Fennel Sicilian Salad

Ever see a fennel bulb and think, oh my what the heck is that?

I had never seen on until recently. I knew of its flavor – but that was it, in fact I only knew vaguely of the flavor.
So, when I received one in my Bountiful Basket, I thought, “Hey, this is going to be the first thing I use.”

Sicilian Fennel Salad with Blood Oranges and Olives. Looking for a new dish to impress? This salad will never fail! Check out the recipe at hhmomma.com

Now a traditional Sicilian Salad obviously changes from cook to cook. In its most basic form, it consists of blood oranges, fennel, extra virgin olive oil and some sea salt. My version includes some salty kalamata olives to pair with the extra sweet blood orange, along with some freshly cracked pepper. This side dish is a perfect palate cleanser when paired with a heavy red meat. It is also a tasty salad served at brunch. It will always impress.

Sicilian Fennel Salad with Blood Oranges and Olives. Looking for a new dish to impress? This salad will never fail! Check out the recipe at hhmomma.com

There are only four ingredients, but never skimp on their quality. This simple recipe takes only minutes to prepare.

Blood oranges are my obsession at the moment. They are a little bit sweeter than a regular orange, and also have more of a berry flavor. Like any orange, cut away the bitter skin and slice into segments. The red juice of dark red oranges will stain so be careful to wear an apron.

Fennel like most other vegetables should be firm, stiff and crisp. The feathery fronds ought to be bright green and soft. Fat bulbs are sweeter, tastier and much more fibrous that skinny bulbs.

Use excellent olives, as they are a 1/3 of the salad’s flavor.

With cooking, I always choose a rich, fragrant extra virgin olive oil. They can be pricey, so buy small bottles until you find your perfect match. Remember EVOO can go rancid, so you never want to buy too large of a bottle at one time.

This salad is a great lunch meal too. Eating both servings puts you at around 300 calories! Add a piece of grilled chicken and you have a meal!

Fennel and Blood Orange Salad

Serves 2; 148 calories each serving

  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced thinnly
  • 1 & 1/2 blood oranges, peeled & sliced thinly
  • kalamata olives, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • Freshly cracked black pepper and salt

Combine fennel, EVOO, the juice of 1/2 a blood orange juice, salt and pepper and olives.

Sicilian Fennel Salad with Blood Oranges and Olives. Looking for a new dish to impress? This salad will never fail! Check out the recipe at hhmomma.com

Toss coating well. Place on a serving tray, top with oranges and a few feathery fronds. Enjoy!

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Egg in a Hole

Egg in a hole – sounds like a children’s story book, doesn’t it? It’s not though – instead it is one of the best breakfasts ever invented. I grew up on it! I remember watching Mary Jane’s Pa as a kid and thinking what the heck, now I must have one when Guy Kibbee makes it. Even both Fraiser and Friends sitcoms feature egg in a hole being prepared. It’s gotta be popular if it’s been on Friends right?

If you have never had egg in a hole, I don’t think we can be friends.

Get off my site and go make one right now!

Toad in a hole, egg in a hole, egg in a basket, frog in a hole, bird’s nest egg, blind eyes, private eyes, egg toast, chicken in a basket, seriously I don’t care what you want to call it! All that matters is it is so good you have to at least try it. It’s one of my go to breakfasts because of its simplicity and you can whip them out in a snap.

Start with a piece of bread. using a jar, cup, cookie or biscuit cutter, whatever you have on hand as I do not even own a circle cookie or biscuit cutter (shapes would be fun for holidays or children’s breakfast!) simply remove the center of your bread. I love while wheat bread with grains – flax, seeds, oats, anything to make it hearty. I’m very practical. I likehomemade bread, but it goes so quick! You can use any kind of bread. I grew up on potato bread! White, sour dough, brioche, or honey whole wheat works just fine. (Your taste in bread says nothing about your financial status.)

