Okay, I admit the name through me off a bit too, Cauliflower Pumpkin Casserole?! I really wanted to cook some healthy food choices for Thanksgiving. I have been doing so well with my nutrition in the last few weeks and I wasn’t ready to completely give it up. Since I’ve never been a huge fan of broccoli or broccoli casserole, I decided to give the Cauliflower Pumpkin casserole a try. I was NOT disappointed! The roasting of the cauliflower gave it a great texture, while the pumpkin added flavor without being overly pumpkin-y (sure that’s a word!). And the best part?? It wasn’t loaded down with cheese or cream so it was actually a healthy alternative to your typical casserole. SCORE!
Cauliflower Pumpkin Casserole
1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
Nonstick cooking spray
Sea Salt and ground white pepper
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup whole wheat Panko bread crumbs (I actually used gluten free bread crumbs)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Place cauliflower on baking sheet that has been lightly coated with spray
Season with salt and pepper if desired
Bake fro 24-28 minutes, or until golden brown, set aside
While cauliflower is cooking, bring almond milk to a boil in medium saucepan over medium high-heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Add cheese, pumpkin, and mustard; cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes, or until well blended.
Add cauliflower, mix well.
Pour cauliflower mixture into 8 x 8 inch casserole dish that has been lightly coated with cooking spray.
Eggs, my go to snack or breakfast! It’s such an easy and great source of protein and there are so many ways you can cook them. Today, I’m going to share with you this easy recipe for a Tomato Basil Omelet. It is seriously so good and takes just minutes. However, it wasn’t that long ago that I couldn’t even cook an omelet. I know, how hard is it to cook an omelet, right? Well, it wasn’t anything that a little practice couldn’t fix. I got it down now!
Heat oil in small nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add eggs; cook for 2 minutes. Do not stir. As eggs set, lift edges, letting uncooked portion flow underneath. Flip; cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Add basil, tomato, and cheese; gently fold omelet in half. Garnish with basil leaf, if desired.
Confession: My nutrition has been subpar the last few weeks so it was time for a do over starting this week! The problem? Chocolate! The last couple weeks full of birthdays, anniversaries and Halloween has left me with these cravings. So, instead of completely ignoring them, I’ve decided to ween myself off of them using this healthier and guilt free dessert. These flourless chocolate chickpea brownies are gluten-free and sugar free as well as 21 Day Fix and Kid approved! I just have to give up 1 yellow container to get my chocolate fix in! It wouldn’t be fair for me to just keep this recipe all to myself so I’m going to share it with my closest friends. 🙂
Flourless Chocolate Chickpea Brownies
Nonstick cooking spray-I use coconut oil spray
1 15 oz can Chickpeas drained, rinsed
1/4 cup organic grass-fed butter, melted (or extra virgin organic coconut oil)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (I used raw honey instead)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup organic unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder, gluten free
1 pinch sea salt
1/4 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×9 inch baking pan with parchment paper, lightly coat with spray. (I used a 9×11 glass pan and sprayed). Set aside.
Place chickpeas, butter, eggs, honey, extract, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in blender; cover. Blend until smooth. Add chocolate chips, mix by hand until blended. Evenly spread batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of brownies does out clean. Cut into squares.
I can still remember how it felt to hide behind my daughter- so insecure, hating my body, despising the way it felt to age. She was being used as my shield to keep others from seeing me. That was until I decided to take a stand. I chose to to fight for for my confidence. To show my daughter what it looked like to be comfortable with who you are and what you look like, no matter your size, shape, color or ability, I must make a change! This was no easy feat and it certainly didn’t happen over night, but this kind of Fitness was Worth Fighting for.
Having babies can do a number on a woman’s body.
There is no denying that! I thought I was doing okay until I had my third child at the age of 35. That pregnancy, though I hadn’t gained a ton of weight, left its mark on my body. I found that it was a lot harder to lose that extra “baby weight” this time around. Whether it was age or something else, I didn’t know. But what I knew that I didn’t like the way I felt and something had to be done about it.
A daughter has the ability to change the way you think and act. My daughter made realize that I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about how other people saw me. She made me realize that there is no perfect look, no perfect size, no perfect shape, etc. If I continued to rely on other people’s opinions, I would never be happy. It was time to make a change for myself, for my daughter! I want her to grow up with confidence, loving who she is and not because of other people’s approval. It was time for me to be the example.
Changing my fitness and nutrition habits helped create this strength and power within, that I had never had. I had control over my body instead of it controlling me! It was a very empowering thing and continues to be. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to look good in a swim suit but my idea of what looks good, comes from me, not someone else. I’m not trying to look like some girl in a magazine, just the best version of me. More than that, I’m just trying to FEEL good, good about myself, energized, happy. Fitness will do that for you! Taking care of yourself will do that for you!
How can YOU begin to fight for your fitness?
