<![CDATA[NonperfectParenting - Blog ]]>Tue, 23 Jan 2018 01:24:51 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[Finding Healthy: Week 9]]>Thu, 11 Jan 2018 17:31:32 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/1/post/2018/01/finding-healthy-week-9.htmlThis is a Sponsored Post Written By Me on Behalf of Getting Healthy With Lesley
     It is the second week of January and we have packed away all decorations, gone back to work, and sent the kids back to school. How is the New Year's resolution going? I have to admit I sort of fell off the wagon a bit. 
     
     Nope, there was no cake and cookie binges but for me. Instead,  I had a hard time sticking to my healthy eating plan that my health coach and I came up with.  My plan gives me five "fuelings" each day and then one meal that I prepare at home. Anyone with kids knows that when you have them home on holiday break, things get insane, right? So, for those two weeks I totally messed up my fueling schedule. I would maybe get in two a day, so my body was no longer in fat burning mode. Instead, it was starving and I was putting on the weight I had worked so hard to loose. After the kiddos went back to school, I had a moment to breathe and step on the scale, I was bummed. I had put on five pounds in two weeks. 
     I didn't understand it at all. I hadn't eaten any foods off plan, I was still super active, but my body was just acting crazy because of missing the fuelings. I realized it was going to happen and I couldn't dwell on it. Bodies do odd things from time to time and I needed to accept it. If I kept doing the work, I would get the outcome I wanted in the end. 
     So, since the kiddos went back to school I have been working on me. Those five pounds are gone and I am back on track. How about you? Still at your resolution or have you slipped back into your old ways? It is an easy thing to do, trust me I know!
     It is never too late to get back into the swing of things and make the change. After all, summer and bathing suit season is right around the corner. My main motivation is to be able to have a fun and active summer with our family. We have a ton planned and I don't want to miss a moment of it. 

Ingredients:
1 1/2 ounces avocado (1 Healthy Fat)
2 tsp fresh lime juice (1 Condiment)
1/4 tsp garlic powder (1/2 Condiment)
1/4 tsp salt (1 Condiment)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (1/4 Condiment)
1 tsp Stacey Hawkins Roasted Garlic Oil or Olive Oil (1 Healthy Fat)
1 1/2 cups raw grated cauliflower (3 Greens)



Directions:
In a small bowl, mash avocado with a fork. 
Add lime juice, garlic powder, salt, and cilantro. Stir until combined. 
Continue mashing to get the mixture as smooth as possible.
Set aside.
Add 1 tsp oil to a medium sized skillet and heat over medium heat.
Add grated cauliflower. 
Cover skillet with a lid so that the cauliflower steams and becomes tender. 
Cook for about 5 to 8 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add avocado mixture to the cauliflower.
Mix until cauliflower is evenly coated. Heat thoroughly.


1 Serving with 3 Greens, 2.75 Condiments and 2 Healthy Fats per serving


Courtesy of  Sandy's Kitchen

      Over the past year, I saw one of my friends posting photos of her weight loss on Facebook. I know her, so I knew it was real and not one of those photoshopped ads you see from time to time. The photos were incredible to say the least. In a bit more than a year, she had lost more than 75 pounds.  How crazy is that, right? I was a total skeptic. There had to be more to it or she will gain it back as soon as she quits whatever program she is on. I was curious so I talked with her about how she lost this weight. 
     Lesley told me about how Optavia helped her to change her life. Not only did she loose the weight she had been carrying around, she and her family are now healthier. Optavia isn't the usual eat this, don't eat that plan. They teach you how to be healthy so you can change your entire life. In doing so, you will loose the weight that has been burdening your body. Then, I made the decision to try the Optavia program myself. Lesley is a Certified Health Coach with Optavia now and is cheering me on along the way.
This is a Sponsored Post Written By Me on Behalf of Getting Healthy With Lesley
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<![CDATA[Finding Healthy: Week 7 ]]>Thu, 28 Dec 2017 20:51:07 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/1/post/2017/12/finding-healthy-week-7.htmlThis is a Sponsored Post Written By Me on Behalf of Getting Healthy With Lesley
     Holiday time can be a bit crazy and of course staying healthy during that time can be difficult. For me, the hardest part is finding the time to eat every two hours. I NEVER thought this would be my biggest issue! Crazy, right? So it is something I am working to improve on so I can keep my body in fat burning mode. With Optavia, I know it is so important to maintain that consistency. 
      With New Years approaching, I have been thinking about all of the past years that my resolution was always to get healthy and it never worked. This year, I am well on my way and I feel amazing. Typically, this was the time that I would feel that "holiday hangover" from stuffing myself for days on end. Enjoying all of the cookies, beer and family dinners in the previous weeks. I knew that with upcoming New Year, I would convince myself all of my old habits would be a thing of the past. I was going to wake up before the kids to get a run in, avoid the bakery aisle at the grocery, and say no when the waitress asked if I wanted dessert.  I was going to get it all together in the new year....but it never happened. This year, I already have it together and I feel so good about it. 
     Is your resolution the same as mine always was? Are you going to wake up on New Year's Day and decide it is just too cold for a run? Or go to dinner that night and the cheesecake on the dessert tray is just too good to pass up? Instead of making the same resolution that never works, make a plan with Optavia. 
     There are a ton of reasons that New Year's resolutions fail. For many of us, we want to see dramatic changes instantaneously. We treat a marathon like a sprint, so when we don't see enough of a result immediately, we quit. Small changes stick because they aren't intimidating. With Optavia there are no crazy diets that you must put your body through. Instead, you are using the food to put your body into a fat burning state. It is a small change with amazing results. 
     Not believing in yourself is another reason that you are set up to fail. If you have tried and failed, it is easy to doubt yourself. However, with every pound you loose you get all of that confidence back. The feeling is incredible and you won't even remember those nagging feelings of defeat.
     Perception is everything. If you see eating as a chore and exercise as a bore you aren't going to want to change it.  The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it. For me, I go for hikes with my family. I do things I love that I do not notice is adding exercise to my schedule. At the end of the day, I don't need to count steps because I haven't even sat down all day. 
     If you do not track your progress,  you can't see how you are improving. This is a huge reason people get disenchanted with their resolutions. All you need is a notebook and a pen. When you start to track  exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how much weight you used, you can see how much you have improved over time and feel your "I Can Do This" attitude developing. 
     Making a resolution isn't easy and sticking to it is even harder. To make your resolution stick you need to know WHY you are doing it. WHY you want to be healthy, WHY you want to loose that extra weight, WHAT is your motivation. Unless you know what your motivation is to drive you, it won't stick. Define your motivation and use Optavia to get healthy now. By this time next year you will be well on your way to a healthier lifestyle. 

