Vegan Cuban Bowl with Baked Plantains

It’s Friday y’all and I’m just getting settled into my desk for a day full of catching up! I’ve been playing catch-up since May when Rock was born, but that’s a whole other post.
This week marks the official beginning of the school year for both girls. Sophia started last week and Penelope started this week, so it’s just me and Rock at home during the afternoons now. I thought that meant much quieter and less busy afternoons, but it turns out I was wrong. Luckily, I have been getting back in a routine, figuring things out, and trying to get stress and those overwhelmed feelings out of my life. Post on all that next week!

Recently, I cut way back on consuming dairy products. I am trying to totally eliminate it, but with this being my first time eliminating a food group from my diet, it’s been challenging. The most challenging part is when I’m outside of the house. When I’m at home I’m making all of the food I eat, and it’s extremely easy to not add cheese or ranch to my food. Outside of the home, in the chaos of the world, I don’t find it so easy. I’m not thinking about dairy when I’m chatting with friends at a restaurant or casually making a cup of coffee before walking into church service. In the past two weeks I’ve “accidentally” drank a coffee with creamer and ate half a sandwich with cheese on it. I didn’t even realize that I was consuming diary until it was all gone. Oopsie! But since Wednesday, I’ve been good! It’s a start!

The reason I’m eliminating diary from my diet right now is because I’m currently a nursing momma to a very congested little boy. Rock has been congested for a month now and it doesn’t appear to be going away. The doctors have expressed that it may be a multitude of different things including moving into a newly constructed home (dust everywhere) or just part of a virus that’s going around. With infants, you never really know, which is so frustrating. I wish I could make him hawk a loogie and get it out! I’ve taken him to the doctor 3 times and we’ve had an x-ray done of his chest just to rule out anything like that. So far, he’s perfectly “fine” except this nasty congestion. I don’t know what it is and I don’t really know what to do, so we’re taking it step by step and crossing things off the list. Who flippin knows!

I’m putting in more effort to clean up (my already pretty clean) diet to help my little man out. You’ll be seeing more clean eats, dairy-free, and some gluten-free recipes on here for the time being.

I made these Vegan Cuban Bowls on a total whim when I had to use up aging plantains. My Venezuelan/Italian stallion husband LOVES plantains. I try to keep plantains on a rotating menu to brighten his dinners every now and then. 😉

The base of the bowls were sauteed kale. I simply sauteed kale over medium heat with coconut oil, salt, and lemon juice. I topped with sauteed kale with roasted sweet potatoes, baked plantains, black beans, and avocado. To finish them off I splashed some lime juice and sprinkled some salt over the whole thing. Then I devoured that bowl of goodness!

Vegan Cuban Bowls (2)

Baked Plantains

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe plantains (skin is yellow with black spots)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. In small bowl mix together coconut sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. Cut the ends off of the plantains and make a slit down the peel from end to end.
  4. Unwrap plantain.
  5. Cut plantains on a diagonal into ~1/2 in slices.
  6. Place in large bowl, drizzle on coconut oil and toss to coat.
  7. Arrange in single layer on a baking sheet.
  8. Sprinkle coconut sugar mixture over plantains evenly.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes, turn over, and bake another 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.
http://www.al2getherfit.com/2016/08/26/vegan-cuban-bowl-with-baked-plantains/

XOXO

Gluten-Free Mini Banana Muffins

Friends! I’ve missed you this week, but this happened…
Sophia_Kinder

So I guess I’ve been unavailable emotionally (because of above) and physically because I’m still putting together the house. If I have to put together one.more.piece. of furniture I’ll scream. I’m typing this as I stare at a dresser and kid’s desk that still needs put together. I may or may not have screamed “you can wait!” at the boxes a few times this week.
Plus, if there’s one thing I want to tell the world and all mothers out there it’s this….

Baby Brain with #3 is like no other. Literally…where is my brain?
Dude, Where’s my car?
I do see a light at the end of this tunnel because I just officially past that “fourth trimester”.  I’m hoping my brain finds me again. I need it. Bad. I think school and getting back into a routine will help tremendously!

