Starting the Whole 30

How many of you are like me, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s you eat a ton of holiday junk food everyday and you don’t have time to exercise? This happens to me every year. I usually end up gaining 5-10 pounds just in the month of December. I feel terrible, but I just can’t stop eating. By the end of December I can’t wait till the month is over so I can start eating right again. I usually do the Maker’s Diet every January but this year I decided to try the Whole 30.Starting the Whole 30 - Is your New Year's Resolution to start a healthy lifestyle? Do you want a jump start with the Whole 30? Come check out my venture into the Whole 30.

I usually like to follow the 80/20 rule, where you eat healthy foods 80% of the time and indulge 20% of the time, because you can’t expect to succeed if you cut out your favorite junk foods 100% of the time. In January, though, I usually need a complete reset. So, I follow a strict diet plan and try not to have any cheats. This helps me to clear out all the junk that has accumulated in my system through December and releases me from the addictive qualities that junk food has. 

For the past several year I have done the Maker’s diet. It is a clean eating diet based on Levitical dietary laws. It has always helped me lose 5-10 pounds and helps me feel much better, but I was ready to try something new this year. I have quite a few friends who have done the Whole 30 and have heard a lot of good things about it. If your not familiar with the Whole 30, it’s basically a clean eating plan of just Meats, Vegetables and Fruit, where anything that can be rough on your body, such as added sugars, grains, legumes, dairy and alcohol, are off limits.

Preparing for the Whole 30

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to EatThe key to any successful eating plan is definitely planning and preparation. There is a Whole 30 book. I haven’t read the book yet, I started a new job at the beginning of December so things have been really busy, but I hope to read it at some point. Reading the books behind any plan really helps you to understand the reasons behind what you can and cannot eat and what you will be feeling throughout the plan. 

I started my planing by looking on Pinterest to get a list of approved foods. Then I searched on Pinterest for Whole 30 approved recipes. 

One of the most important things for planning is to make your menu and shopping list in advance. It takes some time on the front end but it saves time while grocery shopping and through the week. Plus it helps make sure you buy the right amount and type of food. I make my menu for two weeks at a time. I use Plan to Eat. It makes menu planning so easy!!!! There is a browser button so that you can save any recipe from any website. Then all you have to do is drag the recipe into the calendar. It then imports all the ingredients into a shopping list. 

Week One

My husband and I started on January 2. It is definitely much easier to stick with the plan if your family is supportive and willing to do it with you, but not impossible if you are doing it on your own. 

Days one and two were pretty easy. After a whole month of nothing but junk food, my body was so happy to be getting the good stuff. I also starting working out again, but since I hadn’t done much working out over the past month, I started off with just 20-25 minute light workouts. You definitely want to ease into things so you don’t burn out or get injured. 

Day three was rough! I had a busy day at work and I just felt irritable all day. Then I got a headache. The baby would not stop whining all evening and I was snappy at my husband. I decided this day that I just did not have it in me to workout. It’s completely fine to have those days where you just need an additional break from working out, just make sure they aren’t occurring often and you get right back to it the next day. 

Days four, five, and six have been much better. I haven’t felt irritable or had any headaches. I got back to exercising. I feel great and haven’t even felt like I have been missing any of the junk food. 

Looking Forward

I’m really looking forward to finding out how my body feels as I continue to progress through the 30 days. For the rest of this month I’m going to share with you tips I’ve learned and recipes I’ve used. Whether you are interested in the Whole 30 or just interested in finding some healthy tips, I hope I can use my experience to help you. 

I’d love to hear about your favorite Whole 30 recipes and tips. 

Turn It Up Tuesday 171

This year is swiftly coming to a close! Lets take a look back at the great things that happened this year on Turn it Up Tuesday 171!

Welcome to a new week of Turn It Up Tuesday…the last week of 2016! We hope you had a Merry Christmas with friends and family! And we would like to wish you a wonderful and amazing 2017!

To end the year with a bang, we want to celebrate 2016 by having you share some of your best posts in 2016! Share those posts nearest and dearest to you, the best family-oriented posts of the year, the best DIY crafts that you’ve done this year, your New Year resolutions for 2017 (and how you achieved your 2016 resolutions), anything that made 2016 a great year for you!

Thank you so much for stopping by last week and sharing all of your posts – we had so much fun checking them all out!

We’d like to thank you in advance for partying with us and sharing all of your amazing posts with us – we LOVE checking them all out! If you’ve been here before, thank you for coming back! And if you’re new here…welcome! Feel free to share, share, share! We love having you!