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
(from Sandy's Kitchen)
What You Need:
1 lb 93% ground chicken (2 1/4 Lean)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (4 Condiments)
1/4 tsp pepper (1/2 Condiment)
1/2 tsp garlic salt (2 Condiments)
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (1 Condiment)
1/4 tsp onion powder (1/2 Condiment)
3/4 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese, divided (3/4 Lean)
1 1/2 cups Great Value Italian diced tomatoes, divided (3 Greens)
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly spray a 13 x 9 inch glass dish with cooking spray.
Blend diced tomatoes in a blender or small chopper to resemble tomato sauce or until desired consistency.
Combine ground chicken, Parmesan cheese, and spices. Add half of the mozzarella cheese (1.5 oz or 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp). Measure out 3 tbsp of tomato sauce and add to the ground chicken mixture until completely combined.
Form into meatballs. Since this recipe makes three servings, I made twenty-one meatballs. It is so much easier to divide the meatballs evenly when they are in increments of three such as 15, 18, 21, and so on.
Place meatballs in prepared glass dish. Bake for 25 minutes.
Spread tomato sauce over meatballs and sprinkle with the leftover mozzarella cheese.
Broil until cheese is melted.  Divide the meatballs into 3 servings. Enjoy!
3 Servings with 1 Lean, 1 Green (need 2 more!) and 2.6 Condiments per serving

