Family Day with Healthy Snacks

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Sometimes you need a family timeout and just get away from everything. Our mini trip was to the beach. It was short and sweet. We spent half the day at the beach and I am thankful for the warm weekend weather. After this trip I realized I don’t need a membership to the gym anymore, I just need to chase after my toddler on the sand. It really works your calfs out!

Running in the sand, falling in the sand, eating sand (who knew toddlers love to eat sand?!), getting our feet wet in the ocean (and then getting soaked by big waves), seeing helicopters, and seeing a whale (that’s what people called it). My husband and I thought it was a dolphin or a shark. It was a fun family outing. What I love about our family days is that my husband packs us always an amazing lunch with snacks. It’s always easy to stop by a fast food place when you’re on the go, but if you know you will be gone the whole day pack a healthy lunch to go instead!

Here’s what was in our beach lunch:

1. Oven chicken strips (quickly made while we were getting ready)
2. Organic flour tortillas (found delicious ones at Costco)
3. Berries – strawberries, blackberries, & raspberries
4. Baby carrots
5. Puffs (happy bellies) for the toddler
6. Fig bars (Costco favorite)
7. Ella’s food pouch (picked out by my toddler who apparently took a year break from pouches but now seems to love them again).
8. String cheese from TJs
9. Apples
10. Bananas

Other On-the-Go Toddler favorites are:
-apple sauce
-yogurt
-crackers or wheat crisps (TJs)
-Annie’s bunny mix
-smoothie (fruits + veggies)

Always pack healthy snacks and include a variety of veggies and fruits. It’s not a myth that the ocean breeze will make your kids hungry! It really does!

What do you pack for on the go when you are out of the house for a long day?

A Quick Recipe for Oven Chicken strips:

1. Wash and slice the chicken breast into thin strips.

2. Put it into a bowl and add sea salt, oregeno, parsley, and tumeric.

3. Use a terriyaki sauce. My mom loves to try out different types of sauces and give them to me. This time I used one of my favorites that she got for me Apricot Terriyaki glaze. I soaked the meat in there for 15 minutes.

4. Throw the chicken strips onto a baking tray covered with aluminum foil and bake on 350 for 30 minutes. All ovens are different so keep on eye on it.
Enjoy!

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I hope all my readers had a fun, relaxing weekend!

Happy Monday:)

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The Many Faces of Facebook Mommy groups

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Couple of days ago my husband and I were driving in the car, running some errands as usual, and on the way there I was trying to explain to him how furious I felt. I was upset about how a mom put me down on a Facebook “mommy” group that I am a part of. I wasn’t even arguing with her and told her that but she continued to write condescending comments. You know what the ridiculous topic was? Almond milk. Really? I will spare you the boring details. It just made me think, what is our world turning into? I was getting bullied by a mom over the internet. A mom who doesn’t even know me but she had it in her to put me down in front of the whole group. It’s not just one incident but I have seen an overwhelming rise of what I call “Mommy bullying.” I’ve seen comments that had name calling, bad-mouthing, and the list goes on. There is a rise in “Mommy bullying” due to the thing I call “hiding behind a screen.” I believe that this happens due to inability to filter hurtful, judgmental opinions.

What happened to the community where there’s support and encouragement? Where moms stand united? Or is that too difficult? I mean how awesome would it be to be part of so many communities where moms can relate to each other and offer judgement-free advice? I was excited to learn from these fellow moms and at the same time give back my advice. But can I take it with a side of judgement-free please?

…hence the many faces of moms on Facebook.

The Beginner– Overly excited, posts a lot, comments.

The Follower– Follows every post. Wants to know everything. Where, when, and what is happening.

The Appreciator– Posts a question, gets an answer, says thank you, and moves on.

The Mentor– Offers guidance and suggestions.

The Commentator– has an opinion on everything.

Miss Expertise– Pushes her advice to be the best. Sometimes it’s better not to question the advice. Take it or leave it. This mom has one way of doing things and it’s the right way.

The Viewer- Will log in, read all the posts, drink some coffee or some wine, and have a few laughs.

Miss Random– Won’t read any of the comments on the post but still voice her random opinion.

Librarian Mama– Provides all references and resources for any advice given.

Holistic Wellness Mama– She knows all the natural remedies and the do’s and don’ts of how to treat your child when they have a fever, teething, etc. Herbs & essential oils are her things.

Honorable Mention– Has given birth to 4 kids and got them out of diapers before they were 2. If she knows how to balance all of them, I think it may be a good idea to see what she has to say about potty training.

“Hot Mess Mama”– a “new (hot) mama.” She is made up of many voices and opinions. She may be wearing a track suit or high heels at a playground, but this is one hot mama who you don’t want to mess with!

Which Mommy group Mom are you?

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HAPPY WORLD DOULA WEEK!

