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What to Eat in the Heat

17 Jul

Eat Smart in the Summer

It’s hot. Really hot. And cooking just seems unbearable, even in the air conditioning. You don’t really want to eat something hot either, just the thought gives you heat stroke. So what do you do? Stay inside all day and not eat? NO. You eat smart. Eat cold things that lower your body temperature, and eat things mainly comprised of water. Most fruit is 80% water, and very filling. So here are some ideas for you to cool off with:

1. Frozen Fruit 

Take your favorite fruit and toss it in the freezer for an hour or two. The sugars actually crystalize and taste sweeter too. It’s like a popsicle! But healthy.

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2. Bananas

The heat depletes us of essential electrolytes and potassium. Eating a banana is a great idea if you plan to take your workout outside {Or do CrossFit @CrossFit Lake Effect 🙂 }


Photo Credit HERE

3. Almonds

Almonds are always wonderful, but they have the healthy fats and protein your body needs. When cooking meat is out of the question, reach for some raw, heart healthy nuts.


Photo Credit HERE

4. Whey Protein Smoothies

Probably a favorite of many. Protein shakes are easy and nutritious. They quickly absorb into your system, and are very refreshing. You can mix it up by sneaking spinach in, or adding fruits.

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5. Greek Yogurt Parfait

I love dessert, but I don’t like the heavy feeling that comes with it. Instead of eating ice cream this summer, my new favorite treat is a greek yogurt parfait. I use 1/2 cup plain 0% Fat Greek Yogurt, 1 Scoop french vanilla {or chocolate} whey protein, 2tbs PB2, and a frozen fruit of my choice. If I just came back from a workout and eat this is lieu of dinner, I’ll add a handful of walnuts too.

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Table Scraps: How to take care of your Dogs in the Summer

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My dogs are use to running 3- 4 miles at least 3 times a week, but when temps reach the 90’s, they don’t get a whole lot of exercise. Here are some helpful ideas for taking care of fido in this heat.

1. Use the opportunity to give them a cold bath

2. Put ice cubes in their water bowls {This will turn into “bob for the ice cube”}

3. Get them a new toy. I bought both my dogs kong treat balls and I fill it with peanut butter. This keeps them preoccupied and running around the house for hours. They also play keep away with each other – helps keep them entertained.

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4. Play fetch inside. My floors are ruined already, so I have nothing to lose. I try to give my dogs a little bit of a cardio workout throwing their balls down the stairs.

Your turn:

What do you eat to beat the heat?

Do your animals {kids} keep active, even in the heat and humidity?


Snack Attack!

7 Jul

Eating Smart

clean snacks

1. Eggs: The incredible, edible, eggs. They are my go to. They have saved me numerous times from the ravenous 3:00pm wall. {Have you experienced that? when you need food NOW and will raid the pantry and eat everything and anything?!}

2. Frozen Fruit: I like frozen grapes and watermelon the best. I have a bad habit of chewing ice, so this helps me overcome that too. I buy fresh, organic fruit, wash it, and toss it in a bowl, throw it in the freezer {without a lid…it takes FOREVER to freeze if you put a lid or seal over it} I’ve even convinced my nieces {ages 4 & 5} that it’s an ice cream treat. Healthy habits start young!

3. Fresh Fruit: Grapefruit is widely known for its effect on metabolism, but it is also high in antioxidants. Read HERE about why you should eat more grapefruit. Other fruits I can’t get enough of lately are strawberries and fresh picked blueberries!

4. Greek Yogurt: Need more protein? Ditch your regular yogurt and switch to low fat Greek Yogurt. With about 20g protein a serving, and calcium for strong bones, you can’t go wrong. I like to put some PB2 and fresh fruit into mine. Again, it’s a pseudo ice cream treat…add a scoop of whey protein for a healthy on the go breakfast!

5. Protein Bites: I’m a huge fan of Quest bars. but they get pricy at about $3/bar. I use to eat one or two a day, but now I save them as treats. I make my own power bites that are vegan and gluten free. You can find the recipe HERE.

