Chicken Fried Portabello Mushrooms



Hello Again!

 As promised on my Facebook, here is my chicken fried portabello mushroom recipe. It is vegetarian NOT vegan. I may try to work on a vegan option soon though. It is so flavorful and seriously reminds you of chicken fingers! The recipe follows a traditional fried chicken recipe. Just sub the chicken for mushrooms. Please please try this out if your considering giving up meat! It is delicious!





Ingredients

-Organic Portabello Mushrooms
-2 Eggs
-Seafood Breader
-Panko Bread Crumb
-Vegetable Oil
-Salt
-Pepper
-Paprika
-Garlic Powder



Directions

1. Rinse mushrooms and slice into long strips
2. In a medium sized bowl whisk two eggs.
3. Season egg mixture with salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder.
4. In another medium bowl mix together equal parts panko and seafood breader.
5. In a pan bring heat about 4 tablespoonfuls of vegetable oil.
6. Dip each strip into egg mixture until all sides are coated.
7. Dip each strip into your panko and seafood breader mixture until evenly coated.
8. Fry in oil on each side for about 3 minutes until dark golden brown.



These can be served with just about anything. I added hot sauce and ranch for dipping! They are awesome! Enjoy!

Love,
April W.
My Nordstrom Sale Picks Under $80


Hello hello!

It's the most wonderful time of year! The Nordstrom sale is back and better! I am by no means a fashionista but I did spend my fair share of time today scrolling on the site. They have some really cute stuff on sale per usual!  I am on a strict budget, seeing as though we have a little arriving soon, but I had to just look. Here are a few items I fell in love with. I tried to link the specific items in the caption for easy shopping. If you received Nordstrom gift cards for Christmas Santa was really good to you! Enjoy!


Happy Shopping and Happy New Year!

Pregnancy Diary: 1st Trimester

Hello hello!

If you haven't heard the news, my husband and I are pregnant with our first child! It's mostly me thats pregnant but it"s easier to say it that way I guess. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you already know that we're expecting a baby boy, in April 2018! I am just over the moon excited. I'll be doing a motherhood diary here along with my other foodie/heath nut post's per usual.

How it all started...

Well, I'll spare you the details but, in August before my cycle could show up late I knew something was up. I was feeling extremely bloated. Not a typical period bloat, a super duper bloated feeling. Three days before my cycle was to begin I started complaining to my sister about how I was feeling. She convinced me it was just indigestion, which is very common for me. I grabbed some dandelion root tea, drank 3 cups and didn't feel any lighter. Three days later...no red dot in sight. After work that Sunday my husband and I, decided I would take a pregnancy test. We pretty much knew it would be positive. Before I could even lift the test from between my legs to give it a good look it read pregnant. We cried and hugged, and I cried some more.



The symptoms...

I had pretty severe first trimester symptoms. The common ones you read about. I was extremely nauseous, dizzy, shortness of breath, sleepy and had awful food aversions.  

Around week 7 or 8 I was on my last Invisalign tray. Every time I would go to put in my tray I would gag and throw up. I barely wore it, but thankfully my teeth were straight enough for me to be done with it! Praise God! I also had an extremely heightened sense of smell. This was terrible and only made me more and more nauseous. I had to change our shower soap, clean the fridge out, and make my husband take out the trash more. I know I got on his last nerve! It wasn't me it was the baby right?!

By week 8 I have very extreme food aversions. Every thing disgusted me. I really didn't want to eat. Since I was barely eating I lost 5 lbs. For some one as petite as I am, this was not a good look. I  dropped down to 108 lbs which is the lowest I weighted since college. The only things I would eat was coconut milk yogurt and a fruit smoothie. My husband would go out and get all my favorite stuff and I would take the smallest bite, and just push it away. 

The worst dizzy episode I experienced was around week 10. I got up for work at my normal time. I went to use the bathroom. As I sat on the toilet the whole room started to spin. I heard a loud piercing ringing sound in my ear. I woke up my husband and I said "babe I don't feel so good".  I was drenched in sweat and just collapsed on the bed by him. He offered to call my store and let them know I wouldn't be in but of course I refused to let him do that. I laid there for about 20 more minutes, drank huge gulps of cold water and then the ringing went away and I felt fine again. I was super late for work that day, but thankfully no one seemed to care very much. I was so terrified that morning. I had never experienced anything like that before and I never did again. Dizziness, yes, but not nearly that severe. 

