Pumpkin and Chia Seed Overnight Oats

  I know that you are probably thinking that I am overnight oats crazy, and you just may be right - but I told you on Facebook last weekend that I was coming at ya with my pumpkin version, so here it is! After all, my Chia Seed and Banana Overnight Oats recipe was a big hit with readers, so why not give it another twist?   This recipe is especially great if you have visitors coming in for Thanksgiving or Christmas and want something super healthy and nutrient packed that you can make ahead of time and have plenty for a group of people ready to go. It is self serve and a fantastic way to start your day! Now, don't expect this to be a sweet breakfast, because it's totally not. If you need a hint of sweetness, I suggest adding in a sprinkle of organic coconut sugar, raw organic honey, or real maple syrup to the mixture - but just a wee bit! Save Print Pumpkin and Chia Seed Overnight Oats Recipe type: Breakfast Prep time:  10 mins Cook time:  2 mins Total time:  12 mins Serves: 4 servings   This nutrient packed pumpkin and chia see overnight oats is a healthy way to start your day! Ingredients 4 tbsp pumpkin puree 5 tbsp chia seeds 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract 1 tsp cinnamon 2 cups rolled oats 2¾ cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk Instructions Mix everything into a large bowl (or the container you plan to store it in), making sure that all the chia seeds are separated and not clumped together. Place a … [Read more...]

Mamas Secret Weapon: Scotties Facial Tissues

  **Thank you Scotties Facial Tissues for sponsoring this conversation.** You know the signs. Red nose. Watery eyes. Nope, Rudolph hasn't come to visit early. Tis the season ...for cold, coughs, the flu, and a plethora of unkind, germ infested sicknesses that make us go crazy! We are currently dealing with a case of the coughs that won't go away, which makes me so happy to have Scotties Facial Tissues as my Mama secret weapon. It's such a crappy feeling as a parent to send your child to school whenever they are under the weather, but unless there is something really wrong, they must be there - at least that is my philosophy. Sniffles or not - education is important. So whenever my little guy was coughing up a lung this past week, I finally kept him home and was happy to place our beloved Scotties Facial Tissues by his side. Scotties Are Different - Here's Why: Scotties are amazing to me because they work SO hard to help the environment (and even work to get the kiddos involved, see below). These are Eco-friendly tissues that uphold environment protection and sustainability values by planting 3 trees for every 1 they use! This makes my heart so full because we try our best to raise Branden to truly care about the environment. In fact, just the other day as we were walking to the park he said to me: "Mom, some people must really not care about where we live because all they do is throw things on the ground." I know that by purchasing Scotties that I'm making … [Read more...]

Chia Seed and Banana Overnight Oats

  Morning to me means one thing - rushing! No matter how well planned for the next day I try to be, we always either sleep through the alarm or some other "disaster" happens that throws everything off. Right? It's pure madness during the week days! As for breakfast? Chris typically grabs yogurt at Starbucks on his way to work, and B eats at school, so I'm left to find something quick and easy for myself as I scramble to get my own work started. Last week, I shared my awesome experience using Barley + Oats food delivery service for new moms - and one of the breakfasts they gave me was overnight oats. I though to myself how genius this concept was, since I'm often gobbling oatmeal in the morning (super healthy + low in sugar makes me happy!), but when prepared this way, I can prep a big batch and have oats ready for the week! So, here is my version: Chia Seed and Banana Overnight Oats, and they are yummy!   Chia seeds are such an awesome super food, packed with fiber, protein, and omega 3s that are fantastic for your body and for getting you moving in the morning! You can add them to hot oatmeal as well as juice and even tea, and they will simply gel up and you can swallow them down - drinking in all the goodness they offer. My favorite is the Nutiva Organic Black Chia Seeds. Chia Seed and Banana Overnight Oats You can alter this recipe to your liking, but one thing is for certain - your whole family will love digging into these Chia Seed and Banana Overnight … [Read more...]