6. Protein Shakes: Quick and easy, good after a hard workout, I love protein shakes. Especially in the summer. They are so versatile, you can add nutrients in based on your own needs. I like to use 1 scoop whey protein, 1 handful spinach {I’m popeye for sure!}, 2 tbs PB2 {powdered Peanut Butter}, 1 tbs Stevia, 1 cup ice, and 8 oz water. Again, pseudo ice cream!

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7. Turkey Jerky and Avocado Slices: Yum! Just make sure that your turkey jerky is sulfate and preservative free. This snack is full of protein, omegas, and healthy fats. This is a great snack for that 3pm wall, or pre-workout {just don’t over due it…especially if you’re on your way to CrossFit! whoo..burpees might take on a new meaning…}

8. Carrots and Almonds: One of my favorite combinations. I buy the 100 cal pack natural almonds because I have a tendency to eat the whole bag if I don’t…and often times I will eat the whole bag of baby carrots. During the school year this was a go to for me, since I never really get to sit down and eat, I can just walk around on playground duty with my bag of carrots. My palms actually turned orange, and the kids call me  ‘Mrs. Rabbit’, but that’s fine by me! Much better than eating a bag of chips! It’s also good when you’re craving something crunchy. Also, it’s a superfood, full of health benefits {Maybe this is why I have 20/20 vision!}.

9. Cottage Cheese and Sliced Tomatoes: I have to give credit to Kristin Johnson for this one. I kinda forgot about cottage cheese, but this is a great side for lunch or snack on its own. I sprinkle it with pepper and sea salt.

10: Protein Pudding: This is credited to my friend Kyle Dorsch (Thanks Kyle!) You need chia seeds, whey isolate powder, and almond meal.

Protein of your choice (I use either ON 100% Whey or Promasil by Rival-us). The flavor is up to you but I’m partial to my vanilla.
Almond Meal (Flour)
Chia Seeds
1. Mix approximately 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of chia seeds with double the amount of water. (1/4:1/2 – 1/2:1). Let them soak for about 10 to 15 min or until the chia seeds form a nice “gel” like coating (you may need to stir them to get the floating seeds to soak).
2. Determine your desired amount of protein you want to intake (I use 2 scoops which equals around 53g) of your preferred protein and mix it into the chia seed mixture.
3. Mix an equal amount of almond meal into the chia seed/protein mix (1:1 ratio for protein and almond meal)
4. Stir and enjoy
A few side notes:
– Feel free to soak your seeds over night, so if you workout in the morning they are ready when you get home.
– If you feel the pudding is to “clumpy” or “thick” just add some water and/or seeds until you are happy with the consistency.

Food is Intimate

Our relationship with food is a reflection of our spiritual life. When we are out-of-wack, we tend to “medicate” with food. Think about what you do when you’re happy…do you celebrate with food? When you’re sad..comfort food? what about when you’re lonely or bored? Food is a powerful drug. Unfortunately, if food is your weakness, it’s not as if you can abstain from it like a drug addict or an alcoholic. But chemical and spiritual warfare are at hand if you’re struggling with food.


Here’s a book that I read that really helped me to understand the link between my diet and spiritual life. Just know that if this is you…You’re not alone. Millions of people struggle with their diet and health. I am not a doctor, but this is why I’m here .I struggled and I have found what works for me, I now live passionately and vibrantly. I want you to too! “Life is too short to spend another day at war with yourself.”

I BLOG         strength through hardship

The ‘Power’ of Food

3 Jul

Good Eats


Photo Credit HERE

The more I eat REAL food, the better I feel. I know I’m not alone on this one. On my journey to strong, I have come to banish counting calories, scales, and the obsession with dress sizes. When your intention changes from being “skinny” to being STRONG, you appreciate food more, and your body. I have a new respect for food. Everything I consume, I think of what it’s doing for my body, after all “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”  Hippocrates.  I think we can get so wrapped up in counting calories and the whole ‘calorie-in-calorie-out’ mentality that we forget how God intended food to be used…to sustain us and give us strength.

