Fit 'N' Well Mommy

Being a mommy doesn't always mean sacrifice

What I Ate Wednesday + Coconut Whipped Cream and A New Slow-Cooker Recipe! December 5, 2012

Peanut got into Keenan’s legos this morning! Again, Keenan wasn’t pleased with her playing with his legos and immediately asked me to put them away, since he couldn’t reach them (she was sitting on the ledge of our china hutch)!

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On another note, I can’t believe it is already Wednesday! This week is flying by (which is a good thing, because I can’t wait to get my CrossFit competition over with!). I’m excited for the competition, but already nervous…UGH! Since it is Wednesday, I am linking up with Jenn again at Peas and Crayons for her fun What I Ate Wednesday link-up!

What I Ate Wednesday Healthy Holiday Recipes

Before I talk about my eats from the past couple of days, I want to tell you about a new recipe experiment that my husband and I tried this morning: coconut whipped cream! I have been seeing more recipes and uses for coconut whipped cream on other blogs, so I thought I would give it a try, especially since coconut is loaded with healthy fats and is SO good for you, compared to regular cream. We made it to add to our coffee this morning, which I have to say was REALLY good! We used a can of coconut milk (all natural, no additives in it), Xylitol and vanilla. We whipped everything in the mixer until we had some resemblance of stiff peaks, but after mixing everything for several minutes, it didn’t have the consistency we were hoping for (what you see on the internet). Don’t get me wrong, it was still thick and lofty and had a great flavor when added to my coffee. The only thing I can think of as to why it didn’t form stiff peaks was there were no additives, thus no emulsifiers in the coconut milk. I’m going to get a can of regular coconut milk with additives to see if it makes a difference. Either way, the cream was still tasty! Here is the recipe, if you are interested!

So creamy and rich!

Coconut Whipped Cream:

Ingredients:

– Solidified fat of 1 can of coconut milk (refrigerated for 24 hours)

– 3 tbsp Xylitol

– 1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

1. Open can and scoop out all of the fat at the top (save the liquid for Asian inspired dishes such as curries or even add to smoothies) and place into mixer bowl.

2. Add Xylitol and vanilla and mix on high with wish attachment until stiff peaks form.

3. Add prepared whipped cream to your morning coffee, hot chocolate, on top of muffins, baked goods or even No Oat Oatmeal and enjoy!

*Notes: You can store the leftover whipped cream in a container in the fridge and use the next day.

Before mixing it all together.

Onto the past couple of days of eats:

Breakfasts:

Paleo Pumpkin Pie Muffins with strawberries

So yummy and such a great pumpkin pie flavor!

No Oat Oatmeal with leftover butternut squash

Such a good combo!

– Cheesy eggs

Enjoying his cheesy eggs!

Enjoying his cheesy eggs!

Lunches:

Turkey wraps

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Perfectly balanced lunch!

– Egg whites in a mug over a bed of spinach, topped with tomato, avocado, roasted pumpkin seeds and pasta sauce

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This is still one of my favorite things to eat for lunch!

-For Keenan: Homemade mini pizzas on a sandwich thin with pasta sauce, chopped chicken and cheddar cheese

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Keenan loved his pizza!

Snacks:

Paleo Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies

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A new batch that Keenan and I made yesterday!

Dinners:

Crock Pot Pork and Apples with roasted butternut squash (sorry, I forgot to snap a picture!)

Green beans sauteed with Italian sausage

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So good, thanks to my husband for preparing!

– Slow-Cooker Eggplant Caponata with Chicken (see recipe below!)

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Should be good!

Slow-Cooker Eggplant Caponata with Chicken: (serves 3)

Ingredients:

– 3 frozen chicken thighs or breasts

– 3 medium size eggplant (cut into small/medium size cubes)

– 1 large yellow onion (chopped)

– 2 cans no-salt added chopped tomatoes

– 1/2 cup pasta sauce

– 1 clove garlic (minced)

– 2 tsp Italian seasoning

– 2 tsp garlic no-salt seasoning

– pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Place frozen chicken at the bottom of your crock pot. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top.

2. Add eggplant, onion, garlic, tomatoes, sauce and seasoning on top of chicken and mix.

3. Cook on high for 4-6 hours. Serve on top of a bed of fresh spinach, pasta or whole wheat couscous topped with a sprinkle of feta or Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Today has been a fun today. We met a friend and her son (Keenan’s best buddy!) at The Bounce Spot in West Sacramento this morning for some play time, since it was raining. The boys had so much fun bouncing, climbing and going down the slides. It was the perfect activity for a rainy day, and it only cost $5.00, not too bad! Though it was a little far out, it was well worth it and something we will definitely do again. Keenan definitely burned off some energy this morning, because by the time we got home, he was tired (rather, cranky) and quickly ate his lunch and went down for a nap (a successful morning in my book!).

