Healthier Gingerbread Trifles

These Healthier Gingerbread Trifles become a smart option because of the healthy ingredients I substituted in.

Healthier Gingerbread Trifles - substituting in healthy ingredients like whole wheat flour and  greek yogurt makes this amazing holiday treat a healthier alternative! www.happyfoodhealthylife.com

I’ve gotta admit something to you guys. I am absolutely exhausted these days. For one, I managed to post something every single day this week here on the blog, which has been a huge effort and has resulted in many late nights and some huge frustrations with the constant cloudiness in the skies, which does not make for happy picture-taking. Secondly, just the sheer fact that Christmas is less than a week away now! All last weekend was spent shopping, maneuvering cars and carts, and spending way more money than I planned on.

I’m truly just ready for the kiddo to be on Christmas break so we can watch Christmas movies, play games, and just enjoy each other before life goes back to normal schedules. I plan on reading books and possibly spending hours watching Netflix and playing Sims 4 (yes I’m kind of a gaming nerd when I have the time). I’ve just gotten to the point where I’m ready for the crazy to be over so I can enjoy some me time.

[Read more…]

Melty Roasted Veggie Sandwiches

Tracking Pixel

 These Melty Roasted Veggie Sandwiches are easy and healthy, and have comfort written all over them! With the help of Sara Lee®, the transformation from comfort food to healthy was practically seamless!

Melty Roasted Veggie Sandwich - an easy healthy sandwich that has comfort written all over it | www.happyfoodhealthylife.com

To you, this may just seem like another food blog. Lots of great recipes, mostly healthy. Some not so much. Recipes are fun. They are something that I enjoy. But there is so much more meaning behind why I started Happy Food Healthy Life. I started it because I had a voice that needed to speak with the world, and it seems like maybe that voice has gotten a little lost over the years since starting the blog. The voice I’m talking about is the one who endured some major health struggles and came out stronger on the other side. The one that wanted to tell women all over the world that is was going to be okay. That food is not the enemy. That you are more than a number on the scale.

So today, I know I’m sharing this yummy sandwich, but there’s more that I want to say. [Read more…]

Vegetarian Sweet and Sour Porcupine “Meatballs”

Tracking Pixel

These Vegetarian Sweet & Sour Porcupine “Meatballs” are hands-down the best meatless appetizer I’ve ever brought to a party, and they were gone in a flash!  With the help of Minute Rice, I was able to create a healthier dish that aims to please everyone, vegetarians and meat-lovers alike!

Vegetarian Sweet & Sour Porcupine "Meatballs" - this is hands-down the best meatless appetizer I've ever brought to a party - and they were gone in a flash! www.happyfoodhealthylife.com

The holidays are 100% here. There’s no more “right around the corner.” There’s no more time to make sure you make Santa’s nice list. It’s here and now. Holiday parties will be this weekend. Last minute shopping next week. And then it’s Christmas, and a week later we’ll be ringing in the new year! Isn’t it such a whirlwind? Well, if you’re anything like me, you’ve got the main dishes planned, but you haven’t even begun to think about all the extras. The drinks. The appetizers. The munchies for when everyone has stayed until it’s time for the next meal.

But this time, I’ve got it covered with an appetizer that is out of this world amazing! [Read more…]

Must-Have Workout Gear

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LoveV8Protein #CollectiveBias

Must-Have Workout Gear - the few simple things I need to get through my workouts each day! www.happyfoodhealthylife.com

I don’t talk a whole lot about my workout regime. There really isn’t a whole lot to it. Nothing fancy. No expensive equipment. Definitely no pills or potions.

The thing is, there are a few items that I just couldn’t live without when it comes to my workout, and I wanted to tell you about them just in case they may help you as well. If you’re all about getting in and out of the gym (home or otherwise) with just the bare minimums, this is the post that you’re going to want to read. There are 4 items that I never forget to bring with me when I go to workout, and I’m going to tell you why!

[Read more…]

Healthy Peppermint Chia Cookies

These Healthy Peppermint Chia Cookies are full of holiday flavor and tons of good-for-you ingredients. Santa won’t even know they’re healthy!

Healthy Peppermint Chia Cookies. These cookies are full of holiday flavor and tons of good-for-you ingredients - www.happyfoodhealthylife.com

Everyone loves Christmas cookies. It seems like during this time of the year there is no shortage of them either. Sugar cookies. Gingerbread cookies. Thumbprint cookies. All the classics and a lot of fun variations to change things up. Plates of cookies for the neighbors. Some to take to work. And of course, the plate of cookies you’ve got to leave for Santa!

