Happy Nearly Holiday Weekend to y’all!
Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays of the year.
I love the regalia and patriotism displayed in people’s yards, in the parades, and in the night sky’s colorful celebration of pride and appreciation for our country. It’s hard for me to NOT tear up as I watch the firework displays on the 4th of July.
America…you’re just wonderful.
But, of course, in addition to the festive traditions I just mentioned, I’m a BIG fan of the food, too.
The juicy burgers, the sweet corn on the cob, the creamy ice cream cones dripping down my arm in a delighyfully sticky mess...
Yes, those foods are all fine and dandy, but, somewhere in that sea of starchy carbs and vegetables swimming in mayonnaise, I’d love something that’s refreshing and light, something that isn’t going to make me feel bloated in my bathing suit within thirty minutes, something that would actually do more good rather than harm to my body.
Remember, I’m trying to tone down this mom bod, not make it fluffier.
And that platter of corndogs isn’t going to any favors for anyone.
You know I’m right.
That’s why for this 4th of July, I’m sharing a simple recipe that’s not only fast and festive but also loaded with nutrients to keep you fueled as you hit up the pool, lake, ocean, or play hide and seek with the swarms of mosquitoes in your backyard….or maybe that last one is just me.
This salad will add a gorgeous pop of color and nutrition to your barbeque buffet line up.
Let’s check out how quick, easy, and delicious it is!
Well hellllloooo Wednesday!
Seems like ages since you were last here…
Though all life seems to slow down when you are flying solo with your 3 month old for 5 straight days while baby daddy attends a conference in Colorado…sometimes, life ain’t fair. Just a fact of life.
Boy was I glad to see him show up Tuesday afternoon. To be fair, I have a wonderful kid who is pretty darn easygoing. Still, 5 straight days is a loooot of bonding for us.
Mad props to the single parents out there. I salute you.
But enough of that pitty party, because I’m SUPER pumped to share with y’all another round of paleo-friendly, summer beach bod-friendly treats and snacks from the one, the only, Wal-Mart!
I’ve always been a fan of baking.
Boxed brownies with my mom turned into homemade cheesecakes in high school transformed to scratch made red velvet cake in college to my present pastry world of almond flour and coconut sugar and cashew butter. I still love baking to this day, but, with a three month old, I don’t always have time for the sifting and measuring and tempering.
With summer officially here in Texas, it’s zucchini season. They grow like wildfire here, so they are super cheap at the Farmer’s markets. And when life gives you zucchinis, you have two choices- 1) make zoodles 2) make zucchini bread.
I’ve already made #1 this summer, though I haven’t gotten around to making zucchini bread yet. Don’t get me wrong, I already have a solid, Paleo-friendly recipe that I shared with y’all last summer…remember that whole time/effort problem I have these days?
Any who, ever since our lil nugget was born, I’ve been finding ways to satisfy my cravings for baked goods without having to actually bake them. My carrot cake overnight oats and carrot cake granola were born out of that necessity; mama wants Paleo baked goods but doesn’t have the time to make them herself.
And no, I don’t have a Whole Foods or Sprouts or Trader Joe’s or Central Market I can easily zip off to in order to buy my own gluten-free or Paleo goodies.
So today, friends, if you’ve been dying for a slice or two of zucchini bread but don’t want to go to the trouble of making it yourself, I’ve got a recipe for you!
It takes about 3 minutes to make, has ZERO added sugar, allows you to get a serving of fruit and two vegetables, and is 100% paleo (okay, depends on your protein powder, but you get my drift)!
No oven required! HAZAAH!
As someone who is on the other side of pregnancy, I sure know about cravings. Once those hormones started kickin’ in at 8ish weeks, certain foods I hadn’t touched in years such as Nacho Cheese Doritos, grilled cheese sandwiches, and Sour Patch Kids all sounded SOOOOO tasty. Did I indulge myself in those not-so-Paleo foods? No, I knew better. Instead, I found healthier substitutions for them, such as all natural nacho cheese tortilla chips made down the road in Austin, smoked almond rice crackers with sharp, grass-fed cheese slices, and tart green apple slices.
Cravings are just part of being a human, and they can be physical as well as emotional. Sure, we crave certain foods, as I did in the first trimester of pregnancy, and crave certain drinks, like the crispness of a Sauvignon Blanc or the salty-sour punch of a margarita. But other times, we crave more emotional things such as attention, affection, companionship, or peace.
