family, food, health, motherhood, Uncategorized

Deliciously simple Fall family recipes

Any excuse to make pizza and I can guarantee you my son and I will take it! I think having kids help us in the kitchen not only makes them feel proud but also teaches them from a young age the importance of making their own meals (until college and all they care about is Taco Bell per usual.) The weather may not be rainy and cold like I’m waiting for but it IS October so that means Halloween themed everything, including pizza. These were so easy to make, since we know if it’s not a simple recipe I’m not about it, and were delicious! Side note: my son had so much fun making these and while they might not look perfect, they were to us 🙂

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Ingredients

  • English muffins
  • Pizza sauce of your liking
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Sliced cheese (I used CHAO vegan cheese for the mummies)
  • Whole black olives

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet and cut english muffins in half if not pre-sliced. Add sauce. For mummies: cut thin slices of cheese and arrange into mummy-like pattern. Cut two slices of olive for eyes, you can cut some small tomato rounds to place in olives for even more of a spooky look. For bats: cut olive in half, place one half on pizza and cut other in half again to make wings. Not pictured: we made spiders on spider webs but ate that one before pictures were taken.  Place in oven for approx. 15 minutes but check as it goes. Enjoy!

I know I can’t be the only pumpkin spice lover on here, but as much as I’d love to go to Peet’s coffee everyday and get theirs I try to make my own as much as possible. Adding some vanilla really makes it even better and I literally just add three ingredients plus ice and am in pumpkin latte heaven!

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Ingredients

  • Ice
  • Cold brew of choice (I use vanilla Chameleon cold-brew)
  • Pumpkin spice milk (I used the brand Almond Dream from Whole Foods)
  • Vanilla coffee creamer

Just toss some ice into your favorite cup and combine the ingredients to your liking, add as much or little of each ingredient as you like. I know these are ridiculously simple but I hope you get inspired to have some fun and make your own Fall creations.

family, fitness, food, health, Uncategorized

LazyGirl Weight Loss Hacks

Let’s be real, sometimes lazy hacks are the best hacks and I fully stand by that since as a toddler mom I will take all the lazy tricks I can. Losing weight is seemingly easy right? There’s a formula: eat less calories than before, eat healthy foods and be active. Unfortunately, as it tends to do, life can get in the way and make seemingly easy tasks a bit more difficult to sort out. This summer has been a bit overwhelming for many reasons, some good and some bad, but as it is coming to an end I am finding my weight loss getting “easier.” Here are some tips and tricks I’ve been using, some of which I wasn’t even aware of until I really thought about what I was doing differently lately. If you have some tips of your own please feel free to share below I’m sure many of us would love to hear them! Until next time, xo Chrissy

  1. Coffee please!

Now I don’t know about you guys but I am a bit of a coffee addict, not the caffeine but the actual taste of great quality coffee. I tend to drink my coffee black with a pump or two of vanilla but I’ve noticed I’ve been drinking my coffee after I have breakfast instead of later in the morning and it truly does, along with a hearty breakfast, help curb my appetite and I don’t feel the need to snack or turn to unhealthy snacks as the morning/day goes on. If you are like I used to be and enjoy your coffee filled with creams, an unholy amount of flavoring and a lot of milk, try taking steps toward eliminating some of these items from your cup of joe one week at a time and eventually you will start looking forward to the taste of pure coffee without all the added crap (excuse my language.) Not only does the black coffee help curb cravings but it truly is better for us than the mocha caramel frappes with extra whipped cream that are not good for our health and aid greatly in weight gain.

2. Pile on the breakfast

I have noticed that when I was running ragged this summer I didn’t get to put much emphasis on breakfast for myself; maybe some oatmeal here and there or grab a bagel when I could, and not unexpectedly my weight continued to stay the same or go up. Now that the craziness has calmed down I have been making large breakfasts composed of whole foods, I find myself snacking much less and have more energy to conquer MomLife as well as those Orangetheory workouts that got neglected over the past month. I’m not a nutritionist or expert but I would argue that breakfast should be our highest caloric meal of as it truly does set the tone and keep us going for the day ahead.

