Recipe: Clean Eating Snack Bites

We do our best to eat according to our meal plan (this not only keeps us following our clean eating, but also closer to being on-budget). However, the snacking habit dies hard, so when I am ready to tear through the house to find something to satisfy that sweet-spot, these are a much better option for me than junk or caving to baking a sweet treat!

This recipe is inspired by our go-to energy bit recipe from Maggie at “Smashed Peas and Carrots”. I have made so many variations of this basic recipe. I highly recommend you try it out for yourself!

Print Recipe

Double Chocolate No-Bake Energy Bites

 

Double Chocolate Snack BitesCourse: Snacks and Sandwiches

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 10 min

Total Time: 10 min

Serves: 10

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl until well blended.
  2. Warm honey and peanut butter in microwave or on stovetop just until you can blend the two. Add in Pure Vanilla Extract
  3. Pour wet over dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 min to an hour.
  5. Scoop (or spoon, or roll) into bite-size balls.
  6. Store refrigerated in an airtight container. Keep in the fridge for up to 1 week, up to 1 month in freezer.

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Recipe: Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt

There isn’t much better combination than peanut butter and chocolate…unless it’s peanut butter and DARK chocolate!:) Recently I have been on a kick with my peanut butter and chocolate, and came up with this delicious treat.

note-this post contains affiliate links.

Print Recipe

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt

Prep Time: 5 min

Total Time: 5 min

Serves: 1

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Blend greek yogurt with peanut butter, vanilla extract, and dark cocoa powder until powder begins to incorporate. It may still appear “swirled” from the cocoa powder.
  2. Top with mini chocolate chips, granola, or other toppings you like!
  3. 21 Day Fix/Fixate Container Equivalents: 1 red, 1 teaspoon, 1/2 yellow (more depending on optional toppings)

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 For more recipes, nutrition tips and spiritual support join me here. If you need help with your physical or spiritual health and would like some accountability, reach out to me-I help people each month as they improve their health!

Product Review: Beardsmen Spirit Beard Shampoo

We have reviewed a few Beardsmen Spirit products in the past (you can read those reviews here-scented and here-unscented), like their beard oil and mustache wax. Each time has been a positive experience, so when they asked us to review their Beard Shampoo, we had pretty high expectations. I am happy to say that they did not disappoint!
Mason’s Experience: I liked the smell, it was consistent with the beard oil of the same “flavor” – but it also wasn’t so overpowering. I liked the way my beard has felt after using it consistently, particularly the softness of my beard using the shampoo combined with the oil. When using it, the product wasn’t too sudsy as I lathered. There was truly nothing to dislike!

Overall, it left my chin and cheeks feeling clean. It also seemed to improve the results of the oils. Using them in combination had greater results than individually.

I’d definitely recommend it to any of my bearded friends!

For more recipes, nutrition tips and spiritual support join me here. If you need help with your physical or spiritual health and would like some accountability, reach out to me-I help people each month as they improve their health!

Disclaimer: I received these products free in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255<http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Booklook Review: The Princess Twins and the Tea Party

240_360_book-1854-coverAfter a great experience reviewing “The Princess Twins and the Birthday Party” (see our review here), I opted to get “The Princess Twins and the Tea Party” as well. In this story, Princess Emma is trying to make sure that every detail is ready and perfect for the tea party. She works so hard, striving in every possible area to be perfect, and is then reminded that only God is perfect. What a great truth!

Our daughter Maddy, nearly 4 years old and into princess-everything, was in love with this book. I’m pretty sure we read it at least 3-4 times as soon as it was opened. I don’t know that she quite comprehends the message of striving for perfection, but the story creates wonderful avenues for conversation on the topic.

I would recommend this book not only as a good “I Can Read” level 1 reader, but for those who have little ones like mine who want to grow up to be princesses. Mona Hodgson did a wonderful job writing this story in a way that is easy to understand. I would highly recommend for preschool ages and early readers.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Getting Real With Postpartum Weightloss

You can get your body back after baby!

