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Showing posts from October, 2017

Double Trouble

I officially have two toddlers. My baby took her first steps last month, but had been opting to crawl everywhere and only walk a couple steps every now and then. That is, up until this week. These past couple of days, my little baby has been walking everywhere around the house. So much so, that I have mistaken her for her big sister when I caught a glimpse of her in my peripherals, coming around the corner on several occasions. My babies are growing up, and while they will always be my babies, the reality is, I have two toddlers. 


At first thought, having two toddlers almost sounds scarier than having two babies under two years old (which was the case when my youngest was born), however, my oldest munchkin is almost three now, and is a big help (when she wants to be), and while she is full of beans half the time and bouncing off the walls, she can communicate well with me and explain what she wants, which is half the battle. That being said, my youngest munchkin can understand our la…

Plant Based Sources of Iron

Feeding off of my last post about protein, I wanted to share some plant based sources of iron. This is a huge one for our family, and I have always struggled with my iron levels ever since I was a child.  Even when I was eating meat, beef liver was never a welcome source of iron for me, so I have done much research over the years, looking into alternative iron sources.

Ask anybody walking down the street, what a good source of iron is, and I am willing to bet that nine times out of ten, they will say "steak", or "red meat". Well, get ready to have your mind blown, because I have a list of ten plant based foods that contain more iron than steak, gram for gram. 
There are plenty more sources that I have not listed here, but this is just a small list of healthy, plant-based sources of iron to incorporate into your diet. 

Plant Based Protein

Protein is a hot topic of conversation around here... Ensuring adequate intake of protein for the growing kids, and for my gym-going husband, I have become very conscious of nutritional values in our food. Since switching to a vegan diet, I am constantly being asked questions like "If you don't eat meat, then where do you get your protein from?" 
The short answer is, plants. I get protein from plants. Did you know some of the largest, strongest animals are herbivores? Elephants, rhinoceros, moose, and gorillas are all herbivores, just to name a few. If you live off of spinach alone, you may have a hard time meeting all of your dietary needs, however, as with any diet, if you eat a well balanced variety of foods, there is no reason a vegan or plant-based diet would be lacking in protein.
In no particular order, here is a list of just ten high protein, plant based foods. I have also included in infographic which includes the protein value in each food item.
Black Beans Len…

Pumpkins and a Pup Mission

It's been a while since I have written a blog post. I have been busy, lazy, and just needed to take some time to regroup and get back to 'me'.

My husband came home for a quick visit this past weekend and we had a great time together as a family. We took the girls to our annual trip to the fall festival which was cold, but we had lots of fun and my eldest decorated her pumpkin (which even a week later she is excited to show off to anybody who will look at it). 


It was hard dropping off my husband at the airport again. I miss him, and it's tough, but I know when he will be back - my daughter's have a tougher time because they don't have a solid concept of time. We told them that Daddy will be back before Santa get's here, and somehow a story developed that my husband is at work looking for Paw Patrol... So, we have some miniature Paw Patrol figurines in the glove compartment of the car now, so that my husband stays true to his word and when we pick him up fr…

A Baby's Personal Space

Today when I was waiting for a prescription to be filled at the grocery store, I wanted to avoid spending an extra $60 on groceries we didn't need, so I opted to wait at the front of the store where I would not be tempted by sales or all the Halloween candy that was calling my name. 
While I was waiting, I was approached by a nice woman who was clearly an employee of the store, who was manning a display by the front doors. She made small talk and was telling me how cute my children were, and how crazy I was for carrying my daughter in her car seat that must have weighed fifty pounds. (Full disclosure: if I knew I would be waiting around the store, I would have brought the stroller, because carrying a baby in a car seat while chasing after a toddler can be pretty tough).

While we were chatting, she looks at my baby, and gives her the 'coochy coo' baby talk, and reaches down to tickle her cheeks. I just backed up and side stepped to grab my toddler, who was within arms reac…

A Lesson to Military Wives

Today I was writing about how lucky I am to be surrounded by so many supportive people, and it got me thinking. When I agreed to marry my now-husband, and move away from our family and friends, to live the military life, I didn't know what to expect. It was a big change, I was excited to be moving somewhere new with my husband and starting our family together; on the other hand, I was moving away from my support system, my family, my friends, my job. Everything I had spent twenty-five years growing with, that was once just a quick walk or drive down the road, was now a long drive down several highways, and a quick phone call away. That's scary, but do you know what? I am so happy I took that leap of faith with my husband. 
I love our life where we are, in our home, with our own little family, with our new friends, in a new town - this is our life. This is not to say I don't miss our friends and family back in our hometown, because I do, but I make the most of what is give…

A Solid Support System

Thank goodness for wonderful neighbors. I use my phone's calendar for all of my scheduling, so when I check my phone and nothing is showing up on a particular day, I assume I am available. When I was booking my youngest daughter's doctor appointment, I hadn't yet entered my toddler's class schedule, so I double booked myself for this morning. Fortunately, I have a super neighbor who came to my rescue and agreed to pick my daughter up from class this morning while I was at the doctor with my youngest.