Since school has started Sophia has requested different things in her lunch box. She also can’t wait to buy food in the cafeteria line! Usually her lunches are pretty boring and consist of a sandwich, fruit, veggie, yogurt, and a couple of snacks. Angelo makes them before he goes to work in the mornings and he’s not the most creative person.
This week she asked for banana bread in her lunch, but we agreed mini muffins were so much cooler! So, we made banana mini muffins.

I’m selfish because I totally can’t make things and NOT eat them myself (at least taste test them) , so we made Gluten free, Dairy free, and delicious Mini Banana Muffins with dairy free chocolate chips for all to enjoy!
Originally I wasn’t going to put chocolate in them, but then Nelps asked where the chocolate was, so in came the chocolate chips! A girl after my own chocolate-loving heart…

These muffins may be mini, but they aren’t so mini in flavor! The girls loved them and ate some for dessert after dinner. Then, like planned, we sent Sophia to school with some to enjoy!

Gluten Free Banana Muffins (2)

Gluten Free Mini Banana Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Yield: 24 mini muffins

Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Mini Banana Muffins to enjoy for a grab-and-go breakfast, lunchbox item, or a sweet treat!

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free mini chocolate chips (Optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and grease a mini muffin pan with coconut oil.
  2. In a medium bowl, mash up bananas.
  3. Add rest of ingredients to bananas and stir to combine well.
  4. If you're adding chocolate chips, fold in after rest of ingredients are well combined.
  5. Fill each mini muffin spot to top.
  6. Bake for 10 -12 minutes.
  7. Let cool & Enjoy!
http://www.al2getherfit.com/2016/08/19/gluten-free-mini-banana-muffins/

XOXO

Homemade Simple Baked Granola

Hi friends!!

We’re still getting adjusted to the house, finding places for things, finding out we’re missing things,  and trying to get in a normal routine. I’m hoping to be in somewhat of a routine soon! School starts for Sophia next week, and Penelope’s preschool starts the week after that. Lord help us during these crazy mornings coming up. We’ve already witnessed some school traffic around town and we’re going to have to get creative on our routes to school.

Since we moved out here we keep saying we’re “going in to town” whenever we have to drive somewhere, as if we live way out in the country. Pretty much anything other than a few local produce markets are more than 5 minutes away. It’s really made me plan my outings a little better since nothing is a quick trip. I realized this when a neighbor texted me asking if we had broccoli. In our old house I would of texted back, just run to Publix real quick, but now you have to think twice about making a 30 minute trip for broccoli.  I’m thankful we have neighbors and aren’t totally secluded out here. The first piece of land we looked at was all by itself in the middle of no where and I’m SO thankful we didn’t buy it. I like having other human beings close by…ya know, for when I need eggs and cups of sugar. 😉

I haven’t cooked much since we’ve been here, just a handful of times. We’re still waiting on our pantry shelving so everything is on the floor in the pantry closet. Hence, there’s not much organization. It’s been a challenge trying to figure out which cooking necessities I still need. I went to make baked zucchini the other day and found out I have no idea where any of my baking sheets are. Another day I started to make granola and forgot AGAIN I didn’t have any baking sheets. This time I improvised with a broiler pan.

Homemade granola is one of those things where the combinations are endless. You can use so  many different kinds of ingredients to make a great granola! Coconut oil or olive oil. Cashews, almonds, or peanuts. Raisins or any dried fruit. Maple syrup, honey, or agave.

Today’s granola recipe is about as basic as you can get. Use this as a base and throw in whatever “”extras” you want!
You can also find a recipe for an amazing grain-free granola here!

