My Journey to a Healthier Me

Life has a weird way of teaching you lessons.

Before, I didn’t really know what was good for me.

Like a jelly bean green juicy jumpsuit.

Yes, yes I did.

It’s weird, because sometimes we truly don’t know that what we’re doing isn’t the best for us.

Since I was little girl, I’ve always had an issue with the way I felt about my weight. Even at the young age of 10, I had this negative view about my weight and body image. Always wanting to be skinnier, to feel better, and wishing I could feel comfortable in the clothes I wore…Without feeling like I wanted to run home and put on baggy sweats.

This was me in high school.

I’m not going to sit here and say, “Look how fat I am, I’m pale, I was bloated, I look tired, and why in the heck aren’t I wearing cuter shoes…yidda yadda!”

See, that would be mean.

But it’s how I felt.

I was in the constant battle with myself, trying to feel good enough. You see I thought I was making the best choices for my body.I thought I was healthy. I thought that if I ran for 10 minutes it was okay for me to scarf down 3 chili dogs when I got home. I thought that eating a salad loaded with bacon, eggs, cheese, ranch dressing, and garlic croutons wasn’t bad for you. I mean, it was a salad! How bad could it be? I struggled because I thought I was doing everything I could to be healthy, happy, & skinny. Why wasn’t I?

I carried this (non) confidence in my self with me to college, and like most college students, eating & socializing is pretty common. It was a struggle for me to try to make the right choices, considering I really didn’t even know what was right. Then something happened. I got sick.I felt bloated, crampy, and sick to my stomach ALL the time. (Could it be the chili dogs..no?!?)  I went to several doctors, and no one could figure out what was wrong. Then one doctor took an x-ray of my stomach, and everything was black. My body wasn’t digesting food. The doctor suggested I omit gluten and dairy to see if that worked. So for the next 2 years I did just that. You see, back then, there wasn’t a lot of gluten-free/dairy free products, like there are today. So I had to eat really fresh and natural things like lean meats and fresh produce. At first, it was SOO hard. NO OLIVE GARDEN BREADSTICKS!!

With this new “lifestyle” I was living I began to notice not only a difference in my appearance but also how I felt. I had SO much energy. I was no longer tired and lethargic, now I felt awake and energetic. I decided to take up exercising, in particular running. I would wake up early in the morning and run…

Let me just add that I was never ever a runner. One time a friend and I tried out for track in HS, and we quit the next day.

Anyways I began to love it so much I started doing mini’ “races” at school.

I felt great!

But I became obsessed. Then the doctors told me that I really wasn’t allergic to gluten, but I was lactose intolerant, and I could start eating wheat again. I remember crying hysterically to my mom saying, “I’m gonna get fat again!” After that, I promised my self I wouldn’t let me get back to the old me again so I started really watching what I ate. Canned vegetables and rice crackers were my staple. I probably consumed 300 calories a day.

Luckily through the support of family and friends, I knew that things had to change.

I knew my goal was to become healthy & happy, and not focus so much on the skinny part.

I decided the best way to make this change was to do some research and become educated. I quickly switched my major to Health and Nutrition, studying up on some reading, and began to really learn and understand the beauty of living a healthy lifestyle and all it has to offer.

I stopped the fad diets, kicked the low carb, fat free foods the curb. Diets just weren’t working and I could never seem to stick with them, and there was no way I was going to diet the rest of my life. I knew that if I wanted to feel great inside and on the outside, I had to stop worrying about calories and counting my carbs. It just wasn’t the way I wanted to live.

My goal was to eat food, enjoy it, and feel great. The only way I was able to accomplish this was by eating wholesome and natural foods. After that I not only began to feel great inside, but I was able to maintain and feel great about my healthy weight. Taking the pressure off of myself of dieting was a load off my shoulders, and now I knew that I could eat foods without the constant worry that I struggled with.

