Tag - healthy eating

Jason’s Deli Catering For Entertaining

This is a sponsored post with Jason’s Deli, all opinions are my own.

 

 

I love holiday entertaining, the sound of people laughing and getting together to celebrate and enjoy each other’s company really warms my heart.

What I don’t love as much is figuring out the food aspect of hosting parties. I never know what to make or how much food I’ll need. To be honest, it stresses me out a little just thinking about it. This time of year it’s so much nicer when get togethers are stress and hassle-free. Don’t you agree??

I’ve teamed up with one of our family favorites, Jason’s Deli on their “Catering for Entertaining” Campaign to share with you how easy it is to host special events and treat your guests.

We love Jason’s Deli’s and their healthy food philosophy and now they’ve turned decades of hospitality, catering and delivery into a new service – Catering for Entertaining. Jason’s Deli brings wholesome, affordable foods directly to your party, so you have one less thing on your to-do list. Their goal is to be your catering service for holidays, retirement parties, birthday parties or any upcoming social events you may have.

 

Placing your order simple. Order with ease on their mobile app, online or call a location near you. When you order on the mobile app or online you have 24/7 access to your account, can create new orders or edit recent orders. You also earn Deli Dollar rewards! Another great option is pick up or delivery, I prefer delivery when I’m hosting so it’s one less thing for me to worry about.

Set up is a breeze, use Jason’s Deli downloadable table tent cards to tell your guests what goodies they will be enjoying and keep food in the catering containers or easily transfer Jason’s Deli to your own serving dishes for a little extra Christmas pizzazz.

My favorite part, besides knowing that we are eating yummy food without all the junk {dyes, artificial trans fats and flavors, processed MSG, and high-fructose corn syrup} is that the clean-up is almost non-existent, leaving me with plenty of time and energy to enjoy my company.

At a recent get-together with friends we were able to enjoy several great catering options.

The Kids Party Pack where children can grab fruit, veggies, and a healthy sandwich {super simple and a crowd-pleaser} for a well-balanced party lunch.

I highly recommend the Italian Pasta Salad was fresh, delicious and brought color to our meals. Plus I feel like this is a dish that everyone will love.

The Modern Meat and Cheese Package is one of my favorite offerings because it’s even better than an antipasto platter, my favorites are the olives, roasted red peppers and the basil pesto aioli is a huge hit with the masses. The crunchy garlic toasties and flatbread complete this platter. It also comes with an amazing Brownie Duo that includes fudge-walnut and peanut butter brownies.

I personally can’t have a gathering without a Fresh Fruit Tray and Fresh Veggie Tray and Jason’s Deli offers an amazing selection for each. These, in my opinion, are fresher and more plentiful with a wider selection of fruits and vegetables than a store-bought version. The trays were overflowing with plump strawberries and the ranch dressing was delicious over crunchy veggies including the zucchini.

Treat your guests with delicious Jason’s Deli’s Cake Bites. Our guests loved the display of chocolate, vanilla, and red velvet treats. You could also easily package these up and give them as party favors or deliver a whole tray to your favorite teacher or neighbor.

These are only a few of the many packages that Jason’s Deli has on their Catering For Entertaining menu. If you’re hosting a get together, I strongly encourage you to check out the many different packages and offerings they have. Not only will it save you the stress of figuring out the food details, but it will free you up to enjoy special occasions and gatherings.

Head to jasonsdeli.com/entertaining for more details.Check out their Facebook Page Facebook.com/JasonsDeli for current specials and updates.

 

Check out this Special Introductory Offer {while it lasts}:

Free delivery on weekdays 4-6pm and all day on weekends with your package order*. Please use this online code at checkout: FDSC 

For a Jason’s Deli location near you: Pineville, Woodlawn/Park Rd, Uptown at EpiCentre, University Area, Huntersville/Birkdale and Concord Mills or head to Jason’s Deli’s website HERE

And since it’s the holidays I’m giving you a chance to win a $25 Jason’s Deli Gift Card, feel free to treat yourself or spread the holiday cheer!!

Here’s how to win:

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Subway’s Share the Color Food Workshop – Giveaway

This post is in partnership with Subway. Any opinions expressed are my own.

 

I’m excited to share with you about the upcoming “Share the Color” Food Workshops hosted by Subway Restaurants in the Charlotte area!

 

Share the Color food workshops will be hosted from October 14th-21st at various Subway locations all across the Carolinas for families to attend.

Check out these links to find an event near you:

Charlotte Area

Carolinas Area

{Feel free to register for your free tickets through the link as well.}

Local food and nutrition experts will be on-hand, teaching a short lesson on nutritious food choices and making sure you have a lot of color variety on your plate. Children will participate in a hands-on sub making activity and enjoy a free nutritious lunch and a fun food explorer coloring book.

