10 Super Healthy Snacks for Busy Families

It’s not always to keep everyone (including yourself!) happy when it comes to snacks. Kids are often drawn to the sugary, chocolate-based treats (thanks to some clever marketing!) and adults are often so short of time that the unhealthy choices often seem to be the easiest.

But it’s really not that hard to be prepared and have healthy, tasty food on hand, no matter how busy the calendar is. Try a few of these on the family and see which they love best…

  1. Cucumber and hummus

Cucumber is 90% water, super refreshing and, when combined with a healthy hummus dip, it makes a quick and easy on the go snack. Go one step further and make your own hummus and swap the usual dip (made from chickpeas) for something a little different, like beetroot.

Fitgirlsdiary.com

 

  1. Beef jerky

A tasty protein hit you can grab on your way out the door. Check for hidden fats and sugars in the store bought varieties or get a dehydrator and try making your own!

 

Men’s Health

 

  1. Eggs

Hard boil some eggs at the beginning of the week and you have an instant, healthy snack. Add them to a wrap, salad or just on their own for a filling and nutritious treat

thekitchn.com

 

  1. Nuts

OK you knew this one, but did you know which nuts provide which vitamins, minerals and nutrients?

Almonds – for vitamin E and magnesium

Pistachio – low in fat and calorie content, high in vitamin B6, manganese and copper

Pecans – a 1oz serving contains 200 calories and Vitamins A and E, calcium, potassium and fiber. Also full of antioxidants.

Cashews – contain iron, zinc and phosphorus, and they keep you feeling full for hours

Hazelnuts – for a boost of manganese, thiamin, fiber and Vitamin E

Healthy Builderz

 

  1. Seeds

Similar to nuts in their nutritious value and can add a crunch to salads, soups and sandwiches.

Pumpkin – for B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, iron and protein – leave them raw or roast or toast them

Chia – 11g of fiber per ounce – add to smoothies, yogurts, salads or veggies

Flaxseed/Linseeds – a source of soluble fiber and omega 3 fatty acids – great in oatmeal, smoothies and yogurts

Hemp seeds – a hit of omega 3, omega 6 fatty acids and protein, add to shakes and salads

Sunflower seeds – for B vitamins, folate and vitamin E – eat raw or add to muffins and salads

Sesame seeds – contain magnesium, calcium, fiber, zinc, iron, B1 and phosphorus.

1mhealthtips

 

  1. Dates

Full of iron and guaranteed to keep you fuller for longer, these chewy delights are often referred to as nature’s caramel. Eat them raw as a snack on the go or whip up a surprisingly tasty and healthy dessert with this versatile fruit.

 

theartikulounonews.com

 

  1. Crudites

Think beyond the usual options and go for as many raw veg as you can – cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers, sugar snap peas etc and get adventurous with the dips too – guacamole, salsa, salsa verde (even better if the dips are home made!)

 

                  realsimple.com             

  1. Avocado

Really short on time? Throw an avocado and spoon in the bag and you have an instant, healthy snack full of goodness. Avocados contain healthy fats and fiber that keep you feeling fuller for longer and can help to balance blood sugar and energy levels so you won’t be tempted to reach for the sugary foods.

Cure Joy

 

 

  1. Nut butter and rice cake

Make sure the nut butter is the healthiest you can find (no added salt, sugar or oil), and a brown rice cake sandwich is your healthy go-to treat. Healthy peanut butter contains a good source of magnesium, vitamin E, protein and fiber.

Whole Earth Foods

  1. Sweet potato chips

Ideally the baked variety with little or no salt. Just don’t overdo the portion (you don’t need the whole bag in one go!) Here’s an easy recipe to try.

Living Sweet Moments

What are you go-to healthy snacks that the family love?

My 5 Top Workout Tips for Busy Moms (or Dads!)

I hear you! Between getting yourself and the kids up and out the door to school, working a full day, trying to eat healthy, catching up with friends, doing the household chores etc. etc., working out and staying fit can often get pushed down the priority list.

