Shopping & Eating

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A friend of mine sent me this quote the other day, which ended up making me really Laugh Out Loud.  I have been extremely busy and thus, a little off my nutrition game.  I think my friend sensed as much and so this quote arrived to make me feel a bit better about myself in the midst of my unclean eating.  Thank you Julia (Child, not my friend) for those words of wisdom, but I don't think you were referring to cinnamon sugar dusted pretzels-right? Emotional eating still knocks at my door at times, but this time I answered the knock differently.  Check out what I chose to eat during my very busy shopping spree.  Thanks Aroma for accommodating my order. 

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Hold the bread & cheese! 

 

NJAPP Guest Contributor Christine Lawrence

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NJAPP: Hey hey...Thank you for taking the time to share with my NJAPP readers on how we first met. Actually, do you even remember? 

Christine Lawrence: AKA @Mermaid_at_Heart1991  ALL IT TOOK WAS 1 BUSINESS CARD…

NJAPP: STOP-You are so sweet! I remember that day too. You helped me at The Gap, In Ridgewood. You were so pleasant and so easy to talk too. We just started chatting about life and food while you were helping me with some clothes. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

CL: My name is Christine Lawrence, I am a 26 year old that has that been struggling with my weight ever since I was 18. Always been self conscious about my body, but did nothing about my nutrition to change that.

NJAPP: Tell me a little more about how NJAPP motivated you and why making good-healthy choices has set you up for continual health-success.  

CL: Before meeting Giovanna, I was progressing in my exercise and was going 6-7 times a week. With my working out getting more intense my nutrition was poor. With my “busy schedule”, some days I was only getting in 700 calories, other days getting more than 2,500 calories. During this time I lost 30 pounds, I was very proud of myself of getting to this point. Even though I lost this weight, the poor nutrition was giving me fatigue and was making me a very cranky person most of the time.

NJAPP: WOW! congrats on staying motivated and realizing that healthy nutrition goes hand in hand when trying to stay healthy. You told me that this blog helped you. Tell me more because most days I feel like no one even reads or cares about this blog? 

CL: After meeting (you) Giovanna (for a short 10 minutes), and going to this (your) blog. I learned about the proper amount of food and calories to eat throughout the day. Now I am more motivated than ever to get into and stay in a healthy lifestyle mindset.

NJAPP: I think you just made me tear up girl and your excitement is contagious! I love that I just want to stop interviewing you and do some jump squats. If you were asked to write motivational fitness cards what would your cards say?

CL: Here’s to:

·      No more excuses

·      No more being lazy

·      All negativity turn into motivation

·      Start to be accountable for my own actions

·      Stay strong and focused on my life goal

·      To being my best self

·      Trust the process

NJAPP: FABULOUS

NJAPP: Please dish your favorite "plates" to prep

CL: Steak with peppers and onions, Apple Cider turkey burgers & Salmon with roasted vegetables 

NJAPP: WOW-you just made me hungry. Thank you for sharing a piece of you and how it only takes 1 person to strengthen another. I am so proud of your outlook and the new respect that you have found for your strong and healthy body. STAY HEALTHY! 

Snacking in davidson, NC

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A couple weeks ago I was found myself snacking with some of my favorites in Davidson, NC. There is that saying, "When in Rome..." and that is exactly what I did. Snacking on what the locals snack on, is always a good idea. Fork full after fork full, I couldn't get enough of that broccoli, kale, dried cranberries, red onion chop salad with an ever so light touch of buttermilk dressing.  I definitely found my new inspiration in that 1/4 cup portion for NJAPP Smart Snacking Summer Menu.  The next time you find yourself traveling to North Carolina, head over to The Pickled Peach. Trust me you will enjoy the relaxing yet delicious experience that this sweet place has to offer. The Pickled Peach is a local gem that serves farm-to-table sandwiches, sides & desserts with a lovely indoor and heated out door dining area, for those who love to breath in the fresh Carolina air while enjoying their much need break. Can't wait to come back. See you soon!

1, 2, 3...RED LIGHT!