In honor of the event, I’m giving away a $25 Subway gift card to one lucky reader. To enter you must comment below letting me know your favorite thing to eat at Subway. For extra entries, share this post, and tag your friends on social media.

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Health Tips for Families in the Fall

This is a sponsored post.

 

healthy-tips-for-families-in-the-fall

 

As a parent, it’s important to encourage healthy habits for the whole family. Many American children aren’t getting enough exercise or adequate nutrition, leading to serious health problems later in life. To instill a healthy lifestyle for your children, here are some great tips:

 

Get Moving

Due to an increasingly sedentary way of life, most Americans aren’t logging nearly enough hours of physical activity. Both children and parents usually sit at a desk for up to eight hours per day, so it’s extremely important to add in physical activity whenever possible. With the cooler weather that Fall brings it’s great to take a stroll around the neighborhood or explore a new wooded trail and watch the leaves change colors with the entire family. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, and when you’ve gained a bit of fitness, see if you can increase that goal to 45 minutes or an hour. To mix it up, try taking a few group classes like yoga or cycling.

 

Make Breakfast a Priority

Busy families often find it difficult to make breakfast in the morning. If you and your kids currently skip breakfast entirely or opt for something quick like sugary cereal, do your best to re-think your breakfast habits. A healthy breakfast doesn’t need to take a long time to prepare. In fact, you can prepare overnight oats the night before and have a delicious and portable breakfast ready to grab on the way out the door. Similarly, Greek yogurt topped with nuts, cinnamon and ground flax seed is a fantastic choice that takes under five minutes to prepare and hits the spot with Fall flavors. By feeding your children a nutritious breakfast, you’ll rev up their metabolism and keep them full and focused for a challenging day at school. Of course, breakfast is the most important meal of the day for everyone, not just kids. Set a good example and make sure to pack breakfast for yourself, as well.

 

Pack Your Lunch

School lunches are notoriously high calorie and unappetizing. Instead of spending money on lunches that your child most likely doesn’t enjoy, pack a lunch. This way, you’ll know exactly what went into the lunch, and you’ll rest assured that it’s fresh. Easy lunch ideas include lean meat sandwiches on whole grain bread with low calorie, low cholesterol hamptoncreek mayo, and apples are at their peak right now, so try adding few different types to your child’s lunch. For more meal ideas, visit Hampton Creek’s Facebook page or website.

 

Plan Meals Ahead of Time

Busy schedules demand foresight to avoid falling into the trap of eating out every night. When you’re tired from a day at the office and taking the kids to extracurricular activities, dinner is often the last thing you want to think about. While eating out is perfectly acceptable in moderation, you should aim to cook dinner at home most of the time, as restaurant meals are known for their huge portions and high calorie foods. The weekend is generally a good time to sit down with the family and decide on meals that you’d like for the week. Once you’ve mapped out dinners for a few nights, involve the whole family in meal prep. This will encourage kids to feel comfortable in the kitchen, setting them up for meal planning success in the future. Fall is also a great time to use your slow cooker, easy for little ones who are helping, and great for the busiest of days. Once you’ve made a few dishes, you’ll be able to freeze them for low-stress dinners for the upcoming week.

 

Make Mealtime Special

It’s often tempting to grab TV trays and head for the living room at dinnertime. However, eating in front of the television can quickly lead to overeating. Instead, make it a priority to sit down together as a family away from the distraction of technology. Family bonding time while eating a meal that you’ve prepared together is a great way to stay involved in your kids’ lives, as well as promote healthy eating and portion control.

 

Promote Responsibility With a Garden

Many of us aren’t aware of where our food comes from. If you’d like to save money as well as reduce your carbon footprint, start a garden in your own backyard. Start small, with just one or two crops. It takes time to hone your gardening skills, but once you get going and enjoy some success, you’ll be able to branch out and expand your garden. Gardening encourages more outdoor time for both kids and parents, and children will learn respect for the earth and cultivate a greater sense of responsibility. Caring for a garden is a lot of work, but the payoff is well worth it. Fall gardens can yield some of the tastiest and healthiest vegetables.

 

No matter what season these tips can be so valuable in helping your family create a healthier lifestyle. Consider changing your current habits to those above or adding in small changes that will benefit the whole family.

 

Leave a comment: Which of these tips will you work on? Do you have any fun fall health tips to add???

From First Bell to Recess – Back to School Must Haves 2014 – Giveaway

School’s in session {at least for most of the country}. Some are getting into the groove of their schedules and others have just started. Whether or not you’ve had kiddos in school this school year for weeks or minutes my comprehensive list from First Bell to Recess – Back to School Must Haves will have at least one amazing thing you’ll want/need/love/like.