I want to empower women, to fight for their fitness, because it is worth fighting for! You can take this journey with me into finding your self-confidence, energy and happiness. Jjoin me for my next challenge! I will be kicking things off with Beachbody’s new Core De Force, an MMA inspired workout with no equipment required. Talk about empowerment, this workout is sure to make you feel strong and powerful and ready to take on the world! Wanna join me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details or if you are ready to make your purchase and get started ASAP, click here and I will be in contact with you soon!
Yesterday, my daughter turned 4 and to celebrate, we took her to her favorite restaurant, Chick fil a. The girl loves her some chicken nuggets! While we were waiting for our food, I took Stella into the small play area they have there. For once, it wasn’t overcrowded with kids. There was just one other little girl in there having a grand time. In Stella fashion, she began to watch the little girl excitedly as she played. Finally, She warmed up and decided to climb up into the play area. The other little girl, who I later discovered was 5 and a half (don’t forget the half!) was oh so patient as Stella blocked the slide, too scared to go down. The little girl wanted to know why Stella wasn’t answering her when she talked to her. I explained that she couldn’t talk yet and she said, “oh” matter of factly and went about her business. She was such a sweet little girl, I could tell. It was when she said this to her mom, “I like her face, it’s pretty,” it really got me thinking. This sweet girl did not see Down Syndrome! She saw Stella!
This cute, sweet little 5 and a half year old girl thinks my daughter has a pretty face! Well, I agree completely! It really got me thinking, at what point do our kids start changing the way they see beauty. Obviously it happens. Society is the biggest reason it happens. How many magazines, commercials, TV shows, movies, billboards, etc does a child have to see before their mind is changed about what beauty looks like? Or how many times do they have to hear the people around them tease, make fun of, degrade others for their appearances before they start to change their mind about what’s acceptable? More importantly when are we going to start setting a better example and be the change for our kids?
Who determines what is beauty, anyway??
Who decided that tall, thin and busty was beautiful? That’s what our daughters are seeing in magazines, believing that is what they need to look like to be beautiful! REALLY?! It’s time for a change! Actually, it’s way past time for a change! My daughter deserves to grow up, knowing she is beautiful because that’s the way God made her. She is beautiful because she is kind, loving, smart and wonderful. Stella is beautiful because she is Stella.
Changing the Face of Beauty
It is time to change the face of beauty! I want to live in a world, where I can watch TV shows, movies, look at billboards and magazines and see ALL people represented! Change is long overdue. Now is the time for the advertising and media world to start using people of all abilities in their ads, movies, and TV shows. We must hurry before society convinces that sweet little 5 and a half year old girl, that my daughter is no longer “pretty.”
I am calling out the ad world! IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE! Stella and all people of different abilities deserve to be represented in media. YOU have the power to redefine beauty! Will you take this challenge?? Will YOU start using people of different abilities in YOUR advertising????? Will YOU represent Stella???
I don’t like to think of myself as an older mom, just a well-seasoned mom. I’m also no expert but have managed to learn a few things over the last 13 and a half years, to help me survive this Mom life. So, today I share with you 10 Mom Tips to help you survive.
Moms come in all shapes, sizes, temperaments and creativity levels. And this changes some as we become more seasoned. When I had my first child, I was high anxiety, worried about everything he did. He was read books in my womb and everyday until his brother came along. I was determined that he would be the smartest in his class when he went to school. I practically wrapped him in Charmin when he went to the playground and played with other kids. Then the second one came along, I was still a little anxious. They both got read to a lot less, less playdates, each got less attention.
Now there are 3! Well, life is crazy is about all I can say about that. I can also tell you that I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But I definitely had to learn to let some things go. And that is okay. It is okay to let things go! Life does not have to be perfect. You do not have to be the perfect mom (there’s no such thing!). But we all need help sometimes, we all need advice sometimes. So, here are 10 Mom tips that may help you survive this whole mom life!
10 Mom Tips to help you survive
1. Get up before your kids
Believe me no one loves their sleep more than me! This was a super hard concept for me and has in fact, taken me years to finally start doing. But it is SO worth it! The fist time I set my alarm for 4:55 am, my husband thought I’d lost my mind! Having that time to get caffeinated and just be by myself has been life changing! It completely sets the tone for the whole day. When I go to wake up my oldest, the caffeine is flowing, I’m in a good mood which helps to set his mood for the day and I’m not rushing around. I know how crazy it may sound to some of you but I promise, as a momma who is NOT a morning person, this is totally worth it!
2. Make a to-do list
I’m going to start off by telling you that I never did this before I had my third child. I can also tell you that I was completely unorganized and did not get near as much done as I do now. Not to mention, the fact that with 3 kids and so much always going on, if I don’t have something written down, I WILL forget it, EVERY TIME! Once I have my coffee in hand in the morning, I sit down in my favorite chair, and make my to do list. From laundry, to picking up and dropping off kids, appointments, my workout, etc-it all goes on my to do list. And can I tell you how good it feels to go down that list everyday and check things off?! There is something so satisfying about checking things off a list!
