Recipes

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

I will not take credit for the baking of these muffins as normally all the baking done in our home is by Billie.  She has such a passion for creating and right now it is coming out in the form of baking.  She has been wanting to make pumpkin muffins all of October and she finally found the time.

I obviously encouraged this as there are amazing health benefits associated with pumpkins; therefore, it is a great way to sneak extra goodness into the kiddos (or yourself) without sacrificing flavour.

Pumpkin offers an assortment of vitamins, minerals and fibre; with its main compound being beta-carotene.  Beta-carotene is a powerful anti-oxidant and it is what gives the pumpkin its fabulous orange color.  As it gets absorbed by the body it turns into Vitamin A.   Vitamin A is necessary in the body to fight inflammation, increase our immunity, eye health, bone development, skin health and cell growth.

Whip up a batch of these muffins before pumpkin season is over!!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil – melted
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 cup Gluten Free flour blend
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line muffin tin with parchment paper muffin liners.
  2. Whisk coconut oil, coconut sugar, eggs, almond milk and pumpkin puree together in a large bowl.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together medium bowl.
  4. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until well combined.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips
  6. Pour batter into muffin tins until 3/4 full and bake for 20-25 mins.  Let cool for 5 mins then place on baking racks.

Amy Bowers  xo 

 

 

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Recipes

Barbecue Pork Ribs

My daughter loves ribs…it is by far her favourite meal.  The problem is I have never been the best rib cooker.  So much so that our families favourite ribs are from Costco.

I thought I would give them one last try when I found some ribs on sale at the grocery store.  Thankfully I did something right this time because they were delicious.

Maybe it was the homemade spice rub and homemade barbecue sauce I made to go along with it, but whatever it was they have become our new family favourite.

Barbecue Pork Ribs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Spread rib rub evenly on racks of ribs.
  3. Wrap each rack individually in double layer of aluminum foil with 1 Tbsp of water in each.
  4. Bake in oven for 2 hrs.
  5. When cooked fully, toss evenly with barbecue sauce and grill for 5-10mins.

Amy Bowers  xo 

 

 

 

Recipes

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • pinch of red pepper flakes – optional

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer x45 mins.
  3. Cool and store in airtight glass jar in fridge.

Amy Bowers  xo 

Blog

The Whys of Monday Mornings.

Monday’s are pretty quiet in my house.  No video games on, no YouTube playing videos, no playdates, no messes to clean up…just silence.

Which leaves me wondering a whole bunch of Whys?.

Why is it then in the mix of all the hustle and bustle of the weekend do I just want some peace and quiet and then when the peace and quiet comes I just want my kids to be back at home.

Why can I not just relax and enjoy the chaos of the weekends?

Why do have to have 5000 tabs open and processing in my brain all at once?

Why do Mamas have so much on their never ending To Do lists?

Why? Why? Why?

Mamas don’t get days off; especially if you are a Mama like me.  I do not know how to relax or shut off my brain.  Trust me I wish every day I could.  I think I would choose this to be my super power.

I love having my kids at home and they are at an age now where they are pretty self sufficient, but I still feel the need to hold on and be a part of their lives in any way I can.  The problem with this is that I have a hard time letting go and just doing my own thing on the evenings and weekends.  I never want to miss anything.

I preach self care in all my programs, yet I don’t always practice what I preach.

How do I learn to let go and have my own life?  How do I learn not to feel shame, when I am not giving my kids my time?   Am I normal?  Do other Mamas feel this way?

I believe the answer is yes.

I believe that I am not alone in this and that millions of Mamas all over the world are hanging on to their babies for as long as they possibly can.  There should be no shame in it.

Being a Mama is not easy mentally.  Some days it can be mentally exhausting.  We do the best we can with the tools we have on hand.  I am right here in the thick of it with all of you. I am trying to feel my way around and hope I don’t fuck it all up!

A part of being a healthy Mama is realizing when you are not taking care of yourself and when you need to refocus and spend a little bit of time reflecting on you.

This is me after this weekend.  I spent all weekend stressing about everything and I mean EVERYTHING!  I know I was not enjoying the moments with the kids.

How to solve this?

There is no right or wrong answer and I guess if I had all the answers I would be writing a whole different kind of blog post.  So until then, I will keeping questioning and keep striving to be a better version of me.

Amy Bowers  xo 

 

Recipes

Homemade Taco Seasoning

I am sure every Mama in this world has tacos on their rotating meal plan.  I know that it is a staple in our house.  Quick, easy and everyone in the house loves them.  They are great for leftovers in the kids lunches to make our life easier in the morning too!  A win-win!!