TUT newTurn It Up Tuesdays is all about being happy, excited, energetic…and having fun! Link up all of your favorite posts (old or new) and meet some awesome bloggers in return! Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all. We want to laugh, be entertained, be inspired, and have a good time! Thanks so much to everyone that joins us each week and makes this link party the best that it could be!

Welcome the lovely ladies of Turn It Up Tuesday!

1

tut-hosts-12-4-16-2

(from the top – left to right)

Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures | Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings | April from April Noelle | Tina from The Happy Creations | Tiffany from The Mrs Tee| Kelly from Making-More | Silvie from My Silly Little Gang | Mari from Living in Mommywood | Tenns from Bliss & Faith | Kimberly from Being a Wordsmith | Ginger from Does Your Sister Have Normal Hair | Bev from Eclectic Red Barn | Heather from Goodlicious | Abiola from Ramblings of a Nigerian Workahomom | Melissa from The Healthy Living Mama

…and welcome our guest hosts for December!

tut-dec-2016

Jessica from Organic Deal Diva | Reuven & Aliyah from Marriage Reset

Interested in being a guest host for the month or becoming a permanent co-host?

Complete the form here! Monthly guest hosts will be chosen on a first come first-serve basis.

Here are the Featured posts from last week!

Mari chose Orange Pecan Cinnamon Roll Donuts from Delightful E Made. “never turn down sweet rolls of any kind lol.”

Mari chose Motherhood Madness from Coffee Mounds & Lipstick Clouds. “I always enjoy parenting humor so this was great treat.”

Jessica Candy Cane Layer Cake chose from Annie’s Noms. “This cake looks amazing!”

Bev chose Cranberry Orange Walnut Sweet Rolls from The Gold Lining Girl. “Wow, these would be so heavenly to have on Christmas morning. My husband would love the ones with figs. Need to try that one too.”

Aliyah chose Spending the Holidays Along? 5 Tips to Help You Through It! from our very own Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures. “Natasha wisely and supportively guides single parents to successfully negotiate and navigate the holidays for the benefits of all involved: themselves, their exes and, most importantly, their children, too.”

Reuven chose Review: Squatty Potty from Reviews, Chews & How-Tos. “chose this post because it takes a humorous look at one of life’s requirements and introduces a very interesting and potentially valuable product at the same time.”

Natasha 6 Things to Let Go to Live a Truly Happy Life chose from Urban Naturale. “I think people dwell too much on having that one additional thing in life – money, wealth, a house, that new car – to make them feel happy. Happiness is something that lives within and exudes out, and this post makes this clear. I am a great believer in being happy and letting go of those things that don’t bring me joy. Great post!”

Natasha 25 Awesome Christmas Cocktails chose from Budget Girl. “After the holiday shopping, wrapping gifts in the middle of the night, and assembling numerous gifts on Christmas, I’m craving one of these cocktails. Thanks for the sharing!”

The post with the most views Winter Solsticeis from Pleasures of the Northwest.

If you were featured above, feel free to share the badge below with pride on your blog or website!

Epic Mommy Adventures

We won’t be sharing the Best of the Best this week…but know that all of these posts deserve to be Best of the Best!

So now that you’ve seen all that we have to offer in this week’s Turn It Up Tuesday,

let’s get started!

– Show some love to your hosts and co-hosts simply by following them on social media and leaving a comment so they can follow you back.

– Link up as many posts as you’d like! The more, the merrier!

– Check out some of the other posts and make some new friends!

– Grab the button below and showcase on your sidebar! Invite your fellow bloggers to join the fun!

Epic Mommy Adventures

Link up your posts, make some friends, and earn the chance to be featured or become the Best of the Best on Turn It Up Tuesday! We will feature the favorite posts each week!

**Disclaimer: Adding your link to this link party gives permission to Epic Mommy Adventures, along with co-hosts, guest hosts, and participants of Turn It Up Tuesday, to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features, roundups, etc. with an explicit link back to the original source.**


Turn It Up Tuesday 170

Welcome to a new week on Turn It Up Tuesday! Christmas is a week away…can you believe it? We’re still celebrating on this week’s Turn It Up Tuesday! Share your favorite Holiday posts – crafts, decorations, traditions, and everything in between – from past or present!

Thank you so much for stopping by last week and sharing all of your posts – we had so much fun checking them all out!

We’d like to thank you in advance for partying with us and sharing all of your amazing posts with us – we LOVE checking them all out! If you’ve been here before, thank you for coming back! And if you’re new here…welcome! Feel free to share, share, share! We love having you!

