POSTED ON November 6, 2013
Each year, Matix, Marley, and Cash come home from trick-or-treating with loads of candy…enough to feed an army! Or to make an army sick, I should say. I must admit, I totally overindulged (compared to my normal sugar intake) this Halloween, and woke up the next morning with a severe blood-sugar crash. Even after breakfast, I was seeing spots, had a stomach ache, and was wishing I hadn’t consumed so much sugar the night before. Don’t worry – I remedied the situation by bypassing the oats I had eaten with a quick shot of OJ to bring my blood-sugar levels up to where my body thought they needed to be. Ugh…
The worst part of all of it is that I still have candy galore laying around our house now, and Cash is constantly walking up to me with his puppy eyes, saying, “Mama, trick-or-treat?” This means he wants to trick or treat in our pantry ☺.
Time to break out the Powell Pack Family Tradition. What is it, you ask?
While we do believe that the kiddos should indulge a little, and not be restricted from sweets of their choice every now and then, we also feel it’s a good idea to guide them to choose health. This tactic has been a miracle worker in our home: we buy their Halloween candy! Chris and I offer them the option to save 10 pieces of candy (of their choice) to enjoy, and the remaining pieces are purchased by us at a nickel a piece. For 60 pieces of candy, the kids receive $3.00 to use at the local dollar store.
They love this, and I think they have more fun choosing toys at the dollar store than they could ever have eating candy!
I have never been more ready to buy (and throw away) so much candy…
Daddy, get ready to open up your wallet…for a good cause!
Halloween 2013: Making Spooktacular Memories
POSTED ON November 1, 2013
Halloween is such a fun time for our family…and maybe a little hectic, but so worth it! The costume choosing starts as early as the day after Halloween for the next year around our house :). This year was no different.
To be honest, I’m not sure what the kids look forward to more – the costume creation or the way-to-many sweet treats (that always result in a stomachache, I must add). Either way, Halloween is a time of year the Powell Pack loves!
This year, our Halloween day included school parties (where Matix won the gummy worm eating contest), our family’s traditional soup and chicken chili dinner, then some good ol’ trick or treating! Couldn’t have been any better :).
We’re one happy (and worn out) family!
Pumpkin Pie + Protein Shake = Low Carb Heaven
POSTED ON October 30, 2013
I stole this way-too-yummy shake recipe off the Instagram account of my good friend (and fellow fitness junkie), Kacey Luvi. If you’re not a fan of protein shakes, I beg you to please try this one…you won’t regret it!
As Kacey said, “Fall and fitness have never tasted so good.” Mmmm…she’s right. Even better? It is the perfect Low Carb shake for those Carb Cycling.
Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake - serves 1
What you’ll need:
2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2-3 Tbsp pumpkin puree
1 scoop Vanilla flavored protein powder (she uses an Oatmeal Cookie flavor…but Vanilla is delish too)
3-4 shakes each of cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
How you’ll make it:
1. Pour all ingredients into blender.
2. Add ice and blend to experience healthy heaven in your mouth ☺.
What’s in it:
Each serving has 236 incredibly healthy calories, 23 grams of protein, 10 grams of carbs, and 12 grams of fat.
Thank you, Kacey!
Halloween Candy…Which Chews to Choose this Year
POSTED ON October 28, 2013
While NO candy is certainly a “healthy” option, we do need to be okay with rewarding ourselves with a treat every now and then, guilt-free. Halloween is a great time to do this. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing what pieces of candy might satisfy your sweet tooth, without pushing you over the edge.
- Fun Size pieces are ‘portion perfect’, and a clear winner in our family, over king-sized or regular-sized candy bars. Portion control is key to rewarding yourself, and these mini treats make it easy. Oftentimes, we find it hard to eat only half of a Snickers bar. Thanks to Fun Size, we can eat the entire portion and cut our calories in half, compared to the regular or king-sized versions.
