As a working mom, I am usually trying to find the balance between making time to workout, handling my day job, and having time for my family and kids. The question that usually comes to mind is “is there ever a good time to workout?” I find it interesting when I hear stories of not having enough time in the day. Juggling a lot, I know how hectic it can get and things slip but I am also a firm believer in finding the time if you really want to.
Truly, a workout is one of the best things you can give yourself. It doesn’t always have to involve going to the gym and can easily be done at home or a park or wherever you choose! So here are a few tips:
MY WORKOUT ROUTINE AND QUICK TIPS
My workout routine varies from the gym, to a slight run outdoors, using some of the workout equipment at my home, or some yoga stretches and core strength training.
Tip 1: If you are a homebody, you can easily buy a workout video that is safe to do at home (you may want to check in with your doctor if you are going to do any strenuous workouts to be sure it is okay). There are also a plethora of workout videos online and readily available on TV. I have friends who love the Insanity workout videos and swear by it. There are others who prefer yoga at home or a light workout using your own equipment at home (e,g., elliptical machine, cycling machine, ball, dumbbells, etc.)
Tip 2: If you love being outdoors, then a trip to the gym or even jogging outside or participating in group activities can do wonders for you. I know friends who absolutely love goat yoga. I am not sure about goats on my back (LOL) so that may not work for me, but I do make time to stretch and practice yoga outdoors, either alone or with a friends. I find it peaceful and invigorating.
Tip 3: Know your body and what you can and cannot do. For me, I am careful on the exercises I choose to do and I ALWAYS absolutely stretch before and after exercising. Give me a couple dumbbells and the outdoors and I am happy person. I can get creative by using the park benches for leg squats, dumbbells for different arm exercises, and go for a run.
Tip 4: If you don’t know what a foam roller is, please invest in one. It helps after a workout with sore muscles and I love using it. Also drink lots of water to stay hydrated during your workout and throughout the day. You can find a foam roller at Target. Lastly, incorporate a healthy eating lifestyle to your diet and you will look and feel great!
That about wraps it up for me, friends! What do you do to stay fit? I would love to hear all about it in the comments below. xoxo Louise
Ever wondered how simple it is to bake a perfectly moist, easy-to-make banana bread? Perhaps this delicious banana bread recipe can help you stick with any healthy eating-related goals.
Banana bread is one of my favorites of all time. It is one of those classic food recipes that the whole family can enjoy together. After all, everyone loves bananas!
I have been perfecting this banana bread recipe for a while now. It is wholesome, loaded with banana flavor, and just sweet enough. I personally think banana bread is a taste of heaven.
The ingredients for this yummy bread begins with four overripe bananas. Then comes the other basic essentials of flour, eggs, flax seeds, butter, and stevia powder or sugar to sweeten things up.
The banana bread recipe can be easily adapted or changed to suit your needs. You can add chopped walnuts or dried fruits, or cocoa powder and chocolate chips for the chocolate lovers. You can also use whole wheat flour as a healthier alternative instead of white flour but the banana bread may be a bit dense.
I prefer my banana bread plain. My kids love the taste of cinnamon in it so I usually mix a little cinnamon in my banana bread batter to give it a variance in flavor and texture. The hard part is waiting for the banana bread to cool once it is out of the oven. This was the perfect yummy weekend treat on a rather warm fall afternoon. You are going to love this delicious bread!
1 hour 10 mins
1 1/2 cup white flour (optional replace with wheat flour)
2 eggs, beaten (for vegan option, see my older video on youtube)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar (or substitute 1 3/4 tablespoon stevia)
4 bananas, ripe and finely crushed
optional: 1 teaspoon flax seed and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan. You can also use parchment paper to line the pan.
In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients.
Mash the bananas in a separate bowl.
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, banana and dry ingredients to the mixture along with the cinnamon and vanilla. Blend for another minute.
Bake in preheated oven for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of loaf comes out clean. It should feel firm and be crackly and golden brown on top.
Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool an additional 20 minutes before slicing.
For chocolate version, add 2 tablespoon natural cocoa powder to the mixture.
Did you make this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #louisemillen
As a little girl, my mother usually made soup almost every weekend in Ghana. We would usually have her soup with a fufu, a local starchy dough made from boiled plantain and cassava, and eaten by the people in Ghana. If we were sick, she would make light soup (also known as pepper soup). My all-time favorite soups were either peanut butter soup or palmnut soup which I am going to have to share one of these days.
I still make some of these soups every now and then but if you’re looking for a quick and easy soup that is rich and tasty then you should try my creamy tomato mushroom chicken soup. It is great on cold nights and also nice to have on hot days.
All you need are a few key ingredients. So without further ado, here is the recipe and video.
