Detox Popcorn Recipe

It’s time to *POP* into a healthy, new year! Read more to find out how this Detox Popcorn Recipe will fit into your life in more ways than just a healthy snack!

I’m guessing many of your New Year’s resolutions, like my own, include something along the lines of making healthier choices.  Maybe they’re related to nourishing your body, moving more, or being mindful.  Whatever it may be, I’ve got something to foster your healthier intentions.

For the record, when I speak of being “healthy,” I like to refer to one’s whole self.  There’s not just one aspect that makes a person healthy (ie: diet).  Being truly healthy is being able to balance all aspects of one’s life.  Yes, it’s important to fuel your body with wholesome foods.  Yes, it’s important to be active.  Yes, it’s important to get enough sleep.  Yes, it’s important to manage stress.  Yes, it’s important to check in with yourself and give yourself what you need. It’s a balancing act and something that everyone can always improve upon.

Each day is a fresh start with new opportunities.  Wake up and remind yourself of that.  You’ve got to believe it in order for it to happen.  I talk to my fourth graders about having a growth mindset, and as adults, it’s much harder to make that shift.   Simple mantras can really pay off and change the way you think.  Reflect on the past in order to grow.  Don’t dwell on what has already happened; learn from it.  What went well?  What didn’t?  Move forward with positive intentions.  What will you do differently next time?  The more positive you are, the happier you’ll be.  Negative people generally are not happy people.  Be the best version of yourself.  Plain and simple.

So how in the world does Detox Popcorn fit into this post?  Well friends, let me tell you how.  This detox popcorn recipe doesn’t only deliver as a healthy snack, but it offers a physical cleansing, as well as a mental cleansing.  Before we get into those details, let’s first discuss popcorn as what you eat as a snack.

Popcorn is a seed which was discovered in the Americas thousands of years ago where it has captivated people for centuries with its mythical, magical charm.  Popcorn is a year round snack, but National Popcorn Day is January 19th.  Here are a few corny facts:

  • Popcorn is a healthy, whole grain snack food. Popcorn is a whole grain, which makes it a good carbohydrate choice.  Whole grains contain fiber, providing the roughage needed in a daily diet. Popcorn has no artificial additives or preservatives and is sugar- free.
  • Popcorn is non-GMO.  There has never been, nor is there currently, any Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) popcorn or popcorn seed for sale.
  • Diacetyl was removed from microwave popcorn in 2006, and since then most companies have removed PFOAs from their packaging.
  • Popcorn is gluten-free. Popcorn does not contain wheat, rye, or barley gluten – the types of gluten most associated with gluten disorders.

Check out Popcorn Central for tons of popcorn recipes!

Ready to read about the benefits of and how to make Detox Popcorn?

Lemon essential oil has a multitude of uses and benefits.  It’s known for its purifying properties.  You can diffuse it, ingest it, or use it topically.  (You do want to make sure you are using a high quality essential oil.  There are many brands out there, but dOTERRA is a trusted brand – I used to be a consultant, just not anymore – and their oils are certified pure therapeutic grade.)  Lemon essential oil can aid in digestion and support healthy respiratory function.  Specifically, it supports your liver which promotes detox.

So how can you infuse your popcorn with lemon oil?  Simply melt coconut oil and stir in several drops of lemon oil!  Coconut oil has several health benefits that support detox, too!  Coconut oil is mostly composed of medium-chain fatty acids which go straight to the liver.  These fatty acids play a critical role in cleansing the body from toxins. Coconut oil helps to flush your body of toxins.

The last ingredient of Detox Popcorn is black pepper.  You have two options here: black pepper essential oil or real black pepper; you’ll reap the benefits with either.  Black pepper oil is high in monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes which are known for their antioxidant activity.  Black pepper is good for the stomach and helps facilitate digestion, important in detox!

While the physical cleansing of detox popcorn has been explained, now let’s discuss the mental cleansing.  As aforementioned, having a positive mindset and reciting mantras can have a grand effect.  The affirmation to foster your mental cleanse to accompany the detox popcorn is as follows:

I am reminding myself of this opportunity to have a fresh start where I can rid my body of impurities and nourish it to thrive.

Repeat as often as you’d like allowing yourself to fully believe the words and acting upon it to support a detox, both physically and mentally.

