Ground Turkey Baked Ziti Recipe

Ground turkey baked ziti

This baked ziti recipe is a family favorite in our house, and a meal I’ve been making for years now. The recipe makes so much that I usually end up with leftovers for the next two weeks! I love that it is a healthier option and that it’s something the whole family loves! Whip this up for your own family and see what they think!

Ground turkey baked ziti

Ground Turkey Baked Ziti

-1 pound lean ground turkey

-16 oz whole wheat ziti pasta

-16 oz cottage cheese

-8 oz shredded cheese

-1 jar of marinara sauce

-1/2 tsp black pepper

-1/2 tsp salt

-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

-1 tsp oregano

-1/4 cup diced onion

1. Brown the ground turkey in a skillet with the diced onion.

2. In a separate pot start boiling the pasta.

3. In a small bowl combine the cottage cheese, shredded cheese, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, and oregano.

4. When the turkey is cooked add in the marinara sauce. Then add the cooked pasta as well.

5. In a large baking pan (spray with cooking spray) add half of the pasta/turkey/sauce mixture. Then layer half the cheese mixture on top. Repeat with another layer of pasta and finish with the cheese mixture.

6. Put in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

 

Try it out and let us know how you like it!

3 Family Activities that Gives Everyone a Workout

Hi ladies!! Do you ever struggle with family activities? I know I do, and I know my mom did. Especially family activities that also get the family exercising. I wanted to share some of my favorite activities to do with my family that are so fun and also a really nice workout. Good thing is, they don’t feel like a workout, because they’re actually fun!

  1. Go on a family walk:

This is something my family did all the time growing up and I loved it! we would take the dogs and everyone would get out and get fresh air. Sometimes we went far and other times it was just around the block. I want you to try and go 1 mile the first time you take your family on a walk. See how everyone does and increase it the next time. Walking is incredibly good for you. It gets your blood circulating, helps lower your resting heart rate, strengthen your muscles and bones and improve your overall mood. Endorphins y’all!! Strap on your shoes, put your babies in the stroller and get moving!

2. Play Knock out Basketball.

Another really fun family activity is to take your family to a basketball court ( or place where they have a basketball hoop and play knock out. Here’s how you do it. You’ll need two basketballs. Have your family members line up in a single file row. Give the first two people in line a basketball. Once everyone is ready have the first person in line shoot the ball. If he makes it, he’s done and hand the basketball to the next person (without a ball) in line.  As soon as the fist person shoots the ball the second person in line will shoot their ball. If they make the shot before the person a head of them,  the person who missed the basket is out for that round. You keep going until you have a winner! A variation of this could be to use a little tikes basketball hoop and the adults shoot on their knees and farther back 😉

3. Play tag or frisbee in the park.

I love this one because its fun with young and older kids. Sawyer already loves getting chased so we do a modified version of tag. Basically it ends up being the “I’m gonna get you game” but it gets us moving just the same!  And frisbee is a classic family activity and so fun! If you’re like my family we all kind of sucked, but it was really funny laughing at all the bad throws. If you’re Jeff and I know, then you’re researching how to throw a frisbee better and practicing every chance you get 😉 We really like this frisbee Aerobie Superdisc.

No matter the family activity, I can guarantee you’ll have fun! We just want to get you moving and happy! What are your favorite family activities to do? Let us know in the comments below!

*This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your help in supporting our families!

 

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My Favorite Books of 2017: 5 Books You Need to Read

This post contains affiliate links:

At the end of 2016 I decided that I really wanted to start reading more books, and so I challenged myself to read a book a month for the whole year of 2017. Well, I didn’t quite reach that, (although I did get really close) but I did read way more than I did the previous year (ahem…0 books….) and found some really awesome reads that that quickly became favorite books of mine. I wanted to share those with you today, because sharing is caring and I personally love getting good book recommendations. I’m just going to talk about my top 5 out of the 11 I read last year (you can see all 11 I read in the image above)

Favorite Books I Read In 2017

1. You Are A Bad*** At Making Money


This book is a sequel to Jen Sincero’s first book, You Are A Bad***(also an awesome book!) but this one focuses primarily on money and the subconscious beliefs we all have about money and how we can get past them. I absolutely loved this book and I plan on rereading it again this year!

2. Be Obsessed Or Be Average


This book by Grant Cardone is really motivational and makes you want to get out there and tackle your goals ASAP. I blew through this book and just couldn’t get enough! Great read if you have a lot of ambition and big goals to chase.

