I am so fortunate to be part of a team of women who support each other and constantly create new challenges to keep each other accountable! My business partner Whitney Carlson, set this challenge in motion to prepare for her trip to California next month. She brought the idea to the other trainers and we all decided to join in! Together, we are all contributing to make this challenge awesome! You really don’t want to miss out on this free program!
If you need a jump start, motivation, information, or just want to have fun you need to join us! Details below!
1 cup peanut butter OR allergy-friendly alternative (I use almond butter)
1/4 cup applesauce, plus scant 2 tbsp if needed
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp flour (I used almond meal, but you can use sorghum, white, spelt, ww pastry, buckwheat, or oat)
2/3 cup granulated sugar of choice OR xylitol (I left this out)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
optional, chocolate chips or raisins (I also omitted these as I didn’t have any!)
Line a large plate or tray with parchment paper, and clear a space in your freezer. If needed, gently warm the nut butter until it is stir-able, then measure it into a large bowl. Stir in the applesauce and vanilla. In a small bowl, stir together all remaining ingredients, then add them to the wet mixture. Stir until evenly mixed. Form balls with a cookie scoop, then place the balls on the parchment-lined plate. (If the dough is too soft, due to the type of peanut butter you’ve used, freeze until firm enough to form balls.) Freeze the balls a few hours until they are firm enough to handle without being sticky, then transfer to a bag or container and store in the freezer. (If you wanted to cook these instead of eating them in a raw cookie dough form, you should make the recipe a little differently:
I hate meat. I have always been borderline vegetarian and when I was single I didn’t eat meat at all except when prepared for me by other people. When I met and married Mr. Brown, the fact that I didn’t have to prepare meat as a weekly or a daily thing changed because my Mr could not live a single meal without his all important proteins.
A funny story my family loves to tell is about the involved process I went through to make the first dinner Mr had with my parents. This process was involved because I made a meat-centric mexican casserole with chicken. And I was so grossed out, I did everything I could to avoid touching the chicken with my bare fingers. (I actually ended up using paper towels and forks and things while my mother stood there and watched and laughed at me!)
My aversion to meat hasn’t changed much. I prefer eggs over almost all other sources of proteins and I have built up my repertoire so as to avoid messing around with raw meat as much as possible! That’s where this easy chicken roasting recipe comes in.
Butter or olive oil
1 or more boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
Other spices or seasonings
Heat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the middle position. Rub the pan and one side of the parchment paper with butter or olive oil; this prevents the chicken from sticking. Pat the chicken dry and rub with a little butter or olive oil, if desired. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and any other favorite seasonings. Place the chicken breasts in the baking dish, spaced slightly apart. You can also tuck herbs or lemon wedges around the chicken for extra flavor. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is completely opaque all the way through and registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer. Serve the chicken immediately, or let it cool and refrigerate for up to a week. (Or in my case, shred and use this chicken in recipes throughout the week so you can prolong your exposure to raw meat again as long as possible!!)
- 1 head cauliflower, stemmed and cut into florets
- 2 tablespoons veggie broth
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 5 ounces baby spinach, chopped
Finely chop the cauliflower by hand or pulse in a food processor until it forms a rice-like consistency. Heat veggie broth in a skillet on medium-high heat, add garlic and onion and sauté until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until cauliflower is tender, about 10-12 minutes total. Add spinach, toss to combine, and cook another minute or two until wilted.
Makes 2 servings.
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, diced (1/4 cup)
1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 cups fresh broccoli, chopped (or use frozen broccoli florets)
1 cup spinach
2 ribs of celery, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley
2 cups vegetable broth
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 lemon (or 1 Tbsp. lemon juice)
Directions for preparing:
Heat some water or broth over medium heat in large pot.
Add garlic, onion, and ginger and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the broccoli, spinach, celery and parsley and cook for 5-7 minutes.
Add vegetable broth and reduce to medium-low heat. Cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes.
Puree the soup with a blender or food processor.
Pour soup into two bowls. Season with salt and pepper. Squeeze lemon over the soup before serving. Serve.
I have mentioned this before on my Facebook and Instagram that for the season of Lent, my husband and I are working on eating healthier and also doing a lot more cooking at home. I’m not one to give up eating out altogether because that doesn’t work on our current schedules, but I am making an effort to cook enough food to have at least breakfasts at home (or packed in my husband’s lunchbox in the morning) and dinners during the week.
And of course when we do eat out, we are conscientious about where and what we eat. There are a few places in town that are super clean eating friendly, and we go there mostly. Or we just get tea out and cook the meals at home.
I came up with this recipe on a whim last week because I was running low on food and I needed something that would be both easy and packable, and not dirty a lot of pans. This is a two-pan recipe. All you need is a bowl to mix and your muffin tin (well greased, which I found out the hard way the first time I made this).
- 1 cup of grated cheese (whatever you prefer)
- 1 cups of self raising flour (or a gluten free blend)
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup of milk (if you don’t do dairy, try with coconut milk or just replace with your preferred non-dairy milk)
- 1/2 cup of water
- ½ cup of chopped ham
- 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
- Sprinkle of mixed herbs (optional)
- Or pepper to taste
- 6 pieces of bacon
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 14.5oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 medium zucchinis, Blade C, noodles trimmed
- 2.5-3 cups arugula (or basil or any leafy green you might have)
- Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once heated, add in 3 bacon slices and cook for 2-3 minutes, flip over and cook another 3-5 minutes or until crispy. Set aside on a paper-towel lined plate.
