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Thursday, August 9, 2018

Vitaminwater Active

I received free samples and coupons as part of a MyMagazine Sharing campaign for Vitaminwater Active. The thoughts and opinions expressed below are my own. 

When I first saw the Vitaminwater Active samples and coupons, my first thought was my husband because he is a construction worker and we go through tons of gatorade. So. Much. Gatorade. I let him try the first bottle after work one day. He had the orange mango flavor.


He really liked it, so we went back to try other flavors.


My daughter is six months old, but let's be honest.....I'm not back into my workout routine yet. But, I do drink Body Armor a few days a week to help with staying hydrated because, well, breastfeeding. There are those that swear by blue gatorade or red body armor, or standing on your head while drinking cucumber infused water.....it goes on and on. It comes down to hydration though. I drank the strawberry black cherry variety and it is delicious! The lemon was ok - probably not ever going to be my pick.

Now, my pump bag looks something like this when we're out and about:


During my IVF process, I was considered "high risk" for ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome. One of the nurses told me that if I drank electrolyte beverages along with a high protein diet before and during that whole process, I could alleviate some of the worst symptoms. So last year, I spent nearly three months living on vitaminwater - as in at least three of them a day. And I liked those a lot, but the strawberry vitaminwater active is my new favorite! I still ended up with OHS last year, but even though my ovaries were so big they were touching (OUCH!!!!) I was able to avoid hospitalization and draining of fluid. Obviously, we can't be certain the vitaminwater kept me out of the hospital, but I do think it absolutely helped to balance the electrolytes in my body.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Team Sweet Trail Mix

As part of the MyMagazine Sharing Network, I sometimes receive coupons and/or free product to try from Kroger stores. I recently received a box with a bag of pretzels and a tin of almonds, along with lots of coupons for items to make trail mix. It also came with a challenge: pick your side (sweet or savory) and create a trail mix recipe featuring the Kroger brand ingredients!

The timing on this was perfect as it coincided with a cookout we were hosting on Memorial Day weekend. Picking a side was easy - obviously sweet!

In a bowl, I mixed together:

Pretzels (I had to use gluten free ones because most pretzels contain soybean oil which my daughter can't have and for some reason the only ones that didn't were gluten free)
Marshmallows (Kroger brand)
Peanuts (not Kroger brand because they have soy protein added to them. I have no idea why, but it was very disappointing to see)
Banana chips (broken into pieces)
Raisins
Dairy/Soy free Chocolate Chips
Almonds (Kroger brand - which I received for free)



The trail mix was a huge hit. Half of it was gone before I could snap a pic! It was a great salty/sweet combo and it was all dairy and soy free, which was a bonus for me!


I received free products from MyMagazine Sharing Network and coupons for some of the products mentioned above. The opinions are my own. 

Friday, June 1, 2018

Ripple Pea Protein Milk


Shortly after my daughter was born, we found out she has milk and soy protein intolerance. What does that mean? She can't digest milk and soy proteins, such as whey and casein. I'll spare you the details, but the poor kid was in so much pain until we figured it out. For me, since I'm breastfeeding, I can't have anything with dairy or soy in it because the proteins pass along to her. Fun times. We didn't figure it out until she was a month old, so those first few weeks were ROUGH for all of us. But once we had a diagnosis, we had a game plan going forward. I made the choice to breastfeed so that means I have to watch everything I eat. Let me tell you, dairy and soy are in everything. I have to read labels constantly because things like peanuts can have soy protein in them. Why???? I have no idea. But that was the one time I didn't read a label and we paid for it.

In the beginning, I experimented with lots of different non-dairy "milks". I found that I like different varieties for different purposes. The nut based milks are fairly common so they were my first tries. When I saw the pea protein milk, I was skeptical. I like peas, but I wasn't sure that I wanted to drink them. I started off with the original unsweetened variety. It was not my favorite to drink, but it is definitely my choice to make mashed potatoes with.

Then I tried the chocolate. O.M.G. It tastes like a melted Frosty. For me, it's a bit too sweet to drink straight, so I often dilute it with some unsweetened.


Another thing I like to do with the chocolate is make smoothies. This recipe promotes lactation, but is safe for everyone :)

In the blender, combine:

1 c Ripple Pea Protein Chocolate Milk
1/2 c raspberries
1/3 c oats
1 Tablespoon Flaxseed
1/2 Tablespoon sunflower lecithin (optional)


Blend well until combined. 


Toss in some ice cubes and blend a few more seconds





I received free Ripple Pea Protein Milk from MyMagazine Sharing Network. The opinions expressed above are my own. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Fresh Side of Private Selection

A while back, I received an email from MyMagazine Sharing Network and I decided to join. I shop at Kroger on a semi regular basis, so it seemed like a good fit - and I do like free/discounted stuff! Speaking of free stuff....disclaimer: I received free promotional items and coupons for items I purchased at Kroger. Related to the Private Selection produce that this post is about, I received an apron, a veggie spiralizer and several coupons for produce.

The first mission I participated in is "The Fresh Side of Private Selection". We're go through lots of produce, so I knew this would be an easy one for us. The first item we purchased was the artisan lettuce. We go through a ton of lettuce (and I do not like iceberg) so we were able to use this in a few ways:


We eat salads a few nights a week, so this was an easy start. The oak lettuce was our favorite. 



