Habit-based nutrition

Blog

[RECIPE]: Curry Chicken Salad

[RECIPE]: Curry Chicken Salad

This week I prepped one of my favorite recipes: Curry Chicken Salad.   I’m in the final weeks of my 5-week Organic and Biochem lab and have to pack my lunches. I don’t want to worry about running to a microwave so I’m always opting […]

[RECIPE] Taco Tuesday: Taco Pizza

[RECIPE] Taco Tuesday: Taco Pizza

Tonight’s Taco Tuesday dinner was one of those “Gotta get it on the blog IMMEDIATELY” meals! I mean……just look at it……     Always looking for ways to spice up Taco Tuesday and tonight’s version – Taco Pizza – did not disappoint! This was SO […]

POOLSIDE MUST-HAVES: FitMark Meal Prep Bag

POOLSIDE MUST-HAVES: FitMark Meal Prep Bag

SUMMER IS HERE!! IT'S REALLY HERE!

 

Honestly, I'm partial to summer. I'm a July baby, my husband is a July baby, our dating anniversary is in July, and my second kiddo was born in July (I went into labor with him on the night of my birthday and he was born the next day!). It's also just the best time of year- 4th of July, grillin' and cookouts, fresh lemonade, the best fruit is in season, traveling and vacations, popsicles and ice cream, and spending the day at the pool!

 

Today I am sharing Part 1 of a 3-parter: My Poolside Must-Haves. It's Memorial Day weekend, so what better time than now to get yourself ready for those pool days so you can keep on track with your goals and stay fueled.

 

For Part 1 of my Poolside Must-Haves, I'm tying in a Product Review as well. This is a product I've been carrying around for a while now and I wanted to get some good use out of it before I gave it a proper product review. I already loved this product, but after our last pool trip, I realized this thing is worth it's weight in gold. SO what is this poolside must-have that I cannot live without?

 

A FitMark meal prep bag

 

 

The particular one I have is called The Shield and I have it in purple. But when I tell you I need all of these bags, I'm telling you I need ALL of them. I'm already eyeing the The Box and The Shield LG.

 

I previously had a cheapie meal prep bag I bought off Amazon and it did it's job for a while - until it didn't anymore. It really broke down quick! It also was a bit small for me and my needs. I knew there were more expensive options out there and I really narrowed it down to two companies and ultimately decided on the FitMark bag. NO. REGRETS.

 

At first I wondered if it was silly - did I even need a bag like this? I'm not a body builder. I'm just your average mom who likes to eat and get her fitness on. But I am busy and I DO like to have nutritious food options on hand so I'm not going HANGRY or worse - going through the drive-through when I don't need to be. This bag held my meals, snacks, and drinks all day while I was away at school this semester. It goes with us on zoo trips, weekend trips, even just day trips! I know when I start working a job outside of the house, it will be my best friend.

 

 

It came with two ice packs, three containers for food, and a divided supplement container (that is great for holding small snacks like nuts too!). It has pockets for silverware and napkins, side pockets for drinks or extra snacks, a back pocket (where I keep school papers and my phone), and a small front pocket where I store my keys and little odds and ends like chapstick. It's truly got everything you need!

 

Where this bag really shined for me lately was poolside. For my next Poolside Must-Have post I'll be sharing my favorite poolside snacks, but for now, let me just tell you, it held EVERYTHING for my family of 4 that we needed for the day and kept it all ice cold while sitting out in the blazing sun!

 

 

The one part of this bag that I wasn't totally sure of it's usefulness was the front zipper option where the front drops down and you can pull the containers out (instead of from the top). I hadn't really needed to use this option before but it came through so perfectly this past weekend!

 

I had packed cut up cheese and turkey to have on crackers and I didn't want to leave them sitting out in the sun to spoil while we ate. At first we were opening and closing the top part of the bag a million times to reach in and grab until I realized I could use the drop down part. Not only did it mean we could just reach in and grab as we needed without opening and closing, but it also kept the food completely shaded and COLD! Such a win. If you want to have food that needs to be kept cold at the pool this summer, you will LOVE having this feature. We also kept hummus in it so we could reach in and dip our veggies! Amazing!!