Life has thrown a lot of curve balls. Some have been more challenging than others, but I am still learning to this day to be grateful for the body I have been giving. I know now how to make the best choices for my body. I know now that I am healthy. I know that I can run for as long as I want and still come home and eat chocolate, and this is because I know that I am no longer afraid of food. Instead I know that what I put into my body is going to contribute how I feel on the outside. And I must add I know I feel great when I eat chocolate =]..

Now I know.

Everyday is a new day. I’m not going to say I’m perfect. I mean I usually eat a gallon little bit of chocolate every day. I don’t always have time to work out, let alone shave my legs (TMI?). And sometimes my breakfast includes a cookie and left over brown rice.

This blog is about my life, my journey to making better decisions. All the while, trying my best to be an amazing wife and mother, and  keeping my family healthy and happy.

My focus is to raise my family with the attitude that our bodies are temples and we need to respect and take care of them. That doesn’t mean that we need to be skinny or fit into a size 2. That means that we need to give our bodies the food it needs to thrive, grow, and become strong to live healthy and happy lives.

That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.

The Reality Of How My Family Lives A ‘Healthy Lifestyle’

I would say that 80% of the emails I get are from parents who are struggling with having their family and their children eat healthy. Even though it’s an email or a comment, I can tell that they are stressed, worried, and feel a sense of failure because their child or spouse just hates eating healthy.

As parents, we are responsible for the health and well being of our family, so living a healthy lifestyle and healthy eating are a sensitive and sometimes touchy subject. There are A LOT of different ways to live healthy and with those ways come A LOT of different opinions.

So why not give you mine right?

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time, but never really had the ‘courage’ to do so. Saying how we ‘actually’ live is kind of scary, not that I am ashamed. But what if people think I’m a fraud?! Majority of social media and blogs today are all about perfection. It’s rare to see a REAL glimpse into someones life. As far as we know, all the other moms and dads are doing it perfectly, or at least better than you are right? Getting a good workout in every morning, eating healthy, feeding their kids all organic homemade, teaching their kids, dressing in the cutest clothes, and of coarse having the perfect house. One of my favorite quotes that I think fits perfectly is, ” Love her dress, hate her.”

So let’s begin…

How do we really live a healthy lifestyle in our family…

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There was a time when I had one baby where I made homemade crackers.

Yup.

Homemade crackers with different nuts, seeds, and all things healthy.

I remember an older mom friend of mine saying, “I CAN’T believe you are making your own crackers?! How do you find the time?!”

I laughed but in my head thought, “Well you can accomplish anything at nap time!” I also thought, anyone can afford to buy majority of their food organic. Vegan diets are easy. Eating out at healthy restaurants is do-able. You can make anything homemade, during that beloved nap time. Fitting in exercise is the easiest thing…yada yada yada.

Well my friends, my opinion has definitely changed. I woke up. Or in my case, I never slept. Having 3 kids under 4 will do that to you. So where do I/my family stand now you ask?

Here is our reality.

Right now, I like to call our life the “Survival Stage.” 

With 3 kids under 4, a husband who works two jobs and 60 plus hours a week, along with a massive load of student debt, well we are just trying to survive ;).

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Do we buy all Organic Food?

No.

In an ideal world we would buy organic meats, fruits, dairy, grains, etc. There was a time when I did this, again when I was a young mom of one, and I spent A LOT. At the time we were a small family, technically only 2 and 1/2, so we weren’t eating a lot, but buying organic in general was EXPENSIVE. I also shopped locally at the farmers markets and bought organic produce. I loved it.

But things have changed. Now with 5 mouths to feed, grown up bills, and our desert climate, organic isn’t always possible. I just can’t afford to spend 100 on produce alone. I can’t. I’ve been to our local farmers markets and you can buy a tiny things of berries for 8 bucks, and that would be a snack for my 4 year old. It just isn’t possible. Not with a mortgage and all the other bills right?

What about meat? I’m so excited because we just recently got a sprouts market in our city and their organic prices are so much better! If their organic meat is on sale and it’s a good and similar price to what I would pay for non organic, than I will buy it. Otherwise my friends, at this point in our life, I can’t spend 50 just on meat. Of coarse there is always the idea of incorporating for vegan/meat free dishes that way every meal isn’t solely meat based. But still, a package of organic chicken breast at my local store is about 20 bucks. (That’s one night of chicken dinner.)

