Month: June 2018

Fit Mom Cardio

Fit Mom Cardio

Hey!!! So finally got my #WorkoutWednesday post up…. I thought I would be totally different and post it on Thursday! 🤐😉😜

All kidding aside- give it a try and tag me in a post on Instagram or Facebook  so I can feature you! 💪🏻❤️ Today’s workout can be done on the treadmill or outside.

 

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin Spice Latte

 

 

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Ingredients

  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 Tbsp. pumpkin puree
  • ¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup brewed black coffee or 1 shot espresso
  • 1 dash ground nutmeg to taste; optional

Instructions

  1. Heat milk, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and extract in medium saucepan over medium heat; cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until mixture is hot, but not boiling. It is ready when there are many small bubbles on the sides of the saucepan.
  2. Remove from heat; mix vigorously with a whisk until frothy.
  3. Pour coffee or espresso into serving mug; top with milk mixture.
  4. Top with nutmeg if desired.

 

Crockpot Lentil Vegetable Soup

Crockpot Lentil Vegetable Soup

 

Crockpot Lentil Vegetable Soup~Fit Mom Adventures

I knew today was going to be a really busy day. When I know I'm going to have such a busy day I like to know that I have dinner ready for me and I don't need to worry about it. When I walked in the house this afternoon, it smelled amazing!

Ingredients

  • ~1 lb dried lentils-rinsed
  • ~1-16 oz frozen bag zucchini or 2-3 fresh
  • ~1-16 oz frozen bag green beans
  • ~4 carrots sliced
  • ~2- 15 oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • ~8 cups water
  • ~Seasonings to taste: I used italian seasoning onion powder, and garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Combine all in crockpot. Turn on high. I cooked it on high for about 6 hours. You could probably turn it on low for 8 hours or longer.
Grabbagreen Smoothie Review

Grabbagreen Smoothie Review

When I see healthy places go up, my excitement level soars. When I see a healthy place right around the corner from my house? I start jumping up and down in excitement and am convinced that place will be my new BFF.

I normally don’t eat out much because 1) I am a budget girl who can be kind of a tightwad. 2) I don’t like to eat junk food all that often.

HOWEVER- I am a normal person who gets busy and forgets to plan ahead. A girl who will be fine one second and so ravenous the next that she is contemplating whether eating her own young in the car with her would be socially accepted- you know, given the circumstances of nearly starving to death.

I also have been making my own smoothies for years because it is easy peasy  to throw everything in a blender and call it a day. Need extra protein? Throw in some powder. Need more greens? Throw in some spinach or kale. Possibilities are endless.  So, I can be a little bit of a smoothie snob when I go somewhere that charges $7 a smoothie when I make the same thing at home for pennies.

However, I have been a Jamba Juice girl for years. Giving in to the high priced smoothies that are bigger than my head because I fell in love the idea of a healthy smoothie on the run, received by a drive through.

So I decided to give this place a try since it is LITERALLY right next to my house.

My oldest daughter and I walked in and were immediately greeted by energetic and cheerful employees. I wanted (needed- I am a super slow order-er to the dismay of my husband every time we go out) a minute to look over the menu to get a handle on what is served. While I was looking over the menu, the employees were extremely helpful in answering any questions I had and offering suggestions based on what I was in the mood for and my likes/dislikes.

I noticed that in addition to smoothies, they also offer a full menu with bowls, wraps, soups, salads, snacks and fresh juices.  Grabbagreen caters to the clean eating lifestyle and promotes that their  Eat Clean menu is preservative-free and GMO free.

The Grabbagreen Difference

Healthy Food, Fast!

Welcome to Grabbagreen, where nothing comes through our doors pre-cooked. Even better, organics make up a healthy portion of our Grabba Grain + Grabba Green signature bowls. Every menu item is made-to-order, each is prepared fresh, and all your proteins are cooked in-house and primarily on the spot – without compromising your time. ~ Grabbagreen

We decided to just order smoothies which only come in one size and sadly- they are not bigger than my head. I wanted something with kale (duh! I am the QUEEN of green smoothies) and carrot juice because I am missing my juicer so much. So I ordered the IMMUNIZATION STATION which consisted of Agave, Banana, Kale, Strawberry, Carrot Juice, and Immune Powder.  My daughter ordered OXIDATION ELIMINATION which consisted of  Acai, Agave, Banana, Blackberry, Blueberry, Spinach, Strawberry, and Green Tea.  My smoothie was delicious and everything I expected.  I tried my daughter’s as well and hers was equally delicious.