 

Simple Baked Granola (2)

Homemade Granola

Ingredients

  • 4 cups old fashion oats
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup small chocolate morsels
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple sytrup

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine all wet ingredients, then all dry ingredients.
  2. Stir to combine.
  3. Bake until golden, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Use granola for a topping to yogurt, smoothies, smoothie bowls, ice cream, or to fill up a banana boat!
  5. ENJOY!
http://www.al2getherfit.com/2016/08/11/homemade-granola/

granola

XOXO

The Process & Emotions of Building A New Home

Last week I took a break from the blog, work outs, and pretty much everything in life that didn’t revolve around our new house. At first I thought taking those “stressors” out would help, but by the end of the week I realized working out would have prevented a mental breakdown or two (i.e., at an event on Wednesday I mistook granola for ground beef). Honestly, my brain is nowhere to be found right now. How long can I make the “baby brain” excuse?

Even with all last week focused on the house, I feel like I didn’t get much done. We did officially close on the house, put together numerous pieces of furniture, hung TVs on walls, measured for blinds, put in a security system, installed the surround sound, and fixed random things that some how broke in the first few days of us living here. So, I guess the week wasn’t a total wash, but it’s somehow still a complete mess inside with boxes, clothes, and little things that don’t have a “place”  yet. The last pieces of furniture should arrive this week so I’m hoping the house will feel put together by…2017. #Goals

Aside from all that, I’m throwing the hands up and praising Jesus for finally moving into our own house! I don’t think anything I write will express how happy and excited I was that first move-in day. As a 28 year old, it’s nice to not live with your parents. I forgot how amazing it was to have your own house…to have your own friends over, to have your own space, own kitchen, own furniture, a place to call yours! Living with my parents was a complete blessing and I thank them for allowing us to do so, but this was long overdue…especially when the original plan was to live with them for no longer than 9 months. I love them with all my heart but I hope to not have to do that ever again! I can say that it would  have been completely different if it were just Angelo and I, but with 3 kids and 2 dogs….just no.

There are many beginnings and endings during the process of building a new home. The design, the build, the move, and the decorating all come with their own struggles and emotions.

The Land: We bought the piece of land almost 2 years ago. There were many surveys completed, hundreds of emails back and forth with the bank, numerous trips to the county departments, and countless truck loads of new dirt to build up the land. It took an entire year for us to start building on our property. That felt never-ending, but it ended, and the construction started.
3B3A2592

The Layout & Build: When we first started designing our house I knew one thing and one thing only. I wanted an open floor plan. I jumped on Google and Pinterest and printed out a handful of different house plans to bring to Scott, our draftsman. Meeting after meeting, additions and subtractions, ups and downs, we finally created the house plans we loved (and could afford).  Then the plan was measured and the outline was staked out on the grass, the concrete slab was first poured, and my exact thoughts were “This is going to go fast!” And it does…that first initial shell of a house. Then it slows down immensely. This sounds bad, I know it does because it’s a 1st world problem, but I got sick of making decisions for the house.  I got sick of  Angelo calling me and saying “Hey honey, you need to pick out the tub. Hey honey, you need to pick out the ceiling fans. The kitchen cabinet knobs, the bathroom knobs, the mirrors, the granite, the faucets, the grout, the paint, the trim color, the roof color, the tiny light in the pantry that nobody will ever see…” And the list goes on. I’m an extremely easy going person and at one point I kind of gave up and told them whatever works, I’m cool with. Kevin, our builder, would snap me out of it and say “NO! Don’t give up now, this is your house!” I’m so thankful that process is over and done with and I’m completely satisfied with all my decisions. This house is my masterpiece!
house_update

The Move: Weeks before we moved, I upped my game in purging everything at my parent’s house. Everything in sight I wanted to throw out. I had boxes upon boxes filled and ready for Goodwill lined up in the living room. The past 17 months made me a simple, simple person. There was no room to be anything else other than simple.  No room. We had two bedrooms crammed with beds and clothes. Five people, two dogs, two bedrooms. It was a sight to see.
Move-in day came and went smoother than ever expected. We had a group of manly men hauling furniture from two storage units into our new home and that part was done in no time.
It was like Christmas morning for the girls when they opened boxes of toys they hadn’t seen in over  a year. Almost instantly I had more boxes for Goodwill. It was comedic looking at things I actually saved and had in storage. Once upon a time, 2 houses ago, we had a bar and pool table room (pre-kids) and that bar had shelves lined with empty “rare” beer bottles I had collected from different countries and bars. You should of seen my face when I opened a box of empty beer bottles. Also, I have completely gone in a different direction with the house decor so all the boxes of house decorations have found a new home. 🙂
movingday

