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Phew! Summer has flown by! For those in the area with year round school, some kids have already gone back to school. For the rest of us, school will be starting before we know it. And nothing says “Back To School” like a crazy, hectic, food-flying, kids running, backpack flinging morning. Am I right?!

In an effort to make your morning run a little more smoothly, here are our TOP 5 PICKS FOR BACK TO SCHOOL BREAKFASTS:

5. Pancakes

Who’s not happy eating pancakes? Serve up some fresh fruit along side of them, share some syrup, and smiles all around. It will even quiet the morning rush for a little bit as everyone enjoys a nice warm, smoothing fresh pancake. And for those morning where it’s just not going to happen to whip up a fresh batch of pancakes, because let’s be honest – life – many people make a large batch ahead of time and will freeze them once they cool. Just pop them in the microwave for a few seconds on a paper towel and it’s like you’ve been baking away by the skillet all morning. Don’t worry, it’ll be out little secret.  

4. Smoothies

I’m sure you saw our post a little bit ago where we shared Healthy Smoothie Recipes, and this would be a perfect time to break out the blender! There are many other options to add in to get some additional protein or other nutritional values if substituting a smoothie for breakfast, but many smoothies will sooth a soul on a school morning! Kid friendly, parent approved!

3. Parfaits

Mmmmm – Good!! A healthy mix of yogurt, granola and fresh fruit – what’s not to love? These are easy to pre-package ahead of time so they are easy to grab and go for those extra hectic mornings. I mean, who doesn’t love a perfect ratio of smooth yogurt, the perfect crunch of granola (homemade, if you prefer) and the aroma of fresh fruit first thing in the morning! Rise and shine!!

2. Cereal

No shame in some cereal game! There are TONS of cereal options these days. From chocolate loaded why-is-this-even-considered-breakfast-and-not-a-dessert to super healthy options, and then everything in between. Grab a bowl, pour, add some milk (or not if you’re feeling a little plain Jane and like it dry) and TA-DA! Done. Doesn’t get much easier than that!

…Or does it…..

1. Q2 Healthy Muffins

DING, DING, DING!! We have a WINNER!!! Our personal favorite, and a favorite of many others, is the healthy square muffin. The game changer in guilt free, gluten free, on the go breakfast and snacking options. With 3 delicious flavors to choose from, you will always have a scrumptious options on hand, and they are so easy that there’s really no excuse. With healthy grains, wholesome yogurt, honey, fresh eggs and fruits coupled with sweet scented spices, nothing says GOOD MORNING like Q2 Muffins.

 

We hope these 5 options make your back to school morning rush run more smoothly!

We have a rule in our house that we eat together as a family as many nights as possible at the dinner table. That means a lot of meal prep/planning, schedule planning and craziness ahead of time in order for this to happen. While I’d love to make it sound like it’s all puppies and rainbows leading up to these magical dinners, it’s not. It’s hectic and, as you’d imagine, the food that we eat gets prepared as much ahead of time as possible, but with our otherwise busy schedules, this slice of evening time is important to our family.

PLANNING AHEAD:

On Friday evenings/Saturday mornings, depending on what else we have going on, I will meal plan for the upcoming week and make a grocery list. All grocery shopping is done online and delivered to my home. I call this leverage to our busy schedule. If you have grocery delivery service in your area and have not tried it yet, DO IT – it’s life changing!!

MEAL PLANNING:

We have staples in our home that we eat every week, like Q2 Square Muffins, for example. And tacos. Then we plan out the rest of the week. If it’s a night that the kids or we don’t have anything going on in the evenings, which is rare, then we will plan to make a more elaborate meal that will carry over for leftovers to the next evening as well. But honestly, this rarely happens, so most of our meals are quick and simple and can be done in 20 minutes or less.

PREP WORK:

Sundays are my prep days. I try to schedule out a couple hours on Sunday mornings, afternoon or evenings – depending on what else we have going on in our lives. I wash fruits and vegetables, pre-slice everything, cook chicken, get lunches prepped for the week, etc. The more time that I put into prep on Sundays, the less hectic evenings AND mornings are! In the mornings, all we need to do is grab lunches, add in anything “extra” that needs to be added, and out the door we go vs shuffling through the refrigerator or staring into it saying “hmmmm…what am I going to bring in today?” with a bunch of people rushing around also eating breakfast, etc.

