Fit 'N' Well Mommy

Being a mommy doesn't always mean sacrifice

Happy Halloween and What I Ate Wednesday! October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween! Since it is Wednesday, it is time to link up with Jenn for What I Ate Wednesday!

Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

Instead of just focusing on today’s eats, I thought I would do a roundup of what I ate the past few days, especially, since I haven’t talked much about them.

On Sunday night, I made spaghetti squash tomato bake with turkey, using cheddar cheese, instead of mozzarella (I forgot to include mozzarella on my grocery list for the week). I actually liked the cheddar cheese better, because it was much more flavorful!

Before it was baked.

Just out of the oven!

We have also enjoyed our “usual breakfast” (having it on Monday and this morning).

The usual, but always good!

For lunches the past couple of days, I have been eating my new favorite dish: microwave egg whites in a mug on top of a bed of spinach with tomatoes, avocado and salsa. Keenan has been enjoying “cheesy egg” and turkey and cheese sandwiches.

So good and so satisfying!

Since we had so much leftover spaghetti squash, we have eaten it the past couple of nights for dinner (finally finishing it last night). I just love making big casseroles that last a few days. It makes dinners SO easy!

On the menu for tonight is Chinese long beans with Italian Sausage and mushrooms added. It should be good! I figure a nice veggie loaded one-pot meal will be perfect for tonight, since we will probably snack on some popcorn while watching a movie, while passing out candy.

Speaking of popcorn, I can’t forget to mention that Keenan and I have been snacking on some wonderful salted caramel popcorn from Angie’s Popcorn, that we received a couple of days ago (look for a review and giveaway coming soon!).

SO incredibly good!

Since we are going trick-or-treating tonight, I still have a lot to do, including going to CrossFit to do today’s WOD (I went to the box this morning to do some skill work of strict presses, push presses, handstand pushups and double unders), so I’m going to keep today’s post short. Also, my mom is here, to go trick-or-treating with us and spend the night (which Keenan is SO excited about!), so I better get going!

Questions: What are your plans for tonight? What have you been eating the past few days?

FINAL REMINDER: The Artisana giveaway ends tonight at 8 p.m. PST!! To enter, click here.

 

Healthy Halloween Tips

I can’t believe tomorrow is Halloween and then we are into November! The holidays are going to be here before we know it…crazy! I love the holidays and I can’t wait to see everything through Keenan’s eyes this year, but I’m just not quite there, yet. There are so many things going on between now and the holidays, it is hard to think that far ahead! Does anyone else feel that way?

Anyhow, onto today, “Halloween Eve:” We started our day off with toasted leftover paleo pancakes! I think they are actually better toasted! Keenan topped his with pumpkin butter and a little maple syrup. I topped mine with yogurt and strawberries. In the spirit of Fall, I made myself a pumpkin pie latte…so good!

Yum!

We also started our day with a new spin on potty training: an “Elmo” potty chart! Every time Keenan goes number one on the potty, he gets a stamp, and when he goes number two, he gets a sticker to place on his chart. My mom gave Keenan an Elmo Potty Time” coloring book a while back. The book came with a potty chart and stickers, but Keenan wasn’t ready to use it at the time . Yesterday (out of the blue), Keenan mentioned the potty chart, along with the stickers, so I thought it was time to give it a try. Today, he got four stamps! He was pretty excited to get his stamps, so I am hoping the chart with help (fingers crossed!). I’m going to give this a couple of weeks and if it doesn’t work, I think we will try the “pant-less” method. I’ll keep you posted…

Hopefully “Elmo” and his potty chart will work its’ magic!

Since we so busy yesterday (and Keenan has been so tired lately, getting up between 8 and 8:30 a.m!), we stayed home this morning and played. I had some watercolor paints, so I thought it would be fun to show Keenan how to use them and paint some pictures. He didn’t quite grasp the whole concept of dipping your brush into the water first, then the paint and, finally, painting on the paper. He kept wanting to take the paints out of the package and use them as finger paints! Needless to say, we didn’t do any painting. Instead, we played in his sandbox and cuddled with Slinky!

Putting toys on Slinky!

Cuddling!

To get Keenan ready for Halloween and trick-or-treating, I have been talking to him about what to say, but for some reason, it hasn’t sunk in. He knows that carrying his pumpkin bucket equals candy, but saying “trick-or-treat” is another story! He keeps getting “knock knock” jokes confused with saying “trick-or-treat,” because when I asked him earlier today about what to say when he rings the door bell when trick-or-treating, tomorrow, night, he said, “knock knock!” I laughed so hard; it was too funny!

Speaking of Halloween, Keenan seems to be fixated on having candy! After our MOMs Club Halloween party on Friday, he kept asking to have candy. So, tomorrow shall be interesting. I am going to have to cave and let him enjoy at least one piece of candy! This is why I tend to buy healthier things to pass out, such as fruit snacks and rice krispies (though, not the healthiest, but better than candy!).

If you are taking your children trick-or-treating tomorrow, and/or passing out candy at home, and you’re trying to stay good and not over-indulge in too much candy, here are a few healthy Halloween tips:

  • Instead of buying a huge bag of candy, buy one small bag and a couple of bags of healthier treats, such as rice krispies, fruit roll-ups, fruit snacks or raisins. Mix everything together in a big bowl, so the candy is mixed in with the healthier things. (My husband says to be careful, though, as you’ll be known as “that house” if you don’t have a good ratio of candy to “clean” treats. I think he’s crazy.)
  • After the last trick-or-treater has gone and you still have a bunch of candy left, don’t save it, as you will be tempted to eat it! Donate it to an office (or bring it to your office, though you will probably still be tempted to eat it!), or throw it away.
  • If you must have a piece of candy, choose your two favorites. Eat one of your favorites on Halloween and save the other one  for the next day, as a treat to look forward to. If you save a handful, you might be more inclined to eat all of it in one sitting. (My husband also told me that he would “stretch out” his candy stash until Christmas. Talk about self-control!)
  • While you are passing out candy, have some healthy treats to munch on, such as popcorn, homemade kettle corn, nuts, trail mix, no-bake peanut butter chocolate snack balls and fruit. If you have some healthy snacks out, you might be less tempted to indulge in candy.
  • Last–but not least–if you do slip-up and indulge in one too many pieces of candy tomorrow, don’t beat yourself up. Get back on track the next day!

