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Hyacinth flowers in the birch pot Thomas bought last fall are bringing all the springy feels to our dining room this week. The flowers smell sooooo good too! See those little egg bites up there? I have a post coming up about them. They are easy, quick and delicious – the best combo for a recipe!

Baby It’s Cold Inside

You know how sometimes it gets warmer outside than it is inside? That effect was strong all week, and I often found myself going outside to warm up! Inside, however, I had on two jackets, including my Luxe Hoodie ( <– on sale!) which reminds me of something Jon Snow would wear with all that fur up there!

Occasionally I Eat Reese’s

One reason I like shopping at Whole Foods is that I don’t have the temptation of junk food. Yes I am tempted by certain things, Oreos and Reese’s are two of my favorite not-so-real foods. (I have zero temptation to eat Doritos or swing through drive thrus though.) I went into Kroger on the way home from my soccer game on Sunday to pick up some chicken broth for our dinner recipe. While in there I passed the Easter candy aisle. Mind you I had just played two hours of soccer and was STARVING so that did not help! I bought the boys some Easter basket goodies and came out with this bag of Reese’s Pieces eggs – big ones – that I just had to try. OMG – so good.

Sunny Soccer

Mazey had a soccer game on Monday and we were treated to bright blue skies. (It poured down rain during my Sunday game – I can’t remember the last time I got rained on like that!) He scored two goals!

B. Good

Afterwards, we went to B. Good for dinner! They invited us to come on the house, and we had a great little family meal. Did you know kids eat free on Tues + Thurs? What a great deal. And if you can see Mazen’s kids meal back there, it came with a hot dog, a few fries, broccoli, and applesauce. I’d call that a pretty good kids meal to get for free. (And Mazen even ate his broccoli!)

I had the Spicy Lime and Avocado bowl (half) and the Power Play burger (half), shared with Thomas. B. Good focuses on locally sourced ingredients and humane meats, so we will be back again soon.

Boys Will Be Boys

Birch had a playdate this week with his friend H who is just a few weeks younger. Don’t they look a little alike? Similar eyes, same cheeks. Boys gotta be tough, they say!

Fresh Faced

You guys, I swear I’ve already noticed a difference in my skin after using the Beautycounter products for a week. It seems more glow-y and even. I could be biased though, so I will keep waiting and we will let the photos speak for themselves.

I had Emily take some before photos of my face. Now that was awkward! My nose zoomed in 1000%. Here’s me with zero make up on, no filter, unedited. We can compare in a few weeks!

And here’s me with most of my Flawless In Five on! (Tint Skin in Linen // Concealer in light // Blush in Melon // Lengthening mascara in black // Brows in light // + Color Intense Lips in 9 to 5) I really love how fresh and natural the makeup looks.

Workouts

I finished my iFit French Polynesia program this week! I really do think I gained running ability from the start to finish. Running at 8.0 felt like a full on sprint when I started – I felt like I was going to fall off the tread! But by the end it felt like a fast run. I’d say that’s improvement! I also went to strength class on Wednesday. Feels good to be back!

Pre workout breakfast. And after: a banana with PB!

I love my ponytail after it spends a night in a bun

Meals

I’m still eating quiche (and pita chips) all the time! It’s been my favorite part of Plenty because it’s perfect for both lunch and dinner.

Thomas brought me a Bodos bagel for lunch one day – the usual with salmon, cream cheese, sprouts and cucumbers. If you can’t tell, this one was super light on cream cheese and just was not up to par! Cream cheese is to a bagel as frosting is to cake. The cream cheese to bagel ratio must be at least 1:1

This meal from Plenty was 100%! Shrimp, sausage, and veggies over polenta.

We also LOVED the beef enchiladas! With a homemade side salad. These might have been the best homemade enchiladas I’ve ever had.

And for dessert – my sticky little gumdrop! I love how much he loves books.

Have a great weekend and a Happy Easter!

The post Baby It’s Cold Inside appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.

