Checking in…

Hello all!

I just wanted to bop in and say hello and let you know that I am still around! I was struck with a flu bug the last few days so my eats have consisted of saltines, chicken noodle soup, ginger ale, grapes, and apple sauce. Super exciting.

Not much new over besides getting ready for baby and getting ready to celebrate an amazing wedding this weekend!

I hope you are all well. My posts have been seriously lacking lately I realize, and this may very well continue, but I do hope to post here and there to stay connected with you all!

Take care!

xoxo

Pizza Link-Up You Don’t Want to Miss

I don’t have a post for you all today but I absolutely couldn’t let the day go by without linking you to Becky’s pizza post today!

She used my sweet potato crust recipe and amped up her pizza by adding sunny-side up eggs to the top! I am loving that idea and the pizza looks phenomenal.

becky's pizza

Go check it out! Maybe it can be what’s for dinner tonight?!!

Way to go girl!

Link: Avocado Egg Pizza with Sweet Potato Crust

The Natural Goodness of Avocados

Oh boy. Today’s a good day.

Today I’m talking about one of my favorite fruits.  A fruit that could make anything taste great, at least in my humble opinion.

It’s creamy, it’s buttery, it’s the glorious avocado. Namely the Hass avocado, aka the year-round avocado.

“The Hass Avocados in your grocer’s produce section are worldwide. That assures you of a ready supply of fresh fruit 365 days a year. Hass Avocados are oval-shaped, with a small to medium-sized seed, they range in weight from 5 to 12 ounces, with a creamy texture and great taste. They also have a distinctive skin that turns from green to purplish-black when ripe.” Love One Today

avocado

If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you will know that I have a love for avocados. They make their way into many of my meals and snacks: on top of salads, mixed with salsa, blended into a salad dressing, on top of burgers, and even just eaten by themselves in their natural wholesome state with a little bit of salt and pepper.

salad with strawberries

Recipe: Taco Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

taco salad with avocado dressing

Recipe: Fish Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa!

fish tacos

Bacon, Lettuce, Egg, Avocado, and Tomato Salad (BLEAT)

bleat salad

Four-Bean Quinoa Chili topped with Cool Avocado and Cilantro!

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Recipe: Cowboy Caviar stuffed Mini Bell Peppers

cowboy caviar

No matter how you eat them, they are always delicious.

Oftentimes consumers are apprehensive to eat too many avocados because they know they are full of fat. However, no need to be afraid my friends, because over 75% of the fat in avocados is unsaturated, the good kind of fat! They contain 3 g of monounsaturated fat and 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat per 1-oz serving (4.5 g total fat). Again, the good kind of fats our bodies need to flourish. They are also cholesterol and sodium-free with less than 1 gram of sugar per 1 oz. serving. Of course, it’s important to keep in mind serving sizes; always.  source: Love One Today

According to the American Heart Association, when eaten in moderation and used to replace saturated fats or trans fats, monounsaturated fats can have a beneficial effect on health by helping to reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood.

One-fifth of a medium avocado (1 oz.) has 50 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, making it a nutrient-dense choice. And speaking of nutrients, avocados act as a “nutrient booster” by helping the body to better absorb fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein, from foods that are eaten with the fruit.

The health benefits are outstanding. Such an easy way to help improve your health with an absolutely tasty fruit!

Avocados can be used as a substitute for popular higher saturated fat foods. Try using it as a condiment on a sandwich, or mix it in with some hard-boiled eggs and celery for a fun and nutrient-packed egg salad. Of course there is always the infamous guacamole; you really can’t go wrong there. It can also be mixed into smoothies as a smooth and creamy addition.

I love the natural goodness of an avocado. Mmm….I am talking myself in going to fridge right now for a little snack!

As you can see, avocados are a nutrient-dense, versatile fruit that can be eaten alone or used in a variety of tasty recipes – from soups to salads to sandwich spreads – all of which can fit into a sensible eating plan.

Next time you’re at the grocery store, don’t think twice about adding Hass avocados to your cart. Your body (and your belly) will thank you!

Source: Love One Today

Disclaimer: Although I did receive financial compensation for writing this post, all views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely and entirely my own and based on my own unique experiences. For nutrition information on avocados, please be sure to visit the LoveOneToday.com website.

Simple Meal Planning Tips

Hey there Beautifully Nutty readers! My name’s Rebecca, and I blog at Soft Serve and Squats. I’m a long-time reader of Beautifully Nutty and adore Melanie’s recipes and advice, so I’m extremely excited to be the blogger behind today’s guest post!

In my little corner of the blog world, I show that streamlining sensible eating and fitness into a busy lifestyle is truly attainable. So, this morning, I’m going to share with you some strategies and tips that I’ve found helpful as I strive to prepare homemade meals, being a college student on a limited budget.

rebecca soft serve and squats guest post

The college years can be notorious for late-night fast food runs and endless cups of ramen. The smart planning strategies that I’m sharing today make it easy to combat that stereotype, and implement healthy eating in spite of the craziness of everyday life!

rebecca soft serve and squats guest post

 

1. Grocery list. Making a list of groceries and taking a weekly trip to the grocery store to purchase basic supplies is a small investment of time, but is the first step to ensuring that I’ll have easy, healthy meals on weeknights.

list photo

2. Keep pantry staples on hand. While I don’t believe it’s necessary to plan a weekly menu, keeping the basics on hand is key. With a few staple ingredients, there are endless meal possibilities that come together without much thought at all. Some of my staple items include shrimp, chicken, green vegetables, rice, pasta, and sweet potatoes!

3. Make meals in advance. If I know I’ve got a really busy week coming up, I sometimes do a week’s cooking on Sunday night, and reheat leftovers for the week. That way, I get four nights of cooking out of the way in the amount of time it would take me to prepare one meal! While eating the same thing a few nights in a row can be monotonous, it’s not a bad trade-off for the convenience.

4. Take advantage of the Crock Pot. The Crock Pot does literally all of the hard work while I’m out and about at class, the library, or the gym. One of my favorite Crock Pot recipes is Salsa Chicken, which is is quite literally foolproof! By placing a few boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the slow cooker in the morning and pouring a jar of salsa on top, I come home to perfectly cooked and seasoned pulled chicken that I can stuff inside a tortilla with toppings, lay on a salad, or simply eat plain!

5. Don’t forget about frozen ingredients. Ingredients like frozen chicken breasts, frozen shrimp, and frozen broccoli have a much longer shelf life than fresh ingredients, allowing me the flexibility to make them whenever I need them. By having a small stock of frozen meats and vegetables, I don’t have to worry about planning precisely when I’m going to make something. If it’s in the freezer, it’s not going anywhere!

rebecca soft serve and squats guest post

 

6. Have basic seasonings on hand. I have Mrs. Dash seasonings for every flavor profile, from Mexican to Italian. This makes it super simple to transform basic ingredients like beans, ground beef, chicken, and vegetables, no matter my mood!

 

So, there you have it: a college girl’s quick-guide to making homemade meals in a pinch! I hope you find some of these tips and tricks helpful in your busy lifestyle.

Thanks, Melanie for allowing me the wonderful opportunity to guest-post! Have a wonderful day!

I’m All About Comfy Clothes

Happy Hump Day/Midweek/Sunny Day!

Recently, I was approached by an incredibly kind woman named Jessica Morris who founded the clothing company, ZeeBee Threads. The decision to begin her own company came after years of overpaying for quality workout clothes. It didn’t seem right to her to have to pay an arm and a leg for a high quality pair of pants, and she wanted to do something about it. So she did. She created a company whose objective is to develop and provide stylish casual clothing options at affordable prices to active women.

The company believes that every woman deserves to wear stylish and comfortable clothing. Those are the two biggest factors I look for when I’m out to buy clothing! Okay, really I’m all about comfort, but it’s a plus when it’s actually stylish too!

As often as I can be, I am Comfy, comfy, comfy! When I’m home, 9 times out of 10 I will either be in some type of sweats or workout clothes.

melanie casual friday   DSCN6721   comfy

But besides feeling comfortable in my clothes, the price tags on the clothes needs to make my wallet feel comfortable too.

Try this on for size: you’ll never pay more than $50 for great quality women’s stylish, casual clothing from this company. They are an online-only retailer, selling exclusively at zeebeethreads.com. They avoid all of the costs of traditional retail which allows them to offer designer quality merchandise at affordable prices.

“ZeeBee Threads is for women who have outgrown major clothing labels selling the newest, seasonal designer trends to a younger generation, don’t have the time to spend hours digging through racks, and want to upgrade their wardrobe at a fabulous value.

Our philosophy is that there are times to dress up and there are other times when dressing down is just as important. Whether it’s running a quick errand, grabbing a dinner with friends or family during the week or lounging around the house, ZeeBee Threadsclothing is designed for “stylish comfort”.” source

I am 100% behind this company, so when Jessica reached out to me and asked me to review some of her products, I was ecstatic. I ordered the Sexy Off the Shoulder Pullover which is $28.95 in case you were wondering, and the Vintage T-Shirt Dress which is $19.95. Crazy good deals!

zeebee threads sweatshirt

zb threads dress

This past weekend while I was away in Northern, MN the temperatures reached high 40’s in the nighttime and ranged from 55-85º during the day depending on where you were. Given the extreme fluctuations, I packed lots of layers. I packed my ZeeBee sweatshirt and wound up wearing it on a hike at Judge C.R. Magney State Park in Grand Marais, MN. The weather was cool when we began the hike and this sweatshirt was just perfect for it.

It is lighter weight than a typical sweatshirt and allows for a lot of movement. The fabric is incredibly soft too. I liked that I felt cute in it, not frumpy like I often feel in sweatshirts.

zeebee threads

zeebee threads zeebee threads

It kept me at the perfect temperature on the hike while the clouds were out. As we maneuvered the trails, the sun broke through and the temperature skyrocketed so I had to take it off. It tied perfectly around my waist and stayed put for the remainder of the hike. Once the hike was over the clouds settled in again, this time with rain, and the sweatshirt went back on again! It was the perfect piece of clothing to have with me.

Here’s another thing that is so great about this particular piece. Besides wearing it for activity, you could also wear it for leisure, and even dress it up a bit. Once the fall weather rolls around, I plan to wear this sweatshirt with a scarf or a long necklace along with some dark jeans. This is where the title of the sweatshirt, “Sexy Off the Shoulder Pullover” comes into place.

zeebee sweatshirt 2

Very sexy! I can’t guarantee that I’ll look like that but you get the idea. 😉

I love that it can be dressed up or down and that it is so comfortable and so affordable! Ahhh! I’m so excited about this company. What’s better yet, I still have another piece of clothing in my closet from them that is just screaming to be worn. You can expect another review from me once I wear that little t-shirt dress!

I would highly recommend you head over to ZeeBeeThreads.com and check out their merchandise. Their products are simple yet sophisticated, trendy, COMFORTABLE and AFFORDABLE. Can you go wrong?! Definitely give their Sale section a browse too! You never know what kind of gems you might find there.

What are you waiting for? Grab that credit card and get shopping! 😉

Disclaimer: ZeeBee Threads has provided me with free product, however the views and opinions I express on these products are honest and all my own.

From Turks and Caicos to Colorado

Greetings from Colorado! We are on the second part of our vacation; celebrating a family birthday out in Boulder. We have plans to go snow-shoeing or cross-county skiing today! A little bit of a change from our tropical Turks and Caicos getaway, but so fun!

I’m going to hold off on the recap post from Turks for now because I am typing on the iPad which takes me five years…BUT I just wanted to say hi and give you a couple of teaser photos until I’m able to a share more.

So here you go!

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I look forward to catching up more later! I hope everyone has been well! I’m off to explore beautiful Colorado!

Xoxo,

Melanie

Short-Winded Wednesday

Hi my friends,

I’m a little drowsy this morning, so instead of blabbing away, I will simply recap Tuesday in mostly pictures. Here we go!

Breakfast: Parkers Farm peanut butter (slightly obsessed) and homemade apple butter on pumpkin bread…

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A 3-mile jog around the neighborhood facing killer hills and sporting my wonderful headband courtesy a la Reebok…

photo

Coffee with coconut milk…

Off to work (reused photo) and lunch too random to photograph…

Dinner: Zucchini spinach cakes with parmesan (I really need to post this recipe—it was very tasty!)…

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Dessert: peanut butter banana cookies (SCD-friendly). I need to share this recipe with you too!

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Have a wonderful Wednesday!

We Survived

Hello friends! We survived our boundary waters trip! Can’t wait to fill you in on the experience but it’s going to have to wait a bit. I have a laundry list of things to do today including really dirty laundry, doctor appointment, errands, and hopefully a little relaxing.

We brought along our old digital camera because we figure there was a good chance our camera could get damaged on the trip. We had it all charged up, but should have tested it before we left to make sure it was working. About halfway up on our drive, I turned the camera on to take the first trip photo. Lo and behold it was broken. So, our photos from this trip were taken on a disposable Kodak camera. We will find out today how they turned out! I was so bummed, but what can you do?!

K, I need to go but will catch you up later. Hope everyone had a great weekend!