Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook Review

This cookbook is collections of recipes that accompany the Trim Healthy Mama Plan. There is a separate book if you would like to find out more about the plan. The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook: Eat up and Slim Down with More Than 350 Healthy Recipes is the latest book that I received from Blogging for Books. Some of the recipes include beverages, one-pot meals, breakfast, sweet treats, main and side dishes and more.

The book gives a quick overview of The Trim Healthy Mama Plan. There is also a section for essential tools for your kitchen and what you should stock in your kitchen. That being said I like simple and while there are some recipes that are simple in this cookbook, their are a few recipes that call for different blends. For some of the sweet treats their are ingredients that I have never heard of so that makes me not interested in trying it.

There are a few recipes that I do plan to make like the quinoa salad, roasted nonstarchies, and the sweet potatoes fries. If you are looking for quick and simple, I think the best section to cook from is the crockpot meals.


FTC disclaimer: “I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”


365 days of inspiration, gratitude and joy

Lately, one of the first things that I’ve asked a co-worker, friend or family member is, “Have you seen the movie War Room”? I get excited when they have because we get to discuss one of the most POWERFUL movies to hit the big screen in a while. If they haven’t seen it then I highly encourage them to go see it. Most of the time they have gone after I recommended the movie and were so happy I recommended it. So I want to ask you, have you seen the movie “War Room”? If not drop everything you’re doing and GO SEE WAR ROOM!

Currently with everything going on in the world we need this movie. The world needs healing because we are so broken. Once you go see it you’ll understand why it spend a few weeks at #1 at the box office. Upon leaving the movie theater I went straight to the Christian bookstore and picked up a daily devotion book and a journal. Most of my post are about health and wellness but spiritual and mental health are just as important as physical health.

Honestly that is one area that I haven’t been focusing on lately and it probably is the most important area I need to work on. I’ve been reading my daily devotion and writing in my journal daily and making sure I focus on what I’m grateful for. So, when I saw that one of the books available on Blogging for Books was, Instant Happy Journal by Karen Salmansohn, I knew I had to choose it. It goes right along with the current chapter I’m in, in my life. If you are on social media then I’m sure you’ve run across some of Karen Salmanohn’s quotes and amazing accompanying artwork.

Instant Happy Journal by Karen Salmansohn is a small, colorful journal with a happiness prompter for all 365 days. So what are “happiness prompters”,  they are a range of motivational quotes, thought-provoking questions, scientific research studies, and soul-stirring philosophical thoughts. The thing I like about the happiness prompter is that it allows you to focus on the good in your day, as well as give you something to think and journal about. It has 365 different happiness prompters which I think will help with never not knowing what to write about. You fill in the date so if you skip a day, no worries, you are going at your own pace.

I’m excited to start using this new journal along with my daily devotion and would have bought this journal even if it wasn’t sent to me. I’ll leave you with a quote from one of the pages I turned to; “Life is about doing things that don’t suck with people who don’t suck.” – John Green. For that day is also says, List some unsucky people you love-and why!



FTC disclaimer: “I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”

5 IN 5

5 In 5 For Every Season by Michael Symon

A few things that I look for when deciding to purchase a cookbook is whether their are plenty of pictures and if the recipes have minimal ingredients. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE to cook but I don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen. I have a 8 year old who keeps me on the go so I chose Michael Symon’s 5 in 5 for Every Season by Michael Symon, cohost of The Chew, with Douglas Trattner as my next book to review. Who doesn’t like quick recipes, right?

The recipes are organized by season so if you’re trying to save money and shop based on what’s in season then he has laid it out for you. He has also included a holiday recipe section to help your dinner parties go a little smoother. He has gathered 165 recipes, each has 5 fresh ingredients with about 5 minutes of heat time. The 5 fresh ingredients do not include the oil or seasonings that are not considered fresh so most of the recipes have more than 5 ingredients.

