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Healthy Cupboards

e all know that being in shape is for a healthy body and a healthy mind. I had no idea how hard it was going to be to get back in shape after my daughter was born! My word! So, when Olivia was 18 months old, I decided it was time to tackle those 20 extra pounds. That’s when I found Soul Cycle, the Zone Diet, and a better way to organize my kitchen. I didn't want to fight the urge to eat every single time I opened a cabinet!  

First things first, I found SOUL CYCLE, which is my absolute favorite method of exercise at the moment. Maximum reward for minimum time (less than an hour per session) - Soul Cycle is an amazing spin class I truly love! It is so important to enjoy your workout as much as possible and to find something that works with your life. 

Next, The ZONE DIET : I'm a fan. I bought all the Zone cookbooks and found the recipes that work for our family life. And the flavor!  We always add more spices and chiles and a little of this and a little of that to suit our tastes, but you can (and should!) adjust to suit your palate. Remember,  there are no fats or calories in spices!

Then, organize. To remove the temptation to me of Olivia's snacks, I put them at her level, not mine. Placed in the bottom drawers, Olivia can reach her toddler treats and for me they are out-of-site, out-of-mind. In the same way, fruit and friendly snacks are on the cabinet, an easy reach for the more calorie-conscience grown-ups in the family. 

Good habits start early. I want to make food fun for Olivia, and I want to give her fabulous, fresh flavors - an eating style to last a lifetime. So, for example, we make our own popsicles to limit the sugar and focus on flavor! Below are a couple of favorite recipes from the book POPS by Krystina Castella (btw, I love every recipe I have made from this book). Summer treats, anyone? 

To succeed in life,
you need three things:
a wishbone,
a backbone,

—Reba McEntire

POPS! is THE book to reference when you want to make delicious and nutritious popsicles for your little ones!
TOVOLO POPSICLE MOLDS are the ONLY ones that I'll use. They're easy to use AND BPA free!
TOVOLO FREEZER JEWEL POPS are the perfect example of when it IS ok to play with your food. They allow your little one to accessorize with their very own snack!
The ZOKU QUICK POP MAKER is a fun way for the entire family to make custom popsicles-even ones with cream filling!
Olivia’s fave recipes

Bing Cherry and Vanilla Pops: 

    •    3 cups pitted and halved cherries
          (If it isn’t cherry season, I just buy the organic
          frozen ones and they work just fine)
    •    1 cup cherry juice (I use organic)
    •    1 cup plain yogurt (I use sheep’s milk yogurt
          for a creamier texture)
    •    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    •    2 teaspoons honey

Combine 2 cups of the cherries with the cherry juice, yogurt, vanilla extract, and honey in a food processor or blender; process until smooth. Stir in the remaining 1 cup cherries. Fill the pop molds with the mixture. Insert the sticks. Freeze for at least 6 hours.

Remove from freezer; let stand at room temp for 5 minutes before removing the pops from the molds. Or, if you are like me and don’t have the 5 minutes, just run it under hot water for a second and it will come right out!


    •    ½ cup peanut butter (I like to use the kind
          with no sugar added)
    •    1 cup plain yogurt
    •    1 cup milk
    •    4 Tbs honey (always use local when possible)
    •    2 tsps pure vanilla extract
    •    1 ½ cups raspberry juice
    •    4 Tbls sesame seeds
    •    (makes 6  8oz pops or 8 6oz pops)

Combine the peanut butter, yogurt, milk, 2 tablespoons of the honey, and the vanilla extract in a food processor or blender; process until smooth. In a spouted cup, combined the raspberries and the raspberry juice. Parially fill the pop molds with the peanut butter mixture. Freeze for at least 1 hour. Partially fill the molds with the raspberry mixture. Insert the sticks. Freeze for at least 1 hour. Fill the molds with the remaining peanut butter mixture. Freeze for at least 8 hours. Remove from the feezer; let stand at room temperature for
5 minutes before removing the pops from the molds.
(Again, I just run them under the water). Spoon some of the
remaining honey around the rim of each pop. Sprinkle
sesame seeds on the honey to coat.

Enjoy peanut butter and jelly flavors in a whole new package! And, it’s healthy!