A Healthy Slice of Life http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com Delicious recipes, healthy living tips, and fun food facts Thu, 21 May 2015 11:03:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Simple Strawberry Jam- in the Bread Machine! http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/simple-strawberry-jam-in-the-bread-machine/ http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/simple-strawberry-jam-in-the-bread-machine/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 11:01:02 +0000 http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/?p=26552 David and I both are wannabe minimalists. You’d never guess it by looking in our kitchen though, as we have gadgets galore! The majority of them have been generously gifted to us over the years and I’ll admit, they’ve been a lot of fun to use. We have the basic crockpot and a $5 toaster […]

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David and I both are wannabe minimalists. You’d never guess it by looking in our kitchen though, as we have gadgets galore! The majority of them have been generously gifted to us over the years and I’ll admit, they’ve been a lot of fun to use. We have the basic crockpot and a $5 toaster that we love, but somehow we’ve also accumulated an electric pressure cooker, a sous vide stick, a dehydrator and an immersion blender.

Then there is the mac daddy of all the gadgets- our bread machine! I’ve used it to make fresh, fluffy loaves of bread, dough for pizza and rolls and most recently, I’ve ventured into its JAM setting. After all, what else are you supposed to do with gallons of freshly picked strawberries?

bread machine strawberry jam- strawberriesYes, this machine can make both bread and fresh jam and thinking about that kind of snack combo is enough to transform me into a heart-eye emoji.

bread machine strawberry jam- simpleThe awesome thing is- it’s ridiculously easy. In fact, this post is much more of a COOL YOU CAN MAKE JAM IN A BREADMAKER post than a recipe because it only takes 3 ingredients.

  • breadmaker jam- ingredients3 cups of diced strawberries (or fruit of choice)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice.

That’s it! Load it into the bread maker and set it to jam.

bread machine strawberry jam- jam cycleThe jam cycle takes an hour and 20 minutes, but I love that after the 5 minute prep, it’s all hands off.

Now there are a few ways to get your ideal jam texture. You can mash the strawberries a bit before hitting go on the bread maker or you can use an immersion blender afterwards (briefly- just a few pulses) to make it a bit more smooth.

bread machine strawberry jam- immersion blenderThe jam will thicken overnight in the fridge, but will still be fairly fluid, like a super thick strawberry syrup, perfect for topping biscuits, mixing in with peanut butter for a delicious sandwich or drizzling over yogurt or ice cream.

If you prefer your jam even thicker, you can add 2-3 ounces of commercial pectin. Fruit contains natural pectic (under ripe fruit contains more, so you may want to use a mix of ripe and slightly under ripe strawberries), but if you like your finished product stickier, you can certainly add pectin.

bread machine strawberry jam- easyThis fresh jam will last up to 3 weeks in the fridge, but I know it won’t last that long in our house. I’ve already pulled a Joey (any fellow FRIENDS lovers?) and have been eating it with a spoon.

I’m hoping to make a few more batches (each batch makes 2 cups of jam) before strawberry season slips away and can jars for future use/gifts.

simple strawberry jam made in the bread machine with just 3 ingredientsAnd now I’m super excited about all the jam possibilities- blackberry… peach… hot pepper?!

What’s your favorite flavor of jam?

Please note: The links in the post to the products I own are Amazon Affiliate links. I am new to these (first timer here!) but here is the basic rundown: If you buy a product after clicking through my link, I get a small percentage of the sale at no charge to you. I really strive to keep sponsored content to a minimum so I’m hoping that using these links to recommend products that I use/own and get asked about will be less intrusive. I always want to be upfront with you so if you have any questions about this, please shoot me a message! Thank you for your support.

 

 

 

 

 

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Just Another Day in Paradise http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/just-another-day-in-paradise/ http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/just-another-day-in-paradise/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 11:24:19 +0000 http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/?p=26536 Do I have any fellow country music fans out there? How long have you been listening? I started in about 3rd grade, which I can say was before country got very cool. I always loved the stories in country music and though I listened to my fair share of Nelly and Ludacris, I always kept […]

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Do I have any fellow country music fans out there? How long have you been listening? I started in about 3rd grade, which I can say was before country got very cool. I always loved the stories in country music and though I listened to my fair share of Nelly and Ludacris, I always kept a soft spot for Tim, Faith and Garth.