Detox Popcorn Recipe 

  • Melt coconut oil.  Stir in 5 drops of lemon oil per tablespoon of coconut oil.  Stir in 1 drop of black pepper oil per tablespoon of coconut oil OR grind black pepper throughout popcorn.  Drizzle coconut oil on top of popcorn.

This recipe is not set in stone.  For a stronger taste, use additional lemon oil or pepper.  For a milder taste, use less.  Simple as that, just as life should be at times.

In what ways do you detox, both physically and mentally?

~Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by ALIVE Influencer Network on behalf of The Popcorn Board.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

sweet and salty fall trail mix

This sweet and salty fall trail mix is the perfect treat for when the weather begins to cool, the leaves start to change colors, and pumpkins begin appearing every time you turn.  Heck, this sweet and salty fall trail mix is good any time of year, but it’s especially festive in the fall.  How ’bout that?

sweet salty fall trail mix

When Brach’s candy corn miraculously make their way to store shelves letting the general American public that Halloween is near (just two months away), it’s no surprise that a bag (or eight) make it home with me.  However, I’ve always been a big believer in practicing moderation.  So instead of downing the whole bag in one sitting, I mix the sugary goodness with a few other items.  Then, it takes longer for me to finish my stash and run back to the store for more.  Genius, I tell ya.

sweet salty trail mix

This particular sweet and salty fall trail mix has the perfect combination of sweet and salty and chewy and crunchy to satisfy any and all cravings.  Brach’s has a “mellowcreme autumn mix” bag that is seriously the best of every world.  It has regular candy corn, chocolate candy corn, and those cute little pumpkins.  So much goodness in one bag.

fall trail mix

Sweet and Salty Fall Trail Mix

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups popcorn
  • 1 cup pretzels
  • 1 cup Brach’s mellowcreme autumn mix
  • 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients.
  • Store in an airtight container.

sweet and salty fall trail mix

That, my friends, is how we kick off fall in the sweetest way possible.

What’s your favorite part about fall?

Have you heard of…

I was scrolling through my phone and found a few random photos of some new-to-me products that I thought were worth sharing.  Some are brands I was previously unfamiliar with and others are brands I currently use, but new items.  So let’s play a game today called: Have you heard of…

Have you heard of… fresh & co goji berry protein bar?

goji berry protein bar

I received this in my MizzFit Quarterly Co box and ate it yesterday.  It is AMAZING!  I love that there are just a few ingredients, and recognizable ones at that.  Plus, goji berries are known to be “super foods” as they deliver many benefits.  It kind of reminds me of a Larabar because it’s chewy and naturally sweet.  I’m going to have to find out where I can purchase more of these bad boys!

Have you heard of… Halo Top protein ice cream?

halo top

I’m not going to lie… I did not have high expectations for this ice cream.  Real ice cream is pretty much the best thing in the world, so a “healthier” version didn’t sound too promising.  The verdict? I was thoroughly impressed!  It wasn’t protein-y at all and the nutritional stats rock as there’s 240 calories, 24 grams of protein, 20 grams of fiber, and 8 grams of fat.  And that’s for the WHOLE pint.  I wish my grocery store carried their birthday cake flavor, but since that’s a newer flavor they don’t.  I’ll keep looking.

Have you heard of… Skoop performance beet blend?

skoop beet blend

This healthy Skoop Ignite berry beet Performance Beet Blend is to be taken 30 minutes prior to working out by mixing it with water.  The benefits include:

  • Endurance: Increased blood flow means you can run longer, swim with fewer breaths, cycle further, you name it.
  • Resilience: Helps reduce recovery times DURING your workout–so you can bounce back quicker from bursts of activity, like sprints.
  • Energy: D-Ribose provides lasting, sustained energy throughout your workout.

How’s the taste?  Well… it does taste like beets.  I like beets, but combining it with just water does not taste like the best thing.  However, I usually take it in the morning, so I mix it in with my oatmeal or smoothie so other flavors take over.  If I want to take it in the afternoon or later in the day when I’m not eating right before, I gulp it down pretty quickly.  I do like the benefits and the slight jolt it gives me without the caffeine.  I like how it’s a “natural” product.

Have you heard of… goodness knows peach & cherry almond dark chocolate bar?

goodness knows

The cherries sweetened this bar perfectly!  It was harder than the other bar, but I still enjoyed it as a crunchy snack.  This was another new-to-me brand and I was a big fan of this flavor!