QUICK MEALS WE MAKE:

TACOS: A major go-to for Taco Tuesday! Sometimes I will cook the meat on Sunday, so I just have to heat it up on Tuesday, cut up the tomato, onion, cilantro and add in some salt and pepper for Pico de Gallo, and we are good to go! Get some taco shells, Mexican cheese blend, taco sauce, sour cream — all set! And to change it up every now and again, change out the taco shells for tortilla chips and have some taco nachos! YUM!!! SPICY SHRIMP & RICE: While not a fan for our kids, us adults love this dish! Shrimp coated with a mix of mayo, Sriracha sauce and Sweet Chili Sauce. Serve with either brown or white rice – whichever you prefer. Another quick and easy meal! ROTISSERIE CHICKEN & SALAD: Grab a Rotisserie Chicken from the grocery store, some fresh salad items and you are set! Easy, fresh, healthy and so simple! “BRINNER”: Breakfast for dinner! Who doesn’t love some pancakes, eggs, bacon, Q2 Muffins and fresh fruit after a long day? Now if that doesn’t put a smile on your face, I don’t know what will! BLTS: Another fan favorite, and very quick and easy. Now, don’t get me wrong, I will of course sneak in the 8 grams of protein whole grain break and turkey bacon to make this a little healthier, but it’s still oh-so-delicious! And quick!! Fry up some bacon (or turkey bacon, if you’re like me), slice up a tomato and some lettuce and you are good to go.

 

I hope these quick meals and prep tips will make life easier for you and your family. With school starting and all of the extras that come along with the back-to-school season, we can all use any time saving tips we can scoop up!

After your morning cup of coffee and healthy muffins, are you venturing out across America? Or perhaps just taking a day trip?

Are you bubbling with excitement? Or some slight concern over hearing the dreaded “Are we there yet?” from your kids about 45 minutes into a 6 hour trip? Don’t fear! Lucky for you, we have TRAVEL TIPS to share.

TIP 1: Map It Out – Letting your kids know ahead of time how long the trip is, in whichever way they value time, will be helpful. If your kids aren’t at an age to comprehend the true meaning behind “4 hours”, the break it down into “We’ll be in the car about as long as Bee Movie, an episode of Fuller House, and how long it usually takes to get to Grandma’s house!” Of course, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS prepare them for traffic and other delays.

TIP 2: Technology Takeover – In my opinion, now is not the time to limit technology. Find some educational games, and let ’em at it. No judge zone here! Movies work, but even kids get sick of watching movies during a car trip, so be sure to have back up on iPads and other devices. Don’t forget the extra batteries and chargers…

TIP 3: Families That Sing Together, Laugh Together – Have a favorite song list? Now’s the time to break it out and crank up the tunes. There’s no better time to pretend you’re Mariah Carey aside from the shower like a long car ride!

TIP 4: The Dollar Store Is Your BFF – Swing by the nearest Dollar Store before your trip and find activity books, travel games, coloring sheets and other items to keep as surprises for the trip. Pull them out when the kids start to get antsy or when traffic strikes, and it will {hopefully} keep the “are we there yet” squirms at bay.

TIP 5: Snack Time – What’s a car trip without some snacks?!? Keep it healthy, because feeling car sick is NO FUN, but with some healthy options, snacks are a great way to keep bellies full and kids (and adults) happy – like our Q2 Healthy Muffins!!

 

Enjoy your trip, and we hope these tips will save you some dread along the way. But be sure to cherish these memories! These sweet kids will be grown before you know it…

When it comes to eating gluten free, there are many reason that people take part in it. It may be because they are diagnosed or suspect Celiac Disease, or it’s because they’ve heard other health benefits associated with eating gluten free. While some have considered this lifestyle a fad, others have tremendously benefited from this way of life and eating habit.

From a full on disclosure standpoint, we are not doctors, so before changing your eating habits, please be sure to consult with your nutritionist or doctor. 

The Top 10 (highly-talked about) Benefits of Eating Gluten Free are:

10. It can drastically improve cholesterol levels

9. Promotes better digestive health

8. It can increases energy levels

7. Could eliminate unhealthy and processed foods from your diet

6. You’re more likely to eat fresh vegetables and fruits daily

5. It could reduces your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes

4. Eating gluten free could helps fight off many viruses since many fresh foods you’ll be eating contain more antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals vs other processed foods in foods that contain gluten

3. It could lead to healthy weight-loss

2. Those with irritable bowl syndrome and arthritis are likely to see improvement

1. You’ll have a better sense of what you’re eating as you’ll be paying better attention to what goes in your mouth

 

All of these things bring better health and overall awareness. No matter the reason for eating gluten-free, overall awareness of what you are eating is likely to have proven results.