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Happy February Love♡Bugs

Here are 5 ways I STOP & get my family ready for February:

  1. Prepare Encouragement ♡ Hearts-14 days heart-shaped notes taped to the gooses' doors.  Written on each heart is a single reason why Darling (my husband) and I love them. 
  2. Purchase festive straws (this is a must for me, but to each her own).
  3. Enjoy a little "I♡Myself" afternoon (healthy lunch with some accessory shopping).
  4. Plan an seasonal outdoor activity for the family.
  5. Start setting up my annual 2-14 ❌⭕️❌⭕️ tournament for the #Partyof15 crew.

NJAPP-Guest Contributor MaryLou Farris

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I ate extra tater tots, cake, and ice cream to be social and have fun with friends.
— MaryLou Farris

NJAPP: I would like to thank you, MaryLou Farris  for taking the time to inspire and motivate me and my readers this week. MaryLou, "How have you turned an Insecurity into a Strength?" 

MaryLou:  I started being slightly overweight in first grade and could not fit into my sister’s “slim” Levi jeans anymore.  By the time I was in 5th grade, I was the fat girl.  When my mom took me school shopping I had to move up from a size 18 to a size 22.  My mom was my PE teacher and she always kept me active with running and playing outside.  We ate healthy at home but I was the one with the super slow metabolism, so everything I ate turned to fat.

Middle School and High School was when I wanted to be one of the cool kids and have a boyfriend, but that just didn’t happen.  I ate extra tater tots, cake, and ice cream to be social and have fun with friends.  I wasn’t happy with my size though.  I was always wanting to lose weight, but nothing worked, probably because I was wanting the weight to just disappear on it’s own.

Before my junior year in high school, I went to a program at church called “First Place” that actually sparked my interest in losing weight.  For the first time in my life, I took responsibility for losing weight.  The program taught me how I would need to put some exercise in my life as well as having a healthy lifestyle by eliminating foods that were not good for me.  My main focus was to give up fried foods, especially french fries (and I haven’t had ONE since then), and giving up added sugar, like in my favorite donuts, another food I know I STILL don’t need in my life.  I also started going to an aerobic class and with the healthy eating and exercising, I was losing - for the first time since first grade! 

Seeing that I could lose weight without dieting and look healthier was such a boost to my sagging self-esteem!  This positive feeling has given me the strength to not go overboard when eating and to stay true to my healthy eating plan.  Three children later, a son then twin sons, and this success has kept me from not overeating.  Social media posts from friends, family and strangers about how nice I look certainly boosts my ego and keeps me wanting to stay looking and feeling good. 

After the twins were born, I started working with my mom, a former PE teacher and health major in college, to help other people lose weight through balanced eating the “Fab 5” - calories, fat, carbs, fiber, protein.  I wanted to help myself and others understand how essential balanced eating is, especially when you can’t exercise (no time with twins).  I was able to break through a weight loss boundary to a weight lower than I had ever been and all through just healthy,  balanced eating  - no exercise.

When my twins turned 3, I was able to start going to a gym with a plan to turn some fat into muscle through the use of weights.  This lead to a passion for the fitness industry and I started closely following some inspirational women that inspired me to prepare to take part in a fitness show.  I loved the workouts and kept the goal in mind as I went to the gym and prepped and ate my meal plan 7 days a week!  The meal plan I was following helped me develop more muscle and increase my self-esteem.

I have always encouraged my boys to exercise with me and try nutritionally balanced foods to strengthen their enjoyment of healthy eating and fitness.  I love that they want to go with me to run stadiums, or go to the gym, and love playing basketball and running around at the park or riding scooters or their skate boards - fitness focused!

My desire is to help others achieve a healthy lifestyle, not just DIET, through balanced nutritional eating and exercising.  My husband is my biggest cheerleader and encourages our boys to be healthy and fit, “like their mom”!

NJAPP: How do you stay motivated?

MaryLou: I continue to follow inspirational women on social media, many of whom are trainers in the Jacksonville area, and to follow a nutritionally sound meal plan.  I see myself just getting better and better and more self confident in years to come and I love to share how a former fat girl can make a choice to become healthy, fit, and STAY that way!!  