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I recently started to dip my toes back into one-on-one nutrition coaching! When I set out to become a Registered Dietitian, my goal was to help people feel their best with healthy eating, fitness, and lifestyle changes. I imagined myself meeting clients at grocery stores to talk about which products are my favorites, meeting clients for walks on a trail and talking through their nutrition questions, and sharing some of my favorite tips and recipes along the way. That dream turned into KERF. While I do hear from you guys in the comments and on social media, it’s mostly a one-way street.

So when I had a mutual friend reach out to me about in-person nutrition coaching, I started to say my usual “Thank you for asking, but I’m not set up for that right now.” Until I realized that this was actually the perfect opportunity for me to see if one-on-one coaching was still something I wanted to do!

I updated some of my materials from years ago when I did Real Food Consultations under another RD, and spent some time polishing up a Nutrition Bootcamp document that I will send to all clients. We met in the Whole Foods cafe (naturally!) and talked and talked and talked. Luckily healthy lifestyle is my favorite topic! I left the session feeling really energized, which is a good sign to me that it’s something I should be doing more of.

All this to say: I think coaching is something I’d like to get back into! I’d like to keep it lifestyle, cooking, habits based, as I don’t feel qualified at this time to take on clients with medically necessary diets. At least not in the short term. And I think sticking with local clients might be the best way to get started.

But I am curious if any of you would be interested in online coaching?

I have thought about doing online coaching for years, and many of you have emailed me asking about it. It’s a bit intimidating to get set up for something like that. However, the more I think about it, I don’t think I’d complicate things by making a bunch of different packages, promising detailed meal plans, or delivering lots of math heavy calculations. I think I’d just charge a flat rate per session and have each session be open for any and all topics based on the client’s interests. (I would do an intake form and ask for a food dairy so we’d have a foundation to jump off from.) This is all just swirling in my head for now and might never come to fruition, but I thought I’d at least mention the idea here.

Nutrition: Keep It Simple

I stumbled upon this little graphic somewhere on the internet and had to laugh out loud (especially the part about intermittent fasting.) I sent it to my client who has tried all of the diets in the world.

Nutrition can be SO confusing. But you know what my response is: keep it simple. Real food. Eating mindfully to hunger cues. A well-stocked fridge. Emphasis on VARIETY and COLORFUL foods. Adding over subtracting. And remembering that the Squiggly Line is more important than obsessing about a number on a scale.

More posts on real food nutrition:

The post Nutrition: Keep It Simple appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.

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^^ How amazing is that first photo?! Birch and I recently had the pleasure of being models for Green Bean Baby Boutique’s spring shoot with Amy Yang Photography. Amy gave me permission to share the photos on the blog. Everything you see in the pics (except my jeans – lol) can be purchased at Green Bean – even my black Boob Designs nursing top.

Birch was accompanied by his girlfriend, Fern. Erica and I want to go into business together in the future and our business will be called Birch + Fern! LOOK at them! I bought the Magnetic Me onesie B is wearing here on the spot.

Amy did such a wonderful job capturing his little smile.

After the shoot, Erica and I went to Oat Hart Social for drinks and apps. These two stared into each other’s eyes and caught the attention of other patrons. They are life twins because they had the same due date!

Amazing oysters and arctic char with cabbage.

Mazen has been modeling – aka having his body traced on a big sheet of doctor’s office paper Nona brought over. His latest use for it: life size happy birthday cards! I’d say he looks a little bit like Frankenstein here…

Now allow me to model something for you: These are the Hudson Board Shorts from Athleta and they are THE BEST shorts for summer. Remember how last summer I lived in a few pairs of maternity shorts that were a quick dry fabric? I can’t stress how much I loved those shorts – I seriously almost kept them to wear again but the panel was just too loose on my non-pregnant body (haha). These board shorts I’ve had for two years but obviously didn’t wear them last summer. They are quick dry fabric so they’re great for sweating, and they have ZIP POCKETS which are a must for carrying around a phone.

They also have appropriately loose leg holes (yes that’s a thing!) and a tie so you can make the waist looser or tighter. Get some! I actually just ordered them in a black floral – which are on sale! I also love these (I have them in a peachy color) and I plan to buy some of the Trekkie shorts to try too because they are also lightweight quick dry fabric with zip pockets.