    Over the past year, I saw one of my friends posting photos of her weight loss on Facebook. I know her, so I knew it was real and not one of those photoshopped ads you see from time to time. The photos were incredible to say the least. In a bit more than a year, she had lost more than 75 pounds.  How crazy is that, right? I was a total skeptic. There had to be more to it or she will gain it back as soon as she quits whatever program she is on. I was curious so I talked with her about how she lost this weight. 
    Lesley told me about how Optavia helped her to change her life. Not only did she loose the weight she had been carrying around, she and her family are now healthier. Optavia isn't the usual eat this, don't eat that plan. They teach you how to be healthy so you can change your entire life. In doing so, you will loose the weight that has been burdening your body. Then, I made the decision to try the Optavia program myself. Lesley is a Certified Health Coach with Optavia now and is cheering me on along the way. 
This is a Sponsored Post Written By Me on Behalf of Getting Healthy With Lesley
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<![CDATA[Finding Healthy: Week 5 ]]>Thu, 14 Dec 2017 17:30:22 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/1/post/2017/12/finding-healthy-week-5.htmlThis is a Sponsored Post Written By Me on Behalf of Getting Healthy With Lesley
     It has officially been FIVE WEEKS since I decided to change things up and get healthy. I know January 1 is right around the corner, so it is time to start thinking about those New Year's resolutions, right? For many of us, that same old resolution is always get healthy this year or say goodbye to those extra pounds I am toting around. It lasts for a couple of days or maybe a week and then we see a plate of french fries or a piece of cake that we just have to have. This year, I have a great jump start on my resolution and I am not looking back. I would love if you joined me too
     It has been five weeks, twelve pounds, and I feel amazing. I have more energy, my skin looks great from all of the water I drink, and my clothes...they FIT! Seriously, a piece of cake isn't worth going back to where I was. The best part is, I make better choices for me, for my health, and that means I am going to be around for a while. 
     Optavia has been a game changer for me. I was always so against "dieting". I hated the idea of starving yourself to look stick thin. For me, being healthy is more important than any weight loss. With Optavia, you are never hungry and you eat literally every 2-3 hours. Most days, I have to set an alarm to remind myself to eat because I am just not hungry. 
      When you begin the program, you will go through some adjustments. Especially if you haven't been making great food choices. That won't take long to get through and after those couple of days, you will find your groove. Now, I have my favorite recipes that I make every week, our fridge is stuffed with fresh veggies, and I know what I need to avoid. My biggest rule is "IF I DON'T BUY IT, I CAN'T EAT IT." In the beginning of the program I couldn't have any of the treats that we used to have in the house. I knew I would want to snack throughout the day. After a week or two of not having them, I didn't crave them anymore and the kiddos didn't miss them. They were snacking on veggies and healthy snacks instead. So, it was a win-win! 
     Optavia can do for you what it has for me. Begin your journey by taking this risk free health assessment
     One of the biggest bonuses for me is the fact that Optavia takes the thinking out of meal prep. My biggest decision at meal time is whether I would like a yummy blueberry muffin or some chocolate fudge pudding. The best part is, the food is GOOD! It is food that you look forward to eating and don't just do it because you need to. 
     So, what is stopping you from making this January the year your resolution actually sticks? 
     Maybe it is the concern that your weight loss won't last long term? That was something I was concerned about too, but my health coach put my fears to rest. You see, with Optavia, you attend weekly meetings and you get always have access to your health coach for free (even after you are off the Optavia program) for LIFE! The Optavia goal is for you to keep the weight off and to stay healthy for good. 
     The cost of the Optavia program is a factor? With the Optavia program, they have some great money saving kits that give you all of the fuelings you need for the month. When you look at your cost of breakfast and lunch per day, Optavia is a no brainer. You are getting five meal replacements for every day and a healthier life. There is no other cost to the program. 
     What if it doesn't work for me? This is exactly how I felt when I started the program. I was so worried that all the success stories I was reading just could never be me. I was wrong. This is a proven method that WORKS and it will work for you. Want to see some awesome success stories? Check them out on my health coach's page here

Let's put all of the excuses to rest and look at 2018! Optavia can change your life like it has mine and so many others. Want to see which program works best for you? Take the Optavia health assessment here. 

CAULIFLOWER CHEESY BREAD
Serves: 4-8 (Makes 16 breadsticks)
prep time 15 min  
cook time 25 min

What You Need:
1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds)
2 egg whites
1 cup shredded cheese (I used reduced fat Cheddar Jack), divided
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper
Marinara sauce for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 450°F. Remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower and cut it into florets. Place them in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower is finely chopped and looks like rice. Transfer the cauliflower to a microwave-safe dish or bowl. Cover and cook in the microwave for 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can steam the cauliflower in a steamer basket or bake it in the oven at 375 for 20 minutes. When the cauliflower is cool, transfer it to a bowl lined with a kitchen towel or cheesecloth. Bring the ends of the cloth together and squeeze as much liquid out of the cauliflower as you can. I got about ½ cup liquid. Transfer the cauliflower to a mixing bowl and add the egg, Italian seasoning, ½ cup cheese, ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Mix to combine. Transfer the mixture to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Form the dough into a rectangle about 8 x 12 inches and ¼-inch thick. Bake in the oven 15-20 minutes until cooked. Remove the baking sheet and sprinkle the remaining ½ cup cheese over the top. Bake another 5 minutes until cheese is melted. Cut cheesy bread into 16 breadsticks. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

     Over the past year, I saw one of my friends posting photos of her weight loss on Facebook. I know her, so I knew it was real and not one of those photoshopped ads you see from time to time. The photos were incredible to say the least. In a bit more than a year, she had lost more than 75 pounds.  How crazy is that, right? I was a total skeptic. There had to be more to it or she will gain it back as soon as she quits whatever program she is on. I was curious so I talked with her about how she lost this weight. 
    Lesley told me about how Optavia helped her to change her life. Not only did she loose the weight she had been carrying around, she and her family are now healthier. Optavia isn't the usual eat this, don't eat that plan. They teach you how to be healthy so you can change your entire life. In doing so, you will loose the weight that has been burdening your body. Then, I made the decision to try the Optavia program myself. Lesley is a Certified Health Coach with Optavia now and is cheering me on along the way. 
This is a Sponsored Post Written By Me on Behalf of Getting Healthy With Lesley
]]>
<![CDATA[Finding Healthy: Week 4]]>Thu, 07 Dec 2017 21:55:31 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/1/post/2017/12/finding-healthy-week-4.htmlThis is a Sponsored Post Written By Me on Behalf of Getting Healthy With Lesley
      It has been four weeks since I started this journey and the best result? I feel amazing and I am down TEN pounds from where I started. If you would have told me this time last month that it was possible to loose that kind of weight eating SIX times a day, I never would have believed you. However, it is completely possible with Optavia. 
     I started a month ago with the encouragement of my health coach, Lesley. One of the best benefits of the Optavia program is that you get access to a free health coach. This person is there to help you along on your journey, as little or as much as you wish. For the past four weeks, Lesley has been there to cheer me on and give me ideas when I needed them. She has shared recipes, listened to my ideas, and cheered me on with every pound I lost. 
     Has the past four weeks been easy? Yes and no. The hardest part was learning how to feed my family in a different way. There were days it would have been easier to grab take out and bring it home, but I decided they were taking this journey too. Now, my family isn't eating the Optavia fuelings during the day, like I do.  They eat a normal, healthy breakfast and lunch. They are also drinking more water and we have been eating healthier dinners. No more eating out. We cook at home so we are aware of what is in our food. We also stopped buying snacks and junk food. Basically, we all started making healthier choices which made my decisions much easier. If it wasn't in the house, I couldn't eat it. 

