Sunday, January 29, 2017

Chicken & Zucchini Poppers

Can't get your kids to eat veggies and protein? This may do the trick! 

Chicken & Zucchini Poppers

Serves: 4-5


1 lb. ground chicken breast
2c grated zucchini (leave peel on)
2-3 green onions, sliced
3-4 Tbsp cilantro, minced
1 clove garlic
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
(optional: ¾ tsp cumin)
olive oil, for cooking (or coconut oil, avocado oil, or ghee)


Toss chicken with zucchini, green onion, cilantro, garlic, salt, and pepper (and cumin, if using). Mixture will be quite wet.

To cook on the stovetop:

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Use a small scoop or a heaped tablespoon to scoop meatballs into the pan. Cook 8-10 at a time for about 5-6 minutes on the first side. Flip and cook an additional 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown and the centers are cooked through.

To bake:

Drizzle a bit of olive or avocado oil onto a baking sheet. Scoop meatballs onto the greased pan. Drizzle a bit of additional oil over the meatballs. Bake at 400 degrees 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through. If desired, place under the broiler for an additional 2-3 minutes or until browned on top.
Serve with guacamole, salsa, or your favorite dip.

Via OneLovelyLife!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Rose Pastry Cups

This beautiful recipe was created by my very talented sister in law Angelina of Sugarbakes! Check out her Facebook page for more photos of her creations then try this yummy recipe!

6 Granny Smith apples
1 sheet of frozen puff pastry
Softened butter
Brown sugar

Cut apples in half, cut each half into very thin slices and arrange on a sheet pan. Squeeze lemon juice over the tops, sprinkle with sugar, pinch of salt and cinnamon. Let the apples stand aside to soften while you prepare the puff pastry--Spray a cupcake tin with non stick spray. Cut puff pastry into 12 equal pieces. Roll out each corner of the square just to stretch out slightly. Arrange each square into muffin tin, slightly pressing into the bottom. Place a dab of butter with a teaspoon of brown sugar and a pinch of cornstarch in the bottom of each cup and set aside--To make the rosettes, arrange about 10-12 slices of Apple, overlapping each other in a straight line. Roll from one end to the other, wrapping around to form a rose and place into tins. Egg wash edges of pastry. Bake at 425 until brown, puffy and bubbly!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Should You Exercise When You Are Sore?

Even if you exercise regularly, you've felt it: the aching, can't-sit-down-or-lift-my-arm muscle soreness the next day after a workout. That pain you feel a day or two after an intense workout is known as DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness, and is caused by muscle microtearing, which helps build muscle fiber and make them stronger. As easy as it may be to use muscle soreness as a reason to skip your next-day workout (guilty as charged!), DOMS is rarely a good excuse to bypass the gym. Here's what you should be doing instead.
  • Don't premedicate. "Don't mask what your body is telling you," says Crunch trainer Tim Rich. He advises clients to not take painkillers before a workout so they can understand how their body reacts to a workout. Taking Advil before your workout could, for example, cause you to push yourself farther than you should go or mask an injury until it's too late. If you're experiencing DOMS after a workout, however, an NSAID or other anti-inflammatory OTC painkiller and icing where you hurt can help.
  • Assess the pain. It's one thing to have DOMS, which is a good thing. But if you finish a workout and feel like you are uncharacteristically sore, or that you've injured yourself, pushing through the pain may not be the best thing. "If you're new to working out, aches and pains are normal," says running coach Eric Chen. However, when workout pain feels more like a burning sensation, it "automatically means stop right there and rest." In addition, Eric recommends seeking out professional advice if you experience an abnormal pain that reoccurs when you exercise again. Make sure you pay attention the difference between an injury pain and normal muscle soreness, and stop and rest if you feel like you've strained something.
  • Eat protein. Muscles are made out of protein, so to shorten the time it takes muscles to heal, try to eat some sort of protein right after you exercise — this will also help you build more muscle over time. Studies have found that recovery drinks that contain protein help decrease muscle soreness compared to normal carbohydrate-based sports drinks.
  • Alternate workouts. Being too sore to work out may be a popular excuse, but it's not always a good one. If you're nursing sore legs from a rigorous hike, spend the next day working on your abs or arms. Allowing an overworked part of your body time to rest while working on another is a great way to optimize your time and ensure that you stay on track. You can also opt for another aerobic exercise or yoga — cardio and stretching can both help soothe your muscles.
No matter how you deal with muscle soreness, it shouldn't last forever. Go see a doctor if you find that your soreness isn't getting any better.
Via Popsugar