This is the vibe you get when you really wish your little brother could sleep in bed with you. Soon enough Mazen!

Have a great day!

The post Birch + Fern appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.

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This post is sponsored by Quaker Oats

There is a new bev in town – Quaker’s new Oat Beverage! Oat milk has been trending as a great lactose-free, plant-based milk, and naturally, Quaker would be the one to make a delicious one. I’ve been using the three flavors in everything from cereal to smoothies to oatmeal itself. 

Flavors

There are three flavors to choose from – Original, Vanilla, and Original Unsweetened, which has no added sugar. My favorite flavor is the Vanilla (because I’m a vanilla girl!) The Original has plenty of great flavor – subtly grainy, very slightly sweet, smooth as can be. The texture is thick not watery, so you’ll be happy to use this for all of your milk-based recipes.

Nutrition

On the nutrition front, each 8 ounce serving of Oat Beverage is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D, a good source of fiber from oat bran and chicory root, and clocks in at 30 (Unsweetened) to 50 (Vanilla, Original) calories. Quaker’s Oat Beverage is also specifically formulated with fiber from oat bran to qualify for an FDA heart health claim, with .75 grams of soluble fiber from oat bran per 8 ounce serving. [Studies show 3 grams or more of soluble fiber daily from oat bran, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.]

Snickerdoodle Smoothie Recipe

My number one use of Oat Beverage has been smoothie making, and I serendipitously created this snickerdoodle variation using the vanilla flavor. It combines oats, Oat Beverage, almond butter, and cinnamon into a smoothie that tastes like a blended cookie. The almond butter and cinnamon are key!

A Heart Healthy Diet

A heart healthy diet should include whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy, lean protein and legumes, and should limit fat, saturated fat and cholesterol and sodium. This recipe per 1 serving provides at least 1g soluble fiber. Experts recommend that to maintain good health, no more than 10% of your calories should come from saturated fat, and no more than 20-35% of daily calories should come from total fat. 

Snickerdoodle Smoothie

This smoothie combines almond butter, oats, vanilla and cinnamon to create a cookie like flavor. 

  • 8 ounces Quaker Vanilla Oat Beverage
  • 1/4 cup Quaker Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 medium banana (frozen)
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla almond butter
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Blend everything together in a high power blender. Top with additional cinnamon.

Thanks to Quaker Oats for sponsoring this post. For more information on Quaker’s Oat Beverage and where to buy it, click here

The post Snickerdoodle Smoothie appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.

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^^ How about that neon green spring vibe!? Our weather here has been flip flopping between April showers and May flowers. Friday was a rainy mess, Saturday morning the sun came out (above) and Sunday the rain was back! But I will take warm rain over freezing cold any day.

On Friday night Thomas’s mom offered to babysit so we could have a date night <3

We went back to Public because it’s our new favorite spot! We like sitting at the bar, but somehow we lucked out and got one of the window tables.

A plus for being earlybirds and going to dinner at 5:30: happy hour prices! Oysters are only $1.25 before 6pm.

The Big Island Pearls are our favorites. My favorites are the ones described as buttery.

We debated and debated a dinner strategy (mixed apps, mussels and sides, two entrees, one entree + app + sides) and finally settled on the big steam pot Thomas had been craving for a few visits. He was after those snow crab legs! We shared the pot plus a side of asparagus and fries. Those crab legs were goooooood!

Somehow we left the Keys without getting a really amazing slice of key lime pie. (I had one but it had a chocolate crust – no thank you!) Luckily Public’s is amazing. Super tart!

On Saturday morning I had toast with peanut butter before heading to the gym for athletic conditioning class. ‘Twas a good one!

I’ve had such fun testing out all of my products. So far I really like everything. I took some before pictures of my skin so I can compare in a few weeks/months.

Day on the left, night on the right.

Lunch was the last of our quiche from last week (with a detached crust!) and a homemade kale salad with bacon and avocado.

Birchie and I did a lot of snuggling while Thomas and Mazen went to Scott Stadium to greet the UVA bball champions!

I also did some prep for a patio party we hosted!

We had pork tacos for dinner. (I had two! Always two.)