The Inside: This is where we’re at now and it actually started in January. Being pregnant with baby #3 and thinking about decorating a house gave me hives. I hired an interior designer and my long nights on Pinterest,  Joss & Main , Wayfair, and multiple other websites started. It’s been none stop looking at furniture, art work, chandeliers, bar stools, accent chairs, rugs, etc. Meetings at the house to measure rooms and walls. Buying things and realizing I have nowhere to put them while at my parent’s house. Hoping and praying the huge dining table we bought months before we moved will fit in our new, smaller dining room. I’m happy to report all furniture has been purchased. Later this month my interior designers will come in and “finish” the house. There will be a reveal and it will be glorious.

New Living arrangements: Angelo has created all these “rules” for the new house. He rants them off, the girls argue with him, and I just laugh. It’s humorous how we are when we get a fresh start to something. A new house, a new baby. We say we’re going to do all these things differently. No food in the bedrooms, no shoes in the house, all toys stay in your bedrooms. We try and it’s actually going well so far. There have been two major transitions for us. One being the sleeping arrangements. We have all slept in the same room since March 2015. The first week was a transition period and Sophia did amazing! Penelope, on the other hand, woke up a grand total of 10 times one night. She’s getting used to it, as we all are and the past couple days have been great. The other transition was for the girl’s not having their Grammy living with them. They can no longer run to Grammy when they get in trouble or come to me and say “well Grammy said I could!” Now they have something better: Trips to Grammy’s house and all the excitement that goes with that.  It’s an amazing “new normal”!

So, it’s almost done yall! I can almost just sit down in my house and feel like I have nothing to do…right?! Will that ever happen? I’m excited and optimistic!

ourhouse

XOXO

The Best Baked Meatballs

Hey there!

How’s your week going? Monday and Tuesday almost killed me, but this hump day has me feeling fresh! As fresh as one can be on 2 hours of sleep with a congested baby.  I’m determined today will be better! Maybe I’m feeling all types of ways since MOVING DAY is upon us!! Yep, the house on the piece of property we purchased 21 months ago is complete. More details to come within the next few days, but you guys…the excitement is unreal, but so is the stress of moving; de-cluttering, packing, and then unpacking. There’s always an overload of things to do when you move and I’m going to try and spread it out as much as possible throughout the next week to ensure the least stress possible. I’ll let you know how well that goes.

I have more great news for you.

I found the secret ingredient to perfect flavorful meatballs!

Should I let you in on the goods? Okkk ok!

It’s KETCHUP!

True statement, I’ve made many meatballs in my lifetime and some have been less than stellar. What’s up with those flavorless balls of meat? Times have changed!

Baked meatballs are healthy, loaded with true ingredients (who knows what’s in those store bought ones!), and delicious! Making a couple batches of these and freezing them is a great idea!

I ate about 3 of these before they even made it to the table. Once they actually hit the table, they were inhaled by my girls and the rest of the family! No sauce…nothing else needed. I lie…Penelope needed a little marinara sauce on hers to cover the onions. (Things you do so your child eats…)

MEATBALLS (2)

 

Baked Meatballs

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: About 20 meatballs

Easy Baked meatballs with incredible flavor! Pair with a pasta dinner or use as an appetizer.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean organic, grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F and grease a large baking sheet.
  2. Place all ingredients in large bowl.
  3. Combine with hands until well mixed.
  4. Form beef mixture into about 1-inch balls and place on baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until meatballs are fully cooked.
  6. Serve with favorite marinara sauce or by themselves!
http://www.al2getherfit.com/2016/07/27/bestbakedmeatballs/

meatballs2

XOXO

Thoughts After Bringing Home a Newborn Baby

No matter how many kids you have, having a newborn or infant is terrifying. Well, having a 2, 5, 9, 16, 18, 21, or 65 year old child can also be terrifying, but there’s something completely intimidating when you’re handed the responsibility of a fragile human being who can’t even lift their head on their own.