- If you are inclined, keep the bacon grease in the pan from your bacon. Add in the garlic and onions and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Then, add in the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and parsley and let cook for 10 minutes or until sauce is fully reduced.
- Once reduced, add in the greens and zucchini noodles. Cook, tossing frequently, for 2-3 minutes or until noodles wilt and cook through. Remove from heat and then crumble in the bacon and give a toss to combine. (If desired, cook 3 more pieces of bacon to top with later on if you have leftovers).
- Serve immediately.
I am following Meg’s lead at A Dash of Meg and linking up on Five Things Friday.
I am slowly working my way back to the health train after two weeks of being knocked out from a terrible stomach bug my husband so kindly gave me. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and networking lately on what I want my fitness business to look like and where I want to serve. I’ve been meeting with one of the leaders in my new church and he’s encouraged me to connect with the other three girls who run classes out of our basement. Trying to get in with them and learn the local fitness market and people as well as trying their classes next week. I’m especially looking forward to attempting Piloxing.
I am going through all the materials for my new job. AND in addition to that, I am reading through a sewing book about setting up my sewing room. (Super excited about that!)
3. Listening To…
MercyMe on youtube. I’m going on a bit of an old school favorite Christian band kick lately. Probably has something to do with the fact that I’m attending an Episcopal church now and I don’t know a lick of the music.
Lots of zoodles! Some favorite blogs where I get my inspiration are:
Inspiralized – a food blog dedicated to making healthy and creative meals with the spiralizer.
Love He & She for their great clean recipes and tips about finances and fitness.
He & She Eat Clean – HeandSheEatClean.com started as an outlet for accountability and a place to share clean eating recipes and lifestyle tips in 2011. Since inception the website has been viewed over 18.5 million times and changed countless lives.
I love this site for Jamie Eason Middleton’s recipes and tips the most.
Labrada – The site of recipes, supplements, and training tips run by Lee Labrada.
Galentine’s Day today: Happy Galentine’s Day!!! To all my lovely ladies out there – you are the family I chose for myself. You’ve been there for me in the good times and the bad, held my hand when I was down, slapped it when I needed some sense knocked into me, and celebrated with me like there was no tomorrow! Today, let’s celebrate US. Boyfriends (and husbands) may come and go, but you girls are forever. Love you!!!!
This has been quite the week in the Brown household. On Sunday, we rushed my husband to the ER with severe back pain in the kidney region. After some ultrasounds, it came back that he had two kidney stones he gets to pass. (Brilliant).
The next morning, Monday, he woke up sick again but this time with a low grade fever, and projecting all sorts of fun bodily fluids out of both ends. I have never seen this man so sick, so back to the ER we went. And after 18 hours in the ER (I still do not understand why they never moved him to Observation when they had said they were going to at 10am) they finally thought his fever was stable enough to send him home but they never gave us a diagnosis.
SO on Tuesday, I looked up doctors in the area, found an internal medicine doctor about 10 minutes north of us, and took him in for a check-up. She said it sounded most likely that he had viral gastroenteritis. YAY. A conclusion. And of course the very next day he was all better and back to work. And I was sick, but that’s another story.
So some things that have been keeping me company over the last three days of my own illness have been:
1) Crown of Renewal by Elizabeth Moon – The mysterious reappearance of magery throughout the land has been met with suspicion, fear, and violence. In the kingdom of Lyonya, Kieri, the half-elven, half-human king, struggles to balance the competing demands of his heritage while fighting a deadly threat to his rule: evil elves linked in some way to the rebirth of magic.
Meanwhile, in the neighboring kingdom of Tsaia, a set of ancient artifacts recovered by the former mercenary Dorrin Verrakai may hold the answer to the riddle of magery’s return. Thus Dorrin embarks on a dangerous quest to return these relics of a bygone age to their all-but-mythical place of origin. What she encounters there will change her in unimaginable ways—and spell doom or salvation for the entire world.
The book actually kept me company while I was in the hospital with my ill husband, not so much while I was sick myself. Too sick to read. Mostly I’ve been sleeping.
2) Isotonix Immune boosting vitamins – These vitamins boost the body’s natural immune response, clinical trials have shown that Wellmune® promotes a healthy immune system, promote beneficial activity of macrophages, T cells and natural killer cells, which engulf and destroy pathogens and foreign matter, and really they have made all the difference. I was not nearly as sick as my husband was (I only got physically ill when I drank orange juice on the first day), otherwise I am pretty sure these vitamins kept me from the full brunt of the gastroenteritis.
3) Ultimate Aloe – has been key, but not so much for me. For my peace of mind about my husband’s kidney stones. Ultimate Aloe helps with breaking up the stones so that they will be easier for him to pass. It also promotes digestive comfort which was definitely an issue with this illness!
4) My Electric Throw – This thing has saved both me and the husband on nights when the temps plummet below freezing and we can’t figure out our thermostat to keep it set to a reasonable temperature. He’s too warm with the blanket on him, but having it on my side of the bed warms the whole bed enough for him. And it helps a lot when the fever makes me shiver in the middle of the day.
5) State of Affairs- This is a show on hulu that I had never bothered to watch, but when I ran out of my regular programming for the time I was awake, I found this and I’ve been binge watching it from the beginning. The premise: Katherine Heigl portrays a key CIA analyst who counsels the president on high-stakes incidents around the world. She balances her intense political responsibilities with a complicated personal life. Super interesting and fun even if it’s not really fluffy (I tend to watch crime/police shows anyway).
I’m linked up at Friday Favorites on Housewife Glamour’s blog.