We had a few ACAC friends over to enjoy the spring weather on the patio. Mr. B enjoyed all of the attention!

Mr. Mazen enjoyed staying up past bedtime and making a s’more. He’s wearing a headlamp, by the way. Such a great gadget for a kid.

On Sunday we did Sunday things: lazy breakfast, blog post writing, family time, lots of soccer, dinner.

The post Spring Fling appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.

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Maybe he will become a treehugging environmentalist or maybe he will decide he hates trees when he’s older, but for now, Birch is dressed in birch a lot of the time!

Kate Quinn Organics had a big 40% off sale and I bought all of the birch fabrics in different sizes. I had to!

My New Favorite Diaper Bag

I was on the hunt for a backpack diaper bag and this one by Parker Baby caught my eye for its style and colors. I then learned it was called The Birch and of course it became The One.

I am absolutely obsessed with it, from the little tree that matches my baby to all the perfectly positioned pockets. I have never had a backpack diaper bag before, and now I see what all the hype is about! It’s SO much easier to carry around.

Unlike my Skip Hop messenger bag, which was always spilling things out of the open pockets, this one is all zipped up. And best of all (seriously this is a game changer…) the side pockets, which are insulated for bottles, FITS MY GIANT HYDROFLASK WATER BOTTLE! (I just leave the zippers open across the top and slide it in.) I love the look of the bag so much too – I even took it to a meeting last week.

Beautycounter + Kath Eats

I made a big announcement on Instagram Stories on Tuesday that I am excited to be joining the Beautycounter team! (Watch those stories online here!) Let me tell you how this all unfolded.

“Maybe Next Time”

Over the years I have gotten dozens of invitations to join Beautycounter. Every time my response was simply: “The timing isn’t right, but maybe in the future!” I love the what the company stands for – advocacy for safer skincare – but I just didn’t have the time to commit. As the founder and CEO, Gregg, says “I didn’t know what I didn’t know.” I should have purchased products back then because I’m sure my skin would have thanked me, but with a gazillion samples in my house, I felt obligated to use them up first. Ironically I have bought samples of Beautycounter products to take with me on trips, so the company’s own samples were bulking up my stash!

While Using Said Beautycounter Travel Samples…

I had a box of those samples with me on our spring break trip, and while I was in the shower using the, I started thinking about the company and how my mom gifted me some of the Beautycounter mineral sunscreen a while back and I should order more. This was particularly fresh in my mind because we had just bought all the cheapest (toxic) sunscreens at the Publix in Marathon, and I was already feeling guilty about putting them on Birch and me while breastfeeding. The skin is the largest organ, ya know? I decided right then I wanted to order more of Beautycounter’s mineral sunscreens when I got home.

As soon as I got out of the shower, I saw that I had a DM from Teri of A Foodie Stays Fit (we go way back!) who happened to be at the Beautycounter conference asking me if I had ever considered spreading the safer skincare message.

How about that timing, Universe?

So instead of saying “maybe next time” right away, I started asking her questions. (I also got DMs from a few of my other blog friends!) I then texted my esthetician, Alyssa, and asked her opinion of the products. “I sell them!” she replied. Her endorsement was gold to me. And finally, the universe came full circle when I mentioned the brand to my sister who said she had bought a handful of products thinking she had nothing to lose with the gracious 60-day return policy and she really liked them. She had also been considering taking the next step to joining a team (and she did!)

All that to say, I felt called to explore this opportunity. I spent a lot of time learning about the company and interviewing several consultants, and decided to place a (very large – gulp!) order of products and invite you guys to follow along as I try them and learn about what makes them both safe and effective.

Business Growth

While my interest was piqued by wanting cleaner skincare for me and my boys, it’s no secret that this is also a business move. Yes, consultants make money through affiliate sales. I am not doing this simply to make money – I already have a business – but if getting to buy, try, and use great products helps my business grow, I’m all for it.

That said, if any of you are interested in becoming a consultant along with me, I would love to have a buddy or (a group of buddies!) to grow with. So if you want to connect outside of the blog, send me an email to Katheats@gmail.com.

So does that mean everything’s gonna be “aahhhhmazing” and you’re just going to try to sell it to us?

