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Quick and healthy breakfast bites packed with tons of flavor. Photos by Mieshia Petersen.

Short on time in the morning? Need a healthy snack? These healthy breakfast bites will save you time and money in the morning! I know for me, I don’t have time every morning to make a bowl of oatmeal. Sure I could make it ahead of time and I do sometimes but I enjoy switching things up from time to time. I used oatmeal and banana in this recipe. Both filling and versatile so it makes the perfect morning or on the go snack to keep you from lashing out at someone because you’re hangry and your morning meeting went over (we’ve all been there).

This recipe has both soluble and insoluble fiber and protein so it will helps stabilize your cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Oatmeal is great for your intestinal health because the fiber keeps you regular and helps prevent constipation. Lastly, oatmeal is rich in magnesium so it’s going to give you the energy you need to start the day.

Ingredients: Nutella, Oatmeal, Bananas, Honey, Chocolate Chips, Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon

The thing I love about oatmeal is that it is malleable. You can add it to most things or add things to it. The Mix-in possibilities are endless and you can use anything from shredded coconut or quinoa to dried fruit or crushed cookies. I added mini chocolate chips for sweetness and chia seeds for added fiber, iron and calcium. Different mix-ins will affect the mixture so you’ll need to add more of something wet or dry depending on your mixture.

Oatmeal Breakfast Bites

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 cup of dry oatmeal
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 2 tbsp of chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • a splash vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of Nutella
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, I mashed the banana with a potato masher and then added the honey and Nutella to that bowl. In another bowl, I mixed the oatmeal, cinnamon, chia seeds, salt and vanilla extract together.
  2. Combine bowls into one.
  3. Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes.
  4. Use a spoon to scoop about a tablespoon of the mixture into a ball with your hand. Repeat with remaining mixture. The mixtures makes about 12 breakfast bites.
  5. Baking is optional, but if you’re wanting warm, gooey bites, pop them in the over for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
  6. Once cooled, store in the refrigerator for one week.

Oatmeal Breakfast Bites

 

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Broccoli and Pineapple Smoothie

Broccoli and Pineapple Smoothie
Photos by Mieshia Petersen.
How many of us set health goals and decide to switch up our diets or make gym time more of a priority with each new year? I’m not one for new year resolutions, but I personally plan to challenge myself to eat more raw foods. I know people promise to be healthier and eat better, but many of us may struggle with consistency, which leads to us making the same resolution yet again the next new year.
My suggestion: let’s take baby steps together. Since I’m a juicer and smoothie aficionado, I want to hook you up a quick start to your day that will make your health goals easily attainable. Breakfast is the most important part of the day, but the majority of us skip it in a hurry to get to work or get the kids to school. Smoothies are an excellent way to get some nutrients in on the go especially when you keep the ingredients simple. This quick broccoli and pineapple coconut smoothie recipe will keep you on track throughout the year. Read on for the benefits of the ingredients and view the recipe below.  

Broccoli and Pineapple Smoothie

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, low in calories but packed with vitamin A, C, K and dietary fiber. Cruciferous vegetables have been known to aid in fighting cancer and also help to improve heart health and assist in weight loss. Broccoli can even increase your metabolism, eye health and slow aging! Who doesn’t want those benefits?
Pineapple is rich in Vitamin C and high in fiber. It reduces inflammation and can lower your risk of colorectal cancer. It can also lower your blood glucose levels and promote regularity. Pineapple also helps to improve fertility and prevent asthma. In addition to it simply tasting amazing, it produces and adds to our happy hormones which means it fights depression and anxiety. Lastly, it aids in digestion and can ease the systems of acid reflux.
Bananas. I personally do not care for bananas, but I who can turn down health benefits? Besides, they’re something you can grab on the go for a fast snack. They’re a great pick-me-up snack because they boost energy so if you work out in the morning then you’ll want a banana in your smoothie before or after. They give your body the energy it needs to build muscle and strength. Bananas are rich in potassium and act as an electrolyte, helping to manage hydration levels within the body. They’re also a good source of dietary fiber, preventing constipation and regulating bowel functions. If you’re looking for a way to feel fuller longer then these are what you want.
Coconut Water is also potassium and it’s a high electrolyte. If you like the flavor then you’ll receive the other benefits like lowered cholesterol and blood pressure. Hemp seeds help those with diabetes, skin allergies, heart disease and arthritis. They feed the probiotics in your stomach to keep your immune system in check. You’ll find hemp seeds in hair, skin, and nail products because they promote healthy cell growth and combat skin disorders, such as psoriasis and dermatitis.

