Blueberry Pancakes for Mother’s Day

What a week… I can’t believe that a week ago I buried my mom, and tomorrow it’s Mother’s day. It’s been such a rough week, but I have so many of you to thank for the sweet messages, notes, emails, calls, flowers, comments, lunches, etc. I am trying to pick myself up every day and move forward, and this blog is one great way to push me to do that. I thought I would share a super simple recipe for Blueberry Pancakes for Mother’s Day or any day since my mom always loved Mother’s Day brunches and who doesn’t love pancakes and blueberries?

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the beautiful, wonderful, giving moms out there. For those of you who still have a mom, give her a big hug today! All the best, Alison

Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com

No-Bake Nutella Oatmeal Cookies

I made these No-Bake Nutella Oatmeal Cookies a few weeks ago, and they were too good to be true. Not only are they a “No-Bake” cookie recipe, but they are filled with my favorite ingredients: Nutella, peanut or almond butter, dark cocoa powder, oats and almond milk. These are an ideal afternoon gluten-free snack or dessert. I think I definitely need to make a batch for Mother’s Day.

No-Bake Date Nut Energy Bars

I am always looking for new, healthy snack ideas for the kids, and if I can come up with a no-bake recipe idea, then even better. My two boys love dried dates, so I thought this combination of dates, nuts and flaxseed would make a great healthy snack, dessert or breakfast idea. You’ll love these too. No-Bake Date Energy Bars are not only “no-bake”, they are also gluten-free and perfect for all of my friends following the Paleo Diet. They also make a great pre or post workout snack so enjoy!

This recipe was adapted from “The Dramatic Pancake”.

Easter or Passover Main Dish Idea: Mahi Mahi and Vegetable Kabobs

I grill all year long, but my family especially loves it when the weather turns nice. We tend to eat outside on the deck, and it’s great for the kids to be riding bikes and playing basketball while I’m cooking the food on the grill. This is the epitome of family time. These Mahi Mahi and Vegetable Kabobs are the perfect recipe to try if you’re wanting to get your kids to like fish and vegetables. It’s colorful, fresh and full of clean flavors. Mahi Mahi is mild, a low calorie, low-fat source of protein, and it also has B-complex vitamins, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. Serve these kabobs with grilled asparagus or squash and zucchini this Easter or Passover dinner for something different and unexpected. It’s a healthy low carbohydrate main dish.

Three Berry Antioxidant Juice

My 3 kids absolutely love homemade juice, and I mean “love”. Lately I have been getting so many questions daily about a “juice cleanse”, and my thoughts on that… I like to tell people I believe everything in “moderation”. Regardless, this Triple Berry Antioxidant juice is antioxidant-packed and made with blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. It is a homemade juice that is great for hydration, boosting your metabolism, cancer prevention, your skin and more. This recipe makes a great morning pick-you-up or kid’s afternoon snack. I was trying to save some I made this afternoon, and my daughter finished it before I could turn around.

Blackberry Glazed Turkey Tenderloin Salad

I have been getting so many questions at all of my recent health/wellness speaking engagements about lean proteins. Since people tend to forget about turkey (except during Thanksgiving), how about cooking turkey tenderloins? This recipe for Blackberry Glazed Turkey Tenderloin Salad is a 30 minute, simple recipe that is fresh, fast and pretty. The most difficult part is turning on the grill. The barbecue sauce, paprika and blackberry preserves add great flavor to the turkey. Enjoy the turkey sliced over a salad (such as above) or paired with grilled asparagus and a quinoa side dish for a healthy dinner.

Gluten Free: Grain-Free Granola

One of my food weaknesses is definitely granola so I thought I would develop a recipe for a Grain-Free Granola for all of those who can’t have grains, are gluten-free, are following the Paleo Diet or are watching their carbohydrate intake. This recipe for Grain-Free Granola is super easy to make, and it’s full of my favorite seeds and nuts. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand as all of the nuts and seeds are easily interchangeable. This granola makes a great breakfast idea stirred into nonfat Greek Yogurt or with almond milk. It also makes a great afternoon snack, a healthy sweet to put in your children’s lunch, or a wonderful dinnertime dessert served with fruit.

No-Bake Paleo and Gluten-Free Cookies

These No-Bake Paleo Cookies were introduced to me by my friend, Tanya, who has been having success with the Paleo Diet. What I love about these cookies is that they are gluten free, high in omega 3 fatty acids, and best of all, taste great. This recipe is great if you’re on a gluten-free diet, trying to eat low carbohydrates or following the the Paleo Diet, which is based around eating quality sources of protein, fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, seafoods, fats high in omega-3 and low-glycemic carbohydrates. This is a low-carb diet which omits refined sugars and grains, dairy, trans fats, salt, high-glycemic carbohydrates, and processed foods. For more information see The Paleo Diet. Best of all, these cookies are no bake!

Chicken Couscous Salad

If you’re looking for a light, healthy and delicious salad, this Chicken Couscous Salad is the answer. Start with a rotisserie or leftover grilled chicken and combine with cooked couscous, cherry tomatoes, basil and either sherry or balsamic vinegar. Top it off with goat cheese or even feta, and you have a super wholesome main dish salad. I loved serving this over arugula leaves, but my kids just ate it straight out of this bowl. This makes a great lunch recipe or easy dinnertime entree.

Fitness Friday: To Stretch or Not To Stretch

So, I am a runner, spinner, tennis player, and I do strength training, but I never know what the true rule is on “to stretch or not to stretch”. I decide to take this question to a pro. I had a talk with Kirk Kaps, a Certified Athletic Trainer at Champion Sports Medicine, who works daily with professional athletes (and small unknown athletes like me.) He told me this, “In the past, we have always heard that is important for us to make sure we stretch our muscles very well before physical activity. Before this could occur, it was told that we must get a good warm-up in order to get a good stretch for the muscle groups when they are considered “cold” muscles. One recent study, performed in 2011, concluded that if you normally stretch and warm up before running, then by all means, continue that. But, if you’re a runner who doesn’t stretch at all, and still gets in a good warm-up, then continue your routine. In essence, each athlete should continue their own routine, but they should continue to get a 3 to 5 minute warm-up before they start their activity.” I hope this helps when you are stumped with this same question.

You can find this study at: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20110217/stretch-before-running-new-twist-on-old-debate

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