Uncategorized, family, food, health, motherhood

The easiest Christmas appetizer you have to try! plus workout update (setback)

Happy December y’all!! I honestly am in disbelief that we are in the last month of the year, anyone else? If you’ve been following along with me you know that I’ve been on a health journey over the past several months and have tried different approaches as I go along. Well, last week I tried a barefoot cardio class at my local gym and loved it, so I went again two days later; halfway through my second class I tweaked my back so badly I couldn’t even walk on my own out of the gym bathroom soo that was a lot of fun! My Dad and I were talking about it and I realized, as much as I want to do all the fun classes and have done so many new things, the most success I have had in fitness is when I stick to regular ole’ cardio, i.e the bike and elliptical. As much as I hate to admit it, my body is just not cut out for fancy workouts; this is not to say I won’t be partaking in them anymore but I am going to shift my focus back to old school cardio and weights for the most part so I’m sure I’ll give an update on how that goes once my back is back to normal and I can get into the groove.

Now, even though we are staying health over the holidays, I can NEVER resist making fun holiday appetizers and desserts. I can’t tell you how much people loved this super simple appetizer that I made so I wanted to share it with you guys to maybe try it out this year or put your own spin on it. All you need to make this Christmas Tree app is some cheese to cut into cubes (regular or dairy free) in two different colors for layering, grapes, one celery stick and greens for garnishing. After cutting the cheese into cubes, place on cutting board or serving tray and layer between the cheese and grapes to create a tree. Cut about 1/3 of a celery stick to use for the trunk and cut one piece of cheese into the shape of a star for the topper. Garnish with the greens and viola, all done! I can’t tell you how easy this was and how many people commented on it. Let me know what your favorite festive foods are and if you give this tree a try! Until next time, xo Chrissy

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family, fitness, food, health, Uncategorized

Keeping the Pounds Away During the Holidays! + Frap recipe

Can you guys believe Thanksgiving has come and gone already? I feel like November flew by this year and am in denial that it’s almost December. My parents and I hosted Thanksgiving this year and had a pretty mellow day with some close friends and family.  A tip for fellow parents out there to keep your sanity and the kids entertained is that I went to the Target Dollar Section a couple of weeks ago and got festive crafts for the kids to do while dinner was being made. You can get several options since they’re so damn cheap and the kids really loved being able to choose what they wanted to make first etc. I’m definitely going back soon to stock up on items for them to make at Christmas dinner.

Im terms of staying somewhat healthy this Thanksgiving, I realized that I filled up on a lot of the vegetable options and didn’t get seconds; that plus the fact that I was on my feet most of the day helped me to not add-on those extra Thanksgiving lbs that tend to set me back every year. I knew that I wouldn’t want to workout on Thanksgiving Day; I’m sure I could have made the time but to be honest I just wanted to relax and watch the Parade with my son and start getting things prepared so I worked out the day before and tried to push myself a little harder since I knew I’d be eating more than I usually do the day after. Obviously this didn’t mean I could go hog-wild on Thanksgiving just because I worked out the day before but I did feel like it made me want to pay a little more attention to what I was eating and not have the workout be for nothing. Another thing I did differently this year was making a protein smoothie in the morning and not just picking on things here and there until the feast, which before would alway lead to me starving and overdoing it by the time dinner was served. Most importantly I focused on having a wonderful time and being present with my family and didn’t let one day mess with my head and throw me off track. Balance truly is key to health and overall happiness so I’m hoping to continue working on that over the holidays and everyday afterwards as well.

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As we know, the holiday time is amazing but can also be busy as hell and lead to an increase of coffee consumption. Since it gets expensive to constantly buy coffee I love to make mine at home most of the time and especially during the holidays when fun creamer flavors come out. To make a frappuccino at home all you need is a blender and these simple ingredients: ice, bottled iced coffee (I love the Chameleon brand) and liquid coffee creamer (I used Pumpkin Almond milk creamer as well as the vanilla one) put in your blender and blend until a thick frap consistency occurs, it happens pretty quickly so keep an eye out. It’s so easy to do and really fun to make your own concoctions. Hope you give this a try and can’t wait to start sharing some christmas treats! Until next time xo chrissy

fitness, food, health, motherhood

How to Rock a Low Carb Diet + Thanksgiving Treat

Low carb diet + a Thanksgiving treat full of carbs, goes together like PB&J right?! Well actually it can; what I’ve been learning most on this weight loss journey is that balance truly is so important or else success is hard to maintain. By eating less carbohydrates over the past month I have dropped almost ten lbs and feel less bloated than I have in such a long time. One thing that has helped tremendously is that in the mornings I have a smoothie (can we get an Amen for NutriBullets, so mad at myself for not getting one earlier, the cleanup is SO easy!) with a scoop and a half of vegan protein powder mixed with a very small amount of berries, frozen spinach, water and a handful of seeds, such as chia and hemp. This keeps me from getting over hungry right away and gives me the nutrients I need. I would highly suggest incorporating this into your diets if you can. Now, if I’m going to do a workout I will have some hard boiled eggs or whole grain toast with peanut butter etc to go with the smoothie or else I don’t have enough energy to keep up. Instead of processed carbs I have been incorporating non-starchy vegetables whenever possible with meals and snacks and get as much protein as I can to avoid the sluggish side effects than can happen on low carb. Protein stays with us longer as it is digested slower than the other food groups and gives lasting energy instead of highs and lows like sugary items do. I’m not willing to have no carbs at all since they are important for brain function etc so I do have small amounts of fruit and whole grains. If you’re looking to kick start your weight loss I definitely have had success with focusing on lower carb-high protein, however as we know our bodies are all different but I would say it’s worth a try! Now for the fun and festive part: Turkey Cupcakes!

This is SO easy and fun for the whole family to put together. I made these several years ago so the picture quality is not great but I hope you can get the feel anyway. Make some cupcakes of your choice and frost, set aside for the time being. Get Oreo cookies and candy corn; place candy corn into the frosting on top half of cookie to mimic feathers. Take Nutter Butter cookie and with colored icing make eyes and gobbler on cookie to make the turkeys face. Let sit while frosting and icing hardens then stick the Nutter Butter into the cupcake and place the Oreo part slightly behind. Making all of these didn’t take as long as you would think and I had a lot of fun with it! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season ahead of you with loved ones! Until next time xo Chrissy

family, fitness, food, health, Uncategorized

Dairy-Free Vanilla Pumpkin Spice Muffins!

On today’s episode of “I literally never bake except for in the month of October” we’re comin’ at ya with some Dairy-Free, organic Vanilla Pumpkin Spice Muffins. Yeah you heard me, and yes they are as delicious as they sound. I got inspired by one of my favorite YouTubers Kalyn Nicholson (if you love lifestyle, fitness and recipe videos I would definitely check her out she’s amazing.) I took the recipe she had found online and tweaked it a bit for my own personal taste since I typically like to add vanilla into most baking recipes. This recipe is so simple and perfect for Fall, not to mention that it made the whole house smell like pumpkin spice heaven! I hope you give this one a try and let me know if you put some of your own personal baking touches as well. Until next time, XO Chrissy

Vanilla Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Preheat oven to 375, use a cupcake/muffin baking sheet. I used baking cups to make for easier cleanup.

Ingredients
15 ounce organic canned pumpkin
1/3 cup melted vegan butter
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
1 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Melt butter in large mixing bowl, then add all other ingredients and mix. Place in oven for 25-30 minutes depending on your oven but start checking on them after minute 20. Top with walnuts and dark chocolate chips like I did or whatever your heart desires! Seriously guys, give this one a try.

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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

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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Processed with VSCO with fp4 preset

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.