From First Bell to Recess Back to School Must Haves MommyB

 

Don’t miss the first bell!

1st Period: Technology

Kidecals will make any technology or computer class come to life. If your child has a school laptop or computer at home, these fun “sticker” designs go on fast and come off easy. Kids will love the cool styles and parents will love the functionality.

Back to School Must Haves KideCals MommyB

 

Kidecals has keycals, address/phone stickers, labels for food allergies, and more! Order yours from their website: kidecals.com

Snack

Fill your child’s water bottle with confidence this school year. With Nalgene’s leak-proof design your kiddos can choose from lots of designs or customize their own. Nalgene bottles come in so many great styles, sizes, and shapes and best of all no spills, no ruined textbooks, and no tears!

 

Back to School Must Haves Nalgene MommyB

 

Take your pick of great bpafree drink cups by heading over to Nalgene.com or your local retailers.

Want your kiddos to munch on something that’s good for them and they’ll have fun crunching? Lil’ C loves Harvest Snaps and so does her mom {that’s me!}.

Back to School Must Haves Harvest Snaps MommyB

 

Harvest Snaps have a full line of flavors and products that your family may just fall in love with. Harvest Snaps offers a healthier snacking option, without sacrificing taste. We love that they are baked – not fried, high fiber and protein, and are low in sodium and fat.

Head to HarvestSnaps.com to check out flavors and add to your student’s snack.

Looking for a great reusable snack bag?? We heart BooginHead Pack’Ems snack bags. Their designs are fun and they reduce waste.Packemsjpeg

 

These packs features include: BPA, PVC & phthalate free, top-rack dishwasher safe, are environmentally friendly and cost conscious, and come in two sizes in each package.

To find out how you can add Pack’Ems to your child’s snack or lunch head to their website: booginhead.com

2nd Period: Study Hall

Master Lock has been known for years of keeping all your students belongings safe whether they’re in lockers or on a bike chain. Today is no different, only Master Lock’s variety and technology has improved. Check out their digital locks, laptop locks, and other safe spaces.

 

Back to School Must Haves Master Lock MommyB

 

Master Lock is dialing up back-to-school shopping fun for students and parents with a new interactive game, “Master Lock Photo Hunt Challenge.” participants can go to www.MasterLockPhotoHunt.com through September 7 for a chance to win back-to-school security items and create a Master Lock shopping wish list.

Players can add any of the Master Lock products they see while playing the game to their wish list and email it to mom or dad for easy back-to-school shopping. In addition, by sharing the Master Lock Photo Hunt Challenge on Twitter, entrants are able to earn an additional entry per day. One lucky grand prize winner will win a Samsung Smart Media Center Package that includes a 60″ HD 1080p Smart LED HDTV. There are 65 total chances to win, which includes 1 grand prize, 8 weekly prizes, and 56 daily instant win prizes.

3rd Period: Art

Have an art lover in your family, or a student who loves to express themselves through color and fashion? We love the stylish hair accessories and fashion scarves that Urban Halo offers.

 

Back to School Must Haves Urban Halo Fashion MommyB

Urban Halo has choices for little girls to teenagers {and even us moms!}. Whether your child’s style is simple and pretty or fun and funky, there are lots of designs to choose from. Let your child take ownership of their style in a fun way. Take a peek at what Urban Halo has to offer: urbanhalo.com

Lunch

Parents, make sure you pack your child’s lunch with great food and quality lunchbox products. The Skip * Hop Zoo Lunchies from PishPosh Baby are adorable, insulated lunch boxes that are the perfect size for your little one’s lunch needs.

Back to School Must Haves Skip Hop Lunchbox MommyB

 

Lil’ C adores her kitty cat lunchbox because it’s, “so cute” and I love that there is enough room for her small meal, and a mesh pocket for her utensils and napkin. These awesome lunch boxes come in several character styles, check them out here: PishPoshBaby.com   Your kiddos will love you this school year when they find Crofter’s Organic spreads on their sandwiches.

 

Back to School Must Haves Crofter's MommyB

 

Our school, {like many } is a nut-free zone and though Miss A loves peanut butter and jelly we want to keep other children safe we forgo the pb but with 1/3 less sugar and non-gmo verified we love the benefits and taste of Crofter’s Organic products. Miss A is most fond of the Strawberry spread, but we also love the Wild Blueberry too. For other flavors and where to buy check out CroftersOrganic.com

4th period: PE

The cutest shoes of the season from Rack Room Shoes

Back to School Must Haves Rack Room Shoes MommyB

Rack Room Shoes has amazingly cute shoes for students in all grades, and best of all they have amazing prices, a great rewards program, free Ship2Home program, and great return policy. Check out Rack Room Shoes’ latest styles and promotions here: RackRoomShoes.com

Recess

We are lucky enough to work closely with several of these great brands and have a giveaway for one lucky MommyB Knows Best reader. Here’s your chance to enjoy your recess, enter the giveaway to win:

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Any thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own. I received no compensation for this post and all giveaway prizes are donated and fulfilled by the brand or company representing them.