I already share all of my favorite things with you guys in this space, and I believe in the company, its mission, and its transparency enough to go into this with an open mind and “vote with my dollars.” I don’t expect to love all of the products, and I vow to be honest with the ones that I like and the ones that I don’t. I think it will be interesting and informative to update you all with my real opinions. I also know that too much of anything on a blog gets old – oatmeal, babies, sponsored posts – so I promise to continue to blog with the same balance of topics that I always have. (With a bit more baby than six months ago!)

Subscribe

I also decided that the best way to communicate with those of you who are gung-ho about this is via a Beautycounter newsletter. So while I will be writing some posts and talking about the products on the blog, naturally, if you want to hear all the deets, please subscribe by clicking this button. Be sure to indicate by checking the boxes if you’d like to get posts by email, the KERF newsletter, or only the Beautycounter newsletter.

So What Did I Order?

A lot! The products I’m really excited to introduce to try are the famous Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer (which has SPF) and the Overnight Resurfacing Peel. People swear by both! The Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick will be perfect for soccer games and both Mazen and Birch. And I am hoping both the Resurfacing Peel and the No. 1 Brightening Facial Oil will help with the blotchy skin on my forehead I have leftover from pregnancy. I ordered the Countermatch Collection for the basics: shower to bedtime. I ordered some make-up items too, which are the most fun part, and I already love the Color Intense Lipstick (in 9 To 5) which much to my surprise had a peppermint tingle (!!) and was still there when I glanced in the mirror after eating dinner. I will be sure to check in with an update!

Inspired? Everything is 15% off till Monday.

If you are inspired to make a few changes to your skincare routine, now is a GREAT time to browse the site because everything is 15% off now through April 15. (Apparently this only happens twice a year and I picked the perfect week to write this post!) Beautycounter has a very generous 60-day, no questions asked, full-refund return policy, so if that doesn’t take the risk out of it, I don’t know what does. (I might end up using the return policy myself if I don’t love everything I ordered.)

Beauty Should Be Good For You

KERF’s foundation is built on eating food in its most natural state. Food that is nourishing, energizing, and the best fuel for your body. I see the Beautycounter mission the same way – products with real ingredient lists that are thoughtfully chosen and work with the body to bring out the inner beauty in us all.  <3

The post Beauty + The Birch appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.

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Charlottesville has a lot to be proud of this week! If you are 0% interested in sports you might not have heard that the University of Virginia basketball team won the NCAA National Championship! After returning from our trip on Friday, we hosted a few friends on Saturday to watch the game. Birch has his friend Harrison over, but they were more interested in rattles than the TV. B also had a blowout in his UVA onesie just minutes before the game started!

We ordered sushi (my first time having it since pregnancy!) and gobbled it down.

On Sunday I killed my legs with 1.5 games of women’s soccer. After a week of doing practically nothing, I was SO sore on Monday!

We made burgers on the grill with asparagus for a casual family dinner.

At five months, we’re slowly starting to give Birch tastes of soft foods. Despite me singing The Avocado Song nonstop, I don’t think he was that into avocado!

Birch’s other new thing? Flipping himself over (quite violently I might add!) in the middle of a diaper change to try to reach the wipes himself. I feel like we’re getting a strong preview of the twos already!

I’ve been craving smoothies all week, probably since the weather has been warm. My favorite Daily Harvest smoothie is the Blueberry Hemp! Topped with some local granola we bought at Whole Foods.

Thomas and I stayed up late watching the championship on Monday night. B woke up at 2 and 5 that night, so I was dragging on Tuesday! We almost took Mazen to greet the team’s bus, but much to our disappointment he was way more interested in doing a lemonade stand on Tuesday so we didn’t push it.

I ordered the shrimp + orzo salad from Plenty and added some homemade dressing and pita chips for crunch. It made such a great quick lunch! (I love my marble folders!)

We had teriyaki salmon with broccoli and a side of brown rice we made at home for dinner on Tuesday.

Little elephant <3

Little kangaroo!

The post Hoos Had A Good Week? appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.

