Healthy Recipes For The Thanksgiving Dinner

Friday, November 11, 2011

I love Thanksgiving as much as the next person, but it sure can be a day with lots of fattening side dishes and desserts. Here are few healthy and delicious recipes that you can incorporate into your Thanksgiving Feast. 

Pumpkin Soup: 

Serves 4 (Double or triple the recipe when serving for more guests)


    3/4 cup water
    1 small onion, chopped
    1 can (8 ounces) pumpkin puree
    1 cup unsalted vegetable broth
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1 cup fat-free milk
    1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 green onion, green top only, chopped


In a large saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of the water over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Don't let the onion dry out.
Add the remaining water, pumpkin, broth, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the milk and cook until hot. Don't boil.
Ladle into warmed individual bowls and garnish with black pepper and green onion tops. Serve immediately. 

Here is a twist on the classic Thanksgiving side dish of stuffing: 

Wild Rice Stuffing: 

Serves 12


    • 3/4 cup uncooked wild rice (or equal amount of uncooked quinoa)
    • 2 1/2 cups water
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 3/4 cup chopped onion
    • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
    • 1 cup chopped apple (including peel)
    • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
    • 2 cups diced celery
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
    • 1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
    • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted


Rinse wild rice two to three times — until water runs clear.
Place wild rice and water in a 1 1/2 quart sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed, stirring frequently. Do not burn. Cook wild rice for about 30 minutes. (If you're using quinoa, cook it for about 15 minutes.)
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add onion, mushrooms, apple, cranberries and celery. Stir and heat through until tender. Add the salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Continue to stir and cook slowly until fragrant, about 10 minutes total.
Combine the rice, the fruit/vegetable mixture and chicken broth in a large bowl. Use to stuff turkey. Or bake in a dish coated with nonstick spray. Cover and keep warm in oven until serving. Garnish with a sprinkle of toasted almonds.
Gives these a try mock mashed potatoes a try!
Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes:

Serves 4


    1 head cauliflower
    1 clove garlic
    1 leek, white only, split in 4 pieces
    1 tablespoon soft-tub margarine, nonhydrogenated
    Pepper to taste


Break cauliflower into small pieces. In a good-sized saucepan, steam cauliflower, garlic and leeks in water until completely tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. While cauliflower is hot, puree until the vegetables resemble mashed potatoes. (Use a food processor, of if you prefer a smoother texture, use a blender. Process only a small portion at a time, holding the blender lid on firmly with a tea towel.) Add a little hot water if vegetables seem dry. Stir in margarine and pepper to taste.

Give Thanks Banner

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


It’s that time of year to get out my Give Thanks Banner.


Each part of this banner is made starting with a different fall colored circle. Then topped with a book page pin wheel. Then each pin wheel is covered with alternating leaves…


…and acorns. Then a letter is placed on top to spell out the words GIVE THANKS. Then this is attached to a string of twine with a clothes pin that is covered by a felt leaf.


That is my fun Fall Give Thanks Banner!



November Free Printables

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I apologize for the delay, but Novembers printables are finally up!

free monthly download_edited-1

It is always nice to share a meal with a friend in need, but now especially at this time of the year wouldn’t it be great to share a meal with a friend just because. If you are planning to share a meal with a loved one we have tags for you to give along with the meal to let them know that their meal is made with love. There is even room for directions in case it is something that needs to be heated up. We are offering six different designs for you to choose from for almost any occasion.

Do you have a friend who just had a baby boy?

meal tag 2- Baby Boy copy

or a baby girl?

meal tag 3- Baby Girl copy

Maybe you just want to say Merry Christmas…

meal tag 4- Merry Christmas copy

or Happy Holidays enjoy a meal on us!

meal tag 5- Happy Holidays copy

Or maybe it is a loved ones birthday.

meal tag 6- Happy Birthday copy

Or maybe you want to share a meal just because.

meal tag copy

As always, head on over to our Facebook page to download your meal tags.

*Update: This is now available under the printables tab at the top of the blog.

1,200 Calories

Friday, November 4, 2011

On average most bodies burn around 1400 calories a day. Our heart, our lungs, and our minds all take energy to function. This is great because if we consume less then we expend we should lose weight!

Below I wrote a meal plan for about 1,200 calories, eating these days worth of calories alone without exercise you will hopefully help you lose weight. 

Breakfast:                            Calories 

1 activia yogurt                       70 
1/4 c blueberries                      48
3/4 c egg whites                      90

Almonds                                 100 

6 oz grilled chicken                 180 
1/2 tomato                                28
1 Tbsp. pine nuts                    136 
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar         35
1 Tbsp. EVOO                       120 

1 laughing cow cheese            35 
1 cup celery                             16 

4oz. lean turkey                      120 
1/8 avocado                             39 
2 c. green salad cuc, tom         48
1 Tbsp. light dressing              35 

Healthy Choice Fudge Bar    100 

Total: 1200 Calories

Have a great weekend!!