Have you heard of… Ava Anderson Non Toxic Body Scrub?

body scrub

Ava Anderson Non Toxic has the safest products around.  I originally started purchasing them for baby William as I was concerned with the ingredients in typical baby products, but quickly fell in love with all of their lines.  My current obsession is their body scrub.  It is the most moisturizing scrub I’ve ever used.  I use it right before I shave my legs and I don’t even need shaving cream, not to mention it exfoliates perfectly.  The new candy cane is PERFECT for this upcoming holiday season.  I will be gifting lots of these to my girl friends.  Ava Anderson Non Toxic also has a new peppermint candle which will pair nicely for a gift.  I love holiday scents!

~Use code 111759 when placing your order.  E-mail me to receive free shipping.

Which of these brands / products have you heard of? What’s something new to you that’s worth sharing?

*This post contains affiliate links.

Jack Link’s Jerky {giveaway}

As a busy mom, I’m always on the lookout for new, easy, healthy snacks.  Shoot, I feel like everyone is always looking for new, easy, healthy snacks!  Men, women, mommas, college kids, everyone!  Let’s be real – EVERYONE needs to eat – it’s all the better if a snack is easy and healthy!  Being home with my William this summer has been amazing.  We’ve had so much fun and have stayed very busy.  He is an incredibly active little guy, barely ever sitting still which means my food choices – meals and snacks – have got to be fast!  And of course, I do want them to be healthy.

I was recently introduced to Jack Link’s jerky.  The best part?  William is too young to eat it, so I don’t have to share!  Ok, I’m just kidding, but not really.  William was all like #SayYestoJerky!

sayyestojerky

He really was trying to get in there!

Chicken is a staple in this house.  And it’s one of the few foods that William will eat, so I definitely always have chicken around here!  Chicken is so versatile, packed with protein, and healthy.  Taking chicken on the go?  Not so much.  I’m totally not going to be the girl that hauls around a chicken to eat.  Wouldn’t fit in my diaper bag anyway.  But now there is a solution!  Chicken JERKY!

jack links chicken

Jack Link’s chicken jerky is BRAND NEW!  It’s portable chicken for on-the-go, uses white-meat chicken breast, has 11 grams of protein and 80 calories per serving, 98% fat free, lean, and tastes good.  It’s seasoned and marinated with cracked black pepper along with sweet and savory spices.  Never did I think that I would be carrying chicken around as a snack.

The other two varieties, Jack Link’s turkey original and sweet teriyaki, are both winners, too.  The sweet teriyaki is my favorite – such good flavor!

jack links turkey

  • Jack Link’s Turkey Jerky: Solid strips of lean, white meat turkey breast seasoned and smoked over mesquite.
  • Jack Link’s Sweet Teriyaki Turkey Jerky: Soy, ginger, a little onion and a whole lot of perfectly smoked turkey. The very best of East meets West.

On the back of every package, there are different sayings that have been cracking me up.  Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Eat like nobody is watching.
  • No more cheesy fingers.
  • A balanced diet means having Jack Link’s in both hands.

Haha. There were other funny ones, but I’m pretty sure I finished the packages before I typed this post.  They gave me a good chuckle.

Now… for the best part of this post: Jack Link’s Jerky GIVEAWAY!!!!  One lucky winner will receive a gift pack that contains:

  • Jack Link’s Chicken Jerky
  • Jack Link’s Turkey Jerky
  • Jack Link’s Sweet Teriyaki Turkey Jerky
  • Water bottle (it’s glass and I’m obsessed!)
  • Headband
  • Sweat towel
  • EOS lip balm

(as pictured below)

jack links giveaway

All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post telling us why you want to #SayYestoJerky. Additional optional entries include:

  • Follow Itz Linz and Jack Link’s on Twitter, and tweet the following, “I want to #SayYestoJerky with @JackLinks NEW chicken jerky! Giveaway at @ItzLinz — http://wp.me/p2WMfo-3i4 #FitFluential”
  • Follow Itz Linz and Jack Link’s on Instagram.
  • Tag two friends on my #SayYestoJerky Instagram post.

Be sure to leave a separate comment on this blog post for each entry. This giveaway will be open until Thursday, August 6th, 2015 at 8:00 pm CST. A winner will be randomly selected and announced on Friday, August 7th, 2015.  Closed!

Congratulations to #43 Rae! Please email me your shipping information so we can get your prize pack sent! Thanks to everyone who entered!