New rituals...

Since that scary episode my husband decided I need a relaxing bubble bath once a week. I did not argue with that! He has done this faithfully me for me since that happened. I really really look forward to it. I'll come home from work and he will already have it ready for me. He's amazing!

I always make sure the water is not too hot so I don't boil our baby. I literally stay in here for like an hour sometimes. 

Since I found out I was pregnant I started rubbing this on my stomach and breast religiously every night after my shower. I want to prevent stretch marks at all cost! I love a good crop top! So its pretty easy to remember to do. 

I had acne scars on my face and back. I noticed towards the end of my first trimester that the acne scars on my back had darkened. Nooooo! I was so pissed about it too. I am careful with what skin care items I am using now so I try to go as natural as possible. I used a combination of these essential oils on my back scars every night too. 

My sister put me on to this concoction a while ago. I used the sweet almond oil as a carrier oil and I mix the essential oils in a the blue glass dropper in back. Its important to use glass and not plastic.



I am on my feet a lot at work. That, plus increased blood volume due to the bun in the oven is a recipe for varicose veins. I had already inherited a few from my mother so to keep them at bay. I dry brush and use a coffee scrub. I do this once or twice a week. It helps increase blood circulation and exfoliate the skin. It's time consuming but it seems to be working... I think... I hope lol.

Midway into the first trimester I had to switch to a new OBGYN. My initial doctor was retiring from delivery in 2018. I was bummed at first but I think it was a blessing in disguise. I absolutely love my new OB. She's amazing! My first visit I felt a sense of comfortability with her and the office staff. I did some blood work and started on a new prenatal vitamin. 

Only con with these vitamins is that they kind of taste like grass and they discolor your feces. But I mean, gluten, lactose and sugar free. I guess you can't have it all. I keep in my night stand and try to take them every night. 


Good reads...

These two books I have really really been enjoying. They help you track your babies developments along with your growth and bodily changes. They are packed with so much information!

The Natural Mama was gifted to me by one of my best friends. This is the better of the two books because it tracks every thing based on week. Mama Glow is a little more trendy and does not have the best flow. The perk with Latham's book is that it provides you with yoga guidance based on week which I really like. 
One thing I love about The Natural Mama is that it gives you positive affirmations each week! They are bomb too! 

Both books provide healthy, delicious recipes too!


How fly is she?!


All in all I am just so relieved and thankful to be done with the first trimester. It was hard! 
My journey continues and I'll be sure to keep you posted! 


Favorite Affirmation: My body is a vessel for the divine. My body is a miracle. 


With Love,

April W.

Insecurity, Confidence and Invisalign



Happy Sunday!

Today we are talking teeth! Teeth are so important! Teeth and eyebrows can make or break a persons appearance in my opinion! Throughout my 30 years I have struggled with both lol. Middle school and high school were kind of rough for me. I wasn't the cutest let's just put it at that. It's all about growth though right?

A little back story. In elementary school, middle and high school my teeth were pretty much jacked. My adult teeth grew in extremely large. Like huge, especially the front two teeth. I had a gap between those two teeth and I had gaps between all 4 of my front upper teeth. It was tragic!


I always wanted to do my own hair! These bangs were NOT the look! This was  5th grade. 


Please don't laugh! The glow up is real! My teeth were just bad! Point blank period! No cavities just really crocked and gapped. 


At the end of 5th grade I got braces. This was a long journey! I had traditional braces for about five to six long years. It was pure trama! It was painful and it seemed like it would never end. You know how teenagers are. I was a stereotypical teen, super duper dramatic!




Despite have jacked up teeth as a kid I was pretty confident. I had lots of friends and  it honestly bothered me more than it did my peers. 


 Towards the beginning of my senior year the time finally came for me to have my braces removed. But there was a catch! The braces had caused my gums to swell so badly that I had to go to a periodontist and have a my gums shaved down, with a lazer! It was horrible! Super painful and I had to have stitches in my gums for days after that! Terrible! After this was all said and done my teeth looked really amazing! They were perfect! You couldn't tell me nothing. Lol.