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Instagram knows me like a BFF. No matter what I’m thinking about – nursing bras, beanies, wine – she reads my thoughts and delivers ads that target exactly what I have on the brain.

Tasting Room was advertised in my feed and after clicking through, I paid $7 for this little tasting kit to come to my house. (I should have looked for someone’s friend code to get it for free!) I have a thing for any kind of tasting – from wine to cheese to chocolate! I think it’s because when you do a tasting you really relish in the mindfulness of the experience. Plus mini bottles are so cute.

I went one by one through each wine, guided by the website, and ate crackers in between to cleanse my palate. I think I calculated that it was just over two glasses worth of wine total so you could share it with a partner too (but I didn’t want to!) I compared and contrasted the first two, middle two and last two and took an online quiz while I sipped. I think it took me over an hour to make my way through.

When you’re done, Tasting Room creates a wine profile for you. If you choose to continue, they send you a case of wines you’ll like based on your preferences. I have enough wine on hand that I postponed this shipment to the summer. (There is no obligation to order the case after your tasting.)

Apparently I like subtle sophisticated reds and fresh, zesty whites! My favorite part of the tasting was this graphic at the end which tells you what to look for on a wine menu. I do tend to ask for red wines that are fruit forward and velvety, so that makes sense!

If you want to try it too, this friend code should get you a FREE tasting box just like I did. If you do order wine after, that an affiliate link for me and a discount for you.

I want to know: what is your all-time favorite bottle of wine!!

It’s so hard to choose a favorite, but mine would have to be one of the big reds from a local vineyard here in Cville. Perhaps one from the Pippin Flight. Or the Croze Rose from King Family! (I just love that name! Did you hear they are making cans of it?!)

The post In Vino Veritas appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.

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That’s a mouthful of a title, and these are a mouthful of a muffin! Add these to your Instant Pot “to make” list. First you’ll want to procure these great silicone molds that can be used for everything from brownies to egg bites to muffins. I actually bought them to make little egg bites (stay tuned) but haven’t tackled that recipe quite yet because muffins were calling my name!

I used an old recipe and made some tweaks to get the right volume to fill two of these molds and make 14 muffins. Since I’m new to the Instant Pot, I wasn’t sure how baking would go, but they turned out great!

Banana, chia, whole grain oats, whole wheat flour and eggs all provide great nutrition. Chocolate chunks, however, are a must.

Because the Instant Pot is a moist environment, these muffins are on the moist side. They don’t have a crispy muffin top like an oven-baked muffin. However, if you slice one in half and put it in a toaster oven or under the broiler of your big oven, they toast perfectly on the edges. Then slather on a little butter or peanut butter!

How To Make Them

Start by mixing the ingredients in a large bowl. Super easy!

Spray the molds with cooking spray or grease well, and then scoop the batter evenly between 14 spots. An ice cream scoop is particularly helpful.

Then set your Instant Pot to cook on high for 10 minutes, and natural release for 10 minutes. Pop them out on a rack to cool completely.

Storage

You can store these for a few days in a tupperware or freeze them. They are ideally best served right away, and as I mentioned above, they are best toasted!

Recipe

Instant Pot Banana Chocolate Chunk Muffins

These easy muffins are packed with real food and taste great sliced, toasted, with a little butter or peanut butter on top!

  • 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp butter (melted)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Quaker Rolled Oats
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 banana (mashed)
  • ½ cup chocolate chunks
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  1. Combine all the wet ingredients together in a large bowl, eggs, yogurt, maple syrup, butter, vanilla extract, and banana and mix thoroughly.
  2. Add in the dry ingredients (oats, whole wheat flour, chocolate chunks, chia seeds, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and fold gently so that the batter is not overmixed.
  3. Spray two silicone molds with cooking spray.

  4. Use an ice cream scoop for ease and fill the molds to the top.

  5. Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot and place the wire rack down to stack the first silicone mold on top. (Note do not put the lids on the molds – they might melt!)

  6. Place 3 metal mason jar tops on top of the first silicone mold to allow for the muffins to expand.

  7. Place the second mold on top of the mason jars.

  8. Put on Instant Pot lid and turn the pressure release knob to the sealed position.

  9. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes and then use the natural release for 10 minutes to release the extra pressure.
  10. Let the muffins cool and serve with a little bit of butter or your favorite nut butter!