3. What I Told My Daughter


Nina Tassler collects short stories from various successful and famous mothers of daughters and asks them all one question: “What is the most important thing you told your daughter?” As a mom to my own little girl I absolutely loved this book and all of the insights and wisdom found in it. From Geena Davis, to Hillary Clinton, to Ruth Bader Ginsberg to Marie Osmond, there are so many amazing mothers with such amazing stories to share! Definitely a good read!

4. Designing Your Life


Written by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans this book is all about intentionally designing a life you love, and focuses primarily on career development and choices. It helps you to get clear on what you want out of life and how to find the right path for you. Super inspiring book!

5. Big Magic


This is a very well known book by Elizabeth Gilbert (the author of Eat Pray Love), and for good reason. It’s all about tapping into your inner creativity to live a magical life. It inspires you to have courage and go after what you want in life!

I am definitely going to continue the challenge this year to read a book every month. I feel much more productive when I take time out of my day to sit down to read a book, and it forces me to learn and grow and expound my horizons. It is something I hope to be able to continue for the rest of my life! So if you have any book recommendations, share them below! Here are some of the books I’m planning on reading this year that I’m excited to read!

5 Books I’m Excited to Read in 2018

1. How to be a Bawse by Lilly Singh


Okay, Michael got me this book for Christmas and honestly I’m already almost done with it, it is SO. GOOD. OMG.

2. High Performance Habits by Brendan Burchard


I heard about this book from both Lewis Howes and Amanda Bucci on their podcasts and have heard amazing things about it so I’m super excited to check it out

3. Judgement Detox by Gabrielle Bernstein


This book sparked my interest recently just from the title alone. Being judgement is something I’ve worked on a lot but is something I think we all could use a little help with at times.

4. The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*** by Mark Manson


Excuse the title, but this is another book that I’ve heard only amazing things about so I want to check it out.

5. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai


I know this book was all the rage a few years ago (I just can’t keep up okay!) but her story is so amazing and inspiring so its a must read on my list.

If you’re like me and you have to have a hard copy of every book you read you can click on the images for the link to amazon (we do get a little kick back when you purchase through our links, so heyyy thanks for the support😉). Like I said, PLEASE share if there are any other books you love that haven’t made my list yet! I have a whole year to fill so I need more suggestions! Happy reading friends!

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Upper Body Blast: Gym Workout

Good morning friends! Today I have an upper body gym workout to share with you! I personally prefer working out in the gym to working out at home, so I am going to start sharing some more gym workouts as well as the at home ones we’ve been sharing. I was up all night last night with a sick baby, so we won’t be going to the gym at our normal time this morning-and she wont be going at all-but I’m going to be doing this upper body workout later on this afternoon! Give it a try and let us know how you like it!

Upper Body Blast Workout:

Perform each exercise for 4 sets of 7 at a heavy weight. Rest for 1 minute between sets:

Superset 1:

Wide grip lat pull down – DB alternating bicep curl

Superset 2:

DB seated shoulder press – DB chest fly

Superset 3:

Single arm bent over row – DB upright row

Superset 4:

Cable rope tricep press-down – cable rope bicep hammer curl

Finish with 3 rounds of push ups to failure. 1 min rest in between each round.

And that’s it! I love using supersets to really make the most out of my time in the gym and maximize my efforts. One of my goals for this year is to really sculpt out my upper body so I’m going to be using this one a lot! Check it out and let us know how it goes! As always, share those workout selfies with us on instagram @hellofitmamas! Happy working out ladies!

Whole 30 Sweet Potato Turkey Skillet Recipe

Hi guys! I shared a picture of this  sweet potato turkey skillet recipe on our instagram last week and got a few people wanting the recipe, so I’m sharing here! Its a family favorite and so  quick and easy.  I make it at least once a week, and my husband doesn’t complain that it’s “too healthy” haha And my picky little eater Sawyer, loves it and will eat a ton so, I’ve got to right?? I adapted this recipe from Primavera Kitchen.

Whats even better is this is whole 30 compliant and very healthy to boot. I once added cauliflower rice to it and it was DELICIOUS.