When I was a sophomore in high school, Phil Vassar released a song called Just Another Day in Paradise. As further proof that I’ve always been a sap, I loved that song. It’s not musical genius, but the story is sweet and I always hoped that one day I’d have that kind of paradise.

Yesterday I realized I finally do.

It actually began with me losing my keys. Now, I’ve misplaced them before, but this time I turned the house upside down and they really were no where to be found. I searched the car, the laundry, the trash… nope. So I ended up having to cancel Kaitlyn’s 1 year doctor appointment. After cancelling I went to grab a water bottle out of the car and…

paradise- 2Bam. So obviously sticking out in plain site from under the seat.

I wanted to have something productive to show for the mix up in schedule, so I figured I’d finally move the laundry in the wash over to the dryer only to find the clothes covered with those little gooey beads.

washed a pullupFYI- Pullups are not made for the washing machine. I’m sure that little incident didn’t help our washing machine that is on its last legs anyway. Oops.

I realized at this point our electricians for the bathroom never showed up, Koda had just run back inside and through the house in all her muddy paw print glory and the girls both wanted to push the same toy shopping cart, which was evident from the screaming coming from the next room.

Right about then that song popped into my head and I couldn’t help but smile.

Well it’s OK. It’s so nice. Just another day in paradise.

And there’s no place that I’d rather be.

So we rolled with it. Jammies all day? Sure! Veggie straws and hummus for lunch? Why not?! No naps all around? WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

paradise- 1That’s what I love about this motherhood gig. It totally knocks me off my scheduled ways sometimes in order to show me the beauty in the unstructured.

We spent an hour playing dress up, beauty parlor and doctor when we should have been having a proper lunch.

We took a trip to the movie rental store during what should have been nap time.

The girls had a “beach party” while I tended to round two of clean-out the washer and poured myself a cup of afternoon coffee.

paradise- 3We headed out to water the garden, just as some rain arrived and soaked us.

paradise- 7

paradise- 8I relaxed the rules and let one of Hailey’s TV tokens stand for an entire Mickey movie.

paradise- 5I entertained Kaitlyn’s demands to be fed a steady stream of strawberries.

paradise- 4I decided yogurt would suffice for dinner.

homemade strawberry syrupI tossed the girls in and out of the bath pretty quickly, anxious to change into jammies myself, but then Hailey actually waited patiently in bed for me while I put Kaitlyn down. My oldest and I snuggled and read two books with her head resting on my chest. Sweetness.

When David got home I scrounged together what I could since I skipped out on meal planning this week.

paradise- 9

And we filled in the gaps with cashews and a glass of wine while we chatted about our days. Well, about an hour before we both crashed hard. 5:15 am comes quickly after all.

Oh Phil, you got in man. It’s just another day in paradise and there’s no place that I’d rather be…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Most Important Thing I’ve Ever Done for My Health http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/the-most-important-thing-ive-ever-done-for-my-health/ http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/the-most-important-thing-ive-ever-done-for-my-health/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 10:56:16 +0000 http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/?p=26514 Over the past ten years I’ve transformed my way of caring for my body from working hard to try and make it a certain size and shape to working hard to make it as strong and healthy as possible. In the process I’ve started doing a lot of things to better care for my body. I now get […]

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Over the past ten years I’ve transformed my way of caring for my body from working hard to try and make it a certain size and shape to working hard to make it as strong and healthy as possible.

In the process I’ve started doing a lot of things to better care for my body. I now get annual physicals, I have yearly skin exams, I started eating more vegetables, I started going to bed a little earlier, I try to drink more water (always trying with this one), I started taking vitamins, I’ve increased my daily activity and focused more of strength training.

While I feel that all of these things have added to my overall health, by far the most important thing I’ve ever done for my health is I learned to tune out mainstream advice and diet trends and just listen to my body.

breakfastHere’s the thing- we each are incredibly unique when it comes to what is best for our health.

