A rich mix of vegetables grace this pasta dish! Topped lovingly with Asiago cheese, this Roasted Red Pepper Linguini is ready in no time!

Roasted Red Pepper Linguini w/Sweet Peas, Wild Mushrooms, Baby Spinach, Cherry Tomatoes & Asiago Cheese

Ingredients

½ lb Dried Roasted Red Pepper Linguini

½ Cup Frozen Sweet Peas

1 lb Fresh Wild Mushrooms (cleaned and cut down if large)

12oz Baby Spinach

20ea Cherry Tomatoes-cut in half

Salt and Pepper

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preparation

Cook the pasta according to directions on the package.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add about 2 tablespoons of the oil to the pan. Place the mushroom in the pan to sauté and caramelize about 5-7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, sweet peas and spinach and toss a couple of times, then adding the pasta when it is al-dente. Add another 2-3 tablespoons of oil at this point, season and serve with Asiago sprinkled on top.

*Recipe and image courtesy of BnBFinder.com/Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls – Hocking Hills Lodging.*

Studies have demonstrated that men crave hearty homemade fare, while women yearn for easy to grab sweet treats? Home cooked meals mean love and nurturing to most men, while women want the no hassle candy bar or sugary snack. Another difference between the sexes is that men do not feel as guilty for indulging in their cravings as women tend to. Women worry more about gaining weight or losing health. If you are trying to curb a sweet tooth, consider these tried and true options instead.

Women’s Snacking Patterns: How to Make Your Snacks Healthier

As you work on being healthier, don’t forget that your daily choices add up, for good or ill. Substituting one nutritious food choice for a poor quality one helps you discard pounds over time and feel better right now. You’ll have the greatest impact on your weight and health by choosing the most organic and least processed foods you can. Going natural allows you to determine just how much salt and fat you consume, rather than letting a diet soda set the pace. Use the ideas below to change merely one snacking habit and see how much this one swap will improve your health.

Some tips to stave off the candy fix are:

1. Know about good nutrition. Know the various vitamins and minerals and just why they are healthy for you.

2. Learn what types of foods have various vitamins and nutrients so you can get the variety that is so good for your health and immune system.

3. Know about all your options to stay healthy.

Choose healthy fruits as your sweet snack rather than a candy bar. So much nutrition is packed into a serving of prunes, raisins or dried cranberries that snacking on these can actually be a favor to yourself. A serving of dried fruit is just one-fourth of a cup, or a small handful for most of us women.

If you are a smart snacker, you will be able to maintain your energy with the vitamins and nutrients to be found in healthful choices like raw almonds or whole grain breads and cereals. Munching on sugary candy or soda gives you a spike, but will make your energy dive in the hour following your consumption.

So many meals –or bites – are consumed on the go, and this makes it more difficult to make nutritious food picks. Here are some tips for eating healthier snacks, which means more energy, better immunity to disease and better health: Keep prepared and premeasured containers of fruits or vegetables to pick up and go. A bit of prep work ahead of time can improve your diet, your health and prevent you from putting on unwanted pounds. Choose jicama , melons, nectarines, apples, oranges, carrots, celery, sugar snap peas and other favorites to get you through the day.

Most of us desire to be healthier and we all have well-intentioned goals that go the way of so many good intentions when time is short. Making improved diet decisions is mostly about getting ourselves into the proper routines. Buy the most local and least processed foods you can at the grocers or market, then get your pretzels, fruits, veggies, yogurt, trail mix, nuts or seeds separated into easy to grab portions and you will have made significant strides for your well-being. Each of us needs a boost at times, so try to remember we are all in this trek pursuing better health and energy. Stick to it and remember that it is the little decisions that add up to big changes in time. You can accomplish your goals, and you’ll feel better for making these tiny improvements to your daily schedule. Be true to yourself and be all you have in you to be!

About the Author

Margo Smith graduated with a B.S. degree from BYU. She draws from her experiences as a modern day children’s governess, her time spent in New England, her years in the corporate world and an author’s perspective on life when compiling articles about a variety of subjects from organic food to online classes to women’s issues.

*Image provided by NutriFit.*

Mom’s” 13 month old’s favorite word is “up!” Sometimes it can mean, “Pick me up,” or “I want to get down,” or “Let’s go” – but regardless, it is used frequently and with enthusiasm! So when the opportunity to review the book, Up, Up, Up by Barefoot Books came along, “Mom” couldn’t resist!

Written by Susan Reed and illustrated by Rachel Oldfield, Up, Up, Up is a delightful tale, filled with bold, colorful pictures as readers are taken on a flight of fancy. Your child will be captivated as the balloon travels all around the world, to lands near and far, and even to the stars. What makes this children’s story even more charming is the accompanying CD, with an adorable song sung by Susan Reed herself. It can be played after reading the story aloud with your child, making this book a reading and musical adventure in one!