It is time to get ready for CrossFit, for my last WOD before my competition on Saturday. Tomorrow, I’m just doing a little bit of cardio and then I’m off on Friday. So far (keeping my fingers crossed), my piriformis and rhomboids are feeling good!

Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday!

Questions: What have you eaten today? What is your favorite slow-cooker/crock pot recipe? I’m looking for some new ideas!

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Friday Favorites December 8, 2012

TGIF! Look where “Peanut” was this morning…sitting on top of our Advent Calendar! Keenan was very happy that she was not playing with his toys and back by the couch!

Enjoying the view from the Advent Calendar!

Enjoying the view from the Advent Calendar!

Anyhow, I’m glad it is Friday, but anxious about tomorrow: my first real CrossFit competition! I didn’t sleep well last night in anticipation for it and I know tonight isn’t going to be any different. I am going to go there tomorrow and do my best, give it 100% and have fun (at least try to!) At the end of the day, I know I will be glad that I competed, but I will also be VERY relieved! My husband and I are planning a special “at home date night” tomorrow night with a truffle brie cheese that we picked up at Costco, as a little reward for competing; I can’t wait!

On Sunday, I’m looking forward to a nice relaxing family day of finishing up our homemade Christmas gifts, baking and looking at Christmas lights in the Fab 40’s neighborhood of Sacramento (such a great place to look at lights!). I can’t wait to see Keenan’s reaction to all of the lights!

Since it is Friday, it is time for “Friday Favorites!” I love Fridays, because it is nice to look back on the week and think about all of the great things that happened and great things we ate! Don’t get me wrong, I love that Fridays also equal the end of a long week and the start of the weekend, too!

Favorite Moments:

  • Singing with Keenan in the car to the song, “Someone I Used to Know” at the top of our lungs! He loves that song so much that we have to play it at least twice when we are driving (if he had his way all the time, we would ONLY listen to that song!).
  • Watching Keenan find “Peanut” every morning and trying not to laugh when he gets so irritated that she is playing with his toys.
  • Playing with the box of baby wipes!

    Having fun with his empty box of wipes!

    Having fun with his empty box of wipes!

  • Dancing with my husband and Keenan to Christmas songs and playing “Ring Around the Roses!”

Favorite Eats:

Serious about his No Oat Oats and Coconut Whipped Cream!

  • Paleo Pancakes topped with Coconut Whipped Cream

    Such a yummy breakfast!

    Such a yummy breakfast!

  • Turkey Wraps

    Still one of my favorite things to have for lunch!

Keenan is waking up, so it is time to head outside for a walk while Keenan rides his trike and then some piano time playing Christmas songs! Have a great evening and weekend!

Questions: What were your favorite moments and/or eats from this week? Do you ever get so nervous for an event/race that you wonder why you signed up in the first place? How do you calm your nervous energy and tell yourself you will be fine prior to an event and/or race? I am a competitive person and have always loved competition, but every time before an event, I get SO nervous! Even though I know things will be okay in the end, I can’t stop feeling anxious.

REMINDER: There is still time to win a box of the BEST popcorn EVER!! Angie’s Popcorn giveaway ends next Tuesday, December 11th at 8 p.m. PST!! Click here to enter!

 

Holiday Survival Guide and Angie’s Popcorn Review and Giveaway!! December 7, 2012

Guess who was hanging from the lights this morning? It took Keenan several minutes to find “Peanut!” I had to prompt him to look up because he kept looking all over for her and asking, “Mommy, where is she?” He looked on the couch, in the coat closet, under the TV stand, under the coffee table, by the Christmas tree and in his toy box before I told him to look up to the ceiling, where he found her! It was SO hard for me to keep a straight face!

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Anyhow, this morning was a pancake kind of morning! I made Paleo pancakes topped with leftover coconut whipped cream and strawberries; they were SO good! It was interesting, because usually I can eat three small-medium size Paleo pancakes, but with the coconut whipped cream, two pancakes filled me up! The healthy fats in the coconut made the pancakes very filling (in a good way!).

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Speaking of healthy fats, I have one more day and then it is competition time! I’m excited, nervous and anxious all at the same time. I feel ready as I will ever be, but as I’ve said before, I just want to get it over with! I think the hardest thing is not knowing what to expect. I’m looking forward to resting tomorrow and then putting my game face on for Saturday!

On another note, I recently read an article on Health.com about surviving the holidays, which made me think about how I am managing my stress and keeping up with healthy habits (nutrition and exercise) throughout this holiday season. Since there are only two and a half weeks left until Christmas and still so much to do (at least for me!), I thought it would be good to put together my own little Holiday Survival Guide with tips on how to manage holiday stress, since I already put together a list of Healthy Holiday Eating Tips.