Egg in a Hole. Toad in a Hole, Bird in a Nest, whatever you want to call it - it's amazing! Quick and Easy Breakfast Ideas. www.hhmomma.com

In a skillet, melt 1/2 a tablespoon of butter on MED/LOW heat. Butter is good for you I don’t care what anyone tells you. Chart to open your eyes:

Red bars are saturated fats… Saturated fats (aka solid fats at room temperature) are DIRECTLY related to bad cholesterol levels. It’s basic science. Mono and  poly unsaturated fats (aka the oils that are liquid even when cold) too take part in cholesterol levels, I’m talking about both LDL’s and HDL’s. Mono is good – it helps remove the cholesterol build up in your arteries, takes it back to your liver for bile use. Bile is what emulsifies fat you eat so it can actually be broken down into glucose, and metabolized for energy. See the circle of life? Now, although saturated fats are directly related to bad cholesterol levels, they get a bad reputation. Any study can be swayed to a desired result. In the study that was done to show sat. fats were bad, none of the subjects were healthy. they were probably over eating everything – healthy or bad foods. As for cholesterol levels, the good cholesterol’s (healthy fats and oils) remove the toxins and bad fats in your blood. You also need cholesterol to produce certain hormones like estrogen and testosterone because they are direct derivatives from it! Obviously too much of a good thing is a bad things so limit saturated fats, but don’t be afraid of them. You need them for your body to function properly.

Egg in a Hole. Toad in a Hole, Bird in a Nest, whatever you want to call it - it's amazing! Quick and Easy Breakfast Ideas. www.hhmomma.com

Back to your toad. Place your bread in the center and crack your egg right down in the hole. Add salt and pepper if you like. Let the egg set for 20-40 seconds, then swirl the toast around to soak up all of the browned butter. Don’t work, the butter shouldn’t burn at that low of temperature. Your egg should only be brown from your brown butter, not from overcooking it. Flip after a minute when the whites are half way set. Swirl again, then remove from your skillet when your whites are completely cooked, but the yolk is still soft and gooey.

Egg in a Hole. Toad in a Hole, Bird in a Nest, whatever you want to call it - it's amazing! Quick and Easy Breakfast Ideas. www.hhmomma.com

Serve immediately!

Egg in a Hole. Toad in a Hole, Bird in a Nest, whatever you want to call it - it's amazing! Quick and Easy Breakfast Ideas. www.hhmomma.com

Have an amazing day!

Finishing Week 2 of Turbofire

I’ve slammed the door on week two! Today was my last workout day for week two!

I feel amazing! Words cannot express how I feel. I’m in the groove of eating on my body’s cues for which nutrients it needs. I feel satiated quicker, and never starved. I’m eating more calories than I ever have on any workout or weight loss regime. My children enjoy the same fresh fruits and vegetables as I do.

quick lunch

I’ve been addicted to the combo of blood oranges & berries. It’s packed full of fiber and carbohydrates to get me going at the start of each day. I bought a big bag full of the oranges at the market, not knowing they were blood oranges. To be honest, the darker skin made me think they were on sale to sell quick – but I just got lucky I guess!

Blood oranges have a stronger flavor. I think they are sweeter and less acidic. Sometimes oranges or orange juice creates a phlegmy feeling in my throat, but blood oranges do not do that to me. Blood oranges do have a red pigment which from an antioxidant called anthocyanin. Did you know that different colored fruits and veggies have different antioxidents based on their color? On top of that, a medium sized blood orange is an excellent source of vitamin C to stay sick free, calcium for your bones and heart, folate for cell reproduction, B1 aka thiamine to convert carbohydrates to energy through glucose metabolism, and they provides around 30% of your daily fiber intake. Throw the peel down the garbage disposal and you have a natural deodorizer!

Branch out of your usual fruit and vegetable choices. Love oranges? Try Blood Oranges! #changingitup hhmomma.com

On top of those succulent oranges, I purchased a few organic bountiful baskets. I urge everyone to look up bountiful baskets to see if an organization is set up near you. It’s such a great deal. For the low amount I paid, I have so much food I had to give some away. I buy produce weekly because 1) We go through it so quickly, and 2) Fresh IS best. Plus, you are more likely to find your favorites on sale when you shop often.

