Archive for Health and Nutrition

Fresh Express Salad Swap Party #momsmeet #saladswap

We were provided coupons in exchange for our hosting a Fresh Express salad swap party for Moms Meet. All opinions and thoughts are our own.

You all know we are trying to live a healthy lifestyle, including our eating habits. Our whole family enjoys salad. That’s why we were interested in this Fresh Express salad swap.
For the first time in two years, we’ve been battling a serious cold for the past month or so. But we also have mold in our rental home too so it is hard to discern what exactly is causing our illness at this point. Due to our illness, we rescheduled our Fresh Express Swap party a couple of times and finally opted to send our guests their coupons for them to try the Fresh Express Swap app themselves and send us their feedback and photos. The overall opinion was unanimous. Everyone enjoyed their Fresh Express salads!

Fresh Express Facts

•Fresh Express salads are thoroughly washed, rinsed, and gently dried, then sealed in patented “Keep-Crisp®” breathable bags to keep their just-picked freshness, without
preservatives.
• Fresh Express has a wide variety of products, including refreshing mixes and ready-to-eat kits. They also have a special USDA-Certified Organic line.
• Fresh Express salad mixes can vary in price, depending on the retailer, but typically cost between $2-$4 per bag.

The organic line did not seem to be easy to find in the stores we visited, which may just depend on the individual store’s buying/selling habits.


About the FREE Fresh Express Salad Swap App

 

The free Fresh Express Salad Swap App includes a variety of recipes and salad swaps, a progress tracker, motivation and inspiration, even additional Fresh Express coupons.

You can also participate in the 30 Day Salad Swap challenge and have a chance to earn more salad coupons. For every two salads you buy, you earn a coupon, which will be emailed to you. So if your new year’s resolution to lose weight or eat healthy has fallen by the wayside, this challenge could reboot your goal, plus give you great recipe ideas of how to swap out your favorite high calorie meals for a healthier alternative.

Here are a few screen shots to show you a little inside look at the app:

Fresh Express Salad Swap App 1

Fresh Express Salad Swap App 2

I wanted to know what would be a swap for blueberry pancakes (my favorite!) and this is the salad that came up:

Fresh Express Salad Swap App 3

Fresh Express Salad Swap App 4

Fresh Express Salad Swap App 5

Here’s what Magen thought of the app:

“Just tried the app … Wow! So cool! I am actually going to the store to try one of the swaps now. Going to try the lemon tilapia with Kale! I like that it has a calorie tracker and that you can put in what you are craving and it actually gives you an EASY option to trade with which are yummy!”

Download the Salad Swap app at 30daysaladsswap.com
 


Fresh Express Salad Swap Party

I opted to do a sandwich version of this Salad swap – Grown up Ham and Cheese but with my own twist.

Fresh Express Salad Swap App Recipe Ham and Spinach

I used wheat bread, Fresh Express Baby Spinach, deli ham, colby cheese, raw honey and mustard. I made it like a grilled cheese sandwich in a frying pan but instead of butter I used coconut oil, which heated up waayyy too fast…and they say coconut oil does not burn? Yes it does. This was my first time trying to substitute coconut oil with butter. I think next time I’ll have everything ready before I turn on the burner! I’ll blame it on being in a hurry and my head being clogged from this cold.

Fresh Express Salad Swap Grown Up Ham and Cheese_

Rosemarie shared:

“If you’re craving a favorite comfort food search Fresh Express Recipes for a delicious Salad Swap. I love Middle Eastern cuisine and falafel are one of my favorites. I was eager to try the Roasted Chickpea and Cucumber Salad with Lemon Feta Vinaigrette. It had the zesty flavors. I love and the firm and crunchy Fresh Express Leafy Green Romaine held up great under the roasted chickpeas. This Salad Swap was a healthy alternative that I would make again.”

Fresh Express Salad Swap Rosemarie

Magen and her family opted to do the Bacon Caesar salad kit:

Fresh Express Salad Swap Magen Collage

Here’s what they had to say about the salad, “We loved Fresh Express Salad. My daughter had a friend over and they could not wait to tear into the bag for lunch. They even started eating it before I could serve it at the table. Fresh express salad was very tasty and we LOVED their “kit” option!”

Here is what Jamie said:

“I enjoyed a lovely cheeseburger salad.”

Fresh Express Salad Swap Collage

There is a Fresh Express salad coupon available online for YOU at greenmomsmeet.com/freshexpress and you can learn more about Fresh Express by visiting their social media sites:

FreshExpress.com (click on their store locator for stores carrying Fresh Express)

Facebook.com/FreshExpressSalads

Pinterest.com/FreshExpress

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MommysClub All In Bundle Review

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As I mentioned last week in our MommysClub giveaway post, we have been reviewing the MommysClub All In Bundle.

