Friday, January 27, 2017

Protein Power Overnight Oatmeal

This is a fantastic breakfast you can make before you go to bed and it's ready when you wake up.  It's made to eat cold but I'm not a big fan of cold oatmeal so I pop it in the microwave for 45 seconds to take the chill off.  It's not too bad cold, though!  This recipe was adapted from MyFitnessPal blog. I was able to save almost 100 calories and cut down on the fat.  It's also loaded with potassium, calcium and iron.  What helped save calories and fat? I used Premium Chocolate Peanut Butter (PB2).  It's powdered peanut butter that you add a little water to and you've got yourself some peanut butter with a lot less fat.  It's terrific in smoothies too!

What you need:

2 TB Premium Chocolate Peanut Butter (PB2)
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/3 cup Kefir Lifeway yogurt, plain (or any flavor you have)
1/3 cup Cashew Milk
1/3 cup apple slices, chopped (smaller the better)
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 tsp. (or more!) apple pie spice and/or cinnamon

What to do:

Combine all ingredients in a small mason jar and stir well.  Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.  Grab a spoon when you're on the run!

Calories: 378, Fat: 14g, Carbs: 50g, Protein: 14g, Sugar: 17g.


Sunday, November 6, 2016

No-Bake Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bites

These little power balls are amazing!  I adapted this recipe from Skinny Ms.  Her recipe is 203 calories per energy ball but I was able to get the calories down to 178 calories per ball and 11 grams of fat to 9 grams of fat.  With 5 grams of protein and 19 grams of carbs, you'll never know what hit ya!  Maybe it was just in my head but not only could I not eat just one, but if I ate a couple in the late evening, I couldn't get to sleep right away.  And of course, they are gluten free!

No-Bake Energy Bites

1/2 cup dark or bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup natural peanut butter or almond butter
2 cup oats
1/4 cup oat flour
1 medium banana, smashed
1 tsp vanilla (or more.  I always add more!)
Pinch of salt
3 TB chia seeds
1/3 cup honey
1 TB cocoa powder
1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)

What to do:

In a large bowl, combine oats, oat flour, chia seeds, salt, cocoa powder and coconut.

In another bowl, combine the smashed banana, peanut/almond butter, honey, vanilla and chocolate chips.

Combine both bowls together.

Using your hands, make small balls and place them in a parchment-line container.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours.  Makes roughly 20-23 energy bites.  Freezes well.  Enjoy!

Per energy bite:
178 calories, 9 g fat, 19 g carbs, 6 g protein

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Summer Recap 2016

My dad used to say, "The easiest thing in the world to do is to turn off your alarm clock and go back to sleep."  He's right.  But one of the hardest things in the world to do is to take time out for yourself. My new saying since this Summer has been:

"My life has been like going off the rails of the crazy train."

I love to write but it has been put on the way back burner for a long time because everything and everyone else has been more important.  I'm not asking for a pity party.  I've had free time here and there and I really can't complain.  What I do complain about is that I'm using that free time all wrong. Iphone... games... TV.... need I say more?

Lately, I've noticed views on my blog through Facebook and it has inspired me to get back to writing again.

Thank you to whoever is visiting me!

In the past, I'd write on a regular basis but it seemed that no one was ever reading my posts.  No comments, no views and it got lonely and discouraging as a writer. To me, it seemed that most people who were writing blogs had hundreds of followers and tons of comments.  And me?  7 followers, whom 5 I didn't even know and no comments on any of my posts.   I had to bring myself back to the real reason why I started a blog in the first place.

For me.

In my latest post, Reading My Past I wrote about all 30 years' worth of my journals that I found.  Back then, I wrote because I liked to.  I didn't write to catch fame.  I wrote so I would remember the crazy stuff I did as a kid, the places I went and the friends I had.  That was satisfying enough to write just for me.  So when I started All About Jillzy, it was easy to get caught up in the eagerness of "fame" and get as many followers as I could.  But I guess God had a different plan for my writing.  He kept it grounded for me.

So those handful of views I've gotten lately, Thank You!  You've inspired me to get back to the keyboard and get back to work!

So, with the promise of my Summer Recap, here you go!

