ORGANIC AVENUE: RECIPES FOR LIFE, MADE WITH LOVE*

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With this book, you can learn how to make juices and food loved by celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston. You will also receive insider health tips from Organic Avenue’s founder, Denise Mari.

Get 40% off of Organic Avenue’s recipe book!

Her delicious, sustainable, and compassionate food is a favorite of stars like Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston.

Now, in this stunning book, Denise shares Organic Avenue’s never-before-published recipes, including adaptable juice-cleanse programs:

LOVE* Easy for beginners
LOVE* Fast for those who have cleansed before
LOVE* Deep for “experts.”

All cleanses can lead to bright eyes, glowing skin, weight loss, improved stamina, positive thinking, inner calmness, and mental clarity.

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Want to Get Healthy? Reorganize Your Fridge!

Today, I made my first trip to The Container Store! I had hoped to walk in and walk out with just a few items but as you can imagine walking into a store like this as someone who appreciates organization left me with a few more items in my hands and I had anticipated.  Nevertheless, it was a very good trip. And as a result, I was able to organize my refrigerator for the kids the way I had intended in addition to a few other things around the house.

Items I purchased:

BPA Free Food Storage Containers

Buy from Amazon for $25

Umbra Square Crunch Can 

I bought this for my daughter’s room to pick up loose toys and stuffed animals.  The Umbra Crunch Can is durable as well as safe for those clumsy falls that inevitably happen with a toddler running about.

Buy from Amazon for $19.99

If your house is anything like mine, then efficiency is extremely important when it comes to packing lunches, snacktime, and having food available at the drop of a hat for hungry little mouths after school.  Since the birth of my third child, I’ve not had the opportunity to organize my refrigerator the way I had hoped to prior to his arrival. So after my jaunt to the container store, I came home and looked at the disarray that was my refrigerator. And I remembered, when I was a little girl, after each trip to the grocery store, it was my job to slice and dice all of the produce and put it into the appropriate Tupperware containers for easy access.  This was not a fun sure as it included chopping a 5 pound bag of carrots along with washing and drying every leaf of every head of Romain lettuce that was purchased for the week, however, it helps the entire family work more efficiently during the week.  So in short, in addition to helping my family, I’m turning into my father. Ha ha!

Organizing the refrigerator for children to be able to find their snacks is actually quite simple it’s just something that you have to keep up with every week. It’s definitely a commitment. But, it’s a commitment that I’m willing to make if it means saving myself 5 to 10 minutes in the morning or in the evening when it comes to preparing these foods for my children.

Here’s what I did:

1. Stock Up

I picked up a surplus of the produce items that my family enjoys knowing that by putting them in storage containers, they would stay fresher longer.

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2. Set Aside the Appropriate Containers

While shopping for produce, I made sure to match the right containers with the fruits and vegetables that I wanted so that they would not only fit, but match how I would normally store the original containers in my refrigerator.

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3. Choose a Variety of Fruits and Vegetables

When I buy my produce, I am sure to choose the colors of the rainbow not only for variety, but also for the many benefits that come with eating fruits and vegetables that are rich in color.  Chop them up as you’d like and fill each container to the top.

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4. Make These Foods Visible

Kids will choose snacks based on accessibility and visual appeal.  By choosing foods that are bright as well as nutritious, your child will most likely reach for these foods first.  Place these containers within reach so that they can easily grab a snack independently.

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My beautifully reorganized refrigerator

Starstruck Fruit Salad

This morning I needed to have  a dish prepared for my son’s Kindergarten Potluck Breakfast.  I volunteered to bring in a fruit salad but I wanted to bring one that was appealing to the eye so that the kids in the class would be more likely to dig in.  To make the salad more interesting, I added one cool and rare fruit: Starfruit!

fruit salad kindergarten

Starstruck Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 Starfruit
  • 1 container red grapes
  • 1 container green grapes
  • 1 container organic strawberries – sliced
  • 1 mini watermelon
  • 1 honeydew melon
  • 1 organic lemon

Recipe

  1. Chop all fruit except the starfruit and mix together.
  2. Slice the starfruit for a nice collection of stars to top the salad.  Arrange as you’d like for nice presentation.
  3.  Slice and squeeze fresh the lemon and drizzle the juice over the top to preserve the flavor and texture of the fruit.

For more fun posts or to share your own, please visit http://www.opalmom.com

Eating Clean…for Labor?

 

There’s a common phrase being thrown around out there for eating fresh fruits and vegetables as well as lean proteins and whole grains.  It’s called CLEAN EATING.  I’ve used this term also and still use it.

Throughout my pregnancy (3rd), I’ve consistently followed a clean diet and have had a virtually symptomless pregnancy. Yesterday, at 36 weeks 2 days pregnant, I learned from my OB that I am already 3cm dilated and 50% effaced.  She basically said that I could deliver this baby either tomorrow, or two weeks from now.  Either way, I want to do what I can to prepare.

