Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Snapshots Throughout the Week + Healthy & Easy Smoothies

Last Thursday: Ava and I had our weekly visit to my abuela and abuelo's house (Ava's great grandparents) in Miami. (That's her Cuban side so she gets get Spanish practice there ;) I am determined for her to be bilingual by weekly visits to see them like I had growing up. 

Ava is obsessed with phones...

 Abuela cutting abuelo's hair for 49 years. Childhood sweethearts as well :) 
Bad back and all... bless her heart. 
Ava being a squirmy worm and wanting to show them her walking skills. She is pretty much running now... 

Thursday's yummy green smoothie 

Friday: New find at Whole Foods (displayed in OJ area): 
Little snack pouches for Ava...Chia seeds! 
Hers are: Strawberry Banana & Apple Cinnamon. 
She loves them!
Chia seeds are a health powerhouse. I add them into my smoothies regularly. 

Then later on... Afternoon juice I made (it's blended but I say juice because the Vitamix pulverizes the smoothie into a "juice". 

 [FYI:the small pieces of tumeric and ginger on the cutting board were included----not the rest on the counter ]

Rainbow chard, celery, 1/2 a beet, turmeric root, ginger root, cup of water 
PLUS ( but not photographed) : a banana, 1/2 squeezed lemon, and ice =


This was my very first time using beets and tumeric!!! 
I know, I'm an amatuer! I'm learning here...
I've been reading more and more about both of these healthy heavyweights for sometime now and decided to bring them into the new Vitamix now that I know my blender can handle beets! 

Beets having {{{amazing}}} health benefits! Some include: 

1. Lower Your Blood Pressure
Drinking beet juice may help to lower blood pressure in a matter of hours. One study found that drinking one glass of beet juice lowered systolic blood pressure by an average of 4-5 points.3
The benefit likely comes from the naturally occurring nitrates in beets, which are converted into nitric oxide in your body. Nitric oxide, in turn, helps to relax and dilate your blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.
2. Boost Your Stamina
If you need a boost to make it through your next workout, beet juice may again prove valuable. Those who drank beet juice prior to exercise were able to exercise for up to 16 percent longer.4 The benefit is thought to also be related to nitrates turning into nitric oxide, which may reduce the oxygen cost of low-intensity exercise as well as enhance tolerance to high-intensity exercise.
3. Fight Inflammation
Beets are a unique source of betaine, a nutrient that helps protects cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress. It's also known to help fight inflammation, protect internal organs, improve vascular risk factors, enhance performance, and likely help prevent numerous chronic diseases.5 As reported by the World's Healthiest Foods:6
"[Betaine's]… presence in our diet has been associated with lower levels of several inflammatory markers, including C reactive protein, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha. As a group, the anti-inflammatory molecules found in beets may eventually be shown to provide cardiovascular benefits in large-scale human studies, as well as anti-inflammatory benefits for other body systems."
4. Anti-Cancer Properties
The powerful phytonutrients that give beets their deep crimson color may help to ward off cancer. Research has shown that beetroot extract reduced multi-organ tumor formations in various animal models when administered in drinking water, for instance, while beetroot extract is also being studied for use in treating human pancreatic, breast, and prostate cancers.7
5. Rich in Valuable Nutrients and Fiber
Beets are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber, and essential minerals like potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas). Beets also contain the B vitamin folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects.
6. Detoxification Support
The betalin pigments in beets support your body's Phase 2 detoxification process, which is when broken down toxins are bound to other molecules so they can be excreted from your body. Traditionally, beets are valued for their support in detoxification and helping to purify your blood and your liver.

Saturday: before I headed to the beach with my friends... I hydrated with 
Enjoying my mama time off at the beach with one of my very childhood best friends: Michelle!!!

Check out Ava's new kicks! Michelle is the greatest. She bought then bedazzled them for Ava. She is such a great and thoughtful "Aunt" Meesh! 

Sunday: Ava's friend's birthday party to celebrate her turning 1! Happy birthday, Fern!
We had a great time!!!
Daddy & Ava at the party 

Monday morning breakfast smoothie (No greens?! I was in the mood for a change that morning.)
Super yummy! 

Monday was St. Patrick's Day so mommy&me class was decked in green! 
See Ava in the back listening to story time? Look for the green bow...

On Monday, my holistic health course also started! I willingly woke up 1.5hr early to start listening to the seminars, audio clips, and reading through slides. I am LOVING every minute of it!!!! 
I can't wait for this time next year when I will be a certified health coach! 
Looking forward to being able to maintain my #1 role as a stay at home mom while also having the flexibility to make my own hours for my new career. 