Brows were NOT on fleek! You can see here on the upper right hand side I still have some severe gum swelling.


 I got two permeant retainers after my adolescent braces. One behind my front two teeth and one behind my bottom 4 teeth. I also had a traditional wire retainer that I was to wear every night. Welp, needless to say I lost that wire retainer after about 5 months out and didn't think twice about it!

Fast forward about about 10 years and a much needed slight glow up. After under grad and grad school and all my glory years my teeth, you guested it, began to shift. This was very gradual but I noticed it immediately.  My front two teeth began to slowly protrude outward and the gaps between my canine teeth at the top and bottom begin to appear. The first realization was how easily food would get stuck in those spots. Gross I know! But as the years passed it became more and more visible in pictures and most importantly to me.

This gap that started to appear grew larger and larger and it  bothered me the most. 




After much thought and a consultation I decided that Invisalign was pretty much my only option. Because I didn't think I needed much fixing I felt it to be a good decision. Just a small word of advice when making decisions about altering your outward appearance, whether it be a new hair cut or hair style, getting cosmetic surgery or fixing something about yourself you don't like...

1. Make sure your doing it for yourself only.

2. Don't tell a lot of family or friends about your decision. Too many opinions can easily sway your initial thoughts.

3. Maybe get the opinion of one or two people your trust..

4....then pray on it and go with you gut.

That's exactly what I did! I have had the same dentist since I was 10 years old. It was his professional opinion that I see a orthodontist as the shifting of my teeth would only worsen with time. I headed back to the same orthodontist that did my braces when I was 12. This worked out well because they are able to give me a discount because I was a returning patient.

On October 16, 2016 I got my first attachments placed. Attachments are small squares that are clued on the teeth strategically that match the same attachments placements in the tray. This allows the tray to fit snuggly around the teeth and pull the teeth in their proper position. This is extremely painful.

Initially I was instructed to change my tray every 2 weeks. After my second visit I was told to change my tray every week. I was excited about this at first until I realized that this meant pain  every single week. I was told to wear my trays for 20 hours a day. Totally not realistic! I snack a lot! I work I eat like every 2 hours. As you can imagine this was a huge inconvenience. Honestly speaking I only wore my trays about 12 hours a day. It worked too! My teeth immediately started shifting.

This was about 3 months before being done! You can clearly see my attachments here. 

On August 30th I was able to officially be finished! I was so happy! I got two permanent retainers on my top six teeth and and bottom 8 teeth.  I also got a clear upper retainer to sleep in.

Before Invisalign 


After Invisalign
If something bothers you about yourself its your responsibility to yourself to fix it. If you don't want to second guest how you look you have to put effort into your appearance. If you don't want to second guest how your speak, you have to effort into correcting that. Correcting the alignment of my teeth has taken hella work and money. You only get one physical body and one set of teeth. I cherish both. You have to take care of yourself. Period. 

Confidence comes from putting in the work. 

Confidence is practice and preparation. 

The glow up is real and I'm forever humbled by it all lol! 



"Confidence is a balance between acknowledging my weakness and affirming that at my core I am made of greatness."

Love,
April M.


Food Diary: Instagram Round Up

Hello hello!

Coming back with a foodie post y'all! Yay! If you love food but want to try to eat healthier, I am your girl! Here are a few dishes I have made over the past month or so. They are really really good! I have also included some quick breakfast options/snacks as well. If you follow me on Instagram @Mcapril then you have probably seen most of these images. Hence the title Instagram Round Up. Most of my good food post go on my Insta snap.

Enjoy!

Quick Breakfast Options

Acai Bowl



I love this! Its filling, refreshing and really good without being super sweet! I can't make this for myself on a work day. Because, lets get real I am not a morning person and I don't wake up with nearly enough time to make something this pretty lol. To make the smoothie, acai base I use the Trader Joe's Acai puree packets. They are sugar free and all natural! You can also find these at more common food stores like Harris Teeter and Publix.

Acai Base Recipe

Acai packet
Coconut Water
Banana
Frozen mixed berries

After this is blended you just pile on your toppings! This day I topped mine with a homemade pumpkin spice granola (recipe post coming soon), flax seeds, sliced banana, chia seeds, frozen mixed berries.