Whole 30 Sweet Potato Turkey Skillet

1 lb Lean Turkey

1-2 tbsp olive oil

1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes, Cubed

1/4 cup water

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 Bell Pepper ( I like yellow or orange), diced

2 cloves Garlic, minced

2 cups spinach (optional)

low fat Mozzarella cheese or queso fresco for topping

Salsa & plain greek yogurt for topping

Directions:

Add oil, Onion, and bell pepper in a large saucepan or cast iron skillet*, and cook until tender. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, then add turkey and brown.  Once browned add cubed sweet potato and water (cooks sweet potato quicker) Cover and cook for about 7-10 minutes until soft and easily pierce-able with a fork.  Add spinach, cover and let wilt about 2 minutes. Then sprinkle with cheese. Then serve with salsa and yogurt and enjoy!

*If using a cast iron skillet add spinach and cheese, then stick in oven on high broil and broil for 3-4 minutes or until spinach is wilted and cheese is browned.

 

I hope you guys love this skillet! It keeps in the fridge for a week, and is very delicious as leftovers! Let me know if you try it!

 

 

 

 

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4 Tips For Making Grocery Shopping Healthier

 

It’s Friday!! Thank the stars!! It’s also mine and Jeff’s 5th year anniversary. And I may or may not have forgotten until I woke up and saw beautiful flowers on my night stand. I’m the worst! And also so spoiled. To be fair, we decided not to do anything big today, because were going on a big trip in April!! I can’t wait! Jeffrey works so hard for us, is such a good dad! I’m so grateful for him. In other news, Ive got some tips that I use every week to help make my grocery shopping healthier.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to the grocery store unprepared or famished with the intent of buying only healthy foods and all I came out with was ice cream, cookies and white bread to make french toast. A MILLION TIMES! After about 3 years of marriage and 3 years of not meal planning and eating junk I decided to get my act together and I’ve come up with four steps that I do every week to make my grocery shopping healthier.

Meal Plan:

  This one is by far the hardest for me. Coming up with yummy healthy dinners has never been my strong hold. Probably because I hated cooking all growing up. Anyone else’s mom give them their own cooking night to make dinner? I hated it!! But of course my mom was right in doing that (duh) because, now I know that I do it. I just have to put a little work into it. So every Thursday I sit down and look for recipes. I do recycle recipes quite often, but I now love adding new recipes to my repertoire. A few places that i love to get recipes from are: Minimalist Baker, Clean Simple Eats, and Primavera Kitchen. All of these ladies provide delicious healthy easy to make recipes, I also love browsing pinterest for ideas that are easily adjustable if I need to sub ingredients.  I use the weekly meal planner from day designer. To make planning easy.

Make a Grocery List:

Once I have all my meals planned, I start organizing my grocery list.  I love THIS printable from day designer. It makes it so easy to  organize everything into it’s category. Then I go to the store!

Don’t Grocery Shop While Hungry:

I remember, when  I was younger, being picked up from school and being sooooo hungry. Often times my mom would need to go to the store on our way home. So in walked a herd of hungry hungry hippos (hahaha okay i just had to).  Albertson’s, always around 4 o’clock  would put out a hot sample french loaf bread that you could cut and butter yourself. And it was pure heaven! You better believe me and my sisters devoured that! Point is, it wasn’t the healthiest snack we could have had. But it was there and it sounded and tasted amazing so we ate it.

See the thing about grocery stores is they strategically place unhealthy foods at the checkout and in the front of the store. They make them easily grab-able. So if you go hungry you’ll see all this candy and soda and other junk right at arms reach. And most often than not you’ll buy it and eat it because you’re hungry.  So by going when you’re full will help prevent rash and unnecessary purchases.

Read the Facts:

That is, read the nutrition facts. I like to do this with any box items that I buy. I look at the saturated fat and sugar content and keep those at a minimum.I also look at whether or not its made with whole wheat or whole grains. Whole wheat and grains are complex carbs with more nutrients that are lower on the glycemic index scale. This means they take longer for our body to digest and it doesn’t immediately spike your blood sugar. 

 

So it takes time and is a process ( all good things do). But if you do these things, I  promise you will be able to eat healthier and stop wasting money on junk.  Feel free to leave a comment with any questions you have, or shoot me an email, if you need help coming up with a meal plan. I’ll be happy to help!

Also leave a comment below if you liked this post and it was helpful!

Have a wonderful weekend friends!!