6 Weeks to Abs Again!

Crunch away the baby belly!

Y’all. can we just get real for a minute here?

I know first-hand that as a mom you want to feel like you again. You want to fit back in your jeans, and your hips have spread so far they feel like they are in two different zip codes. So there with you, friend!

As I have been walking this postpartum journey again with our second, #BabyChallenger, it’s been a whole new level of learning to appreciate my body as God made it and trusting in the process of solid nutrition + fitness + support to get me to my end goal of being healthy (AND fitting in my jeans again).

 

2014-08-07 02.51.06-1
2.5 years after first pregnancy, 15lbs less than pre-pregnancy weight!

After our first, I had no idea what I was doing with my health and nutrition, and she was nearly 2 when I found a simple system that worked for me. At-home workouts, basics of nutrition and portion-eating, real food supplements that helped curb my sugar cravings throughout the process, and support from a community of people who were like-minded. I stayed consistent throughout the pregnancy with #BabyChallenger and the payoff was incredible.

-less weight gain

-less complications in pregnancy

-shorter labor (some aspects even easier)

-easier recovery

-stronger adjusting to newborn phase (carrying/holding baby, etc)

 

6 wks postpartum

6 Weeks Postpartum* after Second Baby #BabyChallenger 

*and you should know-I was standing with the best posture and core control I could muster here. As much as I had stayed active and worked to train my core throughout my pregnancy, the female body naturally adapts to take care of baby, which means your core goes through MAJOR changes.

8b7b2f2083aff589bd468eee8e20b0f1So, now I find myself with our baby nearing 10 Months old, and I was just sharing with a friend yesterday how I’m still a solid 15 lbs heavier than I was pre-baby. I calculated again this morning…make that closer to 20. However, I remind myself every day that I’m still breastfeeding, and the body’s natural response and hormones *tell your body to hang onto fat*! This is actually a good thing, because in case there is war or famine, you need to be able to feed your baby. Isn’t God’s design incredible?! Now, maybe there are other mommas who can breastfeed and get six-pack abs at the same time, but you shouldn’t feel “less than” if you aren’t in that boat.:)

So, while I still have a tummy, hips, some jiggle in my thighs, and I’m far from having a 6-pack, I am strong. I am healthy. I am learning to live my life in the image of the One who created me, and be an example of health to my family. I am feeding my baby and taking care of me at the same time. That’s a WIN!

For more recipes, nutrition tips and spiritual support join me here. If you need help with your physical or spiritual health and would like some accountability, reach out to me-I help people each month as they improve their health!

Who is Tony Horton?

If you would have asked me a week ago, “Who is Tony Horton?”, I likely would have replied with, “He’s the brains behind some really popular fitness programs like P90x, 10 Minute Trainer, and I think he even has his own skincare line now. Oh, and he can be a little weird and intense sometimes.”😉 All my preconceived notions and judgments, to be fair.

Confession-I have never done one of Tony Horton’s programs. I tried a workout or two of my MIL’s old Ten Minute Trainer program, and just didn’t feel like I jived with his vibe. So, when I heard that Tony Horton would be guest speaking at our local Super Saturday, I thought it was cool but really wasn’t too pumped.

And then I met him.

And then I heard his story.

If you want to hear for yourself, you can check out him sharing here:

I knew I could learn something from him, because the guy is crazy successful and well known, has written a few books, and his impact on the health and fitness community is noticeable to say the least. Getting to learn from people who have fought to help others and change lives in a big way lights me up. So, back to my point. Who is Tony Horton?

He’s just a real dude, who one day decided to do something to serve someone he didn’tDSC_0029 crop even like. If it weren’t for that act of kindness and humility, he may not be where he is today. In fact, I may not have the same opportunity today to work from home and build a business doing what God designed me to do! That’s crazy and humbling to me.