That’s worth saying again- health is SO personal. Sure there are probably some good rules of thumb- eat plants, drink water and move, but beyond that, it’s hard to give blanket advice that fits everyone. Tomatoes may taste incredible to me, but cause another person to experience acidic agony. One person may thrive with the heavy weight and adrenaline rush of Crossfit, while another may prefer the more gentle challenge and mental clarity that yoga provides. While gluten make wreak havoc on one person’s digestive system, a slice of bread may help another person feel more satisfied with a meal. I think you get my point; I’ll stop.

lunch

One of my favorite challenges in health coaching was getting to know a person and together discovering the alterations in lifestyle that would work for them and help them achieve their health goals. Everyone is at a different point in their health journey and creating a one-size-fits-all plan is impossible. I loved helping clients learn to tune into their bodies by helping them focus on how they felt after eating certain foods, completing various exercises or experiencing different situations. Watching their optimum health plan unfold as they discovered what felt best for their bodies was exciting.

snackIt’s taken me a few years, but I can say now I am very in tune with my body. I can tell if a fever is creeping up on me and know that a day of rest can fend it off before it even begins. I can sense when to push myself physically and when I truly need to take that 30 second rest to avoid pulling a muscle or straining a joint. I know that while my body handles gluten and dairy pretty well, beans tend to mess with my digestion. I know sometimes that using 30 overlapping nap minutes to take a power nap myself is more beneficial than trying to push through my to-do list.

sweatinOf course, being in tune with my body doesn’t mean I always listen to it. Occasionally I stay up too late, forget to drink enough water or devour more than my share of chips and onion dip, but I know how to get myself back on track.

dinner

Personally, I’ve found my body runs best on unprocessed foods- vegetables, proteins, fats, grains and fruit. I’ve realized I need some exercise each day to wear my body out and allow it to sleep soundly. I appreciate having quiet time in the morning to start my day. When I eat, move and live this way, I have more sustained energy, smoother digestion, less blood sugar spikes, more mental clarity and a more positive attitude. Basically, I just feel good.

And feeling good feels good.

What does healthy look like to you?

Can you feel a difference when you eaten certain foods versus others?

What makes the biggest difference in how you feel physically?

 

 

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Kaitlyn’s First Birthday Celebration http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/kaitlyns-first-birthday-celebration/ http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/kaitlyns-first-birthday-celebration/#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 11:40:38 +0000 http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/?p=26490 The theme of the weekend was relaxed and celebratory and I’m thrilled that it turned out just like I’d hoped. Nana and Papa John arrived Friday afternoon which sent Hailey into a tailspin of excitement. We spent Friday afternoon playing outside and baking cakes so we could have Saturday free to celebrate the birthday girl. […]

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The theme of the weekend was relaxed and celebratory and I’m thrilled that it turned out just like I’d hoped. Nana and Papa John arrived Friday afternoon which sent Hailey into a tailspin of excitement. We spent Friday afternoon playing outside and baking cakes so we could have Saturday free to celebrate the birthday girl. And celebrate we did!

patterson farms strawberries nc- 3Saturday morning started with a trip to Patterson Farms to pick our own strawberries. While most of us understood the concept, pick and put in your basket…

patterson farms strawberries nc- 4Kaitlyn was more set on the method of- shove as many strawberries as you can into your mouth at once.

patterson farms strawberries nc- 1Although messier, her strategy did look fun! Because of that, we began the adventure all thoroughly covered in strawberry juice, but we powered through the mess to enjoy all Patterson has to offer, like baby goats, playgrounds and slides and cow rides.

patterson farms strawberries nc- 2The busy morning worked as planned and we had two tired girls once lunch time rolled around. They both crashed hard for naps, leaving time for us to get started on party prep as David arrived home from the airport.

k turns 1- 1Soon enough the girls were up and the fun began.

