Zucchini Salad

I think I’ve had the same salad for lunch on repeat for about 3 weeks now 🙈  so mixing it up today and trying something NEW! Here’s what’s in it: 🍴
Shaved zucchini
Arugula
Sliced nectarines
Grilled chicken
Cilantro
Topped with balsamic dressing and feta cheese!

13782234_1359887767371848_4697848127354081432_nIt was so so good!!! Try it and let me know what you think!

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Healthy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s FRIDAY and that calls for some tasty chocolate chip cookies! This recipe is from one of our favourite snack cookbooks Super Healthy Snacks and Treats and I actually LOVE how they turned out!!

Here’s what’s in em:

1/2 cup of almond milk

2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds

2 cup spelt flour

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup sunflower oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup of granulated sweetener of your choice

1 cup of dark/bitersweet chocolate chips

 

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix wet ingredients (almond milk, sunflower oil, vanilla extract) and flax seed in one bowl and set aside to thicken.

Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

Combine everything together and roll dough into golf ball size balls. Flatten them to about 1 cm thick and arrange on greased cookie sheet.

Bake the cookies for around 7 min and gently transfer onto a cooling rack.

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Happy cookie baking!!

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How we Survived an 11 hour Car Ride with 2 Toddlers

I blogged our trip to Boston/Cape Cod last week over here! In order to get there though, we had to drive 11 hours. Yes. 11 hours in an SUV with 2 toddlers yikes! I was so nervous about the trip as the twins are normally melting down after a 2 hour trip to visit my grandparents. It was so much less expensive for us to drive than fly though, so we were determined to make it work. 3 nights before the trip, I spent a good few hours on pinterest and other blogs looking for tips and tricks for keeping toddlers entertained during travel. I made myself a good little list and the next day, off to the dollar store I went!

I bought a package of small brown paper bags and bought them each little zippered bag! I told them about their special bags the night before the trip so this got them excited about the “long” car ride and all the fun “surprises” I had planned for them!

I basically planned out the whole trip with a different activity to introduce each hour, planning a park break/picnic at lunch hour and knowing they would nap for 2-3 hours in the afternoon. I kept their bags in the front with me and passed things back to them but with older children, they could probably be more in control.

Here’s the activities I packed:

  • Melissa and Doug Water Wow – my friend Noelle lent these to us and I was so thankful because the twins LOVED them and thought they were actually “painting”. It’s basically a pen you fill with water and it has a brush on the end. The books can be used over and over again so by the time they finished the last page, they could go back to the start and do it again.
  • Travel Scavenger Hunt – In this pack, was a travel scavenger hunt I found on pinterest (there are so many you can print off!) and I bought them fun spider man stickers from the dollar store to stick on each thing they found. They got it for the most part but there did end up being stickers in A LOT more places than just the boxes. haha.
  • Treats – in a few bags, I packed a healthy snacks like fruit to go and yogurt raisins and a few of them had some actually candy like a lollipop or gummy bears (balance!!) Saved these bags for when they were starting to get bored and wrestless as a yummy treat would change their attitude around immediately!
  • Finger puppets. I grabbed these from the dollar store as well and LOVED them. We told them to make up a story about our holiday and it was a riot.
  • Good old Crayons and coloring book. We got them each new coloring books so they were excited about that!
  • Movie and Popcorn – we borrowed a portable dvd player and this was a LIFE SAVER. After our picnic in the park around noon, we got back in the car for popcorn and a movie. It was a great wind-down activity and they thought this was SO cool to be able to do in the car. They both fell asleep shortly after and napped for a good couple hours.
  • Tablets – we have an I-pad and another small tablet and we loaded them with new games before we left. I saved this for a last resort and when they woke up from their nap it was a great way to keep them entertained for the last stretch before we stopped for supper!
  • Melissa and Doug Lace Toys (not pictured) – these are great for fine motor skills and the twins loved them!
  • Small toys/books – we packed a couple bins to keep between their seats for easy access! Worked great.

 

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Overall, the twins did INCREDIBLE!!! It totally payed off to plan ahead and be prepared. Before we left for the trip back, we stopped at Target to stock up on some more treats/new activities. They were a little more restless/grumpy on the way back but aren’t we all?! We just made a few more stops and park breaks.

