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