DOULA WORLD WEEK

FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION about WORLD DOULA WEEK HERE http://www.worlddoulaweek.com/

I am forever thankful to my doula who was with us for 40 hours during my first birth and inspired me to become a doula!

If you are pregnant please look into hiring a doula. It can change your labor experience!

Happy Monday:)

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Quick, tasty, & easy to make dinner!

I was craving Chipotle, but since we are challenging ourselves and trying to not eat out, we made rice bowls at home tonight.

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Step 1. Preparing the chicken.

A. Pounded out (to make thinner slices) 2 Large chicken breast

B. Add Oregano, Parsley, Tumeric, and Sea Salt on them

C. Prepare 3 bowls for dipping the chicken breast. 1. Eggs. 2. Coconut flour 3. Panko bread crumbs

D. Dip each chicken breast in the egg 》 flour 》crumbs

E. Warmed up coconut oil and toss the chicken breast onto the pan

2. Prepare the rice any way you like it. We have a rice cooker at home so we use that. The choice of rice for tonight’s dinner is Basmati rice (other personal favorites are Jasmine rice and Brown rice). It takes about twenty minutes, just enough time to sautee some onions with bell peppers.

3. Cook the chicken on medium heat and don’t forget to flip the chicken! Let it cook for 10 more minutes and add a cup of water to it. Cover the chicken breast with a lid.

4. Next up are the onions and bell peppers. I used a special garlic butter that we found at Costco over the weekend (we gave into sample tasting and bought it!) instead of coconut oil. If you don’t have that you can cook it on coconut oil and dice up some garlic to throw in there.

5. Then I got all the ingredients ready for the bowl.
-shredded mozzarella cheese
-sour cream
-avocado (I mix it with a teaspoon of mayo and crush it with a fork to make a quick spread)
-jalepenos
-sauces: sirachi and chili sauce

By the time the table was set, the chicken and sauté was ready. I mixed all ingredients together and voilà fast, easy, & most importantly tasty!

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Leave the spicy sauces and jalepenos out and you have a perfect dinner for your hungry toddler!

Goodnight to all of my readers! 🙂

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Just one of those days…

          Its official I had all types of baby fluids on me. Cooking breakfast with a screaming toddler is nerve racking. The funny part I was making oatmeal and when I was done he didn’t want anything to do with it. Before I was a mom my husband asked me, “would you force your kid to eat something that he doesn’t like or cook something new for him?” Of course I said I wouldn’t force it. I was never forced so why would I do that? The other day I made him carrot salad with cranberries. My childhood favorite. He didn’t want it but I was convinced that if he at least tried it he would like it. I made him take a bite and swallow it. He didn’t like it so that was the end of it but then I thought about how I changed. You really change your decisions when you have a kid.

           I made him a spinach/chicken/cheese quesadilla two days ago. It took time to make. I marinated the organic chicken in organic sauces and made sure it was tasty. My toddler refused to even take a bite. I went into the kitchen and got teary. Now I know how my grandma felt if I told her I didn’t like something. Although that was rare, I was still a harsh critic. He’s sick right now so his taste buds are off a little. That’s what I keep telling myself when he chose the frozen waffle instead of my oatmeal. As I opened up the kitchen gate to calm down his crying, he wiped his nose all over my pants. I guess today is just one of those days…HAPPY MONDAY!:)

Scroll below for my toddler approved borsche. A favorite for when he’s sick!

TODDLER BORSCHE (I make ours differently…this is just a toddler recipe)

You will need:

– 2 chicken breasts                                                                        2015-03-16 11.50.52

-2 beets (depending how big your pot is)

– 1 cup of baby carrots

– 1 celery stalk

-1 red bell pepper

– 1 cup of broccoli

-onion (I throw in a quarter of it but whole, not chopped)

-garlic (peeled but not cut)

-2 zucchinis

-sea salt

*you can add potatoes

Instructions:

1. Wash the chicken and boil it in water

2. When it comes to a boil I rinse out the pot and wash the chicken and fill it up with new water again. (This step is to ensure the water will be clear)

3. Put on low heat and wait to boil. Meanwhile I wash and cut up all the veggies and boil the beets (not peeled). When they are soft I take them out, let them cool, and peel.

4. When the water boils (which on low heat will seem like forever, but make sure to have a lid covering your pot), throw in all of the veggies (including garlic) except the beets

5. After about 10-15 minutes, I shred the beets into the soup and add a half a teaspoon of sea salt. Let boil for about 20-30 minutes. I usually poke the veggies to make sure they are soft.