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Goal Setting: How to Set Great Goals For the New Year

Goal setting is a great way to stay motivated and to push yourself to achieve want you want out of life. There are right and wrong ways to set a goal though so today we’re going to go over how to set the best goals you can, as well as some tips to track and monitor those goals. Goal setting is exciting but can also be overwhelming and difficult. It helps a lot if you have a clear understanding of how to set good goals.

Goal Setting 101:

Be SMART

You’ve probably heard this acronym before, but its such a great outline to make sure your goals are the best they can be, so that you are more likely to achieve them!

Specific: like as specific as you can be. Saying you want to “lose weight this year” is useless. Having a specific goal like, I want to lose 30 pounds this year, or lose 15% body fat, are much better.

Measurable: there should be a clear line as to whether or not you hit your goal, so it needs to be measurable in some way. Instead of saying “I want to workout more, try I want to go to the gym 3 times a week, every week. It’s specific and it’s measurable!

Action-Based: your goals should be based on your behaviors and habits. Otherwise it’s not really a goal, its more of a wish. You can’t set a goal to win the lottery, but you can set a goal to make a certain amount of money for the year. One is luck, the other is based on what YOU DO.

Realistic: while I am a big believer in shooting for the stars, you need to set goals that are realistic to your situation, otherwise you’re setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. It would be silly of me to set a goal to go to the temple every day. That’s not realistic for my situation. A better goal would be for me to go to the temple once a month!

Time-Sensitive: set a deadline for your goals! If you have a goal to save $1000 for a shopping spree, set a deadline date so you have a stronger motivation and urge to actually do it in time! I have a goal to read one book a month this year, so the “deadline” in that situation would be the end of each month, for each book!

Break Goals Up Into Categories

This is one that I love to use, it really helps me focus in and compartmentalize each of my goals and what category it fits into. Generally I will set 2-3 goals in each of these different categories: financial, health and fitness, spiritual, work/business, and personal. Establish whatever categories work best for you and your life, and figure out a couple of goals for each of those categories!

Break Down Big Goals Into Smaller Action-Based Goals

This is another common practice but it can be really effective for ACTUALLY REACHING your goals. It basically gives you an outline of what you need to do to get to your big goal. If your goal is to lose 20 pounds, set some smaller goals that will help you get there. For example: exercise 3 times a week, drink 4 bottles of water every day, do the whole30 for a month, etc. Figure out what things you want to do daily that will help you hit that goal.

Reflect On WHO You Want To Be

When you’re trying to figure out what it is you want to accomplish, start by thinking about WHO you want to be first. Do you want to be someone who reads more? Do you want to be someone who serves others more often, or who goes to the gym everyday at a certain time? Maybe you want to be someone who cooks dinner for their family and eats at the table together every night. Maybe you want to be the kind of couple that makes time for a date night once a week. Or someone who goes to bed early and wakes up early. Get personal with yourself, figure out who you want to be, and where you need to go to get there.

Visualize

For me it really helps to picture in my mind exactly what I want to happen and what that would look like. I close my eyes and think about what it would look like if I were to reach my goal, how that would feel, what it would take for me to get there, etc. Let’s say my goal is to pay off all my student loans. I will feel a stronger motivation and desire if I visualize in vivid detail exactly what it would feel like if I accomplished that goal. Do this exercise as often as you need to and with any goal you like!

Tracking Your Goals

I love using my bullet journal to track my goals and log everything I do! There are so many great different ideas on Pinterest, and I love how you can customize it to whatever you want/like/need. It gives me a creative outlet and a chance to use fun stationary and pens, which I love! (This is the journal and the pens I use and love-click image for amazon link:

Here are some of the pages I have set up for this coming year and how I plan to log and track my goals! These are the pages I have set up recurring every month:

  • A monthly goals, plans, events, and to-do’s page
  • A daily habit tracker
  • A budget page
  • A family council outline
  • Daily gratitude journal

Sometimes I like to have additional/random pages at times. Here are some of my favorite ones that I’ve used before:

Have you ever used a bullet journal before? If so I’d love to see your pictures or hear some more page ideas! And if you have some exciting goals for this year, share them below!

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5 Ways to Build Endurance and Stamina

Woohoo! We made it to day two in 2018! Building endurance and stamina has been on my short list of goals for this year. I really want to push myself physically this year, and one way I know will kick my but is running long distances. Cue dread!! You know, I used to hate running, but since I’ve been getting into it, I’m loving it more and more!! (thank goodness for conditioning am I right?) To run long distances, i’m really gonna need to build up my endurance and stamina.  Here are few ways I’ll be doing that!