Oatmeal and OJ




This is pretty basic but its honestly my go to on a work morning! I just pour out my over night oats, add in some fresh strawberries and bananas and top it with walnuts and chia seeds! This is low in sugar, high in fiber and the chia seeds are just packed with nutrients to get you going. Its hearty, filling and did I mention quick! You can eat the over night oats cold or hot. I typically always heat mine up for about 45 sec in the microwave. Here is my post on the recipe for the overnight oats if you missed it! 

Waffles With Fruit Topping



Super basic I know, but some mornings I crave this before work! Its all in the waffles. Trader Joe's really out did themselves with these seasonal waffles. These are the legendary pumpkin waffles. They are only 180 calories in 2 waffles! I just warm up my organic maple syrup and pile on the fruit. It looks like this week all we had was strawberries and bananas lol. These are so good! and I prefer using the organic maple syrup because it has no artificial sugars and no nasty high fructose corn syrup in it like the common brands.

Green Smoothie and Grapefruit



Green Smoothie Recipe

1/2 frozen banana
1 regular banana
Frozen Mango chunks
Frozen Peaches
Frozen strawberries
Handful of spinach
Handful of kale
1 cup of Trader Joe's Green Plant juice
1/2 scoop of Vega Vanilla plant protein powder
1 spoonful of chia seeds

For my green smoothie I found that not using crushed ice helps maintain the consistency longer. This is helpful if your taking your smoothie on the go. I have also used pineapple coconut water in place of the green plant juice and it is still bomb. This smoothie alone will keep me full for about 2 1/2 hours!  I have really been craving grapefruit lately. Odd I know lol. I just slice it open and sprinkle a little bit of coconut sugar on top! Sooo good!

Lunch/Dinner Options

Arugula "Chicken" Salad




I am vegetarian so this is Gardein chicken. It is a chicken substitute made from plant protein.
This salad is really simple but so tasty. I just lay down my arugula, top with carrots, tomato, cucumber and corn. Add on some craisins and croutons then top with with the cooked "chicken" strips and add on my dressing. Here I used the Daiya vegan ranch dressing. It was really really good. Taste just like Hidden Valley to me minus the dairy. Score!

Gardein is my favorite vegan plant based meat substitute. It is reasonably priced and taste really really good. If your are transitioning or want to try out some new stuff I would say check them out. They have a ton of good recipes on their website  too!

Tofu Pineapple Stir Fry



This was a really really great recipe that I kind of stole and tweeked from one of my favorite youtubers Rachel Talbot. I love her channel. She does recipes, home decor/lifestyle and a little beauty too. Her vids are just very relaxing and informative to watch!

How to make: Marinate some extra firm tofu in the Island Soyaki marinade and sauté that up. I added in some roasted asparagus and some sautéed red peppers. The star ingredient was the grilled pineapple. It gave this a nice sweet taste! I dumped all that over some brown rice and that's it! Took all of like 30 min to prepare.

Ramen Veggie Noodle Stir Fry


Ramen! Doesn't it just remind you of like freshmen dorm room college days. Well Ramen has gotten pretty bougie and fancy since my college days. It never gets old! My sister and I love this Ramen restaurant here in Charlotte called Futu Buta. They really know how to do some fancy ramen. Mine is not nearly as decadent but still pretty damn good for a self proclaimed chef lol. 

This is really easy to make. Can you tell that is trend here? lol. First, the veggies of your choice.  I used, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, kale, onion, and garlic. While this doing its work, cook 3 packs of ramen noodles in some veggie broth. Do not cook these long! Literally like 10 min. You do not want them getting mushy. After this, add the noodles in with the veggies and little bit of the veggie broth and top on the seasoning. I added in some coconut aminos, vegan worcheshire  sauce and some liquid smoke. Let it all simmer. Top it off with some fresh green onion and that is all my friends! 

Roasted Veggie with Brown Rice and Hummus



This is like my go to dinner! I love it! It goes with out explanation. Roast your veggies, add rice, tomatoes and hummus and whala! My all time favorite hummus is the horseradish hummus from none other than Trader Joe's! Try it, trust me! 


I hope these recipes inspire you to try something new and to make healthier choices in what you eat. Cooking at home is always best if your on a health journey! 
Enjoy!

Love,
April W.