Something that piqued my curiosity as well is the Detox.

Grabbadetoxis a healthful way to reboot your body. Ten juices and four elixirs make up this nutrient-dense cleanse which floods your system with the vitamins of over 20 pounds of fruits and vegetables. ~Grabbagreen

You choose how many days you would like to detox for and from there are given a custom designed detox menu.

1. Decide on a 1, 2 or 3 day detox.
2. Choose Simple Green or Super Green
(6-juice plans) for each day.
3. Choose 2 Elixirs for each day.
4. Detoxify!

The verdict and final opinion of Grabbagreen? The frugal girl inside me  cringes at the thought of paying $7 for a small smoothie that I totally always make myself at home. I will concede that if I were to run to McDonald’s to buy myself something I would spend that much, and I do love having the option of buying something that I know I will enjoy, is healthy for me, and I won’t walk away feeling sick later. I definitely want to try some of the other items off the menu and plan on giving reviews of that as well! So, bottom line? I think from start to finish it is a great place.  From cheerful employees to delicious and healthy food, it was an enjoyable experience.

***** I did not receive compensation of any kind for my review****

Is working out selfish as a mom?

Is working out selfish as a mom?

When I started working out years ago, this was something I had to ask myself. I have 4 kids. When I would tell them I was heading to work out, a scene like this would typically play out.

“Do you have to, Mom?”

“No, I don’t have to. However, I want to. Exercising makes mommy healthy and feel good.”

“Can’t you just workout tomorrow?”

Sigh. How hard it is to say no to our families when they want to spend time with us. I always made sure that they were taken care of before I went to work out. I didn’t even leave for a gym-just the other room. They made it seem as if I was going to be gone for hours, instead of the 45 minutes or so that I would be in the other room.

How easy it would have been to give in to that guilt. I am so proud of myself that I didn’t waver in my convictions that I work out. As moms, we tend to care for others before ourselves. We feel that we would be “bad moms” if we take care of our own needs first.

When on a a plane, we are always given the instructions to place the oxygen masks on ourselves before our children. If we were to ignore those instructions,we might not be able to take care of our loved ones at all. We could get injured or pass out before we were able to tend to them.

The same is true in our day to day lives. Motherhood is the hardest job I will ever do. When I was overweight, I was tired all the time. Small things seemed monumental. When I got healthy, it was easier to take care of my family. So, taking care of me IS taking better care of my family. I feel so strong when I work out. I feel like an athlete in practice. I can rock playtime  with my kids and keep up with my 10 year old daughter who still likes to play with me.

I know it feels selfish to have that “me” time to exercise. Especially when exercise time isn’t already a habit and a part of your daily schedule. Those pleas to wait and do it tomorrow are strong and compelling. After all, won’t we have so much time to work out when they are all grown up? However, if we wait until then- have we done them any favors? Will we be overweight? Struggling with blood pressure? Diabetes? Have we shown them how to live a healthy lifestyle? Will we be sacrificing their long term health because we taught them to find any excuse not to work out?

Maybe if this feels like it is too selfish for you to take this time for yourself you can use the following tips I wrote in this article to include your kiddos.  Improve their health and become a rock star mom at the same time.  It’s a win-win situation.

I am very proud of myself for not giving in to those excuses. I know that I am a better mom for it.

Pumpkin Pizza with Kale

Pumpkin Pizza with Kale

 Impress your husband and kids (or at the least just get them to attempt to eat kale)  with this pizza recipe. It is totally worth your time (I promise) and you don’t have to tip the pizza delivery guy. Win-Win.

 

Pumpkin Pizza with Kale
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Things You Need:

  • Ingredients
  • for Pizza Dough:
  • ¼ oz. active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water 100 – 110° F.
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 3 – 3¼ cups whole wheat flour divided use
  • ½ tsp. fine sea salt or Himalayan salt
  • 2 tsp. olive oil divided use
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • for the pizza
  • 1½ cups fresh roasted or canned pumpkin puree
  • ¾ tsp. curry powder
  • 2 Tbsp. low-sodium organic vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped kale stems removed
  • 1 medium red onion chopped, caramelized (see tips)
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese

How to do it 🙂

  1. For Pizza Dough:
  2. Place yeast, water, and sugar in a medium bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until yeast becomes foamy.
  3. Combine 3 cups flour and salt in a small bowl. Gradually add flour mixture to yeast mixture. Mix with clean hands until mixture does not stick to your hands. Add additional flour if needed.
  4. Roll dough into a ball.
  5. Brush with ½ tsp. oil.
  6. Place in a bowl; cover with a towel. Let rise for 2 hours.
  7. Punch down dough to remove air; knead and roll into a ball. Brush with ½ tsp. oil. Place in a bowl; cover with a towel. Let rise for an additional 2 hours.
  8. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  9. Roll dough until it will no longer stretch.
  10. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  11. Continue to roll until it reaches your desired diameter, about 10 to 12-inches, and about ½-inch thick.
  12. Place on baking pan lightly coated with spray.
  13. Brush with remaining 1 tsp. oil.
  14. For the Pizza:
  15. While pizza dough is resting, combine pumpkin, curry powder, and broth in a medium bowl; mix well. Set aside.
  16. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat.
  17. Add kale; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until kale softens. Set aside.
  18. Spread pizza dough evenly with pumpkin mixture, stopping ½-inch from edge.
  19. Top evenly with kale and onion.
  20. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until crust is golden.
  21. Top with cheese.

Tip: *You can make fresh roasted pumpkin puree by cutting a pumpkin in half and placing it on a baking pan. Drizzle it with ½ tsp. olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 350° F. for 35 to 40 minutes. If using fresh pumpkin puree, increase vegetable broth to 4 Tbsp.

*To caramelize onion, heat 1 tsp. olive oil in medium nonstick skillet. Add 1 chopped onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes. Once onions begin to brown reduce heat to low. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until onions are brown.

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http://www.candicruz.net/56/

Green Protein Pancakes

Green Protein Pancakes

Made protein pancakes this morning with a secret ingredient….. want to know what it was?  Spinach! Get ready to flex those Popeye muscles and show off how healthy you are! 😉

 

Green Protein Pancakes
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Things You Need:

  • 1/2 banana
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 scoop protein powder of choice
  • 1/2 cup spinach

How to do it 🙂

  1. Blend really well in small blender. Cook on non stick griddle until golden on both sides.
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http://www.candicruz.net/green-protein-pancakes/

 

 

 

 

Understanding Food Labels

Understanding Food Labels

Words that companies use on their packaging to describe their foods can be confusing sometimes. The FDA regulates the specific descriptive wording, but it can still be confusing to us- the consumers. For example, when you see a bag of jelly beans labeled “now fat free”.

You wonder “did they change the formula?” Nope. The jelly beans are pretty much pure sugar- and always have been. The package isn’t lying. There isn’t any fat in them. However, they have NEVER contained fat. Just sugar. The change in packaging was just done to confuse us as consumers into thinking that those jelly beans are now a healthier food.

Most people looking to lose weight try to read labels and all the packaging labeled “light”, “low-fat”, “non-fat”, or “reduced calorie” all sound very appealing. So how do we know which is right for us to choose?

Here is a list of FDA regulated food descriptions with the criteria that companies are required to meet to include these descriptions on their packaging.

  • Free: is often associated with fat free or sugar free. It meant that the product contains no amount of, or only trivial quantities of the said components. Less than 0.5 g per serving or less 5 calories per serving.
  • Low: can be used if the foods can be consumed regularly without causing excessive intakes of said component it is referring to.
  • Low Calorie: less than 40 calories per serving.
  • Low fat: less than 3 grams of fat per serving.
  • Low sodium: less than 140 mg of sodium per serving.
  • Light: This one has 3 possible meanings. 1.) It has 1/3 fewer calories or half the fat. 2.) the sodium content of a low calorie, low fat food has been reduced by 50%. 3.) the term describes the color, texture or other property as long as it explains it’s meaning.
  • Reduced: the contents contain at least 25% less of the component than the original.
  • Lean: less than 10 grams fat, 4.5 grams or less saturated fat, and less than 95 mg of cholesterol per serving per 100 grams.
  • Extra lean: less than 5 grams fat, less than 2 grams of saturated fat, less than 95 mg of cholesterol per serving.
  • Good Source: 10-19% of the daily value of said item.
  • High In: 20% or more of daily value of said item
  • Extra: at 10% more than the daily value in the referenced food.
  • Very low sodium: 35 mg or less soium
  • Sodium free: less than 5 mg per serving
  • High Fiber: 5g or more of fiber per serving

 

