Shine Organics: My Favorite Healthy On-the-go Snack!

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***Thank you to Shine Organics for sponsoring this post!***

Today, I wanted to share one of my new FAVORITE things: a healthy snack that's EASY to take on-the-go! Shine Organics Pouches (click here for a coupon!) are a convenient blend of real, organic fruits and vegetables, chia seeds, and superfoods.

They are perfect for throwing in your gym bag or purse, or just for when you need a quick snack around the house. Basically, as an active and busy mom of a toddler, these pouches are PERFECT for me! Whether James and I are running errands, heading to music class, or just hanging out at home, I can always have a HEALTHY snack on hand. No fuss, no mess, and no prep time. I just grab a pouch and instantly have a YUMMY snack to enjoy and to satisfy my hunger! These pouches fit into my lifestyle EFFORTLESSLY.

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Finding healthy snack food that actually tastes good, as well as being good for you is tricky. That's why I'm really really glad that I've found Shine Organics!

You can find Shine Organics Pouches at Target in the apple sauce section. Click here to get a coupon for $1 off of a four pack!

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What are your favorite healthy on-the-go snacks?? Please share! I love getting new ideas!

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What I Eat In A Day

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Half way through the week, and - for those of us doing the Bikini Series - half way through week 5!!

So, as promised, I am going to be sharing what I typically eat in an average day. I'll share some recipes that are my go-tos.

M1: A smoothie bowl, oatmeal, protein pancakes, or eggs and toast.

For protein pancakes, I just follow this recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 serving of protein powder (I like using vanilla or chocolate flavored protein!)
  • 1 mashed up banana
  • 1 egg
  • a splash of coconut milk
  • a dash of cinnamon

Directions:

Mash up the banana with the egg and the coconut milk until well mixed/blended. Stir in the protein powder and cinnamon. Mix well. Pour about a half a cup of the mixture onto a pan over medium-high heat and cook until you see bubbles forming on the surface. Flip the pancake and cook for a couple of minutes. You kind of have to just use your own judgement when it comes to knowing if the pancake is cooked enough. I top mine with maple syrup and blue berries. Enjoy!

Here is my favorite smoothie bowl recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 serving of chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • small handful of kale

Directions:

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend well. Pour into a bowl and add your favorite toppings. I love to top with coconut flakes, chia seeds, blueberries, sliced bananas, and cacao chips. Enjoy!

You can also find my Patriotic Smoothie Bowl recipe here. It's pretty similar to this recipe!

Here is my favorite way to have oatmeal:

Make one serving of old fashioned oats. Stir in honey, pinapple chunks, coconut milk, blueberries, chia seeds, and flax seed.

M2: Usually a banana, egg muffins, a protein shake, or a TIU approved muffin from the Nutrition Plan! My favorites are the Lemon Poppyseed muffins!

I also love making this smoothie:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup of frozen mango
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • small handful of frozen kale
  • 1 clementine
  • 1 tbs coconut flakes

Directions:

Add all ingredients into a blender and blend well. Pour into a glass, sprinkle chia seeds and coconut flakes on top, and garnish with a slice of pineapple! Enjoy!

M3: Turkey Chili, Tray Meal, Quinoa Salad, Salmon, or leftovers from dinner the night before!

For Turkey Chili, here's what I do (it's super simple):

Brown ground turkey in a pan. Then combine the turkey, a carton of organic low sodium vegetable broth (or make your own broth!), chopped up bell peppers, chopped up yellow onions, black beans, chopped garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper, ground black pepper, paprika, organo, and garlic powder in a big pot. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for a bit. Enjoy!

M4: Square from squareorganics.com (Use the code 'ANNAMCOHENBLOG' at check out for 20% off - nothing in it for me, just sharing the goodness! :)), Aussie Bites from Costco, Tuna with red onion, or greek yogurt.

My favorite way to make greek yogurt is to take one cup of greek yogurt, and stir in honey, chia seeds, coconut flakes, and cacao chips.

M5: Zoodles with Red Sauce, Salmon with Brussels Sprouts, Steak with Broccolini, Bratwurst with Onions and Bell Peppers, Beef and Broccoli, Steak and Cauliflower, Tacos, Hawaiian Pork Tenderloin... Those are the main meals on rotation at the moment! I *almost* always do a protein and a veggie.

Ben and I make our own marinara sauce:

Just mix chopped up tomatos, olive oil, red wine, chopped garlic, basil, and oregano in a large pan and bring to a boil. Then reduce it to a simmer for a long time...hours preferably, but just as long as you can. Ben has his over pasta, and I like making zoodles. Here is a nice spiralizer if you're looking for one: click here for the spiralizer

I usually have a handful of dark chocolate chips every night, because I HAVE TO, hahaha. I have found that it doesn't work to completely deny myself, so I definitely allow myself little treats here and there. I love making these tasty and healthy chocolate treats too! Click here for the recipe.

I hope this was helpful!! Please let me know if you have any questions, or if I can clarify anything!

Wild Eats: Cupid's Arrow Fruit Skewers

Looking for a fun, light, fruity snack that you can serve up for Valentine's Day?? Well, look no further! These fruit skewers are a pretty hors d'oeuvres, perfect for a festive party!