TUT newTurn It Up Tuesdays is all about being happy, excited, energetic…and having fun! Link up all of your favorite posts (old or new) and meet some awesome bloggers in return! Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all. We want to laugh, be entertained, be inspired, and have a good time! Thanks so much to everyone that joins us each week and makes this link party the best that it could be!

Welcome the lovely ladies of Turn It Up Tuesday!

1

tut-hosts-12-4-16-2

(from the top – left to right)

Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures | Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings | April from April Noelle | Tina from The Happy Creations | Tiffany from The Mrs Tee| Kelly from Making-More | Silvie from My Silly Little Gang | Mari from Living in Mommywood | Tenns from Bliss & Faith | Kimberly from Being a Wordsmith | Ginger from Does Your Sister Have Normal Hair | Bev from Eclectic Red Barn | Heather from Goodlicious | Abiola from Ramblings of a Nigerian Workahomom | Melissa from The Healthy Living Mama

…and welcome our guest hosts for December!

tut-dec-2016

Jessica from Organic Deal Diva | Reuven & Aliyah from Marriage Reset

Interested in being a guest host for the month or becoming a permanent co-host?

Complete the form here! Monthly guest hosts will be chosen on a first come first-serve basis.

Here are the Featured posts from last week!

Mari chose Eggnog Pancakes from Lipgloss and Crayons. “This week I picked Julie’s post as it combined two things I love and can’t wait to try this!”

Mari chose Peppermint Red Velvet Fudge from Delightful E Made. “Erin’s share looks amazing great color and tasty blend.”

Tina also chose this post. “I love this fudge, what a vibrant red colour. Looks amazing and sounds super yummy. Thanks so much sharing this beautiful creation with us.”

April chose Last Minute Holiday Party Tips + Holiday Mimosa Recipe from Organic Deal Diva. “I love a good mimosa, but I especially appreciate creative festive version for this time of year.”

April chose 12 Days of Fitness Challenge – Day 2: Holiday HIIT Workout from Life in Spandex. “I am desperately trying to work on my weight during the holidays. I appreciate Life in Spandex’s effort to keep us healthy during this seasons.”

Stacey chose Fudge Brownie Pie from Lolly Jane. “Brownies are one of my top favorite desserts, especially if they are fudgey and chewy. This would be the ultimate topped with a little powdered sugar and maybe even a dollop of whipped topping. Thanks so much for sharing!”

Stacey chose Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Ritz Cookies from Budget Girl. “What a fun and easy treat to add to any holiday festivity, especially for the peanut butter and chocolate lover. I know my son would absolutely devour them. Thanks for sharing!”

Jessica chose Peppermint Tree Toppers from A Thoughtful Place. “Courtney did such a good job breaking down the steps to this adorable Christmas craft! And it looks adorable on her tree! Love it!”

Jessica chose Candy Cane Martini from Sandy a la Mode. “These martini’s might be making an appearance this holiday in our home! 🙂 “

Tina chose Cinnamon and Clove Homemade Lotion Bars from Growing Up Gabel. “What a wonderful idea, I love the smell of clove and cinnamon, great as a handmade Christmas gift.Thanks so much for sharing this lovely idea with us.”

Natasha For the Burned-Out Bloggerchose from A Mama’s Story. “Reading Sara’s post made me feel like it was written just for me. I feel the same exact way…every time I feel that I should probably take a break from blogging, I realize how much I need it. Thanks for sharing!”

Natasha chose Sh*t Kids Write…To Santa from Coffee Mounds & Lipstick Clouds. “I swear kids say the darnedest things and this post just proves it. Love it! Thanks for sharing!”

The post with the most views is Sorry Isn’t Always Easy from our very own Tiffany from The Mrs Tee.

If you were featured above, feel free to share the badge below with pride on your blog or website!

Epic Mommy Adventures

And the Best of the Best goes to…

Peppermint Red Velvet Fudge from Delightful E Made

Fudge Brownie Pie from Lolly Jane

Show some love to our Best of the Best bloggers this week!!!!

Best of the Best Bloggers – make sure to showcase the button below on your blog!

Epic Mommy Adventures

So now that you’ve seen all that we have to offer in this week’s Turn It Up Tuesday,

let’s get started!

– Show some love to your hosts and co-hosts simply by following them on social media and leaving a comment so they can follow you back.

– Link up as many posts as you’d like! The more, the merrier!

– Check out some of the other posts and make some new friends!

– Grab the button below and showcase on your sidebar! Invite your fellow bloggers to join the fun!

Epic Mommy Adventures

Link up your posts, make some friends, and earn the chance to be featured or become the Best of the Best on Turn It Up Tuesday! We will feature the favorite posts each week!