     I really thought I would get more resistance from the fam when all this started. The truth is they did awesome. We have always been a relatively healthy family but we had a few bad habits we needed to break. I also found some sneaky ways to get extra veggies into recipes that makes it easier too. I will share those below so you can try them at home! 

      What are some ways you can start to make your family healthier? It isn't nearly as intimidating as you think. Changes can start small and before you know it, everyone is seeing huge results that will stay with you forever. 

1. Don't Go Hungry
 
     Snacking during the day (healthy snacks) is a good thing. If you have to eat on an empty stomach, you are likely to consume many more calories than if you hadn’t eaten on an empty stomach. To make this easier, keep your fridge and pantry stocked with pre-measured snacks that your kiddos can grab and go. Apple slices, raisins, and pretzels are perfect snacks. 
2. Twenty Minutes of Exercise a Day 
     Keeping your daily workout goal short and convenient works. Getting in twenty minutes each and every day should be doable for everyone. Make it a fun activity that your kiddos look forward to. 
3. Do the Grocery Shopping for the House
     If you bring chips and cookies home, your kids (and you) will naturally want to eat them. Say no at the grocery store. 
4. Drink Water
Encouraging the family to drink more water is a no brainer. It is healthier, makes your skin glow, flushes out your system, and is FREE. 
5. Eat Dinner Together Nightly
     Studies show if you want your kids to have an appreciation of how precious their bodies are, you can’t beat just sitting down together. This simple ritual improves not just kids’ eating habits but their grades and willingness to open up to you, too. No television, no radio, no phones. Just good old conversation. Teens will grumble, but they will survive...I promise. 

     So, what do I feed my family? Check out some of these tried and trusted recipes they LOVE! 
Roasted Pepper Tomato Soup 
serves 8 

1 Tbsp oil
3 leeks chopped
2 stalks celery 
4 cloves garlic, minced
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 c fresh basil
2 cans crushed tomato (28 oz)
3 red peppers, roasted
6 c. vegetable broth
1 sprig fresh thyme

Combine oil, onion, celery, and garlic on medium heat in a large pot. Sauté for 3 minutes until onions are translucent. Add salt, pepper, tomato paste, peppers, basil, crushed tomatoes, broth, water, and thyme. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and cover, simmering for 15 minutes. Uncover and remove thyme. Use an immersion or counter top blender to blend the soup until smooth. Allow to cool 2 minutes and serve topped with basil.


One-Pot Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Pasta
serves 4 

1 Tbsp oil
1 1/2 lb. chicken breast, cubed
1 tsp seasoned salt, divided
pepper, to taste
one small onion, sliced
1 med head of broccoli
6 c. milk
1 lb. bowtie pasta
1 c. shredded parm
1 c. shredded mozzarella

Heat half of the oil in a large pot. Add in the chicken, season with half of the seasoned salt and pepper, and cook. Once the chicken is nicely browned and cooked through, remove it from the pan. Set aside. Add in remaining oil, onion, and broccoli. Cover for 2 minutes. Season with remaining seasoned salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the onions begin to become translucent. Pour in milk and bring to a boil. Stir periodically so the bottom does not burn. Once milk is bubbling, add pasta and stir frequently until pasta reaches your desired doneness (approximately 10 minutes at medium heat). Add in Parmesan and mozzarella. Stir until cheese is melted. Stir in chicken until well incorporated. 