3. Give age appropriate chores
Now, I’m not really big on giving my kids chores. I grew up in a house where we could not watch our Saturday morning cartoons until all of our chores were done- and there were a lot of them! So, I may be a little more lenient then some on this but I do believe it’s important for kids to have some type of chore. It’s an important lesson for them but it also helps you out as a momma!
So, my boys-13 and 11 have to take out the trash and recycling, clean their bathroom and bring down their laundry on laundry day. They also set the table for dinner and help clean up. My 4 year old daughter is learning to put her toys away and helps me tidy around the house. You can decide what level of chores you think your child should do-maybe start small and see how it goes. Keep in mind that all children all different and may be better at different types of chores. Test it out!
4. Exercise Daily
This is one that I see neglected so often because it’s something for ourselves. We tend to put off doing anything for ourselves as mommas. Here’s the thing, if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to fully take care of your kiddos. You want to be the best mom that you can be? Then get healthy. Exercise is important for your health and I’m sure we all know why it is important. But, did you know, it’s also good for your brain?? It helps release endorphins which helps lower stress levels and even helps your memory! Who doesn’t need that!? So, whether you go to the gym, workout from home, walk or run- just get moving!
5. Meal Plan/prep
Again, this is one that I have to admit that I never use to do when my boys were younger. I use to hate to cook and was terrible at it so I rarely did and when I did, it wasn’t something that was ever planned ahead of time. Sitting down one day (I do Sundays) to plan out your meals for the week will save you so much time, stress and money! Planning ahead of time and knowing what we are going to have for dinner each night, keeps me from going out to eat, having to run to the grocery every day and stressing about what to fix that night for dinner. It will also help keep you eating healthier since your resisting the urge to go out and grab fast food. Need some meal plan ideas? Check out my blog for some recipes and menus.
6. Tuck your kids in every night
This is one of my favorite parts of being a mother and is highly recommended! There is something so special about that time of night. I know it can be crazy and you get tired of hearing the “just one more book” whines but as a parent of a teenager and a preteen, I’m telling you that it will be worth it.
I have tucked my boys in every night since they were babies and I still do. And there were, without a doubt, times that they drove my crazy at bedtime and still do. But that habit I created and continue has turned into this bonding time with my boys. Because sometimes, when I go in to tuck them in, and I just take the time to lie down with them for a moment, sometimes, they will open up to me and we have incredible conversations. Sometimes they will tell me secrets, sometimes they tell me about their favorite basketball player or super hero or the show they just finished watching. Sometimes, it bores me, sometimes I’m intrigued but ALWAY, I listen! DO THIS!!
7. Don’t compare yourself to other moms
PLEASE DON’T DO THIS!! Too many years, I spent comparing myself to the moms that I thought were perfect moms. GEEZ!! That is exhausting and gets you no where. We are all different and good! We all have exceptional qualities that make us wonderful moms. None of us are perfect, not even the moms that seem to be. Trust me, they’re not! They are likely comparing themselves to you, wishing they could be more like you. So Stop it right now! YOU are an amazing mom, just the way you are!! BE YOU! And also, please, for the love of God, do NO MOM SHAMING either! It is not your place to judge other moms, just like it is not their place to judge you.
8. Do something for yourself
This one ties back into the exercise one and the getting up before the kids. It is imperative that we doing something that is just for us and only us. Some of you may think this sounds selfish. Well, I use to think so too. I spent many years living for my kids and never doing anything for me. It’s still a battle I face. What I have learned is that I am so much better at mommin, when I’ve taken some time for me.
There was a time when I had lost who I was because I put everything I had into my kids. It was not healthy for me or my marriage. I’m still working on finding myself after being lost for so long. I still put lots of energy and focus in my kids, but now I take the time to do thing that I want to do and that are for me. Even if it’s just an hour a week, find something to do that is completely for you!
9. Go to bed early
This is my favorite one! I told you I love my sleep. 🙂 One of the number one complaints I hear from busy mommas is that they are always tired. Of course, this could be from numerous things but it’s usually lack of sleep. Our bodies need sleep! Really, they do! Sleep is important for our health, our minds, body and soul. So, I encourage you to just leave that basket of laundry unfolded (I always do;)) and go to bed! It will still be there tomorrow and the the world will NOT end, I promise! And if you’re lucky, like me, maybe your hubby will fold it for you while he’s up watching a game!
You can’t live if you’re not breathing! Slow down once in a while and just breathe, just be where you are and breathe. When you feel like you’re going to lose your mind, stop and BREATHE. When you just stepped on the 100th Lego of the day, stop and BREATHE. Your child in on her 15th tantrum of the day, BREATHE. Sitting in traffic, running late, kids crying, burnt dinner, forgot to sign the paper, had to buy store bought cookies because you didn’t have time to make homemade ones, kids clothes don’t match, house is a wreck, husband is out of time….BREATHE. You got this! You’re a mom which means you have Super powers. But even super heroes have to stop and breathe sometimes!
These are a few of the things that this “seasoned” mom does to survive. Give them a whirl and let me know what you think!