Tag Archives: food

Happy Happenings

27 Jul

What happy moments are going on in your life lately? I like sharing mine from time to time. Here are some of them…


I am having a hard time believing how big my little baby is getting. He is becoming a little boy, and it’s happening toooo fast! He loves the park–loves to explore, swing, and get dirty. He’s ALL boy for sure!


Being ALL boy means getting hurt every now and then. This was his first scraped knee. I think I took it harder than he did. He’s a tough little guy!


Do you see that piece of fruit?! ? This is the nectarine tree my hubby bought me for our first wedding anniversary almost two years ago. It has started producing fruit, and it’s actually quite tasty. Little Mr. loves it too!


Speaking of tasty things, I made some Paleo chocolate chip cookies the other night, and they were AMAZING!! I’ll be making them again soon. I just need to go buy some more almond flour…


Another tasty dish that makes me happy is bison burgers with sweet potato fries. MMM MMM!


Look at this dirty little stinker! We took him to the beach again, and he loved it. This time he enjoyed the water too. He walked down to it all by himself and didn’t get afraid of it like the time before. I’m a happy momma! Can’t wait to take him again. Maybe tomorrow!


I’m back at it! Working out 3-4 times a week. I’m slowly starting to build up a routine and keep my focus. I always feel better when I work out regularly which is the number one reason I do it. Secondly, I would like to build some muscle and be in the best shape I can be. I’ll have to post my routine soon so you can join me! You in? šŸ˜‰


These eggs make me happy too. I love eggs, especially organic, farm fresh eggs. These eggs were given to me by a coworker in exchange for working one of his Saturday shifts. Aren’t they pretty? I wish I had some chickens!

These are some of the happy happenings in my life right now. In between the work and stress of life, I try to find and focus on the happy times. What kind of happy things are going on in your life? I’d love to hear about them!


What I Ate-A Week’s Worth of Healthy Dinners

2 Jul

Last week was a tough week for me. The days were long, daunting, and stressful. Little Mr. woke up 2-3 times each night (teething is no fun for anyone!) and work was nightmarish. Through the stressful week, I found therapy in cooking. I cooked dinner every night this week (and Hubby helped most nights). I found most of the recipes online at Paleo Plan. I do not eat a strictly Paleo diet, but I’d say I am “practically Paleo”. The exceptions are that I eat rice, beans, and gluten free bread on occasion. I do enjoy Paleo recipes, and I found many yummy ones on this site. Here’s the meals I made this past week:

Monday:Ā Mediterranean Chicken with Artichoke Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Chicken-Capers, Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives

Mediterranean Chicken with Artichoke Quinoa

Tuesday:Ā Italian sausage links with brown rice, black beans and a spinach salad

Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Tomato, Avocado, and Mushrooms by Eat Nap Play

Wednesday:Ā Lime-Cilantro Pork and Sauteed Veggies with Lemon and Basil

Lime Cilantro Pork with Lemon Basil Veggies by Eat Nap Play

Thursday:Ā Cilantro Turkey Burgers on a lettuce “bun” topped with avocado and red onion with sweet potato fries

Cilantro Turkey Burgers

Healthy Burger Toppings

Simple Sweet Potato Fries from Eat Nap Play

Friday: Spaghetti squash with Turkey Vegetable Meatballs and Vodka Sauce

Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Vegetable Meatballs by Eat Nap Play

My favorite of all these meals were the Cilantro Turkey Burgers. They were very flavorful and juicy. We will definitely be adding this meal to our arsenal. The Mediterranean Chicken is great too and really simple to make. I hope these recipes give you some healthy dinner options to try. Leave a comment and let me know how you like them. Enjoy!


Linking up with:

Mediterranean Chicken Recipe

29 Jun

We have cooked Mediterranean Chicken twice now, and we loveĀ it! It has lots of fresh flavors that work well together. It is simple and there are only a few ingredients needed, so if you’re short on time, this is a perfect healthy and quick meal that can be prepared in about half an hour. We enjoyed it with a side of Artichoke Quinoa Salad. So good!

Here’s what you’ll need:


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

olive oil

sea salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

20 Kalamata olives, pitted and halved

3 tablespoons capers

Mediterranean Chicken-Capers, Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives


1. Rub olive oil on both sides of each chicken breast and season with sea salt and pepper. Grill for about 6 minutes on each side.

2. In a medium sized bowl, combine 2 tsp. olive oil, tomatoes, olives and capers.

3. Plate the chicken breasts and spoon the tomato mixture over the chicken.

4. Enjoy!

Mediterranean Chicken with Artichoke Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Chicken with Artichoke Quinoa Salad

This is one of our new favorite ways to make chicken. It changes things up a bit, and I just love the flavors of the olives and capers. Yum! Hope you like it too! Write a comment to share your favorite way to cook chicken. I’m always looking for more recipes to try!


This recipe was inspired by Paleo Plan.

Linking up with Jen from Pink When


Beef and Broccoli Recipe

19 Jun

I want to share a new recipe with you guys. My hubby and I have made this twice now. It’s super simple and really yummy. We made it gluten-free, but you don’t have to.

Here’s the things you will need:

  • 1 lb. of beef cubes
  • 3 tablespoons of almond flour
  • 1/2 cup water + 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic or garlic powder
  • 2 bunches of broccoli
  • 1 small onion, cut into chunks
  • 1/3 cup of tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon grated (or ground) ginger
  • 1 cup brown rice

A few substitutions and side notes: I think this dish would be good with chicken too, but then it would have to be called chicken and broccoli. šŸ˜‰ I haven’t tried it yet though, so let me know how it turns out if you use chicken. If you prefer, you can use corn starch instead of almond flour. I used brown rice flour the first time, but I liked the almond flour a lot better. You can use regular soy sauce if you want. I won’t judge. šŸ˜‰ And, for the rice, we use this stuff. It’s a brown rice and quinoa blend. It’s organic, and it only takes 90 seconds in the microwave. Love it! We buy it at Costco all the time.


1. Mix 2 tablespoons almond flour, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of water in a bowl until smooth.

2. Add beef to bowl and coat with flour mixture.

3. In a wok or pan, stir fry beef in one tablespoon of oil until desired tenderness is reached. Set aside in a separate container and keep warm.

4. Stir fry broccoli and onion in remaining oil (1 tablespoon)Ā for ~5 minutes.

5. Return beef to pan.

6. Mix 1/2 cup of water, remaining almond flour (1 tablespoon), tamari and ginger in a small bowl until smooth. Add to pan.

7. Cook over medium heat for two minutes.

8. Serve over rice and enjoy.

gluten-free, dinner, meal, beef, broccoli

recipe, beef, broccoli, gluten-free, dinner, meal

Let me know what you think about this recipe. I am going to add it to our go-to meals because it’s quick and there’s always leftovers for lunch. That’s a plus because then I don’t have to worry about making my lunch to bring to work the next day. What are some of your favorite go-to meals?


My Rant About Diet and Medicine

15 Jun

I’ve been feeling pretty blah lately. I have been struggling with intense “brain fog” for several days. With this, my creativity, inspiration, and motivation have been pretty much non existent. I am starting to feel a little better each day. The doctors tell me it’s too broad of a symptom for them to figure out the cause. I have had blood work done, and everything has come back normal. I went back for a follow up and more tests were ordered, but I don’t even think it’s worth wasting my time to get them done. I asked if it could have been the significant amount of gluten that I ate while I was in Vegas (because it’s just so hard to avoid it while traveling). They said probably not. Unfortunately, the only symptom they relate to a gluten intolerance is digestive issues. There just isn’t enough research out there to suggest otherwise, but I am really starting to think that’s what it is.

Many people may call me crazy, and that’s okay. It makes sense to me that something I put into my body could result in an adverse symptom. I can’t wrap my head around why many people in the medical field don’t take diet into consideration as a possibility of ailments or disease. Food is the substance everyone puts into their body every day. Why couldn’t something in one’s diet be to blame? There are genetic tests related to Celiac disease that I inquired about, but because I did not have the “classic” symptoms of abdominal pain or diarrhea, they said it couldn’t possibly be that. I get it. There needs to be a clinical symptom in order to make a test medically necessary, but what I don’t get is the fact that it is assumed that everyone will present with the same symptoms. A friend of mine is a physician’s assistant, and she says that her office will run the genetic tests when other symptoms like mine are present and the obvious things have been ruled out. She said there are many people who test positive without the “classic” symptoms. This is just an example of how much we have yet to learn about medicine. Advancements in knowledge, testing, and research have come a long way over the years, but they have way further to travel before we know even half of the processes that take place in our bodies. It’s unfortunate that I can’t get any answers. It’s tough to be the crazy girl who can’t eat donuts or bread or cake like everyone else, but I feel like it’s got to be that way if I want to have a brain that functions properly. I don’t have a medical backing to my claim, but I’ve got to listen to my body and nourish it to the best of my ability. Therefore, I will continue on my gluten-free journey and urge others who may be struggling with similar situations to do the same. One day there will be a wake-up call to the Western medical world telling them that food does affect many systems in our body. I believe that diet should be the first thing to look at when we have any ailment, whether it be a headache, changes in bowels, fatigue, irritability or brain fog. The foods we eat today are full of sugar and processed chemicals that could be to blame for these things, and our doctors seem to be in denial and so quick to write a prescription instead of looking for the cause. Ok, I’ll end my rant right there. But, seriously if you are having any ongoing ailments, physical or psychological, look at what you are putting into your body each day. It may surprise you when you start to make some changes. If you got through this whole post, I thank you. šŸ˜‰ Have you had any adverse reactions to certain foods? Do you think I’m completely nuts? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Go ahead, leave a comment!


Hello Monday

10 Jun

Hello Monday.

Hello to getting back in the swing of things after being in Vegas for the past three days. What a trip!

Las Vegas strip

Hello to unpacking and laundry. Boo!

Hello to being reunited with my boys. Yay!

Me and my boy

Hello to having the day off to rest and recuperate. I need it!

Hello to getting back on track with eating right and working out. It’s hard to stay on track when you’re living out of a suitcase. I don’t know how some people travel all the time for work. That would be tough.

Hello to blogging again. Did everyone enjoy Megan’s guest post while I was away? She’s so fun! Love her!

Hello to a beautiful sunny day that I plan on enjoying with my family.

Hello to the start of an awesome week! Stay positive my friends and good things will happen!



What do you have to look forward to this week?

Follow me on Instagram to see what I’m up to this and every week. I post pics there often (@eatnapplay).

I’m linking this post up with Lisa Leonard.


Clean Eating: My Story-Part 2

20 Apr

Read part 1 here.

The next phase of clean eating didn’t come along until I got pregnant. This was the biggest turning point in my life on so many levels. When I was 28 weeks pregnant, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. This meant that I would have to monitor my blood glucose levels by pricking my finger four times a day. I was sent to a diabetic counselor who helped teach me what to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat. I had to keep a daily log of everything I ate as well as my blood sugar levels. Luckily, I was able to control the diabetes with diet, and I did not need insulin. Throughout the ten weeks that followed (My son was 10 days early.), I got into a routine with the monitoring. It was not easy. I wanted to cry on more than one occasion. I wanted to give up and dive into a box of Ā Oreos on more than one occasion. But, I didn’t. I followed the rules to a “T” because I did not want to do any harm to my baby. During pregnancy, I had the worst sweet tooth EVER! This did not make things any easier. I got into a habit of eating sugar-free ice cream every night after dinner to satisfy my cravings. Not the best idea, but it got me through this tough time.

Throughout this time, I did quite a bit of research on diabetes, and I learned that those with gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. This made me realize that if I want to be healthy and have a healthy family, precautionary measures should be taken. I vowed to continue using the tips that I learned from my diabetic counselor in the future and to not go back to my overeating and sugar ingesting ways again. I did not want to end up overweight and/or diabetic in the future.


I can say now that although it was tough having gestational diabetes, I am glad that I did because I am healthier now than I’ve ever been. I learned how to eat better through this experience, and I will only benefit from it in the future.

Read part 3 of my story here.


Clean Eating: My Story-Part 1

19 Apr

Where to begin? Like I have mentioned before, I used to eat terribly. It never even crossed my mind that it would be beneficial in any way to eat better. I was young. I had no experience with eating healthy foods. I was brought up to eat foods that were convenient. More often than not, these foods fell into the processed food category. Pop tarts for breakfast, vending machine food and a soda for lunch, and hamburger helper or fast food for dinner made up a typical day of meals back then. I ate this way for many years and didn’t know the difference. As I got older, I started to put on a little bit of weight and I was always tired. I was irritable and falling into a state of depression. This started around my college years and slowly got worse as the years went on. It is only now, in hind sight, that I can see that my diet was to blame for these symptoms.

Things slowly started to change for the better over the last three years or so. It was a gradual process of learning and re-programming my mind and body to eat differently. There were many “phases” that I went through that were triggered by multiple events. The first “phase” of changing my diet was around the time of my wedding. My husband had started a health kick and wanted to eat better and start working out. We both started hitting the gym a few times a week and cutting out the crap from our diet. The main thing we cut out during this phase was fast food. We were notorious for late night partying and topping off the night with a good ole run to Jack-in-the-Crack. We both slimmed down a bit for the wedding day and even kept away from the fast food afterwards. We would stop by a fast food joint every now and then if we were on the road, but nothing near the amount we had eaten in the past. We started to find more recipes and cook at home more often when we started living together. We got a grill, and my hubby became an expert grill master. However, we were still buying some processed foods, still consuming too much food, and still eating sweets. We were also eating out and drinking alcohol every weekend.

no fast food

The next phase would soon put a stop to this (well, most of it anyway). Read part 2Ā Ā and part 3Ā here.


Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus

14 Apr

I’ve been making my own hummus lately. I think it tastes much better than the store bought stuff, and it’s super easy. I recently made a cilantro jalapeno one. Yum!


1 can of garbanzo beans or lentils

1 tablespoon tahini (Trader Joes has a good, decently priced one.)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1/2 bunch of cilantro

1 jalapeno, sliced (seeded or unseeded depending on your spicy tolerance)


1. Drain juice from beans into a small bowl and set aside.

2. Add all ingredients to food processor and turn on.

3. Mix in a tablespoon at a time of juice from beans until desired consistency is reached. (I usually do 1-2 tablespoons.)

4. Enjoy with carrots, peppers, celery, or anything else you desire.

Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus Recipe

Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus

Mine turned out pretty good. I wish my jalapeno had been a bit hotter though. I used almost all of the seeds, yet was still craving more spice. Hopefully, I get a hotter one next time.



Clean Eating and Sweets

9 Apr

I get this question often…”What can I have to satisfy my sweet tooth while eating a clean diet?” This is a great question. I love my sweets, and this is one of the areas that I struggle with from time to time. That being said, it is one of the most important struggles to get control of in order to make clean eating a way of life. You need to rid your body of the toxicity of refined sugar, and I am not going to tell you it’s easy. Although, I will tell you that you will feel better on the other side, and you will be happy you did it. Detoxifying your body of processed sugar usually takes about two weeks. In this time, be sure you are paying close attention to your food labels. The most important part to read is theĀ ingredientsĀ section.Ā Sugar is added to so many things these days, things that you wouldn’t even think of, and it goes by at least 50 different names (e.g. cane juice, malt syrup). This makes it more difficult to interpret what’s in your foods, and this is how companies want it to be. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to steer clear of processed foods altogether.

Eat less sugar

Ā What makes this process less overwhelming is to focus on the foods you CAN have, not the ones you cannot. Some foods that I CAN eat to satisfy my sweet tooth are apples with almond butter (all natural), banana slices and peanut butter (all natural) on a piece of toast (whole grain), or a protein smoothie with berries. I use raw honey as a sweetener for baking things like my pumpkin muffins. I also like Lara bars for a sweet snack. These have no sugar added (except the ones with chocolate chips in them-avoid these) and are made from dates which make them sweet. I really like the cashew cookie one because it is made from just cashews and dates. Simple and yummy!

As for artificial sweeteners, there has been some research starting to emerge that is showing that they are not good for us. I avoid these as well. Because artificial sweeteners are even sweeter than real sugar, they only increase the cravings, so avoiding these will help you kick the habit.

I hope this has helped answer the question of what to do about eating clean and wanting to have a sweet treat now and then. Trust me, it gets easier with time, and your body will thank you for it!


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