I don’t often splurge on cutesy outfits, but I couldn’t resist a special frilly number for Kaitlyn on her birthday. I may be biased, but my goodness she looked sweet!

k turns 1- 2

We played (photoshoot) outside for a little bit, then it was party time.

k turns 1- 5I wanted to forgo the stress of a big party and stuck to inviting just Hailey’s best friend (and her sweet sister and cousin) over to make it feel like a party, which worked out so well. Conveniently her mom is one of my best friends too, so win/win! The girls watered the garden, picked mint leaves and just enjoyed running around while the adults organized dinner and chatted.

k turns 1- 9The birthday girl was the center of attention and she ate it up.

k turns 1- 6

She also ate up corn… raw corn. Because what the birthday girl wants, the birthday girl gets and she’d burst into tears if I tried to take it away.

nana and kWe all ate on the porch, happy for beautiful spring temperatures that lend themselves to outdoor eating that can be cleaned up with a hose.

k turns 1- 10Then, it was time for cake! We all sang happy birthday as Kaitlyn grinned and soaked it up, then with enthusiasm and focus, she dug in.

k turns 1- 12She was far more into it than Hailey was on her first birthday, but still was happy to share.

k turns 1- 11
We all chowed down on cupcakes, then followed it up with a little more play and present opening and just like that, the party was over and I had a sweet and sassy one year old.

k turns 1- 7Though no matter how many birthdays she celebrates, she will always be my baby.

k turns 1- 4

Happy birthday sweet Kaitlyn!

IMG_8639

Do you enjoy throwing parties?

Or does it stress you out?

I always think I enjoy throwing them, but end up getting worked up about it. I’m working on it because I really do love having people over!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Last Baby is Turning One http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/my-last-baby-is-turning-one/ http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/my-last-baby-is-turning-one/#comments Fri, 15 May 2015 11:06:14 +0000 http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/?p=26479 A year ago today I was scheduled for an induction. Being a week overdue, my doctor strongly suggested it and I was put on the schedule to come in early morning on the 15th. I still had high hopes of going into labor on my own, especially with a big storm and a barometric pressure […]

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A year ago today I was scheduled for an induction. Being a week overdue, my doctor strongly suggested it and I was put on the schedule to come in early morning on the 15th. I still had high hopes of going into labor on my own, especially with a big storm and a barometric pressure drop, but no real contractions came, just a call from the hospital at 6:00 am to let me know they were full. Apparently the barometric pressure had worked for everyone but me and I was getting bumped.

IMG_0760That day was hard for me. I struggled with emotions. The disappointment, the exhaustion, the excitement and fear battled within me. However, the morning of the 16th, everything felt right and David and I were overjoyed when at 2:04 pm our baby girl came barreling into the world.

baby kSomehow a year has passed since then and I sit on the eve of the one year celebration of the birth of my last baby. I am undeniably filled with emotion.

The joy I have in my heart is indescribable. Of course being the sentimental person that I am, I am also experiencing the bittersweet feeling of time passing too quickly. I often wondered about this day- how would I feel/handle our last baby reaching this milestone. I pictured me crying over old pictures and holding the girls tightly to relieve my nostalgia-induced meltdown, but now that I am here, it’s true, I am overwhelmed by emotion, but just not the ones I foresaw.

DSC_2301 (1)

I am grateful. Grateful that I have two healthy children. It’s not a blessing I take lightly and holding onto this is what makes all the other stuff seem small.

I am happy. Kaitlyn has brought so much laughter to our family already. She is small and feisty, full of spunk and adventure. She’s cuddly and loving but keeps on our toes. She is going to be a force to be reckoned with. Watching she and her sister interact and bond brings me more happiness than I ever would have thought.

I am excited. This emotion has surprised me the most. I thought I’d spend today looking back, but instead I am looking forward. A new chapter is opening up for our family, as we are over what I loving refer to as ‘the baby hump.’ And though I will feel a small ache inside when I see so many of my beautiful friends welcome their new babies into the world, I am ready. I’m ready to welcome more adventures, more learning, and deeper bonding.

I’ve learned over the past few years that you can never really hold onto a moment. No matter how many pictures you snap or videos you take, you’ll never be able to relive that exact moment and feeling again. So it’s best to follow the old adage and just live in it, soak it up and keep rolling. Instead of dwelling on the fact that life moves on, I want to embrace it and remember how fortunate I am to have a first row seat to watching these two incredible girls grow.