Dr. Seuss Reading Corner

Monday, October 31, 2011

I recently added a little reading corner to my son’s room. As you may know, my son’s room is Dr. Seuss themed. So everything that I added has a hint of Dr. Seuss.


The room already had a couple of book shelves.



Underneath the shelves I added a magnet wall.


I just used Rustoleum magnet paint. This stuff is amazing! You can even paint over the magnet paint so that the magnet wall can just blend right in with the rest of the wall. I decided to leave it for the time being so that my son can see the contrast between where to put the magnets and where not to. I think eventually I’ll paint over it and then just frame the part of the wall that is magnetized.

Here is the wall before right we painted it.


I love the magnets on the wall. I happened to come across some Dr. Seuss foam stickers at Hobby Lobby one day. They came in a pack of 200. I thought that they would be perfect for this project. I just converted them to magnets by adding some adhesive magnet tape to the back of each sticker.



There are some cool magnets. All of the ABC’s, plus pictures of Dr. Seuss books and characters. They even have a magnet for every page of Green Eggs and Ham so you can even read the book right there on the magnet wall.


In addition to the magnet wall, I also sewed my son a bean bag chair using various Dr. Seuss fabrics. I used the Michael Miller child bean bag chair pattern.



It sits right next to his book shelf.


Contrary to the story this picture tells, my son actually loves his chair. He spends a lot of his day sitting and reading in his bean bag chair. He just wasn’t interested in sitting in it when I wanted to take a picture.


Here is a view of the entire reading corner, complete with a pennant banner made from Dr. Seuss book pages.


Here are a couple of links to other Dr. Seuss projects in his room.

Cat in the Hat Mobile

Dr. Seuss Storage Boxes

P.S. Happy Halloween! We spent our evening reading Halloween books in our Halloween PJ’s. We’ve had 3 rounds of trick or treating over the last week so we took the night off from candy collecting to pass out candy to others. It was just as fun but without the sugar high. My son would get so excited every time the door bell rang!



Workout series

Friday, October 28, 2011

Here is my favorite leg circuit series that I do with clients to make their legs look stronger and leaner. They are even great exercises you can do from home! Get to it!

1. Side lunge (10 on each side)

Start in a standing position and then shift your weight to one leg so it bends. Do 10 on each leg and then switch sides. 

2. Single leg get ups (10 on each leg)

Use a couch or a bench and stand up using one leg then switch sides.

3. Squat Jumps (20 repetitions)
 4. Wall sit (20 sec hold) 

Make sure to hold the wall sit nice and deep. Try to get a 90 degree angle in your knees. 

Go through each exercise and then repeat 2 more times. Do 20 repetitions or 20 sec holds for each exercise.

Mexican Shrimp Cobb Salad

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

This is my first pinterest recipe I have made and it is divine! A yummy salad with shrimp, avocados and a heavenly dressing. You really can't go wrong here. This salad reminds me of a cafe rio salad but so much easier with much less steps and mess. The only thing I would have changed is sauteing the shrimp first to make them crispy and add heat to the salad. The salad dressing actually comes from my sister, Lauren who found it in a cookbook. Thanks sis for putting this salad over the top delicious.

For the dressing:
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
1 lime, juiced
1 package hidden valley ranch dressing (ignore the directions)
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup cilantro
1/4 cup Salsa Verde

For the salad:
16 oz. cooked large shrimp, peeled
chili powder to taste
1 TBSP lime juice
salt, to taste
1 romaine heart, shredded
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 c. corn kernels, fresh or frozen
2 tablespoon red onion, chopped
2 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
juice of 1/2 lime
1 seedless cucumber, diced
2 c. diced tomatoes
1 ripe hass avocado, diced
1 c. reduced-fat Mexican blend shredded cheese

1. To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Refridgeate for at least 1 hour to let thicken. Can be made up to 3 days in advance.

2. To prepare the shrimp, rinse and chop into large chunks. Toss with chipotle powder, lime juice, and salt.

3. In a small bowl, combine drained beans, corn, red onion, cilantro, lime juice and salt to taste.

4. In a large glass dish or clear bowl, layer the salad ingredients in the following order: lettuce, black bean mixture, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, cheese and shrimp.

*if wanting to saute the shrimp, let the shrimp marinade in the chili powder, lime and salt for 15 minutes. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in saute pan. Add the shrimp for just a few minutes to allow to crisp up and heat through.

What’s your Sodium Style? How to ensure a Low Sodium Diet

Monday, October 24, 2011

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sunkist S’alternative for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Lauren here, and you know that I love to eat healthy! One of the ways that I make sure that I am eating a healthy diet is by consuming only the recommended daily amount of sodium or salt. Do you know how much sodium you consume everyday?

Check out this chart below:

According to the CDC (center for disease control and prevention) Americans eat too much sodium, commonly consumed as salt. The average American consumes almost 3,500 mg of salt everyday, when we should really be taking in no more than 2,300 mg a day or 1 teaspoon a day.

There are quite a few benefits to having a low sodium diet:

  • lower blood pressure
  • can reduce cardiovascular disease
  • helps lower cholesterol
  • reduce risk of chronic liver disease
  • reduce risk of heart attack and stroke

How do you know if you are consuming too much sodium?