**Disclaimer: Adding your link to this link party gives permission to Epic Mommy Adventures, along with co-hosts, guest hosts, and participants of Turn It Up Tuesday, to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features, roundups, etc. with an explicit link back to the original source.**


Turn it up Tuesday 169

Welcome to a new week on Turn It Up Tuesday! We are less than 2 weeks away from Christmas, so we’ll be celebrating the Holidays for the next two parties! Share your favorite Holiday posts – crafts, decorations, traditions, and everything in between – from past or present!

Thank you so much for stopping by last week and sharing all of your posts – we had so much fun checking them all out!

We’d like to thank you in advance for partying with us and sharing all of your amazing posts with us – we LOVE checking them all out! If you’ve been here before, thank you for coming back! And if you’re new here…welcome! Feel free to share, share, share! We love having you!

TUT newTurn It Up Tuesdays is all about being happy, excited, energetic…and having fun! Link up all of your favorite posts (old or new) and meet some awesome bloggers in return! Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all. We want to laugh, be entertained, be inspired, and have a good time! Thanks so much to everyone that joins us each week and makes this link party the best that it could be!

Welcome the lovely ladies of Turn It Up Tuesday!

1

tut-hosts-12-4-16-2

(from the top – left to right)

Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures | Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings | April from April Noelle | Tina from The Happy Creations | Tiffany from The Mrs Tee| Kelly from Making-More | Silvie from My Silly Little Gang | Mari from Living in Mommywood | Tenns from Bliss & Faith | Kimberly from Being a Wordsmith | Ginger from Does Your Sister Have Normal Hair | Bev from Eclectic Red Barn | Heather from Goodlicious | Abiola from Ramblings of a Nigerian Workahomom | Melissa from The Healthy Living Mama

…and welcome our guest hosts for December!

tut-dec-2016

Jessica from Organic Deal Diva | Reuven & Aliyah from Marriage Reset

Interested in being a guest host for the month or becoming a permanent co-host?

Complete the form here! Monthly guest hosts will be chosen on a first come first-serve basis.

Here are the Featured posts from last week!

Melissa chose Gift Giving on a Budget from Just Plain Living. “The last few months have been tight for my family financially as my caseload at work has been way down. We have decided not to spend much on Christmas gifts so I really liked these ideas.”

Melissa chose Thrift Store Shopping Tips from The Thrifty Christy Blog. “I love thrift store shopping! All of my favorite clothes have come from a thrift store and I get compliments on them all the time. I love these helpful tips.”

Reuven & Aliyah chose How to Make a Spectacular Advent Calendar from Just Measuring Up. “For those who celebrate Advent, this is a really fun, beautiful and creative craft to enjoy making on your own or with your children and a wonderful family keepsake, too.”

Stacey also chose this post. “What a cute idea! This is something I would love to make with the kids. Thanks so much for sharing!”

Reuven & Aliyah chose Free Printable Kids Reward Tickets #LightTheWorld from Lolly Jane. “These free, printable reward tickets for children are so fun, beautiful and colorful. What a terrific way to show appreciation to your kids for their good behavior and foster an attitude of helpfulness at the same time. Simply terrific!”

Bev chose Crab Imperial Appetizer from A Dish of Daily Life. “What a yummy appetizer. I think I will be the hit of the party with these.”

Bev chose DIY Moose Ornament from This House Might Be Bigger Than The Three of Us. “What a cute ornament. I think the kids would like to make these too. A fun project.”

Mari chose Chocolate Caramel Cashew Clusters from Delightful E Made. “This week I chose Erin’s clusters treat because it mixed my favorite chocolate and caramel!”

Mari chose White Chocolate Peppermint Haystacks from Busy Being Jennifer. “Another great combo!”

Jessica chose Christmas Countdown Service Chain from Bombshell Bling. “I love the idea of a service chain! What a simple and fun way to prepare for the Holidays with kids!”

Jessica chose “Let It Snow” Christmas Wreath from The Happy Housie. “This wreath!! Amazing. I’m inspired to attempt to be crafty and re-create this wreath!”

Stacey chose Easy Ripped Paper Tree Craft from Thinking Outside the Sandbox Family. “Such a fun and easy craft, especially for little ones. I remember making one of these, when I was in grade school. Thanks for sharing!”

Natasha chose 8 Things I Wish I Knew In My 20’s from Simply Designing. “These are some great tips, and ones that can replicated at any point in your life. Thanks for sharing!”

Natasha chose Free Christmas Shopping Planner Flip Book for Kidschose from Every Star is Different. “This is the first year where my son is actively engaged in the Christmas holiday. He wanted to buy or make something for everyone, but only wanted one thing for himself. I wish I had this flip book when we were deciding what to get everyone. Thanks for sharing!”