When these cravings set in, we often go to great lengths in order to satisfy them. Roughly 6 years ago, I lived in downtown Greenville, South Carolina within .2 miles of a Publix grocery store. I was feeling kinda lonely (Mr. HHT was my fiancé at the time and hundreds of miles away) and pretty bored, a dangerous combination for cravings to escalate to irresistible levels. I actually walked down the street into that Publix, bought a medium-sized bag of dark chocolate peanut M&Ms, and tried my darndest not to eat the entire bag in my townhouse.
Or I vividly envision the scene from an episode of Sex and the City when Miranda has an chocolate sheet cake lingering in her kitchen that she can’t seem to escape. She keeps going back to it, cutting tiny slivers off of it, only to return minutes later for a few more slivers. Over a few hours, she has eaten waaaaay too much of it, cannot control herself around it anymore, and throws it away. But, minutes later, she goes into the trash and eats a little more of it! In her desperation, she pours dish soap all over it...Gosh, I wish I didn’t know what that level sugar addiction is like, but I’ve been there, done that.
But why must our cravings often be negative? Why do they usually result in harm to our waistlines or wallets or relationships?
What if our cravings could be for something better, something far more substantial than pizza or Reese’s cups?
What if our cravings could be for something eternal? Something only our God can provide?
Well, my friends, that’s exactly what we’re chatting about today.
Move over cupcakes. Step aside sundaes.
We’re going to be wishing for a whole pile of God’s wisdom, peace, and presence today.
Somehow it’s Saturday…where does my time go?!
Thanks to the 4th hour of the Today show (i.e. Spanky Tuesday, Wine-day Wednesday, Try-day Friday), I can usually keep up with what day of the week it is. But the date, heck even the month, can get a bit hazy these days.
If you’ve been in my new mom shoes before, know that the inability to keep track of time is compounded if you’re a teacher on summer break…
Thank goodness for my 'Day by Day' calendar that sits in my kitchen window from my Christmas stocking this year. I’d be otherwise lost.
No matter what day of the week it is, though, you better believe this 3-month postpartum mommy is getting in some type of activity daily. Whether it's a class at my YMCA to a workout I found on YouTube in my den to a power walk, I'm keeping my muscles guessing.
Plus, with a beach trip weeks away, I’d like to feel somewhat confident about my bathing suit-clad mommy body.
Don’t worry, I’m still keeping my workouts moderate…I know that putting in hours of exercise doesn’t always yield the results I think it would. My main focus as bikini time draws near is nutrition. I’m working on a post to share more of my summer tone-up tricks and tips soon!
In the meantime, though, I’ll be sharing what I ate in an average day with y’all in addition to my workouts…and this is an honest glimpse, too…I know some bloggers may post pics of meals containing only celery sticks, hardboiled eggs, steamed brocolli and broiled salmon. Yes, I enjoy eating all of those foods, but an active, milk-producing lady like myself needs waaaay more out of her macronutrients than a strict no carb, high-protein, medium fat diet.
I eat to fuel. I eat what my body nudges me to eat. I eat when I’m hungry, and I stop when I’m full.
I’ve shared with y’all how it took me a lot of prayer, grace, time, and trial/error to reach the current relationship I have with food. If you haven’t checked out that post, it’s worth a gander.
Alrighty friends, no more of that soap box, time for my workouts and how I fuel them!
If you like piña coladas….getting caught in the rain…
Why yes, Rupert Holmes, I do love a frosty piña colada.
Unfortunately, they aren’t the healthiest beverage out there…in fact, the average piña colada (which is around 9 oz.) has nearly 500 calories and a whopping 63 g of sugar. Y’all, that’s more sugar than a Cinnabon or 3 Frosted S’Mores Pop-tarts.
While the idea of sipping a piña colada on the beach this summer sounds tantalizing, I’m not crazy about how all of those empty calories and sugar will make me feel, not to mention make my squishpack look a few hours later...the idea is that it gets less squishy with time, not more so.
It’s too bad, though, cause that combination of creamy coconut and bright pineapple sure floats my boat…
I’ve found a way to satisfy my craving for the flavors of that calorie-loaded cocktail in a MUCH healthier way- my homemade protein bars.
Gluten-free, Paleoish (depending on the protein powder you use), and loaded with coconut-pineapple deliciousness.
No sugar rush. No gnarly hangover. No belly bloat.
Just good, clean piña colada satisfaction that the whole family can enjoy!
Healthy Happy Texan
I'm a Foodie, Fitness Instructor, and Follower of Christ. Add a passion for teaching others, dark chocolate, bacon, and dogs -- and that's me in a box.
Come on, let's live a little!