Printed on recycled paper, Up, Up, Up by Barefoot Books costs $17.00 and is available for purchase on ecomom.com.

*Company generously sent samples and images for this review.*

Simply sinful – these peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are gluten-free and flourless, yet taste A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. From prep time to completion, these cookies are ready to be enjoyed in under 20 minutes!

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

1 C firmly packed brown sugar

1 C chunky (or smooth) peanut butter

1 large egg

1 t baking soda

1/2 t vanilla extract

1 C milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preparation

Stir together first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, using a wooden spoon. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet (A MUST). Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until puffed and golden. Cook cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack.

Makes about 18 cookies.

*Recipe and image courtesy of BnBFinder.com/Brewster House Bed & Breakfast.*

YogaEarth™ is currently offering a fabulous deal on both their Balance and Vitality products! You can purchase one 30 pack at the introductory price of $59.99, and receive the 2nd one free! (that equates to about $1 a day!)

For more information, visit www.yogaearth.com.

*Images provided by YogaEarth™. This is not a paid advertorial. Please see disclosure.*

Invisible Shoes offer a unique way to feel as barefoot as possible! Unlike other sandals which encapsulate the foot, Invisible Shoes provide a secure fit with minimal coverage. The shoes are modeled after traditional “huaraches” which are the barefoot running sandals of the Tarahumara Indians. Invisible Shoes are made using only two components – a rubber sole and string. The site offers two options to consumers interested in trying the sandals. The first option is a custom shoe which requires the user to mail a tracing of their feet to the company. The second option is an Invisible Shoe kit which provides almost everything needed to make the sandals. In addition to the kit, the wearer will need to supply a leather punch, a marker, a pencil, a lighter or match, sharp scissors, and a piece of paper to create the sandals. The kit may sound like a daunting task but thanks to the complete and easy to follow instructional video series on www.invisibleshoe.com, the process is simple to follow. The finished product is a comfortable sandal that is lightweight, waterproof and provides secure footing with minimal fabric.

Using very few resources, Invisible Shoes are an Earth-friendly option! The shoes are affordable too – the custom-made shoes are $49.95 and the DIY kits range from $19.95 to $24.95 depending on shoe size. To purchase, visit www.InvisibleShoe.com.

This review was written by Kirstin Robison, who has a passion for everything beauty and travel related. Often found scouring articles and store shelves for the latest must-haves, Kirstin prefers to stay on top of trends. Nothing inspires her more than to find extraordinary products that really work and make life easier. Having traveled to many exotic locations, Kirstin understands the value of products that offer practical benefits. Writing for “Tiny Green Mom” gives her the opportunity to discover new products that make a difference for the user and the planet.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review*

Rich milk chocolate blended with silky tofu makes for an amazing treat! From Luscious Chocolate Smoothies: An Irresistible Collection of Healthy Cocoa Delights comes this delightful treat – sip and enjoy!

Fresh Breeze Smoothie

Ingredients

2 cups plain low-fat dairy or soy milk
1 banana, in chunks
1 12-ounce package soft silken tofu
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
6 ounces milk chocolate, melted
Minced fresh mint

Preparation

Put all ingredients, except mint, in a blender and mix on medium for 30 seconds.

Pour into 4 wineglasses and add a light sprinkling of mint on top. You may feel a cool wind from the South Seas caressing your face.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Gabriel Constans, author of Luscious Chocolate Smoothies: An Irresistible Collection of Healthy Cocoa Delights.*

Utterly exhausted parents of inconsolable newborn and infant babies will go to great lengths to soothe them – from placing baby in the car seat and driving around at 3 in the morning to rocking, snuggling, and singing for hours. High-need babies, (such as “Mom’s” darling little one), can be quite demanding right from the start, and concerned parents will do what it takes to calm and pacify their child. Many pediatricians recommend proper swaddling to soothe fussy babies. However, swaddling a screaming, unhappy baby can take some practice, and that is where the Miracle Blanket® comes in!

This innovative swaddling blanket makes it super simple to swaddle your baby properly and with ease, helping to calm baby down in a matter of seconds. Super-soft, the Miracle Blanket® has no large knots, uncomfortable zippers, and scratchy seams to irritate tender, sensitive skin, but allows for freedom of movement and proper development of the hips and knees. Once baby is comfortable, everyone in the family will start to get some much needed rest!

The Miracle Blanket® has been designed with these true swaddling facts in mind:

FACT: Medical research showing the incredible efficacy of PROPER swaddling has been done using a snugly wrapped blanket with arms down at-the-sides.

FACT: Babies are not coordinated enough to self-soothe (ie: suck hands) reliably until 14 weeks. Swaddling is a substitute during this time to prevent awakening from the Moro Reflex.