BARLEY + OATS – Meal Delivery For New Moms and Beyond

  It's no secret that my husband I are going to be trying for baby #2 soon, so being the control freak that I am - I'm trying to get all our ducks in a row before that time comes. I've been working hard on my running, staying fit and motivated to keep my body in shape through fitness and healthy eating so that I'm able to bounce back after having a second child. But keeping the healthy eating up after just giving birth is something that has been concerning me. Barley + Oats has seriously come into my life and put me at ease abut what the weeks after having a baby in the city will look like! (My husband is amazing, but if I were too sleep deprived to cook after the baby comes, he would order Chinese food every night!) This company is an innovative meal delivery service that caters to new and breast feeding moms by supplying lactogenic meals (food that helps stimulate breast milk supply) and make the transition and those sleep deprived moments a little bit easier. They also offer snacks, gifts, and meals for the whole family that are organic and vegan - and delicious! Since most of my mornings start like this, I can't imagine it being much different whenever baby #2 comes along, as being self-employed doesn't really allow for maternity leave. (Though my to-do list will be replaced by a wiggly baby.) I can't even stress to you what a wonderful change it was to have a beautifully prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner ready for me whenever I sampled the … [Read more...]

Baked Crispy Green Beans With Yogurt Dipping Sauce

  I love a good dipping sauce - in fact, I'm always finding myself talking about my love for condiments in general. They are just sooo good! Intentionally, I never buy dip or keep it in the house because I know that I will carb overload and dip every pretzel in sight into it, even as I promise myself I will only dip vegetables. BUT, these baked crispy green beans with yogurt dipping sauce have made a world of a difference. Remember a few years ago whenever Applebees came out with their crispy green bean appetizer? Yes, I have been there and ordered it, thinking it was the healthy alternative - it's sadly not. But these are! Yet they are just as addictive, and my son is so obsessed with the yogurt dipping sauce that I have now started keeping it on hand at all times to encourage veggies. It honestly tastes just like the fat-loaded French onion dip sold at the grocery store, and you will never guess something this yummy is made with yogurt. 5.0 from 1 reviews Save Print Baked Crispy Green Beans With Yogurt Dipping Sauce Prep time:  10 mins Cook time:  30 mins Total time:  40 mins Serves: 5 servings   These baked crispy green beans with yogurt dipping sauce are a great snack that you can serve for yourself or guests and have everyone coming back for more! Ingredients 1 pound fresh green beans Coconut Oil Spray Your favorite plain Greek yogurt (you can buy the single servings if you want to make a small batch or a … [Read more...]

Pumpkin Spice Popcorn Trail Mix

  Last fall whenever I was visiting my family in Pittsburgh, I attended my first Tastefully Simple party, and boy do they have awesome things! I seriously wanted to buy everything and got really inspired to get into the kitchen to whip up some new, exciting recipes. So whenever fall rolled around and my mouth began to water at the thought of pumpkin spice everything, I decided to whip up this pumpkin spice popcorn trail mix recipe to satisfy my sweet tooth by using their awesome Tastefully Simple Pumpkin Spice Latte Drink & Baking Flavoring Mix! This trail mix makes a great guilt-free snack that is great to have on hand for unexpected visitors or your hungry family members! Keep in mind that this recipe makes a party-sized serving, so I keep mine in a jar so the popcorn stays fresh. (I couldn't find one online like mine, but scroll down for a great alternative OR check out the chalkboard stickers I found that you can stick on an existing jar!) The ratio of almonds and dark chocolate to popcorn is very small, so you can go ahead and enjoy a little bit everyday in moderation. Popcorn is such an awesome and healthy snack, as long as you stay away from microwave popcorn and make it on stove top - and omit the melted butter! The Tastefully Simple Pumpkin Spice Latte Drink & Baking Flavoring Mix is great to have on hand at all times because it's a really yummy fall pick me up that can easily be mixed with steamed milk for an afternoon pick me up, or used for … [Read more...]

Skinny Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

  Hello fall! I have been waiting for you as patiently as possible! I'm finally starting to feel that bit of chill in the air and finding myself heating up the tea kettle more and more for afternoon tea, and have already scheduled my appointment with my beloved Box Butler to bring my cozy fall sweaters out of hiding and back into my wardrobe. While I still am the same salad addict as always (Have you checked out my favorite Easy Southwest Style Kale Salad yet?), soup steals my heart in the chilly months. I will say this though - I absolutely HATE buying canned soup because it's loaded with huge amounts of unnecessary sodium. So, I love making my favorite, Skinny Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup, homemade so that I have control over the ingredients. For me, I make this in large batches and freeze it for my lunches, because my boys rarely like to look at vegetables. More for me, right? But seriously you will love how filling this is for lunch and uber healthy, keeping you right on track with your fitness goals and healthy lifestyle. My only warning is not to let your hand slip whenever sprinkling in the Rosemary and pepper because it can produce and unwanted spicy taste (I learned from experience). 5.0 from 2 reviews Save Print Skinny Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup Prep time:  15 mins Cook time:  5 hours Total time:  5 hours 15 mins Serves: 6 servings   This butternut squash and carrot soup is a really easy, … [Read more...]

