Aloha Pineapple

Aloha Pineapple

I cannot believe summer is over?!?! Well, it feels like the end since I’m preparing to send my first child to Kindergarten on Wednesday.  How can my sweet little 7 lbs 9 oz baby girl born the-quickest-five-years-of-my-life ago be going to Kindergarten? Please tell me I’m not the only mama out there struggling with the mixed emotions related to sending their first to Kindergarten. Yes, she is SO ready and SO excited BUT all-day Kindergarten?  She’ll be at school and away from her family most of the day AND who knows what she’ll be exposed to.  Oh, my mommy-heart is going to break a little when I drop her off on the first day. I’m walking into a whole new world.  School schedules, teacher conferences, packed school lunches, homework (do they give homework in Kindergarten?), and I’m sure lots of grumpy days ahead of adjusting to an earlier wake-up time (probably more from me than my daughter).  This is where I need to up my organization game. I’m already excited about adding some of my fun, healthy lunch options like my Apple Fruit Sandwiches to her lunchbox. Oh, quick sidebar… I found this awesome insulated lunchbox along with these slim lunch ice packs if you’re searching for some great lunch boxes for your kids. Outside of packing her delicious lunches, I want to make sure my breakfasts for her are on point.  I need my daughter confidently walking into her Kindergarten day with a belly full of nutrients.  I strongly believe none of us can BE our best selves or DO our best work if we’re not treating our bodies...
Applesauce Chia Muffins

Applesauce Chia Muffins

I cannot believe we’re on the last half of July!  Does anyone else feel like this year is flying by?  I want to slam the breaks on my summer days and prolong the summer as long as possibly especially since my baby boy is rapidly approaching his first birthday!!  I tear up thinking about it.  Am I the only mom who gets emotional on birthdays?  If so… just lie and say you get me. Well, at this point, all I can do is hang on, enjoy every second, and comfort myself with these light, fluffy applesauce muffins.  Not only are these approved by my husband and 3 year old, my cute baby smeared the muffin all over his face while he hastily ate his. Before I started blogging, I was clueless on how this all worked.  Extremely clueless.  It is hard work juggling everything!  I started meeting other bloggers and quickly realized this blogging business is packed with talented, educated, and family-focused individuals.  We have a passion and want to share it with others.  We spend long, late hours working while our kiddos sleep in order to build our businesses. Although I love creating healthy recipes and hosting my health challenge, I wanted to do more to support and encourage others in my same spot!  I united with my brilliant friend, Sabrina, and formed a plan on how to host a food blogger conference unlike any out there!  I now have 4 babies… my two beautiful children, No Diets Allowed, and Everything Food Conference.   All four require insane amount of work and diligence, but I have to say my two delightful, joyful kids are by...
Fresh Fruit Salad

Fresh Fruit Salad

If you want something that will be consistently devoured by your family, you’ve come to the right place.  I make a large batch of this fresh fruit salad for every family gathering and it’s a hit each time.  Who would love juicy pineapple, crisp apples, and crunchy sweet grapes? Although a 3 ingredient fresh fruit salad is quick and easy, you don’t want to skip out on my tips. First, wash your grapes and apples!  And by washing, I don’t mean rinsing with water. Scrub those babies! Here’s a post on washing vegetables where you can see the difference between washed and rinsed grapes. I’ve used a few vegetable washes in my day.  I keep coming back to Fit Fruit & Vegetable Wash.  Big BIG fan! For grapes, I pluck them and place them in a large bowl.  I pour a cap full of Fit Fruit & Vegetable Wash over the grapes and fill the bowl with cool water until all the grapes are covered.  Let them sit for about 3 to 5 minutes and use your hands to gently scrub the grapes while still in the water in a circular motion.  Drain and rinse with water. For apples, spray each apple 2 to 3 times with wash.  Scrub the apples with your hands for about 15 to 20 seconds.  While rinsing under cool water, scrub the apple with your hands until you feel the residue wash off.  You’ll oooh and aaah over how great they feel!   After you finish cutting your fresh pineapple into chunks, don’t throw away the rind just yet!  Those crisp delicious apples need the juice from the rind in order to prevent them from...
Jamba Juice Orange C-Booster CopyCat