The post with the most views DIY Peppermint Body Scrub is from My Life from Home.

If you were featured above, feel free to share the badge below with pride on your blog or website!

Epic Mommy Adventures

And the Best of the Best goes to…

Christmas Countdown Service Chain from Bombshell Bling

DIY Peppermint Body Scrub is from My Life from Home

Show some love to our Best of the Best bloggers this week!!!!

Best of the Best Bloggers – make sure to showcase the button below on your blog!

Epic Mommy Adventures

So now that you’ve seen all that we have to offer in this week’s Turn It Up Tuesday,

let’s get started!

– Show some love to your hosts and co-hosts simply by following them on social media and leaving a comment so they can follow you back.

– Link up as many posts as you’d like! The more, the merrier!

– Check out some of the other posts and make some new friends!

– Grab the button below and showcase on your sidebar! Invite your fellow bloggers to join the fun!

Epic Mommy Adventures

Link up your posts, make some friends, and earn the chance to be featured or become the Best of the Best on Turn It Up Tuesday! We will feature the favorite posts each week!

**Disclaimer: Adding your link to this link party gives permission to Epic Mommy Adventures, along with co-hosts, guest hosts, and participants of Turn It Up Tuesday, to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features, roundups, etc. with an explicit link back to the original source.**


DIY Wine Bottle Santa

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I love decorating my house for Christmas and making it look all festive. I don’t want to spend loads of money on Christmas decorations though. So, when I saw a cute DIY wine bottle Santa on Pinterest, I had to make one for myself.DIY Wine Bottle Santa - Are you looking for an easy DIY project for Christmas? Click through for a tutorial on how to make this cute and easy Santa out of a wine bottle.

Last year for our anniversary, my husband and I bought several bottles of wine after a winery tour and tasting. I saved the bottles thinking I would find something cool to do with them, but they have been sitting in the box on the counter for over a year. So, I decided for Christmas this year I was going to find something to do with one of them. I thought the wine bottle Santa looked easy enough, and I already had most of the materials I would need.

This was a very easy and quick project. The paint doesn’t take long to dry, depending on how thick you paint it on. This project can easily be done in under an hour. So, its a great way to up-cycle those empty wine bottles without a lot of time or effort. 

 
$1 Craft Supplies at Dollar Tree!

 

DIY Wine Bottle Santa Materials

Wine Bottle (remove labels)

Red Acrylic Paint

Black Acrylic Paint

Jute Twine

Hot Glue

Stick on Jewels

 

 

Directions

  1. Paint the wine bottle red.

    I used three coats of paint but, as you can see the bottle I used was painted and the paint showed through. So, I recommend using a bottle that you can take the labels off of.DIY Wine Bottle Santa I also recommend using a brush like the one on the left. I used the one on the right but found it left streaks and brush strokes and really didn’t cover very well. I found out from another project that the brush on the left covers much better. If you use these tips you might be able to be good after one coat of paint.DIY Wine Bottle Santa

  2. After the red paint dries, paint a black band around the middle for the belt.

    The width is really dependent on your personal preference and how wide you like it.

  3. Using the hot glue gun, hot glue some jute around the top of the bottle then around the bottom.

    The amount of jute you use is also dependent on your personal preferences. I used more on the bottom than the original picture I saw but I was trying to cover the lettering on the bottom of the bottle that the paint didn’t cover.DIY Wine Bottle Santa

  4. Make a rectangle with the jewels in the middle of the belt to make a belt buckle, then place several jewels in a line above the buckle and below the buckle to make buttons.

    Even though the jewels were stick on, I used a dab of hot glue just to make sure they were really stuck on well.DIY Wine Bottle Santa

Now you have a cute DIY wine bottle Santa!


Turn it up Tuesday #168

Turn It Up Tuesday #168

Welcome to another week at Turn It Up Tuesday #168! Christmas is fast approaching, and I love finding all these great new Christmas ideas from different blogs. So come join us and post your own Christmas ideas or look through what others are doing. 

Thank you so much for stopping by last week and sharing all of your posts – we had so much fun checking them all out!

We’d like to thank you in advance for partying with us and sharing all of your amazing posts with us – we LOVE checking them all out! If you’ve been here before, thank you for coming back! And if you’re new here…welcome! Feel free to share, share, share! We love having you! Continue reading →

Apple Butter: No Sugar Added, Slow Cooker

Apples are one of the things I think of when I think of fall and winter. Warm delicious apple butter is perfect for topping biscuits and toast, but it often comes loaded with extra sugar. I recently tried out this no sugar added, slow cooker apple butter. I was afraid that it wouldn’t be as good without the sugar, but this recipe was so awesome, I didn’t miss the sugar at all.

