The Little Things Newsletter #381 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!

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Welcome to the weekend, my friends! Have I rambled enough about the seasons changing? I am so ready for fall! The past few days have given me hope that change truly is in the air. I’ve been driving the open jeep for the past few days and loving every windblown minute.

ON THE BLOGS this week: This Old Fashioned Potato Soup is a journey back to grandma’s kitchen where hearty food is made with common ingredients, and every bite tells a story.

Learn how to make perfect French Bread Pizza in the air fryer! This method creates cheesy pizzas with a crispy crust. It’s homemade pizza that’s fast enough for a quick lunch or casual dinner.

Fresh vegetables are tossed in a mixture of oil and spices before being quickly cooked to create this irresistible skillet of Sauteed Zucchini and Onions.

Tender vegetables and a rich, creamy sauce are nestled under a layer of golden, flaky biscuits just begging to be enjoyed with this vegetable lover’s pot pie casserole.

Crispy baked potatoes are filled with hearty meat and vegetables and topped with creamy mashed potatoes in these Shepherd’s Pie Baked Potatoes.

Rich, nutty notes and rolled, hearty oats create true poetry in this creamy, dreamy Peanut Butter & Jelly Oatmeal. It’s pure comfort food for breakfast.

Colorful, fruity cereal meets the smooth and dreamy world of ice cream in this Fruity Pebbles Ice Cream. Every scoop is loaded with the iconic rainbow crunch of a Saturday morning spent watching cartoons.

Sweet and tangy blueberries burst with fresh flavor beneath the tender crumb of golden cake in this delightful Blueberry Dump Cake.

What I’m CRAVING: I am fairly obsessed with fresh corn these days and this Sweet Corn Risotto with Crispy Pancetta sounds unbelievably delicious.

What I’m WATCHING: Julie & Julia. I’ve seen this movie a few times now and Meryl Streep remains as charming as she could possibly be in her portrayal of Julia Child. The movie makes me smile so much and I was thrilled when one of my boys suggested watching it this week.

I’ve always loved Julia Child’s quote, “People who love to eat are always the best people.” Sh

San Diego recap + Friday Faves

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Hiiiii! Happy Friday! How was the week? I’m thankful that it was a short one.. I’m ready for the weekend already. We blasted right back into school, dance, and got to see Nate Bargatze last night. SO hilarious and good.

This weekend will be spent cleaning up the San Diego aftermath, and I’m looking forward to a couple of low-key days. We also start our community detox on Monday! It’s not too late to join in. You can get your kit here (7,14, or 21 days use FITNESSISTA10) and join our closed Facebook group here. Quite a few of us are doing a longer detox, so there will still be friends participating whenever you get your kit.

San Diego recap + Friday Faves

San Diego was the BEST. We enjoyed four days in one of our very favorite places and also enjoyed some new adventures. We experienced LEGOLAND for the first time, took the girls paddle boarding and kayaking (twice because they loved it so much!) and we found out P is not a fan of Melting Pot lol.

We got in on Friday afternoon and decided to spend the afternoon shopping at UTC, and then enjoyed dinner at Seasons 52. We haven’t been to one in years – I keep wishing Tucson will get one! – and it lived up to the fond memories. Of course, the girls loved the mini desserts.

We called it an earlier night, and the next day, we woke up and it was raining. It rarely rains in San Diego, despite June Gloom and

5 High Protein Meal Prep Recipes

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Sharing 5 high-protein meal prep recipes! Some new inspiration if you’re looking to amp up your protein intake.

Hi friends! How are ya? I hope you’re having a lovely morning. We’re coming out the other side of the dance competition straight into dance picture night at the studio (WHEW) and I’m looking forward to getting some work and studying for IHP done today. I’d love to hear about what you have going on!

Today, I want to talk about protein and the importance of healthy meal prep. Personally, I aim to consume 4-5 palm-sized servings of protein each day, considering factors such as my goals, activity level, and body composition. However, I’ve found that hitting this protein goal can be challenging if I haven’t done some advance planning and prepping. I’ve realized that having protein readily available in the fridge makes a significant difference. To make it easier to reach my daily protein target, I now dedicate time each week to chop veggies and prepare some protein staples. This way, I am better prepared to meet my protein needs and build muscle. In addition to protein, it’s important to focus on consuming omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for overall health.