The 'pick up my child from school' favor wound up being a two hour babysitting gig because the doctors appointment went quite a bit longer than I anticipated, so I am extra thankful for my wonderful neighbor for coming to my rescue, and keeping my daughter entertained. When I finally got home, my toddler was so happy to see her sister, and had had so much fun at school and with the neighbor. She spent the afternoon pretending to be a cat, like the one next door, an…

Crispy Kale Chips

I have been planning to make kale chips for years. I constantly see them coming up on my Pinterest board, and make a mental note to make chips next time I buy kale. Well, I bought kale, and it had been in my fridge for a couple days. I used some with my black beans the other day, but kept thinking 'What am I going to do with all this kale?!' At some point, I remembered my mental note about trying kale chips, and so I did... I made one batch with salt (for me) and one without (for the kids), and they both turned out perfectly crispy and delicious.  Here's my recipe for Crispy Kale Chips:

Crispy Kale Chips

Fresh Kale  1 tsp Olive Oil 1/4 tsp Salt (optional)
Wash kale, and thoroughly dry. (I patted mine dry with a microfiber towel, so no water was left behind.)
Rip into bite sized pieces (about 1 - 2 inches). Only use the leafy parts - do not use the stalks.
Toss kale a bowl with olive oil. Make sure each leaf is covered in oil. Use more oil if you have lots of kale leaves. (…

Chickpeas and Autumn Leaves

Today was my first day ever using dried chickpeas. It wasn't until recently that I actually found out that you could get dried chickpeas - I just always assumed that canned was the only option. I reorganized our family's grocery budget this month, and while doing so, decided to opt for dried beans and chick peas this time around. This saved a couple dollars, and will be slightly healthier, and as an added bonus, it was also a couple pounds lighter to carry into the house. 
I have made hummus more times than I can count, but today was my first time using dried chickpeas. I used split chickpeas, and let them soak all day. Once I got the girls to bed, I boiled the chickpeas with some garlic powder and dried onions. I drained out most of the water, and added lemon juice, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, then used my immersion blender to blend it all up before putting it in the fridge. I took a taste test, and it was a success. It took a few hours of patiently waiting for the c…

Black Bean Soup

I make black bean soup quite often, and my girls love it. It recently occurred to me that I have never shared my recipe here! I have been making it so often that I just assumed I had already typed it out onto my blog. I went to share my recipe recently and realized that I don't actually have it online. So here it is, my recipe for Black Bean Soup:
Black Bean Soup

Ingredients: 1 Can Black Beans
1L Vegetable Stock
3 Large Carrots
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Dried Oregano
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Instructions:

Peel, wash, and chop carrots.
Add all ingredients into slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours. (You can also cook this on the stove top bringing all ingredients to a boil then turning the heat down to let the pot simmer).
Once soup is ready (when the carrots are soft), use an immersion blender to blend the soup so it has a smooth texture.
Serve with fresh cilantro.
Enjoy!


Wake Up, Get Moving, and Eat your Veggies!

I am not a morning person, I never have been, and probably never will be. I am usually up by 6:30 every morning because that's when my girls get up, and I start my day with a big cup of coffee (even if I don't get the chance to finish it). It generally takes me some time to get moving and get all my bearings together for the day. 
Last night - or I guess it was more like super early this morning -  my toddler woke up at about 3:30, asking for (aka demanding) snacks. I explained to her that it is still night time and when the sun wakes up, then we can have some breakfast muffins. Expecting somebody to wake up around six o'clock, I didn't set an alarm... I woke up to my daughter telling me that the sun was awake, so it's time for muffins. I checked the clock and nearly threw myself out of bed when I realized she started her first day of school today - in twenty minutes... I got her some breakfast, got us dressed, and went to wake up her baby sister, who as it turned…

Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted Chickpeas make a great topping for salad or a quinoa bowl, and are even great on their own as a snack. The flavor combinations are limitless, and you can really make them your own just by using different seasonings, but here is one of my favorite recipes:
Roasted Chickpeas 

Ingredients:
1 Can Chick Peas
1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Lime Juice
Zest from 1 Lime

Instructions:
Drain, rinse, and pat-dry Chick Peas.

In a bowl, add all ingredients and toss the Chick Peas until coated.

Place chick Peas on a sheet of parchment paper in a Shallow pan.

Bake at 400' for 25 minutes.

Enjoy!


Do you love roasted chickpeas? What is your favorite flavor combination?

Happy Birthday "Dear Dear"

Today was my husband's birthday.  The girls and I made him a Happy Birthday video to watch, which was mostly my eldest dancing and singing "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear, Dear Dear, happy birthday to you...". At the end of the video, it also caught my youngest daughter taking a couple steps towards the camera, which was great, because I've been trying to catch a video of her taking steps, to send to my husband for what seems like forever. 
My toddler helped me make the crust for a pumpkin pie we will be enjoying this coming weekend. Well, hopefully we will be enjoying it anyways. When she woke up from her nap after making the crust, and saw that it was no longer on the counter, she said something along the lines of, "Oh no, the kids ate my cookies again!" I don't know who these kids are that she keeps accusing of eating her cookies, but it sure makes an easy out for me anytime I need to hide baked goods. I didn't want to hide the pie c…