This fall we took a family trip to a pumpkin patch/corn maze. There was a general store there that had some jams, jellies, and honey for sale. While we were there we saw some apple butter, and my husband told me he loved apple butter. We have been together for 4 years, and this was the first time I had heard of his love of apple butter. So, I set out on a mission to find him some apple butter that wouldn’t wreck our diet. When I tried the no sugar added, slow cooker apple butter, it was a huge hit.Apple Butter: No Sugar Added, Slow Cooker - Do you love apple butter but don't want all the extra sugar? Try my no sugar added, slow cooker apple butter recipe.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I might receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I have recommended. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help me keep this site up and running.

The apple you pick will be important for how sweet your apple butter turns out without any sugar added. I used Fuji apples and they worked out really well. Honeycrisp would also be a good choice for a sweet apple butter. If you like your apple butter tart, you can use Granny Smith.

The recipe I found had instructions on how to can the apple butter. I don’t have a pressure cooker and have never tried canning, it has always seemed a little intimidating to me. This recipe, though, told you how to can in a regular stock pot. It seemed simple enough, so I decided to give it a try.

The canning process was actually very easy. All you have to do is put the jar into a boiling pot of water and let it sit. I only had some regular tongs, though, so I did have a difficult time getting the can out of the pot. Before I try again I’m going to get some of these canning tongs.

I think this will make a great Christmas present. It would go great in a little gift basket or mixing bowl with some biscuit mix (you can make homemade if you really want to make it special) and maybe a Christmas painted mixing spoon.

I hope you enjoy this delicious apple butter!


Apple Butter: No Sugar Added, Slow Cooker
Yields 7
A delicious apple butter with no added sugar, made in the slow cooker. Easy canning instructions included.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
9 hr
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
9 hr
Ingredients
  1. 5 pounds sweet apples, cored and diced (such as Fuji, Honeycrisp, mcintosh, gala, braeburn)
  2. 2 tbls ground cinnamon
  3. 1 1/2 tsp cloves
  4. 1 tsp ground all spice
  5. 1 tbls lemon juice
For the apple butter
  1. Pour all ingredients into your slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low for 6 hours.
  3. After 6 hours, use a potato masher to break down the apples a little more.
  4. Then cook for another 3-4 hours.
  5. Once apples are done cooking, use an immersion blender to mix until smooth. You can also do this into batches in your blender.
  6. Store in airtight container in the fridge or can be canned for later use.
To can
  1. Place hot apple butter into clean and sterilized canning jars. (I used 2 pint jars, you may need more depending on how your apples have cooked)
  2. Fill each to within 1/4-inch from top of jar.
  3. Wipe jars and threads with a clean, damp cloth.
  4. Cover with 2-piece lids, only finger tighten. (Air will not be able to escape if lids are tightened too much, may want to back off 1/4 turn)
  5. Place into boiling water in canner or very deep stockpot; water must cover jars at least 1/2-inch.
  6. Process for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove jars from boiling water and place upright on a towel to cool completely.
  8. After jars cool, check seals by pressing centers of lids with finger. If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.
  9. Let stand undisturbed at room temperature for 24 hours.
  10. Store unopened in a cool, dry, dark place up to 1 year.
Adapted from Plaid and Paleo
Adapted from Plaid and Paleo
The Healthy Living Mama http://www.thehealthylivingmama.com/

Turn it up Tuesday #167

Welcome back to Turn it up Tuesday #167! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Come join us for some great blog posts this week.

 

Welcome to a new week at Turn It Up Tuesday #167!

Hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving, and spent time with family and friends. Thank you so much for stopping by last week and sharing all of your posts – we had so much fun checking them all out!

We’d like to thank you in advance for partying with us and sharing all of your amazing posts with us – we LOVE checking them all out! If you’ve been here before, thank you for coming back! And if you’re new here…welcome! Feel free to share, share, share! We love having you!

TUT newTurn It Up Tuesdays is all about being happy, excited, energetic…and having fun! Link up all of your favorite posts (old or new) and meet some awesome bloggers in return! Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all. We want to laugh, be entertained, be inspired, and have a good time! Thanks so much to everyone that joins us each week and makes this link party the best that it could be!

Welcome the lovely ladies of Turn It Up Tuesday!

1

tut-hosts-11-20-16

(from the top – left to right)

Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures | Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings | April from April Noelle | Tina from The Happy Creations | Tiffany from The Mrs Tee| Kelly from Making-More | Silvie from My Silly Little Gang | Mari from Living in Mommywood | Tenns from Bliss & Faith | Kimberly from Being a Wordsmith | Ginger from Does Your Sister Have Normal Hair | Bev from Eclectic Red Barn | Heather from Goodlicious | Jessica from Striving Towards Grace | Abiola from Ramblings of a Nigerian Workahomom

…and welcome our guest hosts for November!

tut-nov-2016-2

Carolyn from Mississauga Mom | Melissa from The Healthy Living Mama | Danielle from Dancing with My Daughter

Interested in being a guest host for the month or becoming a permanent co-host?

Complete the form here! Monthly guest hosts will be chosen on a first come first-serve basis.

Here are the Featured posts from last week!

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Melissa chose How to Honor God with My Body from Snippets of Inspiration. “For the last 8 years I have been on a health journey. Along the way I have learned that if it just about losing weight it will never be successful, it has to be about learning to love yourself. I think doing it as a way to honor God is the best way to learn how to love yourself from the One who created you and loves you unconditionally.”

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Melissa chose How to Help Kids Understand Their Emotions from The Jenny Evolution. “These are great tips on how to help kids learn how to understand their emotions so that they are better equipped to be able to express them effectively.”

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Tina chose Holiday Ornament Display – Learn How to Make Your Own! from Sweet Pea. “I love this wonderful DIY, great project. I wish I had all the equipment to do it. Will definitely try something similar but smaller. Thanks for sharing this with us.”

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Tina chose How to Make Christmas Placemats from The Real Thing with the Coake Family. “Adorable Christmas placemats. What a great tutorial, I love it. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.”

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Stacey chose Simple Coconut Macaroon Recipe (Gluten-Free) from The Jenny Evolution. “I love coconut desserts and these look so quick and easy to make! Definitely going to save this and add them to my Christmas baking list. Thanks so much for sharing!”

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Stacey chose DIY Christmas Ornaments from The (mis)adventures of a “Born Again” Farm Girl. “Homemade ornaments are my favorite for the Christmas tree and this is such a wonderful idea for the whole family to make. Thank you so much for sharing!”

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Natasha chose Creating Thanksgiving Family Traditions from Starting Over…Again. “As a single mom, it is important to me to instill family traditions that will allow us to grow and evolve together throughout the years. These are some great traditions that I can start now and continue for years to come! Thanks for sharing!”

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Natasha chose Why I Chose Not to Have an Abortion from Seeking Lavender Lane. “I applaud you, Deb, for your bravery in sharing this honest and passionate post. I found it less to do with the abortion as in your title, but more to do with how life hands you lemons and you have to decide whether or not to make lemonade. The decision is the hardest, most difficult one that has to be made. Like you, I decided that my son was my responsibility and I would live with whatever that would bring. Every day, I feel blessed for making that choice to become not only a mother, but a single mom. If I had to make the choice all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. I am the woman and the mom that I am because of the choices I made. Thanks again for sharing! Great post!”

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The post with the most views is Why I Don’t Mind Our Boys Having Tattoos from Living on Cloud Nine.

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And the Best of the Best goes to…

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Simple Coconut Macaroon Recipe (Gluten-Free) from The Jenny Evolution

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How to Make Christmas Placemats from The Real Thing with the Coake Family

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15 Healthy Cooking Gifts for any Budget

When you are trying to make healthy food for your family, it’s important to have the right kitchen gadgets to make healthy cooking easier. I know recently I have found all these healthy recipes that look so good, but they all call for a food processor, which I don’t have. A food processor is the number one thing on my Christmas list this year. So here is my list of healthy cooking gifts for any budget if you are wanting to cook healthier this year or have a healthy cook on your list. 15 Healthy Cooking Gifts for any Budget - Are you looking for gift ideas for the healthy cook in your life. Click to find my list of healthy gifts that will make healthy cooking easier.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I might receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I have recommended. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help me keep this site up and running.

 

 

15 Healthy Cooking Gifts

$10 or less

  • Egg Whisk – This is one item that I use just about everyday. I got it for Christmas a few years ago and didn’t think I would really use it much, but it turned out to be one of the most useful gifts I’ve ever received. We eat a lot of eggs in my house and this handy gadget whips them up in seconds without having to pull it out of a cabinet and plug it in. 
  • A good pair of kitchen scissors is a must for healthy cooking. You can use it to cut meat into bite sized pieces, cut fat off of meat, snip fresh herbs, trim vegetables, and more. I often use mine to cut up the baby’s food into bite sized pieces. I like these because they come apart, making them easier to clean. 
  • Fruit and berries are an essential part of a healthy diet. I love strawberries and so does the baby, but I hardly ever buy them because they seem to go bad the day after I buy them. This great tool is supposed to absorb the ethylene gas put off by fruits and vegetable to keep produce fresh longer. Maybe if I had one of these I could buy berries again. 
  • One thing that really kills a healthy diet is consuming high calorie beverages. With this infuser water bottle you can  add flavor to make your water taste better so you get your water in for the day. You also get the added nutrient benefits of the fruits, veggies, and herbs you put in. 

$10-50

  • This thing will do it all. It can chop all your ingredients saving you valuable prep time. It can slice or shred, allowing you to shred your blocks of cheese easily and make thin cuts for making vegetable chips. What I’m most excited about, though, is how it can puree ingredients so that I can hide healthy food, such as vegetables, in my recipes. I made some chick pea brownies a while ago, that were actually really good, but still had some chunks of chick pea in them because I had to use my kitchen aid. 
  • One of the hardest things about eating healthy is controlling portions. If we rely on eyeballing will over estimate our portions every time. Our eyes have been conditioned by out of control restaurant sized portions. This handy set will help you quickly and easily measure out sensible portions. 
  • This helps you easily steam vegetables and seafood. It folds up easily for storage and takes up little room. It is dishwasher safe and you can use it in the microwave, stove top, or pressure cooker. 
  • This is great for healthy diets because it allows you to easily replace the pasta in your favorite recipes with good for you veggies. This one also has additional blades so you can slice and shred veggies. I like this one because it has a crank and uses gravity. The one I currently have, I have to manually turn the veggies and it is very hard to use. 
  • I would love to have something like this to keep my healthy oils in. I know when I use oil in cooking I use too much. I don’t want to take the time to get out the measuring spoons and add more dishes. This handy gadget, though, measures the oil for you as you pour, so you don’t have to take any extra time or dirty extra dishes. 
  • I like this very versatile tool. It gives a large smooth surface for cooking things like pancakes, bacon, and sausage. You can then flip the plates over for grilling burgers, chicken, and fish. There is a drain and a grease catcher to drain off extra fat and the plates are removable for easy washing.
  • I know I’ve talked about this slow cooker in previous posts, but I just love it so much. Slow cookers make healthy cooking so easy, just throw the ingredients in and forget about it. The reason I love this one so much is that it is programmable and it has the clamps so you can transport it without spilling. 

$50-100

  • Fried food is a staple in many diets, especially here in the south, but doesn’t have much room in a healthy diet. With an air fryer, though, you can still get that fried taste you love, with little to no oil. Which is great, because cutting out your favorite foods all together can lead to diet failure. 
  • Smoothies are great for a healthy diet because you can add a huge variety of healthy ingredients and make them a million different ways. It is so easy to hide healthy ingredients that you wouldn’t normally like to eat. The Magic Bullet is a great tool for smoothies because you can make individual smoothies and it comes with straws. 

$100 and up

  • I love my Kitchen Aid! It makes mix things so easy and I’m able to do other things, like prep more ingredients, while it’s mixing. I love that it comes in a variety of different colors to add style to any kitchen. I also love that it has all kinds of attachments (sold separately), like an ice cream or pasta maker and a meat grinder, so you can do just about anything with it. One of my favorite things is the dough hook (included) so that I can easily make pizza crust for homemade pizza night. 
  •  Pellet grills combine the ease of gas with the taste of charcoal grills. They are said to make BBQ super easy. (See here for more information about pellet grills.) Treager has always been the big name in pellet grills, but my dad told me that they recently moved operations to China and has really gone down hill. The Camp Chef brand was created by former Traegar employees. My dad smokes and sells dozens of turkeys, hams, and briskets over the holidays, and this is the brand he uses. 

 

I hope this helps you find the perfect gift for the healthy cook in your life.


Turn It Up Tuesday #166

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Thanks for stopping by Turn It Up Tuesday #166!

 

Welcome to a new week at Turn It Up Tuesday! Thank you so much for stopping by last week and sharing all of your posts – we had so much fun checking them all out!

This week is Thanksgiving, and we’re so grateful and thankful to share it with all of you! Share your holiday recipes, decorations, DIY projects, exercise tips, and anything that you’d like to share from present and past! We can’t wait to check out all your posts!

We’d like to thank you in advance for partying with us and sharing all of your amazing posts with us – we LOVE checking them all out! If you’ve been here before, thank you for coming back! And if you’re new here…welcome! Feel free to share, share, share! We love having you! Continue reading →