But, with a few adjustments, I honestly believe there is no reason why even the busiest of us can’t get moving each and every day.

Here’s how:

The end game

Start with the end in mind. Do you really want to be able to fit into those jeans? Want to feel good in that bikini this summer? Then focus on the end result and stick with it. Pin a picture of yourself in the clothes you used to be able to fit into (or some that you want to buy!) where you can see it every morning to remind yourself. A focussed mindset is so important in reaching your fitness goals.

Get organised

Workouts aren’t going to happen without a bit of planning on your part – sorry, but it’s the truth! Do you need to get up 20 minutes earlier? (I know this sounds mean if you’re already busy and tired but something has to give, right?!)

Can you leave the kids at a playdate and get a gym session done? (Of course returning that favour for your mom friend too!)

Before collecting the kids after work, can you take a 20-30 minute fast walk / jog? After sitting at a desk all day, you’ll feel amazing and totally reenergized too. 

Get together with other moms

If the cost of a gym membership is holding you back, workouts can be free!! Get a group of other moms together in your local park and do a group session or take turns to watch the kids while you do your thing. Accountability is one of the biggest success factors in working out – if others are relying on you showing up, you’re more likely to get out the door!

Keep it simple

A workout doesn’t have to be hours long several times a week. Walking instead of taking the bus to work, getting off the bus one stop earlier, and taking the kids/dog to the park can all help towards your fitness goals.

Get digital

There are some great online workouts (mine included – check out my Facebook Page) so even if you can’t leave the house, you can still access support and guidance in staying fit. Instead of reaching for the remote to watch Netflix, switch an episode of your favourite show and subscribe to a workout series instead. I promise you, you won’t regret it!

One final thing… no more excuses ok?!

Workout tips for busy moms

5 Easy (and Healthy) Sports Mom Dishes

Struggling to prepare tasty and healthy sports mom dishes?

To all you sports moms out there, isn’t it a pain to try and get healthy food into your little champions, while you have all that other stuff to do too (like pick ups, drop offs, extra coaching sessions etc etc)??

I don’t know about you, but it’s a constant battle to make sure they have the fuel they need for school, and all those extra curricular activities.

To help you busy sports moms (and dads!) here are some really easy meals and snacks to see you through the week. These are pretty tasty for the grown ups too!

Healthy Banana Split

sports mom dishes
Packed with potassium, bananas are the fruit of champions.
Get the kids on board for this tasty and healthy snack for anytime of the day (great if breakfast is a rush!)
Get the recipe…

Pumpkin Oat Muffins

sports mom dishes
Don’t just wait for Thanksgiving to enjoy pumpkin – this versatile vegetable packs a punch!
Get the recipe…

Cauliflower Pizza

sports mom dishes
You’ve probably heard a lot about cauliflower, but this delicious pizza is a healthy and great alternative to the usual take aways.
Get the recipe…

Coconut Blueberry Smash Pops

sports mom dishes
Dairy free, refined sugar free and super easy to make, who wouldn’t love one of these after a soccer game?
Get the recipe…

One Pan Quinoa Bake

sports mom dishes
Healthy comfort food the whole family can enjoy together is possible – packed with veggies and protein from the quinoa, this could soon become a firm family favourite.
Get the recipe…

What’s your go-to healthy mid week meal for busy families? Would love to hear some of your favorites!

Giving Back a Great Lesson for Kids

Giving back a great lesson for kids

Ever since Robert and I got married we wanted to make sure our kids grew up knowing that not everything is just handed to you.

That hard work was in it for everyone.

We also wanted them to know and realize just how fortunate we were to live the way we did and go to school.

So, we began to do community outreach whenever we would go on vacation.

Instead of us just lounging around doing nothing for 7 straight days, we wanted to give back.

One year, we were in Mexico and we went to a school where both of my boys volunteered to read to the classes.

giving back a great lesson for kids giving back a great lesson for kids

Talk about a momma being proud of her boys.