What about Dairy? The same goes for dairy as it does meat. If it’s on sale, we buy it. If not, we don’t.

It’s a hard reality for me to share, but I’ve learned that we all, if not a lot of us, are not in perfect financial stability. We just can’t afford to pay 300 bucks a week on groceries,  and frankly I don’t really want to. I truly believe you just do the best you can. If you can’t afford organic, great! If you can, great! But don’t buy an 8 dollar mini organic watermelon. That’s just crazy ;).

Does that mean I’m buying crap?

No.

I still buy an abundance of fresh produce and majority of the time I make 3 meals a day for my family. Not always, but a lot of the time. Unless I had 3 hours of sleep the night before because I stayed up to watch the Bachelor. Then it’s cheerios for breakfast.

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Do your kids eat healthy? Do they eat vegetables?

Yes and Yes.

No and No.

Are we clear? haha! Here’s the lowdown on healthy eating with my kids. My girls are learning who they are and developing a sense of, “It’s my way or the highway” kind of attitude. It’s a fun stage. Sometimes when I place vegetables in front of them they either laugh, cry, scream, or just eat them. Everyday is different. But I try and be consistent. I serve veggies with every meal. Sometimes they eat them, sometimes they spit them out and tell me that was disgusting.

With that being said, my kids have had boxed macaroni and cheese. And Oreos. This goes back to that “Survival Stage” where I had a new born baby who nursed on demand every hour, a toddler who was going through pacifier withdrawls, a 4 year old who thought she was 16, and a husband at work. The LAST thing I wanted to do was think about what to make for dinner. When those days happen, don’t feel guilty about making a boxed macaroni and cheese. Just pat yourself on the back that your kids are being fed dinner! There were multiple times, yes multiple, where I would put a movie on to try and fit in a 30 minute nap only to wake up to find my 2 year old knee deep in a jar of nutella. It happens.

Do you exercise every day?

No.

At this particular time in my life I would say I exercise 3/7 days a week. Is it a good solid workout? I wish, but no. I’ve been blessed with very alert kids. Kids that at the age of 4 still don’t sleep through the night. Add a new born to that and when I wake up in the morning I’m crawling down stairs half asleep. I also have a husband who leaves at 6 in the morning for work and by the time he comes home, I am way to tired to work out.

With that being said, I try to fit in a walk, jog, or a workout video in every so often. But it’s not easy right now, and THAT is ok. There was a time when I had a 18 month old and a 3 1/2 year old and I wasn’t pregnant. I would run every day and get a great workout in. The kids were sleeping a little better and I felt more alive. That time will come again, but I know right now I just have to do the best I can. Are there moms who are better at this? Definitely. But I’m not that mom.

We are all different and we do things differently. Like I said, we do the best we can right?

Do you eat at healthy restaurants?

Yes and No.

(Aren’t you loving my answers? SO clear.)

If you ask my husband, I’m constantly begging him to try new healthy, vegan, and sometimes raw food places. Sometimes he is willing but most of the time he isn’t. If we eat out as a family, we try to be spending conscious and if I have a say, health conscious. We have definitely ordered a pizza, and my husband loves to take the girls to McDonalds. (I try and put my foot down on that, but marriage is compromise right?) It’s not a weekly thing or even monthly, but my girls have had fast food. (And I really like red burritos without cheese from Del Taco. AHHHH!!) But if we eat out, I usually always order sometime healthy/light and my girls usually stick to similar things, like macaroni and cheese, or chicken. They don’t really stray from that.

A long those lines, my girls love to eat at healthy juice places and have fresh juice and healthy baked goods. I usually take them with me to try new places and they are really open to doing things like that.