Switch Up Your Routine

It is so easy to get in the habit of doing the same thing at the gym. Running the same distance, using the same machines, the same weights. It is essential to building stamina to change it up! Run longer distances little by little. Increase weight amounts and do different exercises every day. 

Strength and Cardio on the Same Day

Truth is you have to do both. Doing one or the other just won’t cut it! Combining weights with cardio actually increases your endurance but getting multiple muscle groups working! I usually do cardio first ( to get it out of the way) followed by a resistance workout. Other options include doing a set of push ups, a set of burpees, followed by sit ups. Incorporate cardio in with your weight training, and vice versa!

Incorporate 2-3 HIIT Workouts into your routine

A HIIT workout or high intensity interval training is an amazing way to build up endurance and stamina. They are usually 15-30 minute fast paced, intense workouts to get you sweating. A classic HIIT workout is 30 second sprints 1 minute rests. Ali and I have written a few you can also chose from. Find them HERE, HERE and HERE

Keep Rest Time to a Minimum

I try to keep my rest times 30 seconds or less depending on how intense the workout is. However, this is something I want you to be cautious about. Listen to your body, if it needs longer rest time go to 60 seconds and try to keep going!

Be Consistent

This may seem contradictory to tip number one, but it’s not! I promise. All I’m saying is to keep working out. Try to do something active every day. If you work out really hard one week then not at all the next week, you’re gonna have a tough time building up that endurance and stamina sister.

Alright let’s get cracking! I’m so ready to be my best self this year! I hope this helps you too!!

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Kennedy’s 2nd Birthday!

During our trip to Oregon for my brother’s wedding, we were able to celebrate Kennedy’s 2nd Birthday as well. It was so fun to be with so much family for that day; we had both sets of grandparents, aunts and uncles, lots of cousins, and her great grandma all there. That girl is so loved! I wanted to share the photos from the day because it was so fun and so sweet!

Kennedy’s TWO SWEET Birthday Party

She was playing Peek-a-boo with the whole room😂

Thank You to everyone who came and spoiled our baby girl, and for making it such a fun and special time!

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Lemme See Dat Booty Work: A Booty Burning Workout (Free Printable)

Hi you guys!  I’ve got a printable booty burning workout for you guys to celebrate Christmas break!

We just celebrated Christmas this morning with Sawyer. Were going to Salt Lake to celebrate Christmas with Jeff’s family, so we wanted to do our own little family Christmas before we left. Sawyer is still not feeling well. He’s been sick since Saturday and it’s been the worst!! There is nothing worse than having your baby be so sick that none of your comforting is working. But he was such a good sport and got so excited when he saw his gifts!

BIG NEWS: I hit my 4 weeks yesterday! I can officially lift him and get back into regular working out!!!

I can’t believe its already been four weeks! You are all probably tired of me talking about my surgery, but before I had it done, I was terrified. The night before, I started panicking. How would I be able to be a good mom if I couldn’t even hold my baby? Is he going to love dad more now (okay this is so silly, hahah I’m dying that I even thought this. Of course I want Sawyer to Love his dad, but I just want him to love me a little bit more ya know? hehe). I wasn’t going to be in control, and that really freaked. me. out.  Because if you didn’t know i’m a control freak.

But here we are, and I survived! My baby still loves me most 😉 and I was able to sit down and cuddle with him, love him and play with him.  I was also so worried about not being able to workout, but I realized that my body needed that full four weeks to recover and heal. The best thing I could’ve down was to rest and take it easy. And I’m so glad I did! Did I miss the gym? you betcha. But I’m back at it and I can’t wait to go on a run. In fact I think I’ll do that today. (Wish me luck! it’s freezing outside)

This next year one of my goals is to gain lean mass, or muscle. I’ve never had a booty,  and let’s be honest, I REALLY want one haha.  So in order to get a jump start on this goal I made this booty burning workout. This workout is going to target your glutes, hamstrings, calves and a little bit of abs. You can add this into your normal gym routine or do it as an exercise this week.

Lemme See Dat Booty Work:  A Booty Burning Workout

Click below to download and print off!

Booty-Burning-Workout-2

I hope you like this workout and I hope it gets your booty burning. What other workouts do you want to see? Drop a comment down below and let me know!

Only 6 more sleeps until Christmas! Now go do the booty burning workout!

 

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