Be sure to check out Jack Link’s on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Jack Link’s.

Greek Six-Layer Dip Recipe

Everyone loves dips.  They’re so versatile, can be eaten as an appetizer, snack, or meal, and there’s a million different ways to make them.  They can be healthy or not, eaten with chips, crackers, or fresh vegetables.  Many times, dips have a Mexican flare.  Nothing against that; I love Mexican style dips.  However, this Greek Six-Layer Dip recipe is a new twist on an old favorite and absolutely perfect for the summer.

greek-six-layer-dip

Greek Six-Layer Dip Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 (6 oz) container plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 (8 oz each) containers roasted red pepper hummus
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced Greek olives

Directions:

  1. In small bowl, combine yogurt, garlic, dill, lemon juice and salt; set aside.
  2. Spread hummus onto a 12-inch platter.
  3. Layer yogurt mixture over hummus.
  4. Top with cucumber, tomatoes, olives and cheese.

Delicious served with Lemon-Basil Garlic chips.

This recipe, and many more, can be found on Hy-Vee’s Homegrown Pinterest page.

I’m so excited to announce my partnership with Hy-Vee for an upcoming Twitter Party on Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 2:00 pm CST

hyvee

Details:

Get all the health benefits of homegrown produce with Hy-Vee’s Local Homegrown Twitter Party July 22nd at 3pm MT with #WinFreshWinLocal

Want to know why fresh, local watermelon is always bursting with sweetness and flavor? Or how to perfectly prepare sweet corn at your next family cookout?

A team of Hy-Vee’s in-house health experts will be on-hand and ready to answer all of your fresh, local, homegrown questions at our upcoming Twitter Party!

Whether you’re looking to eat more nutritiously or to support your local growers (or both!) we’ll be tweeting all things FRESH, LOCAL, and HOMEGROWN and we want to hear from you!  When you share your questions with #WinFreshWinLocal during the Twitter Party you’ll automatically be entered to win 1 of 4 Hy-Vee Gift Cards valued at $250 each! A great opportunity for you and your family to enjoy all the fruits and vegetables grown within 200 miles of Hy-Vee stores across the Midwest!

Don’t Forget: keep your eyes out for the Local Homegrown program logo when you’re shopping at Hy-Vee!

For more information and to reserve your space at the Twitter Chat Tweet @Hyvee with #WinFreshWinLocal and you’ll be entered to win a $250 gift certificate to the store!

What do you buy local? What are your favorite recipes using homegrown ingredients? Do you have a Hy-Vee near you?

Team SkinnyPop

Have you ever had 24 full size bags of SkinnyPop delivered to your door all at one time?  That happened to be yesterday, and I was beyond excited to see the two massive boxes waiting for me.

Sorry, baby. Not for you. #moreformomma

Needless to say… I ate SkinnyPop all day long.

[THANK YOU, SKINNYPOP!]

Well, I did have some other food, but it was a pretty snacky day.

I started the day (before SkinnyPop arrived) with a healthy Strawberry Smoothie.

It was full of good stuff: 1 cup frozen strawberries, 1 cup milk, 1 tbsp hemp seeds, 1 tbsp flax seeds, 1 tsp maple syrup, 1 scoop A-Game greens. Cold, thick, and delicious.

I hosted a small play date yesterday with my two good friends Diana and Rachel and their babies Emily and Carly.  Many more of these to come, especially this summer!

Do you see baby Emily holding William’s hand? Don’t be jealous, Carly…

It’s funny to see the babies interact now.  Emily is still pretty young, but William and Carly LOVE playing with each other.  They are just waiting for Emily to get a liiiittle older as they were definitely interested in her as they tried to poke her eyes and bite her feet.

They came over in the morning, so I set out a nice little brunch for all of us.

Watermelon, blueberry muffins, banana bread, Blue Diamond sea salt almonds, chocolate chip banana bread, and an egg and cheese biscuit casserole.  I had some when the girls were over, when they left, and throughout the day.  This served as my brunch, lunch, and snacks.  I have totally been loving on watermelon lately.  I’m not a huge fan of cutting it, but the few minutes it takes is definitely worth it, especially with the large quantity of fruit it provides. Anyone else loving on watermelon this summer?

One more photo cuteness from the play date:

William and Carly pretending to sleep.