3. Get your move on

Some days I can’t get into the gym or fitness studio and that’s just a fact for most of us out there but I’m trying to fit in movement where I can in order to at least have some form of cardio for my body, even if it’s something short and simple. For example, last night my son wanted to watch Disney Music Videos (shoutout YouTube) and instead of just watching him dance while I sat on the couch, I got up and we had a dance party for half an hour; and let me just say my legs were on fire by the time I got into bed. Today, instead of driving to the store a few blocks away, I decided to walk and know that this is a habit I should get in the habit of since it’s easy and allows me to get some fresh air as well.

4. Eat carbs, just don’t go crazy
I personally don’t know how people live without carbs, especially since it is essential for brain function so it drives me crazy when people say to have no carbs whatsoever. That being said, I’m not saying to go out and eat a dozen donuts. Eat complex carbs that give lasting energy and help with weight loss instead of hinder it. I’ve been consciously trying to keep my distance from processed carbs and not only do I feel better but I notice I appear less bloated and can see weight loss starting to happen, slowly but surely.

Although these are only a few lazy hacks I will share more as my journey continues and hope you will share your lazy-girl-or-guy tricks as well.

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family, fitness, food, health, Uncategorized

Deliciously Easy Weight loss Recipes

As we know, we can’t maintain a healthy lifestyle without eating properly and fueling our bodies the right way. Exercise alone is not enough to be healthy and feel good inside and out, which is something that has taken me a long time to realize. I have definitely ranted on here about how parenthood leaves little time to focus on ourselves and our needs but thats not an excuse so I am trying to make sure that healthy eating stays a priority and is not only necessary for me but for my son as well. Funnily enough I have actually been inspired by my toddler who prefers salads to burgers and snacks on fruit and veggies like they’re going out of style. Here are some easy recipes made from whole foods that are delicious and fan favorites around my house. If you give these a try I’d love to hear about it! Until next time xo Chrissy

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Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Ingredients

Head of cauliflower
Franks Red Hout Buffalo Sauce
Butter or plant-based butter alternative
Garlic Powder
Himalayan salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a baking sheet and set aside. Cut cauliflower into bite size pieces and place in oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a bowl mix together about 2/3 C buffalo sauce, a spoonful of butter (melt to make mixing easier,) a few dashes of salt and same for the garlic powder. Take out cauliflower, flip and pour buffalo sauce until pieces are well coated. Place back in oven for about half hour, flip one more time. Dip in ranch or any sauce you love!Let cool then enjoy!!

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Tasty Tofu Burritos

Ingredients

Broccoli
Snap peas
Bell peppers
Firm tofu
Organic salsa or pico de gallo
Whole wheat wraps
Himalayan salt
Garlic powder
Cumin

Directions
Cut broccoli and bell peppers into bite size pieces. Spray pan with oil and place broccoli, snap peas and peppers. Sauté until they start to get soft, then cut up some tofu and throw into pan. Sprinkle salt, garlic powder and cumin to tasted. Place in tortilla and top with salsa, voila!

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Pineapple Refresher

Ingredients

Pineapple slices
1/2 lime
1/2 lemon

Directions

Place ingredients in blender filled half way with ice and serve. Pineapple aids greatly in immune support, strength, digest and is anti-inflammatory which is why it is a great healthy choice and tastes so delicious!

family, food, health, motherhood, Uncategorized

Healthy(er) Summertime Desserts

It may be August but I don’t think we should expect cold nights anytime soon, therefore let’s bring on the cool treats! I myself am not the biggest dessert person but my son and husband are so I put together some ideas for healthier desserts during these warm months. As always they are super simple and perfect for the whole fam. I hope you give some of these a try, and if you put a yummy spin on one please share with us below! Until next time, XO Chrissy

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Pizzelle Ice Cream Sandys

If you come from an Italian family like I do, I’m sure you grew up with at least one aunt who made the best homemade Pizzelle cookies! Now I hope to learn how to make them myself but for now, I buy them from Whole Foods and they are actually extremely delicious and as close to the real deal as I have found.