Broccoli and Pineapple Smoothie

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • 1 cup of pineapples
  • 1 1/3 cup green apples (about two apples)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp of hemp seeds
  • 1 cup of coconut water
Directions
  1. Throw all ingredients in a blender and let the machine go to work for you until it reaches a smooth consistency.
  2. Top with chia seeds, flax seeds or whatever you like. I topped mine with shredded coconut.
  3. Drink up and you’re one step closer to reaching your health goals for the day!

Note:

I added a full dropper of golden Echinacea to mine because it’s still flu and cold season. It provides you with additional immune support to fight off bugs others may be passing around.

Broccoli and Pineapple Smoothie

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holiday looks

If you’re like me, chances are you’ve spent most of your time eating, preparing food and purchasing gifts that you almost forgot this is the most wonderful time of the year! Well, no more. Time to let your hair down and enjoy the holiday season with your loves ones! A holiday party is the perfect occasion to sparkle and shine. Think satin, lots of embellishment, ruffles, velvet and faux fur.  Most of these things are probably already in your closest so skip that last minute trip to the mall and online shipping fees. We’ve come up with five looks that any women can rock this season.

Embellished Footwear

Playing up an outfit with a cute pair of shoes is always a win. Add a sleek clutch to compliment the shoes and you’re all set for any party.

Embellished shoe
Image made with Polyvore.

Velvet

It’s hard not to feel luxurious in velvet. It instantly upgrades your outfit, giving it a regal or romantic and cozy feel. Take this outfit for instance, this is one way to attend a kickback in style.

Velvet blazer
Image made on Polyvore. 

Satin

This fabric has a flowy feel and gives the right amount of shine. If you’re looking to stay away from traditional holiday colors try navy blue. Loose pants can make you look like you’re wearing oversized PJs, but you can easily dress them up for a more polished look.

Satin pants
Image made on Polyvore.

Sheer

A touch of sheer mixes sexy with modesty if you are looking to turn up the heat in a reserved fashion. The one-piece jumpsuit makes getting dressed a breeze which means more time for makeup!

Sheer jumpsuit
Image made on Polyvore.

Sequins

So much can be said about sequins. They provide all of the razzle dazzle you need and texture to make you pop in photos all night long. Tone down the rest of your look with a fun polish and cute strappy heel.

sequin dress
Image made with Polyvore.

 

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pork

This post was sponsored by the National Pork Board, however, and opinions expressed are my own.

The holidays are quickly approaching and so is my need for wanting to try something new in the kitchen.

Pork Shoulder
A nice marbled pork shoulder or loin will add tons of flavor to your holiday chili. Photo by Mieshia Peterson

I remember being a young girl and shortly before holidays, the women would be preparing for the feast. This meant weeknight meals would be hard to come by because either someone was too tired or there wasn’t enough space.

With that in mind, I wanted to create a special dish that you could share with family in town days before your holiday dinner. This would be a loved dish for a holiday office party or gathering with friends too. Pork knows how to keep things easy and make things special. It’s juicy, tender and full of flavor. Chili is one of the easiest party dishes to whip up on the stove or in the crock pot. Plus, when the wind gets the blowing and snow starts falling, there’s nothing better than cozying up with a bowl of this comfort food. So, why not put pork in the chili? Not only will it taste good but your house will smell amazing as it cooks. When it’s finished pile on toppings like chips, cheese, avocado, yogurt or whatever chili ornaments that make your heart happy.

pork
Green pepper, onions, garlic and kidney beans come together to give this traditional dish a delicious twist.

Whipping this up is a breeze, toss all the ingredients in a crock pot, put it on low and let the crock pot work it’s magic! If you make this hearty, flavorful chili let us know in the comments below and be sure to tag us and use #FoodBeforeLove in your pictures on Instagram.

Shredded Pork Chili
After a few hours, add your favorite toppings and enjoy! Photo by Mieshia Peterson

Shredded Pork Chili Ingredients

1 pork shoulder or pork loin

1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon pepper

2 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 cup of beer

2 cloves of minced garlic

1 onion, diced

1/2 chopped green bell pepper

1 can of crushed tomatoes

2 cans of kidney beans, drained and rinsed

 

Toppings:

Crumpled feta cheese

Tortilla chips

Directions

  1. Season the pork with salt, pepper, and onion powder. Place olive oil in a Dutch oven pot and add oil before adding the pork to brown it. (If making in a crock pot, feel free to skip this step and just put it in a crock pot for cooking.)
  2. Add the browned pork to your crock pot and pour in the cup of beer.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours and then shred the pork with forks.
  4. Around the 4 hour mark, add garlic, onions, peppers, crushed tomatoes, beans and remaining spices.
  5. Taste and add more seasoning if desired and then serve with your toppings of choice.
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