Later that week we wanted to do something more!

We had seen they were having a Backpack Drive, so we piled into a car and went out as a family and bought as many backpacks as we could hold!

You see, here is my philosophy on this.

Robert and I have both worked hard to get to where we are now, but we don’t want our boys to believe everything in life is easy or that they are entitled.

I want them to grow up learning how to give back, to serve like Jesus did.

To us, there is such an importance in that because you don’t get to see it often!

I want my boys to be leaders in their life, to strive for excellence and to be successful in whatever they set their minds to.

I also want them to be humble, to serve others endlessly and to shine Jesus’ light when there is darkness in the room.

There has been so much negativity lately, I want to bring a little bit of sunshine to your day.

Next time you go on vacation, find out what the need is in the local community around you and go serve.

It is so easy to find where to help!

Go to Facebook City Pages or Trip Advisor Community Boards and ask if there are any charities in need!

Most of the time, you will meet someone who lives there, like a teacher, who really needs something from the United States that they can’t get there.

Try and find that community outreach program you want to help!

Be the Light.

Blessings to you and your family.

I’m Still Learning How to be a Good Sports Mom!

Wondering how to be a good sports mom this summer? I’m still figuring it all out too!

I can’t believe it is already the end of July! Now every time I go to the grocery store, I am surrounded by “Back-to-School” gear and accessories and I am just so not ready.

I guess you could say I am in the very small percentage of parents who actually WANTS another month with her kids at home! I don’t like the back-to-school phase. I love having both of my boys here in the house with me! It is like a never-ending adventure.

I am almost wishing there was another month because we didn’t get to go on a family vacation this year. That has driven me absolutely nuts! We always go somewhere just the four of us to get away from work and just enjoy being together as a family! Last year, because of Bryson’s CRAZY baseball schedule, he had a tournament in Atlanta so we had the entire family go and we made it a mini-trip!

Sports mom

As you can tell from that picture, Robert does not like Coke!

If any of y’all are moms to multiple kids, you know the ever-present feeling of dragging your youngest child to every. single. game throughout the summer. It made me feel bad. So, I decided that I would take my youngest, Ty, to Disney World that fall!! We had SO much fun!

The year before last, we went to Mexico and that was my favorite trip! I miss it so much.

Sports mom

I just always hate missing family vacations because I feel like that is when I make the most of my time with my boys.

I am forced to sit on the beach (I know, tragic) and hang out with my family.

I really am not a fan of July almost being over.

But, after the CRAZY summer we have had with baseball schedules and lifts and trainings, I can say I will probably be glad to have a moment to sit.

At least, until the next day when football season starts in full-swing.

I wish all of you momma’s the best of luck this fall season!

Spend some time with your kiddo’s while you have them all under one roof!

Oh and if you’re wondering how you’ll fill that time gap when school starts again, why not join my next challenge group and get back to your fitness goals!

Bubble Wrapping Our Kids—And Why it Doesn’t Work

I have two boys–one giant 17 year old who weighs over 240lbs and towers at 6’4” and one 13 year old that is tall and skinny. Polar opposites. Sometimes I swear he will snap in half if he gets hit in the wrong place.

My house has always had sports going on. Whether it was Blast Ball at three years old—oh the laughs with that one—or touch football once they got a little bit older, there was always something going on in our house.

My oldest, Bryson, was THAT kid growing up. The parents would all point and say, “There is no way that kid is the same age,” “I am not putting my kid against him, he will get crushed,” “Are we sure he is seven?” That was a constant. It wasn’t fun either. If someone got hurt, it was always “Bryson’s fault” because he was bigger and he surely fell or shoved them.

Then there is Ty. Shaped completely different but a ball of his own energy. When it was his turn to play sports, the roles reversed and I was the one freaking out about the big kid on the other team that “my son was not going to guard.” The kid has a mustache—are we sure he did not get held back three years?!