 

 

The strap on this bag is made from the same material as a seat belt so it's sturdy. This was another feature I didn't think mattered much until I realized my old bag was constantly slipping off my shoulder and when you're carrying kids, book bags, pool bags, anything - you really don't want something slipping and sliding around (especially food - hello mess!) or digging into your shoulder. The padding on the strap is so soft and keep the bags completely put - even as your hoisting a 3 year old up onto your hip.

 

The quality of this product is what truly wins out for me. I like to save money, therefore, I am willing to spend MORE if it means the product will LAST. I have no doubt with the quality this bag is made with that it will last me for years to come. Having had another bag to compare it to, I can tell you it FEELS different and is made with pure quality.

 

Having nutritious options around and not having to lug around a cooler that needs the ice changed and is heavy or a lunchbox that is too small to hold all of our food is going to make our pool days so much easier, help us save money, and help keep us eating healthy foods.

 

 

If you're looking for a meal prep bag to carry your meals to work, on trips, or to the beach or pool and you want something that will truly keep your food cold and will last you for years to come - you've got to check out the FitMark bags!

 

Here's a link to the bag I have:

https://fitmarkbags.com/meal-prep-bags/the-shield

 

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my Poolside Must-Haves where I will share my favorite poolside snacks!

 

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone!♥

Budget Hack: Make Your Own Dips/Dressings [with recipes]

Budget Hack: Make Your Own Dips/Dressings [with recipes]

If you’re anything like my family, we love a good dip or salad dressing.   I have a few favorite brands (Bolthouse Farms, Newman’s Own, and Simple Truth), but as often as we use them, the expense adds up FAST!   Making your own dressings […]

Product Review: Beanitos

Product Review: Beanitos

It’s been a while since I did a product review and I could not have picked a better time.   My mom and I recently took a girls trip to Northwest Arkansas and while we were there we visited Whole Foods and I hit the […]

Recipe: 3-Ingredient Lemon Tart Greek Yogurt

Recipe: 3-Ingredient Lemon Tart Greek Yogurt


It's officially April and we all know the saying...

 

"April showers bring May flowers."

 

And as I sit and watch the rain pour out my office window, I can't help but smile because I have a new recipe to share that is ALL sunshine.

 

The inspiration for this one came after one of my favorite Chef's (Geoffrey Zakarian) on The Kitchen (BEST FOOD NETWORK SHOW!) shared a lemon tart recipe. And let me tell you, a week went by and I did NOT stop thinking about that lemon tart.

 

The truth is I am not an enthusiastic baker. I love cooking and I could do it all day every day (okay, I do!). But baking...requires a little more effort from me. I think it's because I'm impatient and there's so little room for improv!

 

Combine that with wanting to make more low calorie choices right now and I knew I HAD to find a way to get that lemon tart fix - without all the baking and calories.

 

I started with my old stand-by: Greek yogurt. I knew I wanted it to be creamy and tart and it's kinda perfect - greek yogurt is rather tart after all. I used homemade greek yogurt the first time I made it and then Fage Total 0 the second and both worked great.

 

I hoped and wished and prayed my baking aisle would have SOME sort of lemon pie filling and as always, Private Selection came through for me.

 

Kroger, you are seriously the MVP.

 

I suppose you could go "crustless" for this Lemon Tart yogurt, but I was willing to spend a few extra calories to have some crunch and regular ole honey graham crackers gave me exactly what I needed!

 

 

Y'all. This one came out like a DREAM.

 

Enough talking. Here's the super simple 3-ingredient recipe:

 

What You'll Need:

  • 1 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt (whatever brand you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon fruit filling (I used Private Selection)
  • 1/2 graham cracker sheet

 

What You'll Do:

  1. Place greek yogurt into bowl.
  2. Add in lemon fruit filling and combine.
  3. Crumble graham crackers on top and enjoy!

 

I told y'all it was easy! This recipe will be sure to fix your sweet tooth craving, give you a boost of protein, and benefit your gut health! Wins ALL around. Try this one out and let me know what you think!

 

 

Serving & Nutrition Information:

Yield: 1 serving. 1 serving contains 199 calories, 1g Total Fat, 24g Carbohydrate, 16g Sugar, 24g Protein.