We moved!  Our landlord decided to sell our condo and off we went to new adventures.  It wasn't a big move, but big enough where my daughters had to change school districts.  It has been an adjustment, needless to say, but my girls have adjusted to their new schools and I've adjusted pretty well to a bigger house, a basement and an attached garage!  With that being said, our Summer wasn't that super fun, although my girls had way more fun than I did.  They got to go on a couple small trips, swim with friends and sleep in and hang out.  Me?  I cleaned out and organized my house and I must say it feels good to have gotten rid of so much stuff!!!

At times, we all get down on the fact that we had to move.  We were so happy where we were. I miss meeting my friends at the bus stop every morning, the fact that my girls were old enough to run out the door and play with friends pretty much any time they wanted and I didn't have to worry about them.  They could ride their bikes and there was always someone to play with.  Our neighborhood was truly "It takes a village to raise a child" kind of environment.  I knew one of my neighbor friends would be around if I didn't get back in time for the school bus in the afternoon, or knowing that they would be okay if they had to be home alone for a while.

I tell my girls that God has a plan for us.  We may not know what that plan is (or why we had to move) but in God's way and in His own time, we'll know what that plan is for us... and it will be Good.  We just have to be patient.  

In the meantime, I'm enjoying a bigger house, a really nice neighborhood, friendly neighbors, really good schools for my girls, loving my part-time job and enjoying all my grandchildren. God is good!  In a couple of weeks, we start painting!!!  I'm looking forward to looking at color in my house rather plain white walls!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Reading My Past

I recently came across a couple of large keepsake boxes that I've kept for years.  Unfortunately, the hard rain of this past summer had gotten to the boxes and made almost everything inside moldy and musty smelling.  It was heartbreaking to see some of my childhood items, accomplishments and memories ruined, but oddly enough it didn't seem to bother me as much as I thought when I first saw the dampened boxes.  Lately, I've been going through corners of my house and getting rid of stuff that I either haven't used or have forgotten about.  I'm getting tired of pushing things around that I really don't need and frankly, I'm starting to feel claustrophobic in my house.  These two large boxes were no exception that I had to go through them and decide what to keep or...  


I hate that word.  PUUUUURGE!

The fact remains that I can't take this stuff with me, I haven't enjoyed any of the contents for years and my kids aren't going to care about most of it anyway.  So I had to make a decision.

What am I going to do with all this stuff???

I found my high school and college diplomas, photos of people I haven't seen since I was a kid, books I didn't even know I had, prom and homecoming corsages, plaques, and awards... 

...But most importantly, the box on top wasn't ruined (just really musty smelling) and it contained all my journals. I have been writing journals since I was 8 years old.  
What a blast I had reading through all those journals and the different phases of my life.  I read about memories I had forgotten about, friends I used to hang out with and the things we did, and thoughts about anything and everything.  30 years of my life written down, how my handwriting had changed, ticket stubs and receipts I've kept, even brochures of camps and activities I did.  

Remember that word that I hate?  Purge.  That's exactly what I did to most of my journals.  I threw them all away.  Why?  Because not only will my kids not care about friends and boyfriends I used to have (because there's a reason why I'm not friends with or dating them anymore) but I don't want them to know the first time I smoked a cigarette, the first time I got trashed at a party or sneaked out of a friend's house when I slept over and the potty mouth I once had.  I was appalled at myself and so thankful that I no longer know that girl I once was.  Sure, it would've been nice for my daughters to read some of those journals someday.  They could've learned a little about me and maybe even relate to me when they become a teenager someday.  My girls will learn more about me reading my blog and my current journals that I did keep.  I kept the journal when Jeff and I were planning our wedding and what we went through those couple of years.  They'll learn about what it was like when I was pregnant with them and the first years of their life as their mom.  Those are the journals they'll be more interested in reading and those are the ones I've kept.