It’s almost like you forget how to do everything and just because you knew how to breastfeed your first two kids, doesn’t mean #3 will be just as easy.

How can three kids, made from the same DNA, be so different, yet just alike at the same time?! It’s mind bottling.”You know when things are so crazy, you get your thoughts trapped, like in a bottle.” -Blade of Glory 

Although every child is completely different, the thoughts you have after bringing a new baby home from the hospital are about the same. 

newbornthoughts

  • Enters house: So now where do I put the baby?
  • Shoo away your first baby…your dog. Dog looks at you like, “so what am I now, chop liver?”
  • What if the baby starts choking? I don’t have the nurses at the hospital anymore. (Mini panic attack)
  • Please don’t choke, please don’t choke. Where’s that blue bulb?!
  • Nobody touch the baby! Get out of their face! 
  • Did you wash your hands?!
  • Looks at baby sleeping: I love you so much I might die! 
  • Hey! I can eat sushi now! Yells for husband to order sushi for dinner.
  • I’m so afraid to poop! Will all my insides fall out? 
  • How long is this bleeding going to last? I SO didn’t miss having a period…
  • Who in their right mind wears these huge pads by choice?! 
  • Who’s supposed to watch my baby while I sleep now? Googles ‘infant heart rate monitor’, looks at price, puts down phone. 
  • Are you breathing? (Ask every 15 minutes for the next year)
  • Are you choking? 
  • First night sleeping in your own bed, not pregnant: Ahh! It feels amazing to lay on my back, let’s try the stomach! Ouch my boobs!
  • Omg! You’re so cute! I want to eat you! 
  • Counts all 10 fingers and 10 toes because you forgot to at the hospital. Just making sure.
  • How exactly am I supposed to leave the house with 3 kids now? Sounds like a nightmare. Let’s just stay home. Who needs sunlight anyways?! 
  • How many times can this baby possibly eat? Give me a break!
  • Gets break: Wake up! I want to snuggle you!
  • Tries on pre-pregnancy clothes: I thought I’d be so much smaller by now. Laughs at self.
  • Dang, I have huge boobs! 
  • Can I have cheese? I hope the baby isn’t allergic to anything. Has cheese and baby cries all next day. Throws all cheese away.
  • Bites pillow in pain every time baby latches “shiiiiiiiiii…ok pains gone”
  • Holy moly! Your cry is so freaking adorable! (Regrets this statement after 30 minutes of baby crying in their car seat on the way to and from store) 
  • How am I supposed to give you a bath? Why is giving a baby their first bath such a terrifying thing? It’s like a bar of slippy soap you’re so afraid to drop. 
  • Why do you go through so many diapers? Looks at diaper stash that once looked huge.  
  • This baby is sleeping way to much right now…Will they keep sleeping throughout the night too? Answer: no!
  • Are you breathing?! Looks for chest movement. 
  • How many outfit changes are too many? 
  • How is our laundry basket already full?!
  • Can you see me?! Stares at baby and waits for them to make eye contact. 
  • Gets a moment to yourself. Opens bag of chips next to baby…baby moves their head. Start praying: “Please keep sleeping, please keep sleeping.”
  • Had 2 hours of sleep last night. Where’s the coffee? Can I have coffee? Mama needs coffee. Has cup of coffee and spends all day looking for signs that coffee isn’t agreeing with the baby.
  • Stares at baby in sleep deprived, delusional love gaze: What did I do with my life before you came?!

All these thoughts and moments are precious…and totally normal right?!
XOXO

Crockpot Beef & Brocolli

A healthy take on your favorite take-out dish! Beef is slow cooked all day and broccoli is added at the end to keep the freshness. Delicious, healthy, and enjoyed by the whole family. See below for recipe.