10 Things I Heart in Spring

10-Things-I-Heart-Spring

I decided that I would not write about Spring on my blog until it finally felt like Spring here in Charlotte, NC, however today, it’s going to be up in the 80s so I’m not sure if I’m allowed to write this considering the summer-like weather we are having. Then again, how can I not share with you things I’m hearting this Spring?!?!

Disneyland in the Spring MommyB
1. Traveling – Although we’re in the midst of packing for our move in June, we have been traveling a lot this Spring. We had the opportunity to visit Disneyland in California, where the weather was amazing and we had a BLAST! And we just returned from an amazing trip to Georgia where we visited the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca-Cola (I’ll have trip reports on both soon!) Where have you traveled this Spring or where are you traveling to?

Build-a-Bear Spring2. New friends – We have been making lots of new friends this Spring! We recently started going to story hour at the church we’ve been attending and making new friends there AND in stuffed friend news, we got a new Spring Build-A-Bear friend who is an ADORABLE Soft & Sweet Lamb ($18) She has fluffy white fur that’s perfect for cuddling. Our little lamb is all dressed up for Spring and tea parties AND at Build-A-Bear you can also add scents so your furry friends smell oh-so-sweet, how cool is that?!?

3. Outside Fun – We are blessed to have a nice, flat, and decent size backyard so lately we’ve been spending a lot of time outside. If it’s nice out I’ll let Miss A do her homework outside and of course lots of chalk, bubbles, running, scooters/bikes, and water table play. How about you??

4. Spring Cleaning – I know this sounds soooo strange, but I really do love organizing and cleaning, even though these days I don’t have quite as much time as I’d like to do either. Luckily, the move gives me a great excuse to do a little bit of both. I’ve been trying out a few new cleaning products including some Method products and Nature’s Kloth.

We try to be a little more eco-friendly here and there and both of these products help. We’ve been using Nature’s Kloth instead of a sponge and replacing the way we clean with paper towels to create less waste. I love that it’s eco-friendly (biodegradable, washable over 300 times, made from cotton and plant fiber, and more) and is great for many uses inside and outside the house. I definitely feel better about cleaning when there isn’t a huge pile of used papertowels in my trash.

5. Healthy Kiddos – I am super thankful for healthy kiddos. Lately we’ve been pretty healthy especially considering that we’ve been flying and traveling a lot. We have a lot of friends who have not been so fortunate this Spring. For those uncomfortable fevers and painful colds and aches we give our girls Children’s Advil. For Lil’ C who does not do well with any sort of pain, this does the trick for us. I love that they have so many flavors (and dye-free versions) too since she doesn’t care for most medicine flavors. Plus, they have some fun activities and tips for parents on how to stay healthy.

Garden Lites Collage

We also love that our girls like healthy foods like Garden Lites. Miss A surprisingly enjoyed these gluten-Free, veggie muffins. They’re high in fiber, and low in fat. Miss A’s favorite flavor was: Zucchini Banana Chocolate Chip. They have loads more flavors and come in a box of 4 with an SRP of $3.99.

Lee Fashion Spring Capris

6. Spring Clothes!! – I love a good infinity scarf, especially the beautiful chevron one that one of my friends gave me for my birthday, but I really enjoy wearing comfy Spring clothes. I love wearing adorable maxi and sun dresses because they are so flowy and comfortable.

I am also loving the new Lee Spring collection that features bermuda shorts and capris that are comfortable while being dressy at the same time. If I need to dress up an outfit some of their capris and shorts come with adorable, fashionable belts as well. Here are a few of my other favorites from their collection:

Lee Spring Collection

 

7. Parties – I always love a good get-together and with the girls’ birthdays, holidays and end of school coming for us, Spring is always filled with fun parties and celebrations. We’ll have a small birthday get together for Miss A {since we went to Disneyland the girls aren’t getting their usual HUGE parties}, a class party for the end of the year {here’s an end of the year gift idea}, and loads of friends birthday parties.

Iesodo Video8. Good Message Movies – We were sent a couple of videos from Iesodo (pronounced Ya-Sa-Doe) that retells Bible stories with animated animals, mainly birds. My girls LOVED the videos and have been singing the catchy songs every day since we’ve watched them. We love sharing these videos with our friends because we know the language and content are appropriate for all viewers. Even if you have no religious affiliation, but want your children to learn good values, these videos promote wholesome character traits and morals and is good for children of any age.