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In closing…

I love finding ways to live a healthier lifestyle. It truly changed my life and the way I feel. Somedays I am on top of it, and sometimes I am just trying to survive. I love to be in the kitchen, so I’m always trying to make healthier dishes. It’s a passion. I love sharing those recipes and ideas with others so they can try them on their family. I also love the way exercise and healthy eating make me feel. Nothing makes me feel more energized for the day then when I get a good solid workout in.

This is why I am SO excited about this breakfast book I’ve been working on! I can’t wait to share it with everyone.

But I’m not perfect, and neither are you. I’ll be the first person to say I love a big slice of chocolate cake or chocolate chip cookie! You have do to what works best for you and your family. And if you are a young mom with little babies like me, well then just remember you are doing the best and just trying to ‘survive’ :). There will be a time when all those babies are in school and sleeping through the night, (or so I hope!). Then getting up at 6 to workout will be easier right? :)

 

Again, this was kind of scary for me to share, but I hope that I was able to answer some of my most frequently asked questions! More importantly, I hope you feel better about yourself! Thanks for all of your support and love my friends!

Nailed It : Laundry

Let’s talk about laundry.

I LOATHE laundry.

Nope. Scratch that. I HATE laundry.

I feel bad because I think it’s one of those things I should have told my husband before he married me. But I didn’t.

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See that pile on the bed? It’s clean. Clean-ish.

That pile was washed a week ago. It’s been in a pile for a week on the bottom of my bed/on the floor. Need a shirt? Look in that pile. Need new undies? The pile.

See that laundry basket behind The Pile? That’s dirty laundry, SPILLING over the top.

Why does laundry hate me so much?

Do you see the time on the clock? You can’t really tell but it says 2:57, in the afternoon. That’s right. 3 in the afternoon and I haven’t even thrown a dirty load of laundry into the wash. NOT ONE.

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I could blame the children.

I mean, after all I have been taking care of 3 kids under 4 all day…You know what? It’s all their fault! But I also hated/had issues with laundry B.C. (before children), so I guess it’s technically not their fault. Which only means one thing…

Nailed it! Nice one me, nice one…

 

 

Sunday Dinner : Before Baby

I think there is a 6th sense roaming about our household. Each one of us in our own way knows that the 5th member of our family will soon be here, and well….

Each one of us is handling the situation differently.

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My girls personalities have completely switched, but I’ve still managed to have one ‘out to get me’ child, and ‘one that really must love me’ child.

My husband has been teaching my girls how to punch, fight, kick, and play sports non stop. I think he is starting to feel how little power he really is going to have living in a house with 7 women.

7 because I count as 3 women total. That’s right. I’ve fully embraced the last stage of my pregnancy with more than enough hormones to the point where I cry over missing shoes and hugs from my littles.

And I cried at like every super bowl commercial.

Sunday  Dinner; The Diva Dish

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We also just finished up the last of our ‘major’ kitchen projects before the baby comes! The minor things will come later, but my husband told me we have to pay our mortgage so…

After two weeks of being unable to use my kitchen, it felt nice to have a peaceful Sunday just enjoying my little family of 4 before we add one more!

We made lemonade, chicken +pasta, rolls, and chocolate. The recipes/links to recipes will be at the end of this post!

Sunday  Dinner; The Diva DishSunday  Dinner; The Diva Dish

Sunday  Dinner; The Diva Dish

Sunday  Dinner; The Diva Dish

Sunday  Dinner; The Diva Dish

Sunday  Dinner; The Diva Dish

Sunday  Dinner; The Diva Dish

Sunday  Dinner; The Diva Dish

Sunday  Dinner; The Diva Dish

Sunday  Dinner; The Diva Dish

Sunday  Dinner; The Diva Dish

Sunday  Dinner; The Diva Dish

Sunday  Dinner; The Diva Dish

Sunday  Dinner; The Diva Dish

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I feel like it’s a calm before the storm, because guess what, we are naming our baby Storm.

Totally kidding.

…But more like, we will be lucky if we change out of our pajamas and do productive things after she arrives. Sorry hubs. And sorry kids. And sorry kitchen floors. And sorry hair…You won’t be washed often.

