Friday I’m in Love- August 21st

Here’s what I’m in love with this week-

ONE

edible indy

Lately I have been unable to sit down long enough to read a book without falling asleep but a magazine is just perfect. A new friend introduced me to Edible Indy and I AM IN LOVE!  A local publication all about local food, whole nutrition and food artisans. Check to see if there is a Edible publication in your area.. And there’s a special for new subscriptions!

 

TWO

Have you read Mom News Daily?? A friend posted a link to one of their “articles” on Facebook. I have not laughed that hard in a long time! It’s a rabbit trail folks…you have been warned!

 

THREE

I am a Sweat Pink ambassador and I recently ordered some rocking pink shoe laces to share with my Junior Girl Scout troop. In package were some freebies including these Meal Enders. I was intrigued as I ALWAYS want something sweet when I’m done eating. This little mint/sweet treat was perfect. Have you checked them out?? The mocha is my favorite!

mealenders

FOUR

IMG_7743

Dream…dream big.

Dream a dream that scares you and run towards it

FIVE

My husband and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary last Friday with a great dinner at a local farm to table restaurant, The Loft (full review coming soon!). It was a great night and the entire time I kept thinking of the line from The Indigo Girls’ song Power of Two

“If we ever leave a legacy, it’s that we loved each other well.”

IMG_7372

Here’s to another decade of loving each other well!

 

 

Find what you are in love with this week and share!


Check out my Friday I’m in Love friends &

see what they are sharing today!

Kendra ~ Misha ~ Amanda

 Mary Beth ~ Laura ~ Jessica~ Tamieka

Ready to lace up, lift or lotus?

Getting started in a fitness regimen usually causes one of two reactions. Some of us plow full steam ahead with our planned exercise routine and don’t stop to listen to our bodies or recognize the importance of a rest day.  Other times we may have a great big plan to start tomorrow. Then tomorrow comes and we decide we will “for real” the next day. Days turn into weeks that turn into months. Our fitness regimen never takes flight.

Neither of these scenarios allows us to adopt a healthy life long relationship with fitness. Rather than sprinting from the start line or failing to even lace up, try starting with some small steps! Here are a couple of ideas to get you started.

ssocexercise

  1. Make a list of what you enjoy doing. There are so many avenues for fitness now. Whether you are looking to join a gym and participate in a variety of group fitness classes or lift weights. Or buy a pass to a yoga studio and perfect your downward dog. One of my 2015 fitness goals is to try a new sport and I’m looking into stand up paddle boarding. I have friends who love the calorie burn and community of Jazzercise or the solitude of early morning runs. One of the newest Beachbody programs is Cize, a dance program where you can learn choreography from Shaun T and get a great workout.
  2. Find a buddy…if that’s your thing! Personally, I prefer to run alone but Turbokick or spin with friends. Try out an accountability partner to keep you motivated. In the age of technology you don’t even need to live nearby. You can read all my thoughts on accountability partners herepartner
  3. Set a mini goal. Small obtainable goals will help to keep you motivated. If you are just starting out in your fitness journey, a good goal may be to walk around the block three days a week. Fitting those 30 minutes of exercise in seems like it should be easy but our schedules are packed, the days fly by and that half an hour can be lost if we don’t treat it as a non-negotiable.
  4. Buy some appropriate gear but don’t spend the bank! When it comes to fitness there are 2 must haves in my opinion- good shoes and a good bra. I would recommend having a professional fit you for both. But for the rest of your workout clothes, visit TJ Maxx, Marshalls or Old Navy for some cute outfits. I have even found some great running shorts at Goodwill!
    brooks

    My personal favorite running shoes- Brooks Ghost 8

    movingcomfort

    The best sports bra ever…Moving Comfort Juno

  5. Embrace the importance of rest.

If you have more questions about starting a fitness program, please contact me! I would love to help coach you through those first small steps of your journey!

Monday Meal Plan

This week I am hosting a free 5 day Clean Eating challenge group and I created a meal plan for the challengers to follow. These are super easy, family friendly meals that can be prepped with very little time. If you are interesting in joining in my group, you can find more information about it here!

Meal Plan

Monday:   Tacos, refried beans and salad

Tuesday: Chicken in a crock pot (I use this recipe from 100 Days of Real Food), brown rice and green beans

Wednesday: Baked white fish, roasted red potatoes and asparagus

Thursday: Pulled pork, cauliflower and sweet potatoes.

buffalocauliflower4

I may try these cauliflower bites to spice things up a bit!

