5 for Friday

Hi there!  Let’s jump right in with five things I’m loving this week!  I’m linking up with these ladies…AndreaNarci and Erika for their Friday Favorites Link Up!  I am also linking up with April for Five on Friday!

{ONE}

I’m loving that my son is loving soccer camp!  It’s been a day camp from 9-12 each day this week.  He’s enjoyed meeting new kids plus the fun games they play.  He does comment at pick-up that it’s so much fun and so much running.  I’ve also been loving a little extra one-on-one time with this girl!

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{TWO}

I’ve been loving green smoothies for a mid-morning snack this week!  Here’s my recipe:

1/2 c. water, 1/2 c. no sugar added vanilla almond milk, 1/2 frozen banana and a handful of frozen spinach.  I’ve also added in a fiber supplement plus probiotics.  Yum!

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{THREE}

I was extremely cautious while pregnant and breastfeeding about what food I ate, medicines I took, and personal care products I used.  It’s been nice to have a little more flexibility in that department since I weaned my daughter back in April.  I recently started using a Retin A product prescribed by my dermatologist and have seen a big improvement in some acne issues as well as skin smoothness.  I typically use it once nightly and apply a rose hip oil over top.  I love this stuff!  Here’s a link to Amazon to buy.  Here’s a link to an article written by LIVESTRONG.COM about the benefits of rose hip oil use.  

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{FOUR}

I have continued my on again/off again relationship with Wal-Mart.  Isn’t it just a necessary evil sometimes???  I do like the online ordering and curbside pick-up for busy weeks and big, specific orders.

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{FIVE}

I’m loving finalizing and preparing for our last few trips, special days, etc. this summer.  I  want to make the most of the month we have left!  Our plans include three family trips, lots more pool & library days, beach visits, and more!

I hope you have the best day!

Natalie

 

 

Something about a Smoothie

Good Monday morning!  I’m not quite feeling this Monday morning yet, but I’m working on it!  We had a great long weekend thanks go the Mr.’s day off on Friday.  I’ll share more about our weekend later.  Today I wanted to share my new breakfast that I’ve been having each day for just about a week.  I mentioned that I had to pick up a few interesting ingredients from our local Whole Foods for my smoothie creations.  Well, these ingredients are interesting!  IMG_2509

Smoothie (makes 1 serving)

1/2 banana (or a whole depending on taste and desired calorie intake)

Probiotic packet (I’m using up H’s kids while also taking a capsule with water)

1 tbsp. Chia seeds

1/2 tbsp. coconut oil

dash of cinnamon

1/4 c. whole milk

1/2 c. cold water

1 tsp. Royal Jelly

1 tbsp. almond butter

1 heaping tsp. Bee Pollen

1 scoop powdered wheatgrass

add any other fruit you may want **suggestions:  1/4 c. frozen blueberries/other berries, peach, etc.

  1. Be sure to place in blender in this order.  I’ve found it helps to add the wheatgrass last to help it blend better.
  2. Blend for about a minute.  You may want to stop midway to scrape the sides.
  3. Enjoy!

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P.S.  This does taste somewhat like eating a meadow {for lack of a better description!}.  HOWEVER, the taste is not terrible.  It does grow on you.  Be sure to use blueberries if you don’t like seeing the green color.  Remember-IT IS SUPER GOOD FOR YOU!  I confess that I really just wanted my favorite breakfast of oatmeal, almond butter, and strawberry jelly this morning.  I sucked it up and then suck up a smoothie {literally!}.

Below is some reliable information on some of these ingredients.  Be sure to read up and do your research if you decide to try this smoothie out.  My smoothie was adapted from this one.  

Benefits of Wheatgrass from WebMD:

Wheatgrass is a kind of grass. The above-ground parts, roots, and rhizome are used to make medicine. Wheatgrass is primarily used as a concentrated source of nutrients. It contains vitamin Avitamin C, and vitamin E, iron, calciummagnesium, and amino acids.

Wheatgrass is used to treat many conditions, but so far there isn’t enough scientific evidence to support effectiveness for any of these uses.

Wheatgrass is used for increasing production of hemoglobin, the chemical in red bloodcells that carries oxygen; improving blood sugar disorders, such as diabetes; preventing tooth decay; improving wound healing; and preventing bacterial infections.

It is also used for removing deposits of drugs, heavy metals, and cancer-causing agents from the body; and for removing toxins from the liver and blood.

Some people use wheatgrass for preventing gray hair, reducing high blood pressure, improving digestion, and lowering cholesterol by blocking its absorption.

Wheatgrass is also used to treat various disorders of the urinary tract, including infection of the bladder, urethra, and prostate; benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH); kidney stones; and in “irrigation therapy,” the use of a mild diuretic along with lots of fluids to increase urine flow.

Other uses include treatment of respiratory tract complaints, including the common cold, cough, bronchitis, fever, and sore throat; tendency toward infection; gout; liver disorders; ulcerative colitisjoint pain; and chronic skin problems.

Wheatgrass is used for cancer and arthritis in alternative treatment programs. Wheatgrass contains a lot of chlorophyll, the chemical in plants that makes them green and also allows them to make energy from sunlight through photosynthesis. Some people think chlorophyll might fight cancer and arthritis.

