healthy choices

5 Ways to Go into the Holidays Ready to Make Healthy Choices #DishtheFit

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The holidays are right around the corner.....next week actually.  So let's not delay, lets discuss how we can be prepared, and not let all the yummy food on Thanksgiving take advantage of us and put us in a sugar coma and down the wrong path right into the New Year.

So here are 5 Ways to Go Into the Holidays Ready to Make Healthy Choices

1) Let's start with how you look.  Whether it's a large company party, or just your family having a meal, dress nice, and where your skinny jeans or your tight fitting dress.  Doing this will make you very aware of your body, which will obviously also make you more aware of what you are putting in your body.  So "BACK AWAY FROM THE SWEATPANTS!" Don't even bring the sweats out during the holiday season.  Wearing your skinny jeans to the big meals will insure that you are still able to fit in those skinny jeans by the end of the holiday season!

2) Be picky with who you are hanging around.  If you stick with the people who chat by the dessert table while constantly nibbling at food, then you will naturally be drawn to nibble as well.  Find the group of people at the company party that you know are more health-driven, and become one of those kinds! It really is true that you become like the people you hang around, even when it's at a party or with family.

If your family is all about the fixings when it comes to holidays, and there is never a celebration without food, then find something to get your family active together as well.  Check out last week's post about Starting a New Tradition and Getting active with your family over the holidays! (Plus there's an awesome holiday family GIVEAWAY too!

3) No matter what your plans are for the holidays, whether you are cooking at home, going out to eat, or traveling to be with friends, make a plan.  Take some time, maybe while driving or in the shower to imagine your holiday celebrations, and set rules/guidelines for yourself to follow.  That may be NO DESSERTS at all, or limiting yourself to one dessert.  OR it might be banning the bread during the main course! (That's a great one for me.  I love those Thanksgiving rolls a little too much) Either way, set some guidelines, and STICK TO THEM!

4) Most holidays, you aren't the one cooking all the dishes, but usually you bring at least one dish to the meal.  So whatever you are cooking, why not find ways to make them healthier.  That way, even if the sweet potatoes are covered in brown sugar and marshmallows, at least you have the dish you brought as a healthy option.

And if you are cooking at your home for your family, then make this holiday even better and find ways to make all your dishes healthy! For baking, take a look at my post on How to Make Cookies Healthy.  The substitutes I give for baking ingredients can be used mostly across the board when baking, not just for cookies.

5) Lastly, make the holidays more about others than about yourself. Instead of going through the cycle of eating, relaxing, eating, relaxing, shopping and more eating during the holidays.  Find some good to do.  Do something to give back to your community or someone in need.  This may be serving Thanksgiving dinner's or helping out at a local charity.  Whatever it is, giving your time, and sharing joy with others will not only take your mind off of overindulging, but it will bring hope and joy to someone in need! 

[Tweet "Stick to these 5 Tips on how to go into the holidays ready to make healthy choices! @NFSisters #dishthefit #sweatpink #fitfluential"]

Stay tuned for more TIPS for being healthy over the holiday season in the coming weeks!

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I'm linking up to the Fit Dish Link-UP with The Fit Switch & Jill Conyers.

Don't forget to check out the details and sign up for the Holiday #FitFabFuelSwap hosted by me & Running With SD Mom! Check it out HERE!

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ENTER THE GIVEAWAY to WIN a Mommy & Kid Holiday Bondi Band! (ends tomorrow!)

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Smoothie Series WEEK 4-Great Smoothie Recipes from Fitness Bloggers

Welcome to WEEK 4 of the Naturally Fit Smoothie Series!! I've got some awesome Smoothie Recipes from other Fitness Bloggers to share with you! If you read WEEK 2 of the series, you saw my TOP 2 FAVORITE SMOOTHIE RECIPES, but now I am some awesome, original recipes from other bloggers, and these are way fancier than mine! 

So get your pallets ready and take a look at these great recipes!

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Here's some of my favorite recipes from some amazing fellow Fitness Bloggers: 

GINGER GREEN SMOOTHIE from Love Life Surf

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Ginger is such a great ingredient that can be used in many ways and offers a number of benefits including:

  • Aids in digestion and combats stomach aches and discomfort
  • Alleviates symptoms of motion sickness and nausea
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves your immune system and helps fight colds and sickness

Ginger Green Smoothie Recipe

  • 12 oz. coconut water
  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger – sliced or crushed
  • 1 scoop protein powder of choice (I use GNC’s vanilla egg protein.)

CRANBERRY CHIA SMOOTHIE from Getting' My Healthy On Cranberry-Chia-Smoothie

Cranberry Chia Smoothie is a fruity and super healthy smoothie recipe, using Greek yogurt, fruit, spinach, and chia seeds

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • handful spinach
  • 1/2 c Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 c cranberries
  • 1/3 c blueberries
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • optional: 3/4 c liquid of choice (water, juice, milk, etc)

Instructions:

  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.

PEACHY GREEN SMOOTHIE by Kate Moving Forward

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 peaches (Mine were canned so I also added about 2 Tablespoons of the peach juice.)

1 banana

1-2 cups baby spinach

1 teaspoon flaxseed

1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use Designer Whey)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)

6-8 ice cubes

Directions:

Layer all ingredients except for ice in blender. Blend on medium speed until well combined and smooth. Add ice cubes and blend again until thick and creamy. Slurp up!

SPOOKY SMOOTHIE: MACA CHOCOLATE + PUMPKIN ORANGE by Lauren Live Healthy

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Chocolate layer
  1. 1 maca chocolate bar (Vega)
  2. 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
  3. 1 small banana
  4. 1/2 tbsp black chia seeds
Orange layer
  1. 2 pitted dates
  2. 1/2 c pumpkin puree
  3. 1 medium orange, peeled
  4. 1/4 c yogurt (try almond or coconut yogurt for a fun twist!)
  5. 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  6. 2-3 dashes pumpkin spice
  7. Splash of vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Make the chocolate layer. In a blender, pulse the chocolate bar until it's in fine pieces. Add in the almond milk, banana and chia seeds. Blend until smooth.
  2. Make the pumpkin layer. Soak the dates in warm water for 2-3 minutes to soften up a bit. Blend with the pumpkin puree, orange, Greek yogurt, cinnamon, pumpkin spice and vanilla.
  3. Pour the chocolate layer into a cup before the pumpkin layer. Stir together and enjoy!

CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN SPICE SUPERFOOD SMOOTHIE by The Fit Foodie Mama

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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  2. 1 handful of ice
  3. 2 heaping tbsp pumpkin puree
  4. 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder (I used Puritan's Pride Vegan Chocolate with Quinoa & Oats)
  5. 2 tbsp cacao powder
  6. 1 scoop Superior Greens
  7. 1 bag pumpkin spice tea (bag ripped open, use leaves only)
  8. 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds for topping
  9. 1 tbsp cacao nibs for topping
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients together except seeds and nibs.
  2. Pour into large glass and top with pumpkin seeds and cacao nibs.
  3. Enjoy! :)

Here's some other recipes for you to check out!

CHOCOLATE ORANGE GREEN SMOOTHIE by Kate Moving Forward

OATMEAL COOKIE DOUGH IN A GLASS by Sprint to the Table

CARROT CAKE BATTER SHAKE by Sprint to the Table

FRUIT-FREE LOW CARB SMOOTHIE by The Happy Health Freak

APPLE CRISP SMOOTHIE by Fitaspire

SENSATIONAL SWEET POTATO SMOOTHIE by A Lady Goes West

APPLE PUMPKIN PIE SMOOTHIE by Healthy Helper

BANANA SPLIT SMOOTHIE by Running with SD Mom

MINT CHOCOLATE PROTEIN SMOOTHIE by Slim Sanity

 

Be sure to check out the posts from earlier in the Naturally Fit Smoothie Series! 

Week 1: How a Smoothie Drinks Shops & Stocks Their Kitchen 

WEEK 2: Our Favorite Smoothie Recipes

WEEK 3: Top 5 Nutritious Additives for Smoothies

WEEK 4: More Smoothie Recipes from Fellow Fitness Bloggers

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**COME BACK TOMORROW FOR AN AWESOME GIVEAWAY!!**

Smoothie Series WEEK 3-Top 5 Nutritious Additives for Smoothies

Welcome to Week 3 of our Naturally Fit Smoothie Series, which is all about the nutritious additives you can put in your smoothie!

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[Tweet "Does your smoothie leave you hungry within the hr!? Try these nutritious additives from @NFSisters"]

You are probably wondering, what can be more nutritious that a cup full of fruit!?!? Well today I'm going to tell you my TOP 5 NUTRITIOUS ADDITIVES when it comes to making smoothies!

Now if you are just joining in on the Naturally Fit Smoothie Series, START HERE:

smoothie week 1

smoothie week 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protein Powder:

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 There are so many brands of protein powders out there.  When finding one, I would suggest finding a natural, or plant based powder, here are two suggestions from previous reviews we have done: Skoop & Manitoba Harvest Both are plant based, and have great flavors.

I personally use protein powder in my smoothies because I use smoothies as meal replacements, and sometimes, post workout nutrition.  When it is as a meal replacement, it's important for me so that I am able to stay full longer.  When I am using a smoothie as a post workout drink, the protein aids in muscle recovery.  (more about that HERE)

Green Veggies:

My two favorite green veggies to add to my smoothies are: 

KALE

Kale is high in beta cartene and vitamins K and C.  It also contains sulforaphane, and indole-3-carbinol. Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 10.39.39 PM

SPINACH

Spinach is full of antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E, K, B2, and B6, magnesium, manganese, folate, betaine, iron, calcium, potassium, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium, and omega-3-fatty-acids. Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 10.39.59 PM

So basically, adding greens to your smoothie is AWESOME FOR YOU!!! So DO IT!!

And don't be afraid of them! Just a handful of greens and you won't even taste them, your smoothie just might have a hint of green color to it! I love adding a handful to mine just because that means a little more vegetable intake for that day, and a whole lot more of GOOD NUTRITIONAL VALUE in my smoothie!

Chia Seeds:

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Same seeds used to create a CHIA PET! You know those little grass heads sold on TV Info-mercials in the 90's! These seeds are FILLED with Omega-3-fatty-acid and are also dietary fibers.

Some people even let these sit for a while, because as they sit in liquid, they become little jelly capsules, so they thicken up your smoothie! Yum! Or add them to a bowl of yogurt or oatmeal!

Flax Seeds:

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 10.31.32 PMFlax seeds are high in dietary fiber, micronutrients, and omega-3 fatty acids, and have about 800 times the amount of antioxidant lignans of any other plant.

I have used the ground version or whole seeds in my smoothies, but usually the whole seeds get grounded some by the blender anyways.

Peanut Butter

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A balanced source of energy, and supplies all three macronutrients. About 13% carbohydrates, 15% protein, and 72% fats. Great to add in for an extra boost of protein, but also be careful not to add too much, and go overboard with it.

Be sure to get natural peanut butter though.  Many regular peanut butter brands actually have sugars added to them....why did they ever do that? I don't know, in my opinion, a natural peanut butter has plenty of sweetness to it! So GO NATURAL!

These are my TOP 5 most used Nutritious Additives in my Smoothies, but I asked fellow Health & Fitness Bloggers, and here's some others they often times add.

Others: 

-Almond Butter -Full of nutrients and vitamins, and has different nutritional values than peanut butter.

-PB2-a low calorie powder form of peanut butter

-Bee Pollen -claimed to be nearly 40% protein and contain all nutrients required by humans

-Maca Powder - a Peruvian root powder that contains many vitamins, aids in energy, and more.

-Cacao Nibs -crumbles from whole Cacao beans, rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and fibers, and adds a natural chocolate flavor!

-Coconut Oil -claims to be easy to digest, and to help boost metabolism.

So in your adventure to become a Pro-Smoothie Drinker, I hope this helps!!!

Pick a couple of these on the list that interest you or seem like they would benefit your body and diet the most and go with it! You don't have to do them all!

So.....

What's your favorite Nutrient Rich Additive to put in your smoothie?

[Tweet "Get all the details on how to make your Smoothie more Nutritious from @NFSisters #smoothies"]

If this was helpful for you, I would love for you to take a minute to SHARE this post, on Twitter ^^^^ or by hovering over a photo and Pinning it!

happy smoothie making

& be sure to come back next week for more awesome smoothie recipes to finish off the Naturally Fit Smoothie Series! little-signautres

If you missed the first two weeks of the series, check them out! 

Week 1: How a Smoothie Drinks Shops & Stocks Their Kitchen 

WEEK 2: Our Favorite Smoothie Recipes

WEEK 3: Top 5 Nutritious Additives for Smoothies

WEEK 4: More Smoothie Recipes from Fellow Fitness Bloggers...COMING NEXT WEEK!

Well-Living Wednesday & My Fave Way to Eat Sweet Potatoes

It's Well-Living Wednesday, and today I'm sharing with you my favorite way to eat sweet potatoes....by making Sweet Potato Chips!

Last week in my post "I want to be just like you," I wrote about how we need to be examples to our children, and those around us by choosing a healthy lifestyle, rather than going along with the fast paced life of processed snacks and fast food meals!

It's easy to use the excuse of not knowing what healthy snack alternatives to choose, so I'm going to make it easy by giving you some ideas! Recently in my house we have started making Sweet Potato Chips on a weekly basis! They are such a yummy way to eat sweet potatoes, and a great alternative to a bag of process chips! 10733374_305937026266004_989273959_n

Sweet Potato Chips

-Peel the sweet potatoes, then use the slicer side of the cheese grater to cut the sweet potatoes into chip style strips.  Toss the strips in a bowl with olive oil, then lay them out on a pan. (Using a pizza pan with holes in it cooks them the best) Lightly sprinkle with salt.  Cook at 200 degrees for 2 hours. (or you can put them in a dehydrator.)

Like my Kale Chip Recipe, these never seem to make it further than the pan.  Every time we make them, we stand over the finished product and eat them all up, even when I am trying to save some for later! They are that good!

So make the choice this week to switch out the bags of processed potato chips in your pantry for some homemade Sweet Potato Chips! & if you like those, then be sure to check out my recipe for Kale Chips and add those to your weekly snack rotation as well!

There are so many great options, and I'm sure the entire family will love them!

Here are my Weightloss stats for the week:

Week 13: -1.1lbs

Week 14: -.2lbs 

Week 15: -1.3 lbs (152lbs) Total: -8.6lbs

I would love to hear if you try one of my chip recipes, and comment below with your favorite healthy snack!

What is your favorite healthy snack!??

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I Want To Be Just Like You!

Since becoming a mom, I've realized that healthy living is about so much more than just me!

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I heard a one-minute Wellness clip on the radio the other day where the lady talked about how our children watch and mimic what we do.  She said, if you sit down and eat a bag of chips all the time, then your children are going to grow up thinking it's normal to just eat bags of chips.  Her point being, you have to model what you want to teach your children. And to raise healthy children, then we as parents have to make healthy choices ourselves!

There is so much truth in that.  If you are a parent now, you can already see that.  It's obvious that our children naturally pick up our habits, both the good, and the bad!!

Even before I became a mother I had this realization.  You can read about WHY we blog (HERE).  I knew that living a healthy and active lifestyle was important for me to start early on, so that it was a natural habit of mine when I had my own mini-me picking up on my habits!

HEALTHY LIVING, IT'S ABOUT MORE THAN JUST ME!

I count myself as one of the lucky ones! (Sorry Mom)....but I grew up eating microwavable meals (especially those pizzas), Happy Meals all the time (thanks Grandma), and Little Debbie's (gotta love those Fudge Rounds & Star Crunch). That was the natural habits of my family growing up.

So many people who grow up with those habits end up being very overweight when they are adults, and the cycle continues if they don't make changes.  Somehow, I found a passion for fitness and working out, which led me to realizing I HAD TO change my eating habits.  It has definitely been a journey, and still is, but I feel lucky that I found this determination within me to CHANGE!  

In the beginning, I knew I had to make the change for my own sake, I knew that all the working out I was doing wouldn't make a difference if I kept eating out at fast food restaurants and buying processed, microwavable foods all the time.

Then I realized I wanted to create healthy eating habits in my children as well! I wanted to make it EASIER for them to make healthy choices, by creating those habits early in life.

It is by no means easy!

Even now, it is a struggle between my husband and me.  He works out, but it is easy for him to stay fit.  And he wants to have access to SNACKS in our house.  So many times after I grocery shop he will ask what snacks I got him.  He is used to things down the chips and cookie aisles.  The easy to grab processed stuff.  We are both trying to find a balance of finding healthy, yet good tasting and easy to access snacking alternatives for him, so that he has what he desires, but also so we don't have to have a ton of processed foods in our home.

1) Because on those snacky, "I want to eat everything" days, those things are tempting for me to pick up as well!

2) Now we have our Little Z who watches every move we make, and wants to be just like us!

So we have to make HEALTHY LIVING choices.....not only for ourselves, but for our Mini-Me!

Same goes with Being Active and working out! When it's naturally part of your lifestyle, then your children will pick up the habit as well!

 

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If choosing to live a healthy and active lifestyle is important to you for the sake of your family, then tweet this!

 [Tweet "I choose to make healhty choices, not only for me, but for my family! @NFSisters"]

What's a habit you need to SHED so that your Mini-Me doesn't pick it up!?

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Power Protein Bites

Today I'm sharing a yummy recipe with you!

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I'm a sucker for snacks, so I'm constantly looking for healthy, (mostly) all-natural snacks that I can make in batch and enjoy over the next week or two when I get munchy. These yummy power bites are packed full of protein and are so yummy, PLUS they are no-bake! How great is that!?!?

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Here's the recipe: 1cup dry oatmeal 2/3cup of coconut flakes 1/2cup peanut butter (I used all-natural) 1/2cup of dark chocolate chips 1/3cup of honey 1tbsp. Chia seeds 1tsp. Vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, mid thoroughly with spoon or hands. Put mixture in refrigerator for half an hour to chill. Once chilled roll into 1inch balls. Store in air right container in refrigerator. ENJOY!

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I decided to share this healthy recipe with you today, because I am part of a Summer Twitter Challenge with Lorna Jane & Fit Approach! It just started yesterday, but basically it's just a challenge to share about various, inspiring topics each day via Twitter using the hashtag #ActiveLivingChallenge!

As a Sweat Pink Ambassador, we love working with Lorna Jane! Both companies are super inspiring, and always looking to encourage women to get out and get active! To enjoy life and take care of their bodies! So I would love for you to follow me on Twitter, and join the #ActiveLivingChallenge, plus you could WIN $500 to Lorna Jane, and they have super cute workout clothes!

Here are the daily challenges! Today being share your FAVORITE HEALTHY SUMMER RECIPE!

#ActiveLivingChallenge Daily Challenges

August 4th: Favorite summer workout move

August 5th: Favorite healthy recipe

August 6th: What active living means to you

August 7th: Favorite place to relax/ have quiet time

August 8th: Snap a #workout sweaty selfie!

August 9th: Moving/ working out with your friends!

August 10th: Something you’re grateful for

**Recap Week 1 of the #ActiveLivingChallenge in a blog post!

August 11th: Favorite superfood

August 12th: Do something new!

August 13th: How do you practice #activeliving everyday?

August 14th: Post a picture of your daily motivation to #movenourishbelieve

**August 14th (BlogFest): Bonus Challenge! BRING IT! Snap A Photo Of Yourself Living Active in front of the @LornaJaneActive Booth at #IDEAWorld #BlogFest! Tag @lornajaneactive @fitapproach #activelivingchallenge #sweatpink

August 15th: Share your favorite quote about staying positive & true to yourself!

**August 15th: BONUS Challenge: Snap A Photo Of Yourself Living Active With One Of Your #sweatpink blogger friends at #IDEAWorld #BlogFest. Tag @lornajaneactive @fitapproach #activelivngchallenge

August 16th:  Life can get very busy! What do you do to get more out of everyday?

August 17th:  Share your ultimate dream/goal!

**Recap Week 2 of the #ActiveLivingChallenge in a blog post!

August 18th: Show us how you are practicing #activeliving today

August 19th: #ActiveLiving is for life! What part of the future are you most excited for?!

August 20th: Share a photo of you getting sweaty with your favorite workout!

August 21st: What’s a short-term goal you’ve set for yourself?

August 22nd: Favorite healthy snack

August 23rd: Share your favorite #lornajane clothing piece from www.lornajane.com!

August 24th: Your favorite part of #ActiveLiving

**Recap Week 3 of the #ActiveLivingChallenge in a Blog Post

 

Read about full details here.

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Puerto Rican Beef {My Version}

Do you ever have a night where you really do not know what you are going to cook? That was me tonight! I knew what food I had… and I knew I did not want to go to the store. We are going out of town for the weekend and then here for a few days then out for like 10 days on vacation.. so I am trying to limit what I buy -as I don't want to waste it. My dad brought me deer meat.. so I wanted to do something with that, but had no clue!

At 530 (well past my normal start of dinner time) I pulled out my handy-dandy "Everyday Paleo" book and decided to look up recipes for ground beef, as I had already started cooking my deer meat as you can see below. What I found was a Puerto Rican Beef that I did not have all the ingredients to, but I adapted.. and guess what? It was great! Keep reading to see what the true recipe is.. and what I did! IMG_5323

Everyday Paleo Big Sis'
Ingredients Ingredients
1 pound ground beef 1 pound deer meat
1/2 each green, red, and yellow pepper Mix of sweet peppers
1 white onion 1 white onion
3 tablespoons of EVOO 2 tablespoons of Coconut Oil
1/2 tablespoon cumin 1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander 1 tbsp. oregano
1/2 tbls. Tureric powder sea salt and pepper
1 tablespoon oregano 4 turnips
pinch of saffron threads almond milk
sea salt and black pepper butter
1 bunch of kale, chopped
1/2 cup green olives
3 sweet potatoes
1 avocado

**OH AND I ALSO USED FRESH GARLIC IN MY MEAT**

So as you can see, I made some adjustments. I was rather sad to see I had used all of my kale in my Zuppa Toscana that I made the other night… But it was still so yummy! I am into Turnips right now apparently… I am enjoying finding out how they taste… So first, make sure you peel it. I know they look gross.. but once they are peeled, they are white and look just like potatoes.

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Here you can see where I have sautéed the deer meat with onions and peppers and I have put the turnips on to boil after cutting them up. I boiled them for about 15 minutes.

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Once I finished with the turnips I blended them with Almond milk and some butter. Because of the amount of butter I used (on accident) I actually did not partake.. because I am watching what I am eating… The meat had a good spice to it, and I can figure out where it came from!! :D I also added some garlic salt to the turnips! IMG_5330

SOOO, because I didn't eat it… (I did try it) I had to ask my main squeeze what he thought.. and he is always super honest. Even if it is gross, he will eat it.. but he gave me a THUMBS UP!!! He even had me put it away for left overs… I didn't know if he would want me to keep the turnips or not-- but indeed he did! When I tasted it, they had a bit of a sweeter taste to them! :D IMG_5332

But of course, my four year old.. he wanted to thumbs up about his carrots and celery for us! :D IMG_5333 I hope if you guys try this you enjoy it as my family did!

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