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you have some cake coming your way this weekend too 😉

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3-Bite Cherry Almond Dark Chocolate Clusters http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/3-bite-cherry-almond-dark-chocolate-clusters/ http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/3-bite-cherry-almond-dark-chocolate-clusters/#comments Thu, 14 May 2015 10:36:25 +0000 http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/?p=26461 This post is brought to you by a Healthy Slice sponsor. Alternatively titled, A Tale of Two Nap Schedules, but that’s not quite as catchy. We are in an interesting phase with sleep right now with the girls. Hailey, 3 1/2 years old, has always loved sleep as much as her mama. She still goes […]

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This post is brought to you by a Healthy Slice sponsor.

Alternatively titled, A Tale of Two Nap Schedules, but that’s not quite as catchy.

We are in an interesting phase with sleep right now with the girls. Hailey, 3 1/2 years old, has always loved sleep as much as her mama. She still goes to bed at 7pm and I get her out of bed at 8am in the morning. To those throwing your second cup of morning coffee at your computer screen, I get it and yes, I completely know how wonderfully lucky that is! 

cherry almond dark chocolate bites- chocolate almonds

I often get asked how long she naps for, and that’s the “fun” part. It’s all over the place. We’ve gone a few days in a row without naps, which has resulted in meltdowns that prove to me that she isn’t quite ready to give them up altogether, but she definitely doesn’t need one every day. I love when she doesn’t nap because at 7pm she crashes hard and usually gets a great night of sleep. However, some days she needs a nap and when she does, she still naps well, usually about 2.5 hours, but then doesn’t fall asleep until closer to 9pm which leads to a less solid night’s sleep. Le sigh, the trials and tribulations of threenagers.

cherry almond dark chocolate bites- blue diamond roasted sea salt almonds

Then there is sweet baby K (2 days away from being 1, but my sappy heart will call her 11 months until 2:04pm on the May 16th). She’s having fun bouncing around between needing 1 or 2 naps a day. Ideally if she takes a 40 minute morning nap, she’ll be ready for a second nap (1.5 hours long) in the afternoon and still ready for bed at 7pm. However, she can hold off all morning, so often times she is crashing around 1pm for 2 hours or so, which leaves me wondering on those days if she’s getting enough overall sleep for her age?

cherry almond dark chocolate bites- silicone cups

For those that aren’t parents, do not fear. This also feels like a train A left the station at 6:28am going 72 mph math question from hell to me too. With only one obvious answer.

cherry almond dark chocolate bites- delicious

Chocolate.

cherry almond dark chocolate bites- dark chocolate

Dark chocolate.

cherry almond dark chocolate bites- melted

Yes, there is no obvious nap time solution so instead we have been bouncing through our days, one unpredictable hour at a time. I give motherhood an A+ for teaching me let go of my rigidly scheduled ways. Except for 7pm bedtimes. That one sticks.

cherry almond dark chocolate bites-  chopped

Because of the chaos, I relish in the sacred overlapping nap times (when they happen). That’s when I get some time to get things done and tear through the house like a hurricane of productiveness, but only after I take 5 minutes to kick my feet up, take a deep breath and indulge in one of these.

cherry almond dark chocolate bites- close up

Treat yo self.

cherry almond dark chocolate bites- delicious break

These little dark chocolate clusters with Blue Diamond’s Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt almonds with dried cherries hit the spot. The three bites is essential because it is so much more satisfying than those one-bite Dove chocolates (you know the women in the commercials must be nibbling because I can pop one of those suckers in like it ain’t no thing), yet it keeps portion control in check.

Plus between using dark chocolate and almonds, it’s basically health food. Take that, green smoothie.

3-Bite Cherry Almond Dark Chocolate Clusters
 
Author:
Serves: 18 clusters
Prep time:
Total time:
 
These rich, three-bite clusters are a perfect way to treat yourself without going overboard. The combination of dark chocolate with tart cherries and crunch of the almonds creates a satisfying combo that is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth!
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces dark chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup Blue Diamond Sea Salt Almonds
  • 1 cup Blue Diamond Dark Chocolate Almonds
  • 1 cup dried cherries
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, combine the Blue Diamond Sea Salt Almonds and the dried cherries. Pulse 4-5 times until roughly chopped.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large, microwavable glass bowl, combine the dark chocolate chips and the coconut oil. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, then take out a stir. Continue this until the chocolate is completely melted (about 4-5 cycles).
  3. Combine the melted chocolate with the almond and cherry mix, and the dark chocolate almonds. Mix well.
  4. Spoon mixture into 18 silicone baking cups (or use parchment paper).
  5. Place in fridge for 1-2 hours until solid, then store at room temperature or the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Women, weigh in! How do you treat yo self when you deserve a 5 minute breather?