They’re at such a fun age where they actually follow the directions (sometimes) of short commands.  And they both copy each other.  Carly put a basket on her head and William thought it was the funniest thing ever. Then, he proceeded to do it multiple times later in the day.  Silly babies.

Linking up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday.

More snackage included a million and one handfuls of SkinnyPop. No joke.

skinnypop

Can’t stop. Won’t stop.

At least it’s healthy, right? I’m now part of #TeamSkinnyPop, so lots and lots and lots and lots of SkinnyPop will be poppin’ (ha!) up around here. They are most known for “NO ARTIFICIAL ANYTHING” in their popcorn. Most notably, SkinnyPop is cholesterol free, zero trans fat, dairy free, peanut free, tree nut free, gluten free, preservative free, non gmo, and a good source of fiber. The four flavors include: Original, Black Pepper, White Cheddar, and Naturally Sweet. Right now, the white cheddar is stealing my heart (but I can always eat the original!); I do need to get my hands on that naturally sweet flavor. I haven’t tried that yet, and know it would be fantastic.

With all the snacking I did ALL.DAY.LONG. (seriously), I decided it would be a good idea to get some veggies in for dinner.  And that I did.

flatout wrap

What is this beautiful creation, you ask. (Oh you didn’t? I’ll tell you anyway.)  I used a Flatout ProteinUP wrap and loaded it up with tomatoes, cucumbers, lentils, hummus, and red peppers.  Then, I topped it all with Parmesan cheese and heated it in the oven for a few minutes before rolling it up.  As I was eating it, I was quite pleased with my creation.  But then I remembered I meant to add avocado to it. Argh, that would have made it even better. Boo. It was good as it was, and kept me full longer than I anticipated. (The ProteinUP wrap has 12 grams of protein in it alone! Not to mention the hummus, lentils, and cheese!)

As I sit here and blog its Tuesday evening.  I’m munching away on SkinnyPop because… well, I can always eat SkinnyPop, hungry or not. Not the best habit to get into, but it’s just SO GOOD. Ok, time to stop, sign off, put away the SkinnyPop, and head to bed.

Which #TeamSkinnyPop flavor are you: Original, Black Pepper, White Cheddar, or Naturally Sweet?

Healthy Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Shake

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds.

Today is my last full day of work before SUMMER BREAK!!!  We have a half day tomorrow, and have to go in for a short amount of time on Friday.  Wahoo!  Sorry, just a little excited here.  I love my kiddos, but I love my baby William more and being able to spend lots of time with him, relax in the sun, pool time, and hang out outside!  So close, I can taste it.  Speaking of tasting… let’s talk food for today’s WIAW.

// breakfast // healthy chocolate banana peanut butter shake

chocolate banana peanut butter shake

I know I posted this last week, but I can’t get enough of it.  And with the warm weather and summer right around the corner, it’s even more perfect.  The ingredients are listed on the photo, but I must give a mention about Skoop A-Game.  Basically, it’s ten servings of veggies and a whole lot more.  You can take the five-day challenge for just $10.  And don’t forget, until May 22nd, you can save 25% on all Skoop products. Enter code ‘MAY25’ at checkout to apply the 25% discount.  Stock up for the summer! Click HERE to shop.

// snack // nugo fiber d’lish bar

fiber d'lish

NuGo graciously sponsored our wellness treats at school, and my coworkers were so appreciative as this is the third year in a row they’ve done this!  Everyone LOVES these bars as the flavors are amazing (coconut macaroon is my favorite!).  Each bar has 12 grams of fiber, which is 48% of your daily needs.  They definitely don’t taste like fiber bars.  Nine of the flavors are vegan, and all of them are non GMO, don’t contain soy or artificial ingredients, and help with heart health, weight management, and regularity.

// lunch // panini

panini

A few weeks ago, my team at school began a new tradition.  We each take turns cooking lunch one day a week.  It adds a little fun something to the week, and you’re only responsible for preparing lunch for the team once every couple months.  We hope to continue this next year!  Yesterday, Katie brought in panini presses, bread, and all the fixings for us to build our own panini. What a fun idea!  I made a panini with turkey, cheese, tomato, spinach, and avocado.  Watermelon and chips on the side.  I’m actually usually more of a cold sandwich kind of gal, but I was really impressed by the panini.  Now I see what all the hype is about paninis and warm sandwiches!