 

 

Crock Pot Chicken 6-Ways

Crock Pot Chicken 6-Ways

Cook chicken ONCE and get SIX meals?!   Yes indeed. I promise it’s not too good to be true!   I hear it often and I also fully understand it – cooking healthy meals can be time consuming.   Convenience foods require little to nothing […]

RECIPE: Mom’s Breakfast Sandwich

RECIPE: Mom’s Breakfast Sandwich

A few weeks a go I spent the night with my parents to get away and work on a few projects uninterrupted. The next morning my mom brought me in a breakfast sandwich she had prepped for her week and it was DELICIOUS.   I […]

RECIPE: 2-for-1 HOMEMADE GRANOLA

RECIPE: 2-for-1 HOMEMADE GRANOLA


One of my New Years Resolutions was to try taking certain foods that we buy A LOT of at the store and make them at home in attempt to 1) save money and 2) move towards more homemade foods!

 

I wanted to start with granola. We go through granola FAST. We love it as a breakfast cereal or to top our Greek yogurt (hint hint about what the second homemade item is...blog post later!)

 

 

 

So I set out on a mission to try making my own granola with absolutely no recipe, just a few tips I'd picked up. I didn't know how it would go, but I was pleasantly surprised!

 

My first batch came out perfect! It was almost too good to be true. I decided to write up a blog post with the recipe to share but realized that in typical "me" fashion, I just winged it and threw stuff into the bowl without measuring, writing down steps, you know - all that important stuff.

 

I felt confident I could do it again but the second batch was FAR from perfect! I am actually glad I had this failure because I learned several key things (see TIPS below).

 

I also ended up making a second version which is why this blog post is a 2-for-1 recipe post!

 

For the sake of keeping things simple I kept a few of the main ingredients the same and then changed a few things just enough to make them different.

 

 

The original version has pumpkin seeds, golden raisins, and toasted pecans and the second version has unsweetened cocoa powder, dried cranberries, goji berries, and toasted almonds.

 

 

Excited to share these two recipes with you! Check them out!

 

 

Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola

What You'll Need:

  • 4 cups Bob's Red Mill extra thick oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans

 

What You Need To Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cover large cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  3. Combine oats, cinnamon, salt, and pumpkin seeds in large bowl.
  4. Add in vanilla extract, coconut oil, and maple syrup and stir to combine.
  5. Spread ingredients into even layer on cookie sheet.
  6. Cook for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and mix ingredients around on sheet.
  8. Spread into even layer again.
  9. Cook additional 10-15 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool.
  11. Add raisins and pecans to mixture.
  12. Transfer to and store in sealed container.

 

 

 

Cranberry Chocolate Almond Granola

What You'll Need:

  • 4 cups Bob's Red Mill extra thick oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoon goji berries
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds

 

What You Need To Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cover large cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  3. Combine oats, cinnamon, salt, and cocoa powder in large bowl.
  4. Add in vanilla extract, coconut oil, and maple syrup and stir to combine.
  5. Spread ingredients into even layer on cookie sheet.
  6. Cook for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and mix ingredients around on sheet.
  8. Spread into even layer again.
  9. Cook additional 10-15 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool.
  11. Add cranberries, goji berries, and almonds to mixture.
  12. Transfer to and store in sealed container.

 

 

TIPS:

-Do NOT skip the salt! This was mistake #1 I made with second batch. Salt is key to cut some of the sweetness.

-Do not add nuts until granola is finished cooking. They burn up quick! Mistake #2 I made! Toast them on the stove top separately and add in after cooking is finished.

-Do NOT forget the oil. Your granola will be dry, dry, dry

-If you can find extra thick oats, USE THEM! This gives your granola so much texture.

-I like the maple syrup to sweeten, but honey is great too.

-Keep your eye on the oats while cooking. I burnt one batch because I let it overcook. Again, dry, dry, dry. Make sure you make these when you can give them lots of attention! I check on them every 10 minutes and give them a shake.

 

 

I loved adding the chocolate oats to my Greek yogurt for a Valentine's Day snack. I also added strawberries and dark chocolate chips. AMAZING!

 

As always, these recipes can be customized to your liking with whatever dried fruit, nuts, or seeds you like.

 

I hope you enjoy and keep your eyes out for my first Instant Pot blog post coming next week!

Apple Donuts

Apple Donuts

We made these apple donuts for our Super Bowl sweet treat and they were such a hit, we made them again a few days later!   We love using fruit for dessert and these apple donuts are fun because you can dress them up any […]