For a while I would buy the packages of taco mix, but then I came to my senses.  The store bought taco seasoning is full of fillers and so much sodium you will wonder why your toes are the size of sausages afterwards.

For the last few years I have been making my own homemade recipe instead.  Its flavour is amazing and it is half the price.  The beauty is you know exactly what is in the seasoning and you get all the benefits from the individual spices too

Make up a batch and store in an airtight glass container in the pantry and use on beef, chicken, and jackfruit.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp finely ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

How to put it all together:

  1. In a small bowl combine all the ingredients together and stir until well mixed.
  2. Store in an airtight glass container for up to 3 months.
  3. Use 2 Tbsp for 1 lb of meat.

Real Life. Real You.

Amy Bowers  xo 

Recipes

Vegan Jackfruit Burritos

By all means I am not planning to become vegan, but becoming more plant-based has been a nutritional goal of mine for some time.  This has been no easy feat as I am married to a man who LOVES meat and I have a daughter who’s favourite meal is ribs.

The beauty of any nutritional plan is that it can always be adapted and changed.  There does not need to be an end goal.  I always say that living a holistic life is ongoing and you need to adjust and make changes along the way.

Point being…I have not made too many meatless meals in the 13 years we have been married that has not been met with moans and groans.  But, I decided to give another one a try tonight and it was a success!   Since I have been trying to “sneak” these meatless meals onto the table with little success over the years I consider tonight a win and a step in the right direction.

I made Jackfruit Burritos.  Everyone loved them; well except for Madden, but to be honest he didn’t make his into a burrito cause he just wanted everything separate on his plate.  Bryce even used the word “GREAT” when describing them!!

The beauty was that they were super easy and did not have to make sure any meat was thawed to make dinner.  Great idea for a night where you totally forgot to thaw any hamburger, but you are really craving some Mexican flavours.

Vegan Jackfruit Burritos

Ingredients

  • 1 can organic young Jackfruit
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 2 Tbsp Homemade Taco Seasoning
  • 1 cup Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup Brown rice
  • 1 can Black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped
  • Salsa
  • 1 cup White onion, chopped
  • 1 Avocado, sliced
  • 1 cup Purple cabbage, chopped
  • 4 Gluten free wraps

How to put it all together:

  1. Cook brown rice according to package directions.
  2. Cut jackfruit into small slices from core outwards.
  3. Cook jackfruit in a skillet over medium heat with taco seasoning and water.  Cook until it resembles pulled pork, about 5-10 mins.  Add more water during process if needed.
  4. While jackfruit is cooking, chop tomatoes, cilantro, white onion, purple cabbage & avocado.  Drain and rinse black beans at this time as well.
  5. Once jackfruit and rice are cooked, warm up GF wraps in microwave for 15 secs.  Remove and layer all ingredients into centre of wrap.
  6. Roll the wrap up and enjoy!

Serves 4.

Amy Bowers  xo 

 

 

 

Blog, Recipes

5 Nutritional Benefits of Peaches

Peach season is here and I could not be more happy.  As a kid my Mama would always spend time canning peaches every year so we could enjoy them year round; oh I miss those days.  Since I never got the canning skill from my Mama, I take full advantage of peach season while it is here reaping the vast amount of benefits a simple peach has to offer.

The beauty of peach season is not only the joy of eating a juicy piece of fruit, but the endless combinations of foods you can use peaches in.  I try to eat peaches with everything; in salads, chia pudding, smoothies, desserts, with yogurt and granola, just to name a few.

When you include peaches into your meal plan you not only get the opportunity to enjoy amazing foods, your body also benefits tremendously.

5 Nutritional Benefits of Peaches

    1. Weight Loss.  Choosing to eat a medium peaches as a snack will only run you approximately 60 calories; therefore, helping you maintain your body weight and helping to encourage healthy weight loss.  Although this alone will not help you reach your goal weight, it will help by preventing you from reaching for the high caloric and fattening snacks that can sabotage your end goal.
      The natural sugars in peaches, along with the fibre content will not cause your blood sugars and insulin levels to spike.  This allows you to enjoy a sweet treat without the negative consequences on your body following.

 

    1. Digestive Health.  Fibre and digestive health go hand in hand, so when you include the fibre from peaches into your diet your digestive health reaps a lot all the benefits. Consuming the whole peach; skin and all, will give you approximately 2.5 grams of fibre.
      This added fibre will assist with gut mobility ridding your body of toxins and excess waste matter that are left in your digestive tract.  Clearing these excess toxins will not only benefit your digestive health but every cell in your body.