I have been a calorie counter for years. But now I focus on portion control and quality of food over quantity. It’s so refreshing to look forward to eating fresh avocado, or using organic coconut oil and not have to worry about if I’m over my calorie limit for the day! Understanding the benefits of healthy fats and how they work in your body is very important. That being said, I’m on a quest to make the healthiest protein bar possible. I’m always on the go, so I need something that is going to give me energy without a sugar or caffeine crash. I also need protein to keep up with my workout regime and active lifestyle.

Raspberry Chocolate Power Bites {No Bake}

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Ingredients: Serves a Bakers Dozen…{I ate a few in the process…too good to wait!}

1/4 Cup Fresh Raspberries

1/2 Cup Halved Walnuts- mashed

1/4 Cup Coconut Flour {great source of plant fiber}

1/4 Cup Chocolate Powdered Peanut Butter {I use Just Good Stuff Organic Powder}

1 tbs Coconut Oil 2013-07-02 20.07.47 {Coconut Oil is my new fav. Read more about the benefits of Coconut oil HERE}

Coating Ingredients:

1/4 Cup Flaxmeal

1/4 Cup Organic Stevia


Mix all the ingredients together except for the coating.

If you have a food processor, this would be much easier. But since I am an unpampered chief…I used my Oster on the go blender. { doesn’t have to be fancy schmancy. Mix it means mix it…doesn’t matter how it’s done.}

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Next, I put it into a bowl, spooned it out, rolled it into a ball, and then I dipped it into a bowl of stevia, and then rolled it into a bowl of flaxmeal to give it that “faux-powedered sugar” appeal.

Put it in the fridge to harden for up to 2-3 hours.

Results: YUM

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Power Bites {No Bake}

Ingredients: makes about 2 dozen

4 Cups Chocolate Whey Protein

1/4 Cup Coconut Flour

1/3 Cup Powdered Peanut Butter {Organic, Just Good Stuff}

1/3 Cup Sliced Organic, Raw Almonds

1 tbs Coconut Oil

Coating: 1/3 Cup Flaxmeal 1/4 {ish} Cup Organic Stevia

Directions: Mix together all the ingredients except for the coating.

Coating: in two separate bowls, one with flaxmeal, and one with stevia, roll the balls.

Place in fridge to let harden for 2-3 hours.

RESULTS: Ah-Ma-Zing!

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{This has BOTH the chocolate and the raspberry, you can see the raspberry has a “raspberry” color.}

Power Pet Treats {bites would sound bad here…don’t ya think!}

Our four legged friends often get the short end of the stick when it comes to nutrition. But if you have a dog like mine, you realize that dogs are just as sensitive to all this processed food as we are. Again, God intended them to eat food that HE created. So I decided to show them some Paleo love too!

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2 Sweet Potatoes

1/2 Cup Peanut Butter {I used USDA organic peanut butter…ingredients: peanuts and sea salt, and organic cane sugar}

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1/4 Cup Coconut Flour

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1 Egg

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Steam, peel, and then mash the sweet potatoes.

Mix all your ingredients together. Scoop out desired bite sizes and bake for 10 minutes {or until golden brown}.

RESULT: Happy Dogs. I ate them too actually… They are really good. I think if you added some stevia or salt…either way, it would make a good “people treat” too. I actually had to put them away because I kept “tasting” them.

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Happy Pups

More is….MORE

1 Jul

When you feel like giving up…give it all you’ve got.


Photo Credit HERE 

You’ve heard the saying “less is more”, but sometimes, more is just, well, more.

The only way to get better at something is to do it MORE. This is true in all facets of life. But wanting something and actually working for it are two different things. And sometimes we need to recognize that saying “YES” to one thing, means saying “NO” to another. For example…Saying YES to a gym membership means saying NO to shopping {Fair trade! I hate shopping!}. And saying “Yes” to following Jesus, means saying “NO” to being a jerk! {Jesus is Love. And that’s the TRUTH}.