Speaking of getting back on track, yesterday and today’s WODs were hard, to say the least! Yesterday, we did 100 double unders followed by 3 rounds pf 20 ring dips, 20 kettle bell snatches (35 lbs) and 20 box jumps. The time cap was 15 minutes and I finished 2 rounds and 45 reps (just shy of 10 box jumps to finish). The ring dips were the worst (something I have to work on!). I used the lightest band, red, but they are still difficult!

Today’s WOD was 5 rounds of thrusters (95 lbs) and over-the-bar burpees with a 20 minute time cap. I finished in 16 minutes and 49 seconds, using the prescribed weight. It wasn’t too bad, but we did max deadlifts for the skill beforehand, so my lower back is pretty sore! So, we’ll see how tomorrow goes…

I had to include this! Keenan was wearing a wrap that you put ice or hot packs in for your back. My husband was wearing it on Sunday, so Keenan wanted to give it a try!

Before I wrap-up this post, I have to share this picture of Keenan playing the guitar with my husband on Sunday. Since he was over at his friend’s house while I attend last week’s The Fresh Market Roseville Sneak Peek, Keenan has been fascinated with guitars! My friend’s son had a mini-guitar that Keenan played with most of the evening. Once he got home, he wanted to play with my husband’s guitar. So, on Sunday, my husband and Keenan re-strung and tuned the guitar together, and spent some time playing it. Keen was SO excited! It was too cute!

Making music!

Questions: Are you passing out candy tomorrow night? If so, what do you usually give out? What do you do with the leftover candy?

REMINDER: There is still time to enter the Artisana giveaway!! Contest ends tomorrow, October 31st at 8 p.m. PST! To enter, click here.

 

Weekend Recap and Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 October 29, 2012

I hope you all had a good weekend! We had a great weekend, pretty low-key, which was nice for a change!

On Saturday, I headed to our box to do two WODs (my first double-day, in preparation for my upcoming competition on Dec. 8th). Our first workout was really heavy skill work of hanging squat cleans (95 lbs), toes-to-bar and thrusters (95 lbs), completing the movements in 24 minutes, every minute, on the minute. The second workout was push presses, over-the-box burpees, kettlebell snatches and one other movement that I can’t remember for the life of me! The second workout was time capped at 12 minutes, doing as many rounds as possible. Needless to say, both workouts were tough!

On Saturday afternoon, we went on a bike ride and got some frozen yogurt (which Keenan loved!). That night, my husband and I made a nice dinner of grilled eggplant, tomatoes and country style boneless pork ribs (sharing a bottle of wine, of course!) after Keenan went to bed. After dinner, we finally got caught-up with all of our favorite TV shows. It was a nice and relaxing evening!

Yesterday, we stayed home and had a wonderful family day. We made grain-free pumpkin pancakes for breakfast and carved pumpkins in the afternoon! I can’t take credit for the pancake recipe; I used Megan’s recipe, except I doubled the recipe (to have leftovers to freeze), added a 1/2 cup of almond flour, 1/2 tsp of baking powder (for more loft) and used 3/4 cup almond butter (since I didn’t have much left). I topped my pancakes with pumpkin butter and a little maple syrup. They were SO good; they tasted like pumpkin pie! Keenan enjoyed his so much that he devoured his pancake in seconds! Sorry, we were all so busy enjoying our pancakes, that I forgot to take a picture.

It was fun carving pumpkins with Keenan for the first time! At first, he wasn’t sure of the slimy pumpkin seeds/flesh and didn’t want to stick his hand in the pumpkin to take them out. After a while, he got the hang of it and enjoyed “scooping” out the seeds and helping to carve!

Not so sure…

Having fun with the seeds!

Our pumpkins!

Now, onto the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40!

Last Thursday, I was invited to attend a local blogging event, a home party for Graco’s new Snugride Click Connect 40. The event was sponsored by the SITS girls, an online blogging community of more than 40,000 women bloggers. It was a fun event, meeting other local mommy bloggers and some of their little ones, as well as learning about Graco’s new car seat. For attending the event, we all got to take home a car seat, which was quite a nice surprise!

The SnugRide Click Connet 40 allows you to have your child sit rear-facing from birth to two years old (or 40 pounds), which is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. It is the only infant car seat on the market that allows you to have your child rear-facing until they are two. The really cool feature about the car seat is that it grows with your child, adjusting to give your growing child/toddler enough room to sit comfortably (no frog legs, which is what happened to Keenan, before transitioning him to front-facing!). Another nice feature is that the car seat comes with different levels of padding, so you can start with the highest level for your newborn and gradually take the padding out, as your child grows. In addition, the car seat features a one “click” connect to easily transition your child from the car seat to the stroller. Last, but not least, the base of the car seat has a built-in seat protector that can be pulled up once your child is bigger, to protect your seat from shoe marks! You can find the new car seat at Babies R Us and it retails for $219.

Graco’s SnugRide Click Connect 40 will come in handy for our next child (whenever that may be!), because instead of transitioning them to the convertible car seat (facing front) shortly after they are one year old, they can be safer, staying in the same seat for another year! If Keenan is still riding in his convertible car seat at the time we have another child, it also saves us from having to buy another car seat!

The Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 – the first and only newborn to two-year infant car seat that actually grows with your baby from four pounds all the way up to 40 pounds. The car seat is designed for a parent on the go. The infant car seat can be easily removed from the base and used as a carrier when the infant is small, providing portability and convenience so you can easily move your infant in and out of the car without disturbing them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently made the recommendation to keep all children in rear-facing car seats until the age of 2. Graco set out to make this product so parents can keep infants rear facing longer while still keeping them comfortable.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Graco. The opinions and text are all mine.

