Monthly Health Challenge: June 2015

Hello, Hello!

June is finally here and I am ready to celebrate summer and everything that comes with it. It’s also time for another monthly health challenge. With so much extra activity in the summer months I thought it would be a wonderful time to challenge everyone to this month’s goal.

June Health Challenge: Eat breakfast every single morning….big or small….just eat something.

For many individuals breakfast is the meal many of us skip. We can think up any excuse possible not to eat breakfast and it’s probably one of the easiest meals to prepare. At the same time, it’s also the meal that is most important to eat.

So let’s all make an effort to prepare, grab, or even drink at least something for breakfast. And just in case your all wondering, COFFEE is NOT breakfast! However, pair it with something like no bake granola balls and you can then consider it breakfast.

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Good Luck!

 

Week Recap

I can’t believe it’s Friday already. My week started out pretty slow but shifted into high gear mid week. We got so much accomplished this week on the “to do” list that I would say we are ready to move into play mode during our weekends.

Monday we were finally able to finish landscaping our yard. This is the first year we will not have a garden. Sad I know, but I just could not find the time. At the end of the gardening season last fall we took down the fencing and planted grass. Now we just needed to add some landscaping pavers and transplant some hostas. I did the hostas with some help from our son during nap time one day. Then, when my hubby arrived home from work he laid the pavers and ta da, another job done. Of course, as you can see, he had a little helper.

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Lately, for some reason I have been struggling to come up with dinner ideas and stick to them during the week days, but this week I did a great job. We always plan a week in advance what dinner will be and depending on life, jobs, weather, etc. this can change very quickly. However, this week went according to planned. Our meals consisted of:

Monday: veggie stir fry with spring rolls

Tuesday: chicken pot pie and side salad

Wednesday: no boil lasagna and garlic bread

Thursday: sloppy joe casserole and sauteed zucchini

Friday: chicken quesadillas and with all the fixings

And I have to share something with you all. I have read so many smoothie recipes and have seen pictures of hundreds of different blends. I have never been a lover of fruit but thought maybe in smoothie form I would be able to consume a little more. So one morning I blended up some fruit (apple, pineapple, banana, greek yogurt, and a little almond milk) and the outcome was pretty tasty.

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I can’t say I would make this very often or be able to consume this as a meal. However, I think this would be a great way to help others get there intake of fruit, especially if your like me and don’t really care for many fruits. I guess I am just more of a veggie person.

I have also come up with a quick breakfast idea that both my husband and I have been loving lately. This is by no means a new thing, but it is something that is new to us. Breakfast at our house has to be quick because we get up very early for my husband to make his 45 minute drive to work every day. I took some clean jars, granola, greek yogurt and what ever berry/fruit mixture you prefer. (We change ours up) And just started layering in a jar.

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I will make a few of these up on Sunday and they are good for a quick breakfast all week long. Amazingly, the granola even stays crunchy.

Which brings us to the weekend. With no definite set plans I am kind of left hanging. Yes, I have the normal errands to run, I think my husband is going fishing with my brother, our son has to work part of the weekend and then it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday. Which means I should have plans, but I don’t yet. Sometimes those weekend where you just let happen what happens are fun. Hopefully this one will be.

Have a great weekend everyone.

And to all you mom’s out there, Happy Mother’s Day 🙂

 

No Bake Granola Balls

I have researched many different recipes for grab and go granola type snacks. Some I have found just have way too much sugar and many just have so much peanut butter that you really taste nothing more than just that, peanut butter. So one day I did some experimenting in my lab(my kitchen). I wanted some peanut butter, some sweetness, as much protein as possible without adding any protein powders and mostly I wanted them to taste good. Here is what I came up with.

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No Bake Granola Balls

2 cups quick cooking oats

1/4 c. ground flax seed

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/3 c. sunflower seeds

dash of sea salt

20 pitted dates

1 TBSP. water

2 TBSP. natural peanut butter

2 TBSP. brown rice syrup

2 TBSP. mini chocolate chips(optional)

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First step, in a food processor add your 20 pitted dates and water and blend until smooth.

Second, in a small bowl mix together your natural peanut butter and brown rice syrup. Sometimes natural peanut butter is somewhat thick. Microwaving this mixture for 15-20 seconds will help with the mixing and make it nice and creamy.

Then in a large bowl combine all the remaining ingredients. Mix and then add your date mixture and the peanut butter mixture. Take your hands and mix until everything is combined and there are no crumbs remaining at the bottom of your bowl.

Last, form this mixture into balls to your desired size. Mine were about 1 inch and this recipe made 32 balls.

Store in the refrigerator, if they last long enough to store in your home:)