9. Pasta Salad – Of course you can eat pasta salad anytime of year, but this is the season pasta salads shine! I really love cold, crisp salads with lots of veggies. What’s your favorite pasta salad recipe?

B girls with Genevive Goings Choo Choo Soul at Disneyland

10. Meeting Amazing People – Not that this is necessarily a Spring thing, but since we went to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, we were able to meet some pretty amazing people. One of our favorites though was Genevieve Goings from Choo Choo Soul with Genevieve.

Miss A says her favorite person/character she met the entire stay was Genevieve and we met a lot of people/characters so that says a lot. Of course we fell in love with Genevieve on Disney/Disney Junior with her Choo Choo Soul songs and realized she did more music for Disney as well as a round up of songs from Disney classic movies.

We’re excited to hear that her first Independent Children’s Album for pre-schoolers is called “Do You Know?” and releases June 3, with the first single “My Telephone Number Is” available NOW on iTunes.The album focuses on learning key fundamentals with Genevieve’s unique brand of “Kids Music with Soul.” I got an exclusive preview of the songs on her new album and wow!

My girls love to dance and sing and they get that from their mommy, this is one album you will not be able to contain the dancing. Our favorite songs are: “My Telephone Number Is” {great for helping your child learn your phone number, a MUST}, “Inside Voice” {which is rockin’ and rowdy in the best possible way and teaches kids when and where to use their inside/outside voice} and surprisingly, “Gotta Do My Business” {a potty song with swagger}.

I love when kids music is both appropriate and enjoyable and Genevieve definitely accomplishes that with the album. I can’t wait to buy a copy for our family and give one away on the site along with a few other goodies! In honor of Spring, I’m giving away a $25 Build-A-Bear gift card, 2 copies of Iesodo DVDs (Faith and Love) and once it’s available on June 3rd, a copy of Genevive Goings’ new album.

Enter here to win!!

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This is not a compensated post, however I did receive samples of some of the above products/brands and chose to tell you about them. All opinions expressed in the post are my own honest thoughts.

Gluten Free – Cosmos Creations Snacks {Guest Review}

One of the things I’ve learned as a mom of a toddler is to always carry a snack with you wherever you go. I try to look for portable snacks for my daughter that are also healthy too, so I was excited to test out these “premium puffed corn” snacks made by Cosmo Creations. I tested out 3 flavors: Sea Salt & Butter, Aged Cheddar & Cracked Pepper, and Coconut Crunch

Cosmos Creation Snacks MommyB

The Good

[checklist]

  • Non-GMO Corn– Genetically modified foods has become a huge health peril in today’s society, so its refreshing to see a product with non-GMO ingredients
  • Gluten Free– I have several friends with gluten intolerance, so being madewithout gluten allows more people to consume the product.
  • Less than 100 calories– You’ve all seen those 100 calorie snack packs on the shelf. These even have less calories than that, ranging from 60-90 calories per package.
  • Flavor– The flavors of the Sea Salt & Butter, as well as the Coconut Crunch were very pleasant. The texture of the Butter flavor reminded me of a light rice cake, whereas the coconut crunch was like a hybrid between crunchy cereal and a macaroon. Both were quite addicting and my daughter enjoyed the snack as much as I did!
  • Availability– According to the company website (cosmoscreations.com),  they are currently sold in Sam’s Clubs around the US and other retailers and expanding. You can do a search on their website for the closest retailer to you.
  • Portability– The individual serving size bags are perfect to throw in a purse orlunch box!

[/checklist]

The Bad

[badlist]

  • Salt– The Aged Cheddar & Black Pepper flavor has 160mg of sodium, and honestly all I could taste was the salt. As a person who likes cheddar popcorn products, I was disappointed with how the salt overwhelmed the flavor.
  • No Artificial Ingredients?– The label promotes “no artificial ingredients”, but the Aged Cheddar flavor has over 20 ingredients and includes things like “cheese powders” and disodium phosphate. By definition, no artificial ingredients means nothing was synthetically processed, but I’ve learned that this doesn’t make it automatically healthy or natural.
  • Sugar– While the coconut crunch tasted great, it was very sweet. As a mom, I like to watch how much sugar I give my child, and 2 out of the first 4 ingredients in the coconut crunch flavor is sugary substances- cane sugar and corn syrup.

[/badlist]

Overall

Generally speaking, I liked this product. While it raises some red flags if we are nit-picking ingredients and nutrition labels, they are doing a lot of things right to make this a solid product. It is a really good option for kids as an alternative to chips or even beloved fish crackers. Its equally a good, low calorie snack option for adults, one that tastes good and is actually quite addicting.

