Tag: family

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Bread

The Best Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Over Memorial Day weekend I decided to tackle a gardening project last minute.  I DO NOT have a green thumb whatsoever, so I didn’t expect much.  Well about a month later as I was watering the garden I noticed four giant zucchini were ready.. with a few more flowering.  This past month I’ve been on the hunt to find all the best zucchini recipes, but they have to be toddler approved!  I came across chocolate zucchini bread.  It’s a simple recipe that is easy to make, and you can even bake them in little muffin tins instead of a loaf.  What I like about this recipe is it uses whole wheat flour, unsweetened almond milk, ripe bananas, and of course chocolate chips!

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link*

Ingredients

    • 1 1/4 whole wheat flour
    • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
    • 1/3 cup honey or agave
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1 egg
    • 1 cup shredded zucchini
    • 1 mashed ripe banana
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
    • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

 

 

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray nonstick cooking spray on the bottom and all around the sides of your loaf pan (or muffin liners if you are going that route).
  • Shred your zucchini and squeeze out excess water with a towel or paper towel.
  • In a medium bowl whisk whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.
  • In a larger bowl add melted coconut oil, egg, honey, vanilla, almond milk and whisk until well combined.  Fold in zucchini, mashed banana, and chocolate chips.
  • Slowly combine dry ingredients into the wet bowl.
  • Spread into greased bread pan or muffin liners.
  • Bake 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

 

 

 

Tips

  • When baking try using mashed banana or applesauce in place of oils.
  • Honey isn’t a refined sugar and keeps the bread nice and soft.  Agave nectar and coconut sugar are another great substitute.
  • Shredded zucchini gets veggies into your little ones without them realizing it.  It also helps keep the bread moist.
  • Replace white flour with whole wheat in order to add up to 10g heart healthy fiber.

 

 

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Simple BBQ Chicken & Veggies With Rice

Easy BBQ Chicken & Veggies With Rice

This is an easy dinner your family will love.  Once again I didn’t want to spend all evening after work cooking a meal.  I pulled out some veggies from the fridge, chicken tenders, and brown rice.  Prep and cook time was about 30 minutes give or take and this meal was definitely a dinner win!  Toddler and husband gobbled it up.  What I love most about this recipe is that you can really tailor it to your liking.  If your family isn’t feeling bbq sauce, switch it up with sweet and sour or even balsamic vinegar.  No one likes broccoli?  Try roasting carrots.  What makes this dish the best is the frozen brown rice I picked up from Trader Joes.  All you have to do is pop the bag into the microwave for about 90 seconds. It’s seriously so good!   This is an easy dinner for any day of the week!

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link*

BBQ Chicken & Veggies With Rice

  • 1 Package Chicken tenders or breasts
  • Trader Joes Brown Rice
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tsp Garlic powder
  • 2 Tsp Olive Oil
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce

Step 1: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Start to marinate the chicken.  Fill a ziploc bag with your favorite BBQ sauce, about a cup or so.  Add the chicken and play around with it until the tenders are evenly coated.  Place ziploc bag in a safe area of your refrigerator.

Step 2: Prep the veggies.  Once washed and cut, toss veggies in olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste, and about 1 Tsp of garlic powder (or more if you love garlic!).  Place on a baking sheet and put in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Step 3: While the veggies are roasting, take your chicken out of the refrigerator and begin cooking on a grill pan.  Grill 3-5 minutes per side (or more depending on the thickness of your chicken).  While grilling, check on your roasted veggies.  At the end of 15 minutes take a spatula and flip veggies over and return back to the oven for remaining 15 minutes.

Remove Trader Joes brown rice from your freezer and microwave 90 seconds.  At this point your veggies and chicken will be done.  Serve up on a plate and enjoy!

Let me know if your family tried this easy dinner and what they thought of it!  Also please let me know if you used different variations.. I’m always looking for new things to try.

If you’re meal prepping, don’t forget to check out my Healthy and Fit Guide for a free meal prep printable and other freebies!

 

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How To Survive Your First Deployment

Things I Wish I Did During My Spouse’s Deployment

I remember this day like it was last week.  I got home from work one night to find my husband in the living room and by the look on his face I knew something was up.  He told me he would be deploying on June 2, 2015.  I was shocked.  I shouldn’t have been, since there were looming rumors, but I was completely speechless.  I had just gone back to work only a few months earlier after 12 weeks of maternity leave.  How would I take care of an infant by myself for a year, among other things?  All of my close family lived a few states away.  I went into survival mode in order to survive while he was on deployment.

The morning of June 2 arrived quickly and I packed my infant into the car and drove my husband to the airport.  We didn’t realize we could get gate passes to walk him in, so at the time I dropped him off at departures.  He gave me a kiss, gave our baby daughter a kiss, and he was off.  I sobbed the entire car ride home.  Probably not the safest way to drive, but I had to let it out.  I felt so empty and didn’t know how I was going to take care of things by myself for an entire year.  I didn’t expect I would be so emotional.  Here are the top 5 things I wish I knew, and wish I could go back and do..

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link*

 

 

#1 Move Back Home

If I could go back in time I would tell myself it would benefit myself and my daughter if we moved back home.  I came across many instances where I just needed love and family around me.  If my daughter got sick, or if I was just extremely exhausted from night time baby duties and then working a full time job.. having family nearby to help would have been amazing.  I could have always found a job back home, or even found a way to take a year off.

#2 This Is Only Temporary

Knowing my situation was only temporary helped me through my hardest days.  I would see my husband again.  I wouldn’t be a single mom forever.  I would have help again when it came to doing yard work, taking care of the baby and the pets.  When I felt overwhelming stress and defeat, I would remind myself my situation was only temporary.

#3 Accept Help

Take any help people offer you.  I have a hard time accepting help from others.  If I could go back I would take up my neighbor on babysitting, and let a church member do my yard work.  At the time I felt I needed to prove I was okay and that I could do everything by myself.  It helps the time pass.  If people want to help, let them help 🙂 it will be good for your sanity.  Try not to isolate yourself from friends and family.  If you get invited to lunch, show up!  Don’t convince yourself you aren’t up to it.

#4 Self care

Self care is extremely important!  Find a hobby, read a book, start a work out routine.  Find a way to schedule some time for yourself.  I rarely did this.. and if I could go back in time I would tell myself its vital that you get some time.  I worked full time and was very stressed.  I felt bad about having to drop my daughter off at daycare when she was so young.  So when I wasn’t working I would spend every last minute with her, trying to make up for missed time while I was at work.  My life became all work, and all baby work 🙂 if you know what I mean.  I wish I would have at least set some time aside at bed time to read a book or listen to some music.

Check out my guide to staying healthy & fit.  Staying healthy and active really matters during this time.

#5 Don’t Freak Out

Try not to freak out if something goes wrong.  Something will always happen!  A week after my husband left, our AC started having issues.  A few months in, a huge tree in the yard fell over.  My daughter would get sick, I would get sick.  Don’t let these things get your down.  Keep your head up and stay positive.

 

These are my top 5 tips for any first timers out there 🙂 if you’ve been through a deployment and have any tips, please share!  We need all the help we can get 🙂

 

 

 

 

 



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