We are proud that our muffins are gluten free and have other added benefits of being a healthy alternative to other muffins.

Summer has unofficially arrived and what screams “Happy Sunshine” better than some delicious smoothies?!?

We’ve found fantastic recipes to share with you that are sure to cool you off, awake your taste buds, and go great with your favorite muffins!

Enjoy!

————-

Aloha Pineapple Smoothie – from Six Sisters’ Stuff

INGREDIENTS 1/2 banana, sliced 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced 1/2 cup fresh pineapple, diced 1 cup crushed ice 1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt

INSTRUCTIONS Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. ————-

Mixed Berry Smoothie – from Gal On A Mission

INGREDIENTS 1 cup milk 1 cup frozen raspberries 1 cup frozen mixed berries 1 banana, peeled and diced into chunks honey (optional, if need to be sweeter)

INSTRUCTIONS In a blender, add in the milk, frozen raspberries, frozen mixed berries, and diced banana. Blend on high until the mixture is pureed and creamy. Add honey if you want the smoothie to be sweeter. ————-

Mango Peach & Strawberry Smoothy – from Cooking Classy

INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 cup frozen , peeled mango chunks, partially thawed 1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries 1 cup fresh peach slices (2 medium peaches, pitted) 1 well ripened banana 2 cups chilled pineapple juice

INSTRUCTIONS Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Serve immediately. ————-

Strawberry Lemonade Smoothie – from One Little Project

INGREDIENTS 1½ cups frozen strawberries (do not thaw) 1½ cups good quality lemonade ½ cup vanilla or strawberry yogurt

INSTRUCTIONS Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth, scraping the sides of the blender as necessary. Serve immediately or refrigerate or freeze for later. ————-

Banana Split Smoothies – from Family Fresh Meals

INGREDIENTS 3/4 cups plain Greek yogurt 2 cups frozen strawberries 1 large banana, sliced 1 cup chocolate milk ( chocolate almond and or coconut milk are awesome too!) 1 TB honey (optional: Cherry, whipped cream and sprinkles)

INSTRUCTIONS Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve as is or with optional cherry and whipped cream.

 

Enjoy the start of summer sipping on your healthy smoothies and snacking on your guilt-free muffins!

Sometimes, you may need a pick-me-up to get through the morning, or in my case, even the afternoons! There are so many ways to enjoy your favorite caffeine classics without the guilt. We’ve found ways for you to enjoy an easy on-the-go breakfast with our delicious Q2 Muffins, of course you can rely on us to help get you through your next caffeine fix without the guilt as well!

Sit back, relax and enjoy these 5 recipes for Guilt Free Caffeine Classics:

 

1. Low Calorie Minty-Mocha Iced Coffee

Mix one cup iced coffee (pre-made and refrigerated) and one drop of peppermint extract {more or less extract can be added depending on your preference.} Pour over crushed ice. Top with fat-free whipped cream. To add something fun (and festive if it’s around St. Patrick’s Day or Christmas) feel free to add some green sugar!

2. Skinny Caramel Frappuccino

Combine 3 cups of ice cubes, 1 cup of cold and SUPER strong coffee, 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, Splenda (or another calorie free sweetener that you like) – this is to taste, and about 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract into a blender. Give it a good mix for about a minute, and pour into your favorite mug. Top with your favorite fat-free whipped cream and some caramel sauce — VOILA! {You’re welcome…}

3. Some-What Skinny Iced Mocha Latte

For this one you’ll take about 1/3 of a cup of instant coffee granules and add to boiling water to dissolve. In a separate bowl, whisk together a 14oz can of fat-free condensed milk, 1/2 cup (or less) of low calorie chocolate syrup (yes, they make it – you just gotta dig for it and KNOW that it’s worth it come bathing suit season!!) and 2 cups of cold water, until it’s all combined. Pour the milk combination into a pitcher, then stir in the coffee mixture. Let it chill in the refrigerator for an hour or so, and then serve over ice. ENJOY!