My point is, there are a whole lot of cookies everywhere you turn, and you’re possibly freaking out a little bit about all the treats and what they’re doing for your waist-line. With these cookies, you don’t have to worry at all! [Read more…]

How Your Child’s Letter to Santa Can Make Wishes Come True

How Your Child's Letter to Santa Can Help Wishes Come True with Macy's Believe Campaign and National Believe Day on 12/12/2014 - www.happyfoodhealthylife.com

 

This year, my son’s Christmas includes a new video game system, Lego’s, art supplies, and lots of other toys. You know, the normal Christmas list. Lots of extra plastic things that you will ultimately step on in your barefeet after tucking them in to bed at night. Really just things. Things that can easily be replaced.

Some childrens’ wish-lists are more that just these plastic toys. Some are incredibly special and priceless. Some can not be packaged up in a box and placed under the Christmas tree. Some children have made one big wish. One wish that may just be their last wish. And that is where the Make-a-Wish campaign comes in. A charity that helps children with life-threatening illnesses enjoy the time they have here with their families and loved ones. [Read more…]

Cranberry & White Chocolate Cheerio & Rice Krispie Treats

These Cranberry & White Chocolate Cheerio and Rice Krispie Treats are the perfect holiday twist on a classic favorite. Perfect for classroom treats or even neighbor gifts!

Cranberry & White Chocolate Cheerio & Rice Krispie Treats - a fun and festive twist on a classic favorite. Perfect for gifting! | www.happyfoodhealthylife.com

I absolutely love making neighbor gifts during the holidays. Whether it’s a plate full of cookies or a small token gift, I just enjoy giving… even if I never even see my neighbors or know them by name. I feel like neighborly friendships are a thing of the past. At least in the neighborhood I live in. I remember growing up, my parents knew the surrounding neighbors. I was friends with all the kids that lived nearby. There was no issue with me saying I was going down the street to so-and-so’s house to play.

Life is so different now. [Read more…]

Cranberry Orange Scones

Cranberry Orange Scones - the perfect seasonal treat for brunch, made with healthier ingredients than most scones | www.happyfoodhealthylife.com

There are some things that instantly put you in the mood for the holidays.

* Starbucks red cups
* The first snowfall
* Christmas decorations in the malls
* Watching Home Alone for the millionth time

And of course all the holiday flavors we have all come to love and associate with the season. Gingerbread. Peppermint. Egg Nog. Cranberries. They all just transport you right into the heart of the holidays. [Read more…]

How to Keep Your Hair Healthy

How to Keep Your Hair Healthy - tips to live by for your hair's health - www.happyfoodhealthylife.com

Today we’re totally switching gears for a minute. No baking. No eating. Just hair health. I know it’s so random, but over the years, I’ve gotten quite a few compliments on my hair, so I thought I’d talk about what I do to make sure it stays healthy and taken care of. I tried something new the last couple of months and am so pleased with the results that I just needed to share it with you.

My hair is so freaking thick, and I have so much of it that I’ve really had to learn how to properly take care of it, which is hard when you have hard-to-manage hair like I do. It generally takes about 15 minutes total to blow-dry. If I’m to straighten or curl it, that’s another 20 minutes. That’s a whole lot of heat on my hair! Protective measures are definitely a must. So let’s get started with the things I do for my hair’s health. [Read more…]

How to Avoid Eating 100’s of Reese’s Trees When the Holidays are Stressing You Out!

Keep your holiday-related stress at bay and learn to get through it without eating your weight in all the holiday treats and candy.
How to Avoid Eating 100's of Reese's Trees when the Holidays are Stressing You Out! - keep the stress at bay and learn to get through it without eating your weight in all the holiday treats and candy - www.happyfoodhealthylife.com

The holidays are notorious for getting too-packed, too-quickly. There’s parties for the adults. Cookie decorating with the kids. Fighting the crowds. Neighbor gifts. Co-worker gifts. All the gifts for your family. And then wrapping all the gifts. Secret Santa. Random Acts of Kindness and Charity. Going to See Santa. Elf on the Shelf. Guests. All.the.BAKING! Phew! I’m exhausted just writing that all out. Let alone the fact that I have to go through those motions over the next few weeks.

The problem with all this stress is that it can have a very negative effect on our health. One of the number one ways we tend to deal with our stress is to EAT. We turn to food because it provides a sense of comfort. And those Reese’s trees. (oh.mah.gah, right?) How many Reese’s Trees do you think you normally consume in the holiday season? Or maybe it’s not the trees, but it’s all the cookies you’re making as gifts. It can be anything. The point is, we turn for whatever food is the closest and can calm down these overwhelming feelings we get during the holidays. And then we’re stuck trying to scramble and lose our holiday weight at the new year.

What if there wasn’t a holiday weight gain at all though? What if you could combat that before it even starts! I have a few tools for you to get you started!

[Read more…]