I’ve decided I need a personal assistant…don’t we all? 😉 I haven’t been cooking much and when I do they have been simple, simple, (did I say) simple meals? Think roasted sweet potatoes with panko-crusted chicken or Massaged kale salad with rotisserie chicken. Pretty much no thought and effort has been put into these meals because I might not have any thoughts or efforts left to give towards the end of the day.  I blame it all on #MomLife during the summer at #CampMom. Hello Summer Camp next week for the girls! 😉

I put more effort into the restaurants I go to than what I’m cooking for dinner at home recently.

Speaking of…if you know me, you know I love to try every single restaurant out there. If I’ve been once there is a slim chance I will want to go again, unless it’s to bring someone else who hasn’t been. I’m mostly talking about dinner places since I could go to Oxford Exchange for breakfast every day. My husband, Angelo, on the other hand is a simple man when it comes to restaurants and food. He could eat the same meal (pizza) every day and be happy.

When I was pregnant with Sophia we ate at Outback Steakhouse more than I would like to admit. It wasn’t because I had pregnancy cravings for it, it was because ANGELO had pregnancy cravings for it. After that pregnancy, I vowed to never eat Outback Steakhouse again because gag me! I think it was about a years time that went by before Angelo asked for it again one night for dinner. It might have actually been when I was pregnant with Penelope (#2). I caved and we had Outback a handful of times throughout that pregnancy. Ever since, and over the past 2 years, every time Angelo has asked to go to Outback for dinner I shoot him down immediately. The only thing I could possibly want on their menu is their Aussie Cheese Fries with ranch (because cheese, fries, and ranch), but everything else I’m just totally over. Sorry Outback..still love your ranch though, can I have the recipe?

Where was I going with this?

The other week at our women’s weekly bible study, the topic was on honoring our husbands. What that meant to us and how we showed it with words or actions. My whole philosophy in my marriage is that if I want to see him smile, I smile. I’m not talking like I walk around with a fake smile on my face all day, but I make an effort to be a happy person.
1. Why wouldn’t I be happy?
2. It ain’t doing nobody any good to be angry and/or depressed.
3. Who wants to come home to Negative Nancy or Debbie Downer every day? Pretty soon they wont come home at all. LOL (I laugh at weird moments in life.)

It’s also a lot of other things in regards to having a good marriage but for the sake of your time and mine, I’ll stop there. Also, I’m not a marriage advice expert but I have been with my husband for 14 years so it counts for something, right?! 🙂

Anyways… I spoke up at the bible study and shared that I was going to grant my husband his restaurant of choice for once. When I showed up to the house with Outback (to-go) for dinner his exact words were “YES! Did you get extra ranch?!” This may sound totally stupid to some, but food is our language of love over here.

It goes to show that it’s the little things in life (and marriage) that can bring the biggest smile to someone’s face and heart; and it turns out they aren’t so little after all.
So there you have it, Angelo got his Outback Steakhouse for dinner and I should be in the clear with that for another year. 😉

Now it’s time to plan tonight’s dinner, so take out the crock-pot because we all know how busy we are these days!
I tried to make this take-out fake-out Beef & Broccoli a little more healthier than the norm by cutting down on the sugar. It’s still yummy, but a lot less sweet, so if you’re still looking for that sweet, gooey Chinese staple, this isn’t it.

Crockpot beef brocolli

Crockpot Beef & Brocolli

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours, 40 minutes

Serving Size: 6

A healthy take on your favorite take-out dish! Organic Sirloin Beef is slow cooked all day and broccoli is added at the end to keep the freshness. Delicious, healthy, and enjoyed by the whole family.