Here's What You Need:

1 Watermelon

1 Heart Shaped Cookie Cutter

Blueberries

Wooden Skewers

Here's What You Do:

Slice up the watermelon and use the heart shaped cookie cutter to cut the watermelon into hearts. Alternate sliding the hearts and the blueberries onto the skewer sticks. Then, slice the green rind of the watermelon into little strips. Slide them onto the end of the skewers as the fletching at the end, making the skewers into Cupid's Arrows!

Serve up and enjoy!

What are your favorite healthy Valentine's Day recipes?

5 Foods To Help Fight A Cold

It's cold and flu season. Yuck! I get sore throats A LOT - always have. My colds always end up in my throat and it is the worst! Cough drops and Dayquil can be life savers, however I really like to treat my colds with more natural methods when possible.

Here are a few foods that you can find right in your kitchen that will help you to combat even the nastiest of colds!

1. Lemon.  Squirt some lemon juice in your tea, or add it to a glass of lukewarm water. Lemon juice helps to decrease phlegm, and lemons are LOADED with vitamin C. Lemon also has antibacterial properties, which is great news for me because it helps to fight throat infections!

2. Honey.  Honey helps to kill bacterial cells, so it is great to add into hot tea (with a squirt of lemon juice? Yes, please!). It helps to soothe irritated throats, and it boosts the immune system. This helps to reduce the severity of colds, and can EVEN help to prevent future colds and viruses!

3. Cinnamon.  Ok, ready for a fun tidbit? Cinnamon is a POTENT antioxidant! It's also a superfood. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon to your hot tea with honey for a nice throat soothing, cold-busting drink.

4. Garlic. This cold-fighting food contains allicins, which are sulfur-containing compounds, as well as other elements that help to reduce the viral-load. You can make garlic tea, eat raw garlic cloves, or cook garlic in with other foods.

5. Turmeric.  Turmeric is a tasty, orangey-yellow spice that has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric tea can help with headaches, colds, sore throats, and congestion. You can also mix turmeric and honey to help combat a cough. 

What are your tips for fighting a cold naturally??

Wild Eats: Cooking With Sun Basket

"Sun Basket works with the country's best farms, ranchers, and fishermen. As a certified organic service, we value sustainable farming practices, respect for the environment, and the humane treatment of animals."

As you know, I gave birth to my baby boy five weeks ago. (FIVE WEEKS AGO...where has the time gone?!) The last month or so of pregnancy was so hectic and I was so uncomfortable that it was hard for me to even think about cooking! Once James was born, Ben and I were so busy that, again, it was hard to make time to be in the kitchen, coming up with exciting or healthy things to eat for dinner.

Sun Basket contacted me and offered to send us a trial of their meals to review, so of course I jumped at the opportunity! They send you the ingredients and recipes for three meals per week for either two or four people. You receive a box full of all of the ingredients that you will need (perfectly measured out), the recipes, and detailed instructions that walk you through every step in preparing each meal. Ben and I are HOOKED. We absolutely LOVED cooking and preparing the meals together while James watched from his rock and play. :)

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It's so great because the ingredients are perfectly measured out, which takes the guess work and hassle out of the prep work, AND eliminates waste. Each meal is so gourmet and exciting and different, and they are things that we would never normally make or even THINK to make. But the recipes are amazing...seriously some of the best meals we have ever had and definitely some of the best meals that we've cooked ourselves. And the best part is that the meals are healthy and made from some of the best, freshest ingredients out there.

Cooking together while James watches us has become a fun new hobby for me and Ben. It is something that we really enjoy doing, and it is so fun to try new foods and recipes together! Sun Basket makes it easy!

Click the banner below to take advantage of their Labor Day sale and get $40 off 2 weeks of Sun Basket! You wont regret it! :)

xo, Anna

 

Tips To Eat Healthier

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Eating healthy is so important for a number of reasons, most of which you have probably heard many times before. Healthy, clean, natural, unprocessed foods keep your body working in tip-top shape, helping you to stay at your physical and mental best. I don't have to tell you how important this is for an active person. Fueling your body and your mind with healthy foods will help you to push farther, and stay strong through your workout, hike, or just your daily life in general.

But eating healthy can be a challenging undertaking. Processed foods are so readily available, and it can be so much easier to pop a microwaveable meal in then to prepare a healthy, clean meal from scratch. Cooking takes time. Plus it can be hard to know what to make!

I have learned a few little tips that make it a bit easier to stay on track and keep away from the tempting ease and tastiness of processed foods. Hopefully they will be of some help to you as well!