Friday: Zucchini noodles, meat sauce and salad. Kids will have whole wheat pasta

Saturday: BLTs with corn on the cob

Lunch and Snack Idea

Homemade pizza rolls

Fruit and yogurt parfaits with homemade granola

Peppers and hummus

Chocolate chip, cranberry, almond and banana bars from A Piece of Cait.

bananabar

What is on your meal plan for this week? I’m always searching for great family friendly recipes!

Eat Local

This rainy Hoosier summer is coming to an end and there is not better time to support your local farmer, baker, chef than eating local. Recently I had a chance to chat with Kyle Becker of Becker Farms about how the “eating local” movement has impacted his business. His perspective was eye opening!

beckerlogo

The phrase “eat local” has become the new hot trend in a movement of consumers gaining greater awareness of the food we choose to serve to our families. Purchasing fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and eggs from a local farmers market or dining at a small local farm to table restaurant helps to lower our carbon footprint, support the family farm and keep money in our local economy. But Kyle shared how he has seen a dramatic decrease in the business his family does at the 3 local farmer’s markets over the past two years. “Look at the Earth Fare, Fresh Market, Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme that are on every corner. Those weren’t there 2 years ago.” We went on to discuss how large chain grocery stores can sell grass fed beef at less than $5 a pound by importing beef from areas of the world where cows can graze year round like Australia. But many consumers believe that buying that beef at the grocery store is eating local and Kyle has felt the effect on his business.

Kyle and I spent a good bit of time talking about the need to educate consumers about where their food comes from. How is it grown? What are living conditions where livestock are being raised? What types of pest control practices are used on their crops? Does free range mean animals can graze on open acres or they have access to a single door from a large crowded barn?  I can only speak from personal experience but trying to ask large chain grocery stores these questions proved nearly impossible! Much easier to have a one on one conversation with our local farmers.

Tips for Eating Local

  1. Start simple. Purchase some of your weekly groceries direct from a local farmer. The best selling items from Becker Farm are well loved favorites – whole chickens, bacon and hamburger or veggies such as asparagus in the spring or zucchini and beets in the summer. Start with a small step and decide to buy your meat and vegetables for one meal from a local farmer                                                                                                          marketscore

2. Learn the lingo. Organic, non gmo, cage free, humanely raised are splashed all over the packaging of many food products now. Educate yourself on what they mean. Not sure where to start? Visit a farmer’s market and ask! As I shared in my earlier farmer’s market post, most farmers are more than willing to take time and answer questions. This is their craft and they are passionate to share that with others.

certified humane     nongmo organiclogo

3. Host an eat local dinner party. My best friend, Annie, shared her amazing idea and it is brilliant! . Invite a group of friends over for a pitch in dinner. Ask each person to bring a dish to share the only caveat is that it must be local.  Ideas could be a dish prepared from local meats, vegetables from a backyard garden or a dessert from a local bakery. Adults could enjoy local wines or a frosty pint of local craft beer. I can picture a table full of beautiful locally grown food! When our country house is finished this will be top on my list of things to organize!

4. Plant a garden! Nothing more “local” than food you grow in your backyard!

5. Find local farm to table restaurants. Resources like Open Table or Edible Magazine can help you to find restaurants that support local farmers. I have my list of must visit restaurants that I will be sharing soon and I found most in the pages of Edible Indy!

For all of my local readers, Kyle and Emily Becker have an incredible opportunity available this coming weekend. They are hosting an open house at their farm in Mooreland, Indiana. You can find more information about the event here on their website. Our family went last year and it was an incredible experience for us all to see what true free range, humanely raised, local food looks like. My son was in his element! We will be there and hope to see some of you!!!

noah and kyle

Kyle showing Noah a chicken!

What would you bring to a “eat local” dinner party?

Share your favorite farm to table restaurant

Fast Feasts- Tacos!

As a busy mom, I’m always on the hunt for a well rounded meal that can be prepared in that little bit of time between dance practice and soccer or Brownies and date nights. Or in this case in between a Target run and Back to School Night (do you hear that choir of angels singing??)