:)

Here are the recipes from our Sunday Dinner:

Strawberry Lemonade (Just water, no sparkling water)

Chicken Piccata + Parsley Pasta

Parmesan Italian Herb Rolls= Frozen Dough Rolls topped with melted coconut oil, grated Italian herbs, and freshly grated parmesan. Baked at 400 for 16 minutes in a greased cast iron skillet.

Salad= Not pictured, but it was just lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, apples, goat cheese, almonds, and dressing.

Brownies= Boxed w/ homemade frosting. (Melted chocolate chips, coconut oil, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk)

 

Life/Baby/Blog Update!

I’ve needed to do a Life/Baby/Blog update for quite sometime, so I decided to do a little video blog to fill you guys in :). So much easier than writing a whole blog post, I must say!

By the way, recording myself talk about…myself…Just awkward. Luckily I had a very talkative 4 year old right by my side!

Seriously though friends…Thank you! I love this blog and I consider you guys my BFF’s :).

Favorite Costco Finds

While most 25 year olds spend their money on clothes, makeup, and pedicures I rack up my grocery shopping bill.

I have a hard time saying no to food, like all the time. Most likely if a creeper in a broken down van opened his door to me and said he had a bag of chocolate chips…I’d probably get in the van.

(Note: Don’t really do that.)

Costco is one of those places that I visit weekly, and a lot of times I am emailed about things to buy to stock a healthy pantry. Now, for those that don’t know, Costco sells food and other items in bulk. Like you don’t buy 1 bottle of ketchup, you buy 7. But there are things that I get weekly there because we plow through food in our house so often, that I have to go there to save money. (Yes husband, I said ‘Save Money’).

Here is a list of some of the things I think are worth getting at Costco. Every Costco is different, so you might not find what’s on this list at your local store. I’m sure in a few months I’ll do a part two because Costco likes to sell my favorite things for a little bit, and then all of the sudden..stop.

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Produce:

Living in Las Vegas, produce isn’t as fresh or as cheap as it was in California. And since we eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, I tend to buy majority of my produce from Costco. It’s the most cost effective for our family since my girls can eat a whole container of blueberries in two days! Often you can find Organic produce for not much of a price difference for non organic too!

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Frozen Fruit:

We love our smoothies in our house, so frozen fruit is a must! Right now I have a huge bag or Organic dark sweet cherries! I usually buy one bag, and use that up until it’s done and then I’ll switch to another fruit. Again, this has just been the most cost effective for our family too since we use it so much!

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Sabra Single Serving Packets

I’m almost positive these aren’t going to last at Costco because I love them so much! They used to see a HUGE tub of Sabra hummus for $5, and now it’s gone! But it’s ok, because now they switched to these single serving packets! It’s perfect for out families hummus obsession, because I can take one out and eat it as a snack without eating the whole tub. I also put this in my daughters lunch for school!

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Mama Chia Packets

These are so amazing! It’s basically a sweet chia gel in a packet that you can suck right out when you need a little something. Perfect for me or the girls, we both love them!

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Chobani

The girls favorite yogurt, especially the strawberry. Usually this is the most cost effective for us since we eat a lot of it!

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Fruit/Veggie Packets

My one year old is obsessed with the apple sauce packets, so when Costco has them I always buy them because they don’t last long! And most often, they are more expensive in other grocery stores!

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Pure Maple Syrup

This is the syrup I use when cooking, baking, pancake making, etc. It’s 100% pure! Maple syrup is SO expensive, but I’ve noticed I get more for my money at Costco!

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Almond Butter

Almond butter is delicious, especially when you add a little honey and cinnamon to it. This is a great find at costco, especially since it’s all natural with no added sugars! And again, more for your money!

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Almond Butter Packets

These are perfect for lunches or quick snacks! I’m always looking for things like this to make life easier!

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Coach’s Oats

Great brand of oats, and you get a lot for your money!

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Quinoa

I just barely finished my bag  of quinoa from costco that I got MONTHS ago! I keep it in the fridge/freezer so it last long!