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  • PLAN AHEAD. This is, in my opinion, the most important tip. Plan ahead before you go grocery shopping so that you know exactly what ingredients and food items you need. Make a list, and stick to it! Going into a grocery store without a plan is a dangerous thing. Plan out the meals you want to make, and get ingredients that you need for those meals. Make a list of healthy snacks to keep on hand in case you get a craving or burst of hunger throughout your day. Plan out your meals for the week. Plan, plan, plan. And stick to it!
  • PREPARE. I have found it to be very helpful to prepare food and snacks ahead of time to have handy throughout the week. For example, I always keep a big Tupperware full of washed red lettuce leaves and sliced red onions. That way, if I'm hungry, I can grab a handful of this mixture out of the Tupperware, add a bit of home-made salad dressing, and voila! A healthy, easy, fast snack! You can also prepare meat, such as ground beef or turkey and have it ready in your fridge to mix up with some grilled veggies. Easy, fast, and tasty. Just like processed food...BUT HEALTHY!
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    • KEEP SNACKS HANDY. If you are like me at all, then you need to always have access to food. I graze throughout the day and am pretty much constantly hungry. It is important for me to carry snacks with me wherever I go, or else I get fatigued, cranky, and sick feeling. I have found that carrying a few healthy snack bars - such as Larabars, Kind bars, and Caveman bars - is the easiest way to ensure that healthy food is always at the ready. This ties into the PLAN AHEAD tip - think ahead about what your day holds for you, and then plan your snack-packing accordingly. If you'll be out for a long time, pack a lunch, like this healthy Turkey Pita Sandwich.
    • DRINK WATER. You may or may not already know it, but often times when you feel like you are hungry, you are actually thirsty. Confusing, I know. But it's just another great motivation to always have a bottle of water with you and drink drink drink. Hydration is so important to make sure that your body functions the way that it should. Being hydrated ensures that your skin will be glowy and you will have more energy for all of your adventures!

    Ode to Freeze-dried Suppers

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    If you've been in the backcountry over night, you know what I'm talking about when I say that there are few things that taste as good as a re-hydrated meal eaten right out of the bag in the middle of nowhere after a long day of hiking. Dehydrated meals are a must for any true backpacker. And boy, do we love them. Here are the top reasons why freeze-dried meals are the shizz:

    1. There is no better way to pack in the calories needed for long days of trekking it through the wild.

    2. They provide you with a hot meal at the end of a long day. Think how nice a warm pouch of Chili Mac would be after a 12 mile hike, eaten as the sun starts setting over the mountains and that cool night air starts to creep in. You can't beat it. Hot meal. A must.

    3. Some of them actually taste really good. Try these meals from Mountain House: Chicken a la King, Lasagna with Meat Sauce, Beef Stroganoff, Chili Mac with Beef, or Mac and Cheese. Steer clear of the 'Breakfast' options...just my advice.

    4. Easy clean up when you eat right out of the bag! No bowls required. Just rinse the bag out when you're done, roll it up small, and stuff it in your pack. No muss no fuss.

    5. They fill you up. No really. You wont be hungry after downing a Mountain House Entree pouch.

    Freeze-dried suppers are a life saver on a cool, wilderness night. That's why we, the adventurers, the explorers, the backcountry men [and women], love them so.

    Wild Eats: Banana Bread Recipe

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    Tasty, somewhat healthy-ish, and easy. Makes a great breakfast, just grab a piece on your way out the door all week.

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    1/4 cup coconut flour

    1 and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour

    3/4 tsp baking soda

    1/2 tsp salt

    1 cup sugar (Ok, so this recipe is not even remotely healthy-ish)

    1/4 cup butter, softened

    2 eggs

    3 mashed up, ripe bananas

    1/3 cup strawberry Greek yogurt

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix coconut flour, whole wheat flour, and baking soda. Combine sugar and butter in a separate bowl and mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add in the mashed bananas and yogurt. Beat until well blended. Add flour mixture in and beat until moist. Pour batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan that has been greased or sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, or until a knife inserted into the loaf comes out clean.

    Wild Eats: Mountain Man Chili Recipe

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    The weather is turning. The days are getting shorter and the air is getting colder. Fall is in full swing and that means less time out camping in the wilderness and more time holed up at home with a fire blazing in the fire place and cuddling in lots of cozy, warm blankets.

    I love fall. The world is transformed with bright colors and crisp air. With the changing of the weather, I have been craving something hearty and hot and Mountain Man Chili is just the thing to hit the spot!

    My mom and I perfected this recipe and it is hubby approved! Here's how to make a big batch of this hot, savory goodness:

    Ingredients:

    3-4 lbs of ground beef (or ground bison for you extra wild folks)

    2 cloves of garlic, chopped

    Two 15oz cans of tomato sauce

    1/3 green bell pepper, chopped

    3/4 yellow onion, chopped

    4 tablespoons chili powder

    2 teaspoons ground cumin

    2 teaspoons oregano

    2 teaspoons salt

    1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    One 15 oz can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed

    One 15 oz can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed

    Top with shredded cheddar cheese, chopped onions, and fresh lime juice.

    Directions:

    Brown the ground beef (or bison) in a large pan with the chopped garlic cloves. Once the meat is brown, dump it into a large, deep pot and add in the tomato sauce, green pepper, onion, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and oregano. Mix well, cover the pot, and simmer over low heat for one hour, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup of water as needed if the mixture gets too dry. After one hour, add in the kidney beans and the pinto beans. Stir well to mix the beans in. Then cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Serve hot. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and chopped onions, and squeeze a little fresh lime juice on top. Enjoy!