What are your favorite gluten free snacks?

I received review samples in order to provide you with my honest opinion on the products and fully test them out. All opinions written in this post are my own, honest thoughts. Your opinions may vary. 

imageMelissa is a Communication Studies graduate of Clemson University. She recently traded in her human resources job for the best and most challenging career of all, being a stay-at-home mom. She loves coffee, cooking, crafting, and watching football. Melissa is also a former National Champion baton twirler and currently teaches baton lessons and judges baton twirling competitions across the nation. She recently launched the Honeybee Homemaker blog about her faith, family, and fun kitchen endeavors.

twitter.com/clemsonfeature

honeybeehomemaker.blogspot.com

Green Mac & Cheese the Kids Will Love

Strolling through Costco the other day, my one-year-old daughter and I passed by the bulk pack of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Immediately, she shouts “noodles” at the top of her lungs and attempts to dive out of the shopping cart, lunging toward the macaroni.

I put her and the box of mac & cheese securely in our cart and chuckled a bit to myself as we continued down the aisle. I can definitely relate to her reaction- who doesn’t love some classic macaroni and cheese?

While we often buy the blue box stuff, sometimes it’s fun to mix up the standard mac & cheese and give it a healthy, homemade twist. With St. Patrick’s Day approaching, I thought my daughter might enjoy a green mac & cheese.

Healthy Green Mac & Cheese the Kids Will Love MommyB

She was excited to devour these “green noodles” (as she calls them), made with quality ingredients like whole grain noodles and spinach, and full of color and flavor that surely appeals to the younger crowd.

Green Mac & Cheese Recipe Ingredients MommyB

Ingredients

  • 1 box (12oz,) whole grain noodles (I recommend a thicker-style noodle, such as spirals, elbows, shells, or ziti)
  • 1 package Mac and Cheese Blend shredded cheese (I have found this at both Target and Food Lion. If you can’t find it at your store, any cheddar blend will work. I have also made this with 6-Cheese Italian Blend for an Italian twist-delicious!)
  • 1 package frozen spinach
  • 1½ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Cook spinach according to package directions.

2. Cook pasta in boiling water, according to package directions.

3. In a blender or food processor, combine milk, ½ cup of the cooked spinach, garlic powder, nutmeg, and salt/pepper. Puree until completely blended and smooth.

Green Mac & Cheese Recipe Blend MommyB

4. In a sauté pan over medium/medium-low heat, melt butter, then whisk in flour.

5. Slowly pour in milk-spinach mixture, whisking constantly. Allow sauce to thicken slightly.

Green Mac & Cheese Recipe Prep MommyB

6. Add cheese, one small handful at a time, whisking in a figure-8 motion until the cheese has dissolved into the sauce.

7. Adjust seasoning as desired.

8. Combine sauce and noodles and serve. (Tip: I would add sauce one ladle-full at a time to the noodles so your noodles won’t drown in too much sauce)

Green Mac & Cheese Recipe MommyB

Bonus Tip

Extra sauce can be frozen for future use. I usually freeze it in ice cube trays, creating individual 1oz. servings of sauce. Then, I will simply microwave a few cubes to top a quick side serving of pasta or even vegetables!

 

imageMelissa is a Communication Studies graduate of Clemson University. She recently traded in her human resources job for the best and most challenging career of all, being a stay-at-home mom. She loves coffee, cooking, crafting, and watching football. Melissa is also a former National Champion baton twirler and currently teaches baton lessons and judges baton twirling competitions across the nation. She recently launched the Honeybee Homemaker blog about her faith, family, and fun kitchen endeavors.

twitter.com/clemsonfeature

honeybeehomemaker.blogspot.com

Easy Heart Healthy Pancakes {Guest Post}

Every morning, my one-year-old daughter greets me with a smile and exuberantly exclaims, “mama, breakfast, pancakes!”. As you might have guessed, pancakes are truly the way to her heart and a staple for breakfast in our household.

In my pursuit to provide a wholesome, nutritious breakfast and simultaneously fulfill her request for pancakes, I’ve tested dozens of pancake recipes. While I love cooking from scratch, I’ve learned that sometimes it’s okay to take a little help from the store when you need it.

As a busy mom with a hungry child who hasn’t quite grasped the concept of patience, I can’t usually spare 45 minutes to prepare pancakes. So, I have actually found the best solution for a quick and healthy pancake breakfast is a combination of a prepared mix with a creative twist.

These “heart healthy” semi-homemade pancakes are made with whole wheat pancake mix, infused with cinnamon, and fashioned into heart shapes. Moms can be confident in the added calcium, fiber, and iron, while kids will love the fluffy texture, sweet flavor, and fun heart shapes, perfect for Valentine’s Day, or, just as in our house, perfect for every other day too!