NJAPP: Thank you again MaryLou, for sharing parts of yourself that once made you insecure and how you used that insecurity to make you strong(er). 

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I love to share how a former fat girl can make a choice to become healthy, fit, and STAY that way!
— MaryLou Farris

New Year, New (Organized) You

HELP! My pantry goes from tidy to tornado in 0.2 seconds whether I'm cooking, prepping or just plain old living.  Sooo...I've asked a dear friend to help me (and my NJAPP readers) attack the clutter.  Thank you, Jenneen, for taking time away from alphabetizing your clients spice jars in order to share some of your kitchen pantry organization expertise. 

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NJAPP Guest Contributor 

5 way to  "Conquer Your Clutter" By: Jenneen Ameres

Let’s face it you are in and out of your kitchen pantry as much as your car. Even when we don't have time for a full overhaul of our kitchen, the smallest effort can still make a difference.

Whether you have a big pantry closet or a smaller space, here are five simple steps to help you pull it into shape, right now!

1. Wipe down the shelves
It seems like such a basic thought, but when was the last time you did it? Use a damp rag and wipe up the dust and crumbs.

2. Group similar items together
Think grocery aisles!  Group items together…soup section, pasta section, cereal, snacks, baking and so on. It's an easy way to get in and out of your pantry and grab what you need. Check expiration dates while sorting.

3. Face all the labels out
It's hard to tell what you have if you can't see the labels. Face them outward, and stack items on top of each other for extra visibility.  Place daily items on eye level and children-friendly snacks at a reachable level for little hands.

4. Donate canned and boxed goods to a local food pantry

Perhaps you went a little crazy at the last “Can-Can Sale.”  You know you don’t need 20 soups and 20 cans of beans.  As you organize your pantry by section, set aside a bag for the latest food collection at school or drop off at your nearest church or food pantry.

5. Use household items to give your pantry more storage space

From crates and baskets to space-saving racks, clear containers and magazine holders, household items can be a smart and inexpensive way to add even more storage to your pantry.

Remember, a place for everything and everything in its place.

Jenneen Ameres

NJAPP PRO TIP:  Start the new year with a tidy pantry by scheduling a FREE consultation with Jenneen (Conquer Your Clutter).  Trust me, it's the best way to keep that 2018 "New (Organized) You" resolution.  Leave the stress of finding a place for everything to a professional, leaving yourself with more time to stock your pantry properly, workout more efficiently or even meal prep more frequently!

“There is Beauty in Simplicity” - Jenneen A.

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Blogcation

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bläɡ/ˈkāSH(ə)n,

noun

  1. Unplugging your mind from all outlets of your social media world. Taking a break from regularly updating a website or web page, taking an extended leave of absence to enjoy oneself, family and the outdoors all while enjoying any form of recreation, especially one spent away from your home or in traveling.

verb

  1. take a blogcation often

  2. I will be taking a blogcation here and there during the winter months

  3. Taking a blogcation is a must in this saturated social media

  4. To live a balanced life you must schedule a blogcation 2-3 times a year

In the form of a sentence

NJAPP is taking a winter-blogcation, so I will see you some time in the new year! My Life-Break will be spent throwing a snowball or two, reading my bible, sitting on my darling husband's lap, sipping some homemade hot cocoa, putting together our annual winter puzzle with my children, getting my palette a little dirty while balancing my clean eating lifestyle. Moms set the tone in the house and I am setting one right now. 

Christmas Cards & Coffee

 

I feel like my head is exploding so I am taking my own advice today.  If you've read my previous post, I tried to encourage you to let the memories create themselves when you just can't seem to check off every last item on your to-do list.  So as I write this, I am wearing a deep red lipstick (it just makes me smile more) and sipping on a hot cup of my favorite coffee (the caffeine does wonders) savoring the experience of sealing the last few remaining Christmas Card envelopes.  The stress of my PTO role, meal prep business, birthday planning (well, those two are complete), laundry piles and overall #momlife has faded to the back of my mind for a few hours where I hope to suppress it fully until the new year.  I have even chosen to go without baking certain cookies this year, which is probably best because my gym attendance has less than offset my potential caloric intake.  So what if I only accomplished 90% of my goal?  The remaining 10% will be filled by unexpected laughter and non-manufactured memories.   