Questions: What did you do this weekend? How do you get ready for Halloween? Do you carve pumpkins?

REMINDER: There is still time to enter a chance to win a box of goodies from Artisana!! Giveaway ends October 31st at 8 p.m. PST! To enter, click here.

 

Friday Favorites October 27, 2012

TGIF! Another week down; where did it go? I can’t believe we are almost into November and even scarier, the holidays! This year has flown by so fast! Has anyone else felt that way?

Anyhow, as I was sitting down to write this, I was thinking about all of the things we have done this week, since it has been so hectic. When things get busy, I often forget to slow down and cherish each and every moment, especially those with Keenan. I often get stuck in the hustle and bustle of life and forget how important it is to live in the present, enjoy every moment (good or bad) without thinking about what needs to be done or what I have to do next. Most importantly, I need to appreciate the little things and not take things for granted. I need to remind myself of being in Alaska and what is truly important in life: Family, health, faith, food and shelter. Everything else is not that important (if at all).

With that being said, I thought it would be good (and fun!) to reflect back and cherish some of my favorite moments and eats from this week, aka “Friday Favorites!” Maybe this will be a new theme for my Friday posts…

Favorite Moments:

  • Yesterday, when I was getting ready to head to a blogging event (more on that later!), Keenan wanted to wear my hair clips! When I put them in his hair, he kept looking at himself in the mirror and giggling! He kept the hair clips on while he played with his toys for about 20 minutes! It was too funny!

    Having fun with my hair clips!

  • Dancing with Keenan to “Steve and Greg,” on Wednesday, while I was getting lunch ready. I had just changed Keenan’s diaper and he didn’t want to put his pants back on, so he was dancing in his red train sweatshirt, blue socks and his diaper. I was able to record it on video, but unfortunately, I shot it sideways, so it doesn’t make for great viewing, sorry!
  • Attending my first blogging/media event: The Fresh Market Roseville Sneak Peekon Tuesday evening! It was such a fun event and I met some other local bloggers and awesome vendors!

    The wonderful local produce at the The Fresh Market in Roseville!

  • Getting a PR (personal best) on power cleans at 125 lbs!
  • Cuddling and reading books with Keenan in his crib!
  • Having some much needed cuddle time and catching-up with my husband last night!
  • Today’s Halloween party that my MOMs Club put on was also a favorite moment! Keenan dressed up in his Fireman costume and had a wonderful time collecting candy in his bucket (practicing for Halloween!), decorating (or rather just eating) his cupcake and hanging out with his good friend!

    A picture with my Fireman before heading to the Halloween party!

Our little Fireman!

Buddies!

Favorite Eats:

We had a good partner WOD at CrossFit this afternoon: 100 m x 10 relay followed by 300 double unders and then 21-15-9 of sumo deadlifts and over your partner burpees and lastly, a 100 m wheelbarrel carry! Friday workouts are always fun, but SO challenging!

For dinner, we enjoyed chicken burgers with oven-baked sweet potato fries! My husband is off to see Eddie Izzard tonight with a friend, so I’m going to finish up some work and then snuggle on the couch with a movie, glass of wine and some popcorn! Have a good night!

Question: What were some of your favorite moments and eats from this week? 

REMINDER: There is still time to enter a chance to win a box of goodies from Artisana!! Giveaway ends October 31st at 8 p.m. PST! To enter, click here.

 

Artisana Giveaway!! October 25, 2012

Well, it is cleaning day over here, not something I am looking forward to (as usual!). Since my goals today are to get the entire house cleaned, laundry done and dinner prepped, I’m going to keep today’s post short. There is just too much to do! In addition, I’m heading to another blogging event tonight, so I definitely have to get all of my things done. I’m excited about tonight’s blogging event; it is sponsored by the SITS Girls, an online blogging community of more than 40,000 women bloggers. I look forward to meeting other local bloggers and learning more about the SITS community. I’ll fill you in tomorrow with how it went!

Onto today: I tried out a new breakfast of paleo pancakes, inspired by Danielle. I used 2 eggs, 2 egg whites, 2 bananas, 1 Tbsp flaxseed, 1 Tbsp chia seeds, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla, a drop of milk and 1 tsp of baking powder, to make enough for Keenan and I (with some leftover to freeze for later!). They turned out great and were so simple to make (very similar to my No Oat Oatmeal). I’ll definitely be making these again!

Soooo good topped with a dollop of Fage Greek yogurt, honey and berries!

Look who was excited to have pancakes this morning! He ate three whole pancakes!

Now, onto Artisana!

They are a small organic food company based in Oakland and specialize in making raw nut and seed butters, with some super food products, such as acai berry, goji berry and blue green algae. They are committed to sustainable living and support the organic and living foods movement. They focus on purchasing foods as locally as possible, buying directly from organic farmers. All of their products contain lots of vitamins and minerals, non-animal proteins, essential fatty-acids and fiber, as well as being certified kosher.

The goodies that Artisana sent!

Artisana was very kind and sent me a box of their goodies last week to try. They sent some coconut butter, raw walnut, almond, cashew, pecan and macadamia nut butters, along with their cacao bliss (coconut butter mixed with cocoa). I had only tried raw almond butter prior to trying Artisan’s products (which was okay, I prefer roasted), so I was excited to try other raw butters, along with coconut butter. I first tried their raw walnut butter on top of my Pumpkin Almond Flour Muffins and it was really creamy and rich. I was quite surprised at how good it was! The next day, I added a dollop of cashew butter to my No Oat Oatmeal and again, I was pleasantly surprised at how creamy and tasty it was. Since I hadn’t been a fan of raw almond butter in the past, I was surprised at how much I liked Artisana’s butters! Last weekend, we all topped our pancakes with coconut butter and the cacao bliss.! The two together were heavenly! Overall, all of their butters were excellent and I will definitely be adding their coconut and walnut butter to our list of “nut butter staples” that we keep in our cabinet. If you haven’t tried Artisan’s products, I highly recommend trying them. You won’t be disappointed!