Easy Heart-Healthy Pancake Recipe

Easy Heart Healthy Pancakes

Ingredients

• 2 cups of whole wheat pancake mix of your choice

• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

• 1 stick butter (or cooking spray)

• Heart-shaped cookie cutters

Heart Healthy Pancakes for the family

Directions

1. Preheat an electric griddle to 375 (or a griddle pan over medium-high heat)

2. Prepare the batter according to package instructions and mix in the cinnamon.

3. Grease the griddle and the cookie cutter(s) using butter or cooking spray

4. Place the cookie cutters onto the griddle and spoon about ¼ cup of the batter into the cookie cutter (amount will vary depending on the size of your cookie cutter. Also you might need to use the back of a spoon to even out the batter and push the batter into the edges of the cookie cutter)

5. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until you can lift the cookie cutter and the edges will retain their shape (i.e. batter will not run and the edges will be browned).

6. Remove the cookie cutter from the griddle (Caution: if using a metal cookie cutter, it will be hot)

7. Flip the pancakes and cook on the reverse side an additional 3-5 minutes

8. Serve with the syrup/topping of your choice (my daughter even eats them without any syrup!)

Bonus Tip

Mix your favorite fruit, like blueberries or bananas, into the pancake batter to add further flavor and extra health benefits!

What’s your family’s favorite healthy breakfast food??

 

imageMelissa is a Communication Studies graduate of Clemson University. She recently traded in her human resources job for the best and most challenging career of all, being a stay-at-home mom. She loves coffee, cooking, crafting, and watching football. Melissa is also a former National Champion baton twirler and currently teaches baton lessons and judges baton twirling competitions across the nation. She recently launched the Honeybee Homemaker blog about her faith, family, and fun kitchen endeavors.

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Medifast Chewy Bar Review and Weight Loss Progress

Hey readers! I know I haven’t had a Medifast update in a while, I figured I would concentrate on monthly weight ins since my weight recently {with vacations and summer events} has been up and down but pretty steady at 147.

I do have some great news however, and that is not one, but two NEW Medifast products! I received the Medifast Cookie Dough Chewy Bar and the Medifast Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chewy Bar. In the packaging the bars looked very tasty and the flavors sounded delicious, right?!?!

Medifast Chewy Bar Review MommyB

Overall I liked the idea of a chewy bar since the other bars that Medifast offers (with the exception of the maintenance bars) are more “crispy” and more like granola bars, so it was a great change from what I’ve been munching on. I was super excited to try them out and they both satisfied any sweet tooth I had for sure.

Both bars are indeed chewy, I’ve talked to some people who prefer the bars chilled for texture purposes. I do agree somewhat, the bars are very chewy, so small bites are best, but I didn’t mind it. This however is not a good option if you’re munching in between talking to someone {think peanut butter on the roof of your mouth.}

I also love that they are “Naturally Flavored”.

Now my thoughts on each separately.

Medifast Cookie Dough Chewy Bar – This bar definitely tastes like cookie dough, I personally would have preferred the milk chocolate drizzle on this instead of the white drizzle. Overall a good bar, a little on the sweeter side for me though.

Medifast Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chewy Bar – I really liked the balance of peanut butter to chocolate in this bar and the chips gave it some additional texture. This is one of my favorite bars in the bunch.

For more of my Medifast Food Reviews click HERE.

MommyB Medifast Progress Summer 13

Weight Prior to Medifast: 168.5 lbs
Weight Lost on Medifast: -21.5 lbs
Current weight: 147 lbs

Pant size: Started at 14 now at 8-10!!!

My First Goal: -33 lbs/135.5 lbs {since I’m 33, I thought that was appropriate}
My Final Goal: -16.5 lbs/119 lbs {half of 33}

For previous week’s Medifast posts click the following:
Happy Birthday to Me – A Medifast Present
My Medifast Progress – Week 1
My Medifast Progress – Week 2
My Medifast Progress – Week 3
My Medifast Progress – Week 4
My Medifast Progress – Week 5
My Medifast Progress – Week 6
My Medifast Progress – Week 7
My Medifast Progress – Week 8
My Medifast Progress – Week 9
My Medifast Progress – Week 10
My Medifast Progress – Week 11
My Medifast Progress – Week 12
My Medifast Progress – Week 13
My Medifast Progress – Week 14 #journey33
My Medifast Progress – Week 16 #journey33
My Medifast Progress – Week 17 #journey33
My Medifast Progress – Week 18 & Week 19
My Medifast Progress – Week 20 #journey33
My Medifast Progress – Week 21 & Week 22 #journey33
My Medifast Progress – Week 25