  • Keep up with your healthy eating habits. With so many parties to attend and things to do during this time of year, it is easy to slack off and eat more fast, processed and convenient foods or eat one too many desserts at your friend’s holiday party, especially if you are stressed (hello emotional eating!). Keep in mind that having good nutrition helps your body manage stress better. A properly fueled body can help keep your immune system strong (stress suppresses your immune system) and allow it to continue functioning at its prime to get everything checked off your to-do list! Also, by sticking to your healthy habits, you are less likely to gain those additional holiday pounds!
  • Get enough sleep. Sleep is so vital to keeping your energy levels high throughout the day, in addition to keeping you in a good mood. When we are tired, we more likely to feel irritable/ cranky and also crave sugar and caffeine to provide us with energy. By going to bed at a decent time each night and giving your body adequate rest, you are more likely to manage your stress better, have more energy, thus feeling better overall and keeping up with your healthy habits of good nutrition and exercise.
  • Stay active. With so many things to do during the holiday season, exercise can be put on the back burner. Instead of making excuses of not being able to exercise, make time for it by scheduling it into your day. Take some time on your lunch break to go for a walk or workout at your gym. Or, get up early before your kids wake-up to fit in a quick workout. Even better, involve your kids by taking them on a jog or walk to the park. The more you move, the better you will feel, both mentally and physically!
  • Breathe. When we are stressed, our breathing tends to be more shallow, taking less deep breaths. Take a few minutes to stop what you are doing and take three deep breaths. When I take time to breathe, I automatically feel better, even when I am extremely stressed. Breathing allows me to focus on my breath, relaxing my body, so I am better able to finish what needs to get done (feeling less overwhelmed).
  • Enjoy every moment. Most importantly, enjoy the special time of the holidays, cherishing each moment with your family and friends. It is such a magical time, so take time to really have fun and appreciate all the moments you get to spend with your loved ones!

Now onto Angie’s Popcorn!

Angie’s Popcorn generously sent me a box of their popcorn to try a few weeks ago. I had seen their Boom Chicka Pop popcorn in stores, but hadn’t tried it, so I was super excited when I received my box! Popcorn is one of my favorite snack foods, especially Kettle Corn, the kind that is freshly made in front of you at a street fair or festival. In fact, my family and friends would probably call me a “popcorn fanatic,” because I love it so much!

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Angie’s prides itself in making small-batch kettle corn and popcorn. They only use a few ingredients and pop it fresh, batch by batch in Minnesota. They offer several different flavors: Kettle Corn, Sweet and Salty, White Cheddar, Salted Caramel, Sweet and Spicy, Boom Chicka Pop Sea Salt, Boom Chicka Pop Lightly Sweet and a holiday line of Holidrizzle: Dark Chocolate Sea Salt and White Chocolate Peppermint. The company was started by Angie and Dan Bastian in 2001 who wanted to start a college fund for their daughters. They tested small batches of popcorn in their kitchen and sold them at local events. The demand for their popcorn increased and in 2004, they became the official popcorn for the Minnesota Vikings, thus growing into a real business.

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I have to say, I loved all of their popcorn! I can’t say that too much about other products, but Angie’s does a great job in making good popcorn, simply (with as few ingredients as possible). The salted caramel was the first bag that we opened and my husband, mom (she was at our house the day the popcorn arrived), and Keenan were pleasantly surprised. It was excellent–not overly sweet, but still salty at the same time. My mom couldn’t stop eating it! My husband immediately opened the Sweet and Spicy (since he loves anything with spice) and fell in love. I could barely have any, because he kept the whole bag for himself! It was really good! The white cheddar was another one of my favorites, perfectly balanced with cheddar, salt and a hint of sweetness. The Boom Chicka Pop was also excellent, very fresh air-popped popcorn with a hint of salt. Lastly, the Kettle Corn was my all-time favorite (of course). I couldn’t believe how fresh and perfectly balanced the salt vs. sweet was! It tasted like it was freshly popped at a local street fair or farmer’s market! All in all, I was very impressed by Angie’s Popcorn and I can’t wait to try their holiday flavors! I will definitely be eating their popcorn again…maybe bringing it for a snack on our flight to Montreal to see my brother!  You can buy their popcorn in pretty much any grocery store, as well as Costco. Of course, you can buy it online from them, or on amazon, too. As an added bonus, each bag is pretty inexpensive, costing you less than $3.50!

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Angie’s was so generous that they offered to send one lucky reader a box of their assorted popcorn, too!