Prep Time Cook Time Total Time
5 mins 25 mins 30 mins
2 tbsp oil (olive oil or avocado oil)
1/4 onion, chopped
1 tbsp paprika
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 roma tomato, chopped
1-2 cups baby bella mushrooms
3-4 cups chicken broth
1 cup tomato puree
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp parsley & 1 tbsp dill
2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced (or shredded)
1 spring onion, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
Wash your vegetables and prep your ingredients.
Chop the onions, tomato, spring onion, cilantro, and cooked chicken.
Slice your mushrooms. If you buy already chopped mushrooms, this can you save a little time.
In a large pot, add the oil. When hot, add your onions, paprika and minced garlic.
Add your tomato and mushrooms. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Pour your chicken broth and heavy cream. You can also use vegetarian broth and opt out of adding chicken to the soup. Blend until lightly creamy.
Add rest of ingredients. Simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
I don’t know about you but when you live in Texas you’ve likely had tortillas as a taco, burrito, or quesadilla.
Tortillas are the perfect accompaniment for any dish. They can be eaten with eggs to make the perfect breakfast burrito, tasty with melted butter for the perfect snack, and delicious to have as a taco topped with protein and fresh vegetables. I even like them with honey although Alex doesn’t approve of them eaten that way!
In my home, we always have a supply of tortillas. My family loves them so much that I learned a homemade recipe from my mother-in-law and then personalized it to make it mine. All you need are the basic ingredients of flour, salt, oil, and water. I use 3 types of flour but if you prefer to have white tortilla, you can use only the all-purpose flour. For wheat tortilla, you can use four cups all-purpose flour and two cups whole wheat flour.
I’m always guilty of having them with honey (proof is in the pictures)! This is a healthy and easy to make recipe. If you make them, leave a comment and let me know how they turned out!
4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1. 5 tsp salt
3/4 cup oil
2 cups water (lukewarm)
MAKES ABOUT TWO DOZEN TORTILLAS
Mix dry ingredients together.
Add oil to mixture.
Gradually add in water and knead until consistency forms a soft dough
Let dough rest for 5 mins.
Cut dough and roll into small balls and cover with cloth to keep moist.
When ready to make, use rolling pin to flatten tortilla into a round shape.
Put on hot griddle for 1-2 mins on each side.
Wrap tortilla in a cloth to keep warm. Serve when ready.
Okay, I don’t always have honey with my tortillas. Here is proof of how you can dress them up with about anything!
What better way to celebrate the first day of Spring than to make a healthy and delicious avocado salad?
For as long as I remember, I’ve always had salad in my diet; vegetable, fruit, or yogurt salad to name a few. I simply love the vibrant colors and the added benefits of the nutrients you can get just from having a salad. The quick and healthy avocado salad is easy, flavorful, and refreshing. It is the perfect Spring-time snack and can be a complementary addition to your picnic tray.
I urge you to try making this salad. If you like the recipe, feel free to share it on Facebook.
I urge you to try making this salad. If you like the recipe, feel free to share it on Facebook.
PREP TIME COOK TIME TOTAL TIME
15 mins n/a 15 mins
1 whole red onion
1 whole avocado
2 spring onions
6-8 grape tomatoes
1 English cucumber stick
1/2 cup cilantro
1-2 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of salt and black pepper
Slice avocados into squares.
Slice tomatoes in halves.
Chop up rest of vegetables into squares.
Mix chopped ingredients together and squeeze lime into mixture.
Tea! That beautiful flavor that can enhance water and bring with it an inviting aroma. It brings me so much happiness whether prepared hot or cold. Summers are filled with iced tea but I still love my tea nice and hot.
There is something about drinking a cup of hot tea that is so gratifying. It could be in part due to the art of preparation, the dress-up with tea cups and saucers, or rather simply the use of a cast iron teapot that adds to the mesmerizing and enticing seduction.
This weekend wasn’t any exception. I went through the routine of heating up water in my colorful aqua kettle, adding a spoonful or two of Italian chamomile tea to my crane cast iron infuser teapot, and then waiting a couple minutes for my tea to brew. I usually don’t like any sweeteners in my tea but if you have the occasional sweet tooth crave, you can always sweeten your tea with honey.
Nothing beats the taste of calming and soothing tea to start your day or end your day.
Please leave a comment and let me know if you made the tea and how you liked it. If you want to save it for later, you can pin it on your Pinterest page.
Water, Italian Chamomille Tea, Honey (optional)
Heat water in a kettle until hot.
In a teapot, add a couple spoonful of Italian chamomile tea.
Pour hot water from kettle into teapot and cover lid.
I can’t believe Thanksgiving is around the corner! Growing up in Ghana we didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving nor did we have pumpkins laying around, and so it wasn’t until visiting the United States that I had my first taste of pumpkin pie.