Here are a few things I want MORE of, and how I plan to achieve it.

  • Jesus {Practice being more like Jesus. Give Kindness whenever I can…and even when I “can’t”}
  • My Family and Friends {Invest in them MORE. Open my ears and LISTEN to them.}
  • CrossFit {Practice and go to class MORE. Stop telling myself I “can’t”. }
  • Education {Learn more to teach more}
  • Peanut Butter {oH yUm}

Ok, the last one, really not such a good idea. But you get the picture.

can't into cans

Photo Credit HERE

One thing I definitely ALWAYS want more of is AVOCADO! So here’s my new summer salad Recipe:

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Summer Salad

Serves 8

4 Cups Spring Mix Lettuce

1/2 Cup Cherry Tomatoes {One big fist full}

1 Head Broccoli, chopped

4 Diced Avocados

1/4 Cup Sundried Zesty Tomatoes

1/2 Cup Cracked Pepper Sliced Almonds

Dressing: Lite Sesame Ginger

I brought this salad to a dinner party and it went over very well. I think in large part because I put MORE avocado in it than usual. I added chicken to it to complete a meal, but others ate it as a side.

After I ate WAY too many Paleo Bites, I realized the BEST Protein Bite is the incredible, edible egg! I have a dozen hardboiled in my fridge at all times. This has saved me from many ravenous episodes. 🙂

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What about you? What’s your go-to snack?

My Steps to Strong

30 Jun

Step 1: Keep the Faith

The one thing that has always been consistent in my life is my faith. I know with all my heart that it is God who has gone before me, and led me into circumstances that have made me who I am today…and the person I hope to become.I love this quote

“God loves me just the way I am, But He also loves me too much to leave me that way.”

Each day that I am given is a gift. Jesus said that the greatest gifts on this earth is to… “abide in faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13  God is love. I want to reflect that to everyone…even the people I DON’T always get along with….Jesus was loving to those who slandered Him, spit on Him, and eventually Crucified Him. My patience pales in comparison. Jesus is strong. And if God is for me, who can be against me? Also, Jesus wasn’t just mentally and spiritually strong, He was also physically strong. He was a carpenter, He engaged in manual labor most of His life. For decades people have shaped the image of Christ into what they want Him to be, but Jesus does not fit into a box. Read HERE for a great article on the true image of Christ.


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Step 2: Strengthen Your Relationships

You will fall in life. But who is there for you when you do? Are you there for them? Refocusing on who is a priority in your life is important. Some people may just be unhealthy to be around, and that’s O.K. You can love them from a far {or tolerate them from afar} but you don’t have to be best friends with everyone. Look around you, who do you love? Don’t let a day slip by without letting them know. and also…If you want a good friend, you have to be one first. Sometimes that’s hard to recognize when we get caught up in the busyness of life.


Step 3: Find What Moves You…Literally

For me, I LOVE CrossFit. It’s such an amazing sport. You challenge yourself daily.


I love setting goals. My CrossFit goals are:

1. Figure out Double Unders

2. Kipling Pullups

3. Muscle ups

4. Work on Olympic Lifting

5. Focus on Form.

One thing I’ve really noticed about CrossFit, is that you shouldn’t try to figure it out on your own.

Crossfit is not dangerous

One of the first steps to joining a CrossFit gym is taking a Fundamentals Course. You need it. Don’t skimp. CrossFit is NOT throwing weights around. It’s physics, it’s form, it’s challenging. I personally know I won’t challenge myself like this on my own.

It’s quality coaching and the atmosphere of other CrossFitters who make CrossFit amazing.

crossfit pic

Step 4: Nutrition

If you feed your body with junk, it will perform like junk.

Eat Real Food. Eat Protein, Veggies, and Fruit. Avoid processed foods.

