Green Smoothies Rock

My go-to (and to-go) breakfast is a green smoothie. It’s convenient, delicious and healthy. What’s not to love?

Think you don’t have time to throw together a smoothie? Here’s how I make it work:

Prep in advance. Using quart-size freezer bags, I add all the ingredients except for the liquid. On the label, I write the name of the smoothie and how much liquid to add. To increase the efficiency of the process, I choose one or two recipes to make in bulk at one time. Then, they all go into a drawer in the freezer.

Most of the recipes I use are from Simple Green Smoothies by Hansard and Sellner. One recipe makes two smoothies for me. Currently, my favorite is Simple Monkey on page 113.

In the morning, I pull a freezer bag out about 30 minutes before I need to leave. Sometime in that 30 minutes, I put the frozen ingredients in my Ninja blender with the liquid.

A minute or two before I leave, I start the blender, the kids cover their ears and act like the blender is louder than they are, I put on my shoes and jacket, and then the smoothie is ready to pour into a Tervis tumbler just before walking out the door.

Breakfast done.

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30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 13: Health Insurance

Today, I am thankful to have health insurance.

Since having children especially, I’ve come to realize just how beneficial this is.

No, this isn’t a platform to get into a political discussion.

Are there problems with the U.S. system? Of course.

Is medical care overpriced? Probably.

Are insurance companies never frustrating? Silly question.

Do I think the government should be allowed to force U.S. citizens to purchase a product? Absolutely not.

But, despite all of the political controversy, I am thankful for the health insurance that I have for my family.

30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 6: Water

Today, I am thankful for water. In the U.S., we have easy access to clean water, something that is essential to our bodies and our lives. All I have to do is turn on a faucet, and it’s there. For that, I am thankful.

Genesis 1:10 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

Flabby Thighs? Yes, but it’s Not the End of the World

Yesterday, I was feeling very self-conscious about my flabby, prego-lady thighs. It was very hot yesterday afternoon, and I went swimming in my in-law’s pond with BP, Little E and other family members. As I pulled on my maternity tankini, I realized that I had neglected my thighs for a couple of months, and it is showing. Ugh. Hide me under a tent.

As I was still contemplating this unattractive fact about myself, I happened upon this blog today: http://www.canyoustayfordinner.com/

It couldn’t have been better timing, and I’m sharing this with you because I’m guessing many of you struggle with your self image sometimes, too. The girl who writes this blog lost 135 lbs. – half of her body weight.

Reading her story made me stop and put things in perspective: I’m healthy and active. God has blessed me with a second healthy pregnancy. I’m already relatively thin (minus the baby bump). It is my choice to put nutritious foods – or not – into my body.

And those thighs? Yeah, they could use some toning work. But what’s more important? Lots of things.

If you’re feeling a little down about your own image, check out this girl’s blog. Whether you need/want to lose weight or not, her story is one that most of us can relate to at some level.

Can Worrying Add a Single Hour to Your Life? Nope.

E collecting eggs

E collecting eggs

This was the first year in quite probably my entire life that I did not get to attend Easter morning church services, and it just didn’t seem as meaningful worshiping the Lord at home, in my sweatpants. I missed it: the crowds, the music, the Scripture, everything.

But, my little E has a staph infection (actually his second this year). Obviously, I couldn’t leave him in the nursery to freak people out.

And I was sick. And BP was getting sick.

Monday rolled around, and you’d think things would be getting back to normal.

A routine follow-up visit to E’s doctor ended up being an in-office procedure to lance and drain the infection.  And did I mention that I took E to the doctor by myself? And that I burst into tears at the mere mention of the procedure? (How do you comfort a screaming 15-month-old when you, yourself, are a mess?) And I was still sick. And so was BP.

I took me and my exhausted self and my exhausted baby back home for the rest of the day. Thank the Lord, the little guy quickly seemed back to normal, playing, running and chasing the dog.

And then I broke my salad spinner, which I love as much as you can love a kitchen gadget (the one I bought for only $2 and some change thanks to a 30% off coupon and $10 Kohl’s cash that my mom gave me). And then I passed a giant spider on the way down my basement steps. Ew.

But you know what?

I have so much to be thankful for:

  • My baby is alive and well, and his staph infection is treatable.
  • We have a warm, dry house to come home to and be sick in together.
  • We have access to medical care any time we need it.
  • We have health insurance and two incomes to help pay for the things we need to help us feel better.
  • We know that our Savior lives, and our hope is in Him.

This verse from Matthew 6 kept coming to mind, even through my tears:

26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.

Despite our worldly concerns, God has a master plan. Our worries are small. He commands us to give them over to Him.

Instant Oatmeal Packets: Healthy, Quick and Easy!

instant oatmeal packets

instant oatmeal packets

Most days, BP and I pack breakfast, snacks and lunch for little E. Sometimes, we feed him breakfast before he leaves the house, but we usually aren’t ready that early.

Either way, healthy, quick, easy breakfasts that are suitable for a one-year-old+ are absolutely necessary. My idea of a “good breakfast” isn’t sugared cereal or a Pop-Tart (not that we don’t ever indulge in those things — I just don’t want him to eat like that on a regular basis).

Several months ago, I came across these instructions for instant oatmeal packets from Once A Month Mom.

It takes me about 10 minutes to make up about two weeks’ worth of packets at at time. Hurrah! A healthy, quick, non-processed breakfast for my little guy!