The post Instant Pot Banana Chocolate Chunk Muffins appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.

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Detailed Reviews Of Our Stay:

Hello from Tranquility Bay

Tranquility Bay: Days 2 + 3

Tranquility Bay: Final Days

Review of Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort

I think the ultimate question when you’re reviewing a travel destination is “Would I go back?”

And our answer is: absolutely!

Our trip to Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort went swimmingly well and we couldn’t have asked for better accommodations given that we were traveling with two kids of very different ages. I had worried that the resort would be filled with adults wanting peace and quiet, but there were actually tons of families with small children there for Mazen to play with. (Probably more than usual due to spring break.)

Getting There

We took a direct flight from Richmond to Miami and rented a car to drive down. For $250 for the week, we got a super nice, new Toyota Highlander from Alamo. I was so glad we decided to rent a car and not take a shuttle. The drive was not bad at all and took us about two hours. There are lots of places to stop for lunch along the way.

We Loved

Stunning property and convenient accommodations. Definitely spring for a beachfront house so you can walk right out onto the sand and take in the gorgeous views.

Shallow, wave-free beach with clear water and plenty of chairs. Great for kids!

Beautiful heated pool area with zero-entry and nice chairs. Perfect for kids of all ages. (There is also an adult pool for those seeking peace and quiet, but even if I was traveling alone I would prefer the main pool.)

Full kitchen and nearby Publix so you can stock up on breakfast foods, light lunches, snacks, drinks, and coffee. We appreciated the nice coffeepot and provided coffee. (Even though we brought our own!)

Laundry in the kids room. I put a load in every night (including our beach towels) and we had clean clothes every morning. This enabled us to travel very lightly. I can imagine going to the beach without a washer/dryer! (I also love doing laundry). I bought detergent at the grocery store.

-The view from our bed and wonderful porches.

-On-site activities: putting green, kayaks and (expensive) jet ski.

Butterfly Cafe was delicious with a lovely ambiance.

Things To Note

-There are only two places to eat on the property: TJ’s Tiki Bar for lunch/dinner (super casual) and Butterfly Cafe (fancy) for dinner. We ended up just eating breakfast and lunches in our house and went out to dinner twice to Lighthouse Grill and Sunset Grill, neither of which impressed us all that much.

TJ Tiki Bar was a disappointment. The food was just OK, and the drinks were $15! DIY a margarita in your room. I did have a good shrimp salad for lunch one day, but it cost me $23.

Service: something to know is that this resort is not bustling with employees to bring you a poolside drink. This might be a pro or a con for you, but it’s something to be aware of. Housekeeping does come once a day to refresh your room and replace towels, so that was nice. Everyone was friendly!

Pool towels are provided in your room and you have to carry them around with you. There are not extras by the pool, beach, etc.

-We really thought the rooms could have used some rugs. If you’re not used to it, the tile is quite cold/wet/sandy and hard on the feet, so bring some slippers! There was also no where to put our baby down on the main level so we resorted to towels and blankets on the floor. One nice indoor/outdoor rug and a few doormats would have been nice.

-The bathrooms, while 2.5 was nice to have, were TINY. Just something to be aware of. I could barely do a 360 turn in the master bath. They did supply shampoo, conditioner and soap – FYI!

The resort is small, so if you want to go for a walk or run you’ll have to venture outside and there aren’t really great paths to take. There is a fitness room, but I never made it there. The few walks I took had me doing laps back and forth.

-There are iguanas by the pool and they are quite friendly! If you are afraid of them, you might want to go somewhere else : )

-Unlike some of the bigger resorts, there is no kids club.

A Return Trip?

We are really debating a return trip next year! Overall we really liked the resort, and now that we’ve been once we know what to expect. We are torn between going back to somewhere we liked and seeing a new part of the world. That said, it would be hard to find such a perfect walk-out beach with a direct flight and warm weather, so unless we want to up our travel game with a toddling Birch, we might just be back next year!

The post Review of Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.

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