Thai Cabbage Salad

Thai Cabbage Salad

a flavorful, healthy cabbage salad for any occasion

Recipe Notes

For the salad:

  • 1 1/2 bags cabbage (cold slaw) with carrot – 21 oz.
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup dried cranberries OR dates, chopped fine ( I prefer the dates!)
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped fine
  • 1/8 cup sesame seeds (lightly toasted)
 
For the dressing:
 
In a blender, mix:
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
 
Blend dressing ingredients together.  If it is too thick, you can slowly add water and blend until desired thickness.  Mix salad ingredients and pour on dressing.  Mix well and serve! 
 
Enjoy!
xox

How I Prioritize Working Out as a Mom

The answer: EARLY.

Something I hear often that I think many moms struggle with is how to prioritize working out.  Life gets crazy and just when you read this and think, “oh, I don’t have time”, think again!!.. because I don’t have time either.  No one does.  We all make time for what we want to do. We make sacrifices (even when we don’t realize it) for what is important to us.  If you don’t already have a fitness routine, its never too late to jump on the bandwagon and start one! ๐Ÿ™‚

Iโ€™ve tried working out at all different times of the day… Iโ€™ve tried early workouts, nap time workouts, night workouts and I can wholehearted say that mornings are where itโ€™s at. There will always be days that there is a curveball thrown at me and Iโ€™ll fit a workout in whenever, in any time window I am given and I encourage you to do whatever works for you, but for me, it is almost always in the morning.  I set my alarm, wake up, do it, and move on.

One of the most invigorating things for me is to wake up before anyone else, and work on ME.  It doesn’t have to be long, as long doesn’t always mean effective. I also find that this is when my mind is clear / there are no distractions. A morning work out sets the tone for the day and puts me in a good mood so I am a better wife, mom, EVERYTHING! On occasions where I have tried to work out later on in the day or at night, I will find that my work out either wonโ€™t happen, or my mind is cluttered, worrying about things like what Iโ€™m making for dinner, whatโ€™s going on tomorrow, is Thomas okay?, etc.  I also feel like once the work out is done, I can devote myself fully to what is going on the rest of the day.  I hate thinking to myself, “oh, I still have to work out”. …it’s too much pressure! Once it’s done, you don’t have to think about it anymore! ๐Ÿ™‚

With all this said, if you find a different time of the day is better for you, go for it! I am just sharing what works for me.  There is a time and stage for everything so if longer workouts are not feasible for you at this time, don’t worry! Focus on movement – a simple walk.  Walking is so therapeutic and relaxing!

While waking up early may seem like a daunting task at first, it will become part of your routine, just like anything you do such as brushing your teeth! It just takes some discipline.

Have a great weekend!

– alyssa

 

 

Healthier Rice Crispy Treats

Hi Everyone and Happy 4th of July!  Whether you celebrated last weekend or are celebrating this upcoming weekend, I hope you all have a wonderful time! It feels so good to be back here on the blog, while the baby is snoozing :).  Today I am sharing one of my favorite desserts that I have been making the past few months… rice crispy treats – a healthier version, of course!

No, he didn’t actually eat any ;).

Rice crispy treats literally bring me right back to my childhood.  It seemed like years went by without having them until I made these not too long ago and I couldn’t be more excited to share them.  T was actually the one who encouraged me to make these for one of our family parties this 4th of July, AND to add them to the blog because they have easily become one of his favorite desserts!

So!!! Some of you may be thinking, why make healthier rice crispy treats?  While in a perfect world, everything would be organic and real, without processed ingredients, its not always easy to come by.  I try to make as much real food as I can without all of the added junk. I steer clear of packaged items with a million unpronounceable ingredients, that are riddled with sugar.  So while these still contain sugar from the honey, I love that they are natural and don’t have all of that processed stuff in them.  Of course, moderation is still key!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

When I am making something to bring to a party, besides having it be free of gluten since I can’t have that, I try to make something I enjoy because I love sharing with others the fact that real food can be tasty and delicious too.  It’s just not a part of my lifestyle to make anything otherwise! You CAN live without all of that other crap!   The best part about these are that they take literally about 15 minutes tops to make from start to finish.

Healthier Rice Crispy Treats


Ingredients

  • 4 cups brown rice crispy cereal (Look around - I usually try to buy a box with one ingredient - brown rice or will get Erewhon which I think has about 2 ingredients)
  • 1/2 cup organic honey
  • 1/2 cup organic no-stir, creamy almond butter

Instructions

  1. Prepare an 8x8 or 9x11 baking dish with parchment paper.  Set aside. 

  2.  In a large saucepan, heat the honey over medium heat until it starts to bubble. Be careful it does not burn!!  

  3. Once it is bubbling, start to stir, then turn off the heat and immediately add the almond butter. Stir again until smooth. 

  4. Add the rice crispy cereal and stir until the cereal is completely coated. 

  5. Transfer the cereal mixture to the baking dish. Take an additional piece of parchment paper and press down into the baking dish. 