Enjoy with toast! My little one likes to dip the bread inside the soup:)

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The Many Forms of Katleti (or meat patties)

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I hate going grocery shopping. It takes away from the precious time we get to spend as a family. By the time we are done shopping it’s evening, and dinner isn’t ready. My husband and I stare at each other and search in the bags what’s the fastest thing we can make so our hungry, inpatient toddler can eat already. It’s kind of hard to cook when you hear screaming in the background. This happens mostly because our shopping sprees take a whole day. We like to do our shopping on Fridays when our little one is in preschool but then it is definitely a race to see how fast we can shop and how many stores we can drive to. Not my type of fun. Last time we went to FOUR stores. I personally think it’s ridiculous, but every store has something that we need. So after that big day of shopping my husband and I had a bet. I think I was delirious when I said the food would last us two weeks. I’m competitive in nature and hate to loose bets so I made it last two weeks. Tomorrow is shopping day! We’re out of eggs…

This week I cooked a lot. I believe that healthy eating starts at home. I want to encourage my little one to choose healthy options. It always puts a smile on my face when he says “no” to candy. Eating out at restaurants and cafes is not only expensive but unhealthy. You honestly don’t know how exactly your food is cooked. I grew up with my grandma cooking all the time. I loved coming home after school and the house would smell of warm tasty food. That is my goal. Even though, I am a working mom, my main goal is to raise a healthy family. It’s all about finding the right balance. I believe that a healthy family is a happy family!

This week I managed to cook up a storm. The kitchen definitely looked like it. So thankful for a dishwasher! I cooked a lot of Buckwheat Katleti (toddler approved!) The recipe is amazing and I got it from Natasha’s kitchen. She has recipes that look so delicious. I’m all about supporting other moms and their blogs. When I’m not writing my own, I’m reading other mommy blogs. I altered the recipe a little and made it my own (recipe and pic below). I wanted to make sure that we kick the habit of throwing out food and finish what I made. So I got creative and we had different forms of katleti (I cooked too much of them).

You can find the recipe here: Buckwheat Katleti

My modifications: I used a tray of ground turkey, added 2 eggs, coconut flour instead of bread crumbs, and the last step I dipped the patties into Cashew meal that I found at Trader Joes.

First night we ate it with pesto-quinioa pasta and steamed veggies

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You can also make this using the patties:

1. Cabbage leaves with Katleti & homemade salsa

You will need:

1 head of cabbage

1 yellow bell pepper

1 tomato

cilantro

sea salt + pepper

a quarter of a red onion

1 lime

1. Make the salsa by dicing the tomato, red onion, and cilantro and throwing everything together in a bowl. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and squeeze a slice of lime. Put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

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-Meanwhile get the cabbage ready.

2. Wash the cabbage and peel layers off carefully to make sure the leaves won’t break.

3. Boil water and when it is boiling drop in the leaves for 2 minutes and take out carefully.

4. I placed them on a paper towel on a  big plate so they can drain. Let them drain for 10 minutes

5. Cut up a bell pepper into small slices and place on top of each cabbage leave.

6. Crush the katletki/ patties and layer them on top of the bell pepper

7. Top with your homemade salsa

8. Add peanut sauce for dipping

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-Serve with sides

(I served it with garlic & cheese oven baked red potatoes and carrot cranberry salad)

Garlic Cheese Red skin potatoes

Garlic Cheese Red skin potatoes

Carrot/Cranberry Salad -A childhood favorite. My mom used to make it when I was little except with raisins.

Carrot/Cranberry Salad
-A childhood favorite. My mom used to make it when I was little except with raisins.

2. Pita bread with Katleti

You will need pita bread, katleti, sour cream, and cheese, a piece of lettuce, and ketchup

1. Cut the top part of the pita open and stuff in some cheese.

2. Stick the pita into the microwave for 30 seconds and then let cool

3. Put ketchup and sour cream lightly into the pita and add katletka and lettuce

-Can be made as an to go lunch! You can do the same with bread but we have excluded bread this week.

3. Bell peppers stuffed with quinioa, katleti, and zuchinni in tomato sauce

Bell peppers

quinioa

zuchinni

onion

canned tomato sauce

1 carrot

1 ketchup

bay leaves

1. boil water and throw in the bell peppers. cook them for about 3-5 minutes so they don’t get too soft

2. cook quinioa

3. sautee some chopped up zuchinni with diced onion and shredded carrot.

4. pour half of the canned tomato sauce over it and add a cup of water. Sprinkle some salt, pepper, and a teaspoon of sugar. Stir and cover with lid. Let it sautee for about 20 minutes.

5. Pour the other half of the can of tomato sauce into a pot with 2 cups of water. Add pieces of bay leaf

6. Stuff the bell pepper with quinioa, crushed patties, and the zucchini/carrot mixture

7.Throw the bell peppers into the pot when the sauce start to boil and cook for 10-15 minutes on reduced heat

Voooollllaaaa…the many different forms of katleti.