Nutrition Goal: Embrace my inner chief.

I love quest bars, but I wanted to see if I could make my own Protein Bites. Here are my results:

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Paleo Baked Protein Bites

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Paleo No-Bake Protein Bites

Baked Paleo Protein Bites

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Dry Ingredients:

3 Scoops Iso Define Chocolate Protein Powder {any whey protein powder will work}

1/4 Cup Coconut Flour

1/4 Cup Powdered Peanut Butter {PB2}

1/4 Cup Flax Seeds

1/4 Cup Raw Shredded Almonds

4 packets of Organic Stevia

Wet Ingredients:

2 Eggs

2 Mashed Bananas

2tbs Organic Honey

Instructions: Mix all together in a bowl. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and cook for 18-20 minutes.

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Result: 2013-06-30 13.36.57 Yum! Tastes amazing fresh out of the oven, or after refrigerating.

NutritionLabel-1 copy

{Nutrition facts added up by me and entered HERE }

NO-BAKE Protein Bites {Paleo}

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1/2 cup Steal Cut Oats

1/2 C PB2 {mixed with 1/4 c water}

1/2 C Chocolate Powdered Peanut butter {mixed with 1/4 c water}

1/4 C coconut flour

1/4 C Sliced raw almonds

1 tbs Honey

8 packs Stevia

4 Scoops of Whey Protein {chocolate}

Directions: Mix it all together. {I use a spoon. yea, I know, so cultured in the arts of culinary…} Roll into balls. Put in fridge for at least 3-4 hours.

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{Nutrition Facts to come. }

So here are my “baby steps” to fitness. What about you? Do you keep track of your goals?

What are your top fitness goals?

Modestly Speaking

28 Jun

I have a bad case of Verbal Vomit …

Have you ever found yourself in mid conversation and you have that voice in the back of your mind that says,”Don’t say it, don’t you dare!” and before you know it, it has rolled off your tongue like turpentine. Not necessarily like Miranda Lambert’s White Liar, but you just can’t keep your thoughts to yourself! Sometimes this is a good thing…sometimes,

I’m an open book, and you never have to guess what’s on my mind. I have a bad case of verbal vomit…often known as “foot-in-the-mouthtitis”. This has gotten me into trouble more times than I can count.


Me: Oh, you are just all baby!

Client: Yea, I know. I’m trying to lose it.

Situation: I thought she was pregnant still…she delivered 3 weeks prior. All of you mothers out there want to kill me now, I know. I meant for it to be a compliment. She was a really adorable pregnant girl…the kind where it looks like they just smuggled a beach ball under their shirt. Needless to say, the next 2 hours of her hair appointment was really awkward. {she did forgive me…eventually….}

Proverbs 13:3 says “Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin”.

My other favorite is: “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Luke 6:45

This is a lesson I keep struggling with. I have this poster up in my classroom as soon as kids enter. I think it’s a good reminder, daily.


Holding your tongue takes a lot of self control. I realized this when I was in CrossFit class the other day…I talk too much. I like to justify “why” I can’t do something, when I need to just drop the ego, listen, and DO IT. I came across this  poster on Pinterest and wanted to share it. After my foundations course at CrossFit Lake Effect, I definitely agree with this poster!

big ego crossfit

These are my goals:

  • Think MORE, Speak LESS
  • Let my Actions SHOW…{our actions already speak louder than words, I know I need to SHOW love, not impatience, frustration, and selfishness…oh man, easier said than done!!!!}

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him,and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Food for Thought

We also need to be deliberate about what we EAT. I really like the Paleo diet. Or I like to think of it as “The Maker’s Diet”. I think that God created food, and it’s best to eat it in the ways in which He intended it to be eaten. I love fresh fruits and veggies, and I’m realizing that all my years as a reluctant cook was quite silly, because if you focus on eating food closest to its  purest form, cooking is super easy!