Ingredients

  • 1.5- 2 lbs organic grass-fed sirloin steak, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tbsp cold water
  • 4 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 (12oz) bag of broccoli florets
  • Quinoa or rice, cooked

Instructions

  1. In your crock pot, stir together beef broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and garlic.
  2. Place chopped onions, red peppers, and steak strips into crock-pot and stir to coat.
  3. Cover with lid and cook on low for 5 hours.
  4. When done, stir together water and corn starch in small cup. Pour over food in crock-pot and stir well.
  5. Add broccoli and stir.
  6. Cover crock-pot and let cook for an additional 30 minutes or until sauce is thickened and broccoli is cooked.
  7. Serve over quinoa, rice, or a bed of salad!
  8. Enjoy
http://www.al2getherfit.com/2016/07/22/crockpot-beef-brocolli/

XOXO

 

Lactation-Protein Smoothies

Goodness you guys it’s Monday again! The weekend sure does fly by when you’re having fun. Our weekend went a little like this: Friday night we spent at the pool with friends and family. Saturday was a little bit of nothing (except us getting an entire yard of new grass!) followed by a family date night to sushi & ice cream. Sunday included church and an Ice Cream social at a local park to celebrate National Ice Cream Day. Loads of fun and too much ice cream!

Now that we’ve got all that ice cream out of the way, let’s talk about Boob-Smooths. That’s totally a thing and it’s what I call my smoothies because I honestly believe they aid in my milk supply, along with a lot of other benefits! Plus, Boob-Smooth is fun to say. 🙂

I’ve been trying to make this post for weeks now since a couple of mommies have asked me about my smoothies, specially lactation smoothies. I wanted to try out some new recipes to add to the mix before I posted though. The tried and true banana/peanut butter smoothie combo is so “basic” these days, although still yummy and my favorite, it gets old and it’s nice to have options. Then you have those days when you realize you’re out of bananas and panic.

A nursing mom’s diet should consist of a healthy amount of protein, calcium, and iron. I know it’s hard to get a balanced meal in some days when your days are spent nursing on the couch, holding a baby, chasing toddlers, and just life in general. Smoothies are the easiest way to get in that balanced meal in a matter of minutes! I’ve been enjoying a smoothie almost every day since having Rockwell and it’s helped me to stay on top of my nutrition game!

Since I started working out a few weeks ago,  I add protein powders into my smoothies so they double as post-workout and lactation aid. Double whammy!

**I was extremely hesitant to add protein powders into my smoothies. Some have made my stomach hurt, give me gas, and cause baby discomfort. Toss those in the trash because they aren’t worth it! Recently I’ve used both JuicePlus Complete Powders and Bob’s Red Mills Protein powders with no issues.

**Not all protein smoothies need powders!

**You can really make any smoothie into a milk booster! All a “lactation smoothie” needs is a few of your favorite milk boosting ingredients!

Milk Boosting Ingredients
Almond Milk and Nut Butter – Almonds and other nuts are high in good fats and help increase milk production. Specifically, almonds are said to give your breast milk a sweeter and creamier taste!

Bananas – These are more for you momma! Bananas are great for a much needed energy boost, are higher in calories, and aid in overcoming depression due to high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin–the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter.

Berries – High in antioxidants & fiber.

Greens (Spinach and Kale) – High in iron, calcium, vitamin A, and protein.

Ground Flaxseed – Great source of LNA, an omega-3 fatty acid, which is great for baby’s brain development!  Flaxseeds must be ground to benefit from their nutrients as we cannot digest the actual seed.

Brewers Yeast – Packed with B vitamins, iron, protein, chromium, selenium, and other nutrients. Known to boost milk supply, energy, and help overcome depression.

Oatmeal – High in iron and a complex carbs to make momma feel fuller, longer! Low iron levels can cause a decrease in milk supply, so have a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast or add into your smoothie!

LACTATION-PROTEIN SMOOTHIES (2)

XOXO

Run with Me: FlavorRun 2016

The fun and tasty Flavor Run 5k is coming to Tampa! This will be my first run back after having baby #3 and I can’t wait for those race excitement feelings I’ve been missing the past few months! I couldn’t think of a better way to welcome myself back to the running community!
I love the family friendly vibes at these runs and you don’t feel like you’re in everyone’s way if you’re not sprinting to the finish line. It’s all about having fun with friends, family, and all people who are looking for a good time and get covered in colors! Strollers are allowed for the little ones and all kids under the age of 6 are FREE (with a waiver).