Today, my body was CRAVING deep fried foods. I obviously don’t NEED them, but I really wanted deep fried jalapeno poppers, or cheese sticks. So I thought of something healthy to replace the bad and satiate the craving. Egg in a hole.

toad in a hole

Egg in a hole, or toad in a hole, or blind eye, or whatever you want to call it – it’s a healthy choice for your crunchy, fatty craving.

FLEX FRIDAY! Day 11

It’s FLEX FRIDAY!

So to start my day off, I  did an amazing Turbofire HIIT workout. My kids loved the change up, since I usually work out at night when they fall asleep.

welcome to my gym

Welcome to my gym! It doesn’t matter where you are active, but as long as you are doing something to teach yourself discipline, you will conquer!

flex friday

I truly have no clue how to flex like the fitness models do.

omelette

For breakfast I was craving an omelette.

omelette2

fruit side

How do your meal plates look like? 1/2 veggies, 1/4 carbs, and 1/4 protein?

missing fruit side

I turned around for a split second and something was missing…

found the missing fruit

Found the culprit!

Have a good day you guys! BE GOOD!

xo

Three Day Cleanse – Days 8, 9, & 10 #ShakeologyCleanse

This week has been nuts! My husband found out about a last minute job he needed to do, so on top of preparing for his departure, I had a paper and an exam due, too! It’s been a ride. On top of all the ciaos, for some reason I thought my rest day was Tuesdays, but it’s not. It’s Wednesdays. So I rested both days. The cleanse sort of took the energy out of me. One of the days I was so busy I only had 2 shakes plus dinner. So that deprived me of around 225 calories. I’m going to follow my workout schedule, and then my rest day next week will be the day I catch up. It’ll definitely be tough! Luckily I’m doing the Turbofire HIIT workouts which only take around 20-30 min plus stretching. But don’t let the low amount of time make you think they are easy. I literally SWEAT my butt off.

My Three Day Shakeology Cleanse:

Day 1

3 shakeo’s

D:chicken caesar salad with mushrooms and tomatoes

(sorry no photo – I was too hungry to pause and remember to snap a pic)

Day 2

2 shakeo’s (supposed to have been 3)

D: greek shrimp on a bed of spinach and arugula topped with a little bit of feta

shakeology cleanse meal plan

Day 3

3 shakeo’s

D: asian veggie stir fry with chicken and long grain wild rice

shakeology cleanse meal plan

 

Don’t stop! You can do this! The secret to everything to staying POSITIVE. Think Happy Healthy thoughts!

xo

How important is breakfast?

Start your day out right.

Are you eating breakfast?  Find out why this meal is definitely not the one to skip! hhmomma.com

Too often I get asked why breakfast is important. I know that some people really just aren’t hungry in the mornings so they feel like they don’t need to eat.

Children Breakfast Idea - berries & oatmeal with brown sugar and cranberries... Are you eating breakfast?  Find out why this meal is definitely not the one to skip! hhmomma.com

But listen, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day! I’m not talking about donuts or sugar cereals. I’m talking about HEALTHY breakfasts.

Berry walnut protein oatmeal - Are you eating breakfast?  Find out why this meal is definitely not the one to skip! hhmomma.com

1. It stops your body from breaking down muscle for energy. You won’t be lethargic. Eating breakfast will give you the physical strength you need to move around through out the day. Too tired to have sex at night? Try eating breakfast. (…or make your partner eat breakfast. It could be our little science project.)

2. Breakfasts controls your appetite so you don’t crash diet and eat too much at lunch time and through out the rest of the day.

3. You will perform better at work or in college. Concentrations is improved. Same goes for children. They perform better in the classrooms and recreation areas.

4. Studies have proved that those who eat breakfast weigh less than those who do not. See #2.

5. It will lower your cholesterol. We all have seen the oatmeal and Cheerio’s commercials…

6. Skipping breakfast, or any meal, makes it hard for you to actually intake the daily recommend vitamins and minerals.

Don’t tell me you don’t have time to eat breakfast; it is a lazy man’s excuse. It’s not hard to pre-plan. You can make different meals the night before like overnight oats, chia pudding, peanut butter on toast, make granola & yogurt cups, or even pack a protein shake like Shakeology or Herbalife. Grab a banana if all else fails! If you really are short on time, wake up earlier! 10-15 min is all you need. Eggs literally take a minute and a half to cook.