This post in sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds.

 

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A ‘Why’ That Makes You Cry http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/the-why-that-makes-you-cry/ http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/the-why-that-makes-you-cry/#comments Wed, 13 May 2015 11:02:47 +0000 http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/?p=26455 Diary entry time! I find myself saying this more often than not, but life just seems to be moving at hyper-speed lately. I’ve had what I feel is a very productive week, yet I still have plenty of things lined up to accomplish. I’m not overwhelmed, but certainly filled to the brim. Yesterday I messaged […]

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Diary entry time!

I find myself saying this more often than not, but life just seems to be moving at hyper-speed lately. I’ve had what I feel is a very productive week, yet I still have plenty of things lined up to accomplish. I’m not overwhelmed, but certainly filled to the brim. Yesterday I messaged David during my moment of nap time silence with ‘this is all leading to something, right?’

Not but a few seconds later I received back a longer, more detailed version of Absolutely.

That was all I needed to rev my engine back up and keep on trucking. David and I have big plans for our family’s future (ah, vague blogging at its best). We talk about our goals often and enjoy discussing strategy on how to reach them. To take Dave Ramsey’s words, we want to live like no one else so later we can live like no one else.

dave ramsey quote

For those that aren’t Dave regulars, the translation is that if you’re willing to do the tough work that most people won’t, then down the line you will be able to live like most people can’t.

The stage we’re in right now means a lot of long days on both our parts. Between us, it means early mornings, late nights, and working hard in between. Honestly, it doesn’t leave a lot of time for much else, yet we both keep grinding. Though I’d say we are both naturally self-motivated people in our own ways, what really keeps our wheels turning is our collective WHY.

I’m finding that having a ‘why’ that makes you cry is the key to success in anything you want in life. If you have a purpose that you feel so passionately about that it brings you to tears, then you will be successful in your ventures that align with it. Most of these big goals are marathons, not sprints, so having a cause that you’re working for or towards will give you the stamina you need to make it.

quote

The above quote is usually read in a negative sense, eliciting the desire to change, but it can also be read in a positive light. If you’re doing good stuff, keep it up and you’ll keep getting good stuff from it!

Remembering my why is what keeps me positive and focused on even the longest days when I’m ready to throw in the towel.

…when I have lost all patience with three-year-old tantrums, I refocus on parenting with patience because I want my girls to grow up to be kind and knowing how to handle their emotions.

…when I want to order pizza every night for the entire week, I remind myself that what I put into my body directly results in how I feel and my overall health.

…when I take a couple days off of working out and debate whether the sweating is worth my time, I remember that I’m not exercising to be a certain jean size, but for my health and longevity to be there to run, play and dance at life’s events for years (and years and years) to come.

…when I am tempted to say screw it and buy a whole new wardrobe and shoes, I go over our family’s financial goals and reevaluate where I’d really rather spend the money.

This isn’t to say my actions always align with my why. I’m human. There are certainly days I slack off and just chill, but usually the WHY picks me up, dusts me off and puts me on my way again.

Though I’m in no rush for time to pass quickly, I’m excited for the family goals we have and am willing to work my tail off to get there. I am enjoying the process (do we just call that life?) of working towards our goals, learning, trying new ventures and seeing what sticks. Underneath it all, the WHY keeps propelling me forward and keeping me engaged and excited.

Do you feel passionately about the goals you are working to achieve?

What is your why? What is a big goal that you are really striving to achieve? 

What would hitting that goal mean to you? How would it change your life?