 

    1. Skin Health.  Mamas can pay a lot of money a year on expensive skin care products and never get the results they are looking for.  The fact is that skin health begins from the inside and from the foods we choose to put into our body. Along with the vast assortment of vitamins and minerals peaches offer, the 2 main components are vitamin A and vitamin C when it comes to skin health.
      Vitamin A is a key component in cell production and growth and this alone will help keep your skin firm, healthy and glowing.
      Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps improve not only your immune system, but is a key component in collagen production.  Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body and is what keeps the skin elasticity, preventing wrinkles and sagging skin.

 

    1. Cardiovascular Health.  Consuming peaches will benefit your heart in so many ways.  Not only can they lower your cholesterol, increase blood flow, decrease inflammation in the body, control blood sugars on an individual level; it helps prevent the Metabolic Syndrome that is plaguing the world today.

 

    1. High-Antioxidant Food.  Peaches have a high antioxidant index which means they help to eliminate the harmful free radicals that are floating around in your body by neutralizing them.
      These free radicals can lead to numerous health concerns; like cancer, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory disease, and can actually effect every system in your body.
      A diet rich in antioxidant foods; like peaches, will benefit every cell, tissue and organ in your body allowing them to function to their full potential.

 

Healthy, holistic nutrition does not need to be complicated.  It is actually more simple than many Mamas think it is.  Grab a peach and it is alone or enjoy them in this guilt free Peach Crisp that the whole family will enjoy.

Guilt Free Peach Crisp

For the peaches:

  • 5-6 peaches, depending on size
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp gluten free flour blend
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla

For the topping:

  • 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour blend
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

Putting it all together:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375F.
  2. Wash peaches, peel and slice into thick slices and place in medium size bowl.
  3. Sprinkle peaches with sugar and mix together.  Place in fridge x20mins.
  4. In medium size bowl combine dry ingredients for the topping.  Add in melted coconut oil and mix together well.
  5. After 20 mins, remove peaches from fridge and add remainder of peach ingredients. Mix well and layer in shallow 8×8 baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle topping over peaches and bake in oven for 45mins or until golden brown.
  7. Allow to cool slightly and serve with french vanilla ice cream.

Real Life. Real You.

Amy Bowers  xo 

Blog

Rid Yourself of the Guilt.

”I wake up thinking about my health and wellness and it consumes my thoughts throughout my day until I go to bed.  I have a guilty feeling all day long and I have a hard time feeling present in my life because I am constantly thinking about how I should be focusing more on my weight, my eating, my working out; basically my whole health, so I can feel better and look better in my own skin”.

OMG, take a breath right?!!

Does this conversation sound familiar to you?

Now, I do realize that not everybody wakes up thinking about their health as dramatically as that, but I can safely say that 99% of the Mamas wake up thinking about their body and how they are feeling physically, mentally and emotionally.  The sad truth is that most Mamas do not have anything nice to say about their own body.

I have had this conversation in my head A LOT and I mean A LOT!  I have gone through University where I was single, established my career where I worked full time shift work, got married and had 2 children and the conversation still stayed the same with each passing phase.

Looking back I realize that life is never going to be perfect and the timing to focus on your health, be in the best shape of your life, eat perfectly and workout consistently is not going to present itself “one day”.

I have had all the excuses…my course load is too busy, I am too hungover, I am working too much, I want to spend my evenings with my husband, I am pregnant, I have small children, I am busy driving my kids to all their activities, I am starting my own business…and on and on and on.  The list, if you let it, with be never ending.

What I have learned in my journey to holistic wellness is to make myself a priority.  I have started meal planning, I set up my workouts weekly and I focus more on self care.  I am a better mother, wife and business woman because of it.

Does this always work out the way I planned?

Nope!  The only finish line on your quest for health and wellness is the grave.

Sound morbid?  It is the true.

Living holistically is a way of life and the process of ridding myself of the guilt has not been an easy one.  I continue to have relapses into the guilt, but I have grown enough to realize I don’t need to live in the guilt.  Life is constantly shifting and changing so you need to be shifting and growing along side of it.  When life throws you a curve ball, adjust your stance and your swing.

Life is not meant to be lived in a regiment.  Although routine is great and can keep us sane, if we are not willing to mentally shift when needed we are going to spend more days of our lives beating ourself up then enjoying it.  We all deserve to be living in the present and enjoying the moments of our life.

No matter how hard I try to plan out my weeks, life comes up and I have learned that one missed workout or 2 or 3 and one bad meal; or 2 or 3, is not going to be the end.  Life is about the whole picture and when you can embrace the process and the inevitable chaos, you can rid yourself of the guilt and shame around the imperfections and find a whole new mental freedom.

I hope you find a way to embrace the chaos and imperfections so you too can rid yourself of the guilt around your health and wellness, because lets be honest…we all fuck up sometimes.

Real Life. Real You.

Amy Bowers   xo