Hope all you travelling families might find this post helpful for any long car trips you might have make this summer! And most of these activities totally work for a train or plane trip too! Happy travelling!!

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Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle While Travelling

I’m not going to lie. I was scared, totally scared. Scared I would completely blow it and have to tell my challenge group that I let them down! See in the past, I always saw holidays and vacations as an excuse to completely pig out. Chips and candy for the long car rides, waffles or pancakes for breakfast each morning, ice cream at the beach, wine and late night snacking, and the list goes on. I really had to wrap my head around the fact that it was possible to eat clean while on vacation and still have a great time, not heading home 5 lbs heavier. Of course, I planned to enjoy some treats and we knew we were going to be eating out for some of it but with some extra planning and prep, here are a few tips on how we were able to maintain a healthy diet and stick to a workout routine while on the road and during our vacation:
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Preparing for the Road Trip 
The day before we left for our trip, I went to the grocery store and bought tons of healthy snacks to pack in a cooler for the 10 hour drive ahead! I pre-packaged it all in ziplock bags so it was easy and convenient to grab while driving and also so that we didn’t end up eating a full box of crackers in one sitting for example. haha it can be easy to over snack during long drives like that! We packed the cooler with lots of snack foods like raw veggies, non-messy fruits like grapes and apples, cheese, turkey slices, hard boiled eggs, and multi grain crackers. We also brought lots of water bottles! We found a playground about 4 hours in and stopped for a picnic to eat our packed lunch and let the twins run around. I had brought stuff to make our own salads and the kids their own sandwiches.
We stopped at on enroute for supper and although healthy options seem to be limited at these places, you CAN find them! Thankfully the one we stopped at had a healthy fresh food option with fresh salads and stir-fries. I ordered a thai chicken stir fry with veggies on brown rice. An enrolee we stopped at later in the trip had a pizza place and a starbucks. I was able to find a pre-packaged salad in the fridge area but other then that, it was a challenge! We didn’t have service on our cells while in the states so it made things a bit difficult but if you’re planning to stop at rest stop or a particular restaurant look online at the menu ahead of time! Choose meat and fish items that are steamed, broiled or grilled and choose veggies that have been steamed over sautéed or fried. It’s also a good idea to ask for dressings or sauces on the side.
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Staying Active and Healthy while at a hotel:
While the majority of our trip was spent at a cottage, we stayed at a hotel for a night on the way there and for a night on the way back. Before we booked, I made sure the hotels had  gyms! I know that working out once you check into a hotel might be the last thing on your to-do lists, but honestly, it was so great after spending 10 hours in a car with two toddlers to be able to get active for a bit and work those muscles after the twins were asleep. Since I can take my workouts anywhere ( all I need is my laptop, a mat and some dumbells) I totally could have just worked out in the hotel room but it was nice to get on my own for a bit and more room too! My husband and I took turns working out so it worked out great! And it felt SO good to know I was staying on track with my routine too!
It’s always a plus for us when hotels have a continental breakfast but you probably know that there seems to be A LOT of unhealthy options. Seek out the good ones! There was always something that I could make work. Some examples are plain greek yogurt topped with nuts, banana and dried berries, or plain instant oatmeal with apple slices and cinnamon with a side of eggs. Steer away from the waffles, muffins and sugary cereal!
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Staying active and healthy at your destination 
We used Air B&B for this trip but we made sure to book a place with a kitchen and it also had a bbq so for most of the week, we cooked our own food! We went grocery shopping as soon as we got there and stocked the fridge with easy to grab fruits and veggies, yogurt, cheese sticks, and fresh fish and chicken to bbq.
Most mornings, I got up and did my workouts first thing (a little later then normal of course!). My husband thought I was a little crazy for taking along my mat and videos but I was determined not to fall out of that routine! My workouts take 20-30 min so that was nothing to get them done first thing and not have to worry about it the rest of the day! We were very active outdoors most days too with lots of walking, swimming etc., so 1 or 2 days I did miss a workout and didn’t sweat it! Being active is what it’s all about!
I also brought my shakeology along which means I had to bring my ninja too. It was the best afternoon treat after the beach each day! Chocolate shake blended with almond milk and bananas is like chocolate ice-cream!
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Plan out your cheats for the week ahead of time
Don’t deprive yourself completely! You need to live a little too so it’s all about balance. We knew that we were going to be eating out on certain nights so I planned for it! If I knew I was going to splurge a little over supper,( I HAD to try a famous lobster roll!) I stayed on track with my nutrition the rest of the day! We enjoyed a couple treats too like some fudge while we were visiting province town and a s’more around the campfire. Moderation is key especially when it’s a lifestyle but I’m not joking when I say I cheated for every meal during vacations in the past.
The best part about staying on track while vacationing was that I came home feeling SO much better then I used to. I actually lost a couple pounds from being so active!
I think something thats really changed for me is that I have a different relationship with food then I used to. I can now focus on and look forward to the other things while vacationing like the quality time I’m spending with my boys and the memories and the laughs. I’ve been learning to eat to live instead of living to eat and let me tell you, it’s made a world of difference!
Happy Healthy Vacationing! Thanks for reading.
xo
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Boston/Cape Cod

