Moving to TheFitFoodieMama.com

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Hello All!

The time has come and I am moving my site from here to TheFitFoodieMama.com.  I just wanted to let you all know so that if you would like to continue to receive notifications when there is a new post you can subscribe over at my new site! I appreciate your support and readership and I hope to continue connecting with you through TheFitFoodieMama.com.

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Liebster Award Nomination (Again!) :)

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Earlier this month I was nominated for a Liebster Award and today I was notified that Michelle from Onemoremile nominated me again! Woohoo! I feel popular! 🙂

So what exactly is a Liebster Award? It’s an online award given by bloggers to bloggers who generally have a following of 200 readers or less. The rules are:

1.) You must link back to the person who nominated you
2.) You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you.
3.) You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award (with a small following)
4.) You must create 10 questions for your nominees
5.) You must go to their blogs and notify the nominees

In the spirit of playing along I’m going to answer all the fun questions Michelle asked and pass it along because I think it’s a fun way to get to know everyone and help get each other’s blogs noticed 🙂

1. What is your favorite way to exercise? Why?

My favorite way to exercise is any form of functional training exercises like kettlebells, using a sandbag, equalizers, battling ropes, or HIIT workouts with my Gymboss timer. I am also getting into running and really enjoying that as well!

2. How do you find time to exercise?

Usually I wake up really, really early in the morning before my kids are up or if that doesn’t happen then I try to get a workout in when they nap or have them do it alongside me.

3. What is a typical day like for you?

Here is my typical day in a list format: wake up, workout, eat breakfast, make kids breakfast when they wake, play with kids, social media, play with kids, kids nap, social media, make dinner, pick up, kids to bed, social media, bed.

4. What do you hope to accomplish with your blog?

Right now my blog is in the works of moving to a .com site.  Once that happens I hope to be able to do more reviews and increase my traffic so that I can make a living from blogging as opposed to a hobby!

5. Who inspires you?

This is a tough question.  A lot of people inspire me on a regular basis.  I was inspired by friends on IG to start a blog, I was also inspired by a friend on IG to train for/run a half marathon, I’m inspired by my husband who works hard so I can stay at home and blog & every time my kids are acting crazy I’m inspired by my mother who somehow raised me without sending me off to a reform school.

6. Morning or night person?

I get up every day around 5:00 or 5:30 but I am 100 % a night owl.  I. Don’t. Sleep.

7. What are some of your fitness goals you have for 2014?

Right now my biggest fitness goal is to actually get to the finish of the half marathon I mentioned earlier.  I am signed up to run it in November and if I make it, it will be one of my biggest fitness accomplisments! 🙂

8. What is your favorite blog post you have written? Please provide link.

This was one of the questions I was asked the last time I answered questions for the Liebster Award nomination and the answer is still the same.  My favorite would be the first post I wrote because it explains exactly why I started blogging.

9. If you could change one thing from 2013, what would it be?

Hmmm, this is a tough question.  I would have started blogging sooner if I knew that it would be as rewarding as it has been.  I always shunned the idea of connecting with others on social media because it seemed like a shallow way to form relationships and I couldn’t have been more wrong.  In the last three months since I started connecting with others on social media like Instagram, Twitter and this blog; I have formed more than a handful of meaningful and inspiring relationships!

10. What is one of your greatest life or fitness accomplishments?

My greatest life accomplishment would be my children, obviously.  As far as my greatest fitness accomplishment? I think it’s yet to come with completing the half marathon.  I work hard daily to keep myself in shape and stay fit but running is newer to me and a half marathon would really take the cake as far as what  I can check off my list!

Here are my 10 Liebster Award nominees:

Redd at Reddy Set FIt

Jennifer at Fitness Made Simple Blog

Melissa at Curvaceous and Confident

Farrah at Fairy Burger

Leslie at It’s a RUNderful Life

Whitney at Earl-Leigh Designs

Amanda at Running By Day

Lis G at 26.2 x 2

Autumn at AutumnPTW

Lori at Getting Fit With Bipolar

Congrats! Here are my questions to you lovely ladies.  They’re the same questions that I asked the last time but I am curious to see each of your answers for them as well! Plus I don’t have the brain power to come up with 10 new questions!