Very tasty!

Coconut and cashew butter!

Since Artisana was so generous, they offered to send one lucky a reader a box of their goodies!

To enter the giveaway, please follow the steps below:

1. Leave a comment on this post stating how you would use your raw nut butter.

(Optional) Earn an extra entry by:

1. Like Fit ‘N’ Well Mommy’s Facebook page

2. Follow Fit ‘N’ Well Mommy on Twitter: @FitNWellMommy

3. Like Artisana’s Facebook page

Post on YOUR Facebook page or Tweet, “I want to win a box of goodies from Artisana and Fit ‘N’ Well Mommy at http://www.fitnwellmommy.com.”

*Make sure to leave a second comment on this post with your Facebook post, Tweet or Like, in order for your extra entry to be counted!

The giveaway ends next Wednesday, Oct. 31st at 8 p.m. PST!! Good luck!

 

What I Ate Wednesday and New Recipes! October 24, 2012

Since it is Wednesday again, it is time to link up with Jenn for What I ate Wednesday!

Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

Since The Fresh Market Roseville Sneak Peek event took up yesterday’s post, I have a lot to cram into today’s, including some new recipes that I am excited to share!

The past few days I have enjoyed a new creation for lunch: egg whites in a mug over a bed of spinach, topped with either avocado and salsa, or cherry tomatoes, avocado and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. It is so yummy and SO satisfying, keeping me full for a long time! I have made it everyday for the past three days (except today); I can’t get enough!

So satisfying!

Since it was chilly and raining this morning (finally feeling like Fall!), I felt like making a bowl of No Oat Oatmeal, except with a different twist. I was going to make it for breakfast, but Keenan had swim class this morning, so we ate our “usual” (with Love Grown Granola that I received from winning Giselle’s giveaway) to get out the door quickly.

Love Grown gluten free granola!

The usual with Love Grown Granola added!

For lunch today, I gave Keenan a choice of oatmeal or a tuna melt and he chose oatmeal, so I made my new creation, Loaded Pumpkin Protein No Oat Oatmeal! It was SOOOO good and Keenan licked every last morsel in his bowl, so he certainly liked it! I’ll definitely be making this again, sooner rather than later! Here is the recipe (similar to my regular one, but with a few different things added):

Loaded with protein and so satisfying!

Loaded Pumpkin Protein No Oat Oatmeal (serves 1)

Ingredients:

– 3/4 cup egg whites

– 1/4 cup pumpkin puree

– 1/2 cup spinach (chopped finely)

– 1/4 cup milk (any kind, i.e. non-dairy is fine)

– 1 Tbsp flaxseed (ground)

– 1 Tbsp chia seeds

– 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder

– 1 tsp vanilla

– 1/2 tsp cinnamon

– 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

– 1 tsp honey

Directions:

1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and transfer to a small sauce pot.

2. Cook on the stove on medium heat, constantly stirring, to make sure the bottom doesn’t burn.

3. Cook until it reaches a thick consistency like oatmeal.

4. Top with a scoop of almond butter and enjoy!

As you can see, Keenan sure enjoyed his bowl of Loaded Pumpkin Protein No Oat Oatmeal!

Before I forget, here is the recipe for our Roasted Beet Salad that we ate on Monday night, thanks to my husband for making it!

Such a yummy salad!

Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese: (serves 2)

Ingredients:

Salad:

– 2 bunches of beets (trimmed and scrubbed)

-1 red onion (sliced)

– 4 oz. of goat cheese

– 6-8 oz. of cooked chicken (chopped)

– 1/4 cup roasted pine nuts

– 1/2 head of romaine lettuce (roughly torn)

Dressing:

– 1/2 tsp honey

– 1/2 tsp brown mustard

– garlic (finely minced)

– 1 tsp of herbs of your choice

– 2-3 Tbsp of vinegar (balsamic, red wine or champagne) to taste

– 1-2 Tbsp olive oil

– pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Trim and scrub beets, Place them in a crimped foil packet with a little drizzle of olive oil. Roast in the oven for about an hour (until tender).

3. Remove beets from oven and let sit for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, open packet and let beets cool enough to handle.

4. Rub skins off of beets (paper towels help) and cut into chunks and place in a large bowl.

5. Add sliced onion, lettuce, chicken and pine nuts to the beets.

6. Meanwhile, to make the dressing, toss all ingredients in a small bowl or salad dressing container and mix.

7. Pour dressing over salad and toss.

8. Divide salad amongst two plates and top with goat cheese. Enjoy!

*Notes: You can use any kind of salad greens, such as spinach, arugula or red leaf lettuce. We just had romaine on hand. Also, if you don’t have pine nuts, roasted walnuts would also be good!

Freshly roasted beets (before they were peeled).

Well, Keenan is waking up, so it is time to get ready for CrossFit. Oh, by the way, I PR’d (personal best) on power cleans on Monday. My 1 RM (one rep max) was 125 lbs, 10 pounds heavier than my previous 1RM! I was really hoping to get 135 lbs, but I just couldn’t get under the weight (though, I was really close!). Anyhow, I’m still a little sore from doing thrusters, box jumps and hollow rocks yesterday, so we’ll see how today’s WOD goes!

Since my husband is still out of town, I’m making a BIG salad for dinner tonight, whoohoo!! I am thinking of going with an “everything but the kitchen sink” salad, but we’ll see. Oh and tomorrow night, I am going to another blogging event; I’m so excited! I’ll fill you in on more details later! Have a great afternoon!

Oh, and I have to share this picture of Keenan in his new fire truck PJ’s (thanks to Nonna!). He loves wearing them so much, that he refuses to take them off when we leave the house! He literally holds onto his shirt, it’s too funny!