Ingredients

Pizzelle cookies
Ice cream (we used a coconut based one for anyone who can’t have dairy)
Chocolate chips and/or sprinkles

Directions

Ok now bear with me here this is about to get complicated. Scoop your ice cream and place in-between two cookies. Sprinkle some chocolate chips or sprinkles onto the ice cream and eat immediately as you will not want to wait a second longer to try this delicious combination!
Chocolatey Meringue

I bought meringues from Trader Joes for the first time the other week and loved them! For store-bought they were so light and airy and have the perfect amount of flavor. My son loves chocolate of any kind so I decided to take some dark chocolate chips and melt them (I suggest using a pot and melting them on Low, stirring continuously until it reaches a nice melted consistency but not runny.) Dip the meringues in the chocolate and place on parchment paper until the chocolate solidifies on the meringue. It was so easy and made for a delicious, low in fat treat.

The Taco Berry

Ok this one was really fun for the family to make together and is something you could totally customize to your own liking.

Ingredients

Organic toaster waffles
Whip cream or a non-dairy whip cream
Chopped strawberries, blueberries and blackberries

Directions

Toast waffles according to packaging directions. Once toasted, immediately fold into a taco shape. Spray whip cream to fill the taco and top with the fresh berries. Another ridiculously easy treat that is fun and delicious.

family, food, health, motherhood, Uncategorized

Refreshing mocktails you need to try!

I don’t know about you but in this heat, a refreshing mocktail always sounds good and is fun to make for the whole fam. Now per all my recipes, these are ridiculously easy and I haven’t lied about that yet! Growing up my parents would take me to Maui during the summer and aside from the obvious, one of my favorite things about going was getting a virgin lava flow almost every day. I just had to try and re-create one myself. but this time with a dairy-free twist. Give these a try and if you have some you think I need to try or a cocktail you want a mocktail version of, just let me know in the comments below. I hope you make some of these on your own or with your kids and stay cool out there! Until next time, XO Chrissy

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Strawberry-Lime Spritz (back right in picture)

Ingredients

Sparkling or carbonated water of your choice
Grenadine syrup
Fresh lime juice
Strawberries (or pre-made strawberry puree)

Directions

Take a couple of small-to-medium strawberries and puree them, set aside. Pour sparkling water into glass and juice half of a fresh lime or more (to taste.) Add a dash of grenadine syrup then pout in the pureed strawberry juice. Cut up remaining lime and place in Spritz, garnish with a strawberry. Seriously SO refreshing and simple.

Watermelon Refresher (front left)

Ingredients

Miniature watermelon
Lime
Fresh mint
Ice cubes

Directions

Cut watermelon into chunks, I used about half of my mini watermelon. Add chunks and a  handful of ice cubes in blender or processor. Cut up 1/2 of a lime and squeeze juice into mixture until it becomes slushy. Pour into glass and garnish with mint leaves, makes for a really fresh taste.

Cool as a Cucumber (front right)

Ingredients

1 tbsp Agave syrup
Fresh lemon juice
Fresh lime juice
1/4 C of sparkling water
Cucumber

Directions

In a glass combine water with agave. Cut 1/2 of a small lemon and 1/2 of small lime, squeeze juice into water and agave mixture. Cut several thin slices of cucumber and place into water as well as a couple of lemon slices. Let sit for a few minutes for cucumber and lemon to seep into the mixture creating a light and satisfying drink

Dairy-free Lava Floooow (back left)

Ingredients

Frozen strawberries
2 C Pineapple juice
1 can cream of coconut
1 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut milk
Ice

Directions

Blend frozen strawberries with about 1/2 cup of water to create a syrup. Once syrup is thick, set in a glass or bowl and set aside for now. Whisk cream of coconut, pineapple juice and the coconut milk. Fill blender 1/3 of the way with ice and pour in juice mixture. Blend until it becomes slushy. In glass of your choice add a bit of the strawberry syrup you made in the beginning then start pouring in the blended mixture. Alternate between the syrup and mixture until glass is full. I had never made one before so this was my first experiment but it immediately brought me back to my childhood and tasted amazing. Aloha!