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NJAPP Coffee Recipe

Christmas Starbucks Coffee Order

  1. Grande Christmas Blend Coffee (HOT)
  2. 1 pump of vanilla 
  3. A splash of warmed almond or coconut milk
  4. Lastly, a light dusting of cinnamon and cocoa powder

December Traditions [2017]

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CHRISTMAS IN NYC

Here is our traditional family photo at Rockefeller Center 

Yup-Jude's facial expression sums it up for how I feel every December 1st. 

I simply adore the Christmas season, but when Jude's cute little fingers swing open the first door on the advent calendar, a sudden shortness of breath comes over me.  December 1st begins the four, 13 and 24 day countdowns to the birthday's of my middle child, my youngest child and God's child.  Oh and my niece's birthday is in December as well, which calls into question the level of hanky panky in March, but that's for a different post.   With all of the birthdays to plan, why not also be sure to keep our annual NYC Christmas trip alive for the fifth consecutive year?  Honestly, the thought of getting through it all just makes one wish there was a magical elf that could hand me a calming mug of hot cocoa, which reminds me, i need to get that that puppet down from the attic!

In preparation for the overnight trip to NYC, I managed to bake cookie's for the nine children of the six adults (including myself and my husband) that would make up the party of 15.  The homemade Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe was well received when the kids discovered the treats (wrapped in a Santa red ribbon with a yummy peppermint stick) upon arriving at their hotel rooms.  Rockefeller Center, the windows at Saks, Norma's for brunch, skating at the Wollman's Rink and dining at The Plaza was a hectic, yet enjoyable respite prior to returning home to take on the rest of the month.

Regardless of the amount of events, both unplanned (birthdays) and planned (trips and activities), we moms have a tendency to strive for Martha Stewart settings or Emily Post parties when the holidays draw neigh.  But when the ribbons and bows begin to tie us in knots, know that you are creating memories and you are succeeding even when you think you are failing.  You are creating memories and your very own Norman Rockwell is painting itself. 

I leave you with lyrics to one of my favorite Christmas carols for when that overwhelming feeling starts to rise up. Start singing and I promise you will immediately feel better. 

We Wish You A Merry Christmas NJAPP style!

We wish you a Merry Christmas,

We wish you a Merry Christmas,

We wish you a Merry Christmas,

And a Happy New Year!

 

Good tidings we bring for you and your kin;

We wish you a merry Christmas

And a Happy New Year!

 

Now bring us some almond milk & truffles

Now bring us some almond milk & truffles

Now bring us some almond milk & truffles

And bring it out here!

 

We won't go until we get some

We won't go until we get some

We won't go until we get some

So bring it out here!

 

Good tidings we bring for you and your kin;

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

2017 NJAPP Approved Hostess Gifts (that are sure to get you invited back)

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  1. Body Cream: Choose a minimalist body cream that is different than your Hostess' every day go to. Try my favorite body souffel from MoroccanOil. 

  2. Custom Hot Cocoa: I recommend making your own blend. My daughter made her own cocoa for a school project and the end result was delicious and easy.  Click here for her her recipe.  Make sure you don't forget to add some home made marshmallows from Raymond's to your hot cocoa gift.

  3. Gift Card/Certificate:  The hostess deserves a little TLC after all that party planning.  A pre-paid manicure or pedicure is always a nice way to say thank you. Add a magazine for her to browse through during her pampering. The newest Non-Toxic trending nail salon in NYC, Cote. What girl wouldn't love a new hot spot to go with friends and get your nails done. 

  4. Olive Oil:  Sometimes wine may just get too complicated, but I have never heard of anyone turning down a good bottle of extra virgin olive oil.   

  5. Monogrammed Stationery: Check out Paper Culture’s monogrammed stationery selection. Plus they plant a tree with every purchase!

  6. Post-Party Breakfast:  You can put together a little box filled with some specialty breakfast items such as specialty coffee or tea, scones, donuts, a complimentary piece of fruit and a jar of fresh honey from Abama's Farm is always a good idea. 

  7. Thank You Note:  A simple thank you at the beginning of the night says that you already know a wonderful time awaits.  Top off the note a with a sweet treat from Sugarfina

  8. Guys like gifts too: If you are looking for a male host gift ,may I suggest the Exotic Meats Crate by Man Crates. Guy or girl I think this gift ROCKS!  

NJAPP Pro Tip: If you are unable to grab that gift before the party, have no fear because NJAPP is here.  Simply send flowers the next day to thank your hostess for a lovely evening. You can even go one step further on this one if you really want to WOW your recipient. All you have to do is look around and maybe ask a few questions during the gathering. Paying attention to detail can go a long way. Especially when you find out your hostess loves white calla lilies. Sending a arrangement of those specific flowers will definitely secure you a place on the next party guest list. Trust me, a hostess knows when people pay attention to detail.

Fall Bucket List

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5 Things to do with apples during this crisp time of year.

  1. Apple picking is definitly a given. This year my family tried a new orchard in New York called, Masker Farms. This place did not disappoint us at all. Plus their cidar & cider donuts were AMAZING! 
  2. Throw chuncks of them in your blender next time you make a protein shake. 
  3. Teach your (age appropriate) children how to peel an apple for themselves. 
  4. Bake a apple something for one of your neighbors.
  5. Finally, bake one apple in the oven for dessert or breakfast for just yourself. SEE RECIPE BELOW

1 BAKED APPLE 

Ingredients

  • 1 organic apple (I like Cortland)
  • 1/4 cup of old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tablespoon chopped almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon of white chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Splash of vanilla extract
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

STEP 1

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees

STEP 2

Hollow out your apple (I used a spoon and knife)

STEP 3

Mix together oats, chia seeds, coconut, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla and cinnamon together

STEP 4

Fill hollow out apple with oatmeal topping(s)

STEP 5

Bake in oven for 25-35 minutes (depending on how soft/firm you like your baked apples)

STEP 6

Drizzle a little extra maple syrup & cinnamon on top once you remove your baked apple from the oven. Use caution before you dive right in because contents will be EXTREMELY hot. Enjoy! 

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Bloomingdales + NJAPP

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Here is my #TBT to that time NJAPP partnered up with JNA Fitness and Bloomingdale's for their "Get Fit" event last May. Talk about dreams coming true, cooking in Bloomingdales in their test kitchen was definitely one of mine growing up. There were so many many memorable moments in that day from fans coming out to meet me, to NJAPP hosting their 1st Giveaway contest all while cooking in the kitchen at Bloomingdale’s in their Housewares department. NJAPP was given the opportunity not just to make one of my recipes but to engage with curious consumers while talking about the importance of meal prepping, healthy choices and being mentally strong. Bloomingdale's didn't disappoint me at all, and neither did my NJAPP Power Bites. Those satisfying pop in your mouth protein bites were a hit and people kept coming back for “just one or two more”. I was even able to inspire women how I turned my insecurities into strengths on NBC's reality show, "Strong". All good things must come to an end and I cannot forget to say  “Thank you” to all my family and friends who came out to taste, watch, & support me on that day. Life does goes by fast but when you have your loved ones surrounding you it helps make these happy moments last forever.

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NJAPP PRO TIP: Next time you you have to run to the mall make sure you make a couple of these NJAPP Protein Bites and bring them with you in a little ziplock bag, Trust me, they will keep you powered up and ready to shop all day long!

 

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#SquadGoals

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Next stop...

Cooking show- "Not Just a Pretty Plate"

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While I was on Blogacation...

Guess who Wakefield & York gave their Spolight Section to last month?  ME! I am so excited to announce that I will be hosting a one of a kind "Give Back" event this Fall with them. Spoiler Alert--hold onto your old denim. Details to soon follow. In the mean time head over to their blog and check out their new Fall-Fashion Trends. Trust me their Los Feliz Bomber Jacket with Hoodie is the bomb! 

 

 

Blogcation Summer-2017

Blogcation
bläɡ/ˈkāSH(ə)n
noun

  1. Unplugging your mind from all outlets of your social media world. Taking a break from regularly updating a website or web page, taking an extended leave of absence to enjoy oneself, family, and the outdoors all while enjoying any form of recreation, especially one spent away from your home or in traveling.

verb

  1. take a blogcation often

  2. I will be taking a blogcation this summer

  3. Taking a blogcation is a must in this saturated social media

  4. To live a balanced life you must schedule a blogcation 2-3 times a year

In the form of a sentence
NJAPP is taking a blogcation, so I will see you in September! My Life-Break will be spent breathing in and out, gardening with my kids, reading my bible, sitting on my darling husband's lap, laughing with my children, getting my palette a little dirty while balancing my clean eating lifestyle. Moms set the tone in the house and I am setting one right now. See ya later...

 

2017 Summer Must-Haves

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Sunshine is the best medicine!

5 Summer Must-Haves 

  1. Thank You Notes: Summer can seem like one big party, and relaxing seems to be at the top of everyone's summer buket list. Hopping from BBQ to BBQ may keep you busy, but let us not be to busy to send that thank you note to the host of those BBQ's. Handwritten Thank You notes are slowly becoming a lost art in the world today. Moms, I encourage you to teach your children when and how to write a proper thank you note. Along with addressing the envelope too. Trust me these millennials have no idea the power of a handwritten "Thank You" note.
  2. Sandals: My summer go-to shoe tends to be a Sixties-inspired Tory Burch leather Gigi Flat Sandal. It works with everything from jeans to dresses and more.
  3. Foot Spray: I know it may be unladylike to talk about sweaty stinky feet at the dinner table, but proper foot hygiene is extremely important to me. Especially, since I ran a podiatry office for 10+ years. 
  4. Summer Salad: The ultimate summer "What can I bring?" question can be answered right here. Check out NJAPP's Summer Salad recipe that will keep your summer healthy path. 
  5. A Fabulous Nude Lipstick: I think that description says it all. Personally, a nude lip with a few strokes of mascara and a sunskissed face is all the makeup a girl needs for the Summer. I am definetly looking foward to my first nude summer listick application. 

ASK B4 U SNACK

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Last week was a hectic one.  Not only did 47 child/school/family events and activities seem to converge in a single week, but I was honored to be speak at JNAs annual Ladies Night! My trainer, Alina Branda, asked if I could give a motivational talk to the group and also serve up one of my favorite post workout snacks.  I immediately Burpee Star Jumped at the opportunity, because why not add a fitness related 48th item to the weekly To-Do List? 

In addition to creating a catered snack for 50+ women, I shared my “ASK B4 U SNACK” strategy.  This strategy entails a group of questions that I make sure to ask myself before I reach for that unnecessary snack. 

The event was a blast and the trainers really motivated everyone to do that extra push up and extra lap. After a quality workout, everyone fueled up on my Power Snack +5 dish and there was even enough time for some great giveaways.  If you missed out on hearing my suggested questions to ask yourself when (or just about to) snacking, I have listed them below for you.

·ASK B4 U SNACK·

  1. Did I drink enough water today?
  2. Should I get out of the kitchen for 20 minutes?
  3. Will a piece of gum satisfy my tastebuds?
  4. Did I eat enough protein today?
  5. Should I go brush my teeth or gargle?
  6. Will a piece of dark chocolate help?
  7. Are my emotions taking over?
  8. Is it time for a hot cup of tea?

Power Snack +5

Part 1

Cooked ingredients:

  • Protein: 12-16 oz of cooked and chopped chicken breast, cooled to room temp.
  • Grain: 1 cup of cooked and cooled wheat berries.
  • Fruit: 1 segmented naval orange.
  • Veggie: 1 cup of blanched string beans, chopped.
  • Good fat: 4 tbs toasted sunflower seeds.

Part 2

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp of garlic powder
  • ½ tsp of opnion powder
  • 1 tbs of fresh chopped mint
  • ½ cup of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of orange, coconut zico drink. (save some for later in case your mixture dry out)
  • 2 tbs melted coconut oil (do not mix your coconut oil with your other cold liquids, because your coconut oil will solidfy the moment it mixes with the cold liquids.)

Step 1

Mix all these cooked ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Mix together your chicken, wheat berries, orange pieces, string beans & sunflower seeds. Set aside.

Step 2

Pour your melted coconut oil over your cooked, chopped ingredients. Give that Power Snack +5 ingredients a good mixing, and make sure your coconut oil is well mixed. Optionl: Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the mixture and give it one more stir.

Step 3

In a separate glass bowl combine all your wet & dry dressing ingredients. Once everything is whisked together, pour your dressing mixture over your Power Snack +5 mixture and stir till everything is well dressed and mixed. Serve yourself a cup of this amazing Power Snack +5 and enjoy.

Step 4

Store your Power Snack +5 in a glass meal prep container or in small round snack containers for on the go snacking. Enjoy and remember to ASK B4 U SNACK.

Protein Snacks OTG

Memorial Day is about 3 weeks away and my head is spinning like I am on the amusement park ride Tilt-A-Whirl. I know most of us moms are dealing with end of the school year activities, making the gym a priority. All while trying to keep up with the exfoliating process one starts to do right before bathing suit season. Trust me no matter who you are May is a very busy month. If meal prepping isn't manageable right now for you don't stress you will get there. Maybe this easy on-the-go snack will get you motivated to take the first step. Over the next couple months I will be sharing 5 Protein On-The-Go Snacks that have kept my hands out of the pantry and have kept me satisfied till my next healthy meal. Over the past year I have learned that by choosing a protein filled snack rather than a high carbohydrate snack made my body perform better and has stopped my craving throughout the day. Trust me there are days when I am eating in the car and rushing to my next appointment. Choosing the proper fuel for my body while running around has kept me mentally and physically stronger. I hope that one of these OTG snacks will keep you focused while you are On-The-Go too!

NJAPP’s Protein Snacks OTG (On-The-Go) 1/5   

Cottage Cheese +3

  • 1 cup of Munna Cottage Cheese
  • ½ tsp of fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tbs of sliced almonds
  • Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt

Step 1

Open your cottage cheese, add your pepper and give it a little mix.

Step 2

Add your almonds on top of your cottage cheese.

Step 3

Top your Protein On-The-Go with your Himalayan Pink Salt and Go!

NJAPP Pro Tip: Munna Cottage Cheese has 19 grams of protein. The more protein a snack has the more satisfied you will feel. This snack option will keep you focused and on the right path to crushing your fitness goals!

Inter-Life-Mezzo

Inter-life-mezzo

in·ter·life·mez·zo

ˌin(t)ərˈlīf/metsō/

noun

  1. Taking a little moment to re-set from your everyday responsibilities.

  2. Taking a mini-break from looking at one's social media, or regularly updating a website or web page, taking a couple mini-breaks to enjoy oneself.

  3. Taking your time to enjoy the person you were created to be.

verb

  1. Take a Inter-life-mezzo often.

  2. I will be taking a Inter-life-mezzo several times throughout the next 2 weeks.

  3. Taking a Inter-life-mezzo is a must in this saturated social media world!

  4. To live a balanced life in this non-stop world sometimes you must schedule an Inter-life-mezzo to cleanse your "life" palate and refresh your soul.  

In the form of a sentence

NJAPP will taking multiple Inter-life-mezzos over the next couple weeks. Everyone needs to stop and take a brief rest in-between their own day to day responsibilities. I will see everyone when my Life-Palate has been refreshed and awakened. Moms set the tone in the house and I am setting one right now. NJAPP’s Inter-life-mezzo starts now!

NJAPP's Intermezzo

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of frozen mango chunks
  • 2 tsp of minced ginger
  • 1 cup of orange flavored seltzer

Step 1

Combine the flavored seltzer, mango and minced ginger in a blender. Blend until frothy and smooth. Serve right away for the best flavor.