4. Low Calorie Almond Milk Hot Chocolate

Break out your favorite mug and mix together 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder, 3-4 packets of Truvia (or other calorie free sweetener), a pinch of instant coffee and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Add in 1 tablespoon of almond milk. Once it’s the consistency of a paste, mix in a 1/4 of the remaining almond milk and mix again until smooth. Add the remaining almond milk and stir again – don’t forget to scrap the sides of the mug. Microwave for about 1 – 1 1/2 minutes and stir again before drinking. MMmmmmm – good!!

5. Quick, Easy & Low-Cal Vanilla Latte

It doesn’t get much easier than this, folks! Brew the coffee of your choice, and while that’s brewing, heat unsweetened almond milk over low-medium heat until warm. Remove from heat and add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Stir. Then add in 1 cup of hot, fresh coffee. Stir together & enjoy!

We want to know – how do you keep your calories down during the day while getting your caffeine fix? Share your tips and recipe tricks with us!

Believe it or not, summer is coming. Despite the cold weather and what seems to be never-ending snowfall, summer will show up eventually. Whenever summer seems a little out of reach, I always find myself daydreaming of what I would do with in warmer weather. Whether it be bonfires with s’mores and family and friends, making lemonade, reading a book in the early morning hours while the air is still brisk and dew droplets are on the tips of the blades of grass, or a trip to the beach – summer always offers fun and memories that last a lifetime.

Here is a fun Summer Bucket List for you and your family to enjoy this upcoming summer season.

Get out and enjoy the great outdoors, the sunshine and warm weather – whenever it decides to arrive!

 

 

Remember that Q2 Muffins are a great way to enjoy a snack or breakfast as you are on the go this summer. A quick and nutritious way to get plenty of protein while not having to worry about flour, butter, oil, added sugar or artificial ingredients. And remember – these muffins are gluten free! A heathy way to feed the whole family – adults and kids alike LOVE our muffins!!

 

Q2 Muffins are perfect quick and healthy breakfast and snack for the busy family on the go.

Gymnastics practice, soccer games, homework, early morning meetings, carpool, bagged lunches, hockey practice, playdates, doctors appointments – you name it, we’ve been there. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could grab something small that you knew was packed with nutritional ingredients so it was both a quick breakfast or snack on the go, but healthy as well?

Q2 Muffins are packed with oats, honey, organic nonfat greek yogurt, organic whole eggs, black chia, golden flaxseed meal and many other ingredients that are truly good for you. There’s no flour, no butter, no oil, no added sugar, no artificial ingredients and no preservatives. We’re honest and upfront on our ingredients and nutritional facts of our products. We have nothing to hide and boy, does that feel good!

Our muffins are also gluten free, which was actually a happy surprise. We didn’t set out to make gluten free muffins, but once we reviewed all of the ingredients, it was great that these delicious muffins are gluten free for all of those who can’t have gluten. We’re so excited that they can enjoy our muffins, too.

The next time you’re in the grocery store and thinking “what can I grab as an easy snack or breakfast” for either you or your kids, be sure to grab a box or two of Q2 Muffins! They can be found in the breakfast frozen aisle of many Meijer stores, as well as some boutique style markets.

Use our user-friendly product finder to see if they are in a store near you! CLICK HERE!

LET’S GET SOCIAL! Are you on Facebook or Instagram? Be sure to follow us there for many fun photos, facts and even some surprises along the way. We’ve love for you to join us!

Guilt free and gluten free muffins – now THAT is something to sing about! If you’re gluten free you likely remember when you first started on that journey and thought ‘WHAT am I going to eat?‘ Knowing your own reasons for eating gluten free helps in the process, but finding food that truly tastes great too, is so important and helpful. Our muffins have been eaten and tested by those who have been gluten free for years, those who do not live a gluten free lifestyle and even by some who were barely starting out eating a gluten free diet – and the response was the same… “YUM!”

Now, if we do say so ourselves, these muffins are delicious. And the perfect shape and size! Just enough for a snack and succulent enough to quench the taste buds. Not heavy or too substantial in size that you’ll feel guilty about your new snack of choice, yet enough to give you the boost you need. You’ve GOT to try these. And by the way, since there is no flour, no oil, no butter no added sugar AND no artificial ingredients or preservatives in our muffins, there’s never any guilt anyways!

These YUMMY muffins are in stores now! CLICK HERE to see which stores you can find them in.

Current flavors are decadent Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin, refreshing Blueberry Lemon Muffin, and mouthwatering Cranberry Orange Muffin!

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