While I haven’t tried any of the recipes, I have to be honest, I’m not sure if I will. It’s just a lot of recipes that don’t appeal to me. Anchovy doesn’t seem appetizing to me and I don’t eat pork, well with the exception of bacon, so I can do without those recipes. I’m wondering if their are more pork recipes included because it doesn’t take as long to cook pork. Another letdown is the lack of pictures. Not every recipe has to have one but yes I do want the majority of the recipes to have a picture included. The 2 recipes that I probably will try have pictures included which are the Thai-Style Shrimp Salad and the Autumn Panzanella. Don’t they say you eat with your eyes first, well these 2 recipes look delicious!

Well if I haven’t deterred you from purchasing this book, yet piqued your interest you’ll have to wait a little longer because it’s not available to purchased until September 22, 2015. If you do purchase it please let me know your thoughts.


FTC disclaimer: “I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”


Martha Stewart's Appetizers

It’s PARTY TIME! Summer will soon be coming to an end and next thing you know we’ll be knocking people over at Wal-Mart to get our 9th $2.99 chopper. No matter how many we have, we just can’t say no to a Black Friday deal. When Fall comes around I look forward to all the food.

I received a copy of Martha Stewart’s Appetizers by Martha Stewart to review. So far this is my FAVORITE book that I’ve received and I haven’t tried 1 recipe YET. This book is packed with so many appetizers to make for a great dinner party. Flipping through the pages makes me want to plan a dinner party just to try out the many recipes.

The first thing that stands out about Martha Stewart’s Appetizers book is that EVERY recipe is accompanied with a picture. Don’t quote me on that but I’m pretty sure that a picture is included with every recipe. That’s a make or break for me when I’m looking through a cookbook to determine if I want to purchase it or not so 2 thumbs up for that.

In addition to the mouthwatering recipes, there are party planning tips and strategies included to help you throw a successful party. Some of the tips include are, settling on a menu, establishing a timeline, strategizing your shopping, serving essentials and more.

You can’t have a party without a few cocktails so no worries there are recipes for signature cocktails that are sure to be a hit at your party. Again I can’t say enough about how impressed I am with the layout of this book. Martha Stewart’s first book was published in 1982, so clearly she knows how to put together a great cookbook. While there are tips included, the focus of the 254 page book is on the recipes. 

Martha Stewart’s Appetizers by Martha Stewart will hit the bookshelves September 8th which is plenty of time to test out a few recipes before the holidays. I’ll definitely share what I try and I hope you do the same. CHEERS!


FTC disclaimer: “I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”


The blender girl smoothies

You can never have too many smoothie recipes and I’m always looking for new smoothies to at to my library. I was sent The Blender Girl Smoothies by Tess Masters from blogging for books. The smoothie recipes are broken down by category; light and fruity, clean and green, an exotic ride and desserts. The recipes contain the nutritional facts and its great to actually see this information for smoothies. It’s eye opening because some of these recipes contain a BUNCH of sugar. It’s really going to make me more aware of the amount of sugar I add to my smoothies.

The beginning of the book contains a section on how to build your own smoothie. You start with the liquids, base(fruits or vegetables), cream, greens, boosters(oil, superfoods, powders, etc.), and magic(spices, herbs, sweeteners, etc.). The recipes included icons to show whether they fit in the following categories; detox, weight loss, immunity, energizing, protein rich, alkaline, inflammation, contains nuts, or unsweetened. So if you need to improve your health in a certain area then you can build your smoothies to target those areas.

The smoothie pantry at the end of the book goes into greater detail of what ingredients can be used in each category of building your own smoothie. Different liquids, greens, herbs, spices, coconuts, superfoods, flavor enhancers and sweeteners. I’m looking forward to trying the dessert smoothies, like the Apple Pie in a Glass, Brownie Batter, Strawberry Shortcake, Peach Crumble and Carrot Cake.

Smoothies are a great way to add more greens to your daily nutrition. Seeing the nutritional has made me realize the two smoothies a day is not the best for me. Even though fruit is a natural sugar it’s still sugar. My normal smoothie consist of water, spinach, ground flaxseed, Vega Sport protein powder, frozen banana, strawberry and pineapples so it’s time to switch it up.