fitness, food, health, motherhood, Uncategorized

Counting Calories: Why I Changed My Mind

I won’t lie, I was very against counting calories during this weight loss journey and pretty much in general. Being someone who has fluctuated and suffered from weight-related disorders for half their life, I felt that counting calories was unhealthy for me and would send me back to a mindset of obsession over calories, macros, etc etc etc. So I simply wouldn’t even entertain the idea and figured that if I ate healthy enough meals and increased my activity I should be able to do this on my own like I’ve done before in life. Well, the thing is, I’m not a teen or in my early twenties anymore and I know 30 is not old in the slightest, but my body just doesn’t react the same way to weight loss as it used to. As I’ve shared before, I’ve been stalled for a while now and knew I needed some help; to maybe take a step back and see if I’m truly eating as well as I thought I was. I decided to download a food tracking app and have been tracking my meals for the past few weeks ON TOP of not weighing myself every single day. I actually could feel that I was doing better with tracking and did my once a week weigh in this morning to find I was down a couple of pounds, whereas before this I literally have either been the same or a pound higher. The thing I’ll say is that I’m not driving myself crazy with the tracking or letting myself get stressed out about it. For example, last night I had tracked most of the day but had a couple snacks (mainly consist of vegetables and a few vegan-paleo type crackers) while I was busy doing laundry, getting Sean in the tub etc., and didn’t track them but knew the snack itself was around 100 calories and I had a couple hundred left for the day as is. The tricky part is not doing this too much since as we all know 100 cals + another 100 cals + one last snack of 100 cals is going to add up, so I’ve just been getting in the groove of knowing whats good for my body and what types of food are going to energize me without using half of my daily intake at once. It was time for me to admit that while I study about nutrition, I wasn’t implementing that knowledge like I should be and it’s been a long time since I’ve been physically and mentally fit. It was time to put myself in check and re-learn how to treat my body and lose weight in a healthy way. Food and weight loss shouldn’t be as daunting as we tend to make it out to be in our heads and what I’ve been forgetting is that it takes time..so if you’re on this journey with me just remember that; we need to do this for the long haul, not just a quick fix. So for now, I’m going to continue to track until I can get myself to a healthier weight and mindset and will keep you updated as always. Thanks for listening and if you have any weight loss advice you’d like to share with us please mention it in the comments. Until next time, xo Chrissy

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family, food, health, motherhood, Uncategorized

Cute Enough to Eat! Toddler Summer Lunch

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These are almost too cute to eat…almost. Let me say that I am taking inspiration from a friend of mine who has made similar treats in years past I just added my own flare, and am sure there are many other versions online so I do not take credit for the idea, just wanted to put my spin on it. These honestly were really easy to put together and since Shark Week is this month I really wanted a shark themed meal to kick off the fun. I hope you guys give these a try or if you make your own summer lunch project please share and let us know! Until next time, XO Chrissy

Underwater Shark Sandy

Ingredients

Bread (we used wheat)
Sandwich fillings (we did a veggie sandwich)
Sandwich condiments of your choice
Chocolate chunk for the eye
Two strips of fresh chive for the mouth
Cut some banana into triangles for the sharp teeth
Blueberries
Cheerio-type cereal

Directions

Cut off the crust edges of bread and try to make the shape of a shark’s body. Save crust/bread not used to the side. Make sandwich as you would normally and place on whatever plate you will be using. Use the crusts and remaining bread to cut into the fins and tail. Take two small pieces of chive to form a mouth and put the bananas slices inside to make the teeth. Place chocolate chunk as an eye and cereal to make bubbles form the sharks mouth, then finish off with blueberries to make the ocean. Took only a few minutes and Sean went crazy for it.

Ladybug Crackers

Ingredients

Round crackers
Cream cheese or dairy-free version (we used Kite Hill)
Fresh chives
3 Cherry tomatoes
Black Olives

Directions

Smear cream cheese onto cracker. Cut a cherry tomato in half to make wings (or in fourths depending on size of the tomato.) Place tomato halves to resemble wings then place one olive in the center to make the head. Inside olive place two strands of chives to make the antenna. Cut an olive into small pieces to make the spots on the “wings” and voila! Adorable ladybug crackers for these warm summer days.