How to make eggs in the microwave! Are you eating breakfast?  Find out why this meal is definitely not the one to skip! hhmomma.com

You can scramble two eggs in a coffee mug, nuke for one minute then top with some cheese, peppers, onions, mushrooms or what ever you like. Nuke it again for thirty seconds and voila. Eggs in less than two minutes. Grab an orange and your out the door with a healthy meal.

So, to make today short & sweet, Remember to feed your family and your body breakfast.

Day 5, 6, & 7

TurboFire has definitely kicked my butt. It has really reminded me how uncoordinated I am. Now that I have all the moves and combos down, starting tomorrow – week 2 – they change every thing up! I’m excited for what is to come.
20140119-201151.jpg
My Day 5 went really well, although it was a family birthday, so I made an amazing birthday cake for the party. It was an extremely busy day. I got my workout in, but failed to do the ten minutes stretch. At the party, we did a baked potato bar with a large garden salad on the side.

Day 6 was a usual Saturday for me: breakfast with my mom & grocery store shopping. I was out and about most of the day so my cravings were curbed. I did a little review of a new (or at least new to me) product I found on the shelf at my Smith’s Grocery Store

Today, Day 7, was my easy workout day. I was scheduled to do Abs 10 & Stretch 10 – a 20 minute workout. I’m so excited I made it past week one! Measurements and weigh in is tomorrow morning. I have no regrets or bad feelings about my “cheats” this weekend. I know I’m nourishing my body and cells so I shouldn’t have anything to worry about. My workouts have become easier, but I’m still working up a sweat. I love the endorphin rush! 

How do you get ready for summer?

Lemonade, bikinis, sunscreen, green grass, fireworks, BBQ’s… OH MY! What are we doing to get ready? Well I know I need some motivation and THINspiration!

How are you getting ready for bikini season? Need some THINspiration? Check out this health&fitness blog. www.hhmomma.com

I got out a swim suit from last year and hung it up in my bathroom. It’s one of those things that I’m super excited for, but at the same time dreading the hard workouts that are going to one with it.All I know is that no matter what I look like by March (because here in the desert in January it is already 55 degrees Fahrenheit!) I am going to be confident in the muscles I’m in (not skin I’m in because WHO want just skin? I want muscles!) because I am healthy and I am fit.Just over the past months I’ve a huge difference in my families eating habits. My kids love raw fruits and veggies, whole grains and healthy fats. Now I’m not raising my kids as vegetarian or any other limiting diet. Children need certain nutrients to grow and develop correctly. My kids don’t have food allergies or sensitives (yet) so I make sure they eat clean 80% of the time. No matter how you feed you children, make sure they are intaking vital nutrients, vitamins & minerals. Check amino acid analysis record on plant foods if they are vegetarian/vegan. Quinoa is only so great…

Now I don’t know about you, but Thursday’s are the busiest day of the week for me! Is that so, for you, too? I feel like everything is thrown at us the last day before the weekend, but, hey, we can conquer the world!
I usually have my smoothies at lunch, but I had to have mine on the go to class for dinner. Remember to follow me on myfitnesspal! I use it everyday, even if it is just to check out how many calories are in a serving & what exactly is a serving. It’s great for people who aren’t trying to lose weight too. It tells you how much of each nutrient, vitamin, and mineral you need for that day.

Food Porn! Check out some really good breakfast ideas for any weight loss plan. www.hhmomma.com

It was nice to have an egg for breakfast! Open-faced egg & avocado sandwich.

Food Porn! Check out some really good breakfast ideas for any weight loss plan. www.hhmomma.com

I love eggs & avocado combo.

Open-faced Egg & Avocado Sandwich

Recipe:
237 calories – 1 serving

1 egg
1/2 avocado
1 piece of whole wheat bread, toasted. I used Sarah Lee
Cook the egg how you prefer.
Layer your sandwich toast, avocado, egg. Simple as that.
I like my yolk to drip all over my sandwich before I eat it.

