t thrilled with the taste/texture. I am still trying to get him to like oats in general! I however love them and plan on eating them post workout this week! Yes, that’s right post workout cookies!

These would be great to bring for the kids after the big game or for you to snack on during the game! Much better than chips and hot dogs from the concession stands! The little things matter! Chose wisely! You can even add chocolate chips to these if that will make them more appealing to the kids or adults!

Enjoy!

xoxo

A & Max

oat cookies collage

Savory & Smoky Hummus-a kid friendly food

Do you ever take the time to cook with your kids? It is a great thing to get them involved in at an early age. This is where their eating habits are formed and will only help them understand better why we need food (for fuel) vs. wanting food (for comfort or pleasure). Talk to them about balance and needing protein for muscles, carbs for energy-they will get it as they are super smart and want to learn anything you are willing to teach them!

Today I made hummus with my son who is 4. Does he love hummus? No, not really but he was super excited to get to make it with me. When we were done he scooped some up and even took another dip into it. This is the first step as some kids will love certain things right away and others will have to keep trying many times. I picked hummus to make with him because you can make it with so many different flavors and ways and it is quick and easy. This way he can keep trying maybe until we find one he absolute loves! The base of the hummus can be chickpeas or any white bean and the oil…. then add as you wish to create the flavor you want!

max hummus collage

Here is my recipe for the savory & smoky hummus we made today:

  • 1 15 oz can great northern beans-rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 c canola or olive oil (or a blend of the two)
  • 1/4 c sliced (skin off) cucumbers
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp grounded flaxseed
  • 2 tsp lime juice

Season sparingly with:

  • cinnamon
  • salt
  • pepper
  • red pepper flakes

***If you are not trying to serve this to your child you can go as crazy as you want with the spices and even add some hot sauce!

Place all ingredients in the food processor and pulse until creamy and smooth!

Store in the refrigerator. Use as a dip for pretzels, apples, crackers and veggies. You can even spread this on some toast or a rice cake!

max hummus 5max hummus 6

My son had so much fun doing this. I let him add every ingredient (even if he missed the processor and things got a little messy-you have to allow this!) He even smelled the mix after every ingredient was added! As a bonus he even read every word on the blender-on, off, pulse, mix etc.-it was too cute and I feel like he learned so much in the 15 minutes it took to make!

A very good friend of mine, whom I have learned a ton from, has a fantastic blog offering feeding tips, fun sensory play ideas and even some kid friendly nutritious recipes. This is a great resource for those of you with kids of any age struggling with picky eaters, questions about how to get babies to transition to whole foods and just how to improve your child’s eating habits in general!!!

This is the site: http://www.yourkidstable.com/

Here is a link to a jalapeno and basil hummus I made if you want to try that one:

https://awesomelikeadrienne.com/2013/08/04/homemade-jalapeno-basil-hummus/

Lastly, a friend suggested this recipe to me that her daughter loves oh so much!!

http://www.wholeliving.com/155624/lentil-hummus

Ok-now stop what you are doing and go spend some time with your kids making some hummus!

Be sure to “Like” my Facebook page for more ideas on everything fitness and food! Also look for me on Pinterest- Awesome Like Adrienne!

xo-A

Apples with Greek yogurt dip

Greek yogurt dip

 

Greek yogurt dip with honey, cinnamon and peanut butter

1 and a half cups of plain Greek yogurt

2 tsp peanut butter

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp honey

Mix well and serve with red and green apples-like I did for a holiday party or with any fruit on any day as a healthy snack. I think this would also be good to spread on toast in the a.m or eat by the spoonful like I could do because I love it so much!

***Can substitute pumpkin instead of peanut butter, or use almond, apple butter or pumpkin butter instead.

 

Enjoy!!
xoxoxo-A

Healthy Whole Grain Penne Pasta w/ ground lamb smothered in pesto garlic lemon sauce

penne with lamb and pesto
penne with lamb and pesto

What you will need:

8 oz Whole grain penne pasta

3/4 lb ground lamb-hard to find but so worth it!