 FTC disclaimer: “I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”



A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones is the latest book that I chose from Blogging for Books. It’s packed with over 200 vegetarian recipes. Just in case you are wondering, no I am not converting to a vegetarian. I chose this book because even though I eat meat it’s great to have a different variety of vegetables to go along with my meals. Roasted broccoli, asparagus and okra can get old after a while. A Modern Way to Eat is a very impressive cookbook. It’s over 350 pages and you can tell that the author took some time with putting this cookbook together.

Included are options for breakfast, salads, soups, easy lunches, hearty dinners, drinks, sweet treats and more. No worries, the cookbook actually has delicious sweet desserts and not broccoli on a stick. Of course, I wanted to go for a dessert but since I made cupcakes for my last review, I decided to go with a breakfast option. I made the Lemon Maple Granola and it was one of the easier recipes. Their are several recipes throughout the book and included in different sections are guides of how she puts together a recipe. The recipe guide is great because if you want to choose a different vegetable, herb, spice, etc, she list several options to choose from.

In addition to the recipes their are other guides included in the book, such as information on the different types of grains and how to cook the grains, the different types of flours, a guide to when the different vegetables, fruits and herbs are in season and lots more other guides. On the downside, a lot of the recipes call for more ingredients then I would like. Overall, this is one of the most detailed cookbooks that I have owned. Their isn’t a picture to go with each recipe but it is a great balance. The next recipe that I will share from this cookbook is the Kale and Black Sesame Sushi Bowl so make sure you check back for that.


FTC disclaimer: “I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”


The Sweetapolita Bakebook

The latest book that I’ve requested from Blogging For Books has arrived and it’s a sweet treat! The majority of my post are healthy food recipes but I’m a foodie and I love all types of foods including sweets. The Sweetapolita Bakebook caught my eye because it not only includes mouth watering recipes, it also includes tips and techniques on baking. You can tell from the cover that it’s going to be a great book.

The book starts with a Guide to Sprinkles. There is even a recipe on making sprinkles. Who would have ever thought to make your own sprinkles. In addition to a section highlighting sprinkles, there’s also a chapter on layered cakes, fanciful cakes, cookies, frosting and fillings, baking and decorating techniques and more. 

The bakebook includes some fancy cakes and cookies. I chose to make one of the simplest cake recipes and chose the cupcake variation, the Super White Cake. I also paired it with the Vanilla Bakery Frosting. The great thing about this recipe was that it was easy to make and wasn’t overly sweet. You can read more about changes I would make the next time I make it.

Next, I plan to try the Vanilla Sugar Cutout Cookies and the Royal Icing. I’ve tried to make my own royal icing and it didn’t turn out so great. It was very runny so I’m going to give this recipe a try along with the sugar cookies. Hopefully they’ll turn out better then my other attempt because they ended up in the trash…

If you are looking to take your baking up a notch and learn to create fancier cakes and cookies then this cookbook if for you. I don’t know that I would recommend this book for someone who is starting out to bake because I think the majority of the recipes are elaborate. There are some great tips and baking techniques that will be helpful to anyone at any level.

Sweetapolita, super white cake with vanilla bakery frosting

FTC disclaimer: “I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”


Hot Body Year-Round by Cassey Ho

Who doesn’t want a hot body year round?? I know I do, especially during the winter when it’s so easy to store a little more fat due to all the delicious food around the holiday season. Cassey Ho’s Hot Body Year Round by Cassey Ho is the next book that I was sent to review from Blogging For Books. I can’t really say that I was sent it but yet I chose this book to review. Honestly I chose this book because I’ve “followed” her on social media for a while and hope to build a fitness empire like she is doing. She’s definitely one of my fitness inspirations.

Back to the book, the book is very colorful and vibrant which that’s the impression I get from Cassey, that she’s very vibrant and full of energy. The book starts with Cassey sharing her story on how she got started and then goes into a little history of Pilates. This book is based on her very own POP Pilates method but no worries if you aren’t familiar with POP Pilates, there is a Common POP Pilates Vocabulary included.