He kept asking me to take his picture this morning, but when I did, he didn’t want to smile!

Questions: What were your eats today? Have you tried any new recipes lately? If so, what did you try? I have been in an experimenting mood with new dishes and meals lately, so look for more new recipes to come soon!

 

The Fresh Market Roseville Sneak Peek Tweet Up!

Tonight (or last night, as I write this) I attended The Fresh Market Sneak Peek Tweet Up for their new Roseville store. I was so excited to be invited, because it was my first blogging/media event! It was a great evening, learning more about the store, meeting other local bloggers (which I got to see Giselle again!) and vendors, as well as sampling some delicious goodies! The Fresh Market is an East Coast gourmet grocery store chain and the Roseville location is their first store on the West Coast. The store is located at 2030 Douglas Blvd. in the Rocky Ridge Town Center. It officially opens Oct. 24th at 9 a.m.

The Fresh Market originated in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1982. The store was founded with one objective: to bring family, friends, neighbors high quality products in a friendly and inviting environment with the highest level of customer service. Since they opened, they now have more than 125 stores in 24 states mainly in the Southwest, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast regions.

The moment you walk into the store, your eyes are mesmerized by the beautiful array of flowers in the floral department, followed by a pristine rainbow color assortment of produce. The store reminds me of a smaller and more personable version of the Nugget Market and Whole Foods. Everyone was so friendly and willing to answer any questions that we had.

I just love all of the colors!

Such a perfect display!

Our tour started out in the produce section where most of the fruits and veggies are locally sourced within a 100 mile radius of the store,  following their awesome “100 miles or less” program. They have signs with the location, mileage and name of the farm (they had organic Fuji apples from my hometown!). When you look up above, they have signs that direct you to the specific region in California the produce is from. They also have produce from around the country and world, for those items that are not in season, but their main goal is to offer as many local fruits and veggies as possible. They offer organic and conventional produce. One thing that I noticed was the size of their organic produce; it was pretty much the same size as their regular ones. Most other stores’ organic produce is much smaller than their regular fruit and veggies.

From my hometown!

More signs, as part of their local 100 program!

Next, we headed to the cheese section and sampled a 24 month aged Parmesan cheese imported from Italy, which brought me back to memories living in Italy! They freshly grate and cut all of the Parmesan cheese in their store. They also feature 200 different cheeses to choose from and if you aren’t sure about something, they are more than welcome to let you sample before purchasing. You can select a cheese and have them cut it to amount you want. During the holidays, they are also going to offer baked brie!

YUM!

After we learned about the cheeses they feature, we headed over to the candy section. As we approached the candy, I must say it was the largest bulk candy selection I have ever seen! They have every color and type of candy you could imagine, even ones that looked like legos! They also have chocolate covered walnuts, pecans and almonds, as well as chocolate peanut butter caramels! 🙂

I just love the colorful display!

Aren’t the jars cute?

My weakness!

Their bulk foods section was a decent size, not as big as others, but very unique in that they offer veggie chips, such as okra and green beans (something I haven’t seen before). They also offer three types of “make your own” nut butters from regular peanut, honey roasted peanut and almond. All you need to do is get a cup, press the button to grind the nuts and you have fresh nut butter of your choice!

Good variety in their bulk foods section!

Honey roasted peanut butter, YUM!

Next up was their deli counter and hot foods bar. They feature fresh Indian food daily from a local restaurant, as well as Chinese food and some seasonal dishes. They allowed us to help ourselves and take home a plate of Indian food. I was quite impressed; the ikka masala was excellent! In addition to the hot foods, they also have a salad bar, featuring four types of lettuce and all kinds of fixings. In their deli, they offer twelve different salads, packaged salads to-go, fresh whole rotisserie chickens and chicken breasts.

Fresh and delicious!

Next to the deli counter was their large meat and seafood counter. They feature fresh (never frozen) and cut-to-order meat and seafood. Their seafood is locally sourced from San Francisco and most of their beef comes from the Mid-West (where most grocery stores buy their meat). They have a natural section of beef, but it is still corn-feed. They currently don’t offer any grass-fed beef, but are thinking about adding it in the future.

Speaking of beef, we watched one of their chef’s prepare a steak in a nonstick pan with some wine and blue cheese. Sine I’m not a blue cheese fan, I was a little unsure of how it was going to taste, but it was excellent! The steak was perfectly tender, rich in flavor and had a hint of sweetness from the cheese. I am definitely going to keep this in mind for when we have steak!

After sampling the steak, we headed over to the bakery. My mouth was salivating just looking at all of the delectable desserts! They offer cupcakes, whoopie pies (even pumpkin ones!), pastries, custom cakes, as well as fresh baked bread daily, including small quick breads, such as zucchini, pumpkin and banana nut (two loaves for $5.00!).

So decadent!

Pumpkin whoopie pies, YUM!!

Lots of different freshly baked quick breads to choose from!

As we made our way to the dairy section, I noticed it was a little smaller than other stores, but it was packed with several different brands. They offer organic and dairy alternatives (soy, almond, coconut and goat milk) for all of their milk and yogurt products.

Lots of different flavors and types of yogurt!

Last, but certainly not least, we made our way to the wine and beer department. Though their section is slightly smaller than other stores, they have a great variety of international and local wines, as well as a lot of craft beers. The best part about their beer selection is that you can mix and match, creating your own six-pack for $8.99! Most other stores don’t allow you to create your own six-pack, so I was excited to see The Fresh Market offering it! I can’t wait to bring my husband so we can create our own six-pack, since we always love to try different beers! Also, they have someone staffed in the wine and beer department daily to help provide suggestions or answer any questions that you may have.

Wine and more wine!

Mix and match!

In addition to taking a tour, we got to meet some local vendors and sample some of their products that are featured in the store.  We first tried some of the best toffee I have ever eaten from Toffee Boutique, which is located in the Sacramento area. Lisa, the owner, was very friendly and offered us some generously sized samples. I look forward to having my husband try some of her toffee!