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Coconut Oil

$20 for a HUGE thing of coconut oil. If you use it as often as I do, then definitely look into this!

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Quinoa & Brown Rice:

Microwaveable rice that’s perfect and healthy for quick dinners and lunches!

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Chia Seeds

This is similar with the quinoa in that this last forever and I keep it in the fridge until it’s all gone!

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Hemp Seeds

Along the same lines as the Chia seeds! Last forever and more for the money!

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Dairy

I usually  buy my non dairy milks at costco, they have coconut, soy, and almond. (I use a lot during the week.) I also buy eggs there because of the great price!

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Salsa

If costco gets rid of this salsa, I swear I will break up with them! This is the BEST salsa, and it’s gone within the week. I put this crap on everything!

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Fage Greek Yogurt

My favorite favorite yogurt! It’s so thick and creamy, it’s the perfect sub for sour cream and perfect for baking! You get a HUGE tub for like $5!

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7 Superfoods Salad

This salad has kale, brussels sprouts, cabbage, pumpkin seeds, etc. I LOVE THIS SALAD! I have this often for lunch with a leftover protein from dinner! It’s seriously the best, even my girls love it! (And my husband!)

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Evolution Apple Juice

Liquid gold my friends. Everybody loves juice, but I’m kind of a snob towards juice that isn’t fresh. It taste SO much better, and this is an example! We fight over this juice in our house, that’s a fact.

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Honey Chia Bread

This is a new find for me, but they give a lot of samples of it with warm melted butter. I’m now addicted! It’s the perfect toast/breakfast bread with a little almond butter, honey, cinnamon, or coconut oil!

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See what I mean…

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Now I will say this…Don’t buy all of this at once. Unless you want to spend $600 at Costco.

What are your favorite things to get at Costco? Did I miss any fun finds? Also, my children were cuddling while I shopped and took pictures for this post. My three year old was tickling my one year old and singing to her…

Costco may be what heaven is like…

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Trash TV Workout (TTV) : Booty Part 2 (Video)

I think it’s almost a miracle…

It’s Friday. I posted a video. And In 20 minutes I’m leaving for another little vacation…

Today’s video is another Trash Tv (TTV) Workout!! My first TTV workout was about the Booty, and this is Part 2! Let me know if you try it out!

 

Enjoy!

Starting A Healthy Lifestyle // Step 4 // Eat Cookies, Take a Nap-Plus-Oatmeal Raisin and Chocolate Cookies

Hello Friends!

Today is the LAST and final Step for the series:

To catch up on the previous Steps, check out the following links:

Where Do I Begin // A Healthier New You // A Happier New Year!

Step 1 // Start Small // Be Consistent

Step 2 // Fall In Love with Exercising

Step 3 // Be Prepared

___________________________________________________________________________

 

Step 4 is titled:

Eat Cookies, Take A Nap

I’m going to keep this short and sweet…Stop Dieting.

The reason that I’ve been so successful in living a healthy lifestyle is because I’m made health a LIFESTYLE…Not a diet. I’ve done the non fat, fat free, no calories, low calories, sugar free, no carbs, bla bla stuff, and YES, you can loose weight this way. But seriously…Who wants to count calories the rest of their entire life?!?

Who wants to turn down a cookie every once in a while because it will over exceed your calorie limit for the day? Not I. Definitely not I! (Let’s point out I’m not saying everybody should take their bras off, grab a gallon of ice cream and go to town on a nightly basis…)

The thing that keeps living a healthy lifestyle do-able is that you allow your self to LIVE, Enjoy, Breath, and be Happy. Trust me…Happy people eat cookies.

 

80% of the time I eat really fresh wholesome foods, and the other 20% is foods that aren’t  ‘the healthiest’. Some days it’s 50/50. And when it’s that time of month well it’s… 0%/100%…

The point I’m trying to make is that if you are doing your best to eat wholesome foods on a daily basis, and you are exercising regularly, then eat a cookie every so often! Live a little.. :)

Now…How about a cookie recipe? It’s about time I posted a recipe on here right??