For today’s post, I’m sharing some super easy recipes with great sources of protein if you’re looking for new inspiration! These are meat-based, but here are some plant-based protein ideas for my veggie and vegan friends: tempeh bacon, edamame, black beans, mung bean pasta, sprouted tofu scramble, and lentils in the instant pot.

5 High Protein Meal Prep RecipesI had to use a stock photo because I have a hard time making meat look appetizing… and I think the asparagus is fake?? Taking votes)

5 High Protein Meal Prep Recipes

Whole Chicken in a Crockpot

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 4-6 hours/ 8 hours

Ingredients:

  • 1- 3.5-4.5lb whole chicken, giblets removed, patted dry
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Directions:

Place onion in the bottom of a 6 qt crock pot. Add the chicken, breast side down. No liquid is needed as the chicken will make its own juices with the onion and grease from the fat from the chicken skin. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4-6 hours until the internal temperature is 165 at the thickest part of the chicken. Cool completely, remove skin & bones, and shred the chicken or cut whole pieces of thighs, breasts, and wings to store for meals throughout the week.

Fruity Pebbles Ice Cream

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Colorful, fruity cereal meets the smooth and dreamy world of ice cream in this Fruity Pebbles Ice Cream. Every scoop is loaded with the iconic rainbow crunch of a Saturday morning spent watching cartoons.

Horizontal shot of Fruity Pebbles Ice Cream topped with Fruity Pebbles cereal, served in a small white bowl

Fruity Pebbles Ice Cream

I made this ice cream a couple of different times in an attempt to get both the flavor and the texture I wanted. Let me just admit that the first attempt barely hit the “edible” mark.

I’m happy to tell you that the final version of this recipe is a solid two-thumbs-up! It is bright and flavorful ice cream with hints of fruity pebbles flavor in the creamy refreshing ice cream.

With over 70 ice cream recipes here to choose from, there’s sure to be an ice cream for everyone! If you’re new to making ice cream, the best and easiest vanilla ice cream is a great place to start.

These are my favorite inexpensive containers for storing ice cream. They’re perfect for gifting (who doesn’t love homemade ice cream?) storage, re-using, etc. I write the flavors on the lids with a sharpie and it washes off with dish soap.

I have more ice cream scoops than I can keep track of at this point and I definitely play favorites. This ice cream scoop does the best job ever of cutting through firm ice cream and still delivers a pretty scoop. It gets bonus points for being one of the least expensive scoops I own as well.

Don’t miss our Ice Cream Maker Review for all the information you need to find the BEST Ice Cream Maker for your needs! Spoiler alert – our top-rated machine under $50 just might surprise you. It sure surprised me!

Fruity Pebbles Ice Cream, served in a small white bowlRead more

Premenstrual Syndrome Self-Care

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Sharing tips on premenstrual syndrome self-care and how to have happier and more balanced days leading up to your cycle.

Hi friends! How’s the day going so far? I hope you’re enjoying the morning. I’m going to take a hot yoga class and then catch up on some admin stuff around here.

Today, I wanted to dive into a topic that’s all too familiar to many of us: premenstrual syndrome (PMS). We’ll explore what it is, why it happens, and most importantly, how you can embrace self-care to make your pre-period days happier and healthier.

Premenstrual Syndrome Self-Care

As women, we know that our menstrual cycle can be both a source of empowerment and, at times, a bit of a challenge. The days leading up to our period can often feel like an emotional and physical rollercoaster. You might find yourself wondering, “Is there a way to make this time more comfortable?” The answer is a resounding yes!

PMS is incredibly common, affecting millions of women worldwide. It’s not just about a little moodiness; it can get pretty disruptive and uncomfortable. You might experience mood swings, bloating, irritability, and those delightful cravings for chocolate and chips. Trust me; you’re not alone. At the same time, it’s important to remember that while these symptoms are common, they’re not *normal.* Your body WANTS to be in balance, and there are ways to make your cycle less of an emotional and physical event.

What Is Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)?

PMS is a set of symptoms that typically occurs in the days leading up to your period. It’s like a not-so-pleasant reminder that Aunt Flo is on her way. These symptoms are linked to hormonal fluctuations, primarily involving estrogen and progesterone.

Premenstrual Syndrome Symptoms

Let’s break it down with a quick list of common PMS symptoms:

Mood swings that can make you feel all over the place: elated, melancholy, sad, crying, irritable, anxious, and moody

Tender breasts

Bloating that makes stretchy pants the only enjoyable wardrobe choice

Food cravings that lead to intense love affairs with chocolate, chips, fried foods, and ice cream

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