One way to find out is to take the Sunkist Sodium Quiz from Sunkist on Facebook to find out where you fall on the sodium scale based on your daily food choices.. Whether it turns out you’re a Serial Salt Offender or a Sodium Smarty, you’ll learn new tips on how to use Sunkist® lemons as a healthy sodium-free alternative to salt.

In case you are wondering, here are my quiz results. Not too bad. And I promise I didn’t cheat!


Most food includes “hidden salts” that can be dangerous to your health. A few things you may not have thought about, in regards to sneaky sodium:

  • Deli meats like turkey and ham (and especially more processed ones like salami and pepperoni) often have a lot of salt added to them during their processing. Cooking a turkey breast or a ham yourself, and slicing it for sandwiches or snacks is a better option.
  • Pre-prepared foods like frozen dinners, even “healthy” ones, often have a high sodium content because it adds flavor stripped out due to processing and it’s also a preservative.
  • Cooking from scratch will significantly reduce incidental sodium from overly-processed foods, but you still need to be aware of the ingredients you’re using! If you use cheese in a quiche, for example, you probably don’t need to add any salt, because most cheeses have a lot of salt in them already. Or if you make a stir-fry with soy sauce, it’s going to be plenty salty without any additional salt from your shaker.
  • Restaurant foods (from chain restaurants or fast food) are some of the most sodium-laden foods you’ll encounter. If you’re out to eat, put the salt shaker down. Or on the table beside you. It doesn’t need it. And be sure to drink lots of water.

So a great way to avoid TOO MUCH salt even in your home cooking, is to use Sunkist lemons for their bold fresh flavor. Using Sunkist lemons as an alternative to salt can help reduce sodium, increase potassium, and enhance the flavor of recipes. Sunkist S’alternative

Here is a delicious low sodium recipe that you could try:


Sunkist® Lemon Seafood Paella


Ingredients: (Makes 8 servings)
*1- 32 oz can low sodium vegetable broth
*1 cup dry white wine
*1 teaspoon saffron threads
*1lb. of firm, fresh pieces of whitefish such as tilapia, bass, halibut and swordfish, cut into 16-21 pieces
*1lb. or 16-21 mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
*1lb. or 16-21 medium sized clams, rinsed
*cup chopped fresh parsley
*3 Sunkist® lemons, zest and juice
*3 Tbsp. olive oil
*1 _ cups minced onion
*3 cloves garlic, minced
*teaspoon crushed red pepper
*3 cups uncooked short-grain rice such as Valencian, Arborio, or Calrose
*1 cup frozen green peas
*1- 8oz jar of sliced, roasted red peppers

• To prepare broth, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

• To prepare paella, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish pieces to pan and sauté 1 minute. Remove fish from pan, reserve and keep warm. Add onion to pan and sauté 5 minutes. Add the lemon zest, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook 5 minutes. Add rice and cook 1 minute longer, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, bring to a low boil and cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

• Stir in the peas and red pepper slices. Add mussels and clams to pan, nestling them into rice mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until shells open; discard any unopened shells. Stir in the reserved fish and chopped parsley and cook 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in lemon juice and check for seasoning. Cover with a towel and let stand 10 minutes before stirring

How do you try to avoid excess sodium in your diet? What do you love to cook with lemons?

Visit Sponsor's Site

Rose Bath Mat

Incase you missed it, here is my guest post from Someday Crafts.

The Rose Bath Mat.


Are you looking to spruce up your bath mat? Let me show you how to make your own rose bath mat. All of the skills needed to create this were learned in Kindergarten. Seriously, if you can cut and glue than you can make this rug. That is how easy it is to make. As far as materials go for creating this you will need a rug, an old T-Shirt, some felt or fleece, a hot glue gun, and some scissors.

*I was also thinking that a towel might work instead of a T-Shirt.


You are going to start by cutting your T-Shirt into 2-3 inch strips.


Then you are going to cut out circles from the felt or fleece. You will cut them in various sizes depending on how big or small you want your flowers to be. Place your circles in the pattern that you would like on your rug. Originally I was going to have three large flowers and five smaller flowers spread across my rug. My husband wasn’t too sure about having a rug full of flowers, plus he was worried that the rug would loose some of its comfort. So we compromised, and I ended up only putting three large circles and three smaller circles on half of the rug. Now we each have our own side of the rug. I think the flowers are just as comfortable, if not more so than the original rug.


Next you will make your flowers. Take your cut T-Shirt strips and start wrapping them around the circle. Once one T-Shirt strip has come to an end, just add another. Keep wrapping the strips around the circle until you have the desired flower effect. Now all the while you are doing this you want to be gluing the strips to your circle.


Just keep making as many flowers as you want for your rug. Like I mentioned before, I went with three large flowers and three small flowers.


Once all of your flowers have been created, then glue them onto the rug.


Here is a closer look at the flowers.


I love the end result. It looks perfect in my bathroom!




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