This was our first time travelling outside of Canada with the twins. We knew we wanted to hit up a beach in the U.S. but right up until 2 weeks before our trip we weren’t sure where and had nothing booked! Finally one night, we just went for it and used Air B&B to book a quaint little cottage in Cape Cod, MA for four nights. Since we had the full week for holidays, we decided to be adventurous and just grab a hotel in whatever city we ended up in for a night on the way there and a night on the way back. It worked out great! The first day, we drove for 9 hours with a couple stops along the way for food and play. I planned a full days worth of car activities for the twins and will be sharing that in another post this week! We stayed an hour outside of Boston that night. I was so thankful the hotel had an amazing gym and sauna after being crammed in a car for so long! The next morning, the twins were up bright and early and after grabbing breakfast at the hotel, we headed into Boston to explore the city for the day! After grabbing lattes at Cafe Paradiso in Little Italy, we had maybe been walking around for half hour when I decided I was IN LOVE with this city. Just a great feel. The people were friendly and the streets and buildings had so much character. The Boston Market was amazing and the harbour front was just stunning.

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untitled-45We grabbed lunch at Legal Seafoods near the harbour. It was recommended to us by numerous friends that had been to Boston so we knew we had to try it and gosh it did NOT disappoint! We split a seafood sampler ( I know SO much food!) and a risotto roll. It was to die for. Every time we look at this photo, we can taste the meal again. If you go to Boston, eat at Legal Seafoods!

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We headed to the cottage we were renting later that afternoon and after a quick grocery shop and checking out the private beach, we called it an early night. Most of the rest of the week was spent at the beach and touring the quaint town of Brewster. There was so many cute boutiques, antique shops and the sweetest little old-fashioned general store. The boys got a kick out of all the penny candy to look at there!

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One day we drove into Province Town for the afternoon which is the furthest part of the cape. It was beautiful, so colorful and very happening!  The main street, parallel to the ocean, went on FOREVER! There were so many shops and restaurants to choose from. We had heard that the lobster rolls at Canteen were amazing so we opted to eat there and again we were thrilled with our choice! The rolls were delicious and we shared a fish taco too!

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untitled-78-2Ok we totally splurged and bought a piece of fudge to split from this award winning fudge shop on the strip.

untitled-94-2untitled-121The twins LOVED the ocean. We weren’t sure how they would do with the beach as last year they were still a little unsure of the waves and such but we put life jackets on them and they wanted to swim and kick on their bellies. The high tide and low tide of the ocean was so cool because in the mornings, we could walk out on the beach for forever and the twins would just splash in the small streams and puddles while collecting sea shells, rocks and building sand towers. In the evenings, the water was 4 feet deep right at the start so we would all go in and swim together.

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Other then my husband dropping our cottage keys down a storm sewer on the first day we arrived, and a couple normal toddler meltdowns, I’d say the trip was a pretty big success! It gave us the confidence to travel MORE with the kids, something we both love to do.

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