Where to Find The Information on the Label

  1. Nutrition information panel – This panel shows the average amount of energy, protein, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrate, sugars and sodium in a serve and in 100 g (or 100 ml) of the food. The amount of any other nutrient or substance about which a nutrition content or health claim is made must also be shown (e.g. the amount of calcium must be shown if a claim about calcium is made).
  2. Percentage labeling –  Food labels must show the percentage of the key or characterizing ingredients or components in the food. This allows similar foods to be compared.
  3. Food identification –  To help identify a food, food labels must show:
    • the name of the food
    • the name and business address  of the supplier of the food
    • the lot identification of the food.
    The name or description of the food must reflect  its true nature (e.g. strawberry yogurt must contain strawberries). If the yogurt contained strawberry flavoring rather than real fruit,  then the name would need to indicate that it is
    strawberry-flavored yogurt.
  4. Information for people with food allergies or intolerances – Some food ingredients and substances can cause severe allergic reactions and must be declared when present in a food. These ingredients are peanuts, tree nuts (e.g. cashews, almonds, and walnuts), crustacea, fish, milk, eggs,  sesame, soybeans, and wheat. Sulphites (if added at 10 mg or more per kg of food) and cereals containing gluten (e.g. wheat, oats, barley, rye and spelt) also need to be declared.
  5. Date marking – Foods that should be eaten before a certain date for health or safety reasons must be labelled with a use–by date.
    Otherwise a best–before date is required if the food has a shelf life of less than two years. Although it may be safe to eat a food after its best–before date, it may have lost quality and some nutritional value.
  6. Ingredient list – Ingredients must be listed in descending order (by ingoing weight). So if an ingredient is listed near the
    start of the list, then the food contains more of this ingredient than others lower down the list.
  7. Food additives – Food additives must be identified  in the ingredient list, usually by their class name (e.g. ‘thickener’
    or ‘color’) followed by the food additive name or number.
  8. Directions for use and storage –  Where specific storage conditions are required for  a food to keep until its best-before or use-by date,
    those conditions must be included on the label. If the food must be used in accordance with certain directions for health or safety reasons,
    those directions must be included on the label.
  9. Nutrition and health claims –  Nutrition content claims are claims about the content of certain nutrients or substances in a food, (e.g. ‘contains calcium’). Health claims refer to a relationship between a food and health. There are rules for when nutrition content or health claims are made on food labels.

 

We all want to be healthy. I hope this helps a little when food shopping in reading food labels, so you can make the best decisions for you in your food purchases and not be tricked by the food companies packaging.

Lunch today—lentils

Lunch today—lentils

Mmmmmm……. Lunch. I started eating lentils on a daily basis for lunch when I started weight training. I discovered that lentils  really helped me to curb my appetite and control cravings. I felt more satisfied with my daily food. So why is that?

 

Lentils are really high in fiber. The high fiber content prevents your blood sugar levels from spiking rapidly- which is something that happens when we consume carbohydrates at meal time. However, if our carbohydrates are full of fiber, the spike is slow and gradual which enables our bodies to use them as fuel. The opposite happens without the fiber. Our bodies get a big rush of carbohydrates with nothing to slow down the absorption, so it sets our body on a roller coaster of energy. Ever felt slow and sluggish not too long after eating a meal heavy in processed carbohydrates? There was no fiber to set the brakes and your body crashed after using the fuel in a huge rush of energy.

Lentils are also high in protein, so they are perfect for trying to get some more protein into your diet without adding more meat. I have made chili, sloppy joes, and even lentil veggie patties with them.

So to share my love of lentils, I thought I would share a recipe to get you started!

 

Lentil Chili
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Things You Need:

  • 1-1/4 cups dry lentils (half a pound)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 15 oz can tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • Dash hot pepper flakes or Tabasco sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

How to do it 🙂

  1. Place the lentils and the water in a large pot.
  2. Put the pot on the stove and bring it to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat so that the lentils are simmering gently. Cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Do not add the other ingredients until after the lentils have cooked. If the lentils begin to get dry, or if the water boils away then add more water. You want the lentils to remain soup-like while they cook.
  5. After 30 minutes, add all of the remaining ingredients.
  6. Simmer the chili for 15 to 20 minutes
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http://www.candicruz.net/lunch-today-lentils/

 

There are so many ways to prepare them, google it and try something new! Leave me a comment below sharing your favorite way to prepare lentils!

 

Turkey Meatloaf

Turkey Meatloaf

 

Ever think that when you are trying to lose weight or eat healthier you have to give up comfort foods? I used to think that until I started trying to re-vamp our family favorites. My family actually prefers the ground turkey over ground beef. Goes great with brown rice, sweet potatoes, green beans, and/or salad. Can serve with ketchup on the side for those that have to have it. 🙂

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk nonfat milk,etc.
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic

Instructions

  1. Mix all and spread in loaf pan. Bake at 350 for about an hour.