Part 1 of the book is “The Plan”, where she shares her eating clean 101 philosophy. A few of the tips are shop the perimeter of the grocery store, incorporate whole grains into your diet, eat lean, grass-fed meats or wild-caught fish and look at the added sugars and then reconsider. Sugar is the devil so I can appreciate this tip. One of the great things that stand out about this book is that it’s easy to read and it’s not just a bunch of words. There are colorful pictures throughout the book and the text is broken down in little paragraphs, again which makes it easy to read.

Part 2 of the book focuses on “The Seasons”. The work outs and the meals are broken down by season. Each season has an in-season grocery list included so you know which foods to purchase. Most importantly, sprinkled throughout the book are little gems of motivation and tips for you to lead a healthy lifestyle year round. Again, it isn’t just a list of workouts for you to do, it’s accompanied by a scenic picture showing you how to perform the exercise. Most of the meals provided are single servings so if you are looking for meals for a family, you’ll have to double the recipes depending on how many servings your need. I almost forgot to mention that there is a fast-track meal plan at the end of each season, which has a weeks worth of snacks and meals.

Being that I’m a foodie, if there’s a recipe to try I’m all over it. I’m just finishing up a 10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse so I’m slowing adding foods back. The first recipe from the book that I tried was the Piña Colada Protein Smoothie. I’ll definitely be trying more of the recipes included in the book and share them with you so make sure you check back for an update.


Hot Body Year-Round by Cassey Ho

Piña Colada Protein Smoothie

I’m always on the lookout for new smoothie flavors so I decided to give her Piña Colada Protein Smoothie a try. I don’t know what it is about coconut water but I’m not a fan of it. Try it yourself and see if you like it.



1 cup chopped frozen pineapple

1 cup coconut water

1/2 frozen small banana

1 scoop protein powder

1/2 cup crushed ice



Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and serve.

 Per serving: 171 cal; .8g total fat (1g sat); 0mg chol; 117mg sodium; 38 carb; 31g sugar; 6g proteins


FTC disclaimer: “I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”

Grill It, Braise It, Broil It [Book Review]


Hey Guys, I wanted to share with you a new cookbook that’s coming out this Tuesday, it’s called Grill It, Braise It, Broil It. This book was created by the American Heart Association and it’s filled with lots of healthy meals, 175 to be exact. This is my latest book that I’m reviewing for Blogging for Books.

This cookbook is arranged by cooking technique so in addition to grilling, braising, and broiling recipes; there are 9 additional cooking methods. A few of the other cooking methods are roasting, stewing and slow cooking. Also included in the beginning of the book is information about leading a healthy lifestyle. While it doesn’t include specific workout exercies, it does state that the American Heart Association recommends that adults get 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least five days a week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week for overall cardiovascular health. Children should aim for at least 60 minutes a day.

As I mentioned earlier this book contains 175 recipes and at the end of the book there are list of recommended staples that should be kept in your fridge, freezer, and pantry. Their is a list of spice, oil, dry goods, condiments, and miscellaneous food suggestions.

What I like most about this book is that the recipes are broken down by cooking method. But most of all I like that the nutritional information is included with each recipe. Even if you’re not counting calories or keeping track of carbs or fats, it’s good to have an idea of how many calories you are consuming. Honestly I’m less likely to try a recipe if it has an excess of fat, carbs, sugar, sodium or calories.

Now that I’ve shared what I like most about this book, I have to say that it was a little disappointing that there weren’t more pictures included in this book. About a third of the way through the book there are 4 pages front and back of pictures and that’s it. It could just be me but I like to see a picture of what I’m about to create before I start. Every recipe doesn’t have to have a picture but I’d prefer the majority of the recipes to include a picture. I have been in the book store and a cookbook cover has caught my attention but when I flipped through the book it didn’t have many pictures so I put it back. Again, that’s a personal preference.