Another local vendor that was present tonight was Snow’s Citrus Court. They are a family owned business that operates a citrus grove in Newcastle. They have a variety of products from mandarin orange syrup, marinade, salad dressing, oil, sauce, fruit spread and chocolate sauce. We got to taste their fruit spread, which was excellent on top of brie, and some of their chocolate sauce. I’m not a huge fan of orange paired with chocolate, so I didn’t care for their sauce.

The fruit spread with brie was a perfect combo!

The last vendor we got to meet was The Chef in Black, that makes salad dressing, marinades and dips. Dorene Humason, the owner, was featured on NBC’s “Shark Tank,” which helped kick-start her business. We were able to sample some of their salad dressing, which was good! Unfortunately, they ran out of their dip, so I couldn’t try it. 😦

A great salad dressing (or could be used as a marinade)!

Some other cool things about The Fresh Market is that they offer free cooking classes once a month, as well as a monthly publication called, “Inspirations,” that contains recipes, meal ideas, tips and tricks. They also have over 1,000 in-house products, including pumpkin cider (which was SOOO tasty!) and pumpkin spice almonds! In addition, they offer gift baskets for that special occasion where you need to bring a gift to an event or holiday gathering.

Pumpkin cider, yes please!

Soooo good!

Beautiful gift baskets!

All, in all, The Fresh Market is a fantastic store, featuring local produce and products, having superb customer service, and best of all, being competitive in its’ prices (lower than other local gourmet grocery stores!). I highly recommend checking out the store if you live in the Sacramento area. Since the grand opening is tomorrow (well, today, as I write this), they will have tastings throughout their store all week. I can’t wait to go back and shop there!

Since I had so much to say about The Fresh Market, I’ll post about our awesome roasted beet salad we had for dinner last night (well, on Monday night, since it is so late) later, as well as my PR (personal best) on power cleans! It is WAY past my bed time, so good night! As you can see, I still need to work on my sleep…

Questions: What are some of your favorite grocery stores? When you grocery shop, do you stick to your list, or do you tend to venture off and buy new items? I love the Nugget, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and now, The Fresh Market. With our budget, I stick to my list, but when I shop in a specialty grocery store, I tend to venture off of my list to try new things!

 

Oh, what a busy weekend! October 22, 2012

I can’t believe it is already Monday. I need one more day to rest and get things done, since we were so busy this weekend. Did anyone else feel that way? Either way, we had a good weekend, spending some time as a family, running our usual errands, including a trip to our farmer’s market and Costco, as well as seeing some friends.

On Friday and Saturday nights, my husband and I enjoyed our “at home date nights.” On Friday, we made a yummy antipasti dinner of eggplant rollatini and bruschetta (using some ciabatta bread we had in our freezer) with tuna. To top if off, we also enjoyed a nice bottle of wine. We ended up just talking and not watching any of our TV shows, as planned. It was a nice evening!

The eggplant rollatini recipe is from my cousin who lives in Tuscany. When my husband and I traveled to Italy the summer before Keenan was born, we stayed with my cousin Tony, and his wife, Vanda, for a couple of days. While we stayed with them, Vanda made us some AMAZING dishes, one of which was her eggplant rollatini that she served as part of her antipasti the first night. It was SO good, we knew we had to try and replicate it at home (which comes close, but it is not the same). Just thinking about her cooking is making my mouth water! Here is the recipe:

Eggplant Rollatini: (serves 4-6)

– 2 large eggplants

– 1 package ricotta cheese

– 1 large handful of fresh basil (finely chopped)

– salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Slice eggplants in very thin slices, using a mandolin kitchen slicer (if you have one).

2. In a nonstick pan, cook the slices of eggplant, for 2-3 minutes on each side or until browned. Let cool.

3. Meanwhile, mix ricotta cheese, basil, salt and pepper together.

4. Once the eggplants are cool, put a dollop of the ricotta mixture in the center of the eggplant and roll.

5. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve as an appetizer or a part of your meal!

*Notes: If you are in a hurry, you can skip the refrigeration step and serve the eggplant rollatini immediately. When chilled in the fridge, the flavors have a chance to blend together and the ricotta sets.

On Saturday morning, I made a new creation for part of our breakfast, a baked paleo pancake. We each enjoyed a square of the pancake topped with pumpkin butter, along with my husband’s “cheesy eggs!”  The pancake turned out pretty good, though a little dense, but the flavor was great. For my pancake recipe, see below:

Prior to being baked.

Baked Paleo Pancake: (serves 3-4)

Ingredients:

– 1/2 cup almond flour

– 1 banana (mashed)

– 2 eggs

– 2 Tbsp any milk

– 2 Tbsp flaxseed (ground)

– 1 tsp vanilla

– 1 tsp cinnamon

– 1 tsp honey

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prep an 8×8 pan with cooking spray.

2. Mix all ingredients together and pour into pan.

3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until slightly brown.

*Notes: cut into squares and serve with coconut butter, pumpkin butter, nut butter, maple syrup or honey.

Fresh out of the oven!

For Saturday night, we started off our evening with a wonderful goat Gouda cheese that we picked up at Costco, with some Fiber Gourmet crackers (look for a review and giveaway coming soon!), and a nice bottle of wine. Since I had some broccoli that needed to be used up, we roasted it with cherry tomatoes and a red onion, topping it with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of feta cheese. It was delish! Since we ate so much of the Gouda cheese, we didn’t feel we needed any other protein. Since we didn’t watch anything the night before, we had a TV marathon and got caught up on all of our shows that we missed last week. “Parenthood” had me in tears and “Revenge” is getting SO good!

Wine and cheese, the perfect pair!