 

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Keeping Eating Healthy Fun with One Simple Tip http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/keeping-eating-healthy-fun-with-one-simple-tip/ http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/keeping-eating-healthy-fun-with-one-simple-tip/#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 10:27:50 +0000 http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/?p=26442 Do you feel like your grocery list is practically the same every week? I know mine will always include bananas, grape tomatoes, yogurt, carrots, salad greens, sweet potatoes and almond milk. Every single week. It’s good stuff so and all, but my goodness can it lead to some food ruts. However, lately I’ve enlisted this […]

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Do you feel like your grocery list is practically the same every week? I know mine will always include bananas, grape tomatoes, yogurt, carrots, salad greens, sweet potatoes and almond milk. Every single week. It’s good stuff so and all, but my goodness can it lead to some food ruts.

However, lately I’ve enlisted this little tip that have kept things far more interesting.

Buy One New Fun Healthy Food Every Week.

I know, I know. I’ll wait for you to recover from having your mind blown.

You know those items that pique your interest but you never buy? Those! I can’t tell you how often I skip over some of the fun items I see in order to stick to a budget, but I’ve found that for the price of a fancy-schmancy coffee that I can often add one ‘out-there’ item into my cart and I’ve been amazed at the difference it makes in my meal time fun. My my, the things that excite me.

Por ejemplo…

lila's garden microgreensMicrogreens. I’ve seen these all over the menus of some of my favorite heath-focused restaurants but never buy them myself because of the $5 price tag. Isn’t it funny how much $5 seems in the grocery store, but not when you are at Starbucks?

I picked some of these up from Whole Foods and was pleasantly surprised at how long they lasted, how delicious they were and how much I enjoyed tossing something new into my salads.

salmon burger saladPlus it made my lunchtime feel fancy, despite the shrieks and food throwing that occurs regularly at the kids’ table.

I love vendor set up days at grocery stores because it’s often when I discover new products, like these Giggle Bites.

giggle bitesThey are in the frozen section and great for puree-lovers, but since we took the baby led weaning route, I use them alternatively as an add-in to mix into sauces or smoothies.

I’ve also picked up garlic dill pickle sauerkraut, which is fantastic, and experimented with fancy bulk salts. Sometimes it’s as simple as switching up my carb of choice.

lundberg riceor a new spice blend.

Though I’m tempted to go all out and buy ALL THE NEW PRODUCTS, I know the staples serve us well and one new item a week keeps things interesting and tasty without breaking the bank.

mahi dinnerHow often do you buy new/outside your norm foods/products?

Have you tried anything you love lately?

How do you keep healthy eating interesting?

 

 

 

 

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Family Camping Trip in South Carolina http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/family-camping-trip-in-south-carolina/ http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/family-camping-trip-in-south-carolina/#comments Mon, 11 May 2015 10:28:44 +0000 http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/?p=26424 We’ve been playing with the idea of camping for a while now. David and I loved camping, but like a lot of activities, young kids can make simple events much more involved (and magical, but yes, challenging). Lucky for us, the stars aligned to create an ideal toe-dip into camping. Saturday morning we packed up and drove […]

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We’ve been playing with the idea of camping for a while now. David and I loved camping, but like a lot of activities, young kids can make simple events much more involved (and magical, but yes, challenging). Lucky for us, the stars aligned to create an ideal toe-dip into camping.

2015-05-09 09.44.58

Saturday morning we packed up and drove down to Lake Keowee in South Carolina. We promised Koda she’d love it; poor pup hates the car.

Mema and Grandpa are in the process of moving that way and between the temperature (80 during the day and about 67 at night) and the location, conditions were ideal. The entire day was packed full of fun. Kaitlyn took her first dip in a swimming pool (LOVED it) and her first ride on a boat.

2015-05-09 16.19.05Lake Keowee is unique because it’s in the foothills, making it a gorgeous place to cruise around and see the mountains. However, with kids 3 and under, we just made sure we had plenty of snacks and other boats to wave to, then crossed our fingers and waited to see how long they’d last.

2015-05-09 17.03.00In the afternoon we took to setting up the tent and Hailey was giddy with excitement, wanting to help with every step along the way.

2015-05-09 18.42.21

We debated about Kaitlyn, but decided she’d be best inside in a pack and play instead of in the tent for this first go at it. She still was able to soak up plenty of the outdoor fun, as did Koda.