I was so surprised when she said that I was 3 cm when only two weeks prior, I was O cm and 0% effaced.  However, like some other pregnant women nearing the end of their pregnancies, I’ve begun to indulge a bit more and as a result, end up feeling achy, crampy, and lethargic.  This happened after my exam yesterday.20140828-084933-31773109.jpg

As soon as my husband and I left the dr., we went our usual route to Starbucks to pick up coffee beans and for me, a decaf iced drink.  Along with my iced drink, I picked up a slice of pumpkin loaf which has become a trend for me in the past 3 weeks.  No biggie.  But then, I got home, and as it was late, we decided to order out.  Pizza and salads.  Sure, I ordered a salad.  But i ate all the chicken off it and proceeded to eat two slices of greasy pizza while finishing my decaf iced coffee.  And you know what happened?  I immediately became congested, had a lovely case of diarrhea, and  went into a series of BH contractions ranging from 5 minutes apart to 11 minutes apart for the next 4 hours accompanied with a back ache and an overall feeling of bloat.  These are in fact symptoms of impending labor, but having done this twice before, I knew that this wasn’t labor.  Regardless, this continued through the evening leaving me with a very restless sleep that woke me every 3 hours.  Labor seemed imminent…that is, until I woke up and changed my tune.

I woke with a headache that would rival the worst hangover, a bloated face and fingers, and a very very sluggish demeanor.  This was at 4:00am.  So, I thought having a bowl of cereal would help.  One bowl of cereal turned into two, followed by a food coma.  Falling asleep again, I woke to the sound of two children screaming MAMA! at 7:30am with all the same symptoms that I had at 4:00am.  Regardless, I pulled myself out of bed, and went to the washroom to splash my face with water and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.  I looked just as bloated and congested as I felt.  But…my contractions were gone.  So, I had a window of time to try to alleviate my symptoms.

I ran to the kitchen, and while making breakfast for my kids, went to my go-to breakfast for warding off colds – Green juice and fresh fruit.  Within 10 minutes of eating a few bites and sipping some green juice, I began to feel better.  Not just ok, but actually better.  My Braxton Hicks contractions started again but were spaced far apart again, baby #3 started kicking happily, the feeling of bloat began to subside, and my energy returned.  As with any clean breakfast like this, a trip to the bathroom isn’t rare, but the feelings associated are not ones of nausea.  My sinuses cleared almost immediately and my pep in my step returned.

SO here are my thoughts.  Knowing that the body cleanses itself out before the onset of labor by means of releasing bodily fluids and waste, why not try eating cleaner in preparation for labor?  No woman enjoys being uncomfortable, cramped and achy in the final weeks of pregnancy and for some, this is just unavoidable.  But, in my case it seems that my well-being and over physical wellness is directly affected by the food that I feed it.  Having a symptomless pregnancy while clean eating may be a coincidence, but I’m beginning to believe differently.  I’m thinking that by continuing to eat clean through to the end may help prepare my body for labor by keeping my body full of vitamins and nutrients, clear of toxins and congestants, and lowering my blood pressure by keeping foods high in fat, salt, and sugar from causing undue stress on my digestive system.  I’m going to give it a try!

My First Go As a Mommy Blogger Has Me Hooked

A few months ago, I decided that I would take on the new world of mommy blogging.  I experimented with writing daily, weekly, biweekly and even a newsletter.  I’ve had such a great time that I have decided to continue with this new venture into my life as a mother of 3 as I’m due September 22nd.  Taking this new step into the world of mommy blogging has allowed me to reflect on the importance of my experience as a mother, which includes my daily life raising my children and additionally, my work.  I never realized that my daily schedule included required me to be resourceful with my time, my energy, as well as my income.  I came to realize through writing that these strategies that I use on a daily basis are not only applicable to me as a working/stay-at-home mother, but also to other mothers who stay at home, work part time, or are expecting first, second and third babies.  Heck, these strategies are even applicable to the stay-at-home or working dad!

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So, please feel free to follow me on this journey as I explore the world of blogging outside of fitness and juggle three small children.  In the meantime, feel free to explore my website: www.opalmom.com.  If you like it, please sign up for my newsletter which I have decided to release on a monthly basis due to the demands of my current work schedule and my schedule with my family.  The newsletter includes stories from OPAL Mom™ Members, Followers of my FB Page, and my Twitter followers (@OpalMomBlog) in addition to special offers from companies that I support and love:

And MORE!

I’m looking forward to hearing from you as well so please feel free to email me at any time at opalmomcom@gmail.com!

Are you a Crunchy Mom?

I never really considered myself a “Crunchy Mom” until I read this article and realized that most of the things listed were normal occurrences in my daily life.  Sure, I work with pregnant women on a weekly basis, have a 5.5 year old, 15 month old and am 7.5 months pregnant, but all the same.

Crunchy mom creation: Homemade smoothies for the family

My crunchy mom creation: Homemade smoothies for the family

After I read this article, I remembered a conversation that I had with my OBGYN last week where we were talking about summer foods that children eat.  I distinctly remember her saying, “Well most kids eat hotdogs and all that in the summer, so why should I be worried about it?  I mean, do you really check for nitrates in your hotdogs?”  It was all I could do to not gasp in horror and say, “Ummm, yes.  IF my children even approach a hotdog that I MAY consider preparing, it’s usually made with an alternative meat product that is nitrate free and all the other crunchy granola rules regarding processed foods.”  But, I didn’t.  I just smiled and shrugged.

Stirring up organic protein cookie dough for his mama

Anyway, that being said, coconut oil is a household name in my home, baby wearing the norm, and of course the practice of “using our words” and “gentle hands” is routine.  Take a look at the article and see if you happen to be with a Crunchy Mom or are one yourself!

10 Things Guys Married to Crunchy Moms Understand via Still Mommy