Jamba Juice Orange C-Booster CopyCat

Jamba Juice lovers… holla!  I didn’t realize so many people crave Jamba Juice like I do until my healthy copycat recipes started blowing up! Do you know what my Mango-A-Go-Go, Peanut Butter Moo’d, Razzmatazz, and Caribbean Passion have in common?  They are 4 ingredients or less, dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, and scrumptious-FULL!  Let’s keep this party going by introducing Jamba Juice Orange C-Booster! Okay, I’ll try to chill out on using so many exclamation points…. really, I’ll do my best. When I’m under the weather, my mind immediately turns towards a soothing Jamba Juice Orange C-Booster.  It’s overflowing with vitamin C and nothing feels better on a sore throat than a cold smoothie. I had the flu (yes, the real flu) a couple months ago and it knocked. me. out. I was in bed for a week and my body felt on fire.  The body aches were the worst part!  I’ll stop complaining… there’s a reason nurses make the worst patients.  Since being sick is a form of torture, I of course needed Jamba to comfort me.  Thanks to my sweet honey, Orange C-Booster made an appearance.  It almost makes being sick worth it. Almost. Like my other Jamba Juice copycats, there are only 4 ingredients: orange juice, peaches, pineapple, and banana.  The original recipe calls for orange sherbet which contains added sugar and dairy.  A frozen banana quickly replaces the sherbet and its creamy texture tastes like vanilla ice cream.  Don’t believe me?  Try my 3 ingredient blender ice cream.    Freezing bananas is really simple.  Wait until your bananas are the perfect yellow (not green and not brown).  Peel your bananas (up to 6), place in ziplock gallon...
Peach Cobbler

Peach Cobbler

When it comes to fresh peaches, I am hooked up!  My brother and sister-in-law have a crazy producing peach tree along with some of our generous neighbors (love you all!).  Since peach season comes and goes oh so quickly in the Fall, I stock up.  I’m actually surprised that I have any leftover to freeze because I cannot contain myself from eating dozens at a time.  Oh, I love biting into a ripe peach and having the juice run down my chin despite attempting to eat like a civilized person. Okay, back to the cobbler.  Even if you don’t have an abundance of peach trees around you, thank goodness frozen peaches are available all year long.  Since peaches have a thin skin which don’t protect the fruit well enough from pesticides, I recommend purchasing organic peaches.  Also, there is no comparison for the fresh-from-the-garden taste of organic produce. Also, I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t mention whole wheat pastry flour…. again.  It really makes this peach cobbler recipe light and fluffy without skipping out on nutrients.  You would think I’m running an illegal scam with how much I promote this flour, BUT I promise I’m not getting paid off for my opinion.  I really do use it in everything!  My miracle whole wheat bread, blueberry waffles, and Banana Zucchini Muffins are just a couple of many recipes where I’ll help you fall in love with whole wheat pastry flour.   If you can make a recipe healthier without compromising taste, why not?  Instead of cool whip or whipping cream, try scooping on my blender ice cream or pouring on some coconut...
Sauteed Asparagus with Coconut Oil

Sauteed Asparagus with Coconut Oil

The first 20 seconds says it all… I’ve watched it a 100 times.  Make that 101. Picture me puckering my lips while elegantly throwing up my hands and using a flowing French accent to say, “No miserable, overcooked asparagus in your kitchen! Make your cuisine a passionate affair!” If you’ve sautéed asparagus, you know how quickly it can turn from crispy to soggy.  AND then you’ve just wasted your money because no one eats the soggy mess.  As the 1980s say, been there done that.  SO stick with me and I’ll let you know how to keep it crispy and scrumptious. If you haven’t taken the coconut oil leap yet, it’s time to jump on before the bandwagon leaves.  Coconut oil and its nutrition benefits are through the roof, off the chain, and wicked good.  Apparently, I’m bringing all the 1980 quotes back tonight.  How did I go from elegant French to parachute pants and big hair in the same post? ANYway, coconut oil has been proven to assist in weight loss, reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, lower chance of heart disease, and improve skin and hair.  Since falling in love with coconut oil, I can’t remember the last time I used butter.  I spread it on anything you normally would spread butter on… like my blueberry waffles, whole wheat bread, and my banana zucchini muffins. As far as crispy asparagus goes, coconut oil is the perfect companion.  This sauteed asparagus is going to be fought over like candy. Here are a couple parting tips.  Coconut oil is meant for low to medium cooking temperatures so make sure you cook on low-medium heat.  Also, you literally only cook asparagus...

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