Although it was nice reading those old journals, it actually felt good to throw them out.  Those bad memories are gone forever and the good ones that were worth keeping are still in my heart.  I can't take it with me when I go someday and it's refreshing to simplify my life with a little (ok a lot) less clutter.  My only regret throwing away all my journals: I didn't take a picture of how many notebooks I wrote over the years. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Blueberry Banana Protein Power Muffins with Walnuts (Gluten Free)

I don't always want to drink my breakfast with smoothies so I found this recipe from Barbara Bolotte at and adapted it to make it gluten free.  You'd be surprised how good these muffins are! They are high in protein, packed with antioxidants, rich in potassium and heart healthy. I swapped out Stevia that the original recipe called for and replaced it with regular sugar, which in turn made the muffins not as sweet and they didn't trigger my sweet tooth.  If you'd like to increase the sweetness to a half-cup of sugar, that would be up to you or use Stevia.

What you need:

1/4 c. sugar
2 egg whites
1 c. applesauce (yup, I used regular applesauce.  If you'd like to use unsweetened applesauce, they won't be as sweet unless you use Stevia)
3 bananas
1/3 c. almond milk
1 1/2 c. gluten-free all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 scoop protein powder (I use Jay Robb egg white protein powder)
1 c. walnuts
1 c. blueberries
Vanilla extract

What to do:

In one bowl, add sugar, egg whites and applesauce until smooth and frothy with a hand mixer.  Add bananas and mix well. Add milk and mix well.

In another bowl, add all dry ingredients and mix well.

Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.  Mix well.  Fold in blueberries, walnuts and vanilla extract.

Line 20 muffin cups with cupcake liners.  Spray each with non-stick cooking spray.  Add batter almost to the top of the muffin cup.
350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Enjoy!

Can you believe each of these muffins are only 125 calories?!?  3 grams of fat, 21 carbs and 5 grams of protein, 9 grams of sugar and they're loaded with vitamins C!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Turkey Lettuce Wraps - Recipe

Here's another tasty and so easy recipe!  My family loves these lettuce wraps and it only takes about 10-15 minutes to make!

Turkey Lettuce Wraps

1 head of iceberg lettuce, sliced into large pieces
1 pound ground turkey
2 TB sesame oil
2 green onions
2 TB ground ginger 
1 can water chestnuts, roughly chopped
2 TB gluten free soy sauce
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Chopped mint leaves and/or chopped peanuts (optional)

Brown turkey in a large skillet, drain.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until heated through.  Top with mint leaves or chopped peanuts, if desired.  

Place about 1/4 cup of mixture into a large lettuce leaf, wrap and enjoy!

Use warm corn tortillas instead of the lettuce leaves or use the turkey mixture as a salad topping.  Substitute ground turkey for ground beef.


Jillzy's Mexican Rice - Recipe

I have always wanted to go to culinary school.  I don't necessarily want to work in a restaurant but mostly that I love to cook and want to learn how to cook a more variety of meals and make them better.  I've always wanted to learn to make my own recipes from scratch.  Well, time and money prevents me from going to culinary school for the time being but time and money won't keep me from learning new recipes!  I am officially addicted to the Food Network and Cooking Channels!  My husband gets frustrated with my crazy and all-of-a-sudden new items on my grocery lists and he has to call home and ask what the new item is and where to find it.  Tee hee!!!  However, no one is complaining when I make a killer dish for dinner!

I love making my Mexican rice dish for a quick go-to meal. Most of the time I already have my rice steamed up from another day and all the other ingredients are as easy as opening a can, but this time I've made it even better and more exciting!

Jillzy's Mexican Rice

2 cups brown rice, steamed
1 can unseasoned black beans, drained and rinsed
2 Roma tomatoes, diced (or use a can of Ro-tel diced tomatoes and chilies with juice)
1 Jalapeno pepper, diced (more if you choose)
1 Baby red onion, diced
Ground cumin
Chili Powder
1 lime, juiced and zested
Salt & Pepper
Sour Cream
Red pepper, optional

Steam rice according to directions.  Once rice is done, add the tomato, pepper and onion.  Add juice of the lime and zest.  I eyeballed how much seasonings I wanted which was about a 1/2 tsp of ground cumin, 1/2 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste and a dash of red pepper, 'cause I like it hot!  I added about 2 spoonfuls of sour cream.  Stir and enjoy!

Makes 4 servings as a side dish or 2 servings as a main dish.

Additional add-ons:

Ground beef, corn, green pepper

This picture shows with the Ro-Tel tomatoes with chilies and ground beef.  The fun thing about my rice dish is that you can add whatever you want and season to your own liking.  It's the easiest go-to dish, it's filling and of course, gluten free! Enjoy!

