This is a compensated post in partnership with DOLE and the Mom It Forward Blogger Network. All opinions shared are my own. 

Go Green Spinach Smoothie

Spring has finally sprung! After leaving town for a couple of days, I was amazed to come home and see flowers everywhere. The trees are pink and the tulips are all standing at attention. It’s days like this that I love being a stay at home mom and get to relax and watch the kids play in the backyard for hours.

My other favorite thing that happens in spring is snack time takes place outside. Two less rounds of crumbs to clean up in the house! It’s the little things that make me happy in the spring.

The kids were excited when we tested out a new smoothie recipe shared with us from DOLE Pineapple Juice. I usually don’t add juice to our smoothies, but I was happy to learn that Dole’s juice is 100% juice and GMO-free. Two great things in my nutrition playbook. Plus with the “pollen tsunami” taking place, increasing our Vitamin C intake can be a helpful remedy for allergy symptoms.

Silly smoothie facesThe Go Green smoothie won over our neighbor’s daughter who isn’t always a green smoothie fan. The silly green mustaches everyone was wearing at the end of snack time was a sign of success!

One note, since we try to avoid GMO’s I swapped out the soy milk for almond milk. It can be tricky to find organic GMO-free soy milk so almond or coconut milk are alternate suggestions.

How to make a green smoothie

Healthy Green Smoothie Recipe

Go Green Smoothie

An energizing green smoothie to kick start your day.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Smoothie
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Emily

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup DOLE pineapple juice chilled
  • 3/4 cup vanilla soy milk or almond milk
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks partially thawed
  • 1 banana peeled
  • 1 tablespoon whole ground flaxseed meal

Instructions

  • If you have a high speed blender, add all ingredients to blender starting with the Pineapple Juice.
  • If you have a traditional blender, add juice thru spinach and blend before adding the balance of ingredients.
  • Blend and enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Mention @emilyroachwellness or tag #erwellness!

 

You can make your own Go Green smoothie and get coupon here for your next sunny day smoothie snack break!

  • $1.00 off #coupon for any 46oz or 6oz 6-pack of DOLE Canned Pineapple Juice.

Learn more about what you can make with healthy pineapple juice on DOLE’s Pinterest boards, Twitter channel or facebook page. I’ll be checking out some fun summer cocktail recipes here so I can use up my leftover pineapple juice. You can also buy the small cans and have them in the pantry for when inspiration strikes.

Healthy Green Smoothie Recipe

What’s your favorite activity to do in the sunshine?

Share the love of sunshine! Click to Tweet: Try this Go Green Pineapple Smoothie! @DolePackaged #ad #dolepineapplejuice #ayearofsunshine #smoothie http://bit.ly/1EqW2RE

Memories of St. Patrick’s Day as a child always included a dinner at my Nana’s house. It was the traditional corned beef dinner with boiled potatoes, onions and cabbage. I loved it then and still do now. But my favorite part of the holiday feast is the Irish Soda Bread. I still remember the first time I made this recipe for a family party, forgot to pack it, and then enjoyed it with our own family and noticed how much the kids like it too.

Delicious Irish Soda Bread for Saint Patrick's Day

Irish Soda Bread Recipe

IRISH SODA BREAD FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY

Easy Irish Soda Bread for St. Patrick's Day
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: bread

Ingredients

  • 3-1/4 cups flour
  • cup plus 1 Tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ cup 1 stick cold butter
  • 1-1/3 cups buttermilk
  • ½ cup raisins optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Whisk flour, ⅓ cup of the sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.
  • Cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Add buttermilk and raising; mix just until moistened.
  • Place dough on floured surface; knead until fully combined.
  • Shape into a loaf in an oval shape.
  • Place on parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Cut deep ½-inch "X" in top of dough.
  • Sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar.
  • Bake 50-60 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Cool completely on wire rack.
  • Enjoy.
Tried this recipe?Mention @emilyroachwellness or tag #erwellness!

It’s nearly Dr. Seuss’s birthday and how about a serving of Green Eggs and Ham to celebrate! We hosted a fun Dr. Seuss party last year and shared a bunch of our party pictures, including the one for Green Eggs and Ham. Everyone has been asking for the recipe how-to. Here is the easy answer to pull off a cute dessert for the kids. You can also do this with all green for St. Patrick’s day, red and green for Christmas or red and white for Valentine’s day. Have fun baking and include your kids in this easy to make recipe. Dr. Seuss’s birthday is March 2nd and there are lots more party ideas here for home or school.

Dr. Seuss party recipe for Green Eggs and Ham

Dr Seuss party Green Eggs with Ham chocolate pretzel snack

A RECIPE FOR GREEN EGGS AND HAM

A fun dessert for a Dr. Seuss party or another holiday event.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pretzels

Ingredients

  • Waffle pretzels
  • White Chocolate Melting Discs
  • Green Sixlets or Green M&M's

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spread out waffle pretzels in rows on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Place one melting chocolate disk on top of each pretzel.
  • Bake in oven for about 1-2 minutes until chocolate is soft. Remove from oven.
  • Quickly place a sixlet (or M&M) into the center of each disk.
  • Let cool at least one hour, or place in refrigerator to cool faster.
Tried this recipe?Mention @emilyroachwellness or tag #erwellness!

Generally you can find most ingredients in your local grocery store, plus the candy at Michaels. I have also had luck ordering the specific colors I need off of Amazon (both affiliate links, no cost to you to support this site {thanks}).

Sixlets Lime Green Candy 1lbWilton White Candy Melts, 12-Ounce

discounted organic food and natural beauty products

While we enjoy a little vacation, this week’s meal planning post shares some tips on how to plan meals ahead when traveling. At the end of the post is a giveaway for you to try shopping the new Thrive Market site. When you get ready for a vacation, you often plan all the snacks for traveling to your destination. But then it stops there. Each day you still need to figure out breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes it’s okay to throw planning out the window for vacation weeks, especially when your travel plans dictate it. Other times you are visiting family and will need to team up to plan some meals, especially when you are bringing five hungry people to visit.

Plan to eat like the locals and grab what’s in season. I know we are all looking forward to fresh Florida oranges this week. If you are in a foreign country, try something new. Encourage your children to try new flavors together. Just have something small packed to avoid meltdowns while on the road. No one needs that on vacation.

Recently I tested out the new Thrive Market, which is a bit like Whole Foods/Costco/Amazon/Instacart all rolled into one. Like Whole Foods, the items available through Thrive Market are already filtered to be organic, sustainable, dye-free and so on. They make shopping easy. It’s a great alternative for people who have to travel a long distance to their closest Whole Foods.

With Thrive Market, I could order a batch of goodies and have them shipped directly to my travel destination. You could do this when traveling to family or even a hotel. It’s not two day shipping like Amazon Prime, so plan ahead. It comes from the West Coast so deliveries are faster to California then say, Boston.

What to buy at Thrive Market

Here’s what goes into my cart…

  • Seventh Generation Diapers and wipes (not as cheap as Amazon, but one of the few places with a great price on just one package.)
  • Arrowhead Mills Organic Popcorn (feeds a crowd)
  • Arrowhead Mills Pancake Mix (make breakfast for your hosts!)
  • Bonne Maman Raspberry Preserves (awesome price and it’s so hard to find jam without high fructose corn syrup)
  • Sunscreen (remember to pick a healthy sunscreen)
  • Late July mini cheddar cheese sandwich crackers for the littles

While we are not strict about meal planning while we are away, I still want to make sure the kids are eating lots of fruits and veggies at each meal. Having some quality snacks while traveling to our next adventure is better than them filling up on something we find at an amusement park.

Curious about ordering from Thrive Market? Just think, healthy food delivered to your doorstep. They have been so kind to offer one of my readers $50 to test them out. Maybe eating healthier foods is one of your goals this year? Thrive Market makes it a little easier for you to achieve your goal. Going on a trip? Test out the idea of sending some of your needs ahead to your travel destination.

Please let a comment below and share where you would want to travel to this year if you had all the money in the world. A random winner will be chosen when the giveaway ends on February 9th, at 12:01am. I will announce the winner in next week’s meal plan. US residents only.

Note: Thrive Market provided me with a complimentary membership. You do not need to purchase a membership to order as they offer a 30 day free trial to test it out. If you get hooked, it’s $5/month.

 

Monday meal plan to help organize family dinner

For more inspiration, see three years of past menus here, my Pinterest board here, or OrgJunkie for a link-up of meal plans.

It’s easy to make the same smoothie once you find a favorite recipe. I have a go-to green smoothie that the whole family loves, but we are ready to get creative again. So many magazines this month are talking about the health benefits of smoothies I thought it would be fun to highlight a couple of ingredients you may want to add to your smoothies.

We have been using one of the high speed blenders for two years now. It makes a HUGE difference in the quality of your smoothie. On my wish list is the new Vitamix 750 series (sounds like a car doesn’t it?)

Williams-Sonoma carries this blender and seeing that it’s 40% quieter draws me in. I always want a smoothie mid-afternoon…during the kid’s quiet time. Nothing ruins the quiet like a super loud blender. A girl can dream right?

Here are 5 ingredients to try in your next smoothie! Happy blending.

BEETS

If you lean towards mostly fruit smoothies, try to add beets next time around. You can buy them canned (easiest) or you can roast them in the oven in tinfoil to soften them up (not as easy.) Beets are high in vitamins A, B and C; iron, beta-carotene and more. You can even wash up those beet greens and toss them into your smoothie for even more health benefits. Beets can also help reduce inflammation so it’s a great choice post workouts. Add them to a berry based smoothie to start and you may not even notice the taste!

Create a Kale Smoothie for awesome health benefits

KALE

This leafy green is one of the most searched terms in the month of January as everyone knows it’s good for you. If you haven’t tried it yet, switch your spinach up for kale in a smoothie. It’s high in fiber, Vitamin K (and A and C), iron, antioxidants and is an anti-inflammatory. We tried out kale instead of spinach in some of our favorite green smoothie recipes. The kids still loved them!

GLUTAMINE

This is a powder that can be added to any smoothie. It helps keep your gut healthy which is always a good idea, especially when our system is taxed during the winter season. Make your smoothie first then add the glutamine powder in. Blend on the lowest speed possible so you don’t destroy the health benefits in the delicate powder.

Rehydrate goji berries for smoothies

GOJI BERRIES

Some people claim goji berries to be the fountain of youth. What’s not to love about that? Did you  know they have the highest protein content of any fruit? Generally you will find them as dried fruit. Soak them for awhile and then add both the water and rehydrated fruit to your smoothie. Tell the kids it’s a “Wolf” Smoothie since goji berries are also know wolfberries.

Try Matcha in your smoothie

MATCHA TEA

This is one for the adults in house, since this does contain caffeine. (My kids already have enough energy!) Matcha is like green tea, but it’s the actual tea leaves ground up. You get more of the health benefits by drinking matcha tea than just a cup of brewed green tea. Matcha helps detox the body, boosts your energy and may help improve your metabolism.  Add 1 teaspoon to nearly any smoothie to boost the nutritional benefits.

 

 What’s your favorite smoothie ingredient? 

 

Smoothie photo sourceGoji berriesMatcha, and Kale photo source

healthy living tips in the new yearI remember reading emails about the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle when Madison was in the hospital in September. Scanning emails were a welcomed distraction from her surgery and slow recovery. Messages from friends and family were so needed during that tough week. One morning, I got a quick break and sat outside for the first time in days. In that quiet space I decided to buy the Healthy Living Bundle and do what I can to keep our family healthy.

No surprise here, out of the 74 ebooks, the ones that really spoke to me during our hospital stay were the alternative health ones. It was western medicine that saved Madison, but I truly believe in the power of preventative medicine. I wondered what else we could be doing to keep ourselves grounded and immune systems topped off as we headed into a busy year.

Fast forward a couple months, and I have read through a couple of these books. The Essentials of Essential Oils was super helpful as I made the leap into adding essential oils into our daily routine. {Thank you Nikki and Kathy!} The Traditional Remedies for Modern Families may become your favorite too with easy to follow suggestions and recipes.

For all of the meal planning fans here, there are 14 ebooks to help you create real food meals, new smoothie recipes and maybe find a new love for kale.

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is available again for 48 hours only. I didn’t share it with my readers last time around since we were otherwise busy with Madison’s recovery. There are a lot of these ebook bundles around so please know I only share ones I think are useful.

The eCourses in the Bundle

The BEST part of this bundle is the eCourses. Now that I’ve tried out Essential Oils for a short while, I’m going to take the course in January. I’m excited to learn more ways to use EO besides getting JJ to sleep through the night. {You don’t have to do everything all at once with the bundle, you can do it on your own terms.} The Essential Oils course is normally $95 so getting that alone for $29 is a HUGE discount. 

In September I bought the bundle on my own and even splurged on the Kindle files. The extra $10 was worth it to me to make accessing my ebooks easy on either my laptop or iPad. (When you buy the bundle, there is a short video sharing how to transfer the Kindle/mobi files from your desktop to your computer. I also added the Kindle app to my Mac laptop so I could easily read at my desk too.) There is also a handy Getting Started information package included in your purchase so you don’t feel overwhelmed with all this new information at your fingertips. Over 18,000 people bought this package last September so it’s been brought back for a very quick sale!

When? 12 a.m. EST Monday, December 29 until 11:59 p.m. EST Tuesday, December 30

What? 74 eBooks and 6 audio & eCourses, PLUS over $140 worth of bonus products you’ll really use!

Where? Purchase the bundle HERE.

How much? Well now, that’s the best part. The entire package is worth $1140, and it’s selling for less than $30.

If you are ready to invest in your health for 2015, now is the time to get started. The sale is only for 48 hours so time is ticking. Plus you will get some fun bonuses too (I love the hard lotion bar I got from Made On!) that are valued over $130. The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle will only be on sale for 2 days only – from 12am EST on Monday, December 29 until 11:59pm EST on Tuesday, December 30.

photo credit: gauteh via photopin cc

It’s time for you to get the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle and live your healthiest year yet.

Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

As everyone finishes their preparations for Christmas, here are some dinner ideas for your family. Easy peasy lemony squeezy my daughter would say. We are trying to do our best to use up what’s in the fridge and pantry in the coming weeks so we can start the New Year with a clean slate.

Monday: Shrimp and Feta (from the Dinner a Love Story cookbook)

Tuesday: Grilled steak tips, corn and Israeli couscous

Wednesday: Christmas Eve party at the neighbors

Thursday: Christmas ham, corn pudding, green salad and fresh bread.

Friday: Ham frittata and any other leftovers

Saturday: Eye of the Round Roast, potatoes and peas.

 

I encourage everyone to enjoy the next few days and try to avoid feeling like you need to “get” through the week. This is a time to slow down and enjoy the wonder of this holiday and see it through your children’s eyes. Merry Christmas and thank you to all my readers who motivate me to share my little thoughts here.

Monday meal plan to help organize family dinner

For more inspiration, see my past menus here, or the Pinterest board here, or OrgJunkie for a link-up of meal plans.

 

Family dinner ideas with real food ingredients

This week’s meal plan starts to move into the comfort meal territory. Lots of slow cooking and hearty pasta dishes. Now that it really feels like winter is coming (or arrived), it’s time to make the switch in the kitchen too. We are also doing a little test run on Thanksgiving with a turkey tenderloin in the crock pot. Cooking a turkey breast in the slow cooker on Thanksgiving is a great tip to make sure you have plenty of white meat to go around, especially for the all important sandwiches the next day.

On deck this week…

Sunday~ Meatloaf, Carrots and Whole Wheat Couscous. {Plus my sister’s yummy apple crisp, thanks!!}

Monday~ Orange and Honey Chicken Drumsticks in the slow cooker, corn and pasta shells

Tuesday~ “Lazy Bolognese” sauce from Dinner a Love Story cookbook. Sautéed green beans on the side and spaghetti.

Wednesday~ Early Thanksgiving dinner with Turkey Tenderloin in the slow cooker, cranberry sauce, smashed garlic potatoes and maybe a little stuffing if I can squeeze it in.

Thursday~ CORN {clean.out.refrigerator.night}

Friday~ Easy pizza night…which means I pick up rolled out pizza dough from our local bakery so it’s easy for Dad to cook with the kids while I head out for Mom’s Night Out and shop the Needham Winter Marketplace, presented by Parent Talk.

Saturday~ Date night with friends.

 

Are you hosting Thanksgiving? Look for a post later this week with some tips for getting ready for the big day!

 

Monday Meal Plan at Random Recycling.jpg

For more inspiration, see my past menus here, or the Pinterest board here, or OrgJunkie for a link-up of meal plans.

Peapod grocery delivery.

Grocery shopping takes on new meaning once you have a child. You have to plan your trips around naps and you may not be able to go as often as you once did. You also need a lot more stuff. Switching to home delivery of your groceries can free up so much time, and money. No more buying incidental items, no more adding things the kids are asking for. I have used Peapod grocery delivery for a long time, going back to my Boston College days. We had a dorm room with a kitchen, but no one had a car. I still remember getting groceries delivered and I thought it was the coolest thing.

Peapod is actually turning 25 this year. They were ahead of the trend on home delivery. New this year is the expanded Pick-Up Service, which means you can order groceries and pick them up at the store when you are out and about. No need to stay home during the delivery window. You can learn more about my experience with the Stop and Shop/Peapod pick-up service here.

As you head into the holiday baking season, here’s a quick tip. There are huge sales on staple baking ingredients coming up the weeks before Thanksgiving. It’s the best time of year to stock up on flours, sugars and baking supplies. Even spices that never go on sale can be found at a discount. Getting a large ordered delivered is so much easier than trying to do it with multiple children in tow. I also remember to add in other heavy items when I do online orders, like seltzer cans and distilled water.

Peapod 25th Anniversary Celebration. Switch to getting groceries delivered to your door step!

Want to try out online ordering? Peapod is offering one of my readers a $25 gift card. Who doesn’t like free groceries?! Did you know they have over 15,000 items in their online shopping site?

Please use the Rafflecopter to enter below. Contest will close November 21st at midnight. US Residents only. Winner will be notified via email and have 48 hours to claim their prize.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy shopping!

Disclosure: Peapod provided gift cards to me to facilitate this review. All opinions shared here are my own.

Easy family dinners all planned out

Getting back into meal plan has been a huge help as I make the grocery list and map out our week. I know that crock pot dinners are needed on gymnastic nights and I can cook vegetarian dinners if my husband has a work event. You can create a theme in your own meal plan but choosing a type of meal for eat night of the week. Many start with Meatless Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, Italian Wednesday and so on. This can help make your meal plans a little easier.

On deck this week in our house…

Sunday~ Teriyaki Salmon, Israeli Couscous and Corn on the Cob from the farmers market.

Monday~ Meatballs and homemade sauce delivered from a friend, salad

Tuesday~ Moroccan Butternut Chicken Curry over rice

Wednesday~ Tacos with Mexican salad from the Weelicious Lunches cookbook (it’s currently 40% off on Amazon and would make a great holiday book or swap gift!)

Thursday~ Honey Balsamic Chicken, sweet potato fries and raw veggies

Friday~ Pizza Night (with homemade dough in bread maker)

 

What’s on your menu this week? Starting to think about your Thanksgiving menu? Here’s a round-up of Thanksgiving ideas on Pinterest to follow!

 

Monday Meal Plan at Random Recycling.jpg

For more inspiration, see my past menus here, or the Pinterest board here, or OrgJunkie for a link-up of meal plans.