1/2 c feta cheese

2 c spinach leaves

1/3 c pesto paste

1/4 lemon juice

1 cup pasta water

1/2 c skim ricotta cheese

2 tsp minced garlic

1/4 c chopped onion (white or spanish)

salt, pepper to taste

pine nuts to garnish

Optional: 1 c beef stock-mine was homemade from left over short ribs (celery, carrots, onion, basil, oregano and burgundy wine) I am pretty sure this contributed to the awesomeness but you should be fine with low sodium store-bought beef stock or without it at all. Lamb has a very powerful taste all on its own!!

Cooking Directions:

Cook lamb in skillet over med heat and drain fat

Cook pasta and set aside to cool-saving one cup of the pasta water for sauce

Add beef stock, garlic, onion, ricotta, feta, seasonings, pesto paste and  lemon juice to the lamb and mix together well

Let cook for 8 o 10 min on low to med heat then add in pasta water and pasta giving it all a good mix again

Lastly,  add spinach and pine nuts until all melted down and in together then serve

Warning!!! This smells divine from the minute you start to cook the lamb and you will want to taste it several times throughout the cooking process….its just so good!

(p.s. great for kids too! My 3 year old had 2 helpings!!)

(p.p.s remember portion control-you can eat this and not feel guilty about being what feels like  indulgent but remember to save some for lunch the next day!! )

Makes about 5 total servings and I served it with a tomato and feta salad dressed in olive oil and red wine vinegar!

Enjoy!

xoxo-A

 

@ home “craft sticks” workout!

I made these for my mother/daughter duo clients this evening! My friend saw this idea on Pinterest and passed it on to me! This was so much fun for me to get to do for them! I made them 16 different exercises and they can pick and choose how they want to tackle them. One set of colors at a time or pick 1 from each color, etc. It allows them to mix it up and not get bored. When they are “done” their stick goes into their “done” cup on display for all to see. Part of getting in shape and staying that way is feeling proud of yourself *** as you should!! I want them to be competitive with eachother-which no problem there, they always are with me-but having their own “done” cups will help at home!! These are great to do if you have little kids at home! They will like to pull the sticks for you and put them in the cup when you are done! Remember, lead by example for those kiddos are looking up to and learning from you!

It is so important to realize that changes to your body can and will occur if you make staying fit part of your lifestyle. Put your mind to it and don’t stop.  You will begin to love how you feel!!! Make it FUN!

It is something that you have to keep working at daily, weekly, monthly….. yearly. It is a never-ending maintenance program that you sign yourself up for so make it fun!

I did this one with no weights or accessories, etc. needed but you can make them work for you and where you are at in your fitness journey with free weights, bands, etc.

Enjoy!!!

xoxoxo-A

Baked Black Bean Pita Pockets

I love black beans! These can be made vegetarian if you like.  I added hot sausage to ours.

Ingredients:

Whole wheat pita pockets

1 can black beans

1/4 c chopped onion

1 c yellow pepper-or color of your choice

1 avocado

1/4 c shredded cheese

lime juice

olive oil

6 oz chopped meat-if you wish (chicken, pork or sausage)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and Combine all ingredients except for avocado and cheese in skillet. Heat in skillet for 12 min with lime juice and olive oil-tsp of each. Season with pepper, red pepper flakes, cilantro (and whatever spices you want)  Line the pockets thinly with smashed avocado and fill with the bean, veggie and meat mixture. Bake for 10 min then add hot sauce (if you wish) and cheese and bake for 5 more minutes.

Makes 3 servings or 6 half pockets

Total time 30 min-15 prep-15 bake

Enjoy!
xoxoxo-A

 

Is it ok for kids to “workout”?…..Yep!

Ok, don’t freak out….I don’t make Max lift weights but on this night before we went up to bed he grabbed mine (5 lbs each) and said “wait mommy I want to get big and strong first!” Of course I thought this was the best thing in the world because I want him to understand that lifting weights or running, whatever the movement is, that it is and should be normal and not the exception. I want him from this young age to enjoy physical activity and to talk about the nutritional benefits of what food he is eating. He is able to name different sources of proteins on the spot when asked, knows the difference between a “good carb and a bad carb” and has for some time now. I know, I’m too extreme right?  I don’t think so. Habits form now so now is the time to be extreme if that is what you want to call it. Check out some of exercises’ benefits and risk factors that I found while doing research for my personal training exam and decide for yourself!