2015-05-09 15.24.16The girls stuck their toes in the lake, went for nature walks and took some time to swing.

2015-05-09 19.02.30We weren’t sure how we’d handle bed time and had intentions of letting Hailey hang out with the adults until later, but she was so excited about being in the tent that we set her up with books, a flashlight and a sleeping bag around 8:00 pm and she crawled right in. We kept checking on her throughout the evening and she stayed happy as a clam in the tent, eventually falling asleep around 9:30ish.

2015-05-09 20.15.28With this set up, the adults got to enjoy a nice meal and conversation.

2015-05-09 20.16.03I know what you’re thinking— you call this camping?! But yes, we slept in a tent, so yes, camping (winky face).

Hailey didn’t budge when David, Koda and I all piled in the tent later that night. It was at 6:15, with the morning sun, when Hailey stirred and crawled right in between David and me for some snuggles, still excited from our ‘epic’ adventure of sleeping outside.

2015-05-10 06.40.15Kaitlyn was up not long after that and breakfast commenced, followed by another boat ride.

2015-05-10 08.16.09Thanks to the help and hospitality of Mema and Grandma, it was a wonderful inaugural camping trip! Seeing how much Hailey loved the tent convinced me that we will soon be able to go into the wilderness for real, or at least to an approved camping spot in a state park. Perhaps this fall?

We headed home in the afternoon and ended the day with a sweet message

2015-05-10 19.08.32

and some cedar wrapped salmon.

2015-05-10 19.29.09

A lovely weekend.

Are you a fan of camping?

Where is your favorite camping spot?

What age is a great age to start camping in your opinion?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday Fluff http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/friday-fluff/ http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/friday-fluff/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 10:53:00 +0000 http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/?p=26413 Happy Friday! It’s been a full and fun week over here. The Mother’s Day Tea at Hailey’s school went above and beyond my expectations. The kids sang songs, gave us a special gift, showed us pictures of us they had drawn, and perhaps my favorite- had the kids answer a couple of questions. Can I […]

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Happy Friday! It’s been a full and fun week over here. The Mother’s Day Tea at Hailey’s school went above and beyond my expectations.

DSC04431

The kids sang songs, gave us a special gift, showed us pictures of us they had drawn, and perhaps my favorite- had the kids answer a couple of questions.

DSC04429Can I tell you how happy I am that Hailey didn’t fill in that favorite food space with wine?!

I also helped host a Spring into Health event this week with my friends Brooke and Cheryl.

DSC04467Though public speaking isn’t natural for me (about 20 people in attendance makes that public speaking in my eyes!), it is always energizing to get in a room full of women that are passionate about health.

In other news, renovations are still in full swing. Sick of me talking about it yet? The tiling is done and grouting is happening today. We are doing a couple of things to our deck too, so basically it’s a revolving door of people in our house and Koda may go hoarse from the excitement. Me? I’ve jumped on the ‘if you can’t beat them, join them” bandwagon and let the girls join in on the mayhem.

DSC04480Pillow forts remind me of my childhood. Good for the soul.

Can I tell you what an incredible success the TV tokens have turned out to be? It’s eliminated the incessant asking and when they are gone, she can see and accept it. It’s lead to much more enjoyable afternoons and both girls have really big on wanting to help with cooking dinner lately. Hailey has woken up from nap asking if we can get out the ‘green ants’ immediately. It took me 5 minutes of questioning to realize she was saying INGREDIENTS.

DSC04509That’s the latest from around these parts. Here are a few posts I’ve read that I enjoyed lately too.

On Being a Boy Mom by Molly – obviously I can’t relate but still found this to be such a sweet post!

Why I’m Jealous of Old People by Katie – I just love Katie’s blog. So real and often makes me giggle.

Homeschooling: Why I’m Enamored by Katie – My intrigue with the idea continues…

Read anything you’ve loved lately?

Share it with me and have a fabulous Friday!

And a special virtual hug to all the wonderful moms I know, including you guys, friends and family! Especially my own mom, David’s mom and my Nannie and Grandma Betty. Moms are the glue of our family and I SO appreciate you all! Happy Mother’s Day weekend!

 

 

 

 

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