Friday, November 21, 2014

Foodie Friday: Protein Packed, Gluten-Free Pasta Dinner using Power Pasta @ThePowerPasta

I attended The 411 Momma's NYC Mommy Meetup this past Saturday.  It was a cool event that took place in my old hood in Brooklyn that featured a monologue by Dija Henry, and a blogger panel.  Of course, there was a swag bag given to the first 40 guest, and lucky me received one.  One of the items in the bag was Power Pasta.

What is Power Pasta?
Power Pasta is a gluten-free pasta using either red lentils or black beans. The pasta, per serving, packs 20+ grams of protein, and at least 13 grams of fiber (15 grams for the black beans).

How did I incorporate Power Pasta into my weeknight dinner?
Weekdays, I usually opt for simple meals.  I get home close to 7:00 p.m., and after a long day at work, cooking an elaborate meal is not an option.  The quickest, and easiest thing to cook is pasta. Then I remembered I had the Power Pasta Red Lentil Rotini pasta in my bag, so I decided to test it out. I apologize for not having a recipe. It was one of those nights where I just threw things in a pot and hoped it came out tasting good. Yup, my family were my test dummies.  Don't worry, they loved it.

Power Pasta cooks the same as regular pasta, so I just boiled my water with a little kosher salt and olive oil until it was al dente.  One thing I noticed about the pasta once boiled, is the water seems more starchy than when using regular pasta. I then drained the pasta, and added it to a ground turkey, butternut squash and fresh broccoli tomato sauce I made, but it didn't affect the flavor. Honestly, if you've tried whole wheat pasta, I think the flavor of the Red Lentil Power Pasta is better.

Of course, I added some Parmesan cheese on top when I served the Power Pasta dish. The combination of the pasta with the meat and veggies were filling, thanks to the protein.  And I liked that it was healthy, too.  Both my husband and myself enjoyed it. Mini me, not so much.

Overall, I'm satisfied with the meal I created with the Red Lentil Rotini Power Pasta.  The pasta doesn't change the flavor of the food with which it's cooked.  The Power Pasta is satiating, and is healthy. Plus, the added protein and fiber are a plus, too.  What more can you ask for?

If you're in the market for a healthy, gluten-free pasta option with protein and fiber, I suggest checking it out!

Power Pasta can be found on the following social networks: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Disclosure: Product was provided for free as a gift to NYC Mommy Meet Up attendees.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

COVERGIRL #GirlsCan: Beauty and the Bump Turning "Can't" into "Can" + $25 Walmart Gift Card #Giveaway #Spon

The Walmart gift cards, product, and information have been provided by COVERGIRL.

COVERGIRL, one of my favorite drugstore cosmetics brands is currently promoting their #GirlsCan campaign, which focuses on the empowerment of women by encouraging them to break down barriers, and turn “can’t” into “can”. 

Moms are already recognized as strong and powerful. I mean, we carried our babies for 280 days, endured childbirth, and all of the joys (and struggles) of being a parent.  Plus, we work, we have significant others to cater to, our family and friends, and more.  Moms, we can do anything we put our minds to,  whether we’re tackling an obstacle our child(ren) has thrown our way or if we’re gearing up for a night out on the town with our significant others.  We’re the perfect example of women who knock down barriers and turn “can’t” into “can”, and COVERGIRL recognizes this.  COVERGIRL can help keep you feeling empowered and beautiful during any moment because #GirlsCan.

This year, I've turned several “cant’s” into “cans” by achieving and meeting goals set on my 30 Before 30 goal list.  I may not have fulfilled all of them, but, the fact that I have crossed off most of the major goals is a huge accomplishment for me.

The goals I’m most proud of achieving are the ones that took a lot of self-control, determination, financial restraint and responsibility, and faith.  My #GirlsCan moments are as follows:
  • Reading more than 12 books in a year
  • Purchasing our first home
  • Finally getting my driver’s license
  • Purchasing a car (not a goal, but still a major accomplishment)
And, I accomplished all of these things while still maintaining my look.  How?  Well, if you know me, you know that I cannot go outside without my eyebrows, a pretty lipstick, and mascara, like the COVERGIRL Flamed OUT Mascara or Pro Mascara.  

For a limited time, look for specially marked packs of COVERGIRL Flamed Out Mascara and Pro Mascara on the #GirlsCan display at your local Walmart.