     Over the past year, I saw one of my friends posting photos of her weight loss on Facebook. I know her, so I knew it was real and not one of those photoshopped ads you see from time to time. The photos were incredible to say the least. In a bit more than a year, she had lost more than 75 pounds.  How crazy is that, right? I was a total skeptic. There had to be more to it or she will gain it back as soon as she quits whatever program she is on. I was curious so I talked with her about how she lost this weight. 
     Lesley told me about how Optavia helped her to change her life. Not only did she loose the weight she had been carrying around, she and her family are now healthier. Optavia isn't the usual eat this, don't eat that plan. They teach you how to be healthy so you can change your entire life. In doing so, you will loose the weight that has been burdening your body. Then, I made the decision to try the Optavia program myself. Lesley is a Certified Health Coach with Optavia now and is cheering me on along the way. 
This is a Sponsored Post Written By Me on Behalf of Getting Healthy With Lesley
]]>
<![CDATA[Have Fun While Teaching Your Little One to Count]]>Thu, 07 Dec 2017 21:06:54 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/1/post/2017/12/have-fun-while-teaching-your-little-one-to-count.html
     Teaching kiddos to count can be frustrating, for kids and adults. Making it fun can keep it lighthearted and have the little ones engaged. This is a simple activity that takes no time to put together and most items can be found right in your cupboard! 
     First, gather everything you need. Cupcake liners, a sharpie or marker, cotton balls small enough to fit in the liners, and sticks for the kiddo to pick up the balls with. We happen to have kid's chopsticks that work perfectly. 
     Next, number the liners from one to whatever number your child is counting to. We are working to ten. 
    Finally, have the child count and place the cotton craft balls into the cups. This is also a perfect activity for teaching addition and subtraction. 
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<![CDATA[Finding Healthy: Week 3]]>Thu, 30 Nov 2017 17:10:39 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/1/post/2017/11/finding-healthy-week-3.htmlThis is a Sponsored Post Written By Me on Behalf of Getting Healthy With Lesley
    It all started with leggings. Okay, I didn't actually gain the weight because of leggings...but it sure made it easier. You put those stretchy, comfy pants and you never seem to notice they are getting tighter. Not until the day you go to slip on your favorite pair of jeans and they won't button. Then you realize the leggings have been luring you into a false sense of security. All of the cookies, beer,  and late night snacks haven't been just melting away. The leggings have just hid the real truth. The one that your jeans were now telling to you as you check the tag repeatedly, convinced they were actually your teen daughter's jeans and there was a mistake. No mistake. You gained the weight fair and square, and now it was time to take it off. 
     I procrastinate a lot. So, I didn't just start to loose the weight. I continued the upward trend because I really like beer and wine. I like to have a snack at 2am with the hubby when we watch a movie. I love to make excuses. I never had to diet, I was always naturally slim as an adult. I figured it would all work out and I wouldn't need to change. I was wrong.      So, the time came and I really knew it was time to do something about it. That's when I started with Optavia.  It isn't a plan you just start on your own. Instead you have a partner through the entire process. Your cheerleader is your health coach. This person listens to you, guides you and talk you through the entire Optavia program. My health coach is Lesley Weiss Zwick and she has been absolutely amazing! Honestly, I could not have asked for more. Want to start your Optavia journey? Email her here or contact her on Facebook
     Within the first week I lost five pounds. The following week, another pound. This is week three and I feel amazing. Even better? A HUGE thing happened this week.  So big I had to share a picture. 
     I haven't worn jeans in MONTHS. After just two whole weeks with Optavia, guess who is wearing jeans? Yep, this girl. I know I still have far to go but this is a big deal for me. Even better than jeans, I feel amazing. I feel like I have energy again. 
     My goal used to feel like it was so unobtainable, but with Optavia I know I can do it. Every day I feel better, my clothes fit better and best of all my goal gets closer. The best part is my health coach is always there to encourage me and to guide me to the next step. 
     Think diets are just too hard to stick to and way to high maintenance? Yep, I did too. Optavia isn't a "diet". It is a way to change all of those bad habits you have been practicing for years and get healthy. For me, it is a way to feel good again. That was the most important part. I wanted to feel like the best me possible...without trying very hard. After all I already have way too much going on. I don't have time to cook three meals a day, count points or even  go to the gym. Instead, I just make better choices and it is paying off. 
     I cook one meal a day and this recipe is one I will be having this week. Want to try it at home? See what you think and let me know! 
Barbecued Chicken
Makes 4 servings
Per serving with 3 Tbs BBQ sauce: 1 Leaner protein | 3 condiments  


What you need:
36 oz chicken cutlets
For the sauce:
2 tablespoons canola oil
½ cup onions, finely chopped
2 cups sugar free ketchup
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons Splenda
1 teaspoon ground mustard
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

 Grill cutlets uncovered, on a greased grill rack over medium heat for 20 minutes. (or broil!) Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, make barbecue sauce by heating oil over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until tender. Stir in remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.Turn chicken; brush with barbecue sauce. Grill 15-25 minutes longer, until a thermometer reads 165° when inserted in the breast.