Valentine's Day will be here sooner than you think! What are you having? www.hhmomma.com

Today I worked on a new pancake recipe you guys are going to die for!!! Seriously, I am drooling thinking about them… Too bad I’m out of bananas or else I would probably push save and make some more! My daughter and I ate two bananas (each) today. The recipe is soon to come!

Stay Zen. Follow this fitness journey at www.hhmomma.com

Do you like peppermint tea? Ever tried spearmint? I recently had Tazo’s Zen at a Starbucks and it was so good. It’s a spearmint green tea blend. It’s very mild, but it does have caffeine – which as perfect to keep me into class and later ready for my late night work out.

Do you use a hair band every time you work out? www.hhmomma.com

I have never used hair bands before I had my kids. I never had fly aways in my face. After I had my kids, I lost a lot of my hair and it’s still re-growing. I’m not so sure it was the most comfortable thing ever, but I pined them in place with some bobby pins. It stayed in place for my whole workout!

Find comfortable shoes to workout in. Trust me, it's more important to be comfy than stylin' ~ www.hhmomma.com

 

Comfort vs being stylish – Comfort for sure!

kisses xo www.hhmomma.com

Now just to show off my daughter a little bit – she LOVES to take photos like I do. She took this just before I left for class. I’m telling you she is amazing.

Surviving College

How to survive college! Every college student must read this! We are poor but happy college students.

Sometimes we struggle with balancing our school work, children, social life, and healthy lifestyles.

What can we do to make this work?

To mold our lives together into perfect working factions?

Although it is tough, we make it work through hard work, dedication, and a constant reminder of happiness! For most of us, college is a time when we finally start our lives as independently as possible. Some of us start later in life but achieve a sense of independence we never knew we were capable of. College is the time when you are finally on your own. You learn to make your own decisions and rules. You guide your life to the destination you desire- even if it is unknown. Living a healthy lifestyle in college does not have to be hard though and it definitely does not require hours of prep and preplanning! The key is to stay organized. Get into the habit of making certain meals on a certain night of the week, going grocery shopping, etc. Start a notebook like mine (see my DIY : Notebook) It’s realistic, small and easy to shove in your purse or backpack.

Eating healthy while at college:
Keep a handful of items ready to go. I usually make a big batch of chicken on Sundays to eat throughout the week. I buy frozen bags of veggies that are microwavable, I have apple fries & peanut butter, which is easy for sharing with a roommate, child or hubby. Find foods that are easy for you and don’t require a lot of preparation!

how to budget in college
Pack little jars, bags or containers of hunger killers the night before. So when you are running late to class the next morning you can grab one and go!
Keep a budget. Since most of us do not have a ton of extra money, limit yourself each week. I have a set grocery list and it is typically $30 per week in food just for me. My children & husband are extra. I choose more whole foods in my diet… Like fresh fruit and veggies, peanut butter, whole wheat pastas, and some snacks.
Limit eating out to only a few times a week. SAVE MONEY!! Don’t go out too often, it is cheaper and healthier to cook for yourself! When you eat out, box half of your meal up and save the other half for the next day. Stretch your dollar!

Replace 1 meal a day with Shakeology. I like mine at lunch. It’ll be your healthiest meal of the day and at $4 a serving, it beats any fast food meal or latte you can buy! Plus it has the nutritional value of eating 5 large salads in one meal! It will increase your energy, decrease cravings, help you lose weight and give you the nutrition you need in one glass. It’s portable, convenient and absolutely tastes amazing!

We have a restaurant called the Pasta Factory. They serve a Bow Tie Chicken Caesar Salad served with a Bread Twist that is to-die-for. I order the full, dressing on the side, no croutons, and add half spinach instead of just romaine… You’ll come to find out I always make my salad bigger by adding more lettuce; what can I say – I’m an herbivore! I, like sooo many people here, can hardly resist a Steak Salad from Cafe Rio. BUT I order no tortilla chips, no rice, extra pico and choose either guacamole or the dressing. Sometimes it’s hard to leave things out, but honestly if you’re only eating half your “restaurant size” meal at a time it’s okay to include all your favorites. Remember proportion sizes!
If you can hold the beast back, invite your friends or family to come over and cook a healthy dinner! That is always fun.
Find healthy options for when you do go out. I’ll post a page on that soon. Most restaurants have side salads, steamed veggies, and whole wheat options. Restaurants over-portion their plates by double if not more! When I eat out with my husband, we get an appetizer and one meal, then split it! If I am with my friends or family and want to take left-overs home for the next day, I order two small appetizers, or one appetizer and a side salad. Even if you just switch the fries for veggies and keep your normal meal the same that is still a healthier option!