- Chocolate Lover? Choose a handful (or Fun Size pack) of peanut or almond M&M’s over Tootsie Rolls. Tootsie Rolls may be lower in fat, but are loaded with sugar, which will spike and crash our blood sugar levels, leaving us craving even more! The fiber and protein in the peanut or almond M&M’s will keep you fuller longer (protein is the most satiating macro-nutrient), and the fat/fiber combo will actually slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream, helping us to avoid the spike-crash-craving cycle.
- If you are looking for a fruity candy to satisfy your sweet tooth, choose a hard over chewy candy. Chewy candies not only get stuck in your teeth and lead to tooth decay, but they also disappear much quicker in our mouths, leaving us vying for more. While hard candies are pure sugar and have a higher calorie count, one piece can last quite a while (as long as you don’t crunch it to pieces), satisfying the craving, and leaving us less-likely to reach for more.
Now go enjoy your Halloween with a little less guilt. Regardless, don’t forget to brush your teeth, and leave the candy where it belongs…on Halloween ☺.
Cash’s Monster Craft
POSTED ON October 24, 2013
As soon as I saw this craft on Pinterest, I knew it would be PERFECT for our little Cashy. Not only does he love to get messy, but he also loves his colors! Any sort of finger painting is AWESOME for a toddler’s development so I was totally on board with this one.
The instructions for this craft are very simple as it is for toddlers who can do most of this on their own, with parental supervision of course.
• Googly Eyes – We used construction paper because it can handle heavier paint better but we also found that regular computer paper held up pretty well
• Washable Fingerpaints – When painting with a toddler, washable is a must!
• Googly Eyes - We made very basic monsters and ghosts but you can definitely be more creative with other supplies
• Foam Brush(not pictured) – We didn’t originally plan on using one but ended up grabbing one later on
In the beginning, I was set on getting nice, neat hand and footprints (hashtag OCD. lol) so I enlisted some help in hopes of trying to maintain cleanliness while getting clear prints but after a few minutes, that was out the window and we let Cash have some real fun and explore his artistic abilities.
For this craft, the process is most accurately explained in pictures than in words… :). He did pretty well doing his hand prints all by himself.
Starting with the “Paint cheek” picture is when he pretty much just stuck to painting himself. lol.
Proudly displaying his work…and his adorable smile
Time to let the little masterpieces dry…
Once paint is completely dry, glue on googly eyes (this is where adult help is really needed).
Another “Taa-daa!” moment from Cash.
The finished product – both papers could be considered monsters but the bottom white paper was meant to be two ghosts… We’ll leave that up to your creative imagination.
Cash LOVED painting and he was hilarious to watch during the whole process.The rest of the day he walked around saying “do my craft?”.
Glitter Pumpkin Craft for Moms!
POSTED ON October 15, 2013
Sparkly Halloween Pumpkins? Yes, please! Don’t let this adorable craft scare the amateurs and first-timers away though. Heck, I am as much of an amateur crafter as it comes. If I can make three pumpkins look so good in glitter, you can too. What family doesn’t want to add a little sparkle to their Halloween décor?
Here how I did it.
-Garbage bag: I cut it open to protect the table and it makes for a quick and easy clean up
-Mod Podge Matte (there are other types of it, ie: glossy)
-Your favorite Pandora station, T.V. show or complete silence (whichever is more relaxing) [not picture]
Step 1: Cover table with garbage bag. Glitter travels quickly so this makes for easier cleanup and you won’t have to worry about Mod Podging your table.
Step 2: Clean the pumpkin so all dirt, dust, etc. is off the pumpkin.
Step 3: Apply Mod Podge in sections to pumpkin using a foam brush. Don’t skimp on the Mod Podge but don’t drown the pumpkin in it either. You want enough so the glitter will stick but you don’t want it dripping down your pumpkin.
Step 4: Pour glitter on top of the section you just Mod Podged (not sure that’s a word but right now it is. For the parts of the pumpkin closer to the bottom, I found it helped to pour some glitter on the table and roll the pumpkin it it. As for the very bottom of the pumpkin, you don’t really need to worry about it because no one is going to see it.