So, I don’t know who Tony Horton is to you, but to me he is someone who stepped out of his comfort zone to serve others, and because of his willingness to give without expectation of a return, I’m able to have the freedom to live in my purpose today. Never underestimate the power and impact of the choices you make! We have the ability to waste our days, spend our days, or invest our days. Which will you choose?

waste spend invest

For more recipes, nutrition tips and spiritual support join me here. If you need help with your physical or spiritual health and would like some accountability, reach out to me-I help people each month as they improve their health!

What God Taught Me From My Daughter’s Love For Disney Princesses

Our conversation began something like this,

(Maddy sitting up in her bed at nap time) “Mommy, pwincesses awe giwls, wight?”

(me, trying not to be completely perturbed because she is talking to me while we are settling down for nap time) “Yes, you’re right. A prince is a boy.”

“But Mulan cut off her hair to pwetend to be a boy. Why did she do dat?”

I offer a simple explanation about women at that time in China, and as I describe how Mulan did a brave and hard thing to save and protect her Daddy, Maddy interrupts me.

“But, Mommy, Mulan got huwt!”

Instantly it connected in my mind and I answered her incredulous statement, “Yep, you’re right, babe. Sometimes even when we do brave things, we get hurt. It’s hard.”

“But den she saved China!”

“Yes, she did! Did you know that all of the princesses were hurt even when they did brave things?”

“But not Belle. She didn’t get huwt.”

“Actually, she did. She wasn’t hurt on her body, but her heart was hurt.” Maddy looked at me puzzled and I explained, “When she stayed with the Beast she had to leave her Daddy forever. Can you imagine not seeing your Daddy for a long long time?”

“Oh, my heawt would huwt! But youwe still hewe wif me, so I’m happy!”

After tucking the girls in for their nap, I came down to my desk in tears and shared this post. This season is hard. We are fighting to become debt free, and learning discipline on a whole new level. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s grueling and difficult and my fears ball up in my throat when I get distracted and lose heart.

Mulan was physically injured in battle and rejected by her team.

Tiana was outbid on the building for her restaurant.

Ariel gave up her most precious gift (what made her so unique) and was rejected by Prince Eric.

Cinderella lost her entire family and was rejected by her step-mother and step-sisters.

Here’s the truth I learned from the Disney Princesses-I will get hurt along the way, whether that’s physical, relational, heart, etc. However, I have to persevere.

I have always thought that working for someone else’s dream would be so hard, and it really was. I hated my last “job” and and struggled to see the value in my role and work. I know that if I “had to go back to work” now, I would be physically ill over leaving my girls and not having time with them.

quote graphic.jpg

Here’s the truth: working for someone else is hard. Working for your own dream is hard too. God created you with unique passion to glorify Him. You must fight to pursue that good work. The dreams in your heart are there for a reason. Go pursue them, even when it hurts…even when it’s hard!

How has God uniquely created you to glorify Him?

For more recipes, nutrition tips and spiritual support join me here. If you need help with your physical or spiritual health and would like some accountability, reach out to me-I help people each month as they improve their health!

How to Make Fresh Ginger Lemon Tea (and Why you should today!)

Sinus pressure, sneezing, and blowing my nose-that’s most of what I have done the last two days. So, my scripture review this morning was accompanied by some Fresh Ginger Lemon Tea. This fresh tea has awesome benefits that I wasn’t even aware I was missing out on! I’m pretty much wondering why I don’t drink it everyday!😉

12963426_1702021010076663_507108108779331915_n.jpg

Benefits of Fresh Ginger Lemon Tea:

  • boost immunity with antioxidants from ginger and Vitamin C from Lemon
  • ginger increases blood circulation
  • nausea/indigestion relief (also great for those who struggle with nausea during pregnancy or chemotheraphy)
  • antibacterial and antiseptic properties and acts as antibiotic in the body
  • lemon boosts metabolism
  • helps your body better absorb nutrients from your food
  • aids in controlling blood sugar levels thanks to zinc in ginger (affects production/secretion of insulin)
  • beneficial for skin and hair health and growth
  • helpful in lessening cravings for carbohydrates and fatty foods
  • ginger improves the absorption of fat in the body
  • lemons reduce stress
  • supports proper organ function