Friday, January 13, 2017

Say What? An IRS Tax Break for Breastfeeding!

breast pump mother

Attention, nursing mamas! It now pays to breastfeed your little ones in more ways than one. In addition to it being a great way to feed your baby, thanks to the IRS, you will be able to write off the cost of breast pumps and nursing supplies as medical deductions. That’s fantastic news!Attention, nursing mamas! It now pays to breastfeed your little ones in more ways than one. In addition to it being a great way to feed your baby, thanks to the IRS, you will be able to write off the cost of breast pumps and nursing supplies as medical deductions. That’s fantastic news!
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has been pushing for this breastfeeding tax code change for a very long time. When things like vasectomies and weight-loss programs are considered allowable medical expenses, one has to wonder why lactation supplies and things that promote and support breastfeeding have gone without consideration for so long. In other words, it’s about time!
New moms: Here’s what you need to know to get a tax break for breastfeeding…
Breastfeeding Tax Breaks Basics
Of course, there is a catch: In order to deduct such medical expenses, your costs associated with nursing have to exceed 10 percent of your adjusted gross income. But don’t fret. Crossing that threshold, especially in your baby’s first year of life, will come before you know it. Breast pumps and supplies can be incredibly expensive, not to mention trips to the pediatrician’s office, classes, and lactation workshops, and the other various prenatal and post-natal expenses can rack up pretty quickly. Keep track of all your related expenditures!
What’s Included in the IRS’ Tax Breaks for Breastfeeding
Anything used for extracting milk! In a article, Michelle Eldridge, an IRS spokesperson, explains: “When looking at the supplies, what is really included in this is any item used primarily for extracting milk.”
If the nipple creams, special bras, and lotions are used for medical reasons (can we say “cracked nipples”), they may be considered applicable toward the tax break. But even if they are not, the milk extraction items are generally the most expensive things needed, so those who can reap even that aspect of the tax break can enjoy a big savings.
So How Much Can New Parents Save?
Reuters estimates that the average breast pump is $200+ and other lactation supplies can run up a bill over $1,000. With all the other new baby costs for items, including diapers, clothing, medication, etc., having a baby is very costly. With the tax break for nursing moms, they can use the money toward other needs for their child. Not to mention the health benefits of breastfeeding that are – as you know – priceless!
How to Make Breastfeeding Tax Benefits Work for You
Those who have a flexible spending account (FSA) through their employer are advised to set aside some money to cover the cost of their breast pump and breastfeeding supplies (attachments, cream, bottles, storage bags, nursing pads, etc.). Be sure to check on the specifics of your particular FSA plan (not all of them cover every IRS-approved item) or with your employer’s HR/benefits representative.
For more detailed information, visit the IRS website and/or talk to your financial adviser or tax person. Heck, talk to your mommy friends, too, and spread the word!
Original source Parent Society 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Shakeology Sunshine Bars

(Makes 12 servings, 1 bar each)
Total Time: 3 hrs. 10 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.Cooking Time: None
» 2 scoops Chocolate Shakeology
» 1 cup egg white powder
» 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
» 2 Tbsp wheat germ
» 2 Tbsp flax seed
» 1 tsp ground cinnamon
» ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
» ¼ cup raw honey
» ¼ cup all-natural almond butter
» 2 ripe medium bananas, mashed
» Nonstick cooking spray
1. Combine Shakeology, egg white powder, oats, wheat germ, flax seed, and cinnamon in a large bowl; mix well.
2. Add almond milk, honey, almond butter, and bananas; mix well with a spatula or clean hands.
3. Place in an 8 x 8-inch pan that is lightly coated with spray. Cover with plastic wrap and press down to flatten into pan. Refrigerate for 3 hours.
4. Cut into twelve bars.
Nutritional Information (per serving):
  • Calories: 182
  • Total Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 3 mg
  • Sodium: 99 g
  • Carbohydrates: 25 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Sugar: 10 g
  • Protein: 12 g