Questions:

1. Where is your favorite place to travel and why?

2. What is the last good book you read?

3. What did you want to be when you were little?

4. What is your favorite way to be active?

5. What is your go-to breakfast?

6. If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

7. What are your hobbies outside of work/blogging?

8. Would you ever be able to go a day without your phone?

9. Do you prefer to exercise in the morning or at night?

10. What is your favorite thing about blogging?

NEDA Walk-Syracuse

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I just wanted to do a quick write up and post about a local walk to benefit The National Eating Disorder Association that is happening this upcoming Saturday, May 3rd.  It is being hosted by Ophelia’s Place and is taking place at 10am in Long Branch Park in Liverpool.  I have been on the committee to organize the walk the last two years and now that I have a blog I figured it would be the perfect place to spotlight it and help spread the word! 🙂

A few facts on eating disorders from NEDA’s website:

-The recurrent binge-and-purge cycles of bulimia can affect the entire digestive system and can lead to electrolyte and chemical imbalances in the body that affect the heart and other major organ functions. 

-Binge eating disorder often results in many of the same health risks associated with clinical obesity

-Over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives (Neumark-Sztainer, 2005).

-Over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives (Neumark-Sztainer, 2005).

-By age 6, girls especially start to express concerns about their own weight or shape. 40-60% of elementary school girls (ages 6-12) are concerned about their weight or about becoming too fat. This concern endures through life (Smolak, 2011).

The NEDA walk will also feature a host of other facts about eatings disorders along the one mile path where the walk takes place.  Fresh fruit and water will be provided to walkers along with live entertainment and a variety of local vendors will be present.

Guest Speaker Jill Ouikahilo will also be there to share her story about her struggle with an eating disorder, how it nearly killed her career and how her survival lead to her teaching others how connect with their true selves through the movement of the body.

If you are interested in attending the walk or would like to donate to help NEDA reach their goal of raising $20,000, please visit this  site.  For those who don’t pre-register, registration will begin at 9 am at Long Branch Park.  You can also head on over to Facebook to RSVP to the event and invite friends to join you!

Weekly Recipes Worth Sharing 4/20-4/27

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This list is kinda short again this week because I have been so busy plus I forget to take pictures of dinner two nights in a row because the kids were going bananas, but here are the few I have to share!

Smoked Apple Chicken Patties on top of Sweet Potato Cakes

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This is one of those recipes that tastes gourmet but is really super simple.  Here are the ingredients for the chicken patty/”burger”.

– 1 lb ground chicken

-1 apple peeled and diced

-1 bunch of spinach, chopped

-Grill Mates Apple Wood Rub (to your liking)

Combine all of the ingredients and then form into patties and grill.  Yup, that simple.

I can’t take credit for the sweet potato cake/bun and mine was a little underdone because I was starving and didn’t have the patience to wait until it was crispy.  The recipe came from Inspiralized.com and here is the link to it.  The combo of flavors from the smoked apple chicken and the sweet potato was amazing.  Definitely one of those recipes I am going to add to my go-to dinner list!

Tarragon-Mustard Baked Chicken 

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Ingredients:

-1 1/2 to 2 lbs of chicken tender cuts

-1 bunch of carrots (or like 5 medium size carrots) sliced into sticks

– 1 large onion, sliced

– 3 or 4 russet potatoes (depending on size and quantity you want in your dish)

– enough dashes of tarragon to equally cover all tenders

-generous dashes of mustard powder to equally cover all tenders

-salt and pepper

-1/2 cup of water or enough to just cover the bottom of the baking dish to prevent burning

Directions:

Once prepared and assembled, bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, chicken is done when juices run clear.  The bake time really depends on your oven so keep checking to make sure chicken isn’t overdone.  This came out really amazing and moist when I made it and had a bit of a kick to it because of the mustard powder.  It didn’t take too long to prepare and everyone loved it including my children!
Lemon-Thyme Baked Cod with Green Chard & Carrot Fries

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Baked Cod:

– 1 large wild caught cod filet
-1 lemon, zested & juiced
-1/4 cup dry white wine
-dried thyme
-garlic powder
-onion powder
-paprika
-salt & pepper

Directions:

Place cod in baking dish and pour in wine. Zest entire lemon on top of the fish, cut in half & then squeeze the juice onto it. Sprinkle the fish with the remaining spices to your liking & taste preferences. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes. The bake time will depend on the size of the fish and your oven.

Green Chard:

-1 bunch of chard, chopped
-drizzle of olive oil
-splash of dry white wine
-few dashes of garlic powder
-few dashes of onion powder
-salt & pepper

Directions:

In a large skillet or pan, sauté chard and the olive oil, once a little soft add the wine and seasonings. Continue to sauté for another 5 minutes or so until the chard is completely soft.

Carrot Fries:

– 1 bunch or bag of carrots, cut into sticks
-2 tablespoons coconut oil
-salt
-pepper
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Directions:

Toss cut carrot sticks, coconut oil, thyme, salt & pepper together in a large bowl. Place on lined baking sheet or on top of a wire rack over a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until it reaches your desired doneness (some like it crispy 😉).

Plate the fish, chard, carrots & enjoy!

That’s it for recipes this week and my apologies for lack of baked good recipes lately, I have a few to make & share this week!

Have a happy Monday 😄

Vega Bar Review

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As part of my relationship with Fit Approach, I was given the opportunity to review the new line of bar’s from Vega.  While the bars were sent to me to try, as always, the review and opinions are my own.  

When I found out that I was going to be given the opportunity to review Vega’s new line of bars, I was really excited.  Not only are the ingredients clean; there’s nothing artificial, they’re gluten free, non-GMO AND they are also plant based. The fact that they are made with plant based protein really drew my attention.  I am not a huge fan of whey protein, as it upsets my stomach and have long been using different kinds of plant protein powder, but have never had the opportunity to try out a plant based protein bar!

I was sent two different kinds of each of the four new bars and I couldn’t wait to try them when they arrived in the mail.  In fact, I was extra hungry when they were delivered so I devoured one right away!

Vega Snack Bar

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The first bar I tried was the Dark Chocolate Mixed Nuts and Sea Salt Vega Snack Bar and it was really good! These snack bars are perfect for when you’re on the go, have a snack attack at work or just want to grab something yummy and satisfying as an afternoon snack while you’re at home.  Each bar has superfood ingredients and also comes in four other flavors including: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, Dark Chocolate Cashew Cherry, Coconut Cashew and Cranberry Almond.  The Cranberry Almond flavor was also sent for me to try, which I thought was pretty yummy but I’m a sucker for anything that combines nuts & chocolate 😉

Vega One Bar

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The next bar that I tried was the Chocolate Peanut Butter Vega One Bar following an early morning run.  I had gotten up before the crack of dawn and attempted to run a few miles but only made it about 1.25 miles before I turned around because it was FREEZING out! When I got home the last thing I wanted to do was make myself breakfast because I could barely feel my fingers (I wasn’t smart enough to wear gloves). Thankfully, I had these bars on hand and it was honestly better than I expected.  They are designed as an all-in-one meal bar that include 12 grams of plant protein, an entire serving of greens, fiber, omega-3, dairy-free probiotics and a host of vitamins and minerals. The best part is that it actually tastes amazing.  I’ll let you in on a little secret; I strongly dislike the combination of chocolate and peanut butter (yes, I know I’m weird), but I loved this Chocolate and Peanut Butter Vega One Bar so much that I ate it in a matter of a minute and wanted more.  It wasn’t dense or too heavy but left me feeling full and satiated for several hours.  I honestly was pleasantly surprised! These also come in two other flavors; Chocolate Cherry Almond (which I was sent to try and enjoyed as well) and Chocolate Coconut Cashew which I’m dying to try because that just sounds AMAZING!