how to drink more water, get hydrated fast
Choose water. Wherever you go, order a water, or water with lemon. Skip the soda or whatever else. Tea is okay, but remember caffeine is a stimulant and too much will dehydrate you and also pull calcium out of your bones. Water is the best option there is! I always have at least one of my water bottles with me. Train yourself into making a habit of taking water with you!

Stay active:
A simple way to get in your daily exercise is to walk! Walk around campus between classes and walk to your class. Park far away from your class building to encourage you to walk. Get your blood pumping. Ride your bike to class! Try enrolling in gym class. Most colleges have a gym, some are free with your tuition. Take advantage of this and GO!!! There is always something for everyone!

collegebike
Fit it into your schedule. If you are a morning person or you don’t have classes until the afternoon then go before class! Try BeachBody’s at home DVD programs! T25 is only 25 min long, and their Hip Hop Abs & Turbo Jam spice things up without having to go to the gym. If you prefer your workouts between or after classes then try to make it a habit. Take advantage of your college’s gym. Take a weight training class for credit! Even if you are going to do some yoga and stretch out. Remind yourself how good you feel when you are active.

Staying Smart:
Find a study buddy. Everyone knows that when you study with someone you retain more info, learn things you missed and actually recall the info for the exam. You can study together and even work on homework. You’re less likely to miss deadlines with a study buddy there to help remind you. Sometimes it can be distracting but most of the time it is motivating. Figure out what kind of learner you are do you need to talk it out? Record lectures? Draw pictures & diagrams? Walk around and fiddle? Do what works regardless of what others think.

college studying
GO to class and do your homework.
Find a tutor or talk to your professor if you need help! The more you talk to them, the more get they know you, and the more they can help you! Plus, they are willing to write letters of recommendation for future applications or interviews.
How to maintain a social life:
Get involved, put yourself out there. You’ll meet so many people who will help you determine who you are and where you stand. Figure out which clubs you want to join and join them. Don’t think, just do. But keep your numbers low – it is much better to be highly involved in a few groups rather than not as involved in many groups. Stay close to the members and communicate with them. Organizations are a great way to meet people with similar interests as you.
Find your group of friends. Choose who you want to be like and love them for all their differences. You are who your friends are, so choose wisely. Be the friend you wish you had. You may not get a chance be close with your roommates if they don’t try too… but, honestly, it’s not your problem as long as they pay rent.
If you aren’t into partying it’s okay! You don’t have to party for a good time. Do the things you enjoy. Hiking, biking, art festivals, movies, shopping, reading a book on your bed (join the book club!)
Clarity:
College is stressful. If you are struggling I urge you to seek help! Many colleges offer free counseling if you need to talk to someone! If you are struggling talk to a counselor, a friend, or anyone you trust.
Get involved because being involved helps your mind stay active. Workout! Jump around! Dance! The endorphins will keep depression at bay.

college chair

It is hard being away from everything you miss. Remember that everyone is going through the same feelings and looking for friends as well! Find them and bond. If college is stressful or the workload is too much then consider taking fewer classes. It is better for you to feel organized and understand what you are learning, rather than lolly gagging your way through college for grades. The knowledge you gain will be very important in your career.
Get a notebook and organize your weeks. Help yourself figure out what you need to do for not just you, but for those around you. That way, when your deadlines arrive you aren’t overwhelmed when there is so much to do.
Set time aside everyday for you!
The days before college you were just a kid, now that you’re in college you are grown up playing kid. Make the best of it.
Be safe, and even more importantly, be smart!

Think happy, healthy thoughts!

xo