Enjoy! 🙂

*Buckwheat patties, Oven red-skin potatoes, and cranberry carrot salad were found on Nataha’s kitchen

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Postpartum talk #5: WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING POSTPARTUM (the 4th trimester)

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I haven’t written a postpartum blog in a while, yet postpartum is the 4th trimester and is the most important. Working in the baby world I have had several discussions with moms about how postpartum care is so essential yet so overlooked. It is very troublesome to meet so many moms who share the same experiences that they received during postpartum care. These stories are very similar to mine, postpartum care was non-existent. As a first time mom I didn’t know what to expect. I read books and googled a lot. Most of the information lead me to learn more and more about pregnancy and build up fear around birth, but nothing was ever brought up about the 4th trimester. So I had to find out the hard way, live through it.

Did you know that you bleed non-stop for days after, and continue to have contractions? It’s like having a period on steroids! It’s pretty bad. I mean I thought I had horrible periods before, but I was wrong. My mom used to always say when I was scrunched up in a ball yelling from my pain during a period, “don’t worry when you give birth your periods will get so much lighter and better.” So I waited and waited. I got my period again 4 months postpartum while still breastfeeding and thought I was dying. I left frantic messages to my doc asking if it was normal. I thought I was bleeding to death. I apologize for such descriptions but you need to know it will get worse before it gets better. You need to be prepared. I also didn’t have the right knowledge and support at the time and for that I’m paying for with my belly. You need to wear a postpartum band, specific for postpartum. This will tighten up your abdominal muscles (the ones that were stretched out). There are so many things you need postpartum that you don’t think about because you are so focused on other things. After the baby comes there is no time for shopping for those items. Here is my recommended postpartum list of things below! Remember Mamas, self-care is an essential part of trimester 4.

Happy Mama=Happy Baby!

POSTPARTUM ESSENTIALS

1. Witch Hazel. You can buy it at your local CVS or walgreens

2. Granny panties

3. Big pads-I mean big!

4. Americaine Spray

5. You need ice cubes that you can put into the pads or put the pads into the freezer

6. Breastfeeding tops and bras if you are planning on breastfeeding

7. Belly band—-one that I heard works really well is Bandit

8. Mamastrut-check it out on http://www.mamastrut.com/ It wasn’t available when I gave birth 2 years ago but I had an opportunity to sit down with one of the representatives and try it out. I loved it! I will definitely be getting one in the future.

9. Squirt bottle-an alternative to showering, you may have to use it for a little bit just until that region heals.

10. Disposable pads-I would recommend putting these underneath yourself when going to sleep at least for the first few nights.

Things to remember:

1. If you breastfeed, that helps the uterus shrink

2. There will be bleeding and pain but it will all go away

3. If you breastfeed you may still get a period in a couple months. This does NOT mean you cannot continue to breastfeed. Sometimes supply during your period may be diminished but helping it by drinking breastfeeding teas and other things that can improve your supply can help. Supply usually re-establishes back after when the period is over.

4. Postpartum is the 4th trimester. People always forget about it. Find the right support before you have your baby. Most obgyns do not provide enough information about it so reach out to support groups, doulas, and other moms to find out more information on what to expect.

Self care is important. Seeing a Chiropractor after your birth is crucial. Postpartum is the right time to get your body back into shape and a Chiropractor can help do that through massage and adjustments, especially if you are breastfeeding. Trust me I have been there and it is the worst to sit in a rocking chair, leaned over trying to feed your baby while experiencing intensive upper back pain.

4TH TRIMESTER is the hardest. Who said it would be easy is really not preparing you for reality! With the right tools and support it is definitely manageable, so be prepared.

              WHAT’S FOR DINNER?

Here is a dinner recipe that I made a  week ago and has become one of the popular dishes in our family (my husband’s still talking about it)

Stuffed MANICOTTI (simple & easy)

You will need:

-spinach

-Manicotti

-ricotta cheese

-marinara

STEPS to cooking it:

1. Saute spinach in a frying pan on coconut oil (About 10 minutes) and I cut the stems off and chop up the spinach. I made 8 Manicotti and used 2 cups of spinach.

2. Boil water.

3. Throw in the Manicotti (cook about 7-10 minutes) do not over cook

4. Meanwhile, set the oven to 350 degrees

5. Get a tray with aluminum foil ready and spray with coconut oil

6. Drain Manicotti and put on a dish

7. In a bowl make a mixture of ricotti cheese and spinach. I mixed and blended with a fork but feel free to use a blender. I just wanted it to be more chunckier

8. Stuff the mixture into the Manicotti and put each one into the tray that is going into the oven

9. You can use any marinara that you like but I used TJs Tomato Vodlka Marinara. I poured half of the bottle all over the Manicotti and put it in the oven.

10. Place aluminum foil over the Manicotti and set the timer for 40 minutes.

Voooolaaaaa, a delicious dinner for your whole family! Enjoy!

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Happy Monday to all my readers! 🙂

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