On Sunday, we enjoyed a nice breakfast of french toast (using the leftover ciabatta bread from Saturday night), thanks to my husband! Of course, we had pumpkin lattes to go with it! After breakfast, we headed to a local CrossFit competition in Elk Grove, the WarriorZ Throwdown, to watch our coach compete. Some of the top CrossFit athletes from Northern California competed, so it was really inspiring to watch!!

After the CrossFit competition, we headed to our neighbor’s son’s birthday party (he turned 1). Keenan was SO tired, because he didn’t have a nap yesterday, so he was wired at the party. He enjoyed playing in the bonce house and having his fill of sugar! The theme of the party was from the book, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” and they had cake pops in the shape of a caterpillar; it was really cute! I have to say that the cake pops were some of the best that I have ever eaten; they were SUPER moist and very chocolatey! Keenan devoured his in seconds and my husband and I shared one. I could have had another one all by myself, because they were so good! 🙂

Today, has been another busy Monday with Keenan’s music class and finishing up some things around the house that I didn’t get to over the weekend. I also made a batch of Italian Carrots for Keenan, since he was all out of his cooked carrots. Since he still can’t eat raw carrots (I thought he could a while back, but when he had them over the weekend, he just spit them out, since they were too hard for him to chew), I like to keep some cooked ones in the freezer for easy additions to his meals. I just microwave a few carrots for 20-30 seconds and they are ready for him to eat, so easy! Here is the recipe, if you are interested in making some for your toddler, or if you just prefer cooked carrots:

So good, I like eating them, too!

Italian Carrots: (serves 6-8)

– 1 bag baby carrots

– 1 tsp butter

– tsp Italian seasoning

– 1/2 tsp pepper

– 2 tsp Parmesan cheese (grated)

Directions:

1. Steam carrots until tender with a fork.

2. Toss carrots with all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until all are well coated.

3. Either eat the carrots freshly cooked, or store in a zip-lock bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, heat as many carrots as desired in a microwave-safe dish for 25-35 seconds.

*Notes: When re-heating carrots, you might want to microwave for 20-25 seconds at first, to check to see if thoroughly heated, since all microwaves are different.

Well, Keenan should be waking up soon, so it’s time to get ready for CrossFit. I’m helping out with the beginner’s class tonight, so that should be fun! They are a great group of people! On the menu for dinner is a roasted beet salad with goat cheese and pine nuts! I haven’t roasted beets before, but I love ordering a roasted beet salad in restaurants, so I’m excited to try it out. I’ll keep you posted!

Questions: How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun? Did you make or try any new foods/dishes? If so, what new foods/dishes did you try?

**REMINDER: There is still time to enter a chance to win a box of goodies from Go Raw! Contest ends tonight at 8 p.m. PST!! To enter, click here.

 

Introspective Friday October 20, 2012

My favorite little guy (sporting his hockey shirt from Uncle E!)

Happy Friday! With my husband traveling this past week and Keenan’s puking episode, I am SO glad it is Friday! We don’t have too many plans this weekend, other than our usual trip to the farmer’s market, running a few errands and a birthday party. It will be nice to stay home, relax and spend some quality time together as a family. Since my husband was out of town last weekend, we are having our “at home date night” tonight and going with an “Antipasto” theme. We are making my cousin’s awesome eggplant rollatini (look for the recipe to come soon!), bruschetta with tuna, basil and lemon juice and one with tomatoes, basil and olive oil. We are going to enjoy it with a nice bottle of Sangiovese that we have been saving. In addition to catching-up on some TV shows that we missed during the week, we are also going to vote (we vote absentee). It should be a fun and interesting night! 🙂

Speaking of fun, this morning we met Drew’s parents for a Fall/pumpkin celebration at their friend’s ranch. They had pony rides, a little hay maze, a small petting zoo of bunnies, ducks, goats, sheep and cows, wagon rides and of course, an area to pick out a pumpkin, along with a station to decorate it. They even had face painting. Keenan LOVED the pony rides, in fact, he went twice, first riding on “Little Miss” and the second time, he rode on “Sugar.” He wasn’t too sure of the wagon ride at first, but after we were on it for a few minutes, he had fun! It was a nice morning!

Enjoying a pony ride with Grandma!

Decorating his pumpkin!

After the Fall/pumpkin celebration, we headed back to my in-law’s house for lunch and had ham sandwiches with spinach and avocado on some really good wheat bread. My mother-in-law made peanut butter cupcakes with peanut butter cream cheese frosting for dessert that were SOOOOO yummy! I was going to share my cupcake with Keenan, but after taking a bite, I wanted it all to myself! I burned a lot of calories at CrossFit today, doing a great team WOD and it’s Friday, so why not have a little splurge?!

Enjoying his cupcake!

Speaking of a little splurge, as I was getting ready this morning, I was reflecting back over the past ten days to see how I have done with “mixing things up”. Since I’m such a creature of routine, it has been hard, to say the least! But, I have to say, I didn’t do too bad. The first 5 days, we ate different breakfasts and lunches, trying some new recipes and creations.  This past week, we have eaten our “usual” three out of five days–not  bad, but not great, either. I’ve tried my best to not always talk about routine meals and going to CrossFit, but it wasn’t always easy to do. I definitely have some room for improvement! What I have realized in these past ten days is that I can still lead a healthy lifestyle, even if I don’t eat or do the same things day in and day out. It is good to change things up, including trying new foods or recipes, because you gain new favorites and also consume different vitamins and nutrients that you might not have gotten eating your “normal” foods. I have also realized that it is good to change things up with Keenan, in so far as doing different activities with him. But, at the same time, I have also learned that routines are what make me who I am and I won’t be able to let them go. I need to embrace them, try my best to change things up, all while keeping things fresh.

Well, it is time to start our “at home date night,” so have a good night!

Questions: Do you ever take some time to reflect on where you are in life or how you have gotten there? How do you move forward?

**REMINDER: There is still time to enter the Babes and Babies event and Go Raw giveaways! To enter a chance to win free tickets to the Babes and Babies event in San Francisco, click here! To enter a chance to win a box of goodies from Go Raw, click here!