But, I guess that is normal for any parent. We all want them to succeed in their sports. We want them to understand that they won’t always win and to lose with dignity. To be good sports no matter the outcome. And we all want them to stay in a safety net—wrapped in bubble wrap and taped in for extra security, so that nothing can hurt them.

Am I the only one who has thought that though?! I have wanted them to line the kids up by height and weight and pair off to where the little kids play the little kids and the big kids play the big kids. All fair. No one gets squished by someone twice their size. But I can’t do that. Because that’s not how life is. Some kids hit puberty at 5th grade—Bryson—and some not for a while. They all just learn how to compete against one another.

Bubble wrapping both of my kids has been prevalent their whole life. They just don’t know it. The amount of times I have almost gone into a game and pulled them out to put a band-aid on their cut, is just outrageous.

Bryson is currently competing at the top level for baseball. Scouts have been contacting him and his coach and his goal is to play D1 Baseball after graduation in 2018. This past weekend he had a HUGE tournament where seven schools were planning to come watch, SEVEN! Texas State, Air Force, Angelo State, and OSU were just a few of the big name schools to be there.

The energy was on an all-time high.

He played two games on Thursday and had Friday off before the big game on Saturday, so he wanted to take his girlfriend to our ranch to hangout and show her the area! The whole family decided to go.

I checked all the boxes. I kept him hydrated and made sure he reapplied sunscreen like it was his job. Everything was going great.

Around sunset he wanted to show his girlfriend a cool place to watch the sun go down. They took off in our souped up buggie, equipped with a roll cage and seatbelts.

It had been some time since they had left and my phone began to ring.

“Hurry! Hurry! Come quick!! It rolled. We rolled. Macy, she’s stuck. She’s stuck. Oh my gosh, mom! Send dad! Hurry!”

My heart just stopped.

“Robert!! The kids, the buggy, it rolled!! Macy is trapped. Hurry!!”

My husband took off on the four-wheeler and met my youngest son on his dirt bike as he sped up to the house.

“Hurry dad, they rolled!”

I start to panic. I am running to get in a golf cart to meet them there.

“No mom, take the car. They are going to need to go to the ER.”

Tears start to blur my vision.

How bad is it?? How did this happen?! Are they going to die?!

I get to the place and see the Razor—the buggy—on its side. Macy is screaming. I could feel the pain she must be in. Thank Jesus Robert used to be a paramedic and knew how to handle the situation.

They lifted the buggy over Macy’s head and got her out. She was holding her shoulder and blood was just everywhere. We couldn’t tell where it was coming from.

“It hurts so bad.”

But then she said this.

“I am so so sorry. I ruined your son. I didn’t mean to.”

What does she mean?

I saw a goose-egg on my son’s forehead and just prayed it wasn’t a concussion.

We headed to the nearest hospital—30 minutes away.

Her collarbone was broken and she had a gash on the side of her head that required 9 staples and 5 stitches.

They had switched drivers after the sunset. They didn’t buckle up—another story for another time. She over-corrected a turn and it flipped causing Bryson to be ejected from the buggy and her to get trapped. They are lucky to be alive.

Thank you, Jesus.

She knew he had a big game the next day and had felt that because she was the one driving, she had ruined his chances of getting scouted. But wow, was the Lord on our side that night. They were okay. She was okay. He was okay. Everything was okay.

It would have been hard for him to focus and to pitch his best, but the forecast called for rain, and boy did it rain. The game was cancelled, allowing all of us to get the rest we needed after that weekend.

I learned that I can’t bubble wrap them like I want to. I can’t always be their protector and keep them safe. Sometimes that’s just how life is.

I learned that no matter how much we try and protect them, we can’t always know what is going to be thrown our way in life—and we want them to be kids, don’t we?! We want them to enjoy life and not go about it scared.

We just need to trust that God has them and will protect them when we cannot.

ß What I want my kids to look like! HA!