Vega Sport Protein Bar

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When I originally knew I was going to receive these bars, the Vega Sport Protein Bar was the one that I was most excited to try.  Although I have gotten into running, most of the time that I work out I am doing functional-type training with kettlebells, my sandbag, equalizers and battling ropes.  I often drink protein shakes afterward but lately I have been wanting something like a protein bar that I can just grab and go and don’t have to spend the time making a shake or smoothie.  Unfortunately, I hadn’t been able to find anything that was a plant based protein bar and met all my other requirements (nothing artificial, non-GMO, gluten free, etc.). I really am very picky with what I choose to put in my body so when I heard about the chance to try these sport protein bars and they met ALL my requirements, I jumped on it! Out of the three flavors that Vega makes, I was sent to try the Chocolate Coconut and the Chocolate Mint.  Out of those two, the Chocolate Coconut was my favorite and definitely met the high expectations I had.  The other flavor this bar comes in is Chocolate Peanut Butter and while I would have never picked that to try before, after eating the Chocolate Peanut Butter Vega One Bar and LOVING it, I want to try it ASAP! 🙂

Vega Sport Energy Bar

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The last bar out of the bunch that I tried was the Vega Sport Energy Bar.  These are designed as a mid-workout energy bar and contain a balance of carbs, omega-3’s and Saviseed oil to provide the fuel your body needs to sustain a long endurance workout.  They are also really moist so that it is easier to eat while you are in the middle of a long workout such as cycling or hiking, or in between workouts- think triathlete training.  Now, I am no triathlete (nor will I ever be, I suck at swimming), BUT these bars will come in really handy as I train for my first half marathon.  On the days where I am scheduled to run a shorter distance, I plan to follow it up with a bodyweight workout session and these energy bars will be perfect for that.  They come in two flavors; Chocolate Coconut Almond and Apple Cherry.  The Apple Cherry was pretty good but the Chocolate Coconut Almond was DELICIOUS, and I’m not exaggerating with my capital letters, it was that good!

So to summarize my overall consensus about the new Vega bars, I will tell you that they were all pretty good.  If I had to pick my favorite based on flavor alone, it would probably be the Chocolate Peanut Butter Vega One Bar OR the Chocolate Coconut Almond Vega Sport Energy Bar …it’s kinda a toss up! That’s just a matter of personal taste preference though and obviously everyone would have a different opinion.  What I love most about this new line of bars is that they are made of clean ingredients with nothing artificial, they’re gluten free and are plant based which makes my belly happy 🙂

Running Update & Two Fun 5k Races

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I have been patiently waiting for the weather to get warmer here so that I could start my half marathon training and stay on schedule.  I thought that since it was nearing the end of April I would been at least a week or two into it by now but Mother Nature clearly has other plans.  It actually snowed here last week, is she being serious?!? Anyway, I got sick of waiting and decided I was going to go for a run this morning even though it was just above the 30 degree mark.  I made it a whole 1.25 miles and my fingers were so cold that I decided to turn around (I was also very underdressed).  I was able to see this pretty sunrise though so it was sorta worth it!

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Oh well, hoping the weather starts to warm up in the next week so I can stay on track with a running schedule.  I swear if it snows again here I am up and moving to Arizona 😉 (Keep a room open at the Inn, Redd!)

Even though I haven’t been able to run consistently, I have still signed up for a few races before my half marathon to keep me motivated.  Unfortunately these aren’t until August and September but they’re both fun and different so I have to tell you about them.