 

I’ve always loved healthier cookies, especially these! Perfect to cure those sweet cravings when you don’t feel like FULLY indulging :). Also, for those with kiddos, they are a much better choice than chips or candy to satisfy their taste buds! These cookies have oats, dark chocolate, raisins, coconut oil &  natural sugar! They are a chewy, but crumbly and delicious all at the same time!

Enjoy!


4.3 from 3 reviews
Chewy & Crumbly Oatmeal Raisin and Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 2 c. oats*
  • 1 c. Oat Flour-from ground oats-May sub another flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ c. coconut oil, softened at room temp
  • ½ c. coconut sugar, can sub brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temp**
  • 1 TB. vanilla
  • (1-2 TB. milk if dough seems too dry)
  • ½ c. raisins
  • ½ c. dark chocolate chopped
  • *Can sub gluten Free Oats*
  • **Can use 2 flax eggs**
Instructions
  1. Preheat Oven to 325.
  2. In a medium bowl add the dry ingredients; flour, oats, spices, and baking soda. (The flour is made by grounding 1 c. of oats in a food processor until it turns into flour. If you don't have a food processor or blender feel free to sub another flour, 1c.) Whisk the dry ingredients, and then set aside.
  3. In a mixer, beat together on low/med speed, oil and sugar for about 2-3 minutes. Next beat in eggs and vanilla.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat until just combined, do not overmix! (If the mixture seems to dry, add a few TB. of milk)
  5. Fold in the raisins and chocolate.
  6. Scoop cookies using an ice cream scoop onto a prepared baking sheet. Flatten cookies on top a little bit using your fingers.
  7. Bake at 325 for 10-12 minutes.
  8. Remove carefully from pan immediately with a a flat spatula, and place cookies on a cooling rack to cool and harden.
  9. Enjoy!
  10. From the Diva Dish, xo

 

THANK YOU so much for allowing me to take time to post all about Starting to Live a Healthy Lifestyle! I’m always here if you need any tips, recipes, advice, etc.!

I have some great things planned for The Diva Dish this year, can’t wait for all the things to come!

Starting A Healthy Lifestyle // Step 3 // Be Prepared

Step 3 has FINALLY arrived! So sorry for the minor/major delay due to the stomach bug that attacked our household…I’m just happy food sounds good again! :)

Ok so if you are just joining in we are smack dab in the middle of the series:

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And here are the previous posts for those of you that want to do some catching up:

Where do I Begin, A Healthier New You & A Happier New Year

Step 1 //Start Small //Be Consistent

Step 2 // Fall In Love with Exercise

And now for…

Be Prepared

rule 1

(Warning: The image you are about to see might be a little difficult…Under 18 not prohibited.)

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Before you go all crazy and throw away your husbands Dorritos and Oreos and cause World War 3, let me further explain. Obviously we have all seen shows like The Biggest Looser where the tough and buff trainer comes in and yells in your face screaming, “Do you KNOW how many calories are in this?! Toss it!” Obviously I agree that having a nice healthy stocked pantry is definitely awesome, but cutting everything out cold turkey not only sets you up for failure, but also doesn’t allow yourself and your family a little wiggle room…

So by Cleaning Out The Pantry I literally want you to CLEAN it…

  • Wipe down and organize all that food. Toss old or unwanted food and organize it so you know what you have and where things are. (This will help later on when you are trying to stock your healthy pantry.)
  • Make an area that has all the ‘not so healthy food’ in one area, not scattered through out. Make it higher in reach so it’s not right off the bat visible. Also make it higher so little kids don’t quickly grab the cookies.
  • Have all the healthy snacks and foods right up front so that is the first thing you see when you open it.

Once your pantry is organized and you know what’s in it, it’s easier to cook and prepare meals each week because you know what you have/what you need. It’s also nice to visibly see what’s in your pantry for easy access when you or your little ones are craving a snack.

rule 2

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I know that it’s not in everybody’s budget to go out and spend 500 dollars buying all different types of health foods! And let’s be honest, there is a chance that if you buy 5 different types of flours, you will end up never using all of them. Especially because you don’t know how to use them.