With that being said this won’t stop me from trying some of the recipes included. I’m always on the lookout for healthy recipes and since this book is from the American Heart Association, I can’t go wrong. The first recipe I tried was the Edamame Dip and it was delicious! I hope you’ve enjoyed this review and make sure you get in your recommended exercise! 🙂



FTC disclaimer: “I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”


Hungry Root - Celery Root Noodles

Hungryroot – Celery Root Noodles

I’m excited to share this post with you. As I’ve mentioned in previous post, I really love zucchini noodles. They are filling but without all the calories as regular noodles. If you ask Amiyah, I make them all the time. So I received an email from Gia from The Door, sharing information about a new product line aiming to revolutionize healthy home cooking with vegetable-based seven minute meals. That sentence alone piqued my interest. Honestly just about anything that has to do with healthy cooking is going to catch my attention but if it doesn’t require me to be in the kitchen all day then I’m all in.

Don’t get me wrong I LOVE cooking but I’m not a fan of washing a boatload of dishes. After reading the information that was sent to me and checking out the website for Hungryroot, I definitely wanted to try the vegetable noodles. I reached back out to Gia to see if they would be willing to send me a few meals to taste test. She said they be happy to so I was excited! Eeekk! Saturday afternoon when I was heading out to a pageant for my niece I saw a package waiting at my door. The one below but in a shipping box. 🙂

Hungryroot - Celery Root Noodles

Hungryroot – Packaging

Being that I was running late I didn’t really have time to open it but the box said refrigerate or freeze so I put the box in the refrigerator and ran out the door. I was impressed that the package arrived so quickly, being that I just emailed Gia my address on Wednesday. The meals come in a small styrofoam container with a ice pack on top and a small piece of dark chocolate. YUM!

Hungryroot - Celery Root Noodles


She allowed me to choose the meals I wanted to taste test and I chose the Celery Root Noodles with Sweet Basil Gremolata and the Sweet Potato Noodles with Creamy Cashew Alfredo. First up is the Celery Root Noodles with Sweet Basil Gremolata. As you can see all of the ingredients you can actually pronounce, whether or not they are pronounced correctly is a completely different story. I’m still struggling with Gremolata, but it’s delicious so that’s all that matters. Hungry Root - Celery Root Noodles

The instructions of how to cook the noodles are on the back of the packaging. I have read that the microwave instructions will be added to the packaging in the future but the time for each step should be cut in half and noodles stirred every minute in the microwave. Honestly I’m not a fan of cooking things in the microwave, they just don’t seem as fresh but if you’re on the go or at work this is a healthier option then a frozen meal. As you can see you do have to consume them by a certain date but it has Nature Fresh packaging which will allow the noodles to stay fresh for 10 days without preservatives. AWESOME, which means you can order meals for the week.

Hungry Root - Celery Root Noodles

Hungry Root - Celery Root Noodles
Hungry Root - Celery Root Noodles
Hungry Root - Celery Root Noodles

This meal didn’t take long to make and the smell was divine! Prep time of 7 minutes seems about right. The sauce was very delicious and it had a nice sweet taste. Make sure you don’t saute the noodles too long so they they still have a crunch to them. You definitely don’t want mushy noodles. Mine turned out perfect! Amiyah wasn’t around but I saved her some for her to try when she returned home and I have to say, it’s kid approved! She even asked if I could make her some for her to take for lunch the next day. Unfortunately it was all gone but these noodles are a great way to get kids to eat more vegetables.

Hungry Root - Celery Root Noodles

I wanted more protein so I added boneless skinless chicken breast to my noodles. The neat thing about Hungryroot is that their is an option to add grilled chicken for $2 so if you’re short on time you can let Hungryroot grill the chicken for you. This was the first time I’ve tried a vegetable noodle besides zucchini and this could easily be my new obsession. Be sure to check back for my review of the Sweet Potato Noodles with Creamy Cashew Alfredo. Hungry Root - Celery Root Noodles

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