I made Paleo Banana Pancakes for Breakfast this Morning {flour free}

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THREE INGREDIENTS {can’t get easier than that}

1 Ripe Banana

2 Eggs

2 tbs Pure Maple Syrup (or Raw Honey)

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Mush it all up!

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Fry it up like a pancake.

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So YUM, and very filling. only about 200 cal. Great way to start the morning.

I’ll leave you with this to “Chew” on… I’ve been thinking about modesty lately too: What it means to have Humility, and high standards…to be set a apart.


Read. Run. Eat

23 Jun

Have you heard of Rich Froning?



photo credit:

I have been on a reading kick lately, but I’ve found that my passion for literary works is waning, and I’m more interested in biographies and memoirs. It was serendipitous that I am getting into CrossFit and the male face of CrossFit comes out with a memoir…and then, it just so happens that I felt God put it on my heart to only read about things that are honoring to God….and guess what?! Froning’s book has a Christian focus. Double Score! I snagged an ebook copy HERE. I have the NOOK app on my iPad, but I found that I can download the FREE CBDreader app from I really liked that I was supporting a Christian bookstore too. does not have the ebook yet. So If you are impatient like me, get the ebook at and download the free CBDreader app and you’ll be in like flynn.

I thought this was really cool too, watch a typical workout for Rich Froning HERE.

I love working out and challenging myself. It gives me an incredible boost of self esteem to know that I gave something my all. Right now I know I have a long road ahead of myself to get fit enough to fully complete CrossFit WODs the way they are meant to be done. But I am really excited to see where my journey will take me.

At times I feel guilty for being so dedicated to working out. So I hope this memoir gives me a good perspective on Faith and Fitness. I’ll keep ya updated 😉


Today I went on a 4 mile run. It was way too hot. I ran by the lake and it literally looked the like beach was one giant ant hill.



But I was still glad that I did it. I was putting it off for TOO long.

I used a new playlist that I wanted to share with you. I thought it was a good one:

“Run it” Playlist

Song:                    Artist:

Radioactive          Imagine Dragons

Light Em Up        Fall Out Boy

Sail                         AWOLNATION

Blurred Lines       feat. T.I. & Pharrell

I’m Down               The Almost

Raise The Banner      Audio Adrenaline

More of You             Goo Goo Dolls

Slow it Down          Goo Goo Dolls

What a Mystery      Josh Wilson


I know it’s a bit of a mix up between secular and Christian music, but It’s upbeat and really gets you motivated. I ran super fast up hills to the first four songs, and then at a moderate, contemplative pace for the rest. I think it’s a keeper for a fast run.


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Tonight’s dinner was gluten free breaded chicken and veggies in parmesan cheese! So YUM

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Here’s what I did:

I took 1 gallon sized zip lock bag and put in the following-

1/2 cup Glutino bread crumbs

1/2 tbs Slap Ya Mamma

1/4 tbs Morton’s MSG Free Garlic Salt

1/2 tbs Cilantro

Put it in the bag and shake. It can’t get easier than that!

This mix was enough for 4 chicken breasts (2 for us for tonight, and 2 for leftovers tomorrow).

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Bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees.

Then I simply steamed the veggies in the microwave in a bowl with a little water and a paper towel over it. DON’T buy steamer bags, WASTE of money. This works even better.

Then I sprinkled some low fat parmesan cheese and sea salt on the veggies. So easy. Took 45 minutes to make if you include prep time. But I actually got my ab workout in while it was baking, so totally hands off, easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

I’m thinking Glutino Breadcrumbs will become a staple in my kitchen

For desert we had FROZEN GRAPES!! {Caution…once you pop, you can’t stop!}

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If you try this – just know that they don’t 100% fully freeze. They take a couple hours too. But It’s my new summer treat! I shared it with my nieces {4 and 6 years old} over the week and convinced them it was their “treat” for the day! I love that they totally bought it and LOVED it! They were really excited about it too. So fun to pass on a passion for healthy eating! ❤

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