Muse Juice For a Healthy Life

  Monday has rolled around again, and after you get the kiddos off to school, it's time to think about YOU! I'm so excited to share a product today that helps me achieve balance in my healthy lifestyle as a busy Mama who doesn't always have time to think about juicing, but loves the benefits! Muse Juice is an awesome company that I spoke about whenever they were in their very beginning stages and just getting ready to launch - and now they have! First things first though, I want to share a picture that I snapped while hiking the Catskills mountains as a reminder that I can do what I put my mind to and to stay strong and positive through everything. I shared it on Instagram this morning where I often try to spread some Monday Motivation for you all! Whenever they first launched, Muse Juice was called Eden Juice, so don't get confused with the name change - same great products! I wrote about their kickstarter campaign in my post, Naturally Different Juice For Health Conscious Mamas, and everything still holds true, as I'm always trying to get my guys to drink their veggies and happily they love this juice. BUT, like I mentioned in the beginning, I want you to think about incorporating this into your own healthy life today. We focus so selflessly on others, our families, our homes, our jobs, that I'm finding personally that I've been putting myself last. So I'm taking my life back and using Muse Juice to help me regain my workout balance and carry it with me … [Read more...]

Skinny Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

  We just returned from an AMAZING weekend getaway in the Catskills (more on that tomorrow!), but I got a chance to feel the beginnings of fall while up in the mountains and can say that I am officially craving pumpkin everything! Even though I could see the temperate climb back up into the mid 80's as we drove back to the city, it is September for goodness sake, so time to get our pumpkin on! Like I said, with temperature still being so high here in the city, I'm having trouble completely letting go of my iced coffee and such in the morning, so this is a great alternative to make the transition into fall that much easier. And when those temperatures finally do drop, there is nothing quite like throwing on your favorite over-sized sweater and cozying up with your favorite drink - cold or hot! The things is this - many of our favorite pumpkin foods are loaded with crazy amounts of sugar and fat (giving a whole new meaning to the words "pumpkin roll"). So I'm sharing a totally guilt-free, skinny pumpkin spice smoothie recipe that will knock your socks off and satisfy your cravings. You can easily make this in the morning to get your day going, or have a smaller portion in the afternoon for a snack. Save Print Skinny Pumpkin Spice Smoothie Author: Allison Cooper   Ingredients ½ cup pumpkin puree (fresh or from a can) 1 cup almond milk 1 frozen banana 1 tbsp raw organic honey ¼ tsp vanilla nutmeg and cinnamon to taste ½ … [Read more...]

Healthy Bento Box Inspiration For Picky Eaters

  So, you've got a picky eater - now what? I ask myself this question all the time. In fact, I am the complete opposite of picky. If I have a stomach flu, I still manage to eat 3 square meals. I guess I just love food, but my boy only loves very specific foods. Because of this, I was so happy to come across the concept of bento boxes and am in love with all the options you can find from Bentology (HINT: Scroll down to enter to win one of their bento kits for yourself!). I love them because of the portion control factor, and B loves them because it's fun to put together colorful, enticing meals, presented in a way that even your pickiest will devour - without any foods touching one another. These are some of our recent healthy bento box inspirations for your little picky ones! Healthy Bento Box Inspiration For Picky Eaters Box #1: In this box we added Branden's favorite Biena All Natural Honey Roasted Chickpeas, a granola bar (choose whatever granola bar your littles love most), cherry tomatoes, kiwi, and our favorite cheddar cheese stick. Box #2: In the upper left hand corner, I added the mixture for my Easy Southwest Style Kale Salad (minus the greens), black olives (hello - what child doesn't love to play with these on the tips of their fingers then pop them in their mouth?), our favorite organic apple sauce, and B's snack of the moment: Spicy Roasted Chick Peas! (Recipe HERE) Box #3: In this box we added a hard boiled egg, green apple slices, organic … [Read more...]