 

Thirsty Thursday and Go Raw Giveaway!! October 18, 2012

Good Morning! Today is especially a good morning, because I have my latte in hand, but it isn’t my usual cup of joe, it is a Pumpkin Pie Latte! My mom came over this morning for a visit, so I am able to get some work done while she and Keenan play. It is one of the first mornings in a long time that I can slowly sip my coffee, check email and get some writing done; I love it! Here is the recipe for my easy and healthy way to enjoy a Pumpkin Pie latte at home:

Yummm…my favorite Fall latte!

Pumpkin Pie Latte:

Ingredients:

– 1 8 oz. cup of coffee made in a frenchh press or stove-top percolator

– 2 tsp Torani pumpkin pie sugar-free syrup

– 1/4 cup milk (any kind)

Directions:

1. Brew coffee as directed (I used my french press this morning).

2. Pour milk into a mug and add pumpkin syrup.

3. Microwave milk and syrup for 45 seconds.

4. Use Aerolatte milk frother (or other frother) to froth milk in the mug.

5. Pour coffee into milk and lightly mix. Enjoy!

*Notes: If you want more pumpkin spice flavor, add a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice on top of your latte!

The lineup for my latte.

Anyhow, today’s breakfast was the “usual,” because I didn’t want to do anything different after yesterday’s puking episode. It was pretty boring, but I rather be on the safe side!

My “usual,” another boring, but good breakfast!

A little while after breakfast, Keenan “cuddled” on the couch with all of his animals while watching “Sesame Street.”

Cuddling with his animals!

Yesterday, Keenan took a 3 hour nap and he was back to his usual self when he woke up. Since he got up past 4:00 p.m., we stayed home (instead of going to CrossFit), played with his legos, took the tape off of our pumpkins and rode his trike. It was a perfect afternoon. I also think it was good for my body to take a rest day. I’m looking forward to hitting today’s workout hard! Speaking of working out, we have a meeting this afternoon to talk about training for our upcoming competitions. I’m excited, but already getting nervous, especially for the individual competition in December, eek!

The paint didn’t stay on as well as I liked. Next time, we will have to use non-washable paint!

Now, about Go Raw:

Go Raw is a small family based business in Mountain View, California. Their foods are completely raw, dehydrated below 105 degrees and all handmade. Everything is organic, wheat and gluten free, kosher, nut free and have no added sugars, oils, cholesterol or GMOs. Their seeds are soaked, rinsed and sprouted before being dried. They have several products ranging from energy bars, cookies, crackers, granola, sprouted seeds and even chocolate!

A generous sampling of Go Raw’s products!

The generous folks at Go Raw kindly sent me a box of their products to try this past week and I couldn’t wait to open it! I’ve heard about their products for some time, so I was excited to give them a try. When the box arrived, my husband and I first tried their banana flax bar. It is loaded with flax seeds, bananas, coconut and dates. I liked the taste; it really tasted like banana bread! The texture was a little tough, but similar to a fruit leather. My husband liked it, too! Next, we tried the carrot cake super cookies (which are crunchy small rounds, like a cracker), and my husband loved them! He loves carrot cake and anything with nutmeg and clove. For me, the cookies were a little “spicy,” or had too much of a nutmeg flavor. A little while later, we also tried the chocolate super cookies and I have to say, these were our least favorite. They tasted more like carob than real cocoa. My husband thought they were okay, not the best, either.

Banana bread flax bar.

Carrot cake super cookies.

Chocolate super cookies.

The next day, we tried the spirulina super chips and these were my favorite cookie/chip! The flavor was great; they tasted like banana chips (which I love!). My husband agreed and thought that they were the best of the chips/cookies. We also opened the pizza flax snax and spicy flax snax chips and they both blew us away in flavor and texture. Both flavors were great and the texture was perfectly crunchy, like eating tortilla chips! In addition, we sampled the original live chocolate and the flavor was amazing, very rich chocolate, but the texture was a little too soft.

Spirulina super chips.

Pizza flax snax.

Live chocolate.

Yesterday, I sprinkled the original super cookies on top of my “usual breakfast,” and they were really good! They added the perfect crunchy topping and never got soggy.

Today, I opened the sprouted pumpkin seeds (sorry, I forgot to take a picture of them), because I’m thinking of adding them to a recipe I want to make tomorrow and to my homemade trail mix. I have to say, the seeds were amazing! The flavor was perfectly spicy and salty at the same time. They could be dangerous, because I could keep eating them! All, in all, I was very impressed with Go Raw’s products. Though, I am not a vegan, nor follow a raw foods diet, Go Raw offers some great alternatives for those following those diets, as well as anyone who just wants a healthy and wholesome snack!

Go Raw was so generous, that they offered to send one lucky reader a sampling of their goodies!!

To enter the giveaway, please follow the steps below:

1. Check out Go Raw’s website and leave a comment on this post stating which product you would like to try

Earn an extra entry by:

1. Like Fit ‘N’ Well Mommy’s Facebook page

2. Like Go Raw’s Facebook page

3. Follow Fit ‘N’ Well Mommy on Twitter: @FitNWellMommy

Post on YOUR Facebook page and/or Tweet, “I want to win some Go Raw products from Go Raw and Fit ‘N’ Well Mommy at http://www.fitnwellmommy.com.”

*Make sure to leave a second comment on this post with your Facebook post, Tweet or Like, in order for your extra entry to be counted!

The giveaway ends Monday, October 23rd at 8:00 p.m. PST. Good luck!! 🙂

 

Question: Are you a regular cup of joe kind of a person, or do you prefer an espresso drink, i.e. latte, cappuccino, mocha, etc? If you prefer an espresso drink, how do you like it?

 

**REMINDER: There is still time to enter the Babes and Babies event giveaway! To enter a chance to win free tickets to the exclusive shopping event in San Francisco, click here!

 

 
%d bloggers like this: