Food, Healthy Living

New Clear Protein Drink by Premier Protein

I have partnered with Premier Protein via TapInfluence for this feature. All opinions are my own

New Clear Protein Drink by Premier Protein

I am a Mom and Bonus Mom to a total of 3 boys. Our son is 9 and like his older brothers, is heading into the tween years. Help me! We have been through it twice already but with a coparenting situation so this time we are 100% responsible for how this son gets through it. I recently bought a book a friend recommended that I am reading with my son and it is all about is his changing body and emotions. We just read the chapter on nutrition where it really stresses to stay away from sugary sports drinks and drink more water. My son (and myself) are not good water drinkers.

So I made him a deal. We would measure out a healthy amount of daily water and both of us will work together to drink more water. He does sports year round and I am busy and always on the go so we both need healthy hydration. I do allow his water drinks to include a natural flavor added-cucumbers or lemons added to make it more enjoyable and I have added a bottle of Premier Protein Clear Protein drink to my daily beverage consumption.

Premier Protein Clear Protein drinks are only 90 calories and offer 20 grams of much needed protein for me. There is 0 grams of sugar and no fat, soy, gluten or artificial flavors. I need that boost and protein gives my muscles that lift it needs to help me out whether I am hauling groceries, walking the puppy and even getting a meal prepped and packing lunch at the same time.

With a protein water I don’t have to mix anything, get the blender out. No extra dishes to wash. I can just grab a bottle and go. Clear Protein drinks can be found at Sam’s Club stores nationwide so make sure you pick up your daily helper in the form of protein water by Premier Protein on your next trip in.

Make sure the protein products you consume offer the best ingredients like Premier Protein. Other brands out there may contain artificial ingredients and synthetic nutrients so you really want to do your homework and choose wisely. I have been a regular consumer of Premier Protein for years. The water is so much appreciated and I am so glad I have another protein option I can consume.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Premier Protein. The opinions and text are all mine.

Food, Gift Ideas

Gift Basket Ideas for Wine Lovers

I have partnered with GourmetGiftBaskets.com for this feature

Gift Basket Ideas for Wine Lovers

With Valentine’s Day coming up we are once again left with the dilemma of finding a gift for our loved one. Whether you shop for your spouse, older kids or even parents it is hard especially right after the Holidays when not but 2 months ago we were left with having to find Christmas gifts for the same people. My husband and I have a January Anniversary date so my husband goes nuts trying to find a Christmas gift for me in December, an Anniversary gift in January, a Valentine’s Day gift in February and a birthday gift for me in March. Poor guy because I never have ideas! Gift baskets are always a lot of fun and show thought whether you make them yourself or buy to have sent from retailers like GourmetGiftBaskets.com. Here are some gift basket ideas for wine lovers that might help you out year round.

gift set

I love the baskets at GourmetGiftBaskets.com. I have seen several of their baskets over the years and they are always so fun to go through. This Red Wine Country Gift Basket pictured above is the newest basket I have received from them. The wines they send are always fantastic and shipping is always quick and as promised. I have to say that the Chichester Snack Mix by Merrimack Valley Snack Company is so addicting. I get so excited when it is included in one of their baskets. This is a perfect simple basket that would make a great corporate gift especially for the red wine lover.

 

 

wine pasta

If your special someone is a cook or foodie this Chianti Wine-Italian Gift Basket from GourmetGiftBaskets.com is fantastic. It contains a beautiful Chianti as well as pasta fixings and the popular Italian cookies, Amaretti di Saronno.

wine spa

If your loved one is a busy Mom, she will absolutely LOVE the Premium Spa Wine Gift Basket at GourmetGiftBaskets.com. This popular basket is full of bath and body products with a lavender scent as well as slippers, brushes, massagers and more! Gift a special Mom this basket and she can sip on the Chardonnay included as she enjoys the rest of the basket.

wine man

For the men and chocolate lovers! I think this one is a lot of fun. It almost resembles a tool box but it is wine and chocolates all bundled in a leather case. You get 2 wines in this set, also from GourmetGiftBaskets.com, a Mencia Roble and angiovese Cabernet Sauvignon. It just looks classy, doesn’t it?

wines

Now for the big wine lover! This set contains 3 wines and little bit of everything else from crackers, cheese, chocolate and more. You get a Prosecco, Chardonnay and Mencia Roble. There is so much more to choose from if you head over to the GourmetGiftBaskets.com website. Choose one and have it set up to be delivered to your special someone.

Food

Mardi Gras King Cake Flavored Coffee from Community Coffee

I have partnered with Community Coffee for this feature

Mardi Gras King Cake Flavored Coffee from Community Coffee

Every morning my husband is the first awake. He works corporate for a major auto retailer and has over 80 stores to oversee. He has goals to set, conferences to attend, travel from Washington to Alaska and many hours in an office maintaining his region. His days are not so routine and at any moment he can be off to any part of his region crossing 2 states to resolve issues. The only constant in his work day is coming downstairs in the morning to let our dog out while he starts his coffee. Coffee is not just a tasty beverage to him but as a part of his mornings as the showers and kisses goodbye.

As we start February we have several holidays coming up and as we celebrate, he will still wake up those mornings and start with those sips of his coffee. Community Coffee is a brand we love. I often can find it at a great price and when I do we stock up. I love flavored coffees and my husband loves the dark roasts. Community Coffee now has a new flavor in celebration of Mardi Gras, the King Cake flavored coffee.

Have you ever tried King Cake? The same vanilla and cinnamon blend is what Community Coffee introduced into this new flavor and it is so delicious. I am trying hard to stop using creamers in my coffee so the only way I know to do that is trying flavored coffees.

My coffee story may not be as habitual as my husbands because I drink coffee only a few mornings a week, but when I get my coffee moments I absorb them like I’ll never have a quiet moment again. For me coffee is my celebration for having a free moment or just a pick me up on a hectic day. Find all of the available coffees at Community Coffee.

What is your coffee story?

Food, Natural Foods, Recipes, Uncategorized

Veggie Pasta and Sausage Recipe for Dinner

I have partnered with Spice Islands for this feature. Recipe is my own

Veggie Pasta and Sausage Recipe for Dinner

Spices are a cooks best friend. Right? Can you imagine a kitchen that had no spices or salts? I can’t and because grinding and sourcing what is needed to create spices in nearly impossible inside the average home we rely on brands like Spice Islands to bottle it up for us.

Spice Islands buys many spices whole and then mills them in their facility to release the rich flavors so we can enjoy them right from the bottle. For 75 years, Spice Islands offers many spices sourced from around the world. With Valentine’s approaching, homemade dinners are romantic and can make for a great night full of sentimental memories.

We are eating a low carb diet so we have eliminated most pastas, rices and breads. I have been trying many healthier food options like these in my recipes. Our nearest health store and even common grocers offer veggie pastas which add that extra dose of nutrients to its pasta and many are less carbs than standard enriched pasta. Here is an easy favorite in our home using Spice Island’s Poultry Seasoning.

 

Veggie Pasta and Sausage Recipe for Dinner
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Veggie Pasta and Sausage Recipe for Dinner

Ingredients

  • Turkey Sausage (sliced)
  • 1 package of vegetable pasta
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 1 small bell pepper (diced)
  • 2 tsp Spice Islands Poultry Seasoning
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp of olive or avocado oil
  • feta cheese and green onions to top

Instructions

  1. While pasta is cooking heat 2 tbsp oil in a skillet. Add onion, bell pepper and seasoning and saute until onion is soft. Add sliced turkey link sausage and cook through. When pasta is done, drain and add back into pasta pot. Add the sausage mixture and 1 tbsp oil and stir to combine. Dish and top with feta and green onions.
http://parentinghealthy.com/veggie-pasta-and-sausage-recipe-for-dinner/

Do you know what some of the most widely used and popular spices are from around the world? Some of them are dill weed, bay leaves, cumin, garlic powder, saigon cinnamon and tumeric.

Enjoy many recipes at Spice Islands website like these Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes they have featured!

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Yield: 18 mini cheesecakes

 

18        paper baking cups (2 1/2 inch diameter)

18        gingersnap cookies

12        ounces cream cheese, softened

3/4       cup sugar

1          tablespoon corn starch

1          teaspoon Spice Islands Pumpkin Pie Spice

2          eggs

1          cup canned pumpkin

1/3       cup light corn syrup

Heat oven to 325 F. Line muffin tin with paper baking cups. Place 1 cookie in each cup.

With electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, corn starch and pumpkin pie spice. Add eggs and mix well. Add pumpkin and corn syrup; beat 1 minute.

Pour filling into liners, dividing evenly. Bake 30-35 minutes until just set.

Chill 1 hour.

For more recipes, visit SpiceIslands.com

Food, Healthy Living

Super Bowl Food Options to Snack On

I have partnered with The Health Food Store for this feature

Super Bowl Food Options to Snack On

It’s hard! When trying to watch what you eat and finding motivation to start exercising, it is a hard process. With food there is so much temptation out there and unless you have the skill to make healthy taste as good as chocolate cake in your kitchen you are just left with strong cravings. I am a believer on cheat nights when changing eating habits because we have to fulfill those good feelings and some guilty pleasures are harmless when in moderation such as food cravings. The other 6 days a week can be a battle. Now we are days away from the Super Bowl-this is going to be real hard!

There will be dips and bread and tons of meat and desserts and that’s before you add some sodas and even spirits and beers all loaded with their own calories. You can always offer to bring snacks! Why? Because you will feel a bit less guilty eating a chocolate or banana chocolate chip muffin or even a deep chocolate muffin top! With Garden Lite and VitaTop you can snack this Sunday (and any other day) with less calories than baking these in your kitchen.

Garden Lites has muffins as well as soups, waffles and more. We love the chocolate and banana chocolate chip muffins that contain zucchini and carrots as the first 2 ingredients and are made of 33% veggies. 1 entire muffin is 120 calories and are dairy and nut-free.

Have you ever tried a Vita top? We love them. Just like the Garden Lites muffin, they go from freezer to ready out of the microwave in seconds. Our favorite, the Deep Chocolate Kosher VitaTops contain real cocoa, chocolate chips, whole wheat & organic sugar. Each muffin top contains 100 calories.

So grab them from the freezer section and pop in the microwave, cover and take to your Super Bowl party with you. Telling everyone you made them yourself? I’ll leave that up to your own agenda. I plan to just share with everyone about a product we all have access to that makes healthier snacking more enjoyable. Visit the product page to see all of the food and snack options.

Food, Healthy Living, Natural, Natural Foods

3 Benefits of Consuming Manuka Honey

I have partnered with Comvita for this feature

3 Benefits of Consuming Manuka Honey

Maybe you have heard of manuka honey. If not, it is gaining attention in the medical world for its abundance of therapeutic effects from certain bacteria ailments to skin and immunity improvements.

Following the success of Comvita internationally, it’s great timing to introduce our certified UMF® Manuka Honey to millions of health-conscious Costco members across North America,” said Vice President of Comvita North America, Corey Blick. “Through responsible beekeeping and setting the bar for Manuka in the industry from a quality perspective, Comvita has earned the highest level of trust with retailers and consumers.

Honey that helps

The Manuka plant of New Zealand is climate-sensitive and only flowers two to six weeks per year, making the honey a scarce resource. Comvita is a leader in offering certified UMF® Manuka Honey. They own and operate the world’s largest fresh-picked Olive Leaf farm and produces other purest source health and wellness products. 

So, why manuka honey? What are the benefits? There are many, but I picked 3 to highlight for you below.

Manuka Honey is known to relieve Gastritis

The bacteria found most commonly in the high acid stomach regions is called Helicobacter pylori. If you have ever suffered through acid reflux you know how miserable it is. According to a report published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, manuka honey had been found to be potent against 7 different Helicobacter pylori strains, but a similar effect was not observed with other types of honey. Using a Manuka honey with a UMF 10+ or higher seems best. The higher the UMF, the higher it is in its therapeutic effects.

Manuka Honey is great for our Immune System

According to a 2016 print in Natural Living Ideas, lab tests have shown that it contains certain substances that can stimulate cytokine production. Cytokines are signaling proteins involved in immune reactions by the body. They kickstart the defense mechanisms of the body and gets it to fight off pathogens and diseases. Increased cytokine production is behind manuka honey’s protective action against potential infections and diseases.

Manuka Honey is fantastic for those with Chronic Sinusitis

With sinus infections you have bacteria thriving in moist, warm chambers of the sinus cavity. These bacteria will form a biofilm making it hard for antibiotics to break through and take care of the infection. Manuka honey has the ability, especially when consuming manuka honey at least UMF 15+ or higher to act against the common sinusitis bacteria for great relief overall.

Manuka Honey Brand

Which manuka honey is right for you?

Comvita offers UMF 5+, 10+, 15+ and 20+ manuka honey varieties. Which one is right for you? UMF 5+ has natural honey benefits. It is the most similar to benefits in any pure honey from a trusted source and natural plant. As you get higher in the UMF, you get the best natural benefits offered from its healing and antimicrobial properties. If you are healthy and not in immediate need of a wide range of healing you can still benefit from UMF 5+ and 10+ just fine and feel good about your honey source and have it to rely on when minor ailments arise like colds and such. If you suffer from ailments like chronic acid reflux, chronic sinusitis, eczema and other such conditions that manuka honey can help bring you relief you would want manuka honey that is 15+ or higher.

comvita 40 years

Find Comvita on Amazon and in Costco stores. Remember, manuka honey is a scarce source and is therapeutic . The price reflects this. You are essentially buying a natural healing product more so than a coffee or tea sweetener.