Benefits of Bee Pollen from WebMD:  

Bee pollen is available at many health food stores. You may find bee pollen in other natural dietary supplements, as well as in skin softening products used for baby’s diaper rash or eczema.

You may also hear recommendations for using bee pollen for alcoholismasthmaallergies, health maintenance, or stomachproblems, but there is no proof that it helps with these conditions. Before you take any natural product for a health condition, check with your doctor.

Bee pollen is also recommended by some herbalists to enhance athletic performance, reduce side effects of chemotherapy, and improve allergies and asthma.

At this point, medical research has not shown that bee pollen is effective for any of these health concerns.

Benefits of Royal Jelly from WebMD:

Royal jelly is a milky secretion produced by worker honey bees. It typically contains about 60% to 70% water, 12% to 15% proteins, 10% to 16% sugar, 3% to 6% fats, and 2% to 3% vitamins, salts, and amino acids. Its composition varies depending on geography and climate. This product gets its name from the fact that bees use it for the development and nurturing of queen bees. Some people use royal jelly as medicine. Don’t confuse royal jelly with bee pollen or bee venom.

Royal jelly is used for asthmahay feverliver disease, pancreatitissleep troubles (insomnia), premenstrual syndrome (PMS), stomach ulcers, kidney disease, bone fractures, menopausal symptoms, skin disorders, and high cholesterol. It is also used as a general health tonic, for fighting the effects of aging, and for boosting the immune system.

Some people apply royal jelly directly to the skin as a tonic or to the scalp to encourage hair growth.

Benefits of Chia Seeds from WebMD:

The antioxidant activity of chia seeds is higher than any whole food, even blueberries.  Enjoy chia seeds for their flavor and to boost the fiber, protein, calcium, antioxidants, and omega-3s in your diet.

Benefits of Coconut Oil from WebMD:

Coconut is the fruit of the coconut palm. The oil of the nut (fruit) is used to make medicine.

Some coconut oil products are referred to as “virgin” coconut oil. Unlike olive oil, there is no industry standard for the meaning of “virgin” coconut oil. The term has come to mean that the oil is generally unprocessed. For example, virgin coconut oil usually has not been bleached, deodorized, or refined.

Some coconut oil products claim to be “cold pressed” coconut oil. This generally means that a mechanical method of pressing out the oil is used, but without the use of any outside heat source. The high pressure needed to press out the oil generates some heat naturally, but the temperature is controlled so that temperatures do not exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Coconut oil is used for diabetesheart diseasechronic fatigueCrohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Alzheimer’s disease, thyroid conditions, energy, and boosting the immune system. Ironically, despite coconut oil’s high calorie and saturated fat content, some people use it to lose weight and lower cholesterol.

Coconut oil is sometimes applied to the skin as a moisturizer and to treat a skin condition called psoriasis.

Happy sipping!

Natalie

Beachin’ in April

Hi friends!  Whew, I’m glad Monday is behind us!  My day was full of testing {for kids not me} and getting behind in my lesson plans.  I know…it takes great skill being as it is only Monday, but I’m officially behind with in about three areas.  No biggie.  So much to do in those busy hours!  We had a fabulous weekend here.  The Mr. creeped around in the woods looking for turkeys, and H and I enjoyed a playdate and a picnic lunch.  Who had the better Saturday?  Hmmmm.

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Sorry for a million and one pictures, but it was a gorgeous day.  It had to be documented.  Also – It is important to note that Holden doesn’t mind rolling around in the sand.  I truly hope this holds true for him.  I believe in being content at the beach with sand coating you.  I mean, I don’t intentionally roll in it.  Sand happens.  Love it.  Embrace it.  I know some people {Ahem…the Mr.} who have a little “no sand is good sand at the beach” mentality.  I just don’t get it.  Glad the little man is taking after me on this topic.  😉

We relaxed the rest of the day, ate brownies, and had a weird but good dinner {scrambled egg, toast with olive oil, carrots, popcorn}.  Holden is so much fun and such a blessing.  I’m so thankful for him every day.  However, I’m ever more aware of it as he grows older.  I truly enjoy his company and his never-ending conversation.

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Brownie chowing.

In other healthy news, I started on my odd morning beverages on Saturday morning.  I had apple cider vinegar (1 tbsp.) and lemon juice in hot water followed by a green tea.  I’ve read lots of benefits of apple cider especially for those with diabetes.

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I also made a rather thick green smoothie using frozen spinach to make it icy.  I’m no great smoothie maker, but I do always use Greek yogurt, a banana, and spinach.  The other items change.

Sunday – H and I did an early morning walk, enjoyed homemade wheat biscuits {with the Mr. too 🙂 }, and attended church.  I went to the gym and did a couple of returns while H helped the Mr. in the yard.  Yard work is not my forte.  I’m cool with it.  I think I get it from my mom.  Non-gardeners unite!  😉  If you grow it, I’ll cook it!  Good trade?!?!?

Monday Afternoon…

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These pictures are from today.  Holden is finally brave enough to attempt these swingy pole things.  He was a little scared/unsure of them over the past several months.  However, he saw some bigger kids racing across them today, so I guess he was inspired.  What a big boy!

How’s your week going?

I’m so excited about my upcoming trip with my mom and sister to Charleston, SC.  Getting ready to make dinner reservations for Friday night right now!

Have a great week!

Natalie