This November, COVERGIRL is donating $50,000 to Dress for Success®, an international not-for-profit organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing  professional attire, a network of support, and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and life.

Win a $25 Walmart Gift Card by Sharing your #GirlsCan Moment!
Do you have a #GirlsCan moment?  Share your story of how you’ve turned “can’t” into “can!” and be entered to win a $25 Walmart Gift Card.  Also, Check out the link here to learn more about the #GirlsCan campaign.

COVERGIRL #GirlsCan $25 Walmart Gift Card Giveaway

Remember: #GirlsCan follow their dreams and turn any can’t into a can!

Disclosure: The Walmart gift cards, product, and information have been provided by COVERGIRL.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I RESOLVE to Give Thanks this Holiday Season... and Beyond #RESOLVEGivingTuesday

It has been a while – 6 months to be exact - since I last brought up my struggles with secondary infertility.  The fact of the matter is, I needed a break, and I guess you can say I gave up.  Anyone struggling with infertility of any kind can tell you that it’s not easy, and it takes a toll on you.  It’s even harder when you don’t have a large support system.  I had to take a break before I lost my sanity and myself, and focus on the things that were taking place currently in my life.  And a lot of good things took place within these last six months, too!  

In the last 6 months I've…
  • Become a homeowner
  • Became a licensed driver
  • Bought a car
  • Took a well-needed vacation with my husband
Even though it’s been nearly two years of us “trying” with not one successful pregnancy, we do have a lot to be thankful for. 

Speaking of being thankful, when I was writing about my trying to conceive struggles, you may have noticed my reference to an amazing organization called RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association.  They’re a great resource for those dealing with the disease of infertility, and for those who have family or friends struggling with the disease to educate themselves on it.

Since October, RESOLVE along with other infertility supporters have been counting down the days  until #GivingTuesday, which takes place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (December 2nd) with monthly themes, in order to create a national movement around the holidays dedicated to giving. Think of #GivingTuesday as you would Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and how those days have become synonymous with holiday shopping.  October’s theme was "RESOLVE to Give Voice", November’s theme is "RESOLVE to Give Thanks", and December’s is "RESOLVE to Give Hope".

In the spirit of giving thanks, and to participate in RESOLVES #GivingTuesday campaign, I’ll share some things, in addition to the ones mentioned above, that I’m thankful for.

I’m Thankful for my Experience.
Over the last 4 years struggling with infertility has prepared me for my journey the second time around.  Because of it I knew when it was time to stop and take a break before it all became too much to handle.

I’m Thankful for my Husband.
He’s supported me throughout this struggle, and has been there every single step of the way, and endured my many moods and breakdowns.  I’m still sticking to “Clomid made me do it.”

I’m Thankful for Hope.
After nearly two years of trying for our second, I now consider our daughter our “miracle baby” because she was conceived without any medical interventions, was full-term, and healthy.  And although my history says getting and staying pregnant is not easy, seeing her reminds me there’s still hope.  Plus, my new OB is much more supportive, knowledgeable on the issue, and already works closely with my RE’s.

I’m Thankful for Health Insurance.
My health insurance covers IVF and injectable meds.   6 months ago was my last attempt at pregnancy with Clomid and IUI’s; therefore, my next step is IVF.  One IVF cycle can cost up to $15,000! And guess what? Not every person gets pregnant on their first round, so that means tens of thousands of dollars goes towards the unknown, and some people, unfortunately, have to come out of pocket.  I’m definitely thankful I am not in that group, especially since we have new financial responsibilities; however, you may donate to RESOLVE to support those who are less fortunate in this instance. 

I’m Thankful for our New Home. 
Our home is in close proximity to our RE’s office, and closer to my husband’s place of work, which is also close to my new OB/GYN.  All of those things close by takes away the stresses of travel and time when going back and forth between doctor appointments. Lord knows, travelling to our RE’s office during the early morning hours for IUI’s were not fun, and neither were the weekly appointments.  The proximity of each will make everything much smoother this time around.

I’m Thankful for RESOLVE.
This organization serves as a resource for education, support, and allows individuals suffering from infertility to not have to do it in silence.

RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, established in 1974, is a non-profit organization with the only established, nationwide network mandated to promote reproductive health and to ensure equal access to all family building options for men and women experiencing infertility or other reproductive disorders. RESOLVE improves the lives of women and men living with infertility.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving season? 
This is your opportunity to express your gratitude.