Ava and one of her buddies... Boo the Pomeranian ! The "world's cutest dog" 
Ava and Boo having tea. (Boo sleeps in Ava's crib every night with her) 

On our way back from shopping for new bedding...
Mark had our new king size Tempur-Pedic bed delivered that morning. I am in LOVE with this new bed and the memory foam pillows!!!
Ava enjoyed our shopping while being carried in the Ergo carrier. She still prefers that rather than sitting by herself in the shopping cart. Fine with me :) 
She's my little baby kangaroo. I love our Ergo. 

Tuesday evening: (yesterday)
Mark and I sit on the board for the Seminole Club of Broward County. It is a local organization that is affiliated with our alma mater - Florida State University. The club hosts: events, game watching parties, an annual golf tournament, donates scholarships to deserving local students that have been accepted to FSU, and also gives back to our local community through community service. The Seminole Club of Broward County includes hundreds and hundreds of local alumni, fans, and parents of FSU students that live in Broward County and want to be involved with their children's new school. 

 I have been Community Service Chair and Mark has been Golf Chair for 3 years now. Last football season, we started a children's book drive for underprivileged students in title 1 schools throughout our local community. During the time that I was working on my Master's Degree in Social Work, I interned at Impact Broward and learned about their Foster Grandparent Program. Active Seniors volunteer their time in title 1 schools and help the teacher in the classrooms. If a child needs some help reading a book or finishing up a project, the volunteer steps in to help and make sure that the student doesn't fall behind. 

I thought it would be a great partnership for the two organizations to collaborate. We, at Seminole Club of Broward County (aka: Broward Noles) would ask the thousands of Broward Noles in the community to donate children's books (K-grade 3 level) for the "Foster Grandparent" Volunteers to distribute during their volunteering at these schools. I learned while interning at Impact Broward, that statistically, a child that does not master their 3rd grade reading levels, has a much greater chance of being incarcerated. In fact, our own state of FL measures these 3rd grade reading levels in order to predict how many prison beds they will need to supply for future inmates. 

CRAZY, huh?! After speaking to the CEO of Impact Broward (pictured next to me in yellow) about how I am involved with the "Broward Noles," he was very excited to partner with us in order to get these underprivileged children much needed books. We not only want to help with children's reading levels, but are also, hopefully, decreasing incarceration rates in Florida's future by these preventive measures. I am so grateful that the rest of the Broward Noles graciously accepted this challenge and came together to donate hundreds of books to Impact Broward's Foster Grandparent Program. 
Great job, Broward Noles! 

Some of the Seminole Club of Broward County board members with Impact Broward, CEO John Gargotta,
representing hundreds books that were donated and the hundreds of Broward Noles members that supported these efforts. 

Today : Wednesday 

Mommy& Me class! Ava had a great time as usual. Today was a water theme so the toy seals and fish were out. 

Sorry for the LONG post... I had to catch up.

Today and tomorrow, I will be getting ready for my trip to Charleston, SC! As one of my best friend's Matron of Honor, I organized a weekend trip up there for her and the rest of the bridesmaids. We will be renting an adorable home and making the most out of our stay in the charming city for her Bachelorette Party weekend. I cannot wait!!!
Our mutual best friend, Ali, is flying in from Chicago to be there as well so I am so excited to get to spend time with my two "pandas" (That's what we call each other haha)

Hope you all have a nice Wednesday!


  1. Those chia seeds packs look good! What a great snack. Ava's bedazzled shoes are adorable!
    I love your smoothie recipes so keep them coming, please! ;)
    I love, love, love Charleston! What a great place for a bachelorette weekend!

    1. Thanks, Hanna! I am pretty sure those Chia packs are for any age! I just saw it perfect for a baby because they love to hold those type of squeeze packs. You should try one... I did. Really good! But then again I add chia to my normal water on a daily basis too lol. Come back later this week for some Charleston fun updates. :)
      Have a great day, Hanna!

  2. I just had beets at dinner the other night and they were so good! I'm going to start adding them to our smoothies/juices as well. And those chia seed squeeze foods look good. My daughter loves those squeezy things. We do chia seed in our smoothies.
    Those statistics on reading are crazy! I had no idea. I love that you started the book drive. What a great way to get involved and help those less fortunate.

    1. Thanks, Tiffany! Sorry for the late response...I am just getting to these comments
      XOXO - yes, the chia squeezes are AWESOME!!!

  3. It looks like you have so much going on!! Its so cool that Ava will be bilingual! I wish I was! And you have made me want to get a vitamix even more... :) I want to look as good as you do in a bikini on the off season! haha My man would have went to FSU if it wasnt for the Army!!1 But its great yall are getting such good stuff done!!!

    Love Always,

    1. Aww thank you! I am sorry for the late response! Yes, it is important for Ava to be bilingual as I am and it means a lot to me for her to speak to her great grandparents since they are like a second set of parents to me.

      Go Noles!


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