That’s why I think it’s a great idea to start off with ONE new thing, get to know it and learn whether you love it or hate it, and then the next time (when that new product has been used up all the way), try something new!

If you want a complete lists of healthy food ideas, I have two posts that may answer those questions:

Stocking A Healthy Pantry for Kids

The Ultimate Healthy Grocery List

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snackshealthy food on hand 

One of the biggest things that can help you eat healthy & stay on track is having those healthy foods on hand!

  • Cut Veggies/Fruits at the beginning of the week so they are quick and easy to grab and eat right then, or available to use later on salads or add to dinner (makes cooking faster!)
  • Make a homemade snack at the beginning of your week that way it’s easy to grab throughout the week.

(Want to know the recipe for the muffins pictured above? It’s going to be in a e-book that i’m making all about Healthy Breakfast for Kids! Hopefully it will be done soon!)

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Ok we have just ONE MORE STEP and then we are DONE with this series! I can’t wait to share the last step with you, it’s my favorite!!

 

 

 

Starting A Healthy Lifestyle //Step 2// Fall In Love with Exercise

*Thank You to ALL of you who have joined with me on this series of How to Start Living a Healthy Lifestyle! To Check out the previous post, follow the links below!*

Where do I begin-A Healthier New You & A Happier New Year 

Step 1 //Start Small // Be Consistent 

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Oh Happy Day!

We are on Step 2 on the series of,

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step 2

I know that this seems like an EXTREME step…Fall in LOVE with exercise? Really? Step two?

Falling in love with exercise when you’ve pretty much always hated it your whole life is not easy, especially for me. To this day my biggest struggle IS exercise. And there are days where I treat exercise like a girl I’m totally jealous of. I talk about how much I hate it, disgusted by how perfect it is, but then deep down inside I wish exercise and I were BFF’s.

What? I never do that? Jk.

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Then I have kids. Two under 3, and they hate when I exercise too. A lot. In fact they cry, throw tantrums, fall off tables, and make the biggest messes ever when I try to exercise…

(If you follow me on Facebook, I posted a picture that proves this.)

So how on earth does one FALL IN LOVE with exercise?  Whether you are at a point in your life where you work out a little, somewhat, never, or on occasion, falling in love with exercise IS possible.

And this is how…

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I’ve talked before about how I came to where I am in life, and before it all started I never exercised. Ever.

I remember the very first time I ever went on a run, it was horrible. I probably ran 30 seconds then walked 5 minutes, ran 30 seconds, walked 10 minutes. Each time my pace kicked it up a notch, I was already planning on when I was going to slow down.

But then what changed everything was that I did the same exact thing the following day, and the day after, and the day after that, and so forth! I started running 30 seconds, to 10 minutes, to 30, and so on. I LOVED IT! I looked forward to it on a daily basis and couldn’t wait to get out there and run.

I can’t explain it well through words, but I will never forget that feeling. The feeling of energy, strength, stamina, health, and endurance…It was amazing.

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My workouts have changed since then, especially with having 2 babies in 3 years, a husband in medical school who now works 2 jobs and never seeing him…It’s tough.  I’ve had to re-learn to love exercise and remind myself and my body of that too.

I’m not saying you have to start running, because everybody has different likes and dislikes. This post is all about finding an exercise you could love, and fall head over heels for it.

I want you to feel what it’s like to fall in love with exercise, and to never forget that. Life will happen, and sometimes exercise won’t always be something that is happening, (for example, a really hard pregnancy that doesn’t allow it). But once you have felt the LOVE of exercise, you will have this desire to always go back…

Too Corny?

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Even if it’s just 30 seconds on your first day, keep going. I’ve learned that the beginning is the hardest, that’s why it’s so so so so so important to Be Consistent and to keep on trying.

Little by little.

I promise you will learn to LOVE exercise just as much as I do!

 

Step 3 tomorrow! Can’t wait! xo