March 19, 2014

5 Campbell's Heart Healthy Recipes

What do you do to keep your family heart healthy?

My family experiments with a wide variety of Superfoods such as avocados, berries, broccoli, quinoa, leafy greens, olive oil, and yogurt. One of our frequently made night time snacks is homemade guacamole. I also like to toss up some quinoa and spinach salads adding in random vegetables and spices each time for variety. We enjoy creating our own versions of restaurant and store made dishes to keep our meals healthy and tasty. Many superfoods are packed with monosaturated fats and low levels of saturated fats to keep your heart healthy and reduce the risk of heart disease. I am currently trying to incorporate more well, rounded healthy meals into our family's eating routines. We want to live long and prosperous! :)

In honor of Campbell's Address Your Heart campaign, I am sharing my five favorite Campbell's recipes certified by the American Heart Association. It is no longer necessary to just eat a quick can of soup if you want something delicious. Campbell's makes it easy to prepare fancy meals on a time and money budget.

Creamy Chicken and Vegetables over Spaghetti Squash

Creamy Turkey and Vegetable Lasagna
Pizza Primavera with Cauliflower Crust (Coolest recipe yet!!!)
Pork Medallions with Spinach and Barley
Slow-Cooked Chicken and Butternut Squash

Click on Coupons and Special Offers to help cut the costs when preparing the recipes above!

*This post is sponsored by Campbell Soup Company.

March 17, 2014

Corned Beef Brisket Dinner to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

I accidentally planned an Irish meal on St. Patrick's Day. Seriously. I bought a corned beef brisket at the store a few days ago thinking, "Hmm... I used to like corned beef, I wonder if I still do". I didn't get around to cooking it this past weekend because it requires 3-4 hours to cook and I procrastinated. I told myself I would cook it on Monday (today), not realizing it was St. Patrick's Day... 

It all came together this morning and I was stoked to be celebrating this normally drunken holiday in a more mature fashion! I cooked the meat with potatoes and cabbage for the side dishes to really add to the Irish spirit. All in all, I feel really excited to be celebrating this holiday, even though I originally was planning to watch it pass by! Oh, how I live for the little things in life. 

*** later***

I thoroughly enjoyed eating this meal even though it looks like a cow was pulled apart and thrown about on my plate... I did eat two large plates of this though, trying my best to eat faster than my mind thought about the dead cow... Yes, I am weird. 

March 16, 2014

First Seven Hours Away From Oliver

Today, I finally allowed myself to take a break away from my 10.5 week old little Oliver to hang out with friends. I went downtown for Laughfest in Grand Rapids to watch Sinbad's comedy act. I was away for a total of SEVEN HOURS! Seven FULL hours! This was the first real separation we have ever experienced. I have been breastfeeding him 100% of the time with the exception of maybe five or six (breastmilk) bottles total. That means I am always with him, pretty much every two hours of the day to feed him. I was a little nervous being away for an extended period of time because I had to make time to pump and maintain a regular schedule for "milk-expression". I was really anxious about leaving him during his feedings. I did not know how it was going to work out. I ended up being super prepared and followed a strict schedule.
  • I nursed him right before dropping him off to my moms. 
  • I pumped on the way to the event. 
  • We ended up eating and having a drink at a couple bars downtown first. 
  • Before the show, I went to my car and pumped. 
  • On my way home, after the show, I also pumped. 

When I returned home, my son had only drank 6 ounces.... I PUMPED 11 ounces! That is what I call SUCCESS! And my pumping schedule compared to his feeding schedule was exactly coordinated so I was prepared to feed him at his next feeding. Awesome! I have to practice this extended hours of separation a couple more times before I go back to work full time. One of my biggest fears is losing the ability to breastfeed my son before he reaches one year. I do not want work messing that up. As of now, my husband and I only plan to have two children. That means that this is supposed to be my last child. (I say supposed to be... because you never know what the future holds.) Regardless, I am keeping my goal! 

Not only was I nervous about creating problems with breastfeeding, but I was also nervous because I find it hard to trust anyone. My mom is about the only person I trust right now to watch my son. I don't want him to have any food except for breastmilk and I don't trust anybody else to follow that rule. That rule means he is not allowed to have just a taste of any food... whipped cream, mashed potatoes, regular milk, juice, pop... nothing. No formula. JUST breastmilk because he is only 10.5 weeks old and does not need anything else. I have a new goal with this second baby to only give him breastmilk for the first six months. No tastes of any food until he reaches six months of age. I asked his doctor and she said that was a perfectly normal and healthy thing to do. 

The trust issue is also because I am scared someone else will do something to hurt him accidentally. They may be perfectly capable to babysit but I am paranoid because he is so little. As soon as he reaches three months old on April 1, I will try my best to relax a bit more and allow him to be babysat. I need mental preparation in order to go back to work and not worrying 100% of the time. Sounds impossible but I did fine today while he was with my mom. Anyone else and I just might have a panic attack. 

Anyways-- our seven hour separation was wonderfully refreshing. It was also a really nice feeling to hold him when I got back home. His big sister was helping take care of him the entire time we were away. She helped feed him and keep the milk off his face and clothing. So far, it has been very relieving that she genuinely loves caring for him and playing the role of big sister. I hope she keeps up the compassion and love for him for a lonnngg time! *My fingers are crossed so that jealousy doesn't kick in anytime soon!!*
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