To enter the giveaway, please follow the steps below:

1. Leave a comment on this post stating why you would like to win some popcorn!

(Optional) Earn four additional entries by:

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

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

3. Post on YOUR Facebook page or Tweet, “I want to win a box of popcorn from Angie’s Popcorn and Fit ‘N’ Well Mommy!”

4. Follow Fit ‘N’ Well Mommy by email

*Make sure to leave a second, third or fourth comment on this post with your Facebook post, Tweet, like or following, in order for your extra entries to be counted (a total of 5 chances to win!!).

The giveaway ends next Tuesday, December 11th at 8 p.m. PST!! Good luck!

 

Friday Favorites + Paleo Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies! November 30, 2012

TGIF!  I’m SO glad it is Friday; it has been quite a week with being sick, still trying to get some good  training time in for next week’s competition, as well projects completed for the holidays! Though we have a busy day tomorrow, it will be nice to have some quality family time on Sunday. We are planning to get our Christmas tree this weekend, so Sunday’s agenda is decorating it and baking cookies! Also, I’m excited to start the Advent calendar and “Elf on the Shelf” with Keenan tomorrow!

Today has been a nice lazy day at home. My husband let me sleep in this morning to get some additional rest and boy, did it help! I definitely feel a lot better today. Even though I don’t like using nasal sprays, I gave in and used one last night and it worked wonders! I could breathe and finally get some sleep. I’m hoping with another good night’s rest, I will feel even better tomorrow.

Since it was raining this morning, I thought it was a perfect time to bake cookies, experimenting with almond flour and coconut oil. Keenan was eager to be my “baking assistant,” so he could taste everything, especially the chocolate chips! We had a fun time baking while listening to Christmas music. It was cute, he sat on his step stool and watched the cookies bake (I had the oven light on), the entire 8 minutes! Once the cookies were ready to eat, he was super excited to have one, and another and a half of another one! I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised at how good the cookies turned out. They are perfectly moist and flavorful. My husband actually said that they were probably some of the best cookies he has ever eaten…WOW!

These are so good, it is hard to stop eating them!

These are so good, it is hard to stop eating them!

Paleo Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies: (makes 2 dozen cookies)

Ingredients:

– 2 1/2 cups almond flour

– 1/2 tsp baking soda

– 1 heaping scoop vanilla protein powder

– 1/2 tsp salt

– 2 tbsp flaxseed

– 1/4 cup Xylitol

– 1/2 cup coconut oil

– 2 eggs

– 1 tsp vanilla

– 1/4 cup raw honey

– 1/2 – 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (depending on how chocolatey you want your cookies to be)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray nonstick spray on two cookie sheets

2. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

3. Mix wet ingredients together in a small bowl and gently mix into dry ingredients.

4. Add chocolate chips and combine.

5. Form dough into small balls, place onto prepared cookie sheets and press them down.

6. Bake for 7-10 minutes, until lightly browned (but don’t over bake). Let cool and enjoy!

*Notes: These cookies don’t rise and spread out as regular chocolate chip cookies, so make sure to press them down, otherwise the cookies will stay in the shape of a ball.

So excited to finally eat a cookie!

So excited to finally eat a cookie!

Now, onto “Friday Favorites!” I love Fridays, because it is a great time to reflect back on the week and think about my favorite moments and things that I ate. I’ve been doing pretty well with living more in the present and cherishing each and every moment, instead of thinking about what I have to do next, but it is still a challenge. Friday Favorites is a nice reminder to slow down and appreciate the little things in my life!

Favorite Moments:

  • Keenan enjoying the wonderful taste of homemade whipped cream!

    Having a taste straight from the container (thanks to my husband)!

    Having a taste straight from the container (thanks to my husband)!

  • Cuddling with Keenan and his critters!

    Snuggling with his blanket and critters!

    Snuggling with his blanket and critters!

  • Baking cookies!

    My little "baking assistant!"

    My little “baking assistant!”

  • Enjoying some cuddle time with my husband while watching one of our favorite shows, “Parenthood.”

Favorite Eats:

  • Spaghetti Squash Tomato Bake with turkey (Mexican style with black beans, spices, salsa and cheddar cheese)

    I made this last night and it was the best batch ever! Everyone liked the Mexican version better!

    I made this last night for dinner and it was the best batch ever. Everyone liked the Mexican version better!

  • Paleo Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies

    Fresh out of the oven!

    Fresh out of the oven!

It’s time to work on some more Christmas projects and visit with my brother (he came in last night for a quick visit, since he has some work in the area). No CrossFit again for me today. I’m thinking rest is the best thing until I’m feeling 100%. I’m hoping to fit in a workout tomorrow or Sunday. Have a great afternoon!

Question: What were some of your favorite moments and eats from this week? Any fun holiday plans for the weekend?

REMINDER: There is still time to enter a chance to win a cute workout headband from Simple-Trends! Giveaway ends Monday, Dec. 3rd at 8 p.m. PST!! Click here to enter.

 

 
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