We also used the lettuce on our sandwiches. The oak is still my favorite! 



We also purchased the mushroom mix, which was perfect in our veggie fajitas


Other items we purchased include tomatoes, cucumbers, and potatoes. 

The only downside to the Private Selection produce is the quality varies so much between stores. The store closest to me doesn't have the best selection, so if I want produce that will last more than two days in my refrigerator, I have to go to another store slightly further away. But that's true for all of their produce, not just the Private Selection.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Egg Rolls in the NuWave Oven

I love re-purposing leftovers. Especially if I can do so without anyone realizing they are leftovers. So when I had about a pound of ground pork already cooked and little bits of veggies in the fridge, it seemed like the best thing to do would be to mix it all together and wrap it up. And because I'm a big fan of texture, I wanted to get the egg rolls crunchy all the way around without frying them. The NuWave was going to be my friend again.




Start out by heating up the filling. This was great because the meat was already cooked and I had some of the veggies already cut, so minimal prep was needed. And the filling can vary by what you have on hand. I seasoned it all with a bit of salt and some crushed red pepper.




Then make the egg rolls. Some are prettier than others. It's ok. By the time I was done, I had mastered the egg roll fold.




After 9 or so minutes, egg rolls were ready to flip. Cook on the other side and they are ready to go!





Monday, March 21, 2016

Italian Chicken and Brussels Sprouts in the NuWave Oven

I like kitchen gadgets. A lot. Maybe one of my favorite gadgets is my NuWave Oven. At first, I thought it was another one of those infomercial "as seen on TV" schemes. I mean really, cooking meat from frozen in 25 minutes using infrared technology that produces juicy meat with crispy skin that uses 85% less energy? What kind or sorcery is this? But seriously....it works. Ok, maybe their claims are slightly exaggerated. But not by near as much as you'd think. I find myself using the NuWave about once a week or so. And no, NuWave isn't paying me to write this...nor do they even know about it. This is all me here.

I was kind of surprised by the lack of NuWave tested recipes out there. Maybe it's not so popular with the food bloggers? Well, it should be. My 17 year old step son cooks dinner one night a week at our house and about 90% of the time he reaches for the NuWave. In fact, he got his very own for Christmas...and was super excited about it. He loves it because he can make a great dinner for all of us without standing over the food in the kitchen. To give him credit here, he was the one who discovered the deliciousness of cooking brussels sprouts in the NuWave.

Start out by placing halved brussels sprouts in the bottom tray, mixing in 1-2 tablespoons bacon grease


Add the rack and place chicken thighs on rack. Season with Italian Seasoning, garlic and salt


Put the dome on and set the cook time for 15 minutes. Flip chicken over, give the brussels sprouts a stir, and set the timer for 15 minutes again.



Finish everything off with some cracked pepper. It's really important you don't add pepper before cooking because it will burn and make your food taste funny.

Now I'm sure the NuWave folks weren't intending on cooking the veggies in bacon grease AND the drippings from the chicken above. That may even fly in the face of their nutritional claims, but I don't mind. I gave up all grains and refined sugar. I'm keeping my fats. All the fats.

Ingredients:

1 lb brussels sprouts
1-2 tablespoons bacon grease (optional, but who doesn't want bacon grease??)
chicken thighs (thawed)
Italian Seasoning
Salt and Pepper

Halve brussels sprouts and add to bottom tray of NuWave. Add the rack and place chicken thighs on rack. Season both side of chicken and turn the NuWave on for 15 minutes. Stir veggies and flip chicken over. Turn on for another 15 minutes (or until chicken is cooked through).


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Paleo Salmon Patties


I've tried to make salmon patties a couple of time lately without using breadcrumbs. It didn't always go well. But you know, carbs and junk. I'm still trying to stay away from the grains because it really seems to make a difference in so many ways. But every time I'd try different binders, they just wouldn't hold together. Until now. I finally have a paleo/primal friendly salmon patty that doesn't fall apart! And they are packed with flavor and even delicious reheated. 

Start by sauteeing some peppers, onions, and garlic in a bit of coconut oil. Then set that aside to cool. 



While that's cooling, mix together the salmon, eggs, and herbs. Then add in the cooled peppers and onions. 



Using a large scoop or measuring cup (1/4 to 1/3 c size), form the patties and dust each side in coconut flour. That's the secret to keeping these guys together. Cook about 4 minutes on each side in coconut oil. You should be able to easily flip them without falling apart. If they fall apart when you flip them, they need to cook longer. 





What you'll need:

1 medium onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 6 oz cans salmon, drained
2 eggs
2 tablespoons parsley
2 teaspoons dill
salt and pepper
coconut flour
coconut oil

Sautee onions, peppers and garlic in coconut oil until softened. Set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, mix together salmon, eggs, parsley, dill, salt and pepper. Mix in peppers and onions. Using a large scoop or a measuring cup to ensure uniform size, make patties and dust each side with coconut flour. Add patties to hot pan with 2 to 3 tablespoons coconut oil. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side, or until browned and outsides are set.