FACT: PROPER swaddling has been shown in clinical studies to calm a fussy, colicky baby while helping baby sleep safer, better, deeper and longer.

FACT: PROPER swaddling has been shown in clinical studies to reduce SIDS by as much as 30%, even over back-sleeping babies without swaddling.

The Miracle Blanket® is made of 100% high-quality cotton, and is available in a variety of colors and styles such as: Sky Blue, Garden Pink, Beige with Green Trim, Green with Beige Trim, Green with Blue Trim, Blue with Green Trim, Pink Camouflage, Blue Camouflage, Natural Beige, and Yellow with Aqua Trim.

The Miracle Blanket® can be found at boutique stores and hospitals throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, Japan, Korea and more, as well as online at www.MiracleBlanket.com.

About the Miracle Blanket®

An exhausted father’s frustration gave birth to the Miracle Blanket® — ecstatic customers named it after sleeping for the first time in weeks! Michael Gatten decided he wouldn’t settle for another colicky baby. Following exhaustive research, cutting, stitching and testing the design on his then four-week-old son, Michael created a simple and incredibly effective solution that greatly enhances the age-old technique of swaddling. Before he knew it, Good Housekeeping Magazine® got a hold of his creation, gave it the coveted “Thumbs Up!” and the rest is history.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*

Swaddling Expert and Managing Director of aden + anais offers these practical tips for swaddling your infant properly. “Swaddling babies is one of the gentlest, effective and beneficial practices for mothers and their children, helping babies to be more comfortable and to develop better sleep patterns. In summer this is critical, as the hot days and nights can prove to be an uncomfortable and unsettling time for bubs,” Paige said. To soothe and comfort your precious cherub, try using one of aden + anais’s high-quality, lightweight muslin wraps, which allows air to circulate around the baby’s body therefore regulating the baby’s body temperature while still providing comfort without the potential for baby to overheat.

How To Swaddle Your Baby Properly

By Paige Jones

STEP 1

Lay the wrap in a diamond shape and fold the top corner down to form a triangle. The point of the triangle should sit about one third of the way into the center of the wrap. Place your baby in the center of the folded area with his or her head just above the fold of the wrap. Ensure that your
baby’s shoulders are still below the fold.

STEP 2

Gently tuck your baby’s right arm up into the triangular fold of the wrap. Take the left side of the wrap and bring it across your baby’s chest. Ensure that your baby’s arm is securely under the wrap. Tuck the edge of the wrap under your baby’s body to ensure a secure swaddle.

STEP 3

Fold the bottom of the wrap up and over your baby’s feet and tuck the fabric into the top of the swaddle. It is fine to skip this step and leave the fabric loose at the bottom of the swaddle if your baby prefers more freedom of movement, as is the case for a number of older babies.

STEP 4

Finally, place your baby’s left arm up into the triangular fold of the wrap. Take the right side of the wrap and bring it across your baby’s chest. Ensure that your baby’s arm is securely under the wrap. Tuck the excess fabric of the wrap underneath your baby’s body to secure the swaddle.

*Images courtesy of aden + anais.*

A myriad of ingredients make this salad from Robyn Webb a meal in itself! Load up on the ingredients at the local Farmer’s Market, and head home for a delicious dinner.

Curried Chicken Salad with Mangoes and Almonds

Ingredients

For The Salad

3 cups pre-cooked chicken chunks

2 large mangoes, peeled, seeded and diced

1 small ripe papaya, peeled, seeded and diced

1/4 small red onion, peeled and diced

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

2 tablespoons minced cilantro leaves

1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced

1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 small green bell pepper, seeded and diced

For The Dressing

3 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup pineapple juice

3 tablespoons olive oil

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

Salt and pepper

For Serving

1 head Boston or Bibb lettuce, separated, washed and dried

1 cup toasted almonds (whole or slivered)

Preparation

Combine all the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl. Set aside.

Whisk together the honey, ginger, lemon juice, pineapple juice, olive oil, cayenne and curry powder. Taste and adjust for sweetness.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss again.

Refrigerate, covered, for about 30 minutes. This allows the flavors to meld.

Just before serving, divide the lettuce among six individual plates. Top with the salad and garnish with toasted almonds.

1 cup toasted almonds (whole or slivered)

Combine all the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl. Set aside.

Whisk together the honey, ginger, lemon juice, pineapple juice, olive oil, cayenne and curry powder. Taste and adjust for sweetness.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss again.

Refrigerate, covered, for about 30 minutes. This allows the flavors to meld.

Just before serving, divide the lettuce among six individual plates. Top with the salad and garnish with toasted almonds.

*Recipe and image courtesy of award-winning author/chef and nutrition expert, Robyn Webb, of Fabulous Food Finds.*