Some benefits that I was not fully aware of that I found included improved brain function and memory along with a stronger immune system. Also, I believe most importantly, the building of confidence and self-esteem along with helping to ensure they maintain a healthy weight. Just one hour per day can achieve all of this. It even helps with depression and anxiety because exercise naturally makes you happy!

Some risks that I found were not many but one I focused on was the risk of “over doing it”. If you take a child that has been sedentary for quite some time and thrust them into vigorous physical activity the greater the chance of them getting injured will be. If weight/strength training then I would say that the risks will be lower if the strength training is supervised and focuses on slowly gaining muscle and flexibility. Weights can be started at age 7 or 8 as long as the child is able to follow the plan and directions that have been outlined to reduce the risk of injury. I would say it is definitely safe and effective best when taken lightly with more reps as the goal. A risk to exercise is always injury, I suppose, and in children you risk maybe stunting their growth if certain bones become broken. So its best to start out by playing, running, doing pull ups in the park or climbing, etc. Slowly build up the muscles, strength and flexibility to reduce the risk. Children should also be taught to stretch properly and warm up/ cool down to avoid injury. In conclusion there are great benefits to children exercising and the risks can be minimized with proper measures and guidelines.

Encourage your kids to workout or “kill it” as a family together! DFTBA!

Be A GREAT Role Model-even when you think no one is watching!

The best thing happened yesterday morning when I dropped Max off at school! Bella-his “girlfriend” saw me in my usual gym attire and asked me….. “do you go to the gym everyday?” This is great on so many levels!!! It reminded me that kids notice EVERYTHING and that we are influencing them ALL OF THE TIME! So yes I told Bella I go every single day that I can with a big smile! Who knows, I may be one of the people that she remembers from being 6 years old, seeing that smile on my face and knew it was because I was going to the gym! I hope so! I was proud of myself for setting a good example for Max and his school friends!

I have memories from when I was younger, around 12, of my Godmother, Judi, going to the Y and doing aerobics. I started to go too and remembered having so much fun! This I know for sure is my first fitness memory. That is always something I noticed and remembered about her, she LOVED the Y and still does! What a great role model for me and her 5 daughters! This is when it starts when we are little, we are shaped by our families until we grow up and get our own ideas. So, my point is think about what you are doing and who might be watching. You are shaping young minds everywhere you go and with everything that you do!   Good habits NEED to be formed at a young age! Little ones deserve to be set up for success. They don’t deserve to have to try to back pedal when they get older to rid themselves of bad habits that never needed to be formed in the first place…..at least that is what I think.

Mommys and daddys I know you are busy but I guarantee if you tag each other out 3 times a week for an hour each to make it to the gym you will be happier and less stressed! Exercise reduces stress and releases endorphins so give each other the gift of happiness a few times a week-an hour alone with no kids at the gym all to yourself!  Your kids (and other people’s kids) will notice and they will thank you for the new you, the new awesome you!  Be a GREAT ROLE MODEL & DFTBA!

xoxoxo-A

Snack time! Greek Yogurt w/ granola and fresh fruit!

My ABSOLUTE favorite snack! 1/2 c  Chobani plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup Organic High Protein Granola and 1/4 cup fresh fruit (this pic has a white nectarine with it).

Why Greek yogurt? It is the highest in protein -It is the King of all yogurts-nothing compares, low carbs, low sugar and naturally NO FAT. (To name a few)

The high protein granola I choose because it is packed with all kinds of goodies-soy flakes, oats, cranberries, sunflower seeds and flax seeds.

This snack is about 200 calories, 16 g protein, 12 g sugar, 4.5 g fat, 5 g fiber and 18 g carbs perfect for mid morning snack! I usually have this after my smoothie, dropping Max off at school and then going to the gym and or running…..about 3 hours after having my smoothie in the a.m.

My son loves this snack too! I feel its crucial to start our kids off eating right so they can have these good habits from the start and not be stuck, like many of us, trying to change bad habits 20, 30 or 40 years in the making! It is our responsiblity as parents to guide them. Now is the time.

If you think you don’t like yogurt or Greek yogurt-please I beg you to think again and give it another try. Sooooo good for you! You should care what your calories are made up of. What value do they bring to you and your day? Don’t just fill your body with calories-fill it with good for you calories!

Enjoy!

xoxoxo-A