  6. Put the rice crispys in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Take them out and they are ready!

To finish off with a little update on what we have been up to – we are still in the final stages of finishing our home and hope to be in it by the end of summer! We are so excited!!! Seeing all of the work and ideas come together has been a lot of fun!  One of the best parts so far for me is to see the final touches on our new kitchen!! I can’t wait to cook in it!  

Thomas is getting huge and is running everywhere, ALL the time.  We spent the 4th of July at my relatives house on a lake in NY then went to a party with T’s family afterwards!  I purchased this little pool for Thomas and just BYO pooled it to our parties and it was AWESOME.  He had so much fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope you all enjoy and have a great weekend!!

xoxo,

Alyssa

DIY Shea Butter Lotion

Hi Everyone!!! After a few weeks of pure craziness,  I am back here sharing a post on DIY Shea body butter.  This stuff really protects the skin all year round but especially during these winter months. 

To give a little update about our life recently…we are moving!!  This has been in the works for a while and last week, it became official!  As excited as I am to start this next chapter as a family, I must say there was a bit of sadness in my heart as I truly loved our first home.  A lot of big things happened in that home, lots of big decisions were made and most of all, we brought Thomas Jackson home there!! I’m so happy we spent the time to take some final pictures there over the last few weeks.  They are something we will cherish forever! 

I realized while being outside a lot recently that there is no better time than now during these cold winter months, when our skin becomes super dry, to share this little concoction.  If you think about how many chemicals, emulsifiers, penetration enhancers and preservatives are often found in store-bought lotions, you might consider ditching those ingredients and making this yourself.  I spent years of my life buying beautiful scented lotions to moisturize my skin only to realize many of them didn’t actually moisturize at all!! I’ve always been a DIY girl and must admit, one of my favorite childhood memories was making homemade chapsticks with my mom… it was seriously the most fun thing ever and I still make them to this day in addition to anything else I can dream up! ๐Ÿ˜‰

 While I have always been passionate about health/fitness and mindful about what was going into my body, I became even more aware when I was pregnant and even now while nursing. Not only did I care about the food I was fueling my body with but I also cared about what I was absorbing through my skin.  We have all heard about chemicals in beauty products but when you take a step back and really look at the labels of some of the ingredients you put on your body, it must bring some sort of speculation… it sure did for me.   That is when I started making my own.  This is more of a body butter verses a light pump lotion.  I put this on at night before going to bed and wake up fully moisturized! 

Definitely let me know if you make it!!

Enjoy!!!

DIY Shea Body Butter

Author Alyssa Grieco

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unrefined Shea butter
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tsp Argan oil
  • a few drops of essential oil

Instructions

  1. In a double boiler, melt together the Shea butter and coconut oil until completely liquified.

  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the Argan oil and a few drops of essential oil (if desired) into the melted butter, then place the mixture in the fridge to cool for 30 to 40 minutes, until you see it starts to solidify.

  3. In a hand mixer to beat the mix until the lotion has a creamy whipped texture (5-7 minutes)

  4. Transfer the lotion into a glass mason jar. The lotion should last about 6 months.

Happy New Year – 2018!

Happy New Year Everyone!!! Hope you all had a wonderful time bringing in the New Year! I still can’t get over the fact that 2017 is in the past.. time just flies and this year in particular was a whirlwind for us!

2017 has brought a ton of changes for our family and as I sit and reflect on the year, I couldn’t feel more blessed.  While the biggest, most magnificent moment of 2017 for me was bringing Thomas Jackson into the world, there are a ton of other opportunities and changes – some things I said I would never do (lol) that came in front of our path as blessings, showing us God’s provision over our lives.  

As always, rather than coming up with tons of resolutions that are quickly forgotten and pushed to the wayside; I am focusing on just a few things as we bring in 2018. My goal is to live each day intentionally and by that I mean focusing on my role as a mom/wife/daughter/friend/businesswoman with purpose!  For example, I try to spend time with Thomas playing each day and being there in the present.. without distractions.. and without multitasking.  I am a queen of multitasking (I know T would agree with this) and usually cannot be caught doing one thing at a time.  While I would call it a strength of mine, I think it is also important to give some things undivided attention, especially when it comes to people.

Along with that, another one of my focuses is simplifying! When I think of simplifying, I often think of possessions and de-cluttering which don’t get me wrong, I LOVE.. but this particular simplifying is in regards to time and scheduling.  Life moves SO fast (I still can’t believe I have a child!) and so often we find ourselves pulled in a million different directions.  We obviously can’t just cut out appointments from our schedules but I believe it is about prioritizing and eliminating distractions. It is so easy to over-commit and add too much into each day.  While there is always going to be a lot to do, I want to really recognize and enjoy free time, for it is precious!! ..precious time we can spend on what matters most. That has been my focus since having Thomas and I am going to continue to focus on that this year! ๐Ÿ™‚

As far as fitness & nutrition goes, I know many resolutions begin now and no matter where you are on your fitness and health journey, my number one tip for you to be successful is to SLOWLY make changes rather doing it all at once.  Anything too strict or restricting is going to backfire.  Learning self-discipline is a necessity, along knowing that consistency is key!!

Well, I am off to indulge in my new gluten-free, low-carb bagel recipe soon making it’s way onto the blog!!

Happy New Year everyone!

xox,

Alyssa