// dinner // chicken, egg, and biscuit casserole

egg biscuit chicken cheese casserole

Ok, so I actually made this for breakfast over the weekend, but had so much left that I’ve been eating it for dinner, too.  No complaints there, it’s awesome.  I want to tweak the recipe before sharing it with you, but basically it’s biscuits, eggs, ground chicken, spinach, and cheese.  And it’s seriously fantastic.

// after dinner snack // dark chocolate roasted almonds

dark chocolate almonds

Oooooh my goodness, Blue Diamond has done it once again.  They have the absolute best flavors. They recently sent me a package of dark chocolate roasted almonds and sea salt roasted almonds.  They’re both great, but these dark chocolate almonds are THE BEST!  They make the perfect after-dinner snack as they’re sweet, but filling.  They are made with real cocoa and loaded with rich chocolate flavor, blended with just the right amount of sugar and naturally no-calorie stevia extract.

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And sometimes it’s fun to play with the almonds when taking pictures.  Each serving contains five grams of protein and three grams of fiber. They are cholesterol free and rich in antioxidant Vitamin E. The chocolate taste is so creamy, it’s hard to believe these are considered “healthy,” but they are!

What do you like to eat after dinner? I need something filling, otherwise I eat all night. Another reason why Blue Diamond almonds make the perfect after-dinner snack!

Special K Snack Bars

Oh heeeeeey there, friends!  Let’s talk food today, shall we?  Today is Wednesday so I’m linking up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday.  For all my new readers (hi!), WIAW is where tons of bloggers link up their blog posts full of mouth-watering recipes, photos, and meal plans.  It’s a great place to get inspiration for the kitchen!  The food I share is mostly healthy (it’s all about moderation!) and very easy to prepare.  As a full time working momma, time is sparse, so I do my best to fuel my body properly on my limited time schedule.  Let’s get started!

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I love this mug for it’s positive message.  Sometimes we all just need to stop, smile, breathe, and remember that life is beautiful because it really is.

Just like last week, protein shakes have been really appealing in the morning.  They’re fast, easy to make, and loaded with protein which keeps me full longer.

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And they’re kind of pretty, too, eh?  This one had raspberries, vanilla protein powder, Silk’s cashew milk, ground flaxseed, wheat germ, and vanilla NuNaturals.  Speaking of Silk’s cashew milk, I finally found it and am very impressed with how creamy it is, which I love.  Perfect for smoothies and shakes!

Snacks lately have been the Special K snack bars which is a great option for a healthy snack. I stash them everywhere: in my car, my diaper bag, and my school bag.  I hate being hungry, so being prepared is key!  Kellogg’s came out with this new line of bars made with tasty, wholesome ingredients that deliver great taste and provide a “chewy-with-a hint-of-crisp” texture.

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Special K Chewy Snack Bars are the perfect combination of tasty and visible ingredients that provide a satisfyingly scrumptious “any time” snack that you can feel good about eating. With four delicious flavors – Berry Medley, Blueberry Bliss, Salted Caramel Chocolate, and Salted Pretzel Chocolate – these new snack bars are a great option that deliver 100 delicious calories per bar.

Check out Special K on Facebook and Twitter!

I will say, I wish they had more protein and fiber in them, but they definitely work for satisfying a craving for something sweet or when hunger strikes!  They’re very reasonably priced, as well, at just $2.69 for a box of six.  And they’re kid friendly, too.  My little niece Audrey was all over the salted pretzel chocolate bar!

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Lunch and dinner the past three days have been the same.  I made a huge pot of pasta over the weekend.  When I like (love) a dish, I don’t mind eating it over and over.  I brought some to my sister’s, so three days straight of this pasta was plenty for me.  But it was delicious and I definitely got my carb fix!

I used whole wheat noodles which actually pack a decent amount of fiber and protein (way more than white pasta anyway!), sauteed mushrooms, added peas, spinach, and beans, and made a sauce using cream cheese, chicken broth, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and some spices.  Not “healthy,” but definitely healthier than a traditional white sauce using cream and butter.

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Since I only have one picture to show you for lunch and dinner, I thought I’d throw in an extra picture of something totally random (because that makes sense?).  My BCBG slouch beanie finally came from Zulily! (<– affiliate link)  I LOVE it!!!

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Which flavor of the Special K snack bars sound best to you: Berry Medley, Blueberry Bliss, Salted Caramel Chocolate, or Salted Pretzel Chocolate?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Special K.

raspberry granola yogurt bowl

Itz been a hot minute since I’ve linked up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday!  I thought today would be a good day, mostly because yesterday I actually remembered to snap photos of most of what I ate.  But first, let’s begin with some William cuteness.  He spent the day at my parents’ house (his Yaya and Pops), and clearly had the best time ever.

william yaya pops

Itz a shame he’s not a happy baby, eh? 😉

Ok, now for my tasty food.  Breakfast involved a raspberry granola yogurt bowl.  (And itz the name of this post since itz literally the only thing I actually made to eat all day.)

raspberry yogurt granola bowl

We’ve got some plain Chobani Greek yogurt sweetened with Pure Via vanilla stevia, mixed with Cascadian Farm ancient grains granola, and tons of fresh raspberries. Driscoll’s raspberries were on sale for a dollar at the grocery store; I’ve never seen them that cheap, so I stocked up and put an entire container in my bowl.  So good.

When my dad picked up William for the day, he also brought some chicken salad that my mom made.  I love this chicken salad and will soon make my own batch of it.  But for now, I’ll eat hers for lunch (while I pump).chicken salad

My mom’s chicken salad includes chicken (duh), light mayo, dijon mustard, dried cranberries, almond slivers, celery, and apples.  Itz the perfect combination.

You all know I snack ALL.DAY.LONG. and I captured most of them.

snacks

  • Detour SMART bar in blueberry
  • Juicy plum
  • KIND bar in nut delight
  • Dates with peanut butter
  • Turkey slices
  • Banana chocolate chip muffie (made by my mom)

Not pictured snacks included honey wheat pretzels from Trader Joe’s and fruit salad.  So this was the first time I tried the whole date with peanut butter thing.  I had seen it on several other blogs and I love both dates and peanut butter, so I thought why not?  I was at my parents’ when I tried it and my dad immediately said it sounded weird.  To be honest, I didn’t love it.  I felt like the peanut butter overpowered the sweet date flavor and I couldn’t really taste the dates at all.  So after one, I put the peanut butter away and helped myself to a few more plain dates.

I’ve been drinking tons of water lately thanks to breastfeeding.  I usually drink an entire bottle when I pump and I pump three times at school and twice at home on working days.  Usually one of those bottles includes a Cocogo packet.  Use code ITZLINZ to save $$!

cup

My absolute favorite cup ever.

I hung out at my parents’ when I picked up William, and my dad had made a delicious beef stew in the crockpot for dinner.

beef stew

We had steamed cauliflower on the side.

For dessert, I had a bowl of Edy’s slow churned mint cookie crunch ice cream, but instead of showing you that I’m going to show you dessert from the weekend because there is a funny story that goes with it.  It was at the rehearsal dinner of my cousin’s wedding, and the waiters were bringing dessert to the table.  There was cherry pie and a delicious super chocolatey thing (I don’t know what itz called).  Well, they were alternating plates of dessert for the guests at each table, so every two people had one of both.  I noticed our server still had two plates left on his tray after we were served. I don’t like sharing dessert, so I begged and pleaded for him to give me my own set of desserts.  Then my sister chimed in and told this young man that I was breastfeeding. Needless to say, I got both desserts and was pretty happy about it.

dessert

I devoured both.  (See, Uncle Ricky? I told you this picture would make the blog!)  Jonny is smiling in the background either because he’s just as happy as me that he didn’t have to share his dessert or because he’s proud of my skills to get extra dessert!

And just for kicks, let’s end with a picture of the world’s cutest baby.

william happy smile

Bye bye now.

What delicious food have you eaten lately?

Mamma Chia Giveaway {closed}

As promised, here is the Mamma Chia giveaway post!  But first, itz Wednesday which means itz finally time for What I Ate Wednesday hosted by Jenn at Peas and Crayons  – the first WIAW post since baby William’s arrival!  The first few weeks after William was born, we were brought and given so much food from our wonderful family and friends.  We literally didn’t have to cook or go grocery shopping at all which was really nice.  Now, Jonny’s been to the store a couple times and I’ve started putting together some meals.  Before we start with the food, let me give you a quick peek at our adorable William:

william1

photo by Stephanie Cotta Photography

And now for food!  Here’s [just part of] what I’ve eaten lately:

day of eats

  • Breakfast: Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Overnight Oats – recipe by Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers.  Overnight oats have been a staple since I can prep them at night and have breakfast instantly ready in the morning – perfect as my appetite is ravenous!  I’ve made these oats several times and will continue to do so.  They’re amazing and definitely my favorite overnight oats recipe!
  • Lunch: While the first couple weeks was all about convenience during eating, recently I’ve been trying to be a bit more mindful in eating vegetables and more healthfully.  I’ve been really into salads; this one includes a bed of spinach with cherry tomatoes, avocado, cottage cheese, walnuts, hemp seeds, and a light drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette.
  • Dinner: Crockpot to the rescue!  I made barbecue shredded chicken by throwing in frozen chicken breasts and covering it with water and cooking it on low in the crockpot all day. Then I shredded it and added Trader Joe’s barbecue sauce. Corn on the cob and steamed green beans for sides.
  • Snack: (one of many) Skinny Peanut Butter Brownie Parfait by Amy at Amy’s Healthy Baking. Obviously I didn’t make it into a parfait, more of a yogurt mess, but it was awesome nonetheless.  I ate it for a snack during the day and made it for Jonny’s dessert last night.

And lots and lots of Mamma Chia snacks throughout the day!  I was sent a wonderful package filled with their products!  Take a look:

mamma chia giveaway

adorable baby not included 

  • One full bag each of Mamma Chia’s NEW black and white chia seeds: the nutritional difference between white and black chia seeds are negligible.  I add chia seeds to everything, specifically oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, and any and all baked goods. Itz an easy way to bulk up the nutritional value!
  • Chia squeeze vitality snack packs in their two newest flavors – Mango Coconut and Wild Raspberry.  Both flavors were awesome, and I can’t wait to try their other flavors including Strawberry Banana, Green Magic, Apple Cinnamon, and Blackberry Bliss.  Mmm, they all sound so good!
  • Vouchers for Mamma Chia’s vitality beverages.  Have you ever had a chia drink before?  The texture is definitely different, but the benefits are fantastic as is the taste!  Mamma Chia obviously makes the best with the most awesome flavors including Blackberry Hibiscus, Cherry Lime, Cranberry Lemonade, Raspberry Passion, Pomegranate Mint, Coconut Mango, Kiwi Line, Guava Mamma, and Grapefruit Ginger.
  • The book Chia Vitality from Mamma Chia’s founder and CEO Janie Hoffman. Itz Janie’s personal story of how she suffered from a host of debilitating autoimmune diseases, including severe lupus and chronic fatigue syndrome. After years of trying Western medicine, she turned to alternative methods, including mediation, an organic diet, and, eventually, the chia seed. Within three months of making chia a daily part of her diet, she was symptom-free. Chia Vitality nourishes the body, mind, and soul with a combination of yoga, meditation, service, and, of course, the amazing chia seed. In 30 days, this plan harnesses the power of chia as part of a healthful lifestyle to boost stamina, lose weight, get healthier, and feel more alive than ever before.  Pretty amazing!

mamma chia choose

eeny meeny miny moe – which chia squeeze vitality snack should I choose first?

What’s so great about chia seeds anyway?  Well, let me tell you!  Chia seeds are rich in Omega-3s, antioxidants, protein, and fiber.  One tablespoon of chia contains 2,430 mg Omega-3s, 4 grams fiber, 3 grams complete protein, and 60 calories.

mamma chia squeeze packs

Don’t YOU want to snuggle up with Mamma Chia’s chia squeeze vitality packs?! 😉 

Mamma Chia wants YOU to #SeedYourSoul and is giving away a very generous package of 7 chia squeezes in varied flavors, 7 beverage vouchers, one copy of the book Chia Vitality, and one Mamma Chia t-shirt ($75 value!).  All you have to do to enter is visit Mamma Chia’s website and leave a blog post comment telling us which flavor of the squeeze packs or vitality beverages sound best to you (mandatory).  Additional optional entries include:

Be sure to leave a separate comment for each additional entry.  This giveaway will be open until Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 at 8:00 pm CST.  The winner will be randomly selected and announced on Wednesday, May 14th.  CLOSED!

Congrats to #43 Holly @ Eat Great Be Great! Please email me so we can get you your Mamma Chia goodness!

Disclaimer: I received the Mamma Chia products mentioned in this post through a campaign I participated in with FitFluential. No compensation was provided. All opinions are my own.