It was absolutely delicious and so I did a little research on the recipe. Apparently, during the seventeenth century, pumpkin pie recipes could be found in English cookbooks. By the early nineteenth century, the recipes appeared in American cookbooks and became a common addition to the Thanksgiving dinner.
So it’s no surprise then that I decided to make a traditional pumpkin pie dessert using essential oils. I was initially skeptical about using the essential oils in the recipe but it actually turned out great. Next time I would leave the pie crust a little thicker.
We were so looking forward to eating this pie! It was incredible.
Prep Time Cook Time Total Time
10 mins 35-40 mins 50 mins
Makes: 8-10 mini-pies
2 cups fresh pureed pumpkin
1 large egg
1/4 cup egg whites (or 2 small egg whites)
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp melted coconut oil
1/2 cup brown sugar (if you want it more sweetened, make it 3/4 cup or you can substitute with honey)
1 tsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 drops doTERRA ginger essential oil
2 drops doTERRA cassia or cinnamon essential oil
optional: 1/4 tsp clove
1/8 tsp ground allspice
Preheat oven to 375 F
Prepare and roll pastry for pie crust. Cut out circles to fit inside the lightly greased pie tin. Take note not to roll dough out too thin or else the pie will fall apart after it is cooked
In a blender or large bowl, blend all ingredients together until smooth
Pour pumpkin mixture into pie crusts
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until crust lightly browns and when a toothpick is inserted into the pies, it comes out clean
Let sit for 10 minutes to cool
Gently remove from the pie pan. Cover and refrigerate within 2 hours
This time of year is always filled with good food, holiday dinners, and social gatherings. It can be tricky to eat healthy with all of the sweet treats around. This blueberry banana smoothie recipe is easy to make, and so much healthier. It will satisfy your sweet tooth cravings with the honey, banana and plum, all while giving you the nutrients you need to start your day off right!
Adding flax seeds to your smoothie is a healthy way to add fiber and omega-3 fatty acids to your diet and it will keep you fuller for a longer period of time. The fresh blueberries in this recipe gives added flavor to the smoothie. According to whfoods.com, new research has emerged with evidence that blueberries can improve memory with the consumption of 2 – 2.5 cups each day. Did you know even frozen blueberries do not lose its antioxidants?
The best part is, your kids will love it, and they won’t even know that it is packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, and potassium! After all, they do say fruit is nature’s candy!
Prep time Cook time Total time
10 mins 5 mins 15 mins
1 ½ banana, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 plum, remove seed and cut in half
½ cup blueberries
½ cup strawberries (or blackberries)
1 teaspoon flax seeds
½ teaspoon honey (optional)
2 tablespoon Greek yogurt (optional)
2 cups water
Wash the fruits and cut up the banana and plum.
Place the banana, plum, blueberries, strawberries, flax seeds, honey, yogurt, and water in the blender.
Blend on high until smooth. Add ice to glasses and serve immediately.
The wind carries an ever slight chill, a reminder that summer and her beautiful weather departs as Autumn has arrived. Late morning sunrise and rain drizzles from the sky, a subtle hint of Autumn slowly settling in for the next few months and breathing new life into old rhythm.
Last weekend, in my haste to enjoy a light wholesome snack and after a visit from a wonderful guest from Ghana, I found inspiration to make one of my old time favorites – the Ghanaian rock buns; also known as rock cakes or scones. They bring back happy childhood memories and I promise you they are delicious and tasty! To me, rock buns are the perfect snack. You may serve them for breakfast on their own, with milk, coffee, or tea. This recipe has been modified from the traditional version. You can also mix it up by adding pumpkin pie spice to the recipe to make each nibble a celebration of the new season.
Prep time Cook time Total time 10 mins 20 mins 30 mins Serves: Makes 12-14 rock buns
3 cups all purpose flour
5 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (seasonal)
1-2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional)
1 teaspoon flax seeds
1 egg (beaten)
1 cup of milk
3/4 cup of butter (1 stick and a half)
1/3 cup of dried fruits
1/4 cup milk (for coating)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
Grease your muffin pan or baking sheet
Combine your dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, lemon zest, and flax seed (pumpkin pie spice is optional)
Add butter to the mixture. Mix it well until you have a bread crumb texture, then add your brown and white sugar.
In a separate bowl, mix your egg and milk. Slowly stir this into the flour mix until it is moistened.
Put a 1/4 cup full in the muffin pan. If you want these rock buns different from plain scones, add a 1/3 cup of dried fruits like raisins. You can also mix it up with coconut or chocolate chips.
Bake for 18-20 minutes. A few minutes before the rock buns are ready, coat them with milk to give the top a golden brown color.
Please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you!