Products in the MommysClub All In Bundle

None of the products smell chemically. They barely have any scent. I love that they are organic and or all natural, toxic-free and hypoallergenic.

MommysClub All In Bundle

Total Body Health with Multivitamin
– To be honest this is weird tasting but I’m not one to shy away from weird tasting health products. Now bad tasting products, I usually won’t buy again. Weird I can get use to. I think only my oldest and I have been taking it.


Total Body Health for Children with Multivitamin
– Only our youngest son likes to drink this. The rest not so much. I’d describe it as liquifying crushed up multivitamins. This would be great for those who cannot swallow pill form vitamins.

Children’s Multivitamin – All the children loved these chewable multivitamins!

Pre-Natal Plus – This is the same as the other liquid vitamins above but for expectant or nursing mamas. I did taste it. The flavor kind of reminded me of another health drink we’ve taken.

Daily Cleansing Foam – I’ve barely used this but it is a no-rinse hand washing solution that hypoallergenic with moisturizer for post-diaper clean up, cuts and burns. This would be nice to keep in the car.

Baby Shampoo – I haven’t even had a chance to fully review this product. I kind of forgot about it amidst all the other products. It smells great though!

Rash & Remedy Skin Relief – Haven’t had any use for this yet. Though Jr. does seem to have some spots I could try it on now that I think about it. It is for rashes and common skin problems.

Perfect Touch Sanitizer – Since we’ve been sick, I’ve been using this sanitizer on taps, door knobs etc. Yep, sick for the first time in two years and we’ve been double slammed in the last month. :(

I cannot honestly say how any of these products work long term because we have only been using them a short time. I can just give you our general thoughts about our initial usage.

 


About MommysClub

MommysClub is a network marketing company so becoming a member may enable you to earn an income from sharing their products with others. As a part of the giveaway and upcoming review, I became a member so this post includes my unique link.

You can learn more about MommysClub via their social media pages:

https://www.facebook.com/themommysclub

https://twitter.com/themommysclub

http://www.pinterest.com/themommysclub/

https://vimeo.com/user21859339

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Blog Forward 2014 Challenge #1 by ZonePerfect

This post is taking the place of my Motivation Monday post.

ZonePerfect Blog Forward 2014 Challenge


Blog Forward 2014 Challenge by ZonePerfect

I am a ZonePerfect blogger and part of the requirement is to write a post and in exchange I receive ZonePerfect bars! Yum! We got a box of 28 bars and thoroughly enjoyed them!

The first assignment is a challenge:

Challenge #1: Post a blog article detailing 3–5 New Year’s resolutions and include a letter to your future self that encourages you to stay on track or get back on track.

FFR ZonePerfect Bars_2


New Year’s Resolutions

You all know I don’t make resolutions so here is my “loose” list of goals for 2014:

1. Increase our income. (I *think* God is well on His way to answering this prayer…need a bit more time to be sure.)

2. Nutrition. Eat and grow more vegetables to we can freeze and can our winter supply.

3. Take our children on more field trips.

4. Get more organized as a whole family – mostly the house as it is an ongoing battle, that and getting the children to stay on task.


Letter to Future Self

Dear Self,

Just wanted to remind you of a couple of things to assist you in accomplishing your 2014 new year’s resolutions or “goals”. You have to be focused and keep your “hand to the plow” so to speak. There are going to be times when you don’t think you are moving forward but realize you are, no matter how small the step. History has proved that. Remember when you moved to the farm nearly three years ago?

Count your blessings amidst your successes and failures.

Work hard, play with your children and set aside time each day to organize something together as a family.

Your goals are not unattainable, which is good because it will make the journey to fulfilling them much easier.

Press on,
Your “Past” Self

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Swerve Sweetener 10% Discount Coupon – Thrifty Thursday

This post contains affiliate links.

I reviewed Swerve Sweetener when I wrote the post about replacement sweeteners and really liked it. It isn’t like other replacement sweeteners, it tastes that good. I used most of it in my tea, but I need to order more. I just missed the sale they had going on where you can purchase four canisters for $20. Completely forgot! Boo hoo! Can’t believe I have to start putting sale end dates on my calendar to remind myself to shop!

You all can save 10% discount on your order placed via Swerve’s website.

The discount code is: FAITH10 and expires 12/31/2014.

Have you ever forgotten a sale you really wanted to participate in? Or forgot coupons you really wanted to use?

Stay sweet!