     Over the past year, I saw one of my friends posting photos of her weight loss on Facebook. I know her, so I knew it was real and not one of those photoshopped ads you see from time to time. The photos were incredible to say the least. In a bit more than a year, she had lost more than 75 pounds.  How crazy is that, right? I was a total skeptic. There had to be more to it or she will gain it back as soon as she quits whatever program she is on. I was curious so I talked with her about how she lost this weight. 
     Lesley told me about how Optavia helped her to change her life. Not only did she loose the weight she had been carrying around, she and her family are now healthier.Optaviaisn't the usual eat this, don't eat that plan. They teach you how to be healthy so you can change your entire life. In doing so, you will loose the weight that has been burdening your body. Then, I made the decision to try the Optavia program myself. Lesley is a Certified Health Coach with Optavia now and is cheering me on along the way. 
This is a Sponsored Post Written By Me on Behalf of Getting Healthy With Lesley. 
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<![CDATA[Finding Healthy: Week 2]]>Wed, 22 Nov 2017 16:05:02 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/1/post/2017/11/finding-healthy-week-2.html This is a Sponsored Post Written By Me on Behalf of Getting Healthy With Lesley
Picture
     This is my second week of finding healthy! Want to read about the first week? Check it out here
     About a million times this week, I kicked myself for starting this healthy living kick a week before Thanksgiving. I never really cared for turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce, or even the green beans with the onions in them. None of that stuff was super appealing to me. Instead it was the mashed potatoes, the bread bowl and the DESSERTS. I live for any sort of dessert. Well, correction...I did. Not anymore. As of Monday, I have forever lost five pounds and I am on my way to a healthier life. So, this week I will skip the pumpkin pie and I am totally good with it. 
Picture
     I am not silly enough to believe that being around all of this delicious food won't be tempting. I know it will but I am ready for it. My health coach shared some amazing tips to help me along the way.  

Healthy Holiday Tip #1! 
Make sure you know that this is a long journey! It is not about one day or one meal. Do not sweat it. 
 Healthy Holiday Tip #2! 
Knowing that you have a sounding board can change everything. Have a trusted friend or family member who can LISTEN. It is going to be tough and you need someone there for you. ACCEPT THE HELP! 
 Healthy Holiday Tip #3 !
 Don't give up all of your old favorites! Instead make healthier options and substitute! 
  You can still have all of your favorites on Thanksgiving.Download this healthy recipe book perfect for the holidays! It is filled with holiday favorites made to make you feel great. 

Cheesy Cauliflower Biscuits 
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If you are addicted to bread like I am, these Cheesy Cauliflower Biscuits are an awesome substitution that you will love! 
(Adapted from http://www.cookinglight.com/cooking-101/cheesy-cauliflower-biscuits)
This recipe makes 4 servings Each serving provides about 1/2 lean, 2 green, and 1.25 condiments.

You Will Need:
4 cups cauliflower
½ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
3 tsp minced garlic
½ cup reduced-fat cheese
2 eggs
2 egg whites
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Make Mashed Cauliflower Preheat the oven to 400°F. Steam cauliflower for about 10-12 minutes or until very tender, then transfer to a food processor. Add minced garlic and pulse several times until smooth and creamy.
Transfer mashed cauliflower into a large mixing bowl. Add in two whole eggs, cheddar cheese, Nonfat Greek yogurt, salt and pepper and mix together.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Then, slowly fold the egg whites into the cauliflower mixture.
Coat a mini muffin pan with cooking spray of your choice. Then fill the cups to the top with the cauliflower mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove from the pan, and set on a cooling rack.

NOTE: for best results, use MINI muffin pans. Larger pans leave the muffins a little soggy.

Turkey Meatloaf
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What's Thanksgiving without the turkey? Here's a way to have your turkey and eat it too! Adapted from Medifast Lean And Green Recipes
This recipe makes 4 servings
Each serving contains 1 Lean, 3 Green, 3 Condiments, and 1 Healthy fat

You Will Need:
1/2 cup diced leeks
1/2 cup diced celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 lbs 95-97% lean ground turkey
1 cup petite diced tomatoes
2 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tbps Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
2 eggs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Saute the leeks, celery, and garlic in olive oil along with the oregano, parsley, thyme, and salt. Remove from heat and place in a large mixing bowl.
Add uncooked beef, tomatoes, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and eggs to the bowl and mix well.
Lightly grease a pan and pour mixture into the pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until done. (internal temperature of 160 degrees).

NOTE: You can pour mixture into muffin pans to make individual meatloaf muffins, and top with piped Mashed Fauxtatoes (see recipe below)

Karen's Mashed Fauxtatoes 
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Carbs are my weakness but with this recipe I don't miss them a bit! This is a must have on Thanksgiving. 
Recipe by Karen Ragsdale
Makes 1 serving
Each serving consists of 3 Green, 2 Condiments, and 1 Healthy Fat

You Will Need:
1.5 cups CauliflowerChicken Broth
1 tbsp low fat cream cheese
2 tbsp Sour Supreme (a low-fat non-dairy tofu-based sour cream substitute)
5 sprays No Calorie Butter Spray
Salt
Pepper

Boil 1.5 cups cauliflower in 85% chicken broth/15% water mixture
Cook until you can easily spear the cauliflower with a fork.
Drain the cauliflower -- very thoroughly!
Add 1 tbsp low fat cream cheese, 2 tbsp Sour Supreme, 5 sprays of Butter spray, and dashes of salt and pepper to taste.
Use a blender (we prefer immersion blender) to mash the cauliflower thoroughly
Eat and enjoy with your protein!
 Over the past year, I saw one of my friends posting photos of her weight loss on Facebook. I know her, so I knew it was real and not one of those photoshopped ads you see from time to time. The photos were incredible to say the least. In a bit more than a year, she had lost more than 75 pounds.  How crazy is that, right? I was a total skeptic. There had to be more to it or she will gain it back as soon as she quits whatever program she is on. I was curious so I talked with her about how she lost this weight. 
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 Lesley told me about how Optavia helped her to change her life. Not only did she loose the weight she had been carrying around, she and her family are now healthier.Optaviaisn't the usual eat this, don't eat that plan. They teach you how to be healthy so you can change your entire life. In doing so, you will loose the weight that has been burdening your body. Then, I made the decision to try theOptavia program myself.Lesley is a Certified Health Coach with Optavia now and is cheering me on along the way. 
   