Kale Chips - A Healthy Snack

Ever notice the junky green leafy stuff under a vegetable tray?  That's called kale.  No one wants to eat it but nowadays, kale is no longer considered a "garnish".

Kale is a SUPERFOOD!

Vitamin A: 206% of the RDA (from beta-carotene)
Vitamin K: 684% of the RDA
Vitamin C: 134% of the RDA

It's loaded with antioxidants, lowers cholesterol, contains good stuff to fight cancer and it can help you lose weight.  If I haven't convinced you to try kale, check out the Banana Mango Smoothie (with hidden kale) and a killer Messaged Kale and Currant Salad.  I promise you, you'll love kale!

My next recipe is lighter and crispier than potato chips.  Super easy to make and so surprisingly good!

Kale Chips

2 big bunches of kale, washed and pat dry
Olive oil

Place kale in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt over the kale.  Massage the oil and salt into the kale and place in an even layer on a baking sheet with parchment paper.

350 degrees for 10-15 minutes


Friday, May 29, 2015

Gluten Free Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread

I ended up with a lot of very overripe bananas.  I love when that happens.  That means BAKING!!!  I love to bake.  Although I try not to bake a lot since I'm usually the one eating it all, but sometimes life just calls for a little extra treat, and my neighbors usually benefit as well.  I need help eating all the treats sometimes!

I adapted this recipe from Lisa at Healthy Nibbles and Bits.  She's got some great recipes so I had to give this one a try.  It was fantastic and so was my adaptation.  I'd love to know what you thought of this yummy chocolate banana bread!!!

Gluten-Free Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread

2 eggs
5 TB butter, softened
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar (or 1/2 cup sugar total)
2 TB plain Greek yogurt
3 very ripe bananas
1 c. Brown rice flour plus extra for pan
1 c. oat flour
1 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 TB vanilla extract
1/2 c. chocolate chips (optional)
1/2 - 1 c. nuts (optional)

Cream eggs, sugars and butter until creamy.  Add yogurt, mix well.  Add bananas, mix well.

In a separate bowl, mix brown rice flour, oat flour, xanthan gum, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Slowly add to mixer.  Add vanilla extract.

Spray bread pan and coat with brown rice flour, set aside.

Place chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high 1 minute.  Stir and add another 30 seconds if needed.  Chocolate doesn't need to be super runny, just soft enough to mix through the batter.

Spread half the batter in the bread pan, add a few large dollops of chocolate.  Use a butter knife to swirl the chocolate through the batter.  Add last half of batter and repeat with remaining melted chocolate on top.

Bake 350 degrees for 1 hour

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Back to "Normal"

I don't know if you call what I've been doing "normal" but that's what we slid into when we got home from the hospital.  Our "vacation" at Children's Hospital was almost 3 weeks long and when the doctors said Ellen could go home, I panicked.

"What do you mean she can go home tomorrow???  Don't you want to observe her for another day or two?"

Her x-rays looked good and they convinced us she would do more healing at home than at the hospital.  And right they were!  We can't keep our little Ellen down.  Luckily we went right into Spring Break when we got home so she had all week to rest up and build up energy.  After that, Ellen went back to school full days without a blink of an eye.  She was nervous of course.  She was worried that her friends would "mob" her and the boys would want to hug her.  I don't blame her, although when I was her age, I would've loved the attention.  My oldest daughter had made a welcome sign for her at school so when the kids got there, they all saw it.  Ellen loved it.  For as much as my daughters fight with each other, Ellen's illness was a blessing in disguise.  They started getting along and Marcella has been very understanding and supportive of Ellen.  I could just cry when my girls get along.  They can be so sweet to each other!

Ellen can start tumbling and she is so excited about that!  Just in time for cheer tryouts, too!

We have been home for 3 weeks and it's so hard to believe all we've been through.  In one eye, the time dragged on forever when I think about how long Ellen was sick (almost 8 weeks!) but in the other eye, it flew by so fast, it feels like she was never sick at all.


God is good.  He really does hear us when we pray.  It has been so overwhelming of the love and support from so many people.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.  
- James 1:12