School Lunches Around the World

Ever wondered what school lunches look around the world?  Here's a glimpse....most look pretty delicious, and you may notice that one of these things is not like the other.  Can you guess what country that might be?  Sigh...


Where would you most like to eat lunch?  My vote is Greece!

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Weeknight Baking: Pumpkin Bread (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

One of my biggest cravings this time of year is pumpkin bread.  I love it, I love it!  Pumpkiny goodness wrapped up in a delicious bread?  Sign me up.  Now, with some dietary changes, it was necessary to find a suitable gluten and dairy free alternative.  

This recipe is also written as vegan, but I have no problem eating eggs, so I substituted 3 eggs for the flax eggs listed.  It was delicious, moist, and flavorful, we gobbled it all up within one and a half days. Will definitely be making this again very soon!

Workouts for the Tired Mama

Hello out there!  What's new with you?  We had a lovely weekend, went apple picking, that was a first!  My kids love it, though truth be told, my son was probably more excited about climbing bales of hay than the actual picking of apples, but hey, what can you do?  We gathered a heaping bushel of apples, and have applesauce brewing in the crockpot this morning.

In other news, I've begun exercising again!  Woohoo!  It only took me, well...a really long time! Granted, this is not the first time I've resumed working out after the birth of my second child, but my exercise regiment has definitely been slightly intermittent and erratic (to say the least).

Part of this renewed excitement is thanks to some wireless headphones my dad gave me for Christmas which somehow make running that much more enjoyable, and partly due to my new fitness program and motivator, Aaptiv.  Have you heard of it?  First off, it's like no other fitness program I've encountered, starting with the initial fact that it's an app.  Yes, this app is your ticket to a variety of workouts for all sorts of interests; traditional indoor training, outdoor activities like biking, running, strength training, even cardio and yoga.  They even have maternity workouts, ideal for the mom adjusting to her pre and post natal body.

As a mom of two young kiddos, I love the convenience of this format, because I never quite know when I'll be able to squeeze a workout in.  The app is ideal for the on-the-go individual, so I can literally grab my phone and go.  And of course, since I'm often wearing workout clothes anyway, the flexibility and independence of this app really makes it a win-win.  No syncing up to a streaming workout on your TV (which in my case is usually delayed due to to spotty internet), and definitely no driving to the gym, only to arrive and realize you are too exhausted to workout.  Because yes, that has happened before...

My personal favorite Aaptiv channel has been the running workouts, which offers interval training, from steady jogs following the beat to miles of mashups, synced to energetic playlists to get your steps in stride.  This has been ideal for the mom in me, trying to get back to my peak running shape with the support of audio motivation guidance from virtual trainers.

Need to try it for yourself, I don't blame you.  Download the Aaptiv app and start exploring these workouts today with a free 30-day trial.  Enter the code BURPEES for a free 30-day trial!

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Quote of the Week

"Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year.  The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple."

~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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Dinner Last Night: Collard Wrap Spring Rolls with "Peanut" Sauce (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

I've been gluten and dairy free for a little shy of three weeks now, and feeling pretty good.  So good in fact, that I've decided to up my recipe game on the blog, are clearly label "gluten free" and "dairy free" recipes to make these more accessible in my archives (should anyone be looking).

This recipe for collard wrap spring rolls with "peanut" sauce was a huge hit and I'm here to announce that collard greens are excellent for edible wrapping.  Who would've thought? I typically do recipes in butter lettuce, but after blanching the collard greens (sans step) they were just a tad softer, malleable, and foldable.  These spring roll style wraps folded up nicely, had a pleasant crunch, and flavor.  I actually ended up forgetting to include the avocado and cucumber by accident, and they still turned out delicious.  Note: you can also "cheat" like I did and just cook your chicken breast in a can of coconut milk in the crockpot instead of taking the extra step to poach.

Dinner Last Night: Harvest Roast Chicken with Grapes, Olives, and Rosemary (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

After about a month of unexplained stomach pain, I've been gluten and dairy free for two plus weeks now, and am feeling pretty good about it!  Sure, it was hard to cut the cream in my coffee and bread, oh, how I do love bread...but so far, I'm feeling excited and invigorated by the abundance of grain and dairy free recipes available out there, especially with the recent popularity of Whole30.

Dinner last night was Smitten Kitchen's harvest roast chicken with olives, grapes, and rosemary.  For all you skeptics, the grapes and olives pair amazingly well together.  Salty + sweet at its best.  Served with some grilled zucchini from our garden seasoned with lemon juice and table salt.  Delicious!

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August Favorites (late as per usual...)

Man, I'm having a hard time keeping up with my monthly favorites.  It's now over a week into September, and here comes the August favorites rolling in, fashionably--er, maybe just plain ol' late!

Oh, well...

+ enjoying egg roll in a bowl for dinner

+ currently reading Rich People Problems (the third book in the Crazy Rich Asians series, so far the first was by far the best)

+ watching Atypical on Netflix - especially for all my teacher friends out there, I highly recommend, I REALLY enjoyed this show (follow up post to follow)

+ listening to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on audiobook (Jim Dale the narrator is amazing at doing all the voices)

+ this month also watched streaming movies Burnt and Moonlight

What have you been enjoying this month?

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