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Get Healthy with Insync Probiotic #NaturalProbiotic #shop #cbias

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FFR Insync Natural Probiotic_

Our family really strives to live a healthy lifestyle, but I want to preface that by saying we don’t do it perfectly and we are still on our journey to better health. Always room for improvement, right? Though I have to say we celebrate our two year anniversary of being cold and flu free next month! One of the ways we live healthy is taking a natural probiotic and a daily multivitamin.


Insync Probiotic

FFR Insync Probiotic_at Meijer stores

Insync Probiotic is a natural probiotic I have been taking for the past three weeks. It is available at Meijer stores in the “condition specific” section. It contains doctor recommended B. infantis’, which is a healthy probiotic bacteria that has been found to help women with irritable bowel syndrome (Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine). I have found it easy on my digestive system.


Four Things to Stay Healthy

Here are four other things to do to help maintain a healthy digestive system balance in addition to taking a natural probiotic.

1. Eating the right foods. One of my favorite fall and winter time foods is soup, especially Potato Kale Soup. It has lots of yummy veggies that keep your digestive system going.

FFR Potato Kale Soup_

It looks wonderful in the above photo with all its brightly colored vegetables, and it’s how the children prefer it, but I prefer to blend it together as the recipe calls for, which makes it look not quite so appealing. It is oh-so-yummy though!

Insync Probiotic_Potato Kale Soup

2. Getting enough sleep is an important part of staying healthy and giving our body the rest it needs to function properly.

FFR Insync Probiotic_sleeping photo

3. Get enough exercise. I struggle with this one because I like to get my exercise naturally rather than go to the gym or get on exercise equipment. One of the reasons I want to live on a farm! The thing is I have so many children that usually what’s left for me is weeding the garden which no one else enjoys. Before my older two boys took it over, one of my favorite things to do in the winter was shovel snow. Exercise aids in regular bowel movements.

FFR Insync Probiotic_shoveling snow

4. Laughter. We are all probably familiar with the old proverb “Laughter is good medicine”, but it rings true. Exercise, laughter and having fun gets the endorphines going and reduces stress in our life. Less stress promotes good digestion and promotes good health.

For more information about Insync Probiotic, please visit:
http://www.insyncprobiotic.com
Twitter – @insyncprobiotic
Facebook – insyncprobiotic

Do you and your family take a natural probiotic to stay healthy? Have you ever heard of or tried Insync Probiotic before reading this post?

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MinuteClinic at select CVS Pharmacy Stores

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Dad Central Consulting for CVS MinuteClinic. I received promotional items as a thank you for participating”

By: Guest Dad Blogger Scott – #MC

 

“Children suffer around 6 or 12 colds a year.”

And

“Americans get 1 billion colds a year.”

Source:  Center for Disease Control and Prevention

 

With cold and flu season fast approaching it’s good to know that MinuteClinic in select CVS Pharmacy Stores are here to help you.

MinuteClinic

What’s a MinuteClinic you ask?  Good Question!

MinuteClinic is an affordable alternative to visiting your doctor when you or a family member is suffering from a cold, cough or flu illness.  No appointments are necessary and they are open 7 days a week with evening hours!  The MinuteClinic can vaccinate, diagnose, treat, and prescribe for cold, cough, and/or flu!

Board Certified Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants are there for you to treat a variety of common family illnesses.  Not just limited to cold, cough, and flu.  They are able to diagnose strep throat, ear infections, pink eye, and UTI’s.  In addition, they are able to provide vaccinations for flu, pertussis, and others.  The MinuteClinic can also provide physicals for sports and /or camps and wellness services to stop smoking, lose weight, and screening for diabetes and cholesterol.

This program is terrific for that on the go person or family.  The MinuteClinic also accepts insurance! If your regular doctor is not available and you visit the MinuteClinic, they will send your summary visit to your primary care physician (with your permission).  No regular doctor?  No problem – The MinuteClinic can even help you find a provider.

Currently the MinuteClinic at CVS Pharmacy Stores is available in 28 states and in Washington DC. 

If you sneeze or cough, please cover your mouth, this is how most germs spread.  One of the best ways to avoid sickness is wash your hands with soap and water and try not to touch your face.

 

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Liquid Amino Diet Part 2 and Giveaway

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By now you all know how much I struggle with any sort of diet to help me lose weight. Most of you know I have been trying the Liquid Amino Diet for the past few weeks. See my post on Liquid Amino Diet Part 1 here.

As a recap….


What is the Liquid Amino Diet?