Step 2

Enjoy & Breath in the Sunshine!

Easter Traditions

Easter Story Cookies

For the last few years, Darling (my husband) and I have been teaching our children the story of our Savior’s Resurrection through a very yummy and memorable recipe. I hope you too enjoy this sweet recipe, but most of all enjoy the quality time you are spending with one another learning about the Easter Story.

Ingredients

  • 1c. whole pecans
  • 1 tsp. vinegar
  • 3 egg whites
  • a pinch salt
  • 1c. sugar
  • zipper baggie
  • wooden spoon
  • tape
  • Bible (I like to use the NIV or KJV)

1. Preheat oven to 300

2. Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, the Roman soldiers beat him. Read John 19:1-3.

3. Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.

4. Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.

5. Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.

6. So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1c. sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16.

7. Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 & John 3:1-3.

8. Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matt. 27:57-60.

9. Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matt.27:65-66.

10. GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.

11. On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.

He is Risen & Happy Resurrection Sunday!

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NJAPP Pro Tip: My children look forward to making and eating these traditional cookies. Unfortunately, they would rather leave the nuts out of the mix if they had the choice.  If your children feel the same, you may just want to hold off on folding the “broken nuts” into the recipe but be sure to read the verse and discuss the significance of those pecans. 

NJAPP's Favorite "Bean"

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The signs of spring are everywhere, from pretty little crocuses that faithfully pop up every year to the slightly warmer rays of sunshine that seem to be lasting a little longer each day. My home is filled with decorative bunnies (which seem to be multiplying like real bunnies), vintage milk-glass vases with fresh cut white tulips, and green moss balls tucked into various corners of various rooms.  My home looks like a woodland fantasy land fit for magical little pixies or fairies. Along with adorable decorations, this month is filled with many beautiful traditions that my gooses and I love to do together. One of our traditions is watching the movie “Hop” as a family. My favorite scene in that movie is when E.B. poops jelly beans and Sam O’Hare (Kaley Cuoco) eats them without batting an eye. As I watch Sam eat those yummy jelly beans I find my myself salivating causing this clean eater’s self-control hop right out of the window. I wish I could say that NJAPP’s tastebuds did not crave those yummy little pieces of candy but they do (I am only human. Well, sort of...). I have found that not restricting myself while maintaining a consistent clean eating lifestyle has kept this mom on track. Today I am sharing 3 ways that I have kept from overindulging on jelly beans for the last few years.

  1. Out of Site: I have given my Vintage Jelly Bean Jar a new location. I am always in the kitchen cooking, and I would stare at that jar of jelly beans that was sitting on my kitchen counter all day long. I am not going to lie but I would take a couple jelly beans samples throughout the day, and by the end of the day I would have consumed far too many calories than one should have consumed in one day for a sweet treat. Now I keep my vintage Jelly Bean Jar downstairs in the family room where I rarely go until evening and by that time it’s just too late to eat them.  

  2. Limit yourself: I limit my jellybean purchase to a one time purchase. This is difficult but it works. I only purchase 1 small container of my favorite jelly beans for the entire month. This way they have to last me the whole month. This forces me to only snack on them when I really want some.  When the month is over into the ground they go (literally). DYK that Jelly beans are lollipop seeds (wink wink). My kids and I plant the jellybeans because “April showers bring May flowers”.

  3. NO GMO’s: Finally I stopped eating those GMO filled jelly beans. May I suggest If you are going to eat candy at least make sure you can pronounce the ingredients.  “Candy is still candy but too much Red Dye #40 is not good for you.”  

NJAPP TIP:  Remember change is good and just because you may have grown up eating a specific jelly bean brand doesn't mean you cannot expand your tastebud horizons. Marich’s Natural Green “Beans” are NJAPP’s favorite “Bean” of all time. If reading ingredients like turmeric and saffron scare you, may I suggest closing your eyes and just start chewing.  You can hippity hop over to your local Whole Foods or you can just order them online. Either way you have to try them or plant them (see #2).