Step 5: After you have applied Mod Podge and glitter to the entire pumpkin, you may notice that there are spots that are missing some sparkle. One of the beauties of this project is that you can keep fixing it until you get it just right. (My kind of project for an amateur crafter like myself. All is not lost if it’s not done the perfectly the first time.) So, just apply more Mod Podge in the areas you see fit and pour more glitter on top.
Note: I did the orange pumpkin first as a tester to see how the process would work. Because I used orange glitter and the pumpkin is orange, the small spots the glitter didn’t stick to aren’t very noticeable. However, when it came time to do the black glitter I found that it was more difficult to cover the entire pumpkin because of the contrast of colors (orange underneath black). If I were to make another black glitter pumpkin, I might try painting the pumpkin black first and then applying the glitter. Then if there are a few spots that the glitter didn’t stick to, it isn’t noticeable.
Step 6: Let the pumpkin sit for a while and then shake the pumpkin to get any lose glitter off.
Step 7: Display your sparkling masterpiece for all to see.
Step 8: Step back and admire your work. Then pat yourself on the back for being crafty, festive, and giving yourself some much deserved “me” time.
Kids Halloween Craft: Monster Masks!
POSTED ON October 11, 2013
As a mom, I’m always looking for cute and festive decorations to make our holidays a little extra special at home. I’ve found that if Matix and Marley can take part in making the decorations, the holidays are that much more exciting to them – exactly what us moms want!
I’m no Martha Stewart (sorry to disappoint), so holiday crafts have to be easy enough for even ME to do. I found a winner this Halloween with these little gems. The best part about this craft is that you can make the plates whatever you want them to be! We bought the supplies thinking we would be making wall art, but when it was all said and done, the kids had more fun using them as Halloween masks!
Supplies – while you can really buy whatever you want, here is what we bought:
- Cute shaped plates – I found in the clearance section (really cheap) and it didn’t matter what they had on them because we ended up painting them anyway. I wanted some circle and some square for some variety.
- Different colors of paint (to allow for some creativity)
- Googly eyes
- Construction paper
- Foam brushes to paint the plates
- Garbage bag – I cut it open to cover the table
Don’t let my list limit you – use your imaginations!
Once you have the supplies, time to turn on the tunes. Our music of choice? “Thriller”, of course :).
After dancing it out for a bit, it was time to let their little minds run wild.
You’ll have a blast seeing their little personalities come through ☺.
Of course, Cash couldn’t be left out, so we made one for him. The Cash Powell-inspired Frankenstein!
Self.com: Celebrity Trainer Heidi Powell Shares Her Halloween Treat Tips
POSTED ON October 31, 2012
Originally featured on Self.com
As a celebrity trainer and fitness expert, Heidi Powell knows a thing or two about staying healthy no matter what the season. We turned to Powell, who will join husband Chris on season three of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, for help figuring out the healthiest bets for those of us who want to indulge a bit on Halloween!
“While no candy is necessarily a “healthy” option, we do need to be OK with rewarding ourselves every now and then, guilt-free,” says Powell. “Halloween is a great time to do this. I’ve rounded up a few things to keep in mind when choosing what pieces may satisfy your sweet tooth.”
Keep it small
Fun-size pieces are portion perfect and a clear winner in our family over king-sized or regular-sized candy bars. Portion control is key when rewarding yourself, and these mini treats make it easy. Often, we find it hard to eat only half of a Snickers bar. Thanks to the smaller size options, we can eat an entire portion and cut our calories in half.
Chocolate lover? Choose a handful of peanut butter or almond M&M’s over Tootsie Rolls. Tootsie Rolls may be lower in fat, but they’re loaded with sugar, which will leave you craving even more! The fiber and protein in the M&M’s will keep you fuller longer and the fat/fiber combo will actualy slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream, helping you to avoid the spike-crash-craving cycle.
Pick what lasts
If you’re looking for a fruity candy to satisfy your sweet tooth, choose a hard candy over a chewy candy. Chewy candies not only get stuck in your teeth and lead to tooth decay, but they also disappear much quicker in our mouths, leaving us vying for more. One piece of hard candy can last quite a while, satisfying the craving and leaving us less likely to reach for more.