Dr. Finsand developed the Amino Diet about 4 years ago after years of research and trials with his patients. The Liquid Amino diet is not about a quick fix, it is about a total and complete lifestyle change. The lifestyle change is accomplished through clean eating and ALL NATURAL homeopathic drops. Because of the healthy change in diet, you can expect to lose between .5-1 lb per day. Unlike other diets, the Amino Diet does not inject hormones for a total body shock, but instead focuses on teaching people how to eat clean without the shock of the system. This is one HUGE factor in keeping the weight off for extended periods of time.

Be sure to check out this video from a real Amino dieter who lost 85 pounds on the program.

Liquid Amino Diet Review and Giveaway

Taking the Liquid Amino Diet was a breeze. It has an odd flavor, yet it’s not unpleasant by any means. Letting it sit under my tongue was a breeze and I normally allowed it to go over 20 seconds. What I struggled with was remembering to take it 15 minutes before my meals. I also struggled with consistency.

In our busy household we do not like to make several meals for each of the three main meal times so I am very use to eating whatever the rest of the family eats. In terms of “dieting” I struggle with eating differently and what I’ll say to my children. If I say I am trying to eat healthier, that will leave them questioning if our family meals are truly healthy. 95-99% of our meals are made from scratch, made with mostly organic ingredients etc. With a houseful of growing children, we do eat a lot of carbs. Because of this I really did not experience the weight loss I could or perhaps should have. I do know that when I happened to take the Liquid Amino Diet supplement consistently at least once or twice a day it did seem to curb my appetite. That’s always a good thing, right?

Liquid Amino Diet drops_

I like the fact there is coaching available with the Liquid Amino Diet, but I only reached out to my “coach” a couple of times and when I did she did have encouraging things to say. I probably should have reached out a lot more, even on a daily basis to take full advantage of a “cheerleading” section. Who doesn’t want to do well when someone is quietly cheering you on in the sidelines?

I think anything is worth a try and for that reason I would say give the Liquid Amino Diet a try but be consistent and keep your calories within that 1500 range and see what happens to the extra weight you so desperately desire to lose. Add a little exercise and I bet you lose a few more pounds than you expected.

Me? I always have high hopes and high aspirations in anything but always seem to fail when it comes to weight loss.

Enter the giveaway below to win your own Liquid Amino Diet:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Yogurt and Blueberries – Wordless Wednesday

Yogurt is a yummy, healthy snack. Creating yogurt recipes is pretty easy when you keep it simple and I like simple. One of my favorite snacks is yogurt and blueberries. To spice it up I like to top it with almonds and pecans. I love eating just plain frozen blueberries too.

I was playing around with taking photos of food and took one of my yogurt and blueberries. I thought it turned out decent enough to make into a blog post.

FFR Yogurt, Blueberries and Almonds

For my yogurt and blueberries snack, all I did is poured vanilla or French vanilla yogurt into a bowl, added frozen or fresh blueberries, topped it with sliced almonds and/or pecans. We do this a lot with any of our favorite fruit. You could do this with plain yogurt too.

We also like to make smoothies….at least until our blender broke. :( Sniff. Sniff. Still have to figure out which part I need to buy since the last time I purchased the wrong part.

Something we have not made since getting Miss Moo is homemade yogurt. Amazing, eh? Whenever I buy yogurt to have the starter it always gets eaten before we get to it.

Do you eat yogurt? Do you do anything “fancy” with it? Have any yogurt recipes to recommend or do you make homemade yogurt?

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Replacement Sweeteners

FFR IMAGE

Did you know many replacement sweeteners are not healthy or even safe for long term use? Did you know that many websites including the Mayo Clinic say that artificial sweeteners are generally safe, even for pregnant women? Personally, we have stayed away from artificial sweeteners. Aspartame always left a weird, icky taste in my mouth and so even before I knew of the dangers of it I never liked it. We also try hard to stay away from High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) as well. We use organic cane sugar, raw honey, molasses and maple syrup for the most part.

I participated in a Twitter party last week for #Switch2Swerve – Swerve Sweetener (granular) – and these are some facts I learned about refined sugar and artificial sweeteners:

1. Artificial sweetener Aspartame is genetically modified, toxic to brain cells and makes you to put it bluntly…fat. (I hate that word!)
2. Americans ingest 200 calories of high fructose corn syrup daily and 130 lbs per year.
3. Some high fructose corn syrup is laced with mercury which is a metal linked to heart disease and autism.
4. Sorbitol & erythritol can have a laxative effective if you consume too much. Family members with diabetes consuming products with artificial sweeteners have have found this to be true, but I don’t know which artificial sweeteners.
5. Someone went to a maple syrup farm, and was told 90% of store maple syrup really has none in it at all!
6. Sucralose (Spenda) is passing through our bodies found in waste water treatment plants. It has potential to harm food supply.
7. 21.4 teaspoons of sugar equals about 16-25% of total caloric intake. Currently only 5% of sugar is recommended.
8. Safe sweeteners include: Swerve, Stevia, xylitol, sorbitol, erythritol, raw honey, blackstrap molasses, & maple syrup
9. It is important to note that naturally occurring sugar in fruits, veggies etc. are all acceptable and should not be avoided.