If you want to join in my journey here’s how: Medifast has some deals for you! If you use my code, MOMMYB56, and sign up for Medifast Advantage when you order $250+, you’ll receive 56 free Medifast Meals and free shipping! You’ll receive 28 free meals with your first Medifast Advantage order and ANOTHER 28 free meals with your next order! This offer is only valid if you enroll in Medifast Advantage, and it’s limited to one per customer. It’s not valid with prior purchases, any other promotions or discounts, or for Medifast Ready-to-Drink Shakes. Not ready to enroll in Medifast Advantage? You can use code MOMMYB28 to receive 28 free meals with your purchase of over $250. Limit one per customer. This offer is limited to new customers only and not valid with prior purchases, Medifast Advantage, or any other promotions or discounts. Both codes expire on 12/31/2013. See website for complete details on program and discounts. Consult your physician before beginning a weight-loss program. Click HERE to head over to Medifast’s website and learn more about the program I’m starting and begin your own journey.

Medifast_BecomeYourself

Also check out the progress of these other great bloggers and follow their journey!

The Divine Miss Mommy

Kelly with Makobi Scribe

IROCKSOWHAT

Dear Crissy

Shibley Smiles

Couponing to Disney

A Grande Life

O My Family

Two Frugal Mommas

Single Mom on a Budget

Gaithersburg-Rockville Macaroni Kid

Jenni from the Blog

Escape from Obesity

–        A Very Busy Mama (currently pregnant!)

–        The Turnip Farmer (maintaining)

–        The Adventures of Goober Grape and Monkey Man (maintaining)

–        Unemployed Mom (maintaining)

I receive free product in order to evaluate and comment on my experiences on the Medifast Program. Medifast products and the Medifast Program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or illness. Any medical improvements noted while on the program are related to weight loss in general, and not to Medifast products or programs.

Gluten Free Zucchini Lasagna Recipe {Guest Blog}

I saw a recipe for Gluten Free Zucchini Lasagna on Pinterest and ever since, I have wanted to try making it. I really love Italian food, {especially lasagna}, but I am trying to watch my waistline and heart health, so this healthy recipe is perfect for me and my family and I’m sure you’ll love it too!!

In this recipe I replaced most of traditional lasagna ingredients and also omitted a lot of the ingredients from the pinned recipe to keep my dish as low-calorie and heart-healthy as possible.

Ingredients: 

2 Large Zucchinis

1 Bottle of Ragu Light, No Sugar Added, Tomato Basil Sauce

¼  cup reduced fat parmesan cheese

1 bag chopped spinach {frozen or fresh, adjust cook time accordingly}

1 lb of 96% lean ground beef

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon pepper

**Please be mindful that Ragu sauces claim to be gluten-free, but encourage you to read the labels of each of their products to be on the safe side.

Preparation and Cooking Instructions:

Season the ground beef with garlic powder, pepper and onion powder.

Once fully seasoned, brown the beef in a skillet.

As the beef is browning slice your zucchini length-wise, in a shape resembling lasagna noodles. **The thinner you slice the noodles the more tender they will be.

Next cook the spinach on the stove top in a saute pan or if it’s frozen you may want to heat in the microwave for a couple of minutes. After allowing the spinach to cool, squeeze excess liquid using paper towels or a clean hand towel. **This is really important so you don’t have watery lasagna after its done cooking.

Once the meat is done browning, drain the excess fat/grease, {which was a very small amount}.

Assembling the lasagna:

Sprayed a 9-inch glassware casserole dish with cooking spray.

Place your first layer of zucchini, meat, spinach, sauce and parmesan and repeated for about three layers. {On the last layer, covered with zucchini, sauce and cheese and a little bit of garlic powder.}

Cooking:

Cook for about 45 minutes at 375 degrees.

**Because the liquid cooks out of the veggies, you should let the lasagna sit for about 15 minutes after you remove it from the oven so the liquid can re-absorb into the veggies.

Let the lasagna cool to a desired temperature and enjoy!

 

I was confident that I would like it because I am a veggie lover but my biggest critics are my kids who do like some veggies but are particular to which ones and how they are prepared. They love pasta or as they call it, “noonles” so I was impressed that they enjoyed the dish as well since it was noonle-less. They didn’t eat as much as I would have wanted them to, but definitely got a couple servings of veggies in their tummies with this yummy recipe.

It was a delicious, healthy recipe that will be a new favorite in my house!

 

Gluten Free Zucchini Lasagna

 

Have you ever tried making your favorite food dishes healthier? Which ones, and how did they turn out??

Lisa is a Florida Native who currently lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband and two children. B.C. {Before Children} Lisa was an R.N. Currently Lisa has a love for hairdressing, finding fun play spots around North Carolina and giving great parenting advice.