5 delicious ways to eat zucchini noodles

5 delicious ways to eat zucchini noodles
So it took me a little while to get onto the zucchini noodle band wagon, but when I did I quickly fell in love with it. I am a huge pasta eater, seriously I could literally eat it every single day. So to no surprise I was finding it difficult to lose the last few pounds that just kept hanging around. I decided to give zucchini noodles a try because if I could replace my pasta noodles at least 2 a week for zucchini then I was sure I could shed some pounds. And sure enough, it worked!  I won’t pretend that it tasted the same as eating regular pasta noodles, but it is a delicious option so you can at least add in some variety.

I thought I’d share with you my top 5 favourite ways to eat zucchini noodles.

Tomato pesto zucchini noodles 

This one is super fast and so easy to just throw together.  All you do is sautee some zucchini noodles with cherry tomatoes in basil pesto and then top with fresh parmesan.

Prosciutto arugula zucchini noodles

This is probably one of my favourite dishes, I just love the combination of flavours. Simply sautee the zucchini noodles, cherry tomatoes, and prosciutto in some olive oil with fresh basil and parsley. Top with arugula and some fresh parmesan cheese if you’d like.

Shrimp zucchini noodles

First cook the shrimp in some coconut oil with fresh garlic, green onion, and cayenne pepper.  Then add cherry tomato, green bell pepper, and the zucchini noodles.

Pomodoro zucchini pasta 

This one is so easy and so good. Just make your favourite tomato sauce that you normally have with pasta. Sautee the zucchini noodles in the pomodoro sauce and you’re ready to go!  Some days I add in lots of extra veggies to the sauce (spinach, green peppers, peas, arugula, etc), and usually cayenne pepper for some spice.

You can also add some chicken and serve the pomodoro zucchini as a side dish.  

Grilled chicken with zucchini noodle salad

I love grilled chicken. I keep it simple with a light barbecue sauce, it’s so easy and just feels so fresh and summery to me. (Summery is a word right? Haha). For the zucchini noodles I sautee them quickly with green onion and cherry tomatoes (enough just to take off the edge of the raw zucchini but still keeping it crunchy.  You can also leave the zucchini and tomato raw if you prefer). Then add uncooked carrot shaving, fresh cilantro and a light coating of lime juice (use lemon if you prefer).  Lastly just salt and pepper to taste.

Those are my top go to recipes for zucchini noodles, do you have a great recipe to share?

 

My fitness challenge: week 1 review

Week 1 review

I started my fitness challenge a week ago and so far I’m still sticking to it. (you can read my first post about it here).  It’s been a great but challenging week.  The easiest part has been the nutrition since I wasn’t doing too bad in that area beforehand.  I’ve been trying to eat more fruits and vegetables, but I can still do a bit better in that area.

The trickiest part has been getting the workouts done. I have been getting up early so that I can do my exercise before my little man gets up. You mom’s know what it’s like, once the toddler is up, not much else is getting done. So I’ve been waking up extra early, something which in itself is difficult to do.  Every morning when that alarm sounds I just want to shut it off and go back to sleep. But I force myself to get up and get that workout in. Except for Saturday, I slept in that day and skipped my workout, I just needed a sleep in day! But I doubled up on the workout on Sunday, so I paid for it that day.

Then there’s the challenge of actually getting through the workout. It’s been too long since I’ve had a consistent exercise routine so I have definitely struggled this week with just getting through each session. I haven’t done it perfectly, and I haven’t had the resistance that I would like to have. But I’ve done it, I’ve completed each workout, and I’ve improved every day. After just one week I can already feel, and see, the difference in myself.

This past week hasn’t been perfect, but it’s been an improvement. At the end of the day I’m not striving for perfection, I’m just trying to do better. I’ve completed the first week of my 21 day fitness challenge and I’m looking forward to this second week.  Each day that I get it done, and I try my best, just takes me a step closer to making a permanent change. I’m proud of myself for sticking to it, and I’m excited to see the difference that another week will make.

 

Delicious meals that hide vegetables from your picky eater

Delicious meals that hide veggies from your picky eater

Do you have a picky eater who refuses to eat vegetables? My son doesn’t outright refuse all vegetables, but he doesn’t like a lot of them and on some days he does indeed refuse all of them.  So I have found a few dishes where I pack them full of all kinds of “hidden” veggies and he just gobbles it up.  So if you have a veggie avoider try some of these meals and see how it goes:

Spaghetti sauce. I put everything in my sauce (peas, green and yellow peppers, spinach, celery, tomatoes, onions, etc.) and my son just eats it all up. I do it both vegetarian style or bolognese (with beef) and he loves them both. Another great thing with this option is that I can serve it with zucchini noodles rather than pasta so my son eats lots of veggies. 

Lasagna. When it’s chicken lasagna with a cream sauce I use a ton of spinach, there’s actually more spinach than chicken. When it’s a meat sauce I can use all of the same veggies that I put in my spaghetti sauce. Also if I want to avoid pasta it can be made with eggplant instead. My son loves the flavour of the sauces so he devours these meals.

Quiche or frittata. A quiche or frittata is so yummy that my son doesn’t even notice all of the veggies that I put in it. You can put pretty much any vegetable that you like into either of these dishes.

Meat balls. This is another way I add pretty much any vegetable I have on hand (carrots, celery, onion, green peppers, spinach, etc.). Just make sure they’re chopped up nice and tiny (use a food processor for ease if you have one) so that you’ll have no problem making the balls. Occasionally I even make them using turkey rather than ground beef for a leaner option, and really just to have a bit of variety. Either way my son loves them and gobbles them up.

Shepherd’s pie. My son loves the combination of meat and potatoes, what he may not realize is that the meat has tons of vegetables in it.  Again, I just make sure they’re chopped up nice and small so he doesn’t notice they’re there. I include carrots, celery, green peppers, onions, tomatoes, peas, and even spinach.

What dishes do you make that have “hidden” vegetables?

My fitness challenge: getting started

My Fitness Challenge Getting Started

I’ve finally made the decision to get fit again, for real this time. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for some time. The reason I’ve decided to include my journey in the blog is because it will be a huge motivating factor. It’s so easy to just give up because it’s so much more fun to sit on the couch. But when other people know what you’re trying to do they help keep you accountable. Sometimes just the fact that you don’t want to feel like a failure in front of other people is motivation enough. I’ve also joined up with a group to undergo a 21 day challenge. What’s great is that it’s a group of people doing the same thing and working towards a similar goal. Not only will they provide words of encouragement but they’ll also know what I’m going through when I say that days workout sucked. So I will have a group of supporters and I will also document my journey in my blog, both of these actions will keep me accountable.

So why am I doing this?

Let me start by saying that this is not about a major weight loss, truth is I don’t need to lose that much weight. Yes I could absolutely lose at least 10 lbs, but my weight is not the main point. The reality is I feel better if I’m active and healthy, and I’ve become rather inactive.

A few years ago I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia.  What this basically means is that my body doesn’t manage sugar the way it should.  I will eat a full meal and about two hours later my blood sugar level drops and my body thinks it’s hungry again. The main symptom to this is dizziness and/or fainting.  It’s something that’s easy to control through diet, you just need to eat every few hours. So if you eat right then all is great. The problem is, since you eat every few hours it’s so easy to gain weight if you don’t always eat the right thing.  So that’s the first contributing factor.

The other factor in this has been my baby journey.  We are blessed with a beautiful little boy, but in order to get here we went through fertility treatment.  Part of that treatment was hormone injections which does play with your body.  Then when I was pregnant my doctor advised me to stay away from exercise.  Perhaps this was an over-cautious recommendation but of course I followed it.  Thankfully I’m not a big junk food eater so I didn’t really gain that much weight (just a healthy pregnancy amount). But I did become accustomed to a more sedentary lifestyle.

Then there’s the infant child stage.  Having a newborn is exhausting and time-consuming. Of course all of my time and energy has been focussed on my little guy. He comes first, and always will. Taking care of a baby is not a stationary activity but it’s not exactly proper exercise either.

When I add these factors together it translates into a lifestyle that is not as active as it should be. I’ve never been particularly interested in sports so I’m far from being an athlete. However I did used to do things such as yoga and zumba. As many of you will know, once you lose the habit of being active it can be difficult to get back. But now I have no fertility treatments to undergo, no doctors orders to refrain me from exercise, I have no more excuses. So it’s time to get back at it.

My goal

My goal is simply to be healthy. I’m not about restricting everything I eat or do. I don’t believe that making yourself feel like you’re not allowed to eat anything you like is any way to live. But I do try to keep a balance. So I will continue to eat pizza and pasta, but I will do so in moderation. And I will continue to eat organic ingredients and home-made meals, because I believe that what we put in our bodies matters. But I will reduce the amount of bread and pasta I do eat, and I will seriously up my game when it comes to vegetables and exercise.  Being active is part of being healthy. And honestly, how am I supposed to teach my son the importance of good health if I don’t start with me?

So it’s time to step up my game. Today I start my 21 day challenge. It’s time to teach my son through example.

My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
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When is the right time to school?

When is the right time to school-

Lately I have been struggling with one, rather important, question. When is the right time for my son to start school?  My husband and I have read all of the studies, the general consensus is that early education is essential.  And we agree with that.  The question is, at what age?

Around here most schools start at age 3 (with PPK), but there are many preschool programs that commence at age 2 (and of course nursery that starts from just a few weeks).  We found a great half day program nearby that will accept our son as of August (he will be just under 2 years of age).  It’s a fantastic school where he will learn through play, and we have no doubt that they will not only educate but also take great care of our little guy.  But he won’t even be two years old yet, that just seems so young to me.  I’m fortunate enough to be a stay at home mom, so it’s not like we need to arrange care for him.  And of course I want the absolute best for him, but I want to be sure he’s ready.

After turning this decision over and over again in my mind, I came to a realization.  My hesitation is not with whether or not my son is ready, it’s with whether or not I am.  I have no doubt that my son will thrive and thoroughly enjoy the program.  I, however, will struggle as I watch my sweet baby boy growing up.  Right now I’m the one who teaches him, guides him, and gets to bear witness to every adorable moment in his life.  The truth is, I’ll never be ready.  He’s my baby, and there is no being ready for him to grow up.  I have been blessed to be a stay at home mom, taking care of his every need, and I have enjoyed every minute of it.  I also take great joy over seeing him grow and learn, but it would be great if he’d slow down a little bit.  I know he’s still only a year old, but like all mothers out there, I think it’s just going by too quickly.  I won’t enroll him for August, it’s just too soon (for me).  I’ll keep him to myself for a little while longer, and then watch him spread his wings.

So I will enroll him for next year (when he will have turned two), and take these next several months to mentally, and emotionally, prepare myself.  And I will try my best not to cry too much on his first day.

You know you live in the Caribbean when…

You know you live in the Caribbean when

Anyone who has ever lived in the Caribbean can attest to the fact that it is a gorgeous spot on earth that you feel blessed to live in, it truly is living in paradise.  And like all places, living in paradise comes with its ups and downs.

You know you live in the Caribbean when:

  • The simple act of walking out to your car makes you sweat profusely.
  • Wearing sunglasses is not a fashion statement, it’s a necessity.
  • Fast and efficient customer service actually throws you off of your game.
  • When planning a family vacation you avoid the popular all-inclusive beach resort options.  Use your vacation time to go somewhere different, like a big city!
  • Having to drive more than 20 minutes to get anywhere makes you wonder if it’s even worth going that far.
  • You’re freezing if the temperature ever drops to 26°C (that’s about 78°F).
  • You probably don’t own one pair of closed toe shoes (ok so this one pretty much only applies to women).
  • Half of your clothes are some sort of beach attire.
  • Every occasion is a reasons for a party. Seriously, everything.
  • Your grill probably gets used a lot more than your stove.
  • You love going to the grocery store anywhere outside of the Caribbean. Everything is so inexpensive everywhere else!
  • You really enjoy a rainy day.  When you live in the Caribbean you enjoy beautifully sunny, blue skies on a daily basis, the occasional rainy day feels refreshing.

I’ll take all of the good, the bad, and the funny when it comes to living in the Caribbean.  It’s such a beautiful part of the world, it’s hard not to feel fortunate to be here.

Mummuddlingthrough

10 Things I’ve learnt since becoming a mom

10 ThingsI've learnt since becoming a mom

We all know that becoming a parent is a life changing experience.  Here is a quick roundup of just a few things that I have learnt since becoming a mom.

1. Your heart really is a living, breathing creature that is just walking around outside of your body.

2. As a mother you really do put all of your own interests on the back burner. Which is why it becomes so important that you make an effort to take care of yourself as well.

3. Pregnancy and motherhood is one of the most joyous moments and life changing events you can experience. Unfortunately it is also a time when you will feel the most judged and criticized.  It’s not always easy, but it’s so important to learn how to tune the judgers out.

4. I’ve learnt not only how strong my own intuition can be, but I’ve also learnt to trust it.

5. I’ve learnt that another persons tears hurts me a lot more than my own. (can’t stand hearing my baby cry!)

6. But I’ve also learnt that there is no greater joy then seeing your baby happy and hearing that adorable laughter.

7. There is nothing more attractive than seeing your husband being a great father.

8. I’ve suddenly become an expert at knowing which places are stroller friendly and which places to avoid.

9. I’ve learnt that time passes too quickly.  Stop growing so fast my little man!

10. And finally, the main thing I’ve learnt since becoming a mom, is just how much my own mother loves me and how much she did (and still does) for me. Becoming a mother definitely gives you a new appreciation for your own mom.  Thanks mom!!

 

What would your list include?

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My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
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My ab challenge; why did I do this?

My ab fitness challenge

Recently I took up a 5 day ab challenge.  I have a friend who is quite fit and fabulous, and she set out to challenge a bunch of us to work on our abs.  So I thought I’d give it a go.  As you can imagine I had a bit of a roller-coaster of emotions over those 5 days.  Here’s how it went:

Day 1:  Yes!!  Let’s get this started! 🙂

Day 2:  Ok, here we go, I’m tired from yesterday but I can do this.

Day 3:  Yay it’s national wine day!  Oh wait, I’m in the middle of a 5 day ab challenge.  Ugh, why do bad things always happen to me?

Day 4:  Is this thing still going on?

Day 5:  Yes it’s finally over!  Hey this was actually kind of cool, maybe I should just keep this up?

Did I mention that I happened to wake up with the flu on the very first day of the challenge?  Yep, I had to do the entire challenge whilst also nursing the flu and taking care of a toddler.  I’m glad I accepted the challenge though because if there’s one thing I need it’s to work on my abs.  It wasn’t easy but it felt great to get through it and it has provided good motivation to keep up with the ab work.  I won’t promis to do it every day, but I’m sure I can keep it up a few days a week.

Have you ever done some sort of fitness challenge?  How did it go?  Do you still keep it up?

 

Powering through parenting when you’re sick

powering through parenting when you're sick

It started with an itch, a slight scratching at the back of my throat, I took some medicine trying to prevent the inevitable, but it was too late.  Now I’m sick.  Now I’m stuck coughing, with watery (and yet somehow at the same time dry) eyes, and an achy body.  There is one sure way to quickly cure myself of this flu, unfortunately I have a toddler so I cannot simply down some medicine and head straight to bed.  I must find a way to power through the exhaustion and entertain my little man.  Here are a few ways that I manage to power through when I get sick.

Don’t be a martyr, medicate.  Don’t insist that you’re strong enough to get through being sick without taking any medication.  Yes nature can take its course, and yes that may be how you used to deal with things.  But if you’re a parent you know full well that parental duties are exhausting enough on their own.  So just get to the drug store and buy whatever non drowsy medication works for you.

Comfort food.  Ok so toast and peanut butter may not be the most nutritious food out there.  But being sick and having to power through it is no time to be worrying about how healthy your food is.  You’re probably already consumed with making sure your child (or children) eats a healthy meal.  Just eat whatever makes you feel happy in that moment so you can get on with the day.

Coffee.  Lots and lots of coffee.  Yes I know that many people say that you should not drink so much caffeine, but if all I want to do is go to bed for a week then I don’t care how many cups of coffee I drink that day.  I need the caffeine boost and I will indulge myself.

Relax on all non-urgent duties.  This includes the housework.  If you’re a stay at home mom (like me), and have an energetic toddler that is still too young for school, then that means you’re on kid duty all day.  So just forget about all non-urgent duties, including the house.  Who cares if the laundry piles up for a couple of days or if the vacuum hasn’t been run.  Rest whenever you can so you can get better quicker.  This also means ordering in for dinner if you have to.

Those are my basic tips that help me power through the day when I’m sick.  They may seem kind of obvious, but too many of us try to keep up with everything even when we’re sick!  As a stay at home mom I can’t call in a sick day, so I have to lighten up my load however I can when I’m in need.

 

Please stop telling me to “just wait”

Please stop telling me to just wait

Just wait. Two relatively innocent words that are starting to become two of the most annoying words to hear.  No matter what stage of life I’m in there is always someone telling me to just wait.

Just wait until you have to plan a wedding.

Just wait until you’re pregnant.

Just wait until you have a child.

Just wait until he’s older.

Just wait until you have another baby.

What is the constant obsession with telling people to just wait until they experience what you have already gone through?  Every time someone tells me to just wait it makes me feel like they’re telling me that my experience is somehow inferior because I haven’t gone through as much as they have.  My life is unique to me, and things will happen in the time they’re meant to happen.  There is no way to know what the future will bring, so who’s to say I’m going to experience the same things as anyone else?

Most recently the just wait I keep hearing is just wait until you have two kids.  First of all, who said I’m going to have another baby?  Secondly, just because I “only” (ugh even writing that makes me cringe) have one child doesn’t mean that my stress or hectic days are any less valid than anyone who has multiple children.  Sometimes it seems like if I’m around other mothers who have 2 or more kids, I’m not allowed to say anything about being tired because the response is always “oh just wait until you have another baby, you have no idea.”   It’s like there is always someone trying to one up me, trying to prove that they’re somehow more talented than I am because they have more to deal with.  Why is it even a competition?  Why can’t we simply share our experiences with one another without trying to make comparisons?  What’s beautiful about friendship is that you can share about your life, unload your stresses, and support each other.  But if you’re too busy trying to prove that you’re somehow better than doesn’t that undermine the friendship?

Please stop telling me to “just wait.”  My feelings, whatever situation I’m dealing with, is no less valid just because you have already been through it or because you think your life is somehow more complicated than mine.  If you have well-earned advice that you can offer then that’s great, and it’s certainly much more useful than telling me to wait.

Let’s all make a commitment to stop telling people to just wait.  Perhaps a better approach would be to say “I understand.”  Let’s try our best to be there to support one another, and stop trying to one up each other.

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A Bit Of Everything