Let’s have fun together and JOIN MY TEAM – Al2getherfit.

 

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From the website: The Flavor Run™ 5k surprises you with a few of fruity twists on your classic color run events. Fruit flavored color powder (Made in the USA), a fruit themed medal, fresh fruit finish line, and a super family-friendly environment. The Flavor Run 5k supports local charitiesand local businesses through creating a fun 5k run engaging all of your senses; sight, smell, touch, hearing, and most importantly TASTE.

When?
Saturday, September 10th
Race Start – 9:00 am

Where?
Florida State Fairgrounds
Tampa, FL

 

How?
Visit FlavorRun.com or
CLICK HERE for 25% off using ‘al2getherfit‘ promo code!
**Make sure you Join My Team – al2getherFIT

OR ENTER TO WIN A FREE ENTRY! I have a FREE ENTRY for TWO lucky winners!

Included in your Entry:
*FREE Entry ticket to The Flavor Run 5k Tampa
*FREE Flavor Run race T-shirt
*Flavor packet
*Post Race fresh fruit
*Finishers Medal


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 Comment on this blog post to WIN!
Tell me your favorite color, fruit, and who your race buddy will be (besides me!) 

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED

XOXO

**As a Flavor Ambassabor I received complimentary entries into The Flavor Run 5K Tampa mentioned in this post in exchange for social media and blog love. As always, all opinions are my own.**

Maybe I’ve gone mad & a Beet Salad Recipe

Friends!

I feel like every time I see you nowadays I’m like, “OMG WHAT A FRIGGIN WEEK!” and unfortunately it’s so true. Can I tell you how I took a shower last night at 10 pm? I understand that may be normal to some but I’m usually laying in bed at that time.
The house (SO CLOSE TO MOVING!) is consuming all my energy and time (and money) lately. This week we’ve met with the landscaper twice for a total of about 5 hours. Today I forgot to pick up dog food because when I was getting in the car to go Angelo texts me that I need to go buy our toilet paper and towel holders for the bathrooms ASAP. So I went straight to Lowe’s and spent forever almost two hours picking out bathroom hardware. Two hours standing in a bathroom fixture aisle at Lowe’s is a lifetime.
Like a horrid person, I unorganized their shelves so badly in a search for toilet paper holders. Like a weirdo, I stood in the aisle with my eyes closed for half an hour trying to picture each bathroom and where to put said towel holders and hooks. Some days it’s a full-time job designing a house and other days you’ll feel like you’ve gone mad, but I smile every time I go to the house and know it’s all worth it!

Now to the good stuff, yes?!

F O O D

I found these gems at Costco the other day and snatched them up. I don’t really know why but cooking beets is low on my favorite things to do list. It’s actually the peeling part I can’t stand because peeling a round object can be dangerous. 😉 Tell me I’m not alone on this. Plus, right now with baby Rock,  I rarely have 2 hands to cook dinner, so ready-to-eat vegetables are a major key in cooking these days. MAJOR!

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Beets are a messy vegetable to cook and eat because they totally take over and turned the town red…pink…purple. You should of seen my kitchen sink opening a package of those beets. <– That’s a warning for ya!

I look past their messy nature because I find them delicious! I love beet juice, beet smoothies, and my mother-in-law makes a killer tasty beet salad! I wanted to “healthify” her salad  since hers includes potatoes and mayonnaise…all good things if you aren’t trying to shed some weight!

This salad was amazingly simple (especially using the ready-to-eat beets) and all it has on it is some olive oil and salt.

BEET SALAD (2)

Beet Salad

Ingredients

  • 5 small beets, cooked
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 pickles, chopped
  • 2 apples, cored & chopped
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Instructions

  1. In a small pot, cover chopped carrots with water.
  2. Over medium-high heat, bring water to boil and let carrots cook for about 8 minutes or until tender.
  3. Drain water.
  4. Combine chopped beets, carrots,pickles, and apples in medium bowl.
  5. Drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with salt.
  6. Enjoy!
http://www.al2getherfit.com/2016/07/12/beetsalad/

XOXO