This is a Sponsored Post Written By Me on Behalf of Getting Healthy With Lesley
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<![CDATA[Finding Healthy : Week One]]>Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:46:19 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/1/post/2017/11/finding-healthy-week-one.html This is a Sponsored Post Written By Me on Behalf of Getting Healthy With Lesley
     So, I am almost forty. Over the past year something happened to my body. My metabolism decided to hit middle age and just quit.. just stop doing its job, completely. I was not ready for this change. For the first time in my life I felt so unhealthy. I was constantly tired, I didn't feel like doing much of anything and I put on a crazy amount of weight that I didn't know how to cope with. Not just a couple of pounds, but enough that I didn't feel good about me. I am a firm believer that a woman should be happy with her body no matter her weight. I wasn't happy and knew I needed to change it. 
     For months, I made promises of changing things the following week or I talked about looking into joining a gym in a couple of days. Instead, it all just stayed the same and I avoided the scale. I would make excuses because I was too busy or tired. Anyone with multiple kids knows no one eats the same thing as everyone else. I didn't want the hassle of making a completely different meal for myself once I made three others for the hubby and kiddos. 
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     Over the past year, I saw one of my friends posting photos of her weight loss on Facebook. I know her, so I knew it was real and not one of those photoshopped ads you see from time to time. The photos were incredible to say the least. In a bit more than a year, she had lost more than 75 pounds.  How crazy is that, right? I was a total skeptic. There had to be more to it or she will gain it back as soon as she quits whatever program she is on. I was curious so I talked with her about how she lost this weight. 
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     Lesley told me about how Optavia helped her to change her life. Not only did she loose the weight she had been carrying around, she and her family are now healthier.Optavia isn't the usual eat this, don't eat that plan. They teach you how to be healthy so you can change your entire life. In doing so, you will loose the weight that has been burdening your body. Then, I made the decision to try theOptavia program myself.Lesley is a Certified Health Coach with Optavia now and is cheering me on along the way. Want to see where I am on my journey? Keep reading! 
My First Week On Optavia 
     This is the first week I am using the Optavia program. It is so simple! I guess I assumed it would be so much more complicated, but this is such an easy and achievable plan for anyone. 
     I am doing what is called the Optimal 5&1 plan. This is the right plan for me, but it may not work for everyone.  When you decide to make Optavia part of your life, you and your coach will decide which plan is the best for you. 
The 5&1 plan means I get five fuelings each day and one lean & green meal. It is so much food that at times I need to actually make myself eat. The fuelings are pretty yummy and I have found some really good lean & green recipes. The best part is, since I have started withOptavia, my family is eating healthier. They see the changes I am making and they have come along on the journey. Although they aren't doing the Optavia plan (I would not recommend it for children since it is so low calorie), we have many more veggies at our family dinners. They love the change and I love that I am not cooking a ton more. 
     Fuelings are nutritious snacks you eat throughout the day, typically at 2-3 hour intervals. Optavia has a great selection, so everyone can find items they love. These fuelings are designed to give your body right nutrition at the right time. At any time during the day, you can choose to eat your lean & green meal. This is a super yummy and filled with protein. With Optavia, you also need to drink your water. It is super important to drink a minimum of half your body weight (in ounces). So far, I have been able to get in more than that each day. I am at 100 oz and my skin looks amazing. Seriously, drink as much as you can! 
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     The first day of changing my lifestyle was the hardest. There wasn't a time I was hungry, but by evening I was EXHAUSTED. The next morning though, I was ready to go again. As the week went on, I noticed I had more energy and I just felt really good.  I would get pangs of hunger at times, but after drinking my water, I was good to go. 
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     Overall, the first week was a success. I managed to loose a couple of pounds so far. I went through a drive thru (for little man) and didn't steal a french fry. I haven't even had any wine. Baby steps right? After all the weight didn't go on overnight...it sure isn't coming off overnight. 
Healthy Family Friendly Recipe
Italian Sausage Patties

3 cups (3 medium-large 3” x 2-¾”) red, yellow, and/or green bell peppers, slicedNon-stick cooking spray
6 MorningStar Farms Sausage Patties