My family loves tacos. It’s one of our go to weekly meals, easy to prepare and everyone can create their own masterpiece.  But for this meal I decided to switch it up. My good friend had told me about Beyond Beef substitute. I wasn’t sold. We have tried to incorporate more vegetarian meals through our month but the soy meat substitutes are not a hit with my family. But Diane assured me this was different!

beyondbeef2

The main ingredient in Beyond Beef is pea protein.  Who knew that peas were such a hidden source of protein? In fact, the vegan formulas of Shakeology use pea as the main protein. Anyways, back to tacos. Beyond Beef is gluten, soy and GMO free.  But what about taste??

For dinner, I heated through 2 packages of Beyond Beef with some homemade taco seasoning.

tacomeat

I sautéed some green peppers, onions, tomatillos and tomatoes ( both from garden!!) in olive oil.

veggies

 

Served with refried beans, baked tortilla scoops and avocado.  It was a meal in less than 20 minutes!

dinner

The verdict on the Beyond Beef?? Total hit! Definitely a super fast vegetarian meal that the kids cobbled down. Except for Cakers, my oldest daughter, who has a “thing” about meat. She has seen my passion about limited processed foods, buying local meat from farms we know and she was confused as to why I was buying meat in a bag from the frozen section of Target! Throughout dinner, she kept mentioning that this “bag meat” was “weird” and next time could I make regular tacos with Becker Farm meat.

Finally, after dinner I let the cat out of the bag (ha ha) and told the kids this was not real beef and instead a vegetarian option. No one cared except for Cakers who was relieved!

What are your favorite family friendly meals that are easy to prepare and help you to avoid the drive through?

Saturday I’m in Love- State Fair Edition

All of my “people” know how much I LOVE the Indiana State Fair. Before moving to the burbs several years ago, we lived within walking distance of the fairgrounds and we would visit 7 or 8 times during the fair’s two week run.  While the Midway and the deep fried corn are the draw for some, I love the Fair for an entirely different set of experiences!

Here’s what I’m in love with at the fair this year-

ONE

Every year a theme is chosen for the State Fair. The year of the cow, corn, soybean, etc. This year was the Year of the Farmer. While many of the exhibits focused on large corporate farms where thousands of acres of monocrops are planted, there were several exhibits that featured small family farms. Beck’s is sponsoring a “Why I Farm” campaign and you can download this song for free!

TWO

Where else can you see an entire Lego farm? The construction of this masterpiece took four months and my daughter ripped out some of the hay within 30 seconds….

image1(2)

THREE

Our school district is one of the top schools in the state of Indiana. My children have had amazing teachers, support staff and administration. When we moved to the burbs we chose to buy a house in this specific district. But the food served to our children in the cafeteria is horrendous. Overpriced, overprocessed and lacking any real nutritional value. But at the fair I met John Barnes who introduced me to the USDA’s initiative, Farm to School. Look out Westfield….

IMG_7697

FOUR

I almost always limit the number of rides the kids are allowed to go on at the Midway.  There are so many other things to see at the fair from the live animals to the 4H exhibits to a dairy farm cheese sculpture but this year Mama broke the bank and bought the unlimited ride bracelets. Seeing sweet Vivi on her first “fast ride” was worth every penny.

 

The big kids enjoyed some Midway thrills as well!

 IMG_5054 IMG_7659

FIVE

What better way to top off your day at the fair then to send your kids home with your husband, meet up with some girlfriends and take in a free Indigo Girls concert?

 IMG_9578

 

 BONUS Fair Shots!

 image1(1)IMG_4057IMG_7695 image2(2) image1(3)

 image3(1)

Find what you are in love with this week and share!


Check out my Friday I’m in Love friends &

see what they are sharing today!

Kendra ~ Misha ~ Amanda

 Mary Beth ~ Laura ~ Jessica~ Tamieka

Dreaming in Small Steps

When I started out writing this blog I wasn’t sure if anyone would even read it! I’m so thankful for those of you who take time out of their day to read my little corner of the world wide interweb. This blog has become a launching pad for my dream. As a mother, I dream for my kids but rarely for myself. Slowly I’m taking those small steps towards a dream of becoming a coach, a teacher of whole nutrition, a “real” blogger.

So today is a HUGE step in my dream, my very first guest post! Nicole over at Forever Fit Mom was gracious enough to feature me on her Fit Mom Feature. Please go check it out and show Nicole (and me!!) some blogger love.

white

Thanks again!!!

Love, A