Vino and the Beasts 5k- August 16, 2014

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This is a 5k obstacle race that takes place through a vineyard and you have to maneuver your way in, around and through obstacles.  I did this race last year with my sister and we had a BLAST! You actually get to drink wine while you run (they serve it at the water stations).  I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun this race is.  I really enjoyed having the obstacles there to break up the run, my favorite being the cargo net you have to climb over.  I literally felt like a spider monkey/little kid and thought it was the most fun thing ever! Best part about this race is that when you finish, you have an all access pass to tour the three wineries that are on the grounds where the course is located! There is even a brewery there and last year I brought home a growler of riesling ale…yummy! I have been looking forward to running this race again since the minute it ended last year.  I don’t want to wish the summer away but please hurry up and get here August 16th!

The other race I signed up for is in September and I am equally as excited for that as well.

2014 Rivertown Strollerderby 5k Run/Walk

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This race was brought to my attention by Lindsay from She Mom Fitness and I’m so glad she did! Hastings-on-the-Hudson is about a 4 1/2 hour drive from me but I saw the word “strollerderby” and I was sold.  Plus whats even better, a portion of the proceeds go to the non-profit organization, Family-to-Family in order to launch a new fitness program in Westchester called “She-Sole”. “She-Sole” will provide jogging strollers, baby carriers, running sneakers and fitness/running focused programming to disadvantaged mothers. How awesome is that? Seriously though, I think that is amazing and it really speaks to my heart considering I used to work at a non-profit advocating for women.

If you’re in the NYC area or are within traveling distance, I absolutely think this race would be worth attending.  Not only do the proceeds benefit something awesome but there is also a $1000 prize for 1st place! If you’re interested and want to sign up you can go to www.shemomfitness.com.  Also, keep your eyes open for a follow-up post…I might just have some giveaways related to the race 🙂

What races have you signed up for this year that you can’t wait for? Is the weather any warmer where you are or is it wreaking havoc on your running schedule too?

Beware of the Sunchokes

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So I had originally intended on posting a super awesome recipe for sunchokes in my weekly recipe sharing post.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with sunchokes (as I had been until yesterday), they are a species of sunflower and they are cultivated for their tuber which is used as a root vegetable. They are also known as Jerusalem artichokes although they do not originate from Jerusalem and are in no way related to an artichoke.

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(This is a sunchoke)

 
Anyway, I was so excited when I received a pound of them in my CSA box because I had never tried them and I love experimenting with new foods for dinner! I actually even made them, took pictures of the prep and finished product then consumed a whole side dish of them last night and they were pretty yummy.  So why aren’t I sharing it with you? Let me explain.

I woke up this morning and something was just not right.  Like, Not. Right.  First I assumed it may have had something to do with the flax cereal I had consumed as an after dinner treat (I was STARVING last night and usually don’t eat a snack after dinner). Then, my husband informed me that he felt off too and suggested it might be the sunchokes we ate.  I kinda laughed at him but as the morning progressed and I felt more rotten I decided to do a quick google search to see what I could find out about sunchokes and gastro upset… I quickly stumbled across this blatantly informative article.  For those of you who are too lazy to click on it, I will give a brief synopsis.

Apparently these sunchokes aka Jerusalem artichokes are also known as “fartichokes”.  They weren’t given this name just to be funny, they were nicknamed this so because the sunchokes actually cause gastrointestinal upset due to a carbohydrate they contain called inulin.  Apparently our digestive systems can’t process inulin so it causes an Ex-Lax like effect.

I can personally attest to this, and I really feel the nickname “fartichoke” doesn’t portray the effect from consuming these tubers accurately.  Without being descriptive, lets just say I may have lost a pound or two this morning.

So in the best interest for all of those who were thinking of whipping up a yummy sunchoke side dish, I implore you to think again.  Sure, it sounds fancy and exotic to serve but I assure you the morning after is the furthest thing from fancy that you could imagine. If you have made or consumed sunchokes in the past without much distress then maybe you’re one of the lucky ones that can tolerate and process inulin.  All I know is that I will not be serving or eating them anytime again soon.