Seasoning Mix:
1½ tsp dried parsley

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried ground basil

½ clove garlic, minced

1 tsp fennel seed


Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Combine seasonings in a bowl. Cut up peppers into thin strips and mix into spices. Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray for 5-10 seconds and heat to medium heat. Add peppers and sauté until lightly browned. Add sausage patties and brown. Place vegetables on two plates and top with sausage. 
This is a Sponsored Post Written By Me on Behalf of Getting Healthy With Lesley
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<![CDATA[Help to Make a Dancer's Dream Come True! ]]>Mon, 06 Nov 2017 23:56:31 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/1/post/2017/11/help-to-make-a-dancers-dream-come-true.html
I've partnered with Bloggin' Mamas for this social good campaign. I may receive movie-related promotional items or experiences; but all opinions expressed are my own and no monetary compensation was received. In support of the home entertainment release of the heartwarming animated family adventure, Leap!, Lionsgate has partnered with the non-profit organization, FOOTLOOSE, to gather donations of new and gently used dance shoes to help aspiring dancers in need. On November 16th, from 6p-8p PST, Lionsgate will be hosting an event in which they will be presenting FOOTLOOSE with the shoe donations. I wanted to help support this social good project, by encouraging donations from my readers. If you have new or gently used dance shoes you are willing to donate, you'll find the address to send them to below. You can also follow along the donation event on social media via #LeapMovie and #LeapForFootloose Our family loves any sort of outreach opportunity so we will absolutely be taking part with you! Dance shoes aren't a necessity for families who are struggling financially. So, a donation from you of new or gently used dance shoes can make a dancer's dreams come true. A donation that takes a few moments of your time can make all the difference in the world of another person. Donations to FOOTLOOSE can be sent prior to November 16 to the address below: Address For Donations Leap Donations c/o Lionsgate 5055 Wilshire Blvd Suite 840 Los Angeles, CA 90036

About Leap!

Featuring all-star voice talent led by Elle Fanning (Maleficent), alongside Nat Wolff (The Fault in Our Stars) and Maddie Ziegler (The Book of Henry), with Mel Brooks (Spaceballs), featuring Carly Rae Jepsen (singer-songwriter of the hit song "Call Me Maybe") and Kate McKinnon ("Saturday Night Live"), Leap! is a colorful and imaginative story about an orphan girl who is determined to follow her dream of becoming a ballerina. Filled with irresistible original music, Leap! features the hit track "Cut to the Feeling." Eleven-year-old orphan Félicie (Fanning) has one dream — to go to Paris and become a dancer. Her best friend, Victor (Wolff), an imaginative, exuberant boy with a passion for creating, has a dream of his own — to become a famous inventor. In a leap of faith, Victor and Félicie leave their orphanage in pursuit of their passions. But there's a catch: Félicie must pretend to be the child of a wealthy family in order to gain admittance to the prestigious and competitive Opera Ballet School in Paris. And with no professional dance training, she quickly learns that talent alone is not enough to overcome the ruthless, conniving attitudes of her fellow classmates, led by the devious Camille Le Haut (Ziegler). Determined to succeed, Félicie finds her mentor in the tough and mysterious school custodian, Odette (Jepsen), who, along with Victor's encouraging friendship, help her reach for the stars. Leap! will be available on Digital November 7 and on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand November 21.

Get Social with Leap!

Facebook- facebook.com/LeapMovieOfficial/twitter.com/LeapTheMovielionsgateathome.com/leapAbout FOOTLOOSE FOOTLOOSE is a non-profit charitable organization that collects new and gently used dance shoes to donate to less fortunate aspiring dancers. FOOTLOOSE donates shoes to a variety of organizations. For more information to donate or receive shoes, visit http://www.footloosemission.com/FOOTLOOSE was founded by Becca Duberman, a dancer and philanthropist, in 2010. Becca's passion for dance and her compassion for children led to the creation of FOOTLOOSE. Like its movie namesake, FOOTLOOSE, the story of overcoming restrictions to dance, connects donors to needy recipients.

Get Social with FOOTLOOSE

Facebook- facebook.com/FootlooseMssn/twitter.com/FootlooseMssninstagram.com/footloosemssn/Donate soon, so the shoes arrive in time for the event & and don't forget to check out Leap! on Digital November 7 and on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand November 21.  
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<![CDATA[Disney on Ice Comes to Pittsburgh!]]>Fri, 03 Nov 2017 19:49:49 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/1/post/2017/11/disney-on-ice-comes-to-pittsburgh.htmlThis is a sponsored post written on behalf of Disney on Ice. All opinions are my own. 
     Pittsburgh is about to be Frozen this weekend and you don't want to miss it!  Disney's Frozen on Ice is an incredible show with stunning effects that will leave you, and your kids, amazed! The fam and I had a chance to see it last night and it was INCREDIBLE!!! You want to see it before it leaves town this Sunday. 
     
     Every minute of the show is filled with your favorite characters from the movie Frozen. You will also get to hear the songs that your kiddo will love singing along to! This is a night you will never forget. Want to grab tickets? Get them here! If you aren't one of my local readers, Frozen is traveling all over the USA so be sure to see if it is traveling to your town! 
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