What you need:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1-2 inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1/2 fresh lemon, juiced
  • 1-2 tsp honey, local if possible

Instructions:

  1. Bring water to boil in a small pan.
  2. Grate or chop fresh ginger and add to boiling water
  3. Juice fresh lemon and add to ginger and water.
  4. Cover and let steep 15-20 minutes.
  5. Strain and serve with honey to taste (or leave the ginger in and eat it for added benefits) 

Leave me your best tip for fighting a sinus cold!

For more recipes, nutrition tips and spiritual support join me here. If you need help with your physical or spiritual health and would like some accountability, reach out to me-I help people each month as they improve their health!

 

How to Find Peace And Ditch the Crazy Cycles

Have you ever found yourself in a crazy pattern of thinking that just keeps you spinning in negativity and defeat?

Me neither.

WHAT? Who am I kidding? It happens all too often, and it’s something God has really been challenging me to let Him transform in my heart and life.Here’s what’s worked for me.

1. PREPARE yourself with God’s truth. 

There’s a reason Paul describes the armor of God with truth being the piece that covers our “loins”, or our most sensitive and delicate parts (see Ephesians 6). Every piece of spiritual armor is linked back to God’s Word and message of hope. If we are not making use of the supernatural and powerful Word of God, we will not be prepared for the attack of the enemy. Psalm 119:11 states,

“Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.”

Begin treasuring God’s Word, and you will be better prepared for the next crazy cycle Satan tries to use to attack your thoughts.

Psalm 119-11.jpg

2. CATCH your thoughts when the downward spiral begins.

This is perhaps the most vital key to ditching the crazy cycle of negativity and defeat. 2 Corinthians 10:5 speaks of taking thoughts captive so that we can be obedient to Christ. As believers, we are taught to exude God’s love, grace, joy, and peace. When we are in the depths of defeat, there’s no room for God’s presence to shine in our lives. We have to change the way we think according to Ephesians 4 (read the second half, verses 20-24). Recognizing your thoughts is where this transformation process begins!

change thoughts.jpg

3. SURROUND yourself with friends who are striving, not those who are struggling.

It’s these moments we need true friends who know our junk and love us warts and all, but are also going to call us on the carpet and expect us to grow and change. Proverbs 27:6 is a great example of that, and I also often think of Deborah from the book of Judges (check out Judges 4-5 to read about her). When you choose a friend to help you with your crazy (or anyone to be part of your support system), you are going into spiritual battle together. Choose someone who has your back!

battle friends.jpg

For more recipes, nutrition tips and spiritual support join me here. If you need help with your physical or spiritual health and would like some accountability, reach out to me-I help people each month as they improve their health!

Booklook Review: The Princess Twins and the Birthday Party

240_360_book-1855-coverMaddy loves anything “princess”, so I was hopeful that this would be a great addition to our library and would meet her requirements for a good “princess” read. “The Princess Twins and the Birthday Party” is all about Princess Abby and Princess Emma who are getting ready for their birthday party. Both girls spend time dressing up, fixing their hair, and preparing a special party for their friends. When one of their friends arrives in a plain dress, they have an opportunity to show kindness from within.

Maddy was enthralled with this book, and loved the story and how exciting the characters were to her. I liked the underlying message of kindness and beauty within that was conveyed through the King’s speech to the princesses and then was emulated between the princesses and their friends.

I would recommend this book not only as a good “I Can Read” level 1 reader, but for those who have little ones like mine who want to grow up to be princesses. Mona Hodgson did a wonderful job writing this story in a way that is easy to understand. I think it’s great for preschool ages.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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