Dr. Mercola has issues with store bought honey, not raw honey, and agave. He has a great article on sugar substitutes. Discovery Health even has an article on artificial sweeteners. So I won’t go into any more risks of using artificial sweeteners because you can do your own research and find out a ton of information instead of taking my word for it.

Enter Swerve, a product I just learned about and tried recently.

Swerve

I like the fact that Swerve contains no artificial ingredients, preservatives or flavors! It is non-GMO and has no calories. Swerve is non-glycemic and is actually good for your gut by helping you grow beneficial bacteria. You can learn more facts when you visit Swerve Sweetener (granular)

I have only tried Swerve in my tea so far but it tasted good. Not too sweet at all. We received an 8 oz. canister of Swerve Sweetner and I want to try it in one of our holiday recipes to see how it makes dessert taste. Swerve has lots of recipe ideas that look delicious. I am especially looking forward to trying their blueberry muffin, fudge and pumpkin pie recipes.

3 Swerve Sample Packets are available for just $1.00, plus you get a $2.00 coupon for your next order, if you are interested in trying it. Right now they also have a sale going on for aCanister 4pk for $20 + Free Shipping.

For more information on Swerve Sweetener visit them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest (more recipe ideas).

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Fall Inspired Recipes with Squash

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marianos logo

Thanksgiving is only a little over a couple of weeks away and I have been looking for fall inspired recipes for squash. I found a couple new ones I want to try. To facilitate this post I shopped at Mariano’s for the ingredients for our traditional recipe.

FFR #MyMarianos Squash Display

I really enjoy shopping at Mariano’s. I love that they carry a good selection of organic food. The employees make it a pleasant experience. Each time I have gone, one has helped direct me to a faster checkout. It’s very helpful. Mariano’s also has a reward card shoppers can use to earn 1% cash back on every $50 purchased from November 7 thru February 8, 2014. How’s that for a bit of holiday shopping incentive?

FFR #MyMariano's Squash ingredients

For my very simple recipe I purchased four organic squash, but only used two. Organic parsley, organic butter and ground cinnamon.

FFR #MyMariano's Cooking Squash

Those of you who have never cooked a squash, you wash the squash and cut it into halves lengthwise. Then put it face down inside a 9×12 dish.

FFR #MyMariano's Cooking squash_2

Once cut, scoop out the seeds and pulp from the ball of the squash.

FFR #MyMariano's Cooking Squash_3

The squash seeds may be saved, dried and used to plant in your garden next spring (especially if they are organic, non-hybrid seeds!). Or the seeds may be roasted and eaten as a super nutritious snack.

FFR #MyMariano's Cooking Squash_4

All four halves would not fit in my pan so I wrapped the last half in foil and baked it along side the pan.

FFR #MyMariano's Preparing Squash

After the squash is baked, it is scooped out of it’s skin and put into a bowl.

FFR #MyMariano's Preparing Squash 2

Then I mash it to make sure all the clumps are pretty much out before adding the butter, cinnamon and parsley. And that’s all there is to it. Very simple, inexpensive and yummy!

FFR #MyMariano's Fall Squash Recipe

Fall Inspired Recipes with Squash

Simple Squash Recipe

Serves 8-10
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 1 hour, 10 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Side Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Hot
Occasion Barbecue, Casual Party, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving
Region Canadian
This simple squash recipe is a tasty side dish for the holiday season.

Ingredients

  • 2 Organic Butternut Squash
  • 1 sprig Organic Parsely ((I used curly parsley, there is also flat leaf))
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons Organic Butter

Directions

Step 1
Wash squash of in warm water.
Step 2
Cut squash in half lengthwise.
Step 3
Place face down in a 9x12 baking dish. I had an extra so I wrapped it in foil because it would not fit in my pan.
Step 4
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 -60 minutes or until soft when poked with a fork.
Step 5
Spoon out squash into a bowl.
Step 6
Mash out lumps.
Step 7
Add butter and cinnamon. Cinnamon can be to taste with more or less.
Step 8
Sprinkle a little extra cinnamon on top and add a few leaves of parsley for garnish.
Step 9
Enjoy!

Shopping at Mariano’s

You can learn more about Mariano’s and get new ideas on a weekly basis on Mariano’s website. Consider liking #MyMariano’s on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

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