Choosing Healthier Options

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #TENways  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Last week I shared how I get motivated to work out including fun fitness programs and sprucing up my gym wardrobe (P.S. you still have time to enter that giveaway!) Today, I’m going to share a few things I’ve been switching up in my daily meals for a healthier diet!

Kitchen Prep

I used to eat cereal for breakfast and a sandwich consisting of bread, turkey, cheese and mustard for lunch. Hello Ciera, where the heck are the fruits and veggies?! That was just no good and I’m determined to live a healthier lifestyle so I’m being proactive and changing what I eat! The cool thing about the meals I suggest below is that you start with the basics but customize them with different fruits and vegetables so that it doesn’t get boring!

 

Breakfast

Now I eat greek yogurt with fruit and granola. I stick to plain greek yogurt and use vanilla almond granola to sweeten it up some. My favorite fruits to add are pears, blueberries, strawberries and bananas.

Yogurt Blueberries Granola Coffee Breakfast

 

Lunch

Now I eat quinoa with veggies. I like to cook a bunch of quinoa at the beginning of the week and then switch up the ingredients each day. My favorite things to add are spinach, carrots, broccoli, red onions, garlic and garbonzo beans. I really just throw in whatever we have in the fridge. I just drizzle a little olive oil on top then I usually top it with avocado, salt and pepper.

Quinoa Carrot Spinach Veggie Bowl

 

Beverages

Now I swap regular high calorie soda with the TEN sodas product line. I know that water is always your best bet but I just can’t completely give up my occasional soda. The TEN sodas come in four flavors, 7-up, Sunkist, Canada Dry & A&W, and I found them at Walmart. They only have ten calories a serving but with the same full flavor of their regular counterparts! I also tried the 7-up with a splash of cranberry juice and it was really good!

Ten Calorie Soda Option

What do you like to eat for a healthier diet?

You can save $0.50 at Walmart when you buy TWO 2 Liter bottles or TWO 4-pack cans of 7UP TEN, A&W TEN, Canada Dry TEN, RC TEN or Sunkist TEN soda. If you share that digital coupon via email, Facebook or Twitter (there is a click to share button) the coupon will save you $1.50 off that purchase instead of just $0.50! Offer available while supplies last, from 3/27-4/17. Click here for coupon and visit DPSG on Facebook and Twitter.

The Font Feast Presents Roasted Veggies

roasted-veggies

Last year, we signed up for our first CSA. Not the kind of CSA my friends subscribe to (no offense if you’re reading this, ladies) where you go pick up a cheap box of pineapples and bananas every week. The CSA we signed up for was run by a little family that grew, picked, and delivered all of their own vegetables every week from Spring to Fall. We signed up for a Large Box and were awash in produce for six whole months. We ate lots and lots and lots of cool vegetables–crazy varieties of cucumbers and broccoli, potatoes in every color imaginable, more tomatillos than we could possibly consume, the totally weird-looking but delicious kohlrabi–and oven-roasting became my go-to method for cooking any and every vegetable.

Oven-roasting is great for so very many reasons. First, it is so quick. It literally takes just a few minutes of prep work and just a few minutes of cooking. Even if you are cooking other things in the oven and have to wait to roast the veggies until the last minute, they’ll be ready by the time you’ve called everyone to the table. Second, you can roast pretty much any vegetable using this same method and they’ll taste great. All you have to vary is the cooking time. Third, it makes the colors really pop! Greens, oranges, purples…they all become even more vibrant as they cook. And last but not least, and actually best of all, roasted veggies taste amazing, plain and simple. They get brown and crispy in spots, and their flavor really deepens. Yum! I can’t wait for our Large Box of veggies to start rolling in again in a few weeks!

The font that inspired this easy recipe (more of a method, really) is so appropriate: Bright + Beautiful by Skyhaven Fonts.

Roasted Veggies Recipe

Roasted Veggies inspired by Bright + Beautiful

vegetables, washed, dried, and chopped into hefty bit-sized pieces (We are on a cauliflower kick lately!)
extra virgin olive oil
garlic salt

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Spread the vegetables out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle all over with olive oil, then sprinkle generously with garlic salt. Using clean hands, toss the veggies until everything is well-coated with oil and salt. Roast the veggies, tossing occasionally with a long-handled spoon or spatula, until lovely, crispy, brown spots appear and the veggies are just tender. The time will vary depending on what vegetable you’re roasting. Green beans go quickly, broccoli and cauliflower take a little longer. Check often. Eat immediately.

So…this is my last Font Feast post, everybody. It has been such a pleasure to work with Ciera on this series for the past 18 months, and I’ve loved every single post! xoxo

The Font Feast Presents Crepes with Nutella & Strawberries

Nutella Strawberry Crepes Recipe

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day! Luckily, my husband is a pro at breakfast-making. Fluffy buttermilk pancakes, crisp, golden waffles, savory scrambled eggs, hearty biscuits and gravy–you name it, he can make it. One of my favorite things that he makes for us is crepes! Crepes filled with apples and cinnamon and butter, crepes filled with lemon and powdered sugar, crepes filled with homemade berry jam. And the creme de la creme of crepes, at least at our house, crepes filled with Nutella, fresh strawberries, and whipped cream. They’re really easy to make, but they seem so fancy and indulgent, and are so delicious! They make even regular weekend breakfasts an event to remember!

The font I chose to go with our fancy French crepes is called Little Lord Fontleroy, and the moment I saw it, I knew it was the perfect French-inspired font for this month’s post. It’s just beautiful! 

Crepes with Nutella & Strawberries

Crepes with Nutella & Strawberries inspired by Little Lord Fontleroy

2 eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 Tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
a splash of vanilla
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar
nutella
strawberries
whipped cream
powdered sugar

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, oil, salt, and vanilla. Add flour and cinnamon sugar and whisk until smooth. Spray a crepe pan or large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto the center of the pan and gently swirl the pan to spread the batter out into a thin circle. Allow to cook until golden on the bottom. Using a large spatula, turn the crepe over and continue to cook until golden on both sides. Stack finished crepes on a large plate until ready to serve. Fill crepes with Nutella, strawberries, and whipped cream before serving, and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Makes about 12 crepes.

Baking A King Cake

Carnival season is in full swing here in New Orleans and king cakes are for sale everywhere! When I was living in Boston I really missed Mardi Gras and king cakes, so one year Zander and I decided to try baking one. I meant to post a recipe and photos to the blog but never got around to it even though I took pictures of the process. So I’m resurrecting the photos for y’all today! It came out pretty messy and lopsided, but it tasted great and made me miss home a little less!

Baking A King Cake From Scratch

Baking-A-King-Cake-1

Baking-A-King-Cake-2

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Baking-A-King-Cake-5

Colored Sugar

Baking-A-King-Cake-7 Baking-A-King-Cake-8

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Baking-A-King-Cake-10

Make Your Own Bloody Mary Bar

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Rubbermaid and Sharpie but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #RubbermaidSharpie  http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO

Make Your Own Bloody Mary Bar

The Super Bowl is less than a week away y’all! I’m bummed that the Saints didn’t make it this year, but I still like to watch the big game for the commercials and as an excuse to throw a party! I love a good Bloody Mary while watching football but a Bloody Mary Bar is even more fun and perfect for a party since everyone can customize their own drink! You can make your own Bloody Mary Bar in a few simple steps.

Bloody Mary Bar Sign with Sharpie Markers

As a fun backdrop, roll out a big piece of kraft paper and use Sharpie markers to write out all of the ingredients you’ll be offering your guests. My friend Ashlee did the drawing while I prepared the ingredients. The new brush tip Sharpie worked really well for the lettering.

Bloody Mary Bar

Next you’ll need your main ingredients; vodka and Bloody Mary mix. My favorite mix is Zing Zang and I also like to have hot sauce, worcestershire, Tony’s and celery salt incase anyone wants to doctor it up. Then the fun part, your garnishes! I have to include pickled spicy beans in my Blood Mary and some other garnishes I like are green olives, celery, lemon, lime, cherry tomatoes, pickles, bell peppers and pickled okra. Some people get real crazy and add shrimp, cheese cubes and even bacon!

Bloody Mary Bar Ingredients

Put out some toothpicks and each of your garnishes in Rubbermaid storage containers for easy access. This also makes cleanup super easy on you!

Bloody Mary Bar Ingredients Sign

And here’s some exciting news for all you Target lovers: they offer mobile coupons! From January 25th to February 8th text the word COUPONS to TARGET (type TARGET in where you would text to a phone number) and you will receive $1 off both Rubbermaid Storage Containers and Sharpie 4 pack or larger! Do you have any party plans for the Super Bowl?
 
Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. All sponsored posts feature products or services that I truly feel would be of interest to you.

The Font Feast Presents Kale Berry Smoothies

Kale Berry Smoothie Recipe Inspired by Raleway Font

It seems like eating better is at the top of everyone’s New Year’s resolution list, and really, it’s no wonder. I think a brand new year inspires us to find our best selves, and after the treats and sweets and snacks of the holidays, everybody is ready for fresh, healthy foods. I’ve been having smoothies for breakfast every single day (okay, fine, except Saturdays and Sundays) since January 1st, and I’m really liking this change! It gets me eating breakfast, which we all know is the most important meal of the day, and gives me the chance to load up on fruits and veggies and superfoods and vitamins, and all that good-for-you stuff. We’ve done a little experimenting here and there over the past two weeks, and this Kale Berry Smoothie is my favorite smoothie creation to date. It’s packed with goodness (Kale, people!), and is sweet and delicious.

I have to admit that I chose a little bit of a tongue-in-cheek font to go with these smoothies: Raleway. You probably don’t get the connection yet, so let me explain. Raleway is a great all-purpose font, smooth and sleek, and it comes in lots of weights, ranging from Heavy to Thin. See?? It goes perfectly with healthy smoothies and New Year’s resolutions!

Kale Berry Smoothies

Kale Berry Smoothies inspired by Raleway Thin

1 banana
1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
kale (I use 3 big black kale or dinosaur kale leaves.)
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup strawberries
100% apple juice (I start with a generous splash and work up from there.)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Stir as necessary. You will still see blackberry and raspberry seeds, but you